Sunday, October 21, 2012


The public's preferred alternative to the governing Conservatives held it's biennial convention over the weekend.

The theme of the meeting was election readiness. The New Democrats do not appear to be lackadaisical about the gains the party made in last year's election that made political history in the province. They picked up five seats and the highest percentage of votes that they have ever received.

Both the party and the leader continue to break glass ceilings. The NDP are a real force in provincial politics. Now they want to concentrate on the organization, policy and fundraising efforts that it will take to build on those gains.

"The NDP do need a leader. People are tired of the Liberals and the PC's..they want change. I think it is scary that Stumbledale is that bad that the NDP could form government. " says an old Liberal acquaintance.

Back in 2004 when I was the Director of Policy and Operations in the Opposition ofice, I oversaw some research into what I felt was the second largest threat facing the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador in the long term. The biggest long term threat was the lack of effort that was being applied to managing the debt and re-organizing the parties grass root machinery.

The second largest threat may rise to the surface this fall. It is the potential rise in the electability of New Democrats to the provincial House of Assembly. The NDP had not formed a government in Nova Scotia in 2004, but they were heading for the official opposition and government was within reach. Voting habits in the traditional two party system had changed. The NDP were not prospering in the rural farming, mining and fishing towns where unionism and co-opertism were strong. The growth was in the urban areas. It was this growth, and the slow but steady gains that made be think, threat to the establishment

The provincial NDP have a professional dedicated staff. The residual of the official opposition not playing an A -Game has meant that the NDP leader has garnered more media opportunities and credibility at the expense of the Liberals, particularly in vote rich St. John's.

 The recent electoral success of the NDP proves that change can happen quickly once it starts to take hold. An NDP campaign that is full of electable community, municipal and business leaders as opposed to names on ballots is a force to be reckoned with.

Imagine supporters shelling  out $150 a piece to hear  Federal Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair rally the troops. A few years ago they would have been lucky to get 100 people out to hear a national leader offering free soup and sandwiches.

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.

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. Preparing now, for an election three years away is smart politics.

In a competitive three party system, a crumbing  government does not ensure gains for the official opposition.


Ward Pike said...

Youth and the marginalized are desperate for a voice, and they are gravitating toward the NDP because they think they provide that...

What they don't quite realize yet is that ALL Newfoundland and Labrador needs a voice... one that does not yet even exist.

We have no place in Canada and 63 years of cow-towing and sucking up to Canadian version of our C and L parties has gotten us nowhere.

The scariest part of this is that when it comes to falling in line with a Canadian counter-part, the NDP are even more prone to do so than the Liberals or Conservatives.

We need independence from this.

Anonymous said...

You were Director of Policy and Operations in the Opposition office? What?! I was sure you were Chief of Staff! I'm pretty sure I heard that from several people and more than a few of those were you.

There are lots of directors of all kinds kicking around in an office like that but there is only ONE Chief of Staff.

Is this a retroactive demotion?!

Peter L. Whittle said...

Too funny. Here we go again. I have explained this a few times already. Director of operations and chief of staff were the same thing. I did not like the title Chief of Staff, so when I negotiated my contract, Is truck Chief Of Staff off the contract and wrote in Director of Policy and Operations. Same job description, same salary.

Why not let go of the argumentum ad hominem. Repeating your foolishness over and over again will not make you asinine assertions any more or less true than it was in the first place.

It is not a fallacy to state the truth again and again; what is fallacious is to expect the repitition alone to substitute for real arguments.

Anonymous said...

So what is your point anonymous? What has this got to do with the NDP? What is your gripe here?

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

I'm just say'n. . . when you refer to your time in the Opp office, sometimes you are just another Director and other times you are the Chief of Staff. Oddly, there seems to be no record of a Chief of Staff going by your name.

Yet you had the salary, the responsibility but not the title? Wow. . . how insulting is that?! No wonder you "left the office" (circumstances murky) in a blaze of media glory. That was you, right?

Just try'n to get my facts straight because, as we all know, facts must be straight.

Peter L. Whittle said...

First of all. This seems pretty petty Why would I be upset, considering that it was I who decided to go with title. The House of Assembly listed me as Chief of Staff in the budget allocations as that was the position. I never really like the term.

The real question is why do you care? If you have some beef with me or want to offer a revision of history. I could care less if I was listed as the janitor. As for records, you have raised this before. The record should show the organization chart, salaries and titles that I approved for the leaders staff, which I directed.

Of course none of that matters because it is obvious that you really do not care, except to try and get a rise out of me. You are not interested in the facts, your interesting in being a troll. Keep it up if you wish because it speaks more about you than I.

DO me a favor, why don’t you come out from under your slimy rock ad use your name in the discussion? Of course that would take some guts, and bottom feeders like yourself lack a spine.

Anonymous said...

Dippers are on a good run. If the Libs fail to get a good leader, Dale Kirby or Lana Payne will be the next elected premier