Saturday, October 3, 2015
F&D - Strength in Democracy - has it failed?
F&D, Canada's 6th party, seems to have failed in it's attempts to establish a political party. They have a shockingly small number of candidates running, and as such, have failed.
Or have they?
From what I can gather this is a purposeful strategy on the part of the party. Given they managed to find anglophone candidates for by-elections that never were, it seems to me that if they had really wanted to, they could have round 60 candidates in Quebec, and perhaps even another 20 to 40 outside the province.
They've chosen not to.
These are the ridings that look set to have an official F&D candidate running in them:
You'll notice, not surprisingly, most are in Quebec.
F&D has not made many appearances in the English media. The party is unknown to many, even within Quebec.
I've already commented on the party before, here: http://blunt-objects.blogspot.ca/2014/10/new-political-party.html so I'll try not to repeat myself for those following me for some time.
A few key points:
1 - The Party and the Greens share many similarities. Keep in mind the Green Party has grown beyond being "just an environment party". Many of the things F&D and the Greens share have to do with their entire approach to politics, the grassroots, and free votes. I still maintain that if F&D elect more than one member (they won't) and if the Greens elect a good number of MPs as well (they won't) that the two could combine for Parliamentary purposes to reach the 12 seat minimum.
2 - The Party's main focus is what they thought the Bloc should do, which is Quebec Quebec Quebec. Not "Sovereignty Sovereignty Sovereignty". Sadly for them, the Bloc eventually realized this is the answer as well and shifted gears.
3 - The party won't have a major breakthrough this election. They might surprise everyone and elect 2 members, or even 3, but they certainly won't be going far beyond that.
So what puts them in 6th? Their leader, Jean-Francois Fortin. Fortin took 12,633 votes in his riding last election, at a time when the Bloc was very unpopular and he was running for the Bloc. Consider that, in 2011, the 6th most popular party was the CHP, and the 7th, was the MLP. The MLP took a total of 10,160 votes, among all 70 of it's candidates. Fortin alone beat this entire riding party.
Fortin has 16 other people running under his banner, and 2 of them are former MPs, and 1 of them is from Ontario, which is "vote rich". Fortin was only 6,586 votes short of beating the CHP. If his other candidates take only 500 votes in their ridings, the F&D would beat last elections CHP.
It certainly is possible for F&D to fall to 7th in the popular vote, but it would require the "next party in line" to do well. Who are they? Find out in our next post.