Layton can strut around and proclaim himself the second coming Christ all he wants. So long as Liberals refuse to bring down the government, the NDP’s vote is entirely academic and everyone knows that Jack’s act is nothing but fake bravado. Indeed, forget what Layton says his party’s record of voting against the government. Look at what the NDP are doing in committee and it clear that they focusing on the Liberals and not the Conservatives — just ask to the party strategists. “Damaging Harper and the Conservatives on ethical issues like the Cadman mess mainly helps the Grits, and that’s not in our gameplan.”
So how is the attack the Liberals first strategy working for the NDP? Not well. The NDP have lost their way. The NDP dreams of replacing the Liberals as the official opposition. Never mind the fact this goal is pie in the sky nonsense, the NDP have decided that best way achieving this goal is emulate, to a degree that would make Tommy Douglas role over in his grave, the sad sack Liberal party. The cause of social democracy de damned. In other words, a historical reversal has happened. Whereas the NDP used to be content to let the Liberals steal their policies, if it meant advancing the cause of social democracy, the NDP now seeks to copy the current Liberal party’s ideological incoherence.
Not surprisingly, NDP voters within the 416 and 905, the only region of the country in which NDP and Liberals actually compete, are moving back to the party that actually stands a chance of “getting results” for people during the next election. To make matters worse for the NDP, the emergence of the Green party has seen the urban environmental vote move from the NDP to the Green party. If there was an election this spring chances are Layton will keep his seat, albeit barely, but Chow, Marston, Charlton and Nash will loose their seats.
Of course, the NDP’s troubles are not limited to Toronto region. In BC Dawn Black, Penny and Bell would be in a world of hurt if there was an election called this spring.
It should be dawning on the NDP party brass that the party the best chance to grow the party is not in the 416 and 905. The NDP has to go back to its Western roots and focus on taking back voters that had abandoned them for the Reform Party in 1993 and then gone on to vote Conservative. It still polls far better in BC and Sask than it ever has in Ontario, especially Toronto. They should also look to be fighting it out with the Conservatives to pick up the Liberal votes that have slowly been bleeding away over the years to both themselves and the Conservatives in Northern Ontario. Lastly, they should be looking to pick up Bloc voters in Quebec. Yes Outremont was a Liberal seat, but it was Bloc vote that gave the NDP the victory and not erstwhile Liberal voters.