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Paul Drye

Winning as NDP in 2004?

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I've been playing the NDP a few times, trying to drag them out of the 1970s and into a modern-left mold: socially progressive but realistic economically. It's been interesting, but so far I haven't had much luck, getting 54 and 31 seats the two times I've played with all the parties on (I also turned off the BQ once and managed to come up with 87 seats and Official Opposition status somehow).

My basic strategy has been to banish Jack Layton so as to change the NDP's tax and trade policies to something centrist, and back off on Senate reform and gun control a little without writing them off entirely. In my little fantasy world I'm making Gerard Kennedy the leader, since he seems to be the "Left-Liberal" rising star and the one obvious choice for reforming the NDP.

For election strategy, I focus on ads, crusaders, and endorsements. I target ridings almost exclusively in BC and Ontario, then barnstorm and do policy speeches in both provinces. If I have time, I pick on Manitoba a little. Quebec and Alberta are write-offs. I also tend to neglect the debates, doing no better than a tie and normally not even that.

With this approach I do fairly well through the middle of the election period, usually swinging Ontario and BC behind me and ending up behind either the Conservatives or the Liberals in projected seats with not much to go. But then I get the hammer dropped on me in Ontario and lose a metric buttload of seats with a few days left and drop back to third or fourth.

I've no idea why...any thoughts on how to spruce up my approach and get me into the 80 seat range or -- dare I say it -- a proper left-centre government for Canada?

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The game is too realistic a simulation to ever allow the NDP to do anywhere near that well. There is virtually zero chance of the NDP ever forming a government in Canada and so the game reflects that reality.

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The game is too realistic a simulation to ever allow the NDP to do anywhere near that well. There is virtually zero chance of the NDP ever forming a government in Canada and so the game reflects that reality.

Hmmm, are you sure about that? Like I said, I'm usually up to 70-80 seats at some point not long before the actual election, which is often enough to become the Opposition, and just might be enough in a severely hung parliament.

If I can get some insight into why I drop so badly over the last few days, I think I can pull off 70+ seats.

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The game is too realistic a simulation to ever allow the NDP to do anywhere near that well.  There is virtually zero chance of the NDP ever forming a government in Canada and so the game reflects that reality.

Hmmm, are you sure about that? Like I said, I'm usually up to 70-80 seats at some point not long before the actual election, which is often enough to become the Opposition, and just might be enough in a severely hung parliament.

If I can get some insight into why I drop so badly over the last few days, I think I can pull off 70+ seats.

Did you tinker with the scenario at all? In reality, there is not a hope in hell of the NDP winning 80 seats. In reality, their best ever was something like 40 and they only did that once. They have never been anywhere even close to that level since.

There are all sorts of parameters in those scenarios to simulate the way that people really vote. For example, there is one setting where the percentage of the population that would CONSIDER voting for a given party is set. If that value is below a certain point, there is nothing that you can do to overcome it. This is done to simulate the fact that Alberta NEVER elects NDP members and very rarely elects Liberals. It is also virtually guarantees that the Bloc or Liberals will take Quebec. From what I can see, those values are set reasonably well in the 2004 scenario and that could explain why you can't do much with the NDP. In most regions of the country, the majority of voters are not all that inclined to vote NDP.

Tinkering with those numbers (which is cheating) would allow you to get a result that you want. <_<

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Did you tinker with the scenario at all? In reality, there is not a hope in hell of the NDP winning 80 seats.

Nope, not at all. The one time I did win 87 seats I turned off the BQ, but the others -- and I've played "Centrist NDP" three times now, including one I just finished five minutes ago -- I can always get the NDP quite high most of the way through.

All three times I've managed to clear 60 seats across Canada with about two weeks to go, mostly by suddenly surging ahead in Ontario. Since I focus a great deal in Ontario, that makes sense. But then, without hint of scandal or any other reason I can see, either Martin or Harper suddenly knocks me from 40+ seats in ON to 10 or so. It's pretty irritating, since I seem to be pretty close to something.

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There is virtually zero chance of the NDP ever forming a government in Canada and so the game reflects that reality.

For the moment, you can never be sure about the future. How many people have said earlier the same thing about the NDP in BC? Ontario? Saskatchewan? Manitoba?

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There is virtually zero chance of the NDP ever forming a government in Canada and so the game reflects that reality.

For the moment, you can never be sure about the future. How many people have said earlier the same thing about the NDP in BC? Ontario? Saskatchewan? Manitoba?

The NDP has managed to scare off Ontarians (through Rae's disasterous government), has virtually no support in Quebec, has even less support in Alberta. Those are a lot of major holes in their uspport and couple that with the fact that they are not the first choice, nor even the second choice for a very large number of people elsewhere does not bode well for them.

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To get back on the original topic, Ill suggest two thins a to de better as a NDP player

- Keep the leftist positions because flip flopping on issues give you really bad publicity, thus negative momentum. This is hard to overcome.

- Concentrate your ad effort in smaller provinces that are relatively NDP friendly -Manitoba , Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. Advertising in those provinces cost much less than in Ontario due to a lesser seat counts and you do not watse money adversitising in a good 50-60 seats you have no chance in hell of taking. For the low budget NDP, this is important since you need to make good use of your every penny. Even BC is quite expensive to advertise in and contains a fair amount of riding in which you arent competitive at all.

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- Keep the leftist positions because flip flopping on issues give you really bad publicity, thus negative momentum. This is hard to overcome.

- Concentrate your ad effort in smaller provinces that are relatively NDP friendly -Manitoba , Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

I've already solved problem one by making a new candidate -- Gerard Kennedy -- who comes out of the box somewhat less leftist than Jack Layton. No flip-flopping, in other words. It's the basic premise of my playing this: "What if the NDP dropped the economic socialism while keeping the social justice aspects of their platform?"

I'll give that second strategy a try, though. I was thinking the opposite: pour everything into Ontario and ignore everyone else (because I seem to be so close to a 40 seat breakthrough there), but your suggestion would be an interesting shift in the opposite direction just to see what happens. My only concern is that there's not enough seats unless I get everybody in BC.

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Hmmm, so that second strategy worked pretty well. The NDP won Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Yukon, and came first in the popular vote in BC (though lost to Harper 20-13 in seats). 39 seats in all. Martin had 118 seats, so we were probably the swing in this imaginary parliament.

Getting there!

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Those are a lot of major holes in their uspport and couple that with the fact that they are not the first choice, nor even the second choice for a very large number of people elsewhere does not bode well for them.

Actually, last time I saw a poll reporting second choices, the NDP was way up there.

Hole in Alberta: Since when did that stop the Liberals? Hole in Ontario: At 20% right now, the recovering is going on, though it'd take some important turmoil in local politics to cause a important change. Hole in Québec: as long as the Bloc's there, the NDP will have trouble breaking through, but there's a fertile ground here for its ideas.

Don't pre-suppose anything because the image of Canadian politics in 10-20 years could be completely different.

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Exactly. Plus, in Quebec, the main question is always are you a federalist (then you vote PLC) or a separatist (then you vote BQ). If at one point this changes and we go back on a more left-right orientation, the NDP could have a real chance in Quebec

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Most NDP ideas are indeed popular in Québec, BUT, thats a very huge BUT, they are seen as a centralist party. Even left wing federalist will mostly ignore them if they keep such centralist positions.

As Simon experienced on other french speaking forums, its very hard to convince separatist of the good intentions of the NDP towards Québec. They want actions, not vain promises.

I am not certain how centralist is the NDP membership outside Québec, but if it is, they will kill the party chances here.

the main question is always are you a federalist (then you vote PLC) or a separatist (then you vote BQ)

Thats true, and how ANNOYING it is :angry:

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True that, most people I know just goes indifferent when I mention the NDP. At least the Conservatives gets some kind of reaction, altough not always a positive one :unsure:

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