Sunday, October 24, 2010

On outreach

Leaving aside whether the NDP's home heating plan is ideal from a policy perspective, there doesn't seem to be much doubt that it has the potential to make for a strong political position. And the party's latest ad figures to be another key step in getting voters to warm up to the party.

Brian Lilley paints that effect primarily in terms of reaching Con voters. And there's certainly a point to be made there - particularly when the Cons themselves have now spent months talking about being focused on economic issues while explaining why they plan to do nothing to improve matters any.

But it's worth noting that the same factors which figure to play well against the Cons are equally significant in differentiating the NDP from the Libs. Not only does the push on home heating call attention to the Libs' support for the HST, but its focus on immediate action which can reduce the costs actually being borne by Canadians should present a strong contrast against the Libs' mostly speculative platform.

Of course, the campaign does figure to be based primarily on reaching other parties' soft voters rather than motivating the NDP's strongest supporters. But the NDP has done plenty of work in that department which has largely gone unnoticed in the media - and it certainly makes sense to make sure the party is prepared on both fronts both to improve its standing in this fall's by-elections, and to be prepared for a general election which may not be far away.

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