Election engineering-by popular demand
I typically don't read comments, I must admit that I mostly do this for my own edification, and if there are certain ideologies that people think a site should espouse, well, they're free to start one. I really don't want this to be a 'bash Bernard Lord' site, that's why I didn't go with 'bernardlordsucks' or some such thing. However, there's no doubt where the current Premier's sympathies lie. First though, I'd like to discount a commentor's claim that sucking up to big business is 'gutless'; in fact it's quite the opposite. When you screw over the little guy then you know damn well that your car better not break down in Tracadie (for example) on a saturday night. Big business, however, are notoriously gutless. Sure,they won't hire you and will badmouth you in the press, but they aren't going to burn you in effigy or despise you until the end of time. However, to satisfy the critics who simply want the wherewithal to 'get rid of the Premier', here's how you do it...
First though, I want it to be known that I highly doubt that Shawn Graham is going to turn into the white knight many think him to be, however, the point is easily made that we already know what Bernard Lord is doing, so it's not a case of 'better the devil you know'.
All right, let's get down to it. This presumes a couple of things, first, I am not spouting any revolutionary ideas, as I think they are counterproductive here. I wouldn't even condone violence, however, I do support 'taking to the streets'. Yet here I am talking simply about how to get rid of an unpopular Premier, and the only way in Canada of doing that is making them lose an election.
So to do that we have to think the way that campaign managers do. First, I've always been a firm admirer of Elizabeth Weir, and think she would make a far better Premier than anybody we've seen in a long time. However, the NDP has no real hope of replacing Lord. Second, I'm assuming that the commentor yesterday, and those who are adamant about this are actually going to do something, not just continue to gripe and expect that magically a new Premier will appear.
I must admit though that that may happen. All things being equal, New Brunswickers typically have a short fuse for Premiers and they rarely last more than two terms, Hatfield and Mckenna being notable exceptions.
Now, first, check out this link: http://www.gnb.ca/elections/03prov/03provmap-e.asp
That is the electoral map for those too lazy. What is of primary interest is that the Conservative percentages have been falling steadily with each election. What is also interesting is in places where large leads were held over liberals, in many places this past election the seat was barely won. As we know, the conservatives hold a very tenuous grip on power, four seats, I believe. So in effect that's all that is needed. We know that more people voted AGAINST them than for them, what is needed is to combine those people in the ridings that matter.
So let's look a little closer. First of all, there's no point in looking at ridings which have huge differences between PC and liberal voters. In some places, barring huge gaffes or hospital closings, there is simply too large a gap to close.
In looking closely at the ridings, here are some where the PC's won their seats by the skin of their..whatever: Douglas, Fredericton South, New Maryland, Grand Bay, St.Stephen, Keswick, Mactaguac, and Kennebecasis. Now, what is interesting is that last one. Kennebecasis. Here, the PC majority dropped to a tiny lead. So tiny in fact, that if all the rejected ballots had been for the liberals they would have won. Statistically speaking, if you factor in the percentage increase in liberal votes then one can realistically assume that a good proportion WERE liberal votes. The other most interesting spot is Mactaquac. The same story goes there, a huge margin of victory in the final 90's election was wiped out and the PC's only won by a few votes.
So, first of all, with those numbers, we can reasonably assume that Lord knows that his days are numbered. But let's not take anything for granted.
First off, join the liberal party. There's no fee involved, and there's no blood oath, for pete's sake their leaders often cross the floor to the other side, there certainly isn't anything binding on you. You also get more access to the leader, there's no point in replacing one malicious leader if you're just going to get another one.
However, all things remaining equal at this point it is important to look at those two spots: Kennebecasis and Mactaquac, however, to be safe the other ones mentioned are worthwhile, particularly if you happen to live in one of them.
One thing that can be looked at is 'vote trading'. If you do form a group and don't join the liberal party (which would frown on it), then brochures and ads can be directed at voters there. The idea is simple, if they will change their NDP vote to liberal that would elect the liberal nominee, meanwhile, people in other ridings where liberals don't stand a chance agree to vote NDP and help out in areas where NDP have a shot at being elected.
This, obviously, requires organization, and nothing in politics gets done without it. We are all quite familiar with the Irving News and the lengths it goes to to dismiss environmentalists and other 'do gooders'. So the reverse holds true. Start blogs and websites specifically dedicated to those areas. You can go to the legislative assembly site and find out the voting pattern of the incumbents in the aformentioned ridings, and compare them with the liberal platform. This is so that during the next election you can 'target' that specific member. In fact, if the consternation is eating away at you, a good balm is to start now. Get mailing lists for people in those areas, get in touch with the liberal and ndp party to find out which areas typically go which way. Start the drumbeats early with a newsletter showing everything that MLA did in the legislature and what the liberals would do differently. I'm not going to get into detail here, I don't want to start mentioning names or anything, you can go to the gnb.ca website and see for yourself who represents these ridings and what type of governmental 'work' they do. The long and short of it is that considerable effort must be made in these 'swing ridings' where just a few more liberal votes would push them over the top. Find out as much as possible about those ridings and their needs/concerns and whether they are being met. There is a reason that the PC vote in those ridings dropped so dramatically, usually some digging or local news will give some idea. Then broadcast it, start swinging the voters now.
Now, you may say that sounds convoluted and difficult. Well, politics ain't easy and getting results takes work. The question is always how much people want change and whether they are willing to work for it, or just complain about it. As I've said, I seriously doubt Mr.Graham would be much better, but the above blog shows you just how to get him into office if that's the desire.