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Thursday, September 17, 2009

ndp convention puts kibosh on co-operation.

In this week's editions of Edmonton's SEE Magazine or Calgary's FFWD Weekly you can read my column on the recent Alberta NDP convention in Edmonton. The column looks at the familiar path taken after advice given by Nova Scotia NDP organizer Matt Hebb and the delegates overwhelming rejection of a motion aimed at election agreements with Alberta Liberals and others.


Ms. Fitz said...

If only people took the lessons of Sesame Street to heart, we could make the world a better place. Sometimes, you have to stop, reflect, and ask yourself: "What would Elmo do?"

Berry Farmer said...

Workin' together to keep themselves in power longer... until their pensions kick it. Cooperation... the Canadian politician version.

That's really the problem with minority governments. You have to get elected four or five times to get that plum.

Berry Farmer said...

... but I do love the Sesame Street song. Won't get it outta my mind all day.

Jae/Jennie said...


I think your article was generally fair and insightful, but I do have one beef. In response to your sentence:

While they experienced a recent gain on the federal level with the election of Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan, they only managed to elect two MLAs in the 83-seat Alberta legislature, demonstrating an inability to meaningfully connect with Albertans.

I suppose the 8.5% of the province who voted for the NDP in the last election don't count as "Albertans", then?

As I said to you a while back, it makes absolutely no sense to assume that a party that never gets the largest share of the vote "isn't connecting with the people." In Germany, for example, parties like the Greens (at 8%) and the Free Democrats (at 10%) would never think they need to raise their vote totals to 40% or more or else give up entirely on representing the people who support what they believe in.

And while I can roll my eyes and move on when somebody who doesn't know crap-all about the rest of the world says something like that, you have a political science degree. You don't get to let this country's stupid political culture blind you to the ridiculousness of the rhetoric that gets tossed around here. You know better.


Kermit said...

Jennie, at the end of the day, the goal of most political parties is electing MLAs. Our system might not be the fairest in the world, but it's the only one we have right now.

Kermit again said...

Dave, why do you think there's been so little interest in this? If people (ie. Dippers) are posting elsewhere, my apologies.

Anonymous said...

Having spent a lot of time in and around the ANDP I can tell you that the people running that party have become very comfortable with not winning. As long as they have a few MLAs in the house that they can perform idol-worship on then the party faithful are very happy. It's a group of folks who have no interest in connecting with a majority of Albertans, these are people who take a certain kind of pride in being out of step with the mainstream.

Many of the NDP's core team think they are intellectually superior to the PCs (and by extension the voting masses). For whatever reason this is comforting to them.

Do not look to this party for any real results or an interest in changing Alberta's status quo. Thankfully the voters are actually ahead of the DRP on this one and have sidelined the NDP at the polls. Look at the Glenmore results. I think it's entirely reasonable to predict the NDP will only carry Notley's seat in the 2012 elections, if that. The DRP should step down from their crusade and focus their efforts on building the Liberal party. Today the Alberta NDP have all the relevance of Social Credit. Their time is over.

Mona said...

While they may have been the first to have a decisive vote on the subject, the NDP are not the only party to blame in non-cooperation on this level.

I personally don't agree with the cooperative party approach. Just sayin' you can't solely blame the NDs.

daveberta said...

Jennie: To be fair, I don't believe any of Alberta's political parties are meaningfully connecting with Albertans. If we go by official Elections Alberta numbers taking into account a 41% turnout, then the NDP really earned the votes of 3.4% of the eligible voters in Alberta (it is actually less, because only ~90% of eligible voters were enumerated). I see this as connecting with a base of supporters, not meaningfully connecting with Albertans (or wait, am I making the argument that political party members aren't Albertan... that's not the point I'm trying to make).

daveberta said...

Kermit: I don't think there is interest in the DRP proposal for a number of reasons, most of them likely have more to do with political survival, but I honestly don't think their solution is reasonable. The solution shouldn't be to remove options from the ballot, but to provide voters with a viable option to vote for.

daveberta said...

Mona: I agree. The NDP are not the only party to blame in non-cooperation on this level. As a former Liberal staffer, I know how much tension there is in both of these parties to the idea of cooperation.