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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:34 am
 


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When it comes to the New Democratic Party’s chances in Quebec, the line was at one point: “Thomas Mulcair and a prayer.”

Not any more.

With polls now suggesting a party surge in Quebec in the dying days of the campaign, the new question is just how far will voters go Monday.

Will the people telling pollsters they will vote NDP change their minds and run back to their traditional roots?

And who exactly are some of the people apparently poised to get elected. Some, the party admits, are political greenhorns and never expected to be part of a bandwagon effect if that indeed is what happens Monday.

Some - especially in the regions - are campaigning only on a part-time basis or are students. One candidate, Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, in Berthier-Maskinongé, is in fact on vacation in Las Vegas, Le Nouvelliste revealed this week.

Today, even the party is surprised by what has now been tagged in Quebec as the “Effet Orange,” and is scrambling to cope with the new reality.“This (a surge in the polls) is the kind of stuff you dream about, right?” a senior party official said asking that his name not be used. “But it’s not over until it’s over.”

Two new polls Wednesday confirmed the trend again. An Angus Reid-La Presse poll published Wednesday placed the NDP second in Canada in voter intentions behind the Conservatives.

But they are No. 1 in Quebec. The NDP now is sitting at 38 per cent of voter intentions here compared with 29 per cent for the Bloc, 16 per cent for the Liberals and 14 per cent for the Conservatives.

Angus Reid vice-president Jaideep Mukerji said that while the support appeared fragile at the beginning of the campaign it is no longer a “flash in the pan.”

Another poll, by Nanos, pegs NDP support in Quebec at 36.5 per cent, up from a low of 12 per cent at the beginning of the campaign.

The Bloc is second, with 24.2 per cent, down from a high of 38.1 per cent on March 15. The Liberals and Conservatives are in third and fourth place.

The web seat projection site, ThreeHundredEight.com, now predicts six NDP seats in Quebec, up from their current single seat of Outremont held by former Liberal MNA Thomas Mulcair.

With poll numbers like this, the seat complement could grow should there actually be a bigger wave of support on election day.

But the numbers point to a problem for the NDP - the lack of a political machine or boots on the ground - to actually get those votes into the ballot box.

Big parties like the Liberals and Bloc Québécois, which maintain sophisticated phone banks of their traditional supporters, have enough volunteers to call voters, offering seniors, for example, a lift to the voting station. The process is called ‘getting the vote,’ out.

The NDP has nowhere near that kind of organization and knows it.

“Thomas Mulcair (the MP for Outremont), said it well when he noted you can’t take a poll and put in the ballot box,” said the NDP’s Quebec communications director Cédric Williams in an interview Wednesday.

Privately, NDP officials say they have decent organizations in about 20 of Quebec’s 75 ridings. Montreal ridings - with a ready pool of university students - are easier to organize than the rural ones where the NDP has been dormant for years.

Outremont, where it all began, can certainly muster 500 volunteers.

In the hours before last Saturday’s massive NDP rally in the downtown riding of Laurier-Saint-Marie, held by Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe, which drew 1,500 people, students roamed the streets with flyers promoting the event.

The party signed up 300 volunteers at that event alone and they will be put to work Monday, Williams said.

The situation in the regions is less rosy. The NDP has campaign offices open in only 16 ridings.

Some party workers are coming in from Ottawa to help. Volunteers are also going to be sent all the way up north, to help star NDP candidate Roméo Saganash - a leading figure in the Grand Council of the Cree for 30 years - in his quest to win the vast riding of Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou.

When Saganash arrived in his campaign offices, the phones still had not been connected.

But while party insiders concede their machine is weak, they say sometimes - such as when the Action démocratique du Québec won big provincially on a shoestring in 2007 - surprises happen.

“These things happen,” said an insider. “They don’t happen often but they do happen when all of a sudden, ‘machines’ get beaten by enthusiasm.”

The NDP will try and support their other top but lesser known Quebec candidates. Polls have shown they have a shot a winning as well.

The list includes:

• Françoise Boivin in Gatineau. A lawyer and former Liberal MP for the same riding from 2004-2006. During this campaign Boivin denied any wrongdoing in the hiring of her staff when she was MP. An article in Le Devoir said she had hired a woman who was her common-law spouse as part of her staff, a violation of government ethics rules.

• Nycole Turmel (Hull-Aylmer). Turmel is the former national President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the first women to ever hold that position.

• Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont-La Petite Patrie). Boulerice is a former union representative and television journalist and member of Greenpeace and Amnesty International.

• Tyrone Benskin (Jeanne-Le Ber). Benskin is artistic director of the Black Theatre Workshop, Canada’s oldest black theatre, and national vice-president of the ACTRA artists’ union, and defender of Quebec and Canadian culture in Ottawa for more than ten years.

Beyond that list, the NDP has a long list of virtually unknown candidates. Even NDP leader Jack Layton admits he does not know them all personally.

“I am an older man now,” Layton said last week when asked if he could name other candidates beyond his six stars. “I sometimes need a sheet to name all 308 candidates. I am not going to play that game.”

The party denies some of these candidates are just figureheads to round out the ballot. But La Presse Wednesday revealed a list of candidates who had yet to complete their education.

The NDP is running a Université Laval language student, Alexandrine Latendresse, against powerful Quebec City politician Josée Verner in the riding of Louis Saint-Laurent.

Latendresse boasts on her Facebook page a strong attachment to “iced vodka, wrestling and procrastination.”

But NDP insiders are not discouraged.

And some first-time candidates insist they not be sold short just because they are new.

“Is there really a party which has 308 experienced MP candidates,” said Joanne Corbeil, a first-stime candidate running in Westmount-Ville Marie. “It’s always heathy for a party to have new faces and new perspectives. Otherwise you have same old, same old.”

pauthier@montrealgazette.com

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette


Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/dec ... z1KqPBllpI


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:34 am
 


And the idea of an NDP controlled federal government is still the ultimate nightmare for the majority of Canadians. These idiots wouldn't even support a bill for mandatory minimum sentencing of pedophiles that engage in the sex trafficking of children. And some of you people actually want them to take over the government of our country. Give your goddamn head a shake, dunskies. :evil:


Last edited by Thanos on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:35 am
 


commanderkai wrote:
Exactly. I think the past week I'm here, people went from the NDP overtaking the Bloc (not a bad thing, considering the Bloc) to the NDP being the official party of the opposition...and now some people even think he'll be Prime Minister. Holy shit.

Weird shit happens sometimes.

But of course, the NDP have always had trouble converting poll results to actual votes.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:36 am
 


andyt wrote:
To dream the impossible dream. Better than the alternative nightmare.


Sheesh, you guys are adding in the hyperbole too. So far, a Harper minority hasn't been all that bad for Canada. Ah, but if he gets a majority, he'll turn Canada into some theocratic state, or something, so we must be fearrrrrful.

The most interesting development that might happen is that less NDP voters will actually show up, considering how much their victory is being broadcast in the media.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:38 am
 


andyt wrote:
Aussie dollar is higher than ours. They're doing better than we are economically. Just don't kid yourself that's it's because it's some neo-con paradise. I like OZ a lot. Would have considered emigrating if I was younger. But then I think about that God awful Aussie stryne, and I forgot about it. Very nice to visit tho.


Hm. The more you know but my original post was a sarcastic response to this:

andyt wrote:
Jack is fast becoming my hero. If he can slay the dragons Harper and Duceppe at the same time, all bow down to the might Layton. None will defy him. Canada will become a worker's paradise. And we all lived happily ever after.


My fondness for Australia has little to do with politics, but the lack shrill separatists like the Bloc or the PQ only sweetens the deal.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:47 am
 


commanderkai wrote:
Sheesh, you guys are adding in the hyperbole too. So far, a Harper minority hasn't been all that bad for Canada. Ah, but if he gets a majority, he'll turn Canada into some theocratic state, or something, so we must be fearrrrrful.


Exactly. Anything but a Harper majority. Anything.

My favored outcome is another Harper minority - a reduced one. The Libs and Dips aren't ready to govern, but are needed to keep a leash on Harper. I hope this results in Harper going back to whatever it is he does when he's not a politician (well he can't, since he's never had a real job, but I'm sure some righty tighty organization will give him a handout job)

But Layton as PM would sure shake things up in both the CPC and the LPC. That's a good thing. And if Layton kicks the shit out of the Bloc, keeping those fucking frenchies quiet for a bit (they'll be back), well that's a nice bonus.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:48 am
 


I'll chime in, and say that I was planning to vote NDP in this election, and then switched to liberal, but now I'm willing to vote NDP if they have a chance to the official opposition in a Con minority government.

It's simple, I don't want the NDP to control the government, I’m aware that they'll hamstring the conservative efforts to push through their social engineering agenda (more jails, tougher crime laws for petty things, etc). On the other hand the Liberals will bend over as they have over the past 4 years.

Nothing wrong with having a heavily divided house to keep all political parties in check.

As a liberal voter, I think the NDP candidate in my ridding already has my vote, and I’m willing to use the NDP as tool to cripple Con advancement.

That being said, wishes aren’t horses, and poll numbers aren’t votes. The real poll is on May 2, and Harper might get his majority.

Personally most liberals I’ve spoken to are willing to dump the Liberals for the NDP in Toronto. This town could turn orange.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:52 am
 


andyt wrote:

Exactly. Anything but a Harper majority. Anything.


BUT WHY?

Zip, so far, is the only poster who really gave me a decent reason why he's concerned over a Harper majority, and most relates to social issues, with a dab of foreign policy. Most of this "Fear Harper" bullshit stems from nothing but your view of his evilness.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:57 am
 


commanderkai wrote:
andyt wrote:

Exactly. Anything but a Harper majority. Anything.


BUT WHY?

Zip, so far, is the only poster who really gave me a decent reason why he's concerned over a Harper majority, and most relates to social issues, with a dab of foreign policy. Most of this "Fear Harper" bullshit stems from nothing but your view of his evilness.


Based on his previous statements. I don't want him turning this second-tier socialist nation into a neo-con paradise while even the US is turning away from that bullshit. That's his agenda, he's smart and disciplined enough not to push it too hard at one time. In minority at least it's kept in check, as a majority I tremble.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:01 pm
 


And the U.S. economy is still in the tank. Your point being?

Mine is that we're frakked both ways and you would prefer this country being frakked your way... and no, I don't watch much Battlestar Galactica.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:06 pm
 


andyt wrote:
Based on his previous statements. I don't want him turning this second-tier socialist nation into a neo-con paradise while even the US is turning away from that bullshit. That's his agenda, he's smart and disciplined enough not to push it too hard at one time. In minority at least it's kept in check, as a majority I tremble.


Sigh, a "neo-con" paradise really can mean anything. Not including the fact "neo-con" has become the boogeyman for anything that conservatives might support, no matter what it is. Do you have more specifics?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:11 pm
 


What do you mean specifics? He said what he said. Just as people, possibly you, predict doom and gloom if the NDP forms the govt and creates a worker's paradise, I predict doom and gloom if Harper gets a majority. And I'll be voting for the best candidate to defeat the Cons in my riding. Not that it's an issue, the NDP is guaranteed to get in here.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:20 pm
 


commanderkai wrote:
andyt wrote:
Based on his previous statements. I don't want him turning this second-tier socialist nation into a neo-con paradise while even the US is turning away from that bullshit. That's his agenda, he's smart and disciplined enough not to push it too hard at one time. In minority at least it's kept in check, as a majority I tremble.


Sigh, a "neo-con" paradise really can mean anything. Not including the fact "neo-con" has become the boogeyman for anything that conservatives might support, no matter what it is. Do you have more specifics?



Oh, you know the stuff the CPC has been droning on and on about every day for the last 4 years.

Minimum wage to zero
No more abortions
A prison cell for every Canadian
Corporate tax rate to zero
Reinvading Iraq all by ourselves
No more Health Care


You know, all the stuff they secretly are going to do with a majority.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:24 pm
 


We will see if those NDP 'voters' get out and vote. Lots of those saying 'NDP' on phone polls will be younger voters who will have other, more important things today on Monday, like text their buddies.

I'm thinking that many former marginal Tory seats, or seats where the CPC came a close second will benefit from a resurgent NDP.

Lib votes will drain to the NDP and the CPC will gain in a chunk of ridings.

I'm thinking a Harper majority, a slim one, is likely. Either that or a large minority.

I may be wrong but I reckon I’m as up on this as the NANOS crowd who make a living on guessing + or – 15-20% of the result.

At the end of the day this is the reverse scenario of the Reform/PC vote split that kept the Libs in power in the Decade of Darkness.

It will be an interesting night on Monday. I best stock up on Stellas!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:24 pm
 


andyt wrote:
What do you mean specifics? He said what he said. Just as people, possibly you, predict doom and gloom if the NDP forms the govt and creates a worker's paradise, I predict doom and gloom if Harper gets a majority. And I'll be voting for the best candidate to defeat the Cons in my riding. Not that it's an issue, the NDP is guaranteed to get in here.


Just a quick glance before my eyes burn from looking at the NDP website.


Quote:
5.1 Building a New Relationship with First Nations


Massive waste of money.

Quote:
5.3 Building Home-grown Film and TV Production


Waste of money.
Quote:
6.1 Leading the World in Response to Climate Change


I don't see climate change as a huge issue to Canada, and more importantly, why compromise our financial and industrial growth to have barely any effect on the environment, especially since the United States, China, and India will never sign on.

Quote:
6.2 Ensuring our Troops are Brought Home from Afghanistan


No, I don't think, for all the mess that Afghanistan is, that Canada will somehow conduct a humanitarian mission without protection. We should do our best to destroy the Taliban as much as humanly possible before even thinking about leaving.


Let's ignore the fact that a "worker's paradise" usually fucks over businesses of all sorts, so I'll be against that too.


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