Monday, November 02, 2009

The "Byers Ceasefire" would benefit the NDP by up to 19 seats

Professor Byers has proposed a one-time ceasefire between the Liberals and Dippers in the next election.

The Byers Ceasefire would mean a gain for the NDP of between 14 and 19 seats.

In his article in The Toronto Star Byers calculates that the NDP would gain between 5 and 10 seats more than the 36 it now holds in Parliament, and the Liberals would gain between 30 and 40 seats.

However, the true calculation which Jack Layton and his MPs have to make is to consider what the most likely results of an election held without the Byers Ceasefire would be. Recent polls over the past several months are a guide.

Let's take the latest results by Threehundredandeight as the starting point. They show the NDP losing 9 seats, reducing from the 36 now held to 27.

So the Byers Ceasefire offers the NDP the chance to improve their fortunes from the forecasted 27 seats to a total of between 41 and 46 seats – that is, gains over the most likely result of 14 to 19 seats.

In addition, the NDP would gain two more advantages: the retention by current NDP MPs of their seats, and a commitment by the Liberal Party to fund a referendum on some form of proportional representation.

The advantage for the Liberals would be a gain of 30 to 40 seats, and the chance to form the next government, replacing Harper's do-little right wing regime.

The further advantage for the LPC is that the Byers Ceasefire does not require any coalition or governance agreement to be struck between the two parties; the Ceasefire deal would involve only two commitments.

Firstly, not to fight each other in seats held by the other party or, if a Conservative was elected in a seat, in such a seat (the choice of the NDP or LPC candidate to face the Tory incumbent would be made based on which party gained the most votes in the October 2008 election).

And secondly, to fund the referendum on some form of proportional representation.
The Byers Ceasefire sounds like a very workable solution to me.

Now let's get the discussion of his proposal started. Who within the ranks of the Liberal MPs will champion this Ceasefire suggestion?


  1. Holy delusional batman, that article is a joke.

    Remember what happened when the coalition of the three stooges reared it's ugly head?

    The Conservatives surged ahead in the polls and donations to the party went through the roof.

    Go for it if you can get the NDP to cooperate, heh, heh , heh.................

  2. Yes. The article shows a stunning lack of understanding about how politics works in this country. This is a political scientist!? Wow!

    You might as well merge the parties.

    This "scientist" has a perverse definition of "progressive center". He sounds like a New Democrat that finds Harper scary.

    He seems to have no problem with sepratists continuing their stranglehold on confederation.

    Chretien had majorities with less support than Harper but this did not concern him either.

    Electoral reform is dead. The results in B.C. and in Ontario make any future success futile.

    I agree with anon above. Delusional....

    This guy just hates the choice Canadians have made. Deal with it. It is called democracy.

  3. If the Liberals would actual support and advocate such an agreement it would be a stunning admission that it refuses to fix what is wrong with the party. Thus far Liberals seemed perplexed that Canadians are not coming back into the fold. I'm one of those Canadians and I am sick of the current state of the Liberal Party. Get your act together or just step aside entirely, that'll be a far more effective than this proposed agreement.

  4. NDP poli-sci professor that lives on Saltspring Island.

    Tells me all I need to know.

    He is a socialist fruitbat.

  5. socialist?

    Conservatives really needutp actually look up these definitions and look at what we actually have here in Canada. I am just as right referring to conservatives as fascist as they are referring to a Dipper as a socialist. I am neither. I am a realist who believes good policy is good policy no matter if it came from a fascist or a socialist. They are both wrong when you take them as an ideological whole which in reality doesn't work. Centrist is the only way. otherwise you'll end up with a fascist state or a socialist state. Your defintions, not mine.

  6. The Liberal Party would be wise to actually hold a real democratic lleadership convention and soon. The grass roots have been disenfranchised while the Bloc Torontois Elites fiddle and fart.

    Iggy is way worse than Dion was, Iggy is an abject failure and a train wreck to boot.

  7. Does everyone just assume that all Liberals have the NDP as their second choice, and vice versa? Because that is incredibly naive. I would be willing to bet 30%-50% of Liberal voters, given the choice of NDP or Conservative would go Conservative. And in BC NDP voters will go CPC second, as well. Thinking that politics is some continuous spectrum is shallow thinking. Elizabeth May will back me on that one, I think.

  8. Anyone know any recent polls showing voters' second and third choices?
    Or the basis of Prof Byers' calculations?

  9. There was a poll out a while back with second and third choices, and yes, the Lib is by no means the default second choice for the NDP, and a majority of Libs would actually vote CPC as their second choice. The whole idea of non-competition is fallacy because of this, but its proponents refuse to acknowledge the basic math. It assumes that the Liberals are centre-left, when in reality they govern centre-right.

  10. threehundredandeight have an analysis with the second choices of poll respondents, and they do show a largish flight by Liberals to Tories or Greens, rather than to the Dippers, and of Dippers to Greens, rather than to Liberal.

    But a majority of both parties do choose the NDP or LPC option, if their own party is not running a candidate.

    So the Byers Ceasefire has some validity. It would be interesting if Byers would provide his figures backing up his seat allocations.


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