Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Send more... PDA MPs to Ottawa?

In the 2004 election, the NDP doubled its popular vote... In the 2006 election, their caucus size grew by 50%...

Looking at these gains, it's obvious: Time for a name change.

Rabble babblers are suggesting all kinds of new names for the NDP, from the not so serious (Progressive Democratic Alliance) to the plausible (the Progressive Party of Canada).

Perhaps a name change isn't such a bad idea. The NDP, right now, could stand for No Damn Power.

After thinking about the numbers for a week (crunch, crunch), I suddenly realised this about Jack's Orange Revolution: Man, the NDP has no sway in this minority parliament. The Conservatives can pass any legislation that just they and the Bloc approve of. And they can pass any legislation that just they and the Liberals approve of... But even if the entire NDP caucus approves of a Conservative measure, they still need a couple Liberals or Bloc MPs to vote with them for legislation to pass.

Plus: The NDP can't team up with either the Liberals or the Bloc alone to bring down the government on a confidence motion. The Liberals and the Bloc, however, can bring down the government without the NDP's help.

It would have been a hell of a lot different if the NDP had won just two more ridings. That must be killing them.

Can Jack Layton keep the NDP relevant in this situation? The only two things on his side are that: a) Many Canadians think that cooperating with the Bloc means you are a traitor dog; and b) Many Conservatives think that cooperating with the Liberals means you are a traitor dog. Also, I suppose, there's the fact that a strong NDP is bad for the Liberals, thus good for the Conservatives. (So Harper would be wise to let Jack win the occasional concession.)

Still: No Damn Power.

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