A party of teachers and social workers indeed!

There is often a knock on the provincial NDP that they are a party composed of teachers and social workers. But is this really true, or a knock on the NDP by the non-NDP?

I decided to see if the facts bore this out. My methodology? I looked at the bios and of the candidates that the NDP and Conservatives fielded in the last election. I’m looking only at candidates as opposed to elected MLAs as this is probably more representative, since MLA professions will be skewed by geographical representation ( Conservatives = rural, NDP = urban).

So is it true? Is the NDP a party of teachers and social workers? In a manner of speaking, yes.

  • The highest % of any profession listed is that of teacher at 19%, followed by Bureaucrat (public service employee/ career elected representative/non-profit exec director, employee of crown corp or provincial gov’t.) at 14% and business owner/business person at 12%
  • When broken down by party, the top three NDP professions are Teacher (30%), Bureaucrat (12%), Lawyer (9%). Social Worker is tied for fourth  with 7%. The top three Conservative professions are Business Person (19%), Bureaucrat (16%), Farmer (11%)
  • The Conservatives have a larger breadth of candidates than the NDP (19 distinct professions vs 15)
  • There are 5 professions listed by the NDP that do not appear in the list of conservative candidates (Political party worker, Union executive, Engineer, Welder, Economist)
  • There are 9 professions listed by the Conservatives that do not appear in the list of NDP candidates ( Priest, Athlete, Doctor, Accountant, Pharmacist, Real Estate, Financial Advisor, Promoter, CEO)
  • While the numbers in each category are similar if they both have candidates in that category, there are marked differences in a few. 17 NDP teachers vs 5 Conservative. 11 Conservative business people vs 3 NDP, every other category is within 3.
  • There are labourers in both NDP and Conservative candidates.
  • The Conservatives had more candidates employed in health care (4 to 2)
So are they a party of Teachers and Social Workers? Teachers yes. Social workers? Well, the NDP had 4 vs 3 conservative.
So teachers are over represented. But the other knock should be that the breadth of their candidate field is limited. Hopefully by the next election we’ll see candidate fields that are a little better representative of career demographics as a whole.

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