2023 Election? Nope
For The Love Of God, No
What’s better, 44 seats in a Majority Parliament or 24 seats in a Minority?
In 2015, the NDP got rid of Tom Mulcair despite him winning 44 seats (28 outside of Quebec), and then in 2019 the NDP gave Jagmeet Singh another election while winning 24 seats. The difference is that the CPC and Bloc won enough seats that the NDP’s losses - disproportionately Liberal wins – ended up not changing the electoral math enough to give the Liberals a second majority term.
In keeping Jagmeet after 2019 and 2021, the NDP decided that they would rather less seats and more power than a leader who would maximize their seat count at all costs. In keeping Jagmeet through 2021 especially, when as I wrote the week after the election Jagmeet made a series of completely insane and indefensible strategic decisions, they have decided that electoral appeal is decidedly not their priority.
And yet, so many seem to think the NDP is about to blow up this Parliament and risk it all.
Let’s start with the fact that Jagmeet Singh is a political coward, and chooses the easiest way out of any situation. Let’s continue with the fact that the NDP spent $24M during the last campaign after only paying off their 2019 debt in January 2021, which means that I would bet my bottom dollar they’re up to their ass in debts that another campaign cannot accommodate. At the end of 2021 they were in the hole, and their 2022 fundraising was … fine, but not “can survive another $24M campaign this year” good (at least through three quarters). And let’s just ignore the fact that there’s a boundary review happening right now and the party won’t really want an election as they’re having to close down their old EDAs to run nominations for the new lines.
Jagmeet won’t call an election because he has absolutely nothing but downside risk if one happens. What’s the plausible best NDP case with Jagmeet? 40 seats in a Liberal minority, where, spoiler alert, you just end up having to try and re-negotiate the same deal you just flounced out of, except this time the Liberals don’t trust you and actively hate you for beating some of their MPs. Remember, this is best case.
Worst case? The Bloc collapses and the Liberals win a majority through gains in Quebec. Or the NDP lose seats in Northern Ontario and northern Vancouver Island and don’t make any gains in the cities of this country, diminishing themselves. Or the Liberals tank so much that Poilievre becomes PM and the policies the NDP claim to care so much about get wiped out.
Even if you think the median outcome of a new election is more NDP seats – an assumption that is, in my view, extremely dumb, given what we know about the NDP in specific and third parties in general polling better outside of writ periods and falling back to reality during them – the NDP is still dodging 3 very real possible outcomes that make an election nonsensical if they actually care in any way shape or form about the issues they claim to.
Oh, and let’s get to the big one – if the NDP do end up in any of the three potential bad outcomes (Poilievre in office, lost seats, or a Liberal majority), Jagmeet will lose his job, and no leader puts his ass on the line for no reason.
“But what about Layton in 2005?” I hear people already asking. The NDP in ’05 made a tactical choice that some amorphous promise of some progress on their issues was that worth propping up a government that was in trouble. What it also was was that Parliament was cracking at the seams, as the NDP and Liberals didn’t actually have a majority on the floor, they only had one through Peter Milliken after Belinda Stronach crossed the floor. Oh, and that Liberal government was being destroyed by the AdScam revelations and Gomery.
The problem with assuming that the NDP will make the same decision as 2005 ignores the fact that a lot of New Democrats now realize 2005 as a pyrrhic victory – a gain in seats and a loss in influence, one which they’ve now, 15 years after, managed to get back. The NDP doesn’t look at 2005 as some great moment in its history like a lot of Liberal haters of the NDP do.
The NDP would be monumental morons to put this at risk, because as I’ve had many an NDP partisan explain to me, this is the dream Parliament for the party. The Bloc is increasingly anti-Liberal, the Conservatives won’t help at all, and the Liberals are entirely dependent on the NDP for the votes. Anything short of a government-crippling crisis of a magnitude worse than SNC that drops the Liberals to the low 20s in vote share would change this calculus, and right now, I don’t see that as likely.
The other thing it would be is an act of political courage from a leader who sorely lacks it. Jagmeet likes this – he likes lobbing stinkbombs from the cheap seats while being able to negotiate with Trudeau in private. He likes this bullshit where the NDP gets to bitch about “Establishment Parties” while also get their legislative dreams passed. He likes this Parliament. Jagmeet is not exactly someone I am a particular fan of, but the reason I’m not a fan of his is because I don’t think he’s as stupid as he acts sometimes. The thing about that is I don’t think he’s stupid enough to risk the NDP’s best chance at holding an amount of power they’re likely to have this side of 2050.
Could the Liberals call one? I mean, I guess, but no. They only called one in 2021 because there was, essentially, no other choice. We all forget now, but in July 2021 the Conservatives looked deader than the short lived Matt Murray renaissance in Toronto, and the Bloc didn’t look much more lively. The problem for anyone thinking Trudeau will call an election even if he gets back to, say, a tie in the polls, is that he didn’t call one last time till he was up consistently by high single digits or low double digits. The Trudeau election call has been retconned now that we know the results, but it wasn’t a bold call, it was the obvious answer at the time.
Now, no matter whether the Liberals’ polling recovers in the next few months, it won’t get to that level short of a complete Conservative collapse, and with a weak economy that is likely to recover with lower inflation and less anger as we get towards 2024 and 2025, an election this year is a gamble of the kind Trudeau hasn’t ever shown.
At the end of the day, there won’t be an election this year. Trudeau’s not going to call one unless he knows he can win it, and the NDP won’t call one when the best they can do is get slightly more seats and the same amount of actual power.
Now please God everyone shut the fuck about it.
The federal NDP still owes us the provincial NDP money. We will never see it. They have used the Jack Layton building previously to secure a loan, then we wondered and no one would tell us how that extra debt magically got paid. So are they that heavily in debt and how can they survive? The way Singh was on side with conservatives last election we were suspicious that the conservatives paid for it. Nothing made sense. Singh lost a lot of us, he’s no leader and my opinion as others he’s just taking away from the democratic side and cheerleading for the fascist con regime which would give them a win? 🤷♀️ all I know is if Pierre gets in we are royally screwed as a country. Personally I wish the federal NDP sat out the next election. I don’t want us to live under a snake like Pierre. I can’t deal with that dictator, I can’t stand living in Sask with this SaskParty regime of complete arrogance. It would be suicide under Pierre, I was a strong person until SaskParty literally broke me financially and mentally
I'm not sure what you mean by your I don't like Singh because he's not as stupid as he appears.