Friday, June 3, 2011

What the 2015 election will be about

The 2015 election will have almost nothing to do with Stephen Harper, it is going to be two different battles.  One between the NDP and the Liberals and the other between the NDP and the Bloc.

The NDP is sitting on the natural turf of the Liberals - the government in waiting.   The Liberals will be doing what they can between now and 2015 to show to the country that the NDP is not ready for prime time and that even though they only won 34 seats, the Liberals are coming back.   I expect the Liberals to constantly point out dumb ass moves by the New Democrats, and with so many new MPs, it is going to happen.   The Liberals will be seeking to make the NDP into dangerous socialist hordes.

By choosing Bob Rae as the interim leader, the Liberals have thrown down the gauntlet and declared war on the NDP.   There will be blood in this fight and it will only end with the death of the Liberals or the NDP beaten back to a small rump.

Meanwhile in Quebec, the NDP is sitting on the Bloc's natural turf, the voice of francophone Quebec.   I expect them to highlight every utterance from the NDP that is pro-federalist and point out the party is a Canadian party and not a Quebec party.   I would not be surprised if the Bloc managed to convince some of the NDP MPs to cross the floor.    If the Bloc can find 8 New Democrats to cross the floor, they would have party status again.  

Hear are the names I have come across of NDP MPs that are not entirely pro-federalist.

If you want a future in Quebec politics, as a new NDP MP, crossing with enough buddies to the Bloc would make you a name in the province.

The NDP is going to have defend a lot of turf where the Bloc still has a presence, and the PQ represents provincially.   The NDP will have to spend a lot of effort to defend those seats.   The core of their 2015 campaign will be to hold as many seats as they can in Quebec.

Meanwhile Stephen Harper will coast home to another majority.   The additional seats in BC, Alberta and Ontario will most likely split strongly for the Conservatives.  

There are unknown factors that could change all of this.   What if Jack Layton has to retire because of health reasons?   What if the Conservatives do something truly stupid, corrupt, or alienate the nation ala Mulroney?   Baring something like this, the next election is NDP v Liberals and NDP v Bloc.

A quick final post script, if the government wanted to cause more chaos in the opposition, it could change the rules and allow any party with an elected leader as MP can get official party status even if they do not have 12 seats.   This would give the Greens party status but not to the Bloc.
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