Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Learning from Failed Strategies

Newscaster: And we'll be saying a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere. And to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys. - The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Conservatives engaged in a despicable, pandering campaign of dog-whistle xenophobia specifically against Muslims.  This despite the PQ campaign that tried to do the same thing last year resulting in electoral annihilation.

The NDP decided to run a safe, nonthreatening, centrist campaign where the party completely accepted the neoliberal consensus of austerity and deficit hysteria - this despite the fact Canadian voters were aching for change and that a similar campaign to the right of the liberals by the NDP in Ontario last year was a disaster costing the party multiple seats.

The NDP campaign of 2015 was brilliant... when Tony Blair ran it in 1997.

The NDP ran a campaign on the assumption that voters have completely internalized the conservative framing on spending, austerity, deficits and the whole downward trajectory in public spending of the last several decades and will punish anyone who deviates from it.

But the NDP promised balance budgets and lost more than half their seats, the Liberals promised multiple deficits to finance reinvestment in Canada's infrastructure and won a landslide.

Times have changed.

But political strategists like generals are always fighting the last war.

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