Monday, May 14, 2012

IN THE BIG LEAGUES NOW

The New Democratic Party of Newfoundland and Labrador tapped some star fundraising power of their own over the weekend.

Over 200 supporters shelled out $150 a piece to hear freshly minted F ederal Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair rally the troops and talk about his vision of Canada.

Speaking of the audience, this is no longer the NDP of yesterday. Lots of new faces and energy. The NDP are on a roll. Supporters are reaching into their pockets to ensure the provincial NDP are positioned to enjoy the same rewards of their federal cousins in up-coming by-elections and the next provincial election.

The NDP have leapfrogged the Liberals, provincially and federally.  While the NL grits have a tenacious grip on the role of Official Opposition, a by-election win for the NDP could change the balance in the House of Assembly at any time.

Stating they are on a roll is not partisan drivel, it is reflected in the polls, which continue to show that the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians see the NDP as the best alternative to the governing Progressive Conservatives.

The NDP have been on a continual march, reaching  historic high levels of support and than shattering those records with each quarterly poll.  The last CRA poll, released in March, showed that among decided voters the NDP had 28 per cent support. The Liberals have rebounded to 18 per cent from the party's previous level of 13 per cent.

I was not taken very seriously in the past when I warned the grits about the real danger the NDP represented. The NDP were a joke, they were going no where. What could they offer anyone. I argued that the the demographics of a larger urban population in the future, that at some point will demand a serious realignment of electoral seats amplifies the potential opportunity for the NDP at the expense of both the Liberals and the Conservatives. Those chickens have not even come home to roost, yet!

Money is the grease that moves the political machine.It pays for full-time organizers, for polling, for strategic communications, for mail outs, fundraising letters, phone calls and media buys. It looks like supporters are more than prepared to make sure the provincial NDP are on an even battlefield going into future campaigns.

I hope that the local organizers never forget the grass root fundraisers like the soup fundraisers to assist candidates. It might have been born out of necessity and tight financials, but it created a folksy sense of inclusiveness and belonging that can never be replaced.

2 comments:

D'Arcy Butler said...

Hi Peter,

I can say with no doubt that the "grass root fundraisers like the soup fundraisers to assist candidates" will not be forgotten, nor will the tireless efforts of those that the other two parties neglected who helped build the NDP into the party that it is today. As you noted, it is not the NDP of yesteryears. We are maturing and growing as a party and that means appealing to a wider audience than it has in the past, which means that a broad range of events designed to achieve different goals appealing to different types of members.

One other thing on the money front, and its a major differentiation point between the NL-NDP and the NL-Liberals; the NDP are debt free, whereas the Liberals are still mired in debt from several elections back. This means while they are trying to deal with an old debt, we will be filling a war chest for the next election.

I am very excited about the future of our party both federally and provincially.

D'Arcy Butler said...

Hi Peter,

I can say with no doubt that the "grass root fundraisers like the soup fundraisers to assist candidates" will not be forgotten, nor will the tireless efforts of those that the other two parties neglected who helped build the NDP into the party that it is today. As you noted, it is not the NDP of yesteryears. We are maturing and growing as a party and that means appealing to a wider audience than it has in the past, which means that a broad range of events designed to achieve different goals appealing to different types of members.

One other thing on the money front, and its a major differentiation point between the NL-NDP and the NL-Liberals; the NDP are debt free, whereas the Liberals are still mired in debt from several elections back. This means while they are trying to deal with an old debt, we will be filling a war chest for the next election.

I am very excited about the future of our party both federally and provincially.