Saturday, October 14, 2006

NDP takes a kick in the teeth

It had occured to me before, but I hadn't thought to much about, how the loss of popular vote for the NDP in this election is going to seriously reduce their subsidy from the province to operate their party.

This is how bad it is folks. The NDP will, which does not accept corporate or union contributions, will have to operate on $31,315 per year (down from $60,292) + whatever they can raise from NDP supporters.

Those poor souls who support the NDP may want to think about putting spam filters on the email, changing their phone numbers and maybe even moving. They are about to get hounded. Allison Brewer is coming cap-in-hand. Her comment: "we are going to be asking people to dig a little deeper and try to help the party make up for the shortfall".

So the shortfall is $30,000. The NDP managed to attract 200 people to its last leadership - the first race they had had in 17 years and one with three candidates. One presumes that is the core of diehard NDP supporters. So these folks, who already likely contribute to the NDP are going to have to cough up an additional $150 in order to get the status quo? $150 a year isn't a lot of money - most people could scrounge together $12.50 per month if they really wanted to - but the question is, do they?

Brewer is not suggesting some innovative policy or change of approach in order to attract new members and new fundraising capacity. She is just going to ask the NDP for more money.

I am not a New Democrat, but I presume these folks think in relatively the same way as an average person. And here is what I would imagine the though process is. After 7 straight elections of getting approximately 10% of the vote, and electing a member in 6 of those elections, we just got 5.1% of the vote and no members. In order to get the party's finances back to where they were before the eleciton - and therefore likely get the status quo, 5% and no MLAs, I need to shell out $150 MORE per year - an extra $600 to the next election + probably some additional cash during the election year. To get nothing but another dismal showing, no NDP presence in the legislature and another four years of "digging a little deeper"? Come on.

Allison Brewer should change her name to Queen Cleopatra.

First on election night she declares her distant last place finish in Fredericton-Lincoln and the lowest popular vote for the NDP in 22 (sorry it is actually 32) years "a victory" (see video) and today in the paper, here is her quote on what this means for the party: "Five per cent is not great but 10 per cent was not great either."

Well said Cleopatra, you really are living in da nile.


Daniel said...

The NB NDP needs to move away from the "fringe activist" element it seems to have become, and actually choose someone WIDELY ELECTABLE as its leader - Brewer, someone involved with the workings of the Morgentaller clinic and a GLBT activist, while not to be ashamed of such things, isn't even electable to many capital-L Liberals in the province, let alone unaffiliated voters or Tories. The NDP needs to move a bit more into the mainstream, and if it wants to focus some of its core issues, should focus on things like EI problems, housing and wage gaps - things it can actually gain votes with.

Harrap said...

I'm surprised the newspapers still are interviewing Brewer. I'm wondering if she (or whoever is NDP leader) will even be invited to the leader's debate in the next election?

nbpolitico said...

daniel - I think you mean small l (i.e. liberal minded) as opposed to big L (i.e. Liberal Party adherents)

harrap - Indeed. I actually said in my post on the Green Party that I suspect that if the NDP is included they will have to include the Greens as well though it may well be a 2 man race.

Spinks said...

"I am not a New Democrat, but I presume these folks think in relatively the same way as an average person."

Given recent events I think you're wrong nbpolitico. I'm not sure how they think but its not in reality.

I'm with harrap unless the NDP actually have something newsworthy they frankly deserve very little media coverage (although CBC will still give it to them). 5% of the vote and no seats makes them a fringe party. In the entire history of NB, 3 NDP members have ever been elected. COR had more than twice that which tells you where the NDP should sit in the history books.

Anonymous said...

Just to refer to a comment made in the blog, the NB NDP share of the vote in 2006 was the lowest in 32 years, not 22 years. I don't mean to be picky, but I think it reinforces your argument even moreso.

nbpolitico said...

anon - you're right typo on my part.

spinks - LOL

Daniel said...

nbpolitico - yeah, I guess I got my upper-case and lower-case confused; back to gradeschool for me ;)