Thus this Decima poll:
The online survey of 6,380 voters, released Sunday to The Canadian Press, suggests that half of those surveyed would like to see more New Democrats in the House of Commons.
But only about one-third would favour that if voting NDP might split the ballot and ultimately mean a Conservative victory, says the survey, considered accurate to within 1.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
It was conducted between Dec. 29 and Dec. 31, as part of a voter tracking study being conducted by Decima with help from the Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication.
The timidity of NDP voters in the face of Conservative victory is self-defeating, not just because it fails to elect more MPs, but also because it reduces the party to a pliant tool of the Liberals. The Grits can endlessly promise to hike social spending, defend the medicare monopoly, and so forth, without having to deliver.
But why should they even do that, this time? Liberal strategists can just sit back, wait for the Tories to get a two or three point poll lead, and watch the NDPers come running.
This masochistic "strategic voting" is a strategy for impotence in Parliament and demoralization of the core NDP vote. Why work to get out the vote if they can't hold it? How to convince the soft NDP voter that the world will not end in a Tory minority government, and that electing more NDP MPs might lead to more concessions from the Conservatives to keep such a government going than the Liberals would ever give by taking their support for granted?
Tommy Douglas and Ed Broadbent didn't win respect and influence as NDP leaders by caving to the Grits to keep out the Tories. David Lewis did and lost his seat and leadership as a result.
May NDP voters all make a New Year's resolution to grow spines.