Saturday, April 18, 2009

The BC NDP: a crumbling party

It's election time here in BC, and the election signs are starting to pop up all over Vancouver. But, as you walk or drive by, one thing becomes clear. The reason all those signs look alike is because they are. There are only BC Liberal signs being put up. I have yet to see a single BC NDP sign. It's as if the party didn't even have signs to give out to their supporters. To me, this is yet another clear indication that the NDP at the provincial level in BC is crumbling. What kind of party are you if you don't even have signs. Even the STV movement has a few signs up. How embarrassing is that?

Signs may not seem like a big deal, but if you think about it, if you aren't a party member, how will you know who the candidates in your riding are apart from seeing signs in your neighbourhood? Does the NDP think that their supporters will all vote based on party allegiance? If that's the case, then they are clearly not being mindful of election strategy, for the BC Liberals are leading them by as much as 10% in many polls.

The list of the miscues keeps growing. Not only are there no signs around here, but is the NDP platform really organized so as to gather a greater crowd under the tent. That would not seem to be the case. The NDP, in a masterful move, have alienated many of the environmental movement, including the Suzuki organization. By vowing to cancel the carbon tax introduced by Gordon Campbell's government, they have made the voting decision of environmentally concerned citizens that much more difficult.

The reason for this strategy is obvious. The NDP is seeking to gain votes in rural BC and among the working classes, as those are the regions in which voters are most affected by the carbon tax. However, these areas normally go Liberal, and what with the economic downturn, the Liberals are seen by many as the more economically responsible party. It is therefore probable that these regions will go Liberal, and the polls indicate this.

While Gordon Campbell has opened the Liberal tent to environmentally conscious voters with his carbon tax, Carole James has gambled that by opposing this initiative, she will receive rural BC vote. At best this strategy may gain her a few seats, but that is more than unlikely if her party organization doesn't start putting up signs.
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