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The NPD’s underachievement in the recent federal election generated a heavy flow of theses as to why the party didn’t rise to the occasion. I don’t know exactly what the relative importance of each of the different factors explaining the NPD’s crash is, but we can safely say that the perception that the NDP moved too much to the centre, the niqab affair, the deep-seated reluctance to see the NDP as anything more than the “conscience of Parliament” and strategic voting all contributed to the party’s failure to maintain its early lead in the polls.

What I want to add to the conversation is that I found some of the political punditry shallow and hasty in our last election. This would not be worth mentioning if perceptions did not crystallize and circulate so quickly on the campaign trail. Early on, established commentators asserted without much of an argument that the Liberal platform was more progressive than the NPD’s. This assessment was hasty, because it was based on two Liberal talking points that deserved more scrutiny. The first one is that running deficits is self-evidently more progressive and Keynesian than balancing the books. The second is that only the Liberals were promising to raise taxes on top earners.

Now that the campaign is over, maybe we should have a more reasoned discussion about these two assertions...

Maclure: Don’t settle for shallow narratives to explain NDP loss | Ottawa Citizen

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