Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Peter MacKay frets loss to NDP’s Lorefice

The last week is always the real test of a campaign. All-candidates debates are ancient history, the last piece of literature is out the door, and canvassing is ramping down so that the only real question left is whether or not you have the marks so that if everything goes right, you can win.

In Central Nova, Peter MacKay’s campaign manager has asked himself that question and answered “No. No we don’t” which is why he put out a panicked letter to mobilize supporters – which has now landed in the hands of the media.

The defence minister’s manager writes:

“Despite the national attention, it is my firm conviction (and has been since the Liberals chose not to run a candidate), that the Green Party and Elizabeth may pose no serious threat to Peter. The threat comes from the NDP…”

New Democrat Louise Lorefice is poised to be a giant killer and MacKay knows it.

If this surprises some, including the Ottawa/Toronto media, it shouldn’t. There is the entire layer of provincial politics at play in this riding. The Nova Scotia NDP have a very real stake in ensuring that Central Nova doesn’t stay Conservative. They have a real stake in ensuring that MacKay can’t be a factor in the next provincial election.

In Nova Scotia, the NDP are the official opposition in a minority government. Darrell Dexter, the popular NDP leader is expected to be premier following the next election. But in order to do this, he needs to win in rural ridings like those inside MacKay’s federal seat. That’s why they are putting resources into the fight.

The NDP have a better shot at Central Nova. All they need is less than 40% of the now homeless Liberal vote to come to Lorefice and MacKay will be back to crouching in pasture cuddling his neighbour’s dog full-time! At best, the ill-conceived deal to have Liberals not run against May in Central Nova was only worth only 26% of the vote (coincidentally about the same that May eked out in the London North Centre by-election).

That’s why Dexter’s phone-canvassers and organizers are on the ground to ensure the win and why MacKay’s campaign manager is looking a bit ashen today.


skdadl said...

I'm cheering for Lorifice (and I'm in Toronto). To me, that was the worst part of the Dion-May deal, that they chose Central Nova as the place to do it, where they could only be spoilers. Unforgivable.

Sean S. said...

I wouldn't call it unforgivable, I call it smart politics on behalf of the Liberals. They enticed May to run in a riding she realistically had a low chance of winning. By pulling their candidate it gave May hope that she might be able to run and win in her own riding (why she didn't goto BC or Ontario I don't know). Instead, they probably knew that the NDP would be the real benefactors and possibly unseat McKay. So no Mckay, no May...the Liberals definitely benefit.

Saskboy said...

The Cons are blowing smoke up NDP behinds.

skdadl said...

I agree with Saskboy. (Don't faint; I can do that sometimes.)

Sean, I think you're giving the Liberals a lot more credit than almost anyone could have deserved that early on. If Dion and May really meant what they say they mean, which is that they want MacKay unseated, the Libs would have backed out in the dipper's favour and put May elsewhere.

Horrible optics from the beginning, couldn't help rousing the locals against May and definitely contributed to making Dion look weak. Horrible optics.

MrvnMouse said...

As I've said on another blog already:

Rule #1 about politics: Don't ever believe anything your opponent leaks to you at face value.

Rule #2 about politics: If what was leaked leads you to change your strategy, see Rule #1.

Seriously guys, I know that having an NDP there would be great as well, but does anyone really think that this wasn't done with the full intention of hopefully splitting the vote between the NDP and Greens and having the Con come right up the middle?

Mackay is afraid of someone, but it's sure as hell not the NDP candidate. If it was, he wouldn't be leaking this memo.

janfromthebruce said...

I agree that the McKay's strategy is to ensure the NDP vote stays where it is. That said, Lorifice has the folks on the ground in her campaign, unlike May. Big shoutout from Central command:
Time for all hands on deck!

Elizabeth has a fully funded funded campaign and she can win.

But we need more people to work on her campaign for this last big push.

We need phone canvassers, door to door canvassers and scrutineers on election day.

Phone canvassers can work from the comfort of their own homes anywhere in Canada when it is convenient for them. No need to be a policy expert - these are short, scripted calls to determine the voting intention of the person called. This information is absolutely critical for our election day efforts when we phone supporters to ensure they get to out to vote.

The party has made appeals like this before, for by-elections and provincial party campaigns, with a lukewarm response. If you are serious about supporting the Green Party and getting some of our candidates elected, we need you to step up to the plate now and devote as much of the next nine days as possible to this end.

Contact Jonathan to volunteer for the phone canvass. He'll get you set up with an on-line list of names and phone numbers.

We'll find billets for anyone who can come to Central Nova to help with door to door canvassing.

Sharon Labchuk
Director of Organizing

When you have to bring everyone from outside the riding to work for you, and get foreign help Avaaz to do your airways, and keep on missing the connection to the real folk in Central Nova - it's pocketbook issues, Stupid!), than one really wonders what is really going on.

So on v-day, one gets a call from afar saying hi this is Susie Green and we want you to vote May. Central Novian says, hey where you calling from, as I hear your Ontarian accent. No response.
Voter - butt out, Central Novians will make their own choices!

Jimmie said...

Mrvnmouse has a good point, but the bigger story for me is that it could be time for Lizzie May to start taking her own advice.

The GPC candidate in Ottawa Centre is giving voice to concerns by Greens that May's calls for strategic voting is undermining not only the immediate electability of candidates but also the longer term prospects of the party.

There is no numerical way May can win in Central Nova. None. She would essentially have to win ALL of the Liberal votes from 2006 and half of the NDP votes to beat Petey.

It's just not going to happen. Not the case with the NDP, however.
Provincially they owns the two
seats surrounding Central Nova. In 2006 they came a close second.

Which means Lizzie is standing in the way of progress by siphoning votes from Lorefice.

If she really believes MacKay is so dangerous, she should take her own advice and stand aside.

A reader said...

It's spelled "Lorefice", not "Lorifice".

Malcolm+ said...

Rule #3 - not every leak is a deliberate leak.

Blogging Horse said...

thank you reader.

Anonymous said...