As usual, when the NDP P.E.I. makes strides in the polls as it has been doing lately, Island pundits can always find a cloud in the orange lining ("NDP Surge Could Be Parked Votes, Pundits Say," The Guardian, September 5.) One spokesperson muses that poll gains are just "indicative of an unhappy electorate" expressing discontent, and don't reflect real growth for the NDP.
Well, is it possible that maybe, just maybe, these polls indicate that the electorate is responding to a party that is offering a genuine alternative to the tired politics of the past? Perhaps the voter is looking at Mike Redmond and seeing an earnest, progressive new political leader who actually merits strong consideration? Could it be that poll respondents remember the term of the only NDP member of the provincial legislature, Herb Dickieson, as a time of truly effective opposition, when vital issues and concerns were brought forward that the old-line parties wouldn't even contemplate?
Regardless of past polling trends, consideration should be given to the real possibility that voters are kicking the tires of the "new" NDP P.E.I., and liking what they see.