Tuesday, January 6, 2015

ELECTIONS SNAGS AND WHAT IF'S

We are officially into the election year or perhaps the year of elections

Federal and provincial fixed term legislation, ensuring that elections were no longer called for partisan advantage has hit a snag. Four provinces and the Federation are all due for an election this Fall.

I've been expecting the province and the feds to announce some sort of intergovernmental agreement for one of the terms be extended. The issue of federal and provincial campaigns overlapping has been known for a while but suddenly there is some urgency.

Manitoba Elections Act says the voting day changes automatically if the federal election date doesn't change by Jan. 1. The province’s fixed election date was changed from October 6, 2015 to avoid conflict with the federal election.

I do not particularly have a problem with avoiding a conflict, there is only so many participants in our democracy as it is.  Throw in voter fatigue - let alone donor fatigue or dare I say, voter fatigue, and you have a pretty compelling case for following Manitoba's lead.

The unpopular, incredible shrinking majority Progressive Conservative Government of Paul Davis just received a present from Lady Luck. They now have an opportunity to use the Manitoba announcement as a precedent and justification, for doing the same in the far East.  

No provincial election until 2016 gives the PC's some time to grow on the media, err, the electorate. 

It also would allow the NDP a chance to take real advantage of the Pinata that is the implosion of the Progressive Conservatives. A 2016 campaign would position the NDP to bring forth a new leader which could position them for official opposition status.

It would also force the Liberals to maintain their current levels of support for an additional year. With the implosion of the New Democrat's, the Liberals have been the sole alternative. Now the NDP has a real chance to regain the momentum and Lorraine Micheal can leave gracefully with her head-up. On election night 2016, when the NDP form the official opposition - she will receive all the credit.

I don't think there is much chance of a PC resurrection. They are done, cooked. A promise to protect the underprivileged, underemployed - those on the margin from a right wing Liberal government led by blue blooded business people. That is fine if you think government should be run like a business - but I would wager there are enough people out there who do not - many of them concentrated in St. Johns -  to net a few new seats for a rejuvenated NDP - with a new leader.

I think the extra year would be great for the NDP, suck for the Liberals and not make much of a difference to the PC's - except that they get to run things (and make the big bucks) for a few extra months.

 

 





No comments: