Sunday, August 15, 2010

On strong openings

Kevin Bissett's CP overview of this fall's New Brunswick election seems to confirm what I'd suspected: the NDP has managed to generate the most enduring message of the summer with its pension pitch, earning top billing over anything the province's two historical governing parties have had to say.

But Bissett is right to note that the other parties seem to have followed up the NDP's cheeky presentation without linking their attacks to anything of substance, raising the question of whether voters will hear much about what can be done in the face of the province's budget crunch:
(Donald) Wright said he hopes the parties will focus on the important issues, but doesn't expect that to happen until the final weeks of the campaign.

"No party seems to be able to come to terms with the fiscal crisis coming down the pipe," he said. "As a result they're trying to deflect, they're scrounging, they're desperate, trying to find a target on their opponent without much success."
Of course, the NDP has already started laying the groundwork to talk about the party's history of responsible management as a contrast to how the province has historically been governed. But the question now is whether the NDP can grab just as much attention in sending that message as it's been in criticizing the other parties' supersized benefits - and the answer will likely determine whether the NDP can turn its strong initial position into enduring change on New Brunswick's political scene.

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