Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Apologies if blogging becomes intermittent in the next few days, or if the posts seem totally irrelevant to what's happening in the world (i.e. no Kerry/Edwards commentary, no Iraqi martial law commentary, etc.)
I don't think I'll actually stop writing as much as I'll start ramble about nonsense. Hopefully that will prevent the audience from drifting too far.For your reading pleasure, my most recent Shotgun post (yesterday) was my take on the swing to the left in the recently concluded election. Enjoy!
A Leftist Tide?
I've been meaning to write this for a while, and I've put it off for too long. Diane Francis wrote about it (to an extent) in today's Financial Post, so I think it's time to get this all in writing. To make this simple, I'll use point form:
Between 2000 and 2004, the NDP pretty much doubled its voter share in BC (11.3% to 26.6%), Alberta (5.4% to 9.5%), and Ontario (8.3% to 18.1%). Nationwide, their share increased from 8.5% to 15.7%.
Meanwhile, the national PC-Alliance share in 2000 was 37.7%. The Conservatives received only 29.6% in 2004. In BC, the comparative drop was from 56.7% to 36.2%. In Ontario, the drop was from 38.0% to 31.5%.
Liberals, nationwide, went from 40.8% to 36.7%. In Ontario, it was 51.5% to 44.7%. The Libearls actually gained in voter share in BC (27.7% to 28.6%) and Alberta (20.9% to 22.0%), although not by much.
Nationally, the parties on the left (NDP+GP) went from 9.3% to 20.0%. If one adds the BQ, the numbers go from 20.0% to 32.4%.
Provincial governments matter: the growing discontent with BC's Liberal government (which consists, I'd say, about 60% Conservative and 40% Liberal in federal terms) and Alberta's Conservative government are starting to affect their federal cousins. A chunk of Ontarians are still in a Harris-slamming mood, but enough Harris supporters, turned off last time by Eves' wishy-washiness, made the trek out to the polls this time to reduce the Conservative slide in Ontario.
Similarly, the NDP suffered an unnatural low in the 90s thanks to incompetent and corrupt provincial governments in BC and Ontario in those days. Those governments are out, and now the NDP are coming back.
People are in a mood to "punish" the Liberals, but I fear not just for the sponsorship scandal and various other examples of waste. People are in a mood to punish the Liberals for fiscal prudence at the expense of welfare state handouts: if the Liberals didn't waste money in Adscam, they could've shovelled it to fix potholes, give welfare checks, and all those other fine things. Hence the shift to the left.
Or maybe I'm just excessively pessimistic? Feel free to share your thoughts.(2000 election results are here, 2004 are here)