Monday, October 26, 2015

On missed opportunities

As mentioned here, I'll be adding over the next little while to an already-substantial set of views on the NDP's choices which led to last week's federal election results. But I'll start by expanding on a point which I made briefly earlier in the campaign (at a time when it was far from clear how the choice would play out).

I noted then the dangers of playing it "safe" by limiting the number and type of debates early in the campaign - particularly for a party with a well-liked leader, but relatively few mouthpieces in the media to carry its message. And as the actual campaign played out, the lack of any debate at all in the two weeks before election day left no opportunity for Tom Mulcair to challenge Justin Trudeau from the same stage or otherwise test his message when it mattered most.

Of course, it's possible that a different campaign might have produced different results - particularly if the NDP had remained the main target for all other parties by the time it came around.

But even then, I'd rather have seen the NDP rely on Mulcair's ability to defend himself as the main target among the opposition leaders (a factor which may not have applied in the usual comparison to UK Labour), rather than giving away what could have been a platform to set the message for the end of the campaign. And that goes doubly when one of Mulcair's most prominent - and hardest-earned - titles was that of being willing to engage with anybody anywhere.

With that in mind, hopefully one of the NDP's main takeaways will involve recognizing the need to preserve and enhance its opportunities to reach Canadians during a campaign period.

No comments:

Post a Comment