Greatness comes and greatness goes

Last month, in an interview with Public Eye, provincial New Democrat legislator Harry Lali described his party as having run a "great election campaign" - blaming low voter turnout and the media for their failure to win government. But, in an interview this morning, CHNL's Jim Harrison asked Mr. Lali whether the New Democrats lost because they ran a campaign that was too negative. The response: "I think there's some truth to that. But, at the end of the day, Gordon Campbell did not win the election. The Liberals didn't win the election. We New Democrats, we lost the election. It was ours for the winning. And we didn't win it. And I think we really need to do a hardcore assessment as to why we lost the election. And I think we need to do a rethinking as well."

"Because, when it came down to it," he continued, "the environmental community and the organized labour community - and I'm not talking about the folks at the executive level, I'm talking about the rank-and-file - these are the people that always come out to support the NDP at election times. They were nowhere to be seen in terms of the workers and volunteers we needed - whether it was in Fraser-Nicola or any other constituency across the province. And you have to ask yourself why is it - why didn't environmentalists come out to support the NDP and why didn't the rank-and-file of the union movement except for HEU and Steelworkers?"

"I think one of the things is, in an effort to try to actually move it to the middle ground of the political spectrum, we're neglecting our left," explained Mr. Lali. "Yes, we need to expand our universe and include small business...But we can't forget our basic principles of the social democratic movement. And I think that's what's been happening over the last decade or so."

3 Comments

Wow, what a visionary Lali is. I'm guessing the Liberals are huddled around their radios chuckling to themselves and loving the fact that a guy like Lali still has some kind of profile in the NDP.

Thanks, Mr. Lali. I just added you to my list along w/ Carole James.

Regular readers of this blog can guess what that list is... :-).

Actually, he may have a point. A quick look at the election results indicate there were seven ridings where the Liberals, in winning, had their vote decline from 2005 and the NDP's 2005 vote would have picked up the seat (Burnaby-Lougheed [comparing to the old Burquitlam riding]; Burnaby North; Cariboo Chilcotin [from the old Cariboo South riding], Maple Ridge-Mission; Nechako Lakes [the renamed Prince George-Omineca], Oak Bay-Gordon Head; Vancouver-Fairview). There also would have been more ridings in play.

I used the above method, by the way, to at least try and rule out 2005 NDP voters switching to the Libs, and to show that NDP voters in these ridings were not voting NDP for some or other reason. I make no claims to scientific accuracy.

It's generally considered the 2005 campaign was more traditionally NDP, no? If so, that approach would likely have worked much better. The unscientific method above reveals that they could have formed government with Vicki Huntington's support (a big if, but one that seems more realistic than her joining the Liberals in forming government). At the very least, I wouldn't write-off a "further left" approach without more investigation.

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