Monday, May 23, 2011

The new NDP constituency: Far more francophone, far less multicultural

When New Democrats more than doubled their historic best on election night, the constituency Jack Layton’s party represents was radically transformed. They broke through in Quebec and won 59 seats, more than any single party has taken in the province since Brian Mulroney in 1988 – before the birth of the Bloc Québécois. Accordingly, the NDP constituency has gone from being overwhelmingly English-speaking and more diverse than the national average to mostly French-speaking and less multicultural.

You can read the rest of the article on The Globe and Mail website. There is also a condensed version of the article in the print edition of the newspaper.

Like last week's analysis of the Liberal constituency, this one looks at the New Democrats and their ridings' average demographic profile. Like last week, here are a few extra factoids for the party:

Largest population: Nanaimo - Cowichan (125,000 in 2006)
Smallest population: Western Arctic (41,000)
Oldest median age: British Columbia Southern Interior (47.2 years)
Youngest median age: Churchill (26.4 years)
Highest median household income: Western Arctic ($80,000)
Lowest median household income: Winnipeg Centre ($32,000)
Ridings in which French is the largest language group: 59
Ridings in which neither English nor French is the largest language group: 8
Ridings in which immigrants are the majority: 4
Riding with the largest aboriginal population: Churchill (52,000)

Note that, despite having three times as many seats, the NDP hold as many seats where neither French nor English is the largest language group as the Liberals do. They also hold one fewer seat with an immigrant majority as the Liberals.

Next week, I'll be looking at the Conservatives.


  1. It will be interesting to see whether the NDP will morph into a quasi-BQ clone with the inherent cleavages in the 'nouveau' NDP caucus.

    From the G & M:

    "The Bloc Quebecois might be near-extinct, but its philosophy is still very much alive in Quebec. It is striking to see how many people naively assume that the NDP, because the majority of its caucus comes from Quebec, will take up the role of the Bloc and "defend first and foremost" the interests of Quebec.

    During a radio panel on the election, Christiane Charette, the host of another Radio-Canada talk show, joyously exclaimed that "the NDP will be another Bloc Quebecois!" And La Presse ran this headline: "Layton, the new strong man of Quebec" - in other words, the new Gilles Duceppe.

    These reactions are symptomatic of the way many francophone Quebeckers have internalized the Bloc's mentality. After having lived for 20 years inside a Bloc bubble, they've lost any understanding of what a federation is and how federal parties work.

    Quebeckers now expect that the NDP will morph into a clone of the Bloc. If these foolish expectations don't diminish with time, Quebeckers' disappointment with the NDP will be huge - and the big bubbling orange wave will quickly dissolve before the next election."

  2. I don't think Quebecers mistake the NDP for a sovereignist party. They know that the NDP is a national party with representation from across Canada with a leader from Toronto. As long as the NDP opposes the Tory rightwing agenda which is an agenda that nauseates about 90% of Quebecers - that will be seen as the NDP doing what it was elected to do.

    Its interesting that the BQ ran on a flagrantly chaunvinist slogan of "Parlons Quebec" (translation: vote for us because we ONLY care about Quebec, we will ONLY talk about Quebec and the rest of Canada can go to hell) - and they lost almost all their seats.

    The Tories ran on an equally dated self-serving slogan of "notre region au puvoir" (translation: vote for and get pork barreling in the region with. If you don't elect a Tory - don't expect your roads to ever get paved again) - and they lost most of their Quebec seats too.

    The NDP swept Quebec running as a progressive federalist party that wanted to show respect for Quebec but not at the expense of the he rest of the country.

  3. OT:

    New Ontario poll:

  4. OK Eric

    One half is settled. Canucks it is !!

    Now who ?? Boston or Tampa ??

    Either way it's a US-Canada Cup series !!!

  5. As a follow on to the above Eric.

    If the Thrashers do move to Winnipeg what name should they take ??

    Personally I think they should revert to the Jets ???

  6. I'm rooting for Tampa Bay, but if Boston makes it I won't be upset. I watched the game last night, and I think Vancouver will be the favourite no matter who their opponent is.

    I think the new Winnipeg team should be called the Jets, too. That seems to be what Manitobans want. It all depends on what the owners want, though.

  7. I've been rooting for Boston but really delighted we have at least one Canadian team in the final

    Agree, Jets it is !!

  8. Must admit to being an "Original Six" fan. Heck grew up hearing Foster Hewitt call the Leafs games.

    So I'd love to see a Cup final with a couple of the original six again. I know things have changed but the six still retain a lot of the "Romance"

    Imagine a Canucks-Canadiens series ??


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