Ken Dryden On How to Get an NDP Voter to Vote Liberal

dryden1.jpgAs promised in my post on my lunch with Dryden, Penn, Shannon and Martin, I said I would post on Ken Dryden’s answer to the question, “How do you encourage an NDP voter to vote Liberal?”

Dryden’s Answer: If I was talking to an NDPer who said that the Kelowna Accord, child care, education, the environment, poverty are issues they care deeply about, then I would tell them that the key to knowing which way to vote is core to understanding yourself. Now we are faced with a government with whom we have strong differences, they are going the wrong way. That’s not just rhetoric anymore, that is crystal clear. Look yourself square in the mirror and ask what your choices are? You may not like your choices. Do you believe in the party you have always believed in? If you vote for this party you believe in; you’re going to lose these things that are important to you. Is your belief in the party the strongest, or is it the issues? If you believe in those things then you cannot vote NDP or even Green (vote Green in Central Nova).

You have a choice though. Are you going to support what you believe in or the party you believe in? Harper is a a one man show, if he gets the keys we are in deep trouble. Dion believes in teamwork. We have to work together to overcome the Conservative agenda for Canada.

Trivia: Ken Dryden is now a Toronto Liberal MP. He won six Stanley Cups with the Canadiens during his eight NHL seasons, went to the finals 8 times, and five times was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s premier goaltender. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy before he became Rookie of the Year.


25 thoughts on “Ken Dryden On How to Get an NDP Voter to Vote Liberal

  1. Greg says:

    Shorter Ken Dryden: NDP voters, we really, really, really, mean it this time. I know we did nothing on any of those files until the dying days of a 13 year run in government, but there were so many cuts to social spending we had to make first and tax cuts for corporations to make, that we just didn’t have the time. Come on, turn off your brains and trust us one more time!

  2. Blogging Horse says:

    It appears that you asked Dryden to answer the question, “How do you encourage an NDP voter to vote Liberal” without using the word “Liberal?” ’cause that’s what he did.

    Liberals are begining to understand that Dion’s deal with May has effectively ended their ability to use strategic voting. If the Liberals want Harper defeated “in the name of the country” and they know they can’t win in most ridings (e.g.: Central Nova) then why don’t they stand down in the seats the NDP already hold or where they are competitive (e.g.: Central Nova)?

    If a weak appeal to strategic voting is the Liberal strategy for the next election they will have better luck winning the Stanley Cup than seats.

  3. Woman At Mille 0 says:

    I didn’t think it was weak at all. I have been thinking the same thing. Layton would prefer to see the left split and a Harper majority…with an NDP minority. I no longer see Jack as a progressive. He is as bad as Harper and his refusal to even speak to May…and return her calls….he has lost my respect.

  4. Stephen says:

    Way to go woman at mile 0. You’re bang on, and I’m adding you to my blogroll. I don’t belong to any political party, but the partisan line that Greg is spewing out that there won’t be any change with Dion at the helm is getting real old.

    Is my first inclination to vote Liberal? No. In the past when I have voted my conscience, I have voted Green or NDP. However, now my first inclination is to stop Stephen Harper, who is far worse than Stephane Dion.

  5. janfromthebruce says:

    Actually, I think Dion would like to see the left split or he wouldn’t be running candidates against the NDP. Why is it that the NDP always has to make the sacrifices? When is the LIBS going to pony up? I mean real sacrifices? I remember the same Lib party line in 1993, it’s an old liberal strategy. Cretin, you remember him, he even wrote a book just before the 1993 election, called “straight from the heart.”
    I bought into the guff hook, line and sinker, and campaigned for them, worked an constituency office, told people to vote liberal. Real great stuff, like jobs, jobs, jobs, scrap GST, rejig NAFTA, national childcare, and so on. Not only did it not happen, but social programs were cut more under liberals than anything Harper has down. The libs signed onto NAFTA quicker than the ink could dry on the paper. Maybe you should read Maude Barlow’s book, that’s when she left the liberal family, and wrote ‘Straight through the heart.’
    I really, really, really mean it this time.
    Although May has only praise for Dion even though this same wonderful environmentalist voted with the Conservatives against labelling of GMO foods, against mandatory fuel efficiency in cars, against the protection of worker rights, against the implementation of Kyoto targets as Inter-Provincial Minister, and a Party that supports the export of cancer causing asbestos, nuclear power in the tar sands, NAFTA and deep integration with the U.S. A liberal party that only seems slightly different from the Conservatives by degree, when in power, and particularly majority power.
    So how do you get NDPers to vote liberal? You hope they were not old enough to vote in 1993, and were asleep for the past 13 years of liberal rule. And when they interrupt with wondering why they didn’t get the ‘job done’ for the past 13 years, tell them that the libs really, really, really mean it this time.
    Oh, and blame Layton for all liberal woes because it sure can’t be anything the liberals have done or not done.

  6. Woman At Mille 0 says:

    What tripe. You don’t put money into programs unless you have the money to pay for them. As I recall we spent most of the 90’s getting rid of the deficit so that we would have the money. Child care was already in place before Jack pulled the plug on the Liberal government and made sure that Canadians lost their child care dollars. And your making so much here but let me highlight the Green/Lib/ Deep integration stuff. Neither the greens or the Libs are not for deep integration with the USA.

  7. Tomm says:


    Don’t buy into Ken Dryden’s bag of nonsense. The LPC is as big a corrupt package as ever. Scott Reid is still pumping for the party. According to Warren Kinsella, the Martinites have
    Dion hostage and new voices, and wise voices, aren’t ones being heard in the inner sanctum.

    Cutting this deal with May was ameteur hour. What other wingnutty policies are sitting over at Green party HQ? How about Deep Ecology? Yes, they still have candidates that espouse that philosophy.

    I totally agree with those that say May is an opportunist. She is using the Green’s just like she used the Sierra Club. The thing that joins the two is their over the top arrogance.

    But, I must now deflate all credibility and tell you that Harper (except this last budget) has been the best thing to happen to Canada for 30 years.

    Next time you leave TO, get some place rural where half of Canada’s people and 95% of the country is.


  8. Blogging Horse says:

    Don’t want to hog your comments page but two things you said needed a rebutal.

    You said “Layton would prefer to see the left split and a Harper majority…with an NDP minority.”

    There is absolutely no evidence to suggest this is true. Jack is doing exactly what a leader owes his or her supporters: fighting to win as many seats as possible so the policies they believe in can be impliamented.

    Just like Jean Chretien and Jim Harris used to do.

    You said “I no longer see Jack as a progressive. . . his refusal to even speak to May…and return her calls….he has lost my respect.”

    Elizabeth May has been inconsistant. Recall that after first being in favour, May later dumped all over the all-party committee that Jack brokered to rewrite the clean air act. And then when it produced a good environmental bill she flip-flopped again said she was in favour of the NDP’s initiative and tried to claim credit.

    Was May putting partisanship aside then?

  9. Woman At Mille 0 says:

    Unless Jack is a complete moron he knows that a complete split on the left means a Harper majority. He spends his time taking votes from progressives on the left than attacking Harper. He’s completely full of himself.

  10. Woman At Mille 0 says:

    And I know hes not a moron…so that means he knows and he just doesn’t care if we get a Harper majority. Sorry but that’s my main concern and I want to see it prevented. An alliance with the Greens is a good thing I for one will be glad to see them get the representation they deserve. Having one member elected (May) will be a good thing but if we get members like Liberal, Briony Penn elected who though Red, still has a lot of green tinge… it will be a victory all around.

  11. robedger says:

    The NDP is largely inadequate at promoting the policies on which all progressives agree.

    While the NDP claim to be forwarding progressive ideals, it seems that they actually hurt the causes that they claim to advance. The reasons why this is the case are as follows:

    1) The NDP have chosen a tack of not criticizing Harper too harshly, because if Canadians realize how much damage he is doing to the country they will vote Liberal in an effort to stop him. While this certainly helps the NDP’s electoral chances, it hurts the promotion of progressive policies by helping the Conservatives hide how regressive they are.

    2) When soft Liberal/NDP voters vote NDP in many ridings, the seat switches from Liberal to Conservative. In many Conservative ridings there are more progressive voters than Conservative voters, but the ‘soft NDP leakage’ factor leads these riding to be supported by a Conservative anyways due to vote-splitting. While this is obviously a problem with our system, it is also the reality that we have to deal with.

    3) When the NDP try to pretend that there is no difference between the Liberals and Conservatives, they play down the causes that are at the root of the difference between Liberals and Conservatives. These very causes are the causes that the NDP should be helping to promote.

    When the government shifts from Liberal to Conservative, then the government of Canada is opposed to same-sex marriage instead of in support. The government of Canada is then opposed to the Kelowna agreement instead of in support. The government of Canada is then opposed to the Kyoto Protocol instead of in support. The government of Canada is then opposed to a national childcare program instead of in support. These are important issues, and the NDP are not advancing the cause of any of them.

    To the contrary, they helped bring down the government that was in support of all of them.

    I don’t doubt that the NDP and their supporters care about progressive issues, but voting for the NDP right now in much of the country is not the way to advance them.

  12. janfromthebruce says:

    The progressives on the left would not vote for the Greens. Glorifying the C.D. Howe think tank – a conservative one – is not what they espouse, unlike your Green policy doc signed and authored by Ms. May. And nor would they lament the demise of the glorified progressive conservative party of Canada, like May did, in why she is running in Central Nova. They would be inclined to say good bye and good riddance.
    As for the childcare thing. You mean their deathbed swan song, in the dying days of their minority govt where finally they were going to anti-up after 13 years of promises, when the public wanted blood? If Martin had wanted to stay in power for 6 more weeks, all he had to do is to stop the creeping privitization of health care in Canada, which is want the NDP wanted. You would think that was a no brainer, as the libs love to wrap their bodies as the defenders of our most cherished publically funded health system. He said no, so he made his choice.
    Finally, the cuts of social programs were not necessary. If you read Linda McQuaig’s book, “shooting the Hippo” you would know this. Also, Maude Barlow from the Council of Canadians. The govt of Canada’s own stats department that social programs did not cause the deficit, but privitizing our debt privately to banks, extremely high interests rates controled by the bank of Canada, and trying to get inflation down to below 2% sucked the life out of our economy, and kept us in recession alot longer than necessary, and kept Canadians unemployed for alot longer than necessary. But of course, if you looked at what was happening on the economic global stage you would know that their was a concerted effort by the World Bank, IMF, and group of 8 big nations to push for restraints in western democracies, on the one hand, and on the other, to squeeze monetarily, developing nations. That was called structural adjustment programs, you know adjustment so big corporations could flow money around the world to make profit and to hell with the people. What do you think all those protests were about with the anti-globalization movements around the world? They weren’t against globalization they were about fair trade, environmental concerns, social equality. Chretien along with Martin the millionaire didn’t give a crap about the people as they cut back programs, reduced transfer funds to provinces, and kept the unemployment rate high.
    So yes, let’s talk about child poverty, homelessness, and social housing. But let’s not get fooled again.

  13. Woman At Mille 0 says:

    And I know Martin and Chretien cut programs. I would have cut them too. We were in a deficit situation. What are you saying we should have rung up more debt? Just nutty talk. Talk about flogging a dead horse. We paid the price and paid off that debt and then Jack stepped in and made sure we didn’t get child care, we didn’t get the Kelowna Accord, students didn’t get any help financially..this is Jack’s fault when he crashed the government. Not only that but we gave the financial store this year to Quebec to boot. I might be a lot less unhappy about the Quebec thing if we hadn’t lost so much in return (e.g child care, Kelowna accord) Thanks Jack.

  14. Stephen says:

    Jan says,

    “And when they interrupt with wondering why they didn’t get the ‘job done’ for the past 13 years, tell them that the libs really, really, really mean it this time.”

    Still old.

  15. Lynne says:

    This 13 year rhetoric is old and tiresome. There are new kids on the block in the Liberal party.

    If my cousin got into legal trouble am I responsible? NO.

    Enough already.

    Kinsella has no problems with spending nearly $1 million on an old conflict and vendetta that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of Canadians – he’s wasting our time and money on an issue that is his own – not ours. Money could be much better spent.

    Jack Layton is a smart man, but he has a serious EGO problem that is hurting his party. He’s out for Layton, not Canadians and it’s showing more and more. Layton should get rid of his tie die shirt and get out of the 70’s.

    We could all waste time dredging up old crap on any one of the parties – enough already.

    Time to move on. We can’t just keep living in the past.

  16. sinestra says:

    janfromthebruce: Straight From The Heart was published in 1985 – hardly ‘right before the election’ in 1993 as you wrongly claim.

  17. saskboy says:

    Dryden is generalizing too much when he says people can’t afford to vote Green and NDP. There are places in the country where the Liberals don’t have a hope thanks to eastern policies like long-gun registry, and neglect of Canada’s rail transport system.

    There are probably dozens of ridings where it is a forgone conclusion as to who will win, so a Green or NDP vote in that riding serves to bolster the cause of PR in future elections by bringing the popular vote further out of whack from what members we have sitting.

  18. Woman At Mile 0 says:

    I do agree that the 3 ideally should work together but when any sort of move forward is made it is greeted by hysterics from the media, other party leaders and a party members themselves. I still have hope from reading all real responses from Canadians (letters to editor) to the agreement versus the media spin and it gives me hope.

  19. Craig Hubley says:

    To judge by these responses, one can’t address “the NDP” with logic. Every one of these rationalizations and justifications for not co-operating with Liberals and Greens is logically contradictory.

    For instance, the absurd proposal that Liberals lost the ability to call for strategic voting by endorsing May in Central Nova. Absurd. The NDP ignored numerous overtures to talk by the Liberals (even Jean Chretien called for a Liberal-NDP merger at the end of his political career) and many determined and honest initiatives by Greens (even May buying a $1000 donation dinner with Jack where he refused to discuss politics at all). Obviously, co-operation has to begin somewhere and giving up a third-place-finisher to help remove a bad Cabinet Minister (MacKay) who anchors the Conservatives in key region of the country, while electing someone who can better explain and push the tax shift program to the House (and represents perhaps up to a million voters) can hardly be construed as some kind of conspiracy against the NDP. If Jack wanted to engage in seat-by-seat dealing to get rid of the worst or most vulnerable Cabinet Ministers (Lunn, Flaherty, Clement, Baird, Cannon, MacKay, Ritz) and secretaries (Poilievre, Moore, Lunney) and plain scum (Peter van Loan), he sure had many opportunities to do so. The thesis that Jack likes these people in charge so he can whip up emotional and financial support for the NDP is very credible – don’t forget that Karl Marx’s own original thesis was that only the pressure of incredibly bad government could cause a true socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

    Closer at hand, Jamie Heath convinced NDP bunker types that they had a real shot at replacing the Liberal Party of Canada. Maybe they did, once, but the Liberals are nowhere near as endangered as under John Turner and at least has a clear vision of where the country must go and the highest quality front bench of any party Canada’s ever seen.

    NDP selfishness now seems set to cause that Harper majority. I do not see how one can lay this at the feet of Dion or May, who have taken unprecedented political steps and demonstrate immense courage to resist their own internal partisan fanatics who likewise do not care about the fate of the Canadian public. They needed much more support from the public and press to go further. Like the support they got to include May in the televised debates.

    We know what Jack said about that. There’s nothing more to be said, really. The left and the right are anti-democratic in this country: both believe they have a right to monopolize the debate on issues to themselves. Leaving moderate compromises and long-term issues that affect everyone’s children off the table. Why? “On principle”. That’s what you call “strong leadership”.

    I call it childish. While there are people who must hold their nose and vote NDP in this election to prevent a Conservatiev win, they certainly will not be doing so out of respect for integrity of the party or leader. The NDP today is on a moral part with the Conservative Party, and that was a very long slow sad slide indeed.

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