Here's a article I did for freethought last week. Layton's got his work cut out for him over the second half of the campaign if he wants to avoid being marginalized in the Harper/Martin clash.
I’ll admit it, I have a soft-spot for the NDP. They’re sort of like William Hung. You know, that singer on American Idol who was just terrible but America fell in love with a now he has his own CD out. His heart is in the right place and you’d like to see him do well but are you really going to spend 19.95$ for his CD? Same thing with the NDP – good ideas, nice people…but I’m not trusting my money to them. But since the NDP will never form government, they’re fairly harmless and I wish them the best of luck. Here’s some advice which could get them 40 seats.
1. Makeover time!
Unless you’re a 1940s dictator, mustaches rarely work. Shave it off Jack! I’m sure Earnscliffe has focus groups telling Paul what colour tie to wear so if mustaches got people votes, our PM would be sporting one by now.
2. Hire an accountant
Yes, I know no accountant would ever vote NDP. Neither would anyone who’s ever taken Econ 101 for that matter. But when you go around saying things like “paying down the debt will cost us 200 billion dollars over the next decade” when this isn’t remotely true, you come across looking like, well, the NDP Canadians know and love (but won’t vote for).
3. Adscam a no go
Don’t harp on Adscam. If people don’t think the Liberals can handle their money, they’ll vote in someone who can handle money like, oh, anyone but the NDP. Instead, keep doing what you’re doing – portray Paul as a coal baron who gives tax breaks to his rich friends. I’m actually a little upset the NDP backed out of a gimmick where Layton would fly to the Barbados during the election campaign.
The comparisons to Mulroney work great too. Just keep saying “More right wing than Brian Mulroney” over and over again.
4. Captain Planet
The Green Party is at 5% nationally. They’re in double digits in BC. Do whatever it takes to get prominent Green Party supporters (I’m sure they exist somewhere. Look for them) to endorse you. Hell, let them write your environmental platform.
5. I’m not saying you should open mouth kiss Ed Broadbent but…
Make gay marriage an issue. Ask Paul if he’s committed to it if the Supreme Court gives him civil unions as a way out. It’s a wedge issue which no other party likes talking about. Use it.