Election Post-Mortems

It’s hard to endure Michael Coren’s smarmy, insufferable smugness, but here’s 13 minutes of it anyway.


And here’s the more thoughtful post-mortem discussion from TVO’s “Agenda” on Tuesday.


Monday already seems like ages ago…


14 Replies to “Election Post-Mortems”

  1. In addition, it looks like vote splitting has struck again.

    This has now harmed the fortunes of every party in Parliament: historically, the Conservative Party’s forebares suffered while the Liberals and Bloc profited from it, now it was the other way around.

    Maybe it is time to change the FPTP voting system in this country?

    There is currently a referendum going on in the United Kingdom to do just that, and I wonder if we should consider a similar course of action? I wrote an article about the alternate voting referendum in the UK if anyone here is interested in discussing it:


  2. Keep in mind that AV is different from PR and STV… But still, it’s a hard sell explaining how these things work to people used to the good old, ultra-simple FPTP system.

  3. Whether or not it is approved, the very fact that the British are having this debate could boost interest in electoral reform here, that is, if more Canadians look into it.

  4. Wolprog: No, I don’t think they would.

    D.I.D.: This was put to the voters in B.C. several years ago and narrowly failed to clear the bar the first time around. I think the “Liberals” were going to bring it up for another vote, but there doesn’t seem to be much enthusiasm for a rematch.

  5. Nuts. I was hoping for some sort of rematch at the federal level, but I guess you are right…

  6. In addition, it looks like vote splitting has struck again.

    Try not telling that to the jubilant Dippers. Vote splitting had nothing to do bringing Harper to a majority. Nope, we can hop on the Unicorn Express of Determinism that came down from Candy Mountain and believe that Jack’s jockeying for the Opposition position was in fact all grounded in lofty and idealistic vision and not out of oppourtunistic partisanship, the very same critique that the ‘protest party’ inveighed against both the CPC and Liberal party. The Liberals, by their own design, are now cast into the wilderness for now, but until the democratic reform caucus of the NDP is actually putting forward decent proposals that are not pie in the sky, I won’t be holding my breathing that another voting system will be implemented.

    The difference between Manning and The Reform and the NDP are quite clear: The NDP”s rise was simply do to electoral vascillation, and despite the euphoria, there is absolutely no way the Dippers can organize with such efficiency as to create an entire voting bloc that would put enough pressure on a majority government like Manning did to Chretien. Given that Manning was able to exert influence within the Liberal Parliaments is something for which to be applauded, but his constituency had much more time to organize and build a sold infrastructure that would challenge the incumbent. The NDP is currently not in the same position as Reform, and most likely, they will become crushed under their new found power and self-congratulation, unless they somehow harness this Quebec caucus into a permanent component of their voting bloc, and that is too unlikely for me to believe.

    As for alternative voting, the issue is that no no pays attention to the details of electoral reform despite the calls for transparency and good government. When their man interest lays in conspicuous self-interest, naturally unless you frame PR or AV in the context of whether or not some votes can secure soccer lessons or purchase that new big screen tv for the ‘man cave,’ it will not resonate. My reservations of the system proposed by Ontario were serious in that I objected to the consequences that MMP would have produced, but the vast majority simply voted against it because they couldn’t understand it and think beyond just marking a check.

  7. JKG is correct. Both the NDP and the country are in deep shit.

    The NDP’s current Parliamentary strength is just a contingent epiphenomenon with about as much substance and organic integrity as a three-day-old blister.

    The fundamentals aren’t there. To dilate upon JKG’s excellent points, I would add that the Reform-Alliance bloc had three crucial assets: first, it had a solidly loyal regional core; moreover, two of its key announced values, fiscal discipline and the need to address the “democratic deficit”, had become mainstream dogma; finally, it had highly articulate and well-funded think-tank and pressure-group advocates with easy and regular access to major media.

    The first asset gave the party an unshakeable electoral beachhead, a reliable source of funding, and a steady stream of highly motivated candidates and logistical staffs; the second gave them instant national relevance and credibility; and the third provided them with consistent, persuasive, and widely broadcasted ideological support from the kinds of people most Canadians view as unbiased experts. Without the lift provided by those assets, the Reform-Alliance would have gone nowhere; the party was the late- 20th -century version of the CCF-NDP, who would certainly have gone nowhere without its loyal Prairie base, its ability to capitalise on Canada’s mid-Thirties consensus about the need for fiscal/monetary reform, and the friendly expert advocacy of the League for Social Reconstruction.

    Unless the NDP manages to summon those key assets out of thin air within four years (perhaps just two of them would do), they face implosion through sheer internal incoherence. That needn’t be catastrophic; it would merely mean that the non-CPC vote would divide between them and the Libs, as it did this week—with the Opposition prize going to whichever leader had managed to capture the nation’s hearts and minds with a quip equal in impish mischief to Jack’s “hashtag fail” moment.

    Ultimately, though, the NDP just does not have enough of an electoral skeleton for a government, or even a stable Opposition, to hang on. Sadly for many Red Tory readers, this also applies to the Liberals. Harper’s CPC has done a magnificent job of turning itself into the kind of ethically vacant machine of pragmatic materialist nihilism that is required to manage the depoliticized and globalised hyper-consumers of the post-modern West. And, given the craven and morally bankrupt nature of the CPC leadership, their monopoly of nihilism will be incontestable for at least a decade.

  8. Sir Francis, a brilliant synopsis that drives home the obvious. The NDP as official opposition hardly looks like a government in waiting (nor is it likely to become one by 2015) and that the Liberal party at 34 seats can not realistically think it will capture 155 seats by the next election cycle.

    In short, this country is fucked! Harper can even piss off his own base repeatedly over the next 4 years and still get re-elected in 2015 with a majority.

  9. Sir Francis,

    Good analysis. In addition, the NDP now face a sustained attack on all fronts – the floundering Liberals who will try to picture them as unrealistic, the Bloc Québécois who’s very survival now depends on convincing the Québécois that the NDP will not follow up on their absurd promises and are just another in a series of Anglo-federalist “oppressors”, and the Conservatives who now have found a new target with which to relentlessly assault on the public dime. Add to this that the NDP have a very incoherent base and lack organizational strength, as you illustrated, then Jack is in serious shit and may be no better than a court jester that Harper flays alive while the PQ inevitably wins the next Québec election due to the inevitable backlash against the NDP’s failure to deliver its impossible promises.

  10. Sir Francis,

    Very well put. Except for the last paragraph, but we have 4 years to dissect that one. (craven and morally bankrupt leadership…?)


    Yes, the dark side has its appeals. There is a large magnet where Stephen Harper’s heart would normally be. (Lord Flanagan put it there himself). When a person’s soul begins to rot, there is a pulling effect that can only be resisted by singing, swaying in unison, and hand holding.


    I think you are right. The CPC could certainly provide tremendous government. I of course expect it. But even if they don’t, they may still fall right side up 4 years from now.


    I am hoping that Harper takes pity on the Dippers and doesn’t flay Layton alive. But I fear that he will not be able to control himself or his caucus. We can already both hear the inane socialist and separatist nonsense that will come out of QP, committee’s, and press conferences. I suggest the PM makes readily available different types of calming nutraceuticals in the caucus room. He should also instruct his MPs to drink green tea.

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