Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A dismal grit election season

Yesterday Premier Brad Wall won a landslide victory in Saskatchewan. The grits won virtually no votes, coming after the greens. Across the other elections in Manitoba, PEI, Ontario and Newfoundland. The grits lost a fair number of seats. They have a majority only in PEI and even there the Tories did better than expected. In Ontario dulton lost his majority, 4 cabinet ministers and has turned his party into the Toronto party, an omen of the future. IN Manitobe the grits have one seat and they barely won the opposition in Newfoundland.
Bob Rae admits that the grits were funded by big government and big corporations. They have not re connected with their grass roots. Of course there was the May 2 election where the grits were banished to third place and had also been the party of Toronto , but the Tories breached the fortress. All in all not a good period for the grits. The last quarter's fundraising was also pretty bad for the grits. Will the grits make a come back? I don't know for sure, but I don't think so.

More importantly, Rae appears to be acknowledging what Stephen Harper has been saying all along: for decades the Liberals treated themselves to a system in which big corporate backers poured money into the party, in an obvious desire to keep it sweet when the executives returned in search of political favours. And when that gravy train ended, the party quickly got used to a replacement plan in which the government paid the subsidies the corporations had withdrawn.

Now both sources of easy cash have been closed and the party is are stuck having to ask Liberals themselves to pay up. There is a big mystery in this, in that the rules have been evolving for a decade now, yet the Liberals have notably failed to keep up. Both the Conservatives and the NDP had adjusted, developing effective fundraising operations, while the Liberals have dawdled. Accustomed to decades in which they could simply make the rules to suit themselves, they seem unable to grasp that there’s no one else out there to pay their bills, and they’ll have to do it themselves.

Unfortunately, the message comes at a particularly inopportune time. The party is weaker than it’s ever been, and no longer in a position to hand out goodies to donors willing to part with the maximum contribution (which will increase to a relatively paltry $1,200 on Jan. 1). It’s labouring without a permanent leader, and won’t get around to choosing one until 2013. Whoever that turns out to be seems certain to be lacking in the experience the party badly needs; Mr. Rae, its most effective performer, has withdrawn from the race in return for his interim job.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Liberals will not have a significant influence again in Canada. We will now evolve like Britan did into a two party system with several small rump parties. The choice to voters will be simply capitalist vs. socialist. Debate will be on issues . Spin will be minimized.All in all a much healthier political system as was originally contemplated by our forefathers.

I Support Lord Black