The Boycott and the NDP surge

In the past I’ve supported voting for the Liberal party, and the election boycott. In what could be described a flip-flop, I’m now supporting the NDP due to their surge, and the possibility of them becoming the new left governing party of Canada.

I continue to hold my view that elections within a situation where parties rely heavily on elite support are not likely to be political events, and that we should work through electoral to minimize the disaster rather than believe that this system of elections can get us a governing system which actually takes the interests of humans as a whole into account. However, if the NDP were to win the election, this might be something like semi-politics. The NDP are less bankrupt than the other parties precisely because they have in the past been considered unelectable. However, certain changes in their stances, such as Layton’s new tough-on-crime initiative, indicate that they are fully willing to play the PR game with the best of them.

On a whole, I don’t really have time for this election. I’m leaving on Saturday, and I was out of town for the advance polls. I will try to find out tomorrow how to fill out a mail-in ballot, on which I will vote for Olivia Chow.

When I arrive in Northern Ireland a few weeks from now I will be in aftermath of election there – may 5th is their next voting day. I don’t know what values and other forces are in play there, but I will surely give you some perspectives once I find out.



  1. Haven’t you also been very critical of polling in the past, because it affects how people vote?

    Isn’t that exactly what it has done to you, in this case?


  2. The right thing to do is not necessarily to attempt to be immune to all of the factors which, objectively, we would be better off without. One effect of polling is how it can cause support to come and go in waves, this is especially true combined with the first past the post system, where smallish changes in popular opinion manifest exponentially larger effects in numbers of seats.

    My current position is that electoral politics in our country is not political in the sense of being a site for the communal transformations required to cope with the challenges our society faces. However, it still matters which party wins. And if polls produce libidinal psycho-social waves of support then it makes sense to ride on the wave moving in the direction you want to go, rather than complain that you wanted to get there in some other way.


  3. The NDP’s new tough on crime stance is not a positive development. They are tacitly supporting the Conservative narrative that crime is a problem in Canada. It is not. The crime rate has been falling for over a decade. The violent crime rate is in free fall. And more generally, fear based politics is manipulative and disgusting.


  4. I strongly agree, Peter. There are severe problems with current NDP stances, and the tough-on-crime aspect is the one that worries me the most. Overall, however, I think they are a much better option than the other major parties.

    Also, I don’t really believe that the NDP believe or will fully implement their new tough on crime rhetoric if they form government. However, they probably will vote for tough on crime bills if the Conservatives require their support. The NDP’s “hidden agenda” should be a bit farther left, methinks.


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