Friday, February 27, 2009

What will the ballot question be on May 12th?

There are a number of ballot questions that will resonate with the public, but which ones will be the ones that carry the day on election day?

If the issue is the economy, this is bad for the NDP. The general public in BC is simply not willing to believe that the NDP can manage the economy in BC. If this is the defining issue in the election, I would expect the Liberals to benefit from people voting this time that did not vote last time.

If the issue is the environment the result is a basically a wash for the two parties. The NDP certainly has not done much to place themselves as leaders on this issue with their opposition to action on climate change issues. At the same time the general public does not believe the Liberals are really green at all. For the voters that consider this issue as important, I see a large number of them that have supported the NDP in the past sitting out this election. I see the Greens getting support from the Liberals and NDP on this issue.

For people that have opposition to the Olympics as their big issue all voting for the NDP. The problem is that these people already voted NDP in 2005.

If your big issue is healthcare, seniors or schools, I see your voting going NDP. Once again the problem is that the NDP already has these votes.

Crime has suddenly become a big issue with all the gang stuff in Metro Vancouver. The NDP are unlikely to get a lot out of this issue. The Liberals may get some non-voters to come out and vote for them on this issue.

A deficit budget - no one believes the NDP could do better on this than the Liberals. The Liberals may lose some fiscal hawks on this as they sit on their hands this election.

Leadership - Campbell versus James. Neither one is strong pull for their party, though I could give the edge to Campbell keeping in mind the irrational and visceral hatred of him by the left.

I am curious, is there anyone out there that can think of an issue that will make the election for the NDP? I am serious, I can not think of it.

What I see is that the NDP has no single strong issue that they can either gain voters with or use to get Liberal supporters to stay at home. I see the Liberals as being able to grow their vote this election and the NDP holding even or losing a bit. I see the gap between the NDP and the Liberals on election day being about 8 to 11 percentage points.


Anonymous said...

Children. I think that children are the strongest reason that a voter will lean to the NDP. We've got a child care crisis, unprecedented numbers of school closures, not to mention the consistent chaos and mis-management of the Ministry of Children and Families.

I have seen more headlines about how children are suffering in BC in one week to bring about my own "irrational and visceral hatred" of Campbell. (Actually, I don't find hatred as being productive...I prefer to direct my energy towards supporting his opponents.)

I cannot respect a man that does not respect the public he serves. He has put too many things higher on his priority list above children to deserve anything but my hatred. I am sick of seeing BC as having the highest child poverty rate in Canada, while the government posted surplus after surplus budget.

Why did they sit idly-by while the Deputy Minister of Children and Families redecorated the office? She was supposed to implement the Hughes Report, and yet nothing has been done. Children suffer in overcrowded foster homes with little or no support from their over-burdened case workers. Kids are getting lost in the shuffle, and we know how that turns out.

I think if the NDP can show how much neglect this government has shown to BC's children, then they will win the day in May.

Lyle Craver said...

The main thing Campbell has to avoid is a tendency to appear tight-fisted and mean-spirited. The refusal to appear with the NDP in the Anti-Bullying pink shirts is a prime case in point.

The more the BC Liberals take the high road when fighting the NDP the better they look in the public eye. Carol James absolutely loves it when the Liberals kick dirt in her party's face.

Campbell and his party CAN be gracious when they want to be but they really turn off people when they "put the boots to the Opposition"!

(The same could equally well be said about Stephen Harper and the Federal Tories)

Anonymous said...

For voters in Burnaby, it's clear - the ballot question is the prison. Goodbye John Nuraney.

Anonymous said...

The biggest issues the Liberal seen to ignore are Poverty & Homelessness. Under the Liberals full time workers can still live in poverty with an $8.00 minimum wage. A 40 hour a week job will barely pay rent, so employed people spend thier off time in lines at foodbanks. Don't forget about the people that don't even have one of those $8.00 an hour jobs. Homelessness is at the highest level since the 1930's.

Bill Tieleman said...

Hi Bernard - interesting info on your site!

But the ballot question issue for the NDP is pretty simple: "In tough times, who will stick up for you and your family?"

That's the message Carole James and the NDP need to hammer home over the next two months.

I agree that they can't run on the economy as managers - but they can run on it as the only party who will make try to protect jobs - unlike the BC Liberals who have waved goodbye to the forest industry and many other jobs.

They can run on making sure social services that are urgently needed aren't cut by Campbell - as he did in 2001 and will do again if re-elected - unless you believe his ridiculously optimistic budget projections.

The NDP can run telling voters you can't count on a Premier Gordon Campbell who takes private jets with Peter Brown and Jack Poole to the Beijing Olympics and is supported by the very big businesses whose greed caused the economic meltdown.

That's the ballot question that the NDP needs to win.