MP Randall Garrison predicts New Democrats won’t suffer the same fate of other social democrats. (File photo)

Saanich MP Randall Garrison predicts New Democrats won’t suffer fate of other social democrats

He also questions projections that show riding a toss-up

The incumbent MP for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke questions the validity of local polling and dismisses suggestions that growing polarization will hurt the federal New Democrats in the upcoming federal election.

“Of course, I like it better than if it were to say something else, but I just don’t think they have any validity at all,” said Randall Garrison during an interview last week, when asked about forecasting from 338canada.com. It shows the riding as a toss-up. “They are just projecting national figures on local ridings.”

These national figures, in turn, show the New Democrats trailing behind the federal Liberals (37.5), federal Conservatives 934 per cent), and the Greens (10.8), with 8.4 per cent, according to a Mainstreet Research poll produced between Sept. 6 and 8.

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Dropping poll numbers have inspired the prediction that the NDP will suffer the fate of social democratic parties in Germany, France and other European countries, where they have bled support for decades, disappearing almost entirely in some cases, as voters increasingly divide into broadly defined camps, populists and progressives.

“I would choose just other countries to look at. If you look at Portugal, if you look at Spain, if you look at Italy, you have seen a resurgence of social democratic parties,” said Garrison. “If you look at the policies of those parties, they are very similar to the policies of the NDP. So it just depends on where you look. I think that once people get a chance to see [federal party leader] Jagmeet [Singh] in action and see our platform, we will do very well.”

That process officially started last week with the dropping of the writ on Wednesday. When asked about the state of the local race, Garrison said he has spent the summer focusing on his duties as MP.

“It’s never too late,” he said. “I think most people, as usual in Canada during summer, are not focused on the federal election.”

Garrison said his campaign will focus on ways to ensure shared prosperity among other issues. While the strong state of the economy under the leadership of the provincial New Democrats won’t hurt, housing affordability remains an important issue for riding residents, said Garrison.

“At the end of the month, it’s very hard to make ends meet,” he said. “This is a very expensive place to live.”


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