Saturday, September 09, 2006

A theory on the NDP

So a lot of the more serious NDP candidates are making their pitch in the sense that New Brunswick needs to have a "social" or "independent" or "third party" or what-have-you voice in the legislature. I think that this argument has merit and that a lot of New Brunswickers feel that way.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to NDP success in the past few years in my view has been Elizabeth Weir. I think the reason for this was two-fold. First, New Brunswick being the sort of province that it is, has voters who put a lot of stock being on the government side. Thus, voting NDP is not something a lot of people want to do and no one worried about that third voice because they knew Weir would be there for sure. Second, I don't think that Weir really minded being the only NDPer in the legislature, she ran her own show unchallenged and that may have changed if there was ever someone else who was electable.

So, this time around, without the certainty of a New Democrat being there, will more people be willing to vote NDP to get that voice? If so, do the likes of Dennis Atchison and Virgil Hammock have a shot?


Harrap said...

Both the Liberals and PCs have been running dull campaigns that haven't really captured the imagination of voters -- if the NDP had a better leader I think a breakthrough in this election would have been a certainty.

Nonetheless, it is possible that the NDP may pick up alot of protest votes and score an upset or two.

Interesting take on Elizabeth Weir btw -- I think you're right, she didn't want to show stolen with another member (I remember the mess about trying to keep Millie Augustine from winning the nomination).

New Brunswickers do tend to vote for either Libs or Tories in hopes of being on the government (or close to government side) -- but really, for a third party to win all it takes is enough people to vote for them (consider the political culture in Western Canada where they elect governments across the spectrum - from Social Credit to NDP governments).

Autism Reality NB said...

Can the NDP elect in any given riding? Maybe in Fredericton-Silverwood where Dennis Atchison, a stong NDP candidate, is running. The Liberal Miles, is a newcomer and Conservative Green eked out a narrow win over Misty McLaughlin in the old Fredericton South riding. But even there Green will probably eke out a win.

Anonymous said...

I would have to say that the NDP might pull an upset in Saint John - Fundy. Liberal Stuart Jamieson has been there a long time and nothing has been done and people are fed up. PC Jim Huttges, long time mayor of St Martins got himself in a lot of trouble this week over money comments on the Fundy Trail. The upset could be Mark LeBlanc from the NDP. He is young and very well known in Saint John thorugh his work as Animal Protection Officer with the SPCA. If he can reel in the young voters this is his riding to win. People know him and respect him. This could be the riding to watch.

nbpolitico said...

I would have to say that the NDP might pull an upset in Saint John - Fundy. Liberal Stuart Jamieson has been there a long time and nothing has been done and people are fed up (...) The upset could be Mark LeBlanc from the NDP.

I'm sorry but I just don't see it. This is a "small c" conservative riding. Jamieson won in 1987 due to the sweep and then in 1991 and 1995 thanks to vote splits. It wasn't a surprise to see him lose in 1999 with one conservative party on the ballot. However, he shocked everyone with a big upset in 2003 over up-and-comer Rodney Weston (now the Premier's chief of staff).

My interpretation of this has always been that Jamieson was well liked but they just couldn't resist their nature to vote PC when the time came, especially when there was a big wave. Then, after they'd done it, there was a case of "not knowing what you have until you've lost it" and they returned him. As a result, I think this seat is his as long as he runs.

Alvy Singer said...

Don't sleep on Caraquet.

nbpolitico said...

ALVY!!!! I need more than a cryptic remark. If you have insight, please post or email :)

Spinks said...

I just can't see a riding where the NDP are even going to come in 2nd let alone 1st, especially not Saint John Fundy (sorry anon, full marks for supporting you team but that's wishful thinking). The NDP just don't do well in NB because they haven't figured out how to connect with the New Brunswick voter and CBC French won't let Allison Brewer debate :)

Jack Layton comes to the province next week and while I'm certain that helps for an election in Ontario, all it will mean in N.B. is that the NDP get a little more media coverage. I doubt Layton's presence will change anyone's mind.

Harrap said...

I think Trantamar could be a possible NDP upset. I can't see them winning in Fredericton-Silverwood but then you never know, Dennis Atchison is running a strong local campaign and that could compensate for the weak provincial campaign being carried out by Allison Brewer?

harold innis said...

Virgil Hammock is a true voice from the perimeter. He has a sign sandwiched between two huge signs, Tory and Liberal. at a main Sackville intersection. Atop Hammock's humble sign is a large arrow pointing down. It reads: Balance of power here!
Whether this translates to Tantramar votes for Hammock, it does offer a chance for power rather than two backbenchers in a minority government

thomas said...

I think there's a lot of stumbling around in Tantramar. Maybe that's the way all elections go, I haven't much experience. My sum up, from the local debate is:
technocrat's choice, Higham the liberal. Local boy choice, Oldscamp, the tory. Popular choice, Hammock the reluctant N DP'er.
The latter a kind of iconoclast, is the only one with any
government experience (local) and for a supposed NDP'er has a distaste for the laundry lists of promises
of Higham and Olscamp. It's definitely a toss up here.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, you're NDP. How, in hell can you even imagine an NDP victory in this riding--even with the best NDP candidate in the province in the race. NDP seats--none.
The NDP leader would have made i even more certain, had she the (whatever) to run in her home riding. Apologies to her woderful mother.

thomas said...

Sorry to have aroused you. I've never voted NDP in my life. All I'm saying is there are two guys spouting almost identical laundry lists, and another guy who
seems more interested in the problems in Tantramar.
what's not to like?