Tuesday, February 2, 2010

NDP looking to broaden base

Political parties it seems are not about policies but policies are bait so that more voters can be caught. The CCF, the precursor of the NDP, was about policies and educating the public about those policies. Sometimes votes went down as people rejected the policies but many party leaders still had faith that in the longer term people would vote for them. The CCF and now the NDP have gone further and further to the right but federally at least they do little if any better than in the times when J.S. Woodsworth ran on a true democratic socialist program. Now the NDP seems to be following the pattern of the UK labour party and the so-called third way in order to get more votes. Of course it makes sense to compromise when it can bring a party to power but nowadays it is not about compromise but about adopting whatever policies are best to gain power.

The Canadian Press NDP sees no election until next year, targets ethnic communities, seniors

OTTAWA - The federal New Democrats say they don't expect an election this year, and plan to use the coming months to mine new votes from ethnic groups, seniors and small business.

At a key three-day meeting of 150 members of the party's federal council in Ottawa on the weekend, the NDP brain trust concluded the Liberals have not had enough of a bump in the polls lately to be spoiling for an election.

Last week, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said he had no interest in an election this spring. And after talking to people close to the Liberals, the NDP believes they'd rather wait until 2011 to push another vote.

Brad Lavigne, the NDP's national director, says the party will remain election-ready, but in the meantime party strategists are targeting new areas for potential votes: ethnic communities, seniors and small-business owners.

Traditionally the NDP has relied on young people, women and union households for its core support.

But polling numbers have plateaued for the party over the last year, and now strategists are setting their sights on other parties' strongholds.

"We've got a bit of time. What are we going to do with it? ... We're going to be looking at that time to build," Lavigne said.

Ethnic communities are usually considered Liberal turf, but both the NDP and the Tories see that constituency as fertile ground for votes.

Seniors are a prized community for any party, since they usually come out in droves on voting day. And the NDP believes its messaging on pension protection and the environment will lure them to vote New Democrat.

Small businesses are also considered to be of good voting potential because of the NDP's strong stand against the Harmonized Sales Tax in British Columbia and Ontario.

Party president Peggy Nash is chairing three task forces that will put together strategies for delving into each new voter base.

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