Saturday, April 30, 2011

What if the NDP wins

There are three things that can happen when you throw a pass, and two of them are bad.
attributed to Woody Hayes

I should say that in this blog the phrase "Socialist Horders" or "Red Menace" will not appear.

Since last weekend, we have witnessed an incredible surge of support for the NDP. I'm not talking up to 20%, we talking at least the Official Opposition or even, dare we say it, Government. Will we really say "Prime Minister Jack Layton" after the 2nd of May? Some have dismissed the surge as an invention of media in an attempt to spice up an otherwise dull election. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, still there is something happening; even the Toronto Star has come out in support of the NDP. Now that is a shock, the Official Organ of the Liberal Party of Canada comes out to support the third party. Impending sign of the apocalypse I am sure.

So what will happen if the NDP wins on Monday night. I want to suggest there are three possibilities, as as the quote from Woody Hayes says, two of them are bad

Scenario #1 The NDP decides to go ahead and as a party of principle and implement as much of their election platform as possible. Some of them include giving Quebec a guarantee 25% of the seats in the House of Commons. Even though the province is home to 23% they will be weighed a bit more then the rest of Canada. I believe was part of the Meech Lake Accord, which as memory serves, was rejected by Canadians, sorry that was the equally maligned Charlottetown Accord. Then there is the cap and trade, or the cash and grab, which fills government coffers with money and establishes a new market of trading carbon credits- think corruption. Of course the idea will be to punish the major polluters and force them to pay, which they will immediately pass on to the consumers, so we get almost no reduction of carbon and higher prices, a sure win-win scenario. You can read my thoughts about cap and trade in the blog before this one, remember I'm a supporter of the Green Party. Other promises will cost money and while laudable, it has to be realized, its costly to get more doctors and nurses. While the Star comment talks about the fiscal responsibility of many provincial NDP premiers, one name is oddly absent and that is little Bobby Rae, the NDP Premier of Ontario. Anyone want to remember Rae Days?

Then there is the issue of a lot of neophytes in the place of power, hopefully the party is full of quick learners because they will need to be. The problem is as a party of ideology, there may be many who will refuse to compromise and will go ahead with their agenda irregardless of the consequences. An important part of politics is compromise and will this be a skill many in the NDP can exercise, especially when given the reins of power?

Scenario #2

The NDP comes to power having excited a new portion of the electorate. They are inspired by the vision given by Jack Layton and the Platform. There are videos on YouTube from inspired people, think "Yes We Can" by Will.I.Am. They win and then the cold light of reality shines its bright cold ray upon the platform. The party leadership realizes it can't keep the promises, even right now there is some backpedalling. The question is, what happens when it becomes prominent. I think we have the example of this when we look down south. I noticed the NDP has tried to hitch their wagon to President Obama, but look at his track record, the US is still stuck in Afghanistan with no exit strategy, Gitmo is still open and doing a booming business and the health care, IE Obamacare is the dog's breakfast. The result is a lot of supporters of Obama, especially those of the fabled 'Generation O' are disappointed and will probably not bother to come out in the next election. I want to suggest that if the Republican Party could nominate a candidate that is intelligent, articulate and a war hero, such as, oh I don't know, Colin Powell, instead of freak shows such as Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, they would be in control of the White House after November 2012. Even when it carries out promises, it ends hurting rather then helping. Consider the cap and trade, it will effect the major polluters, those same polluters are corporations that employ a lot of the core supporters of the NDP, such as the Auto Industry, it gets hammered and the companies either inform the unions of huge lay offs or demand major concessions, its like the 90's all over again.

Scenario #3

On May 3rd the Dominion wakes to the reality of Prime Minister Layton and for some reason the Sun decides to rise in the East. The party under the wise leadership of Jack Layton is able to maintain a nice balance of compromise and remaining true to core beliefs. Even though the markets react at first badly, over the course of months they realize Canada is stronger for the NDP and things improve. People are supported and overall there are some increase in taxes but a lot of the social programs generally protect people. Seniors are protected and the health care system finally has the funds to provide people with a first rate system. Yes there are some hiccups along the way but the overall strength of Canada is such that the early teething problems of the government are soon forgotten. The Party becomes a moderate social democratic party and all is made stronger.

So those are some of my thoughts for this evening.

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