03 February 2017

Full of sound and fury #nlpoli

Pity Earle McCurdy.  

The provincial New Democratic Party boss is rightly getting raked over the political coals for his Twitter comment that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "sent a rookie woman minister" to announce that the government had abandoned plans for changing the way Canadians go to the polls.

The hyper-partisan attack by McCurdy and other New Democrats on Trudeau isn't about the issue itself. New Democrats know as well as Liberals that no one in Canada gives a rat's behind about changing the way we vote from first-past-the-post to something else.  That's why the Liberals shelved the plan.  Few people turned up at the hearings. Not many sent in comments on the initiative. Canadians don't care.


For the federal Liberals, it's a cost-benefit analysis.  They can keep investing time and political energy in it but the return on the investment will be low. There would actually be a cost to the system if it delivered seats to a raft of fringe parties and to third and fourth place political parties like the faux-outraged Greens and New Democrats.

New Democrats and Green leader Elizabeth are hitting at the Liberals because they need something to try and dent the government's popularity. The Dippers have an extra bit of skin in the fight since electoral reform has traditionally been their pet issue. They latched onto getting rid of first-past-the-post originally as an excuse for why they have never been able to win an election at the federal level.

In 2015, they went to the polls promising Canadians they would scrap the senate. The new issue turned out to be a dud and the Liberals went on to win. The fact the Liberals adopted an old Dipper policy on election reform just rubbed salt in the wound. But now ditching the policy? It was all evidently too much for Earle McCurdy (left, not exactly as illustrated)  who went all Wile E. Coyote on Justin's ass.

 Green Party leader Elizabeth May used the same reference to the female minister and added the claim that Trudeau had thrown the minister under a bus.  The fact May brought up the sex of the minister doesn't make it either right or relevant. It is still sexist crap.

The "thrown under the bus" line is a bit like folks claiming that Trudeau lied or that this broken promise will encourage cynicism about politics.  These are lines to inflame people who are already partisans to a political cause. But for the vast majority of Canadians, including folks who voted for the blue or the orange party,  this is just noise.  You see, they don't care about electoral reform.

Being thrown under the bus means someone is being made to pay a price.  There is no price when no one cares.  Ditto the cynicism. People would need to be disappointed in order to be cynical about not receiving something they didn't want. Check polls from the election or now.  Electoral reform?  Not a vote driver. The economy?  Very big.

Leadership was also a factor.  Folks felt they could trust Trudeau.  Mulcair made him uncomfortable. Some Dippers undoubtedly think they might be able to dent up Trudeau's leadership numbers with the talk of lies and broken promises. Again, for that to have an impact, folks would have to actually give one shit about proportional representation, single-transferable votes or whatever super complicated voting system someone thinks will fix and  entirely imaginary problem no one else cares about.  They would give two shits but the second shit would require them to understand the hockey bag of acronyms that goes along with a discussion of changing how we cast votes.

-srbp-