Friday, November 30, 2007

Tribal Politics

Calgary Herald editor Nigel Hannaford makes some interesting points about the "tribalism" of Canadian voters in a recent column.

Hannaford's point is that while the Tories and Liberals are more or less neck and neck in the polls, Conservative support is more intense and therefore more reliable.

Writes Hannaford: "Folks may tell a pollster they'll vote Liberal, but will they actually go to the booth? Or, will they follow their leader who, confronted with things he doesn't like, just doesn't vote? Until Dion changes his game, I guess we won't know."

And by the way, I am not noting this column simply because Hannaford also mentions me: "Gerry Nicholls, who now conducts a one-man guerrilla war on the Conservatives' right flank, says the Conservatives just aren't conservative enough."


Anonymous said...

Well done, Gerry.

Keep shoving 'em back to the right.

Put an end to corporate welfare while you are at it, please!

Dave said...

Liberal voters are like fans cheering on their hockey team. Just support the team, because it's your team. No other reason.

Or my favourite tribal reason for voting choice... "I don't know anything about it, but I always vote Liberal because my daddy voted Liberal".

It's not a smart way to determine your vote choice, but it certainly happens.

Anonymous said...

I was amazed by Mr. Dion's comments in today's Globe and Mail:

"I don't think Quebec has received that much from Mr. Harper."

Wow! Mr. Dion doesn't consider the increase to $7.5 billion in equalization payments (60% of the country's total) and the untold figures on corporate welfare (see Canadian taxpayer's Federation for details) in that province very much?

Does that mean Dion will want to give Quebec even more?

Maybe, that explains why he got rid of Jamie Carroll, and brought back some of the Power Corp folks into the Liberal fold.

Thanks, but no thanks, LPC!

On the other hand, it appears from reading that G&M article that Dion has figured out that the earth actually goes around the sun. Who knew?

Anonymous said...


I heard this story at my kids' school the other day.

Teacher: Which political party do you like, Billy?

Billy: I like the conservatives.

Teacher: Why's that?

Billy: Well, my mother is a conservative and my father is a conservative so I like the conservtaives too.

Teacher: That's not really a very good reason, Billy. If your mother was a moron and your father was a moron would you be a moron too?

Billy: No, because that would make me a Liberal.

Miles Lunn said...

I think it is more than just blindly voting for a party. Much of the Liberal success comes from the fact they have not just argued their policies are good policies, but have portrayed them as fundamental Canadian values. Since many people for good or ill subscribe to those values they will vote Liberal no matter what. Also Trudeau did have a cult like following to some extent.

However, I think much of his success is he played to areas Canadians already leaned towards. Compassion, standing up for the little guy, as well as believing in a strong government as opposed to rugged individualism were already widely subscribed values Canadians held and he only pushed them further. As to how those values evolved, that is tough to say for sure, but I would say our history has a lot to do with it.