‘Progressive’ Coalition?

Let’s see, a ‘Progressive’ Coalition is only worthwhile to me if:

  • The NDP gets positions in Cabinet. Decent positions.
  • The Bloc doesn’t.

Since I doubt that’s actually going to happen…

That, and I think somebody’s going to back down with this electoral finance issue.

Political Party Subsidy Cut? Probably Just Hot Air

Unlike most people, I can’t too excited about the Conservative proposal to cut political party subsidy funding.

You see, in order for something to actually happen, one of the political parties is going to have to be stupid.

One of the opposition parties would have to be stupid to cut themselves from a source of income, which is probably used to obtain and finance their recent election debts.

The Conservatives would have to be stupid enough to risk an another election in the same year during a period where the economic news is not good and they stand to lose ground.

Of course, I’m assuming that the political parties are not stupid (maybe that’s a leap of faith in itself).

Lessons For The BC NDP From The Municipal Election

Many BC Pundits seem to believe that the BC Municipal elections are a good sign for the BC NDP in the next election.

I’m not sure about that: the right wing made gains in quite a few communities as well, such as Quesnel and Surrey.

However, there is a key lesson that the BC NDP can learn for the municipal elections that I haven’t seen the pundits really mention: In order to win, the BC NDP needs to expand upon its winning coalition.

Let me explain.

In Prince George, the mayoral contest was between Dan Rogers and Don Zurowski, with Rogers leaning to the left and Zurowski leaning over to the right. Both were long time, respected council members; however, Rogers ran for mayor for the 2005 municipal elections against incumbent Colin Kinsley and lost. Zurowksi, on the other hand, was (for the most part) supported by the outgoing mayor.

Dan Rogers was able to win this time around because he was successful in expanding his campaign team from beyond the labour council core he had in 2005 and managed to include people from the more right side of the political spectrum. Some of these was done by using messaging often used by the right wing, such as keeping taxes low.

In Vancouver, Gregor Robertson and his supporters managed to overcome the right wing NPA for control. Key to Robertson’s success was the fact he managed to get supporters from outside his political party Vision Vancouver, namely the Coalition of Progressive Electors and the Greens, by cutting electoral deals with them.

It seems that the BC NDP really has two ways of expanding its winning coalition: create messaging to appeal to those leaning more towards the centre or centre-right and/or cutting electoral deals. I think it’s safe to say right off the bat that cutting electoral deals is totally not feasible. Creating messaging to appeal to new voters is feasible, however, and can be done. Actually, it has begun to be done: the BC NDP has already talked about such things as keeping taxes for the middle class and small business low. The key to victory for the BC NDP is to continuing with such messaging and make it gets out to the public.

Yay! A New BC NDP Website

Finally, replacing the website from hell (with very weird URLS), is the new BC NDP Website.

Trust me, this new version is way better. For one, the URLS are properly formed and the graphics have been also improved.

But the major thing is the content updates. For instance, the RSS feeds are now properly formed, and there are widgets to place those RSS feeds in your blog (blogspot blog, not wordpress blog, where you have to put the RSS feed into a RSS widget, like this site does) . There is also a BC NDP Twitter and a widget for that.

Taking a page from Obama, there is also a “Rapid Responder” section of the website, which gives average supporters, such as facebookers and bloggers the tools necessary to promote the BC NDP’s message and counter the spin.

Of course, there are a few things that could be improved.

There needs to be an online form to join to BC NDP to make it easy to join. Being able to download and snail mail the membership form just doesn’t cut it in today’s electronic world.

Another thing. I notice that the list of bloggers is missing some important BC NDP supporting blogs. Off the top of my head, Dipper Chick and State of OUR Forests by Bob Simpson should most definitely be on there. At least they got Chad In Kamloops.

But all in all, I think that the BC NDP got a hole-in-one on this one.

Free Liberal Membership!

Does anybody else see any potential problems with this:

As leader, Mr. Rae said he’d “grow” the party by engaging Canadians in all parts of the country, including Liberal-free zones in the West and rural areas. And he said he’d start by making membership in the party free.

Yeah, because you know, the only thing preventing the Liberals from having a large active membership is the $11.50 membership fee.

This sounds like a way to get paper members to me, not members that would donate and volunteer for the Liberals.

Treating 16-22 Year Drivers Differently than 22+ Drivers Wrong

I don’t know about you, but the proposed Ontario young driver law strikes me as quite wrong. Treating 16-22 year old drivers in a different manner simply because of their age.

If there are going to be restrictions on driving, it should be placed on those that have not proven that they are fully able to drive yet. It should be place on those that have passed a basic road test but the complete road test. [In BC, the basic road test grants you "N" Status, with some restrictions and the complete road test, taken after a year on "N" status, removes any restrictions.]  That situation could happen to anybody at any age (though, granted, people who are just learning to drive tend to be young, but not always).

A Willingness To Extend Municipal Terms To 4 Years?

In those places that have 3 year municipal terms, there seems to be a demand from councils to lengthen those terms to 4 years.

Now, results from four BC municipal referenda show that there might be support public support for such a move. 3 out of the 4 referenda gave support for such a move.

Now, these referenda came about because the provincial government told municipalities to consult with their citizens on this matter. Since there were only four municipalities that actually took them up on the offer, I doubt that the government is going to take any action to lengthen municipal terms.

The interesting question, however, is what is going to be the reaction of other BC municipalities on this matter? Will they now hold their own consultative referenda on this matter? I think that the results of these four referendum might encourage municipalities to do just that.