Home > Federal, NDP > …And They Say That The Blogging Dippers Aren’t Good For The NDP’s Communications Purposes

…And They Say That The Blogging Dippers Aren’t Good For The NDP’s Communications Purposes

March 13, 2007

I like how Pat Martin is totally on message here:

NDP MP Pat Martin says his party must make significant gains in the next federal election or be forced to admit it may never be anything more than a fringe player and end its 46-year existence.

“So, the result has been to bore people into some kind of a stupor where nobody has any idea what we stand for anymore.” A poor electoral result could leave the NDP with few options, Mr. Martin said, including, in the case of a minority government, a merger or coalition with the Liberals.

Okay, so either Pat Martin was caught having an interview on “Act as a Liberal Day”, or he thinks that he can threaten Canadians into voting for the NDP, or else “the NDP gets it”, as they say. Either way, this statement make Pat Martin sound like a total idiot.

I know that Canadians know where the NDP stands on the issues. I know that Canadians know that Jack Layton is a leader. I know that the NDP has worked hard for Canadians, getting things done. I certainly can’t say the same thing about the Liberals, so why would we want to merge with them?

I think its high time that we stopped believing this fallacy that New Democrats would vote Liberal or even Green if they didn’t vote for the NDP.

Update: Pat Martin clarifies his remarks, saying that what he meant to say was that progressives need to unite behind the NDP. But it’s kinda late now, and I don’t see that getting reported on as much as his original comments.

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Categories: Federal, NDP
  1. March 13, 2007 at 10:17 am

    i was surprised to read that article …
    i suggest martin consult with a media adviser before speaking … !

  2. March 13, 2007 at 11:28 am

    “I think its high time that we stopped believing this fallacy that New Democrats would vote Liberal or even Green if they didn’t vote for the NDP.”

    That might be true in some sections of the country, but I have a hard time seeing NDP urban voters flooding towards Harper.

  3. Northern BC Dipper
    March 13, 2007 at 11:55 am

    “That might be true in some sections of the country, but I have a hard time seeing NDP urban voters flooding towards Harper.”

    I’d say that the only place that statement can hold real sway is Toronto. Urban voters in BC (except maybe Vancouver proper), Saskatchewan, and Manitoba tend to face a lot of three way races, where people do switch between the NDP and Conservative Parties.

  4. March 13, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    I can’t think of any NDP seat in Ontario where voters would go to the Conservatives. The three in Hamilton, nope, Windsor nope, London nope, Toronto nope. In the NDP was out of the equation, every one of those seats would be a Liberal pickup. Saskatchewan and Manitoba maybe, but how many seats are you talking about, 5? The Victoria, Vancouver seats could easily move to the Liberals, as would the east coast seats.

    Now the big question, would you vote for Harper? 😉

  5. March 13, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Pat Martin has always sounded like a total idiot. Forgive me — I do try to be polite most of the time — but Pat Martin has hardly been a model of solidarity among our MPs at the best of times. He doesn’t like the left — it’s that simple. Why does the NDP put up with these jerks time and time again?

  6. Northern BC Dipper
    March 13, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Victoria, Vancouver seats could easily move to the Liberals, as would the east coast seats.

    It would depend on which seats you are talking about, really. There are a few that the NDP won from the Conservatives in BC that could easily go back to being Conservative. There are East Coast seats that could stay conservative if the NDP was not there to take second place.

    As we learned from the PC-CA merger, not all voters stick with the merger and go elsewhere. The same would happen in a Liberal-NDP merger. Some blue Liberals would be disgusted with joining the NDP and go Conservative. Some NDPers would probably sit out the vote, or try to form another party a la the Progressive Canadians.

    Would you vote for Harper?

    I don’t live in Calgary-Southwest 😉

    Quite frankly, the only thing my vote is worth in my riding is $1.75.

  7. March 13, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Ditto in my riding 🙂

  8. erinsikora
    March 13, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    FYI:

    MARCH 13, 2007

    PAT MARTIN’S CLARIFICATION ON PRINTED COMMENTS

    WINNIPEG
    – “Yesterday I spoke with a reporter from the Winnipeg Free Press. It was reported I favour a merger of the New Democratic and Liberal parties. I do not. I wish to take this opportunity to clarify my remarks and clear up any misunderstanding.”

    “I didn’t suggest that New Democrats should merge with the Liberal Party. I believe that progressives across Canada should unite behind a strong vehicle for change and demand a better government. That vehicle for change is the New Democratic Party.”

    “That is why I have run in the past four elections for the New Democrats and intend to run for the New Democrats in the next election — whenever that may be. We need to defend the values that we believe in and I believe that under Jack’s leadership the NDP has great opportunity to grow even further.”

    “I can hear the cynical out there scream ‘backtrack’ already. But, let me assure you. As the New Democrat MP who holds the seat once held by Stanley Knowles and J.S. Woodsworth, a pioneers of this great country and my Party, my commitment to social democracy and the NDP has never been greater.”

    “Ordinary Canadians need us to fight for them in Ottawa — to fight for their values, to fight against government corruption, to fight against corporate elites who would turn our country into their own playground.”

    “This is the NDP that rewrote a federal budget — that cancelled Liberal corporate tax cuts to invest in education, housing and the environment. This is the NDP that’s working to rewrite the Conservatives’ lame Clean Air Act to produce environmental legislation with teeth.”

    “This is the NDP that has more than doubled its caucus and tripled its popular vote in the last two elections, and let me assure you again: we’re just getting started.”

    -30-

    So, it looks like the whole thing was an very unfortunate mistake on the part of Pat Martin. I’m not sure why an NDP blogger would want to highlight it. Not that the ‘how would you vote if you couldn’t vote NDP?’ discussion wasn’t fun and all.

  9. Northern BC Dipper
    March 13, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Erin,

    I already posted a link to that statement via an update in the main post.

    “So, it looks like the whole thing was an very unfortunate mistake on the part of Pat Martin. I’m not sure why an NDP blogger would want to highlight it. Not that the ‘how would you vote if you couldn’t vote NDP?’ discussion wasn’t fun and all.”

    Can you say, another example of an NDP communications problem. Funny, they seem to almost be getting worse. Not that I’m saying too too much…

    But the cat was out of the bag (see Conservative and Liberal blogs), and it had to be known that the view that Pat Martin seemed to be espousing was incorrect.

  10. erinsikora
    March 14, 2007 at 1:39 am

    Clearly I missed your update before I posted my comment. My apologies.

    “another example of an NDP communications problem. Funny, they seem to almost be getting worse.”

    I don’t think that NDP communications is to blame for this one. It’s not as if Pat Martin sat down with Brad Lavigne and the team beforehand and they were all like “So Pat, I think you should go with that line about the NDP communications being boring and follow up with some speculation on a possible NDP-Liberal merger.” No, I don’t think you can blame anyone but Pat Martin for this one.

    And of course the Conservative and Liberal bloggers are all over this one. It makes the NDP look bad. Not because people think that the NDP supports this view, but because it looks like one of our MPs does not have faith in the Party. There was no need to set the record straight.

  11. Northern BC Dipper
    March 14, 2007 at 9:31 am

    I don’t think that NDP communications is to blame for this one.

    Really? You think that this type of embrassment would have happened under the Conservative communication model? Don’t think so.

    Reading though the direct quote of the orginal article, I see evdence that Pat Martin didn’t have his message straight in mind before he went on that interview. That’s the first big no-no that they teach ya.

  12. March 14, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Whoever said Pat Martin was an idiot said it best.
    This guy has a typical careerist attitude toward politics. “We should move right, water down our ideas, abandon the poor, do whatever it takes to keep my job…..er…. I mean…. our party’s representation in Parliament.”
    Maybe if we took fighting for ideas seriously and didn’t pussy-foot around tough issues or back out of taking concrete stands on things like Afghanistan and the poverty gap, we could stand on our own two feet instead of trying to borrow one from the Grits.

  13. Darren
    March 4, 2008 at 9:09 am

    While this was last year’s news media gaffe vis-a-vie Mr. Martin. I still beleive the NDP and Liberals need to seriously explore a formal or informal merger. It is utterly irrelevant that Dion and his party at war with each other, what matters is the NDP will never replace them as the official opposition. It’s a nice pipe dream of Jack’s, but demographics, voter intentions will ensure it never happens.

    I was a longtime supporter of the NDP and political staff for a former dipper government. However, I have become increasingly disenchanted with the party under Jack’s leadership. The reason we have Harper in the first place was Jack’s unwillingness to stomach another term of the Martin government. While Martin was hardly and example of great leadership or policy for that fact, he did maintain or help bring in some reasonably progressive policy. That seemed to be stealing to much of Jack’s thunder and now we have the most right-leaning federal government in recent history. Who, I may add, have been extraordinarily effective at governing by decree in a minority position while th opposition parties continue to score points against each other.

    It’s a bit like Nero fiddling while Rome burned. How many more seats does Jack need to make his point. Because the trend can always go in the opposite direction. I worry about Jack’s perceived support of this current regime and what irreparable harm it might do the NDP in the long run. It certainly ended my 18 year relationship with the party and I know of many other folks in the same predicament.

    While I don’t particularly love the Liberals, I do beleive there is some common ground between Layton and Dion. Maybe its time they talked before we hand the the current regime a majority and evaporation of our civil rights continues.

  1. April 3, 2007 at 7:15 pm
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