Friday, April 20, 2012

The Liberals at Death's Door

Prior to the 2008 election, the Liberal party was relatively competitive in every Western riding outside of Alberta. That began to change in 2008. Now, the Liberal party is completely irrelevant in great swaths of all four western provinces. (see examples below) What is true of the West is also true of Quebec. Where Quebec differs is that the phenomena first appeared in 2006. By 2011 the trend was so pronounced that the Liberal party is now completely irrelevant in most ridings outside of Montreal. Given current trends, we should start seeing the same phenomena appear in a large number of Ontario seats. The Liberal party is all is but dead. So, the question facing Liberals now is this. What path should the party take. These are the options.

1) Allow itself to swallowed by the NDP

2) Go out with a whimper in 2015

3) Justify its existence to a country all too ready to divide into two political camps by radically differentiating itself from both the NDP and Conservatives.

If three, I suggest that Bob Rae is not the man for the job. With the NDP headed right on economic and environmental issues there will simply be enough not space separating the NDP and Liberals. You will have a former provincial Liberal leading the Federal NDP and former provincial NDP premier leading the Federal Liberal party. To make matters worse, Charlottetown Bob is just as willing as Thomas Mulcair is to play footsies with Quebec nationalists.

Even the posture the Liberals are striking with Bob Rae is all wrong for the task ahead. The Liberals are still trying to be all things to all people and so end up being nothing everyone. They are still trying to be "centrist". Yes Rae can be cutting and quick witted and yes the Liberals claim to be the party of science, fact and evidence. However, the party continues to confuse compromise with nuance and being opinionated with being ideological. As for Rae, he wants to be liked. He is in no way an iconoclast the way Pierre Trudeau was and an iconoclast is exactly what the Liberals need right now.


Pitt Meadows Maple Ridge Mission

2006 20.25%

2008 6.63%

2011 5.17%


2006 25.22%

2008 9.84 %

2011 5.33%


2006 24.07%

2008 10.54%

2011 5.06%



2006 20.20%

2008 17.10%

2011 5.33%


2006 19.38%

2008 7.99%

2011 3.46%


2006 23.05%

2008 10.35%

2011 4.71%



2006 33.47%

2008 8.14%

2011 8.21%


2006 18.00%

2008 8.27%

2011 5.36%


2006 15.84%

2008 12.57%

2011 6.71%



2004 43. 43%

2006 29.19%

2008 13.45%

2011 5.60%


2004 29.12%

2006 2.96%

2008 5.15%

2011 1.98%


2004 30. 98%

2006 13.81%

2008 20.73%

2011 5.91%


Anonymous said...

At this point the Liberals are facilitating the Conservatives.

Many Libs believe(or used to anyways)that a vote for the NDP is a vote for the Conservatives.In the last election there was an increased interest in strategic voting. This was in part because some Libs recognized that their party was very weak in many parts of the country. Needless to say, strategic voting didn't work and has never worked.

It is clear now that the roles of the NDP and Libs have reversed.

The wonderful irony is now that those Liberals who hate the Cons. by their very existence (that is in being Liberals) are aiding in the success of Harper and Co.

Many of them are too arrogant,self righteous, and pompous to admit it or see it.

Koby said...

"In the last election there was an increased interest in strategic voting."

Very much so. Great numbers of Liberal voters in urban Toronto moved over to the NDP to stop Harper and in suburban Toronto great swaths of Liberal voters moved over the the Conservatives to stop Layton.

"Needless to say, strategic voting didn't work and has never worked."

You are talking out your ass. Strategic voting works all the time. It just does not work that well out a national level. It can work very well at the riding level. It worked well in Sanich Gulf Islands for May. It worked for Duncan in Edmonton Strathcona.

Anonymous said...

It worked in two Ridings out of 308.

That isn't success at any level. It may well have backfired in other Ridings but that is harder to track.