The Calgary Grit is preparing the ground for the election by going previewing election strategies for each party. I’d considered doing something similar but I’m L.A.Z.Y., so good for him. His first recommendation is that Layton make the idea of NDP/Conservative cooperation look safe, to avoid a flight of NDP votes to the Libs. Here‘s the rest of his advice:
1. Don’t forget the corruption issue.
2. Emphasize how your party tried to “make parliament work”.
3. Look statesmanlike during debates. From all indication, there could be four debates this time, and with fewer candidates going door to door in the cold, the national campaign will take on greater importance.
4. Be frank about your prospects – you aren’t going to win and everybody knows this. Be blunt about wanting to be the balance of power.
5. Watch out for the Green Party.
A Conservative minority supported by the NDP is not such a crazy idea. Until the Cons went all Republican, the NDP routinely preferred Conservative governments to Liberals. Their aren’t a lot of Red Tories left in Canada, but the biggest Red Tory in the world is president of the United States, except he calls it “compassionate conservatism”.
At any rate, the NDP and Cons can agree on much. The Cons favour radical decentralisation of the country, esp. w/r/t Quebec. For its part, the NDP in Quebec is lousy with separatists who would be more than happy to see still more federal power and cash downloaded to la belle province.
But if I were Jack Layton, I’d support a Harper minority on a single issue: electoral reform, in particular, a move to some sort of PR. He could justify it to his supporters by saying look, this Parliament will last only as long as we can change the electoral system, then we’ll go to the polls again under a whole new set of rules that would change Canadian politics forever.