Saturday, June 12, 2010

On extremism

As part of their panicked response to a possible coalition government after the next federal election, the Cons have regularly shrieked about how the NDP is too far outside mainstream opinion to hold a place in the federal government. And unfortunately, they've received far too much help from Canada's corporate press.

But this looks to be another area where the Cons' dogma - even where it's far too often repeated by ill-informed columnists - bears absolutely no relation to the actual views of the public. Here's Aaron Wherry citing the 2008 Canadian Election Survey:
Is there any Federal political party that is just too extreme for you?
Liberal 4.1%
Conservative 16.1%
NDP 7.7%

Is there a party you would absolutely not vote for?
Liberal 14.4%
Conservative 25.6%
NDP 11.6%
Of course, the NDP does have further to go in actually winning votes to its column. But it's the Cons that are rightly seen by more citizens as dominated by extreme views that make them completely unacceptable as a possible voting option. And the more the Cons invite discussion about who's actually beyond the boundaries of Canadian public opinion, the more likely they are to suffer for that comparison.

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