Saturday, September 26, 2015

On continuing opportunities

Let's answer Greg Lyle's headline question as simply and concisely as possible:


The NDP's opportunity in the ongoing federal campaign has never involved the ability to move the election date up to fit a rise in the polls, nor a plausible expectation that well-funded opponents would let that rise go unchallenged. As a result, we shouldn't judge any campaign by the fact that the election remains a three-party race.

In fact, it would be a waste of resources to focus unduly on pressing an immediate advantage which would likely be undermined by election day. And that has to be considered a real danger for anybody who rises far enough to become the main target for all of the other competing parties.

It's true that so far, only the NDP has managed to rise far enough above the competition to reach front-runner status for even a moment. But it's hardly a negative for the NDP that it has already shown it can do so. And the fact that it managed the feat while engaged in significantly less advertising than its competitors should hint at the remaining room to grow once the NDP makes its push toward election day.

Ultimately, the campaign can only be judged by where a party ends up. And while the NDP should absolutely be adapting as the election approaches, its opportunity to form government is as strong now as it's ever been.

[Edit: fixed wording.]


  1. Sub-Boreal7:55 a.m.

    All reasonable points, Greg. But I can't help having flashbacks to the last BC election. And for that reason, I'm looking for evidence that the NDP's communications are nimble enough to adapt to no longer being in a front-runner position. And I'm not seeing it, much as I want to.

  2. That's certainly a fair point, though I'd think the question is more one of the big, all-encompassing message which will ultimately drive votes based on where the parties stand on election day, rather than any question of being nimble on smaller issue presentation and response (where the campaign continues to do well). And that still involves a bit of a guessing game - we know there's a message that works when the Libs' vote is being driven down by the Cons, but it's less clear whether there's one which will cut through the noise of a three-party photo-finish.