By GEORDIE CARRAGHER
Feb. 3, 2012
Organization is crucial to the futures of both the Liberal and New Democrat parties, according to a pair of opposition MPs.
Liberal MP Wayne Easter, who has been in Parliament since 1993, said the party’s future is looking brighter.
“We had more delegates than the last NDP and Conservative conventions put together, so I think it was a great boost in terms of excitement.”
“We’ve got a lot to work from.”
While Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives won their sought-after majority government, the official opposition was painted orange as the New Democrats swept up 102 seats in the House of Commons.
Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal leader for last year’s election, lost the seat in his riding.
The Liberals won 34 seats to finish in third place for the first time in its history.
However, the Liberals are confident in their party following a convention held in Ottawa in late January.
Easter said organization within each riding is key, but it’s in disarray.
“We must emphasize organization on the ground to show that we are on a strong base on ridings across the country, and that we have a sound policy.”
Meanwhile, the NDP are in good spirits following a leadership debate last Sunday in Halifax.
New Democrat MP Robert Chisholm of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour said, given the circumstances of the past six months, it’s still a time of some upset within the party.
“We lost our leader (Jack Layton), and it’s been a learning period for many MPs.”
Interim leader Nycole Turmel has been doing yeoman’s work, but stability will be welcomed, he said.
“There’s no question we’re all looking forward to the weekend in March when New Democrats pick a new leader, and then we can settle down and move forward under that direction.”
Chisholm said the party is working hard across Canada, and he’s encouraged by the continued support from Canadians.
“I’m not unhappy with the level of support we’re continuing to receive from Canadians across the country, and once we go through what will be a vigorous debate amongst our leadership candidates, we’re going to be in a good position to build up to the next election.”
The New Democrats aren’t looking in the rear-view mirror as they turn their attention to the next election, he said.
“We’re focused on ensuring that the Canadians who voted for us in May 2011 continue to recognize the fact that the confidence they showed in us was well-placed.”
The New Democrats want to affirm their position as a positive voice for Canada going into the next election, he said.
“Our vision for this country is about building stronger communities and stronger families. We believe it’s time to develop a more compassionate and positive future.”
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