Saturday, October 18, 2008

Where the votes are

Hey look, the leader of a formerly leftist and now mushy middle and trending rightward party has tacked sharply back to the left - on economic issues no less. And look at the polling numbers: in a matter of just weeks Gordon Brown's Labour Party have doubled their lead over the Conservatives.

Labour has nearly doubled its lead over the Tories on economic competence, according to the latest opinion poll, published on the day in which David Cameron accused Gordon Brown of presiding over a "complete and utter failure" of economic policy.

Cameron used a hard-hitting speech to the City of London to shore up his economic credentials following another week in which Brown received widespread praise for his handling of the banking collapse both in Britain and abroad.

But Cameron's attempt to steal the limelight today was undermined by the findings of a ComRes survey for BBC2's Daily Politics show that showed the Tories trailing by 11 points.

Of the thousand people surveyed, 42% considered Brown and his chancellor, Alistair Darling, the politicians they "trust most to steer Britain's economy through the current downturn".

While Labour went up two points, the Conservative leader and the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, dropped three points to 31%.

So we've been told for years that left wing parties need to get over the left wing part and just concentrate on defending social programs or something else harmless if we really must. But look, here's a nominally leftist party and leader re-discovering some degree of left wing economic principals and experiencing a massive surge in popularity.

Kind of looks like that whole message of grow up and leave the socialism behind was classic concern trolling doesn't it? In fact we have an economic framework to explain the last month considerably more in touch with observable reality and prescriptions for dealing with it considerably more likely to succeed than the Laissez-faire model can offer.

On the issues the majority of the Canadian public as well are consistent believers in such economically left wing ideas as a strong public sector, regulation of the private sector and economic fairness. The NDP should be glad of it's economic platform; the economic transition we are heading for will bring people to it in droves.

Now if Britain's Labour could just get over their infatuation for authoritarian social control...

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