Friday, September 4, 2015

Why Liberals should vote for the NDP this election

In the past when the New Democratic Party had no chance of forming the government, the Liberals have often called for NDP supporters to vote Liberal in order defeat the Conservatives.
During those periods, the NDP languished in third place with dismal polling numbers. However, now the NDP leads in the polls and the Liberals are in third place behind the Conservatives. The NDP should be calling upon Liberals to return the favor and now vote strategically to ensure that Harper is defeated. There are other reasons as well that Liberals should consider voting for the NDP.
The NDP leader Thomas Mulcair was himself for many years a Liberal and cabinet minister in the Quebec provincial government. Mulcair served as Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, and Parks in the Quebec Liberal government of Jean Charest. During his tenure he promoted and passed in November 2004 a Sustainable Development Plan that included an amendment to the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms to include a right to live in a healthy environment that respects biodiversity. In 2006, after Mulcair opposed a government development plan in a national park he was removed from his cabinet position. Those within the Liberal party who supported former leader Stephan Dionne in his move to attempt a Green Shift within the Liberal Party might do well to support the perhaps more saleable environmental policies of Mulcair. Dionne led the Liberals from 2006 to 2008:The Liberals lost support on 14 October federal election, being reduced to 77 seats, down from 103 won in the 2006 election. They captured only 26.2 per cent of the popular voteThe Liberals have had a continuing leadership problem. While Dionne was the choice of those at the leadership convention and not favoured by some Liberal king makers the next leader was favoured by the establishment.
Michael Ignatieff was a top academic who left a position at Harvard where he taught to enter the contest for the Liberal leadership. He sometimes forgot whether he was an American or a Canadian. He supported the US-led invasion of Iraq and also had a rosy view of the US Empire:As a journalist, Ignatieff observed that the United States had established "an empire lite, a global hegemony whose grace notes are free markets, human rights and democracy, enforced by the most awesome military power the world has ever known."Ignatieff turned out to be far more disastrous as a leader than Dionne. In the 2011 federal election, Ignatieff lost his own seat. The Liberal party had its worst showing in history winning only 34 seats. It placed third far behind the Conservatives enabling the NDP to become the official opposition for the first time ever. Now it is time for the Liberals to vote strategically for the NDP.
The Liberals showed their affinity to the right wing of the NDP when they chose Bob Rae the former NDP premier of Ontario as their interim leader. With the election of Justin Trudeau Liberals no doubt thought that they were on their way to power again. At first, polls encouraged this view. Just days after Trudeau won the leadership a poll showed that 43 percent of respondents favoured the Liberals with just 30 percent for the Conservatives and only 19 percent for the NDP, the official opposition. In July 2014 the Liberals still had a ten point lead over the Conservatives with the NDP coming third. Just over a year later under Trudeau's leadership the NDP is now in first place several points ahead of the Conservatives with the Liberals still trailing the Conservatives and in third place. Liberals should realize for the third election in a row their party is going nowhere and their prime duty is to turf out Harper.
The Conservatives have had a field day criticizing Trudeau because of the constant gaffes he makes. He jokes about Russia and the Ukraine He admired China's ability to control the economy. He famously said that the budget will balance itself. The Conservatives take this out of context as Trudeau was claiming that given good economic growth the budget would balance itself. This is still questionable. However, the Conservatives can use Trudeau's many gaffes as part of a clever ad campaign as shown in the appended video. They hammer home the theme of "just not ready" as applying to Trudeau.
Trudeau has supported Harper's regressive anti-terror bill even without amendments. Mulcair and probably many Liberals reject the bill. Another reason to vote for Mulcair. Trudeau says he will not use the politics of fear as Harper does. Yet in supporting the anti-terror bill Trudeau is doing exactly that. While Trudeau would legalize marijuana, Mulcair would act faster decriminalizing it a day after being elected. Come on all you Liberals! Get out there and vote NDP.

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