It may sound like expedient role reversal, a cynical attempt to distill fears about the party’s big spending reputation.
However, I’d like to argue that Tom Mulcair’s appetite for balanced budgets was rather predictable for anyone familiar with a long-established theory. The Median Voter Theorem explains how political parties in democracies will by necessity move to the centre if they are serious about winning elections. It’s about brand building and PR, not ideology.
Have a look at this 6-minute Animation. It helps explain the Theorem by applying it to a non-political scenario. Two ice cream vendors (the parties) fight to gain customers (voters) in a city block. It also explains the Theorem’s origins in Harold Hotelling’s spatial model of firm strategies in a competitive marketplace.
So, expect more of the same from our political leaders as this campaign unfolds and the fight for undecided voters intensifies. All leaders will move as far to the centre as they can without completely alienating their core constituencies.