Reflecting on Roy

A few people have criticized Claudette Roy’s performance last night so far.

But here’s the thing I’m starting to wonder about: Claudette didn’t take any real swings at Linda Duncan. She didn’t take too many as she stuck to her policy mainly, but she did try to frame the debate as between the Liberals and Conservatives. She also aligned herself and the Liberal party as a centrist party (which it is), and I think she was hoping to appeal to fiscal conservatives in the audience.

So I’m thinking there’s a different strategy going on here in the Liberal camp.

I heard a bit of groaning from the NDP when Roy was chosen to run – namely she has the Order of Canada and a strong history of advocating for French rights in the area – and the NDP was hoping that the Liberals would choose a weak candidate so Linda could sail to victory.

But what if instead of choosing a weak candidate that just made the Liberals look bad in this riding (and never have a chance in the future), they are specifically using Roy to target Jaffer’s votes – while leaving Linda’s and the left-wing votes alone.

The Liberals here likely already know that they can’t win here, but rather than run someone who fights for the votes on the left (and gets a couple), what about putting a Liberal who will go after a few hundred to a thousand votes from Jaffer? Also, shifting her politics to the right and ignoring the left for Linda allows a few more of those who voted red last election to shift to the NDP camp this time (as the strategic and only real choice on the left).

Now, I’m not sure if this is why they chose Roy or how they’re running their campaign, but every little advantage brings this riding one step closer to a progressive future.

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2 thoughts on “Reflecting on Roy”

  1. Oh, Roy’s camp is definitely trying to go after Linda. Have a look at the literature her campaign is passing out in this election–it’s really anti-NDP! And they’re also trying to make it sound like they actually have a chance to win by talking about “aggregate totals” over the past so and so many elections (without mentioning that their vote has been decreasing in Edmonton-Strathcona over five elections). Their clear goal is not to lose even more ground, period, no matter what that takes. If she didn’t attack Linda enough in the University debate, it’s only because she had her hands full just reading off her party’s policy, not because of any strategy.

    I think it’s not really fair to call her a weak candidate all around, though. I think Roy is the candidate they could get, given the fact that they got less than 10,000 votes last time with a much higher-profile candidate. She’s still got plenty of credentials (they’re really playing up that Order of Canada) and has some clout within the party. And she’s female, which helped reach their leader’s goal of having lots of women to run for them. She just isn’t a good speaker. It could be a lot worse, believe me.

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