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Adopting Campaign Styles

September 5, 2008

The election is almost here, and all parties are showing previews of their campaigns.

It is interesting to note that the NDP and the Bloc in particular are discussing the use of campaign styles pioneered by other parties.

The Bloc is using an campaign style previously used by the federal Liberals: The “Harper has an hidden agenda style:”

Mr. Duceppe used the spectre of a Tory majority as a lever to draw Quebeckers’ support, saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper would use newfound power to push a “hidden” conservative agenda.

Of course, the “hidden agenda” style is a failure in achieving results, as shown by the 2004 Liberal minority and the 2006 Liberal opposition.

The NDP, on the other hand, is planning to use a style which focuses on the middle class (and almost everybody, from the working class to low and mid-level professionals, considers themselves middle class). Most notably, this style has been successful in securing the Democrat nomination for Barack Obama, and some pundits contend that the Conservative Party came out of the wilderness in 2006 to achieve a minority government using a campaign that focused stylistically on the middle class.

Of course, it is key to remember that, while these political parties are adopting campaign styles from others, they are not adopting campaign policy. After all, federalist Bloc and right-of-centre New Democrats just doesn’t work very well.

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  1. September 5, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    It will be interesting to see how Jack Layton and the NDP can frame their messages to middle class voters. The NDP needs to expand beyond its core support or else the Liberals and Greens will take over.

  2. September 7, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I don’t think a party of the social democratic left necessarily *has* to be exclusively for the working poor and working class.

    The Swedish Social Democratic Party, for instance, has incorporated the middle class into its base without moving to the centre right.

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