Posted on | April 29, 2011 | No Comments
The Fair Province’s media are all buzzing about the remarkable NDP breakthrough, notably in the ridings of the National Capital. Seen as the obvious underdog early on in the campaign (I’m not even bothering about Elizabeth May’s Green Party), Jack Layton’s troops turned out to be the Cinderella party of this election.
In the end it is a great lesson in irony that we have been served by voters, as we realize that they do listen to the messages delivered by the heads of the various political parties. Michael Ignatieff proclaimed himself at the start as the only man really able to overthrow the Conservatives, calling for strategic voting in order to consolidate the Liberal’s seats in Parliament. Stephen Harper warned about an evil coalition led by Ignatieff. Gilles Duceppe reminded that it was important to defend Quebec’s social democratic values, and that only the Bloc could stop the Conservatives from forming a majority government (have a feeling of déjà-vu yet?). Jack wanted to be Prime Minister.
But the leaders’ debate allowed voters to read a different message, a non-verbal message this time, sometimes at odd with these men official discourse. Stephen Harper doesn’t care. Michael Ignatief knows everything except how to care. Gilles Duceppe only cares enough to do half the job (defend Quebec, and to Hell with the RoC). Jack cares.
What did voters do? They rejected a coalition led by Ignatieff. They decided to vote strategically, and prevent a majority Conservative government. The only unforeseen detail: they turned towards the NDP to halt Harper’s advance.
Jack is now propelled by the unusual response from citizens. History will reveal whether this is only a flash fire, or whether this jump in voters’ intentions really is a spark that will ignite a sustainable growth for the NDP.