You know what they call people that keep repeating their mistakes, election after election? They call them new democratic party members. There was an op-ed in the Toronto Star the other day by a NDPer complaining about the party always repeating its mistakes. It is like the Catholic Mass or the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. It is dogma. It is always there and it assures the same mistakes and the same losses.
The op-ed writer was particularly adamant about the idea of the NDP positioning itself as an alternative government. The party once won the government in Ontario by accident and it ended up, four years later, losing to the worst, most unpopular conservative government in 50 years.
The truth is that if everybody knows you are not going to win, you look silly running for the top job. It was like in the 2021 federal election, the pollsters and pundits kept saying that the NDP was poised for a breakthrough in the number of seats it might have in parliament. It was all B.S. and anyone who had laboured in political fields knew it. The NDP percentage vote was actually lower than most pollsters predicted.
I mentioned the other day the aberration of Montreal-born Jack Layton leading the NDP into the Orange Wave. Quebec voters took the opportunity to give conservatives and liberals the Canadian salute of one finger by voting for the NDP. The party hardly made similar inroads in the rest of Canada but it earned Layton a state funeral.
I agree with the writer though that Jagmeet Singh would have gone a lot further if he had picked up on some of the major liberal promises. He would have got more votes by promising his party would make sure that the liberals lived up to those specific promises.
Along with the writer, I never agreed with Tommy Douglas’ fable of Mouseland. The conservatives and liberals are definitely not the same. I also share the op-ed writer’s view that the biggest mistake of the last campaign was Singh’s foolish suggestion to the news media that the NDP might support a conservative minority. That was the kiss of death on a wasted campaign.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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