Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Election Aftermath: A Dip for the N-Dippers

Well, maybe the NDP wasn't a winner after all. Actually, it looks like they got screwed -- and bad.

Like the kids in Nightmare on Elm Street, Jack Layton shouldn't have gone to sleep. He woke up this morning to find that an electoral boogieman with razor-sharp fingernails had shorn the NDP of a couple of seats from the night before. Now the Liberals and the Dippers have a combined total of 154 -- one less than what is needed to command a majority of the seats in the house. So much for NDP gaining influence...

It's not exactly the drama of Florida c. 2000, but there will be recounts. The only automatic judicial recount (these occur if the margin is less than one less than one-thousandth of the votes cast) is in New Westminster-Coquitlam, where the NDP's candidate, Steve McClurg, lost by 45 votes against the Conservatives’ Paul Forseth.

The NDP -- who got half the Conservatives' popular vote, but only one fifth of their seats; who got five percent more in popular vote than 1997, but two fewer seats -- deserve to win another seat, but they shouldn't get their hopes up. Out of the eight recounts from the 2000 Canadian election, all the losers stayed losers.

Not that an extra seat for the NDP would mean much, anyway. Paul Martin says he's not going to form a formal coalition with any other party. No big surprise. We already knew that PM PM didn't play well with others...


Just one more vent about those who voted Liberal because they fell for Martin's scaremongering that a vote for the NDP was a vote for the Conservatives.

On June 22, in a campaign stop that was covered by media across the country, Paul Martin stood before a crowd of supporters and said: "There are two parties that could form the next government... If you are thinking of voting NDP, I ask you to think about the implications of your vote. In a race as close as this, you may well help Stephen Harper become prime minister."

Where did he say this? At the New Westminster-Coquitlam campaign office of appointed liberal candidate Dave Haggard.

Yep. New Westminster-Coquitlam. Where the Conservatives beat the NDP candidate by 45 votes. How much you want to bet at least 46 members of this riding believed Martin? I hope they're kicking themselves, because, in this case, a "strategic" vote for the Liberals was a vote for Stephen Harper's Conservatives.

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