Friday, November 18, 2011

The upward trajectory

Alice posts the latest NDP membership numbers, showing a sharp spike in several regions of the country even before the leadership campaign has started in earnest. And the immediate growth looks to have the potential both to significantly change the calculations involved for the NDP leadership contenders, and set a base to start boosting the party's still-uninspiring fund-raising totals.

But it's particularly worth noting that aside from Quebec, the two provinces with the strongest growth were Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador. After all, both of those provinces saw provincial election campaigns this fall which could have pushed the numbers in either direction - upward based on greater public attention to politics, or downward based on the provincial parties' priority being a get-out-the-vote operation rather than membership-building. And the fact that the former consideration looks to have overwhelmed the latter bodes extremely well for the party as the leadership campaign takes centre stage in Canada's political conversation.

Meanwhile, the lone bad news came from Alberta, where as the National Post noted the party's membership dropped substantially. And based on the need for a stronger counterweight to Con dominance on both the provincial and federal scenes, I have to wonder whether the growth potential in Alberta from this point forward might be higher than in any other province aside from Quebec.


  1. CuriosityCat12:07 p.m.

    Alberta is currently firmly in the Tory camp, and should  be disregarded by the NDP for now. When the time comes - and come it will, and come soon it will - hundreds of thousands of Tory supporters in Alberta will become disgusted with the ineptness and bias of the current Tories, and lurch left towards other parties.

    Alberta and Quebec seem to be the two 'lurch' provinces in our national poltical space.

  2. I'm enough of a 308-riding strategy backer not to think there's anywhere that "should be disregarded". But Alberta in particular seems to be showing signs of breaking out of the right-wing mould (the NDP's growth in Edmonton, Naheed Nenshi's election and continued popularity in Calgary), and I'd think the leadership candidates and the party would be particularly ill-advised to write it off just when there's an opportunity to build to take advantage of a future turn against the Cons.