Monday, June 27, 2011

How the parties stack up on experience

After their stunning electoral breakthrough, the New Democrats now have four years to prove to Canadians they are a legitimate government-in-waiting. But an analysis of the governmental experience of the NDP caucus shows they lag well behind their two main rivals in the House of Commons.

You can read the rest of the article on The Globe and Mail website here. There is also an excerpt and infographic in the print edition this morning.

With the filibuster that ended late on Saturday, the parliamentary experience of the parties has certainly gone up a notch. But what I think this piece highlights is how the Liberals have been reduced to mainly their core MPs. Whenever you see a shot of the party in the House of Commons, you usually see Ralph Goodale, Stéphane Dion, Scott Brison, Carolyn Bennett, etc. all in the same frame. If they are to rebuild the party, they do have a foundation of experience.

As the New Democrats have never formed government at the federal level before, they will always be an inexperienced governmental party until they do form government. While this will be new to Canada, which has been governed by Liberals or Conservatives since Confederation, every country has gone through this at some point or another. Labour formed government in the United Kingdon for many decades of the 20th century, but that first Labour government after World War I was a shock to the system.

I also have an article in The Hill Times this morning. Though you need a subscription, you can read it here or buy it on the newsstands in Ottawa. It focuses on the NDP in Quebec, comparing the recent Léger poll to the unreleased regional and demographic breakdowns of the last Léger poll conducted in Quebec just days before the last election.