Why Harper Will Beat The NDP
August 1st, 2012 - J. Hodgson
#1. Money. In 2011, the Conservatives received $22.7 million in individual contributions from slightly over 100,000 donors. This is far beyond the amount received by the other parties. In fact, it’s almost as much as all the other parties combined! In politics, money talks. Money can buy attention, support, and organization. Money means ability and professionalism. Money wins elections.
#2. The end of the per-vote-subsidy. In 2008 Harper tried (and failed) to eliminate the per-vote-subsidy in order to save taxpayer money and stop the constant campaigning of cash rich parties (It also means he could overwhelm the other parties financially, since he knows that the Conservatives have more generous supporters than all the other parties combined). In 2012, we finally begin the process to phase out of the per-vote-subsidy. By 2015, the subsidy will be completely eliminated. 2015 is an election year. By then the other parties will already feel the pinch of dried up revenue. The Conservative Party will be flush with cash. They could finance a maximum spending campaign right now!
It won’t be a fair fight.
#3. Pre-election electioneering. The Conservative Party is flush with cash and could already launch a full scale election, so they will be looking to spend some of that revenue early. The Elections Canada legal limit on campaigning during an election is about $20 million. The Conservative Party is sure to continue to do what they’ve successfully done over the past few years and spend some money way before an election in order to sell their message and build their brand. They can also begin destroying the competition with smear attacks before the election begins. They did this to grand effect with Michael Ignatieff in the 2011 election. Constantly bombarding apolitical Canadians with the message that Michael Ignatieff was “just visiting” and “only in it for himself” branded him negatively in the their minds through the shear constancy of exposure.
Expect more of the same for Mulcair.
#4. Jack Layton is gone. Jack Layton won the leadership of the NDP in 2003 and spent four election cycles building up an organization that was capable of squeezing out the Liberal party and destroying the Bloc Québécois. He caught a wave of goodwill and his friendly manner finally won over many people who were tired of the typical makeup of the House of Commons.
In January, St-Maurice-Champlain MP, Lise St-Denis crossed the floor from the NDP to the Liberals. She simply stated, “They voted for Jack Layton. Jack Layton is dead.” Jack Layton’s brand of the NDP got them to official opposition. His angry-beard replacement will not fare so well.
#5. In 2015 the deficit will be gone. The 2012 budget revealed the plan to eliminate Canada’s deficit by 2015. Hardcore conservatives bristled at the notion that clearing the deficit would take this long. Strategically, however, it is typical Harper. By dragging out the process he accomplishes three things:
1) The pain and optics of severe cuts are non-existent. Even Tory critics seemed to be relieved at the modest budget after bracing for severe austerity.
2) It allows Harper to avoid new spending longer (Sorry! No money for that left-wing junk...er...I mean “investment”, after all...we’re still running deficits!).
3) It allows a big dog and pony show in the summer of 2015 showing off and bragging about finally balancing the budget. This way it’s fresh in people’s minds just before the election.
#6. Ontario hates the NDP. Ontario had a brief and accidental fling with the NDP in 1990. This put Bob Rae in the Premier’s office. His five year reign is decisively viewed as a monumental failure. In 1995, Ontario kicked out the NDP and brought in Mike Harris and the common sense revolution. Ever since this time, the NDP brand has been poison in Ontario. Only 22 seats out of 106 seats in Ontario are held by the NDP. Many pundits theorized that Harper’s majority was a result of Ontario Liberals being afraid of a last minute NDP win...so they switched their vote to the Conservatives to stop this from happening. You can’t win a national election without getting Ontario on board.
They aren’t on board.
#7. BC will hate the NDP...again. Unfortunately it looks like BC voters have tired of the provincial Liberals and will once again head back to the NDP for their 2013 provincial election. The BC Liberals have been the party of choice for non-leftists since 2001. Recently they have veered left with the election of Christy Clark as Gordon Campbell’s replacement. This has spurred the development of the not-quite-ready-for-prime-time BC Progressive Conservatives. The unfortunate result? Vote splitting.
When the NDP take over BC again, watch as the province sinks into a zany mess of unionism, eco-Marxism and latte sipping socialism. Unless you’re heavily invested in weed or safe injection sites, you’ll probably not want to do business in BC. With a housing bubble ready to pop and the Northern Gateway pipeline refusing to be built, British Columbia is going to get economically crushed. Economic crushing by socialism has one good effect: Massive insane backlashes!
Relatively moderate apolitical people will become rabidly conservative when socialists destroy their livelihoods and tax them into oblivion. A slogan in 2015 might be: “Don’t let Mulcair do to Canada what Adrian Dix has done to British Columbia”.
When Harper is ready for another federal mandate, BC will give it to him.
#8. Canada’s economy will be booming. When Romney takes the White House this November, the world will slowly realize that the neo-socialism of Obama was a flash-in-the-pan. Austerity in Europe is simply a fact of math. China and the BRIC in general will be reorganizing after the long awaited slowdown. By 2015, the hard work of getting back to basics and sorting out this long lasting 2008-09 recession will be paying off. Savings will increase and debts will decline. The world will be ready for growth, and growth requires commodities. With Harper pursuing a hardline, pro-business economic policy that steamrolls eco-Marxists and unions, we’ll be well positioned to take advantage of the coming boom. Booming economies are good for incumbents.
#9. Quebec might be ready to go Tory. In 2014, the equalization formula will need to be renegotiated. Harper is no fan of welfare transfers and we will most likely see some kind of scale back in terms of amounts redistributed. Since Quebec is basically the Greece to Canada’s Germany, we will see a lot of anger and fury from the naked-students-with-pots-and-pans crowd. The quiet majority in the province, however, understands that the real world is conservative and perhaps moving to the right would be worthwhile. Many aren’t as far left as English Canada would like to believe. Harper took 10 seats in Quebec in 2006. They have elected Jean Charest as Premier three times and he was once the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Maxime Bernier is one of the most hardcore libertarian conservatives in the CPC today and he wins his Quebec seat repeatedly by a massive margin.
If it looks like Harper is going to win another election in 2015, there’s a strong chance that Quebec will decide to best influence federal politics by having a seat at the table, rather than a voice across the aisle.
#10. Return of the Liberals. The Liberal leadership convention is set for 2013. All they need to do is elect a moderate, likeable person in any way, shape or form and people will be excited. They’ll be excited because it will be the symbolic rebirth of the party in the 21st century. It will steal headlines and energy from the NDP. The tradition and legacy of the Liberal Party will transcend the infighting and bad branding from the past ten years. The next election will see many voters willing to give the Liberal Party another chance, at the expense of both the NDP and the Conservatives. The end result, however, will be worse for the NDP than it will be for the Conservatives.
A mildly left-of-centre political party is far more palatable to mainstream voters than a far left-of-centre political party. The NDP will be lucky to simply tread water in 2015. Are they really going to do better than Jack Layton’s orange crush did this time? Doubtful.
With a non-creepy, non-“just visiting” professor as a leader, the Liberals are primed for a comeback. Will this mean the Tories lose? Hopefully not, but more importantly, it means the NDP can’t win.