Meanwhile across the pond here in Canada, the "Third Way" strategy and approach has, on the other hand, triumphed entirely. We are witnessing an election where the Liberals are actually seeking to portray themselves as to the progressive "left" of the NDP, while the NDP seeks to frame itself as fiscally responsible with right-wing narratives about "balanced budgets" that they then ludicrously attempt to claim are somehow a continuation of the spirit and politics of Tommy Douglas!
Hence yesterday on CBC Radio we are treated to the farcical political moment that sees former Saskatchewan NDP Finance Minister Janice Mackinnon trying to celebrate and justify the total bankruptcy of the NDP campaign while Bob Rae celebrates and defends the Liberal "left shift," such as it is.
The utter emptiness of the tone of this "debate" and the very fact that it can happen at all reveals the trouble at the heart of the social democratic narrative in Canada -- that being that it has ceased to exist as a narrative in this election, and on our political landscape, at all.
The ideological differences between the two parties have lost any meaning in a context where a radio discussion like this is even possible.
...This is the reason the Liberal "left shift" may very well work despite all of these arguments. Mulcair has shifted the tone and much of the content of the NDP campaign with such overtly reactionary nonsense that they have literally opened up this space for the Liberals themselves. It is the NDP's Third Way thinking and strategy that has allowed Trudeau to reframe the election, to revive what was a failing campaign and to show such a recent and clear rise in the polls.
They have allowed Trudeau to seem to be bearing the anti-austerity torch as absurd as that is and despite the fact that the Liberals are an inherently Third Way party.
One could, of course, also point out that there is no reason to think that Mulcair, after running from the right, will suddenly govern as a leftist. In fact, all of the evidence of recent NDP provincial regimes run by centrist NDP leaders, like those of Nova Scotia and Manitoba, would indicate the opposite.