Accord vs. Coalition

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JKR

Are Canadians more conservative? No

As long as we have FPTP there's going to be pressure to move toward a two-party system.

Fidel

JKR wrote:

Are Canadians more conservative? No

By 55 per cent to 41 per cent, Canadians believe the tax system is “unfair” to ordinary Canadians, but they are overwhelmingly willing to think taxes are a public good to provide a good quality of life. By an astonishing 90 per cent to 4 per cent, Canadians believe they have a better quality of life than Americans.

And just imagine how Canadians would feel about their country if they actually received EU-15 or Scandinavian style social programs in return instead of observing Tories and Liberals dinging up national debt followed by a decades of austerity at a time paying debt service charges needlessly to their banking friends. Our's will be a real country some day. We just have to do a little house cleaning in Ottawa is all, as in "clean sweep" with a new broom.

JKR

Consideing that social democratic countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Noway, Switzerland, lead most international comparisons of countries, the NDP could use these countries as models for the kind of place that Canada should be.

The NDP should show Canadians that social democratic places in the world exist that are rated as having the best economies and while also having very low rates of poverty. Places that have accessible education, early childhood education, universal child care, and adequate housing, etc... for all. Places where foodbanks are unknown. Maybe some of the NDP`s campaign ad should feature such social democratic success stories?

As it is many Canadians think the NDP represents radical untried ideas that could not work in the real world.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

You're living in the past, JKR. The social democratic utopias of Scandinavia were short-lived illusions.

[url=http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=49497]Neo-liberalism Preys on Nordic Welfare Systems[/url]

Quote:
HELSINKI, Dec 2, 2009 (IPS) - Nordic welfare state systems, often held up as model in the developed world, are crumbling under the assault of neo-liberal economic policies, say economic experts.

All five of the Nordic countries, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark are experiencing rising poverty, long considered eradicated but now causing concern to policy-makers....

Hidden from public view there is apparently a sweeping undercurrent of social exclusion affecting large sections of populations in the Nordic countries.

All of the Nordic have been hit by rising unemployment with the possible exception of Norway...

According to Wahl, the poverty rate in Norway is 12 percent if one goes by the European Union's definition of poverty which means earning less than 60 percent of the median income in the society.

Oil-rich Norway with fewer than five million inhabitants has had a booming economy for the decade preceding the global financial crisis.

"So Norwegian society is getting wealthier while there is increasing poverty", Wahl told IPS.

The situation is similar in Finland. The previously low rate of relative poverty has doubled among adults and tripled among children, said Markus Jäntti professor of economics at the Institute of Social Research at Stockholm University.

"It is a great achievement of the social democratic parties which were responsible for eradicating poverty but are also the very ones who have reintroduced poverty" remarked Jäntti....

"The work incentive programme was essentially driven by neo-liberalism or by right-wing populism but there is little evidence that it produced any increase in work attachment. But since the programme failed to work no one is drawing the obvious conclusion that there is something wrong with our social policy", he said.

The controversial work incentive programme - also known as workfare, and first introduced in the United States which viewed unemployment as stemming from people's inherent unwillingness to work - has now become the reigning model in most European countries. Critics say it deliberately keeps people under the poverty line and does not address the root causes of unemployment-related poverty....

In the immediate post-World War II period, according to Wahl, the well developed Nordic welfare states came into being as a result of social struggles based on popular mobilisation in confrontation with the counter-forces which led to a great part of the economy taken off the market and made subject to democratic control.

Capital was tightly regulated, labour legislation was introduced, there was regulation of investment, credit control and the maintenance of a huge public sector, as well as a fixed exchange rate.

But in the 1970s up to the 1990s all that changed with the emergence of neo-liberalism. There was redistribution of wealth from the public into private hands and from the poor to the rich - characterised by a growing gap between high and low income earners - and a source of discontent among the population.

When the neo-liberal offensive was launched in the 1980s and 1990s the left political parties which were responsible for the welfare reforms also drifted to the right.

All of these Nordic countries are currently under right-wing political parties, except in Norway where the ruling coalition is made of Centre Left parties - the so-called Red-Green coalition.

"The social democratic parties started moving to the right and became soft neo-liberal parties...."

 

JKR

These countries, even when led by right of centre governments, are still well ahead of Canada in areas such as child care, early childhood education, anti-poverty initiatives, access to all levels of education, environmemntal programs, taxation, income inequality, women's rights, democratic choice,  etc....

Right of centre governments in these countries have in most part kept the social programs established by previous social democratic governments. Hopefully these countries will return social democratic parties to power as part of a retrenching of their social programs.

Because these countries have proportional representation they are never saddled with far right governments as is common with FPTP - e.g. Thatcher, Reagan, GW Bush, Harper etc....

Fidel

Well if this is anything to go by, [url=http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_net_soc_exp_of_gdp-economy-net-soc... social expenditure as a percentage of GDP[/url], Canada is a bastion of neoliberal ideology compared to Nordic countries rating better national health statistics, more competitive economies, and lower rates of poverty even by European standards than Canada since Mulroney Chretien, Martin and now Harper.

The real myth is that the neoliberal voodoo is working in Canada. [url=http://www.thestar.com/business/recession/article/914737--canada-s-econo... Stanford[/url] paints a far less rosy picture of Canada's economy than private sector economists and right wing politicians have described to Canadians.

Fidel

Yes, with real electoral systems like Nordic countries have, the arrogance of Conservative and Liberal parties tends to fade. Elections in Europe and Scandivia are more competitive and tend to produce governments that listen to their constituents for fear of being turfed the next time around. Democracy gaps in the five or so English speaking neoliberalized countries are now gaping divides in comparison with Nordic social democracies. In those countries, they understand why they pay high taxes and actually receive something in return. Here the bastards want to raise consumption taxes in bad times in order to make up for deficits due to their own failed ideology. Where do we even start with the lopsided comparisons?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

It's hilarious to see social democrats so far in denial about the demise of the Scandinavian welfare state that they feel they have to become apologists for the right wing governments of those countries who have been dismantling the welfare state for the past 40 years. 

Fidel

Yeah we better not even think about Nordic social democracy. It's no better than Canada under a 35 year-old neolib stoogeaucracy. lol

JKR

M. Spector wrote:

It's hilarious to see social democrats so far in denial about the demise of the Scandinavian welfare state....

The demise of the Scandinavian welfare state has been greatly exaggerated. The next decade or so will tell the tale whether these social democratic countries slide into mediocrity. That being said, these countries are still the world's leaders in human development. The NDP should be proud to say to Canadians that social democracies are the world's leaders in human development.

And even if these social democracies would slide toward mediocrity, they would likely be the first countries in the world to attempt more radical solutions to establish social equality because social democracy has left these countries with an indelible social conscience.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Anders Svensson, a leader of the Socialist Party of Sweden, wrote:
The Swedish welfare state was (it does not exist any longer, as we see it) a very equal society, if you compare it to other countries. And Sweden still maintains a better equality than most countries. But it's eroding very fast because of the neo-liberal policies from social democratic and right-wing governments of the last 20 years.

We have seen one of the fastest and biggest waves of privatization of public property in Europe. We have a totally privatized pension system that is completely dependent on the stock market.

The school system has in effect been dismantled since the beginning of the 1990s. The quality of the public schools has deteriorated as a result of financial starving. Private schools (funded by tax-money) are where most pupils and students from middle-class and upper-class families study nowadays. The privatization of public health care is speeding up.

The rise of the welfare state was due to the class struggles in the 1920s and 1930s. Sweden had more strikes and mass struggles than any other European country. This resulted in a high level of organization and a class consciousness that survived well into 1970s. But it is rapidly waning and going away.

There is no major struggle against cutbacks, privatization, the suffering of low-wage workers from other countries, and precarious working conditions.

It was also necessary (for the rulers) to keep the welfare state as long as the USSR existed. Otherwise, the Swedish capitalist class feared a revolution like the one in 1917. (We had an uprising/revolution in Sweden that ended with full and equal voting rights and a social democratic government.)

The Swedish welfare state was also heavily dependent on exports, and Sweden still is. What happens in Germany and the U.S. (the biggest trading partners) is for that reason very important to the Swedish economy.

The Swedish transnational companies have always been known for aggressiveness. The family that owns most of the Swedish transnational companies (such as ABB, Ericsson, Electrolux, Atlas-Copco, Stora Enso), the Wallenberg family, is one of the world's most powerful capitalist dynasties. They grew to this importance because of the class collaboration that existed between the end of the 1930s and the beginning of 1980s.

The social democrats guaranteed welfare for the people and profit for the rich. The price was lowered class consciousness and a paternalistic society where the social democrats provided benefits as long as you voted for them. Real class struggle was in reality forbidden, as strikes have been, and are in fact, illegal since an agreement between the trade unions and the employers in the 1930s. As a consequence, class consciousness fell-and the result is not much struggle against the neo-liberal policies imposed by social democratic as well as right-wing governments.

[url=http://www.socialistaction.org/weisleder49.htm]Source[/url]

 

See also: [url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/sep/24/norway-eth...'s Dirty Little Secrets[/url]

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I'm on board with any action that will turf the Reform Party,bring the country back to a sane centre and if the NDP can monopolize with an accord and force some left leaning policies,that would be a HUGE bonus.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Yes we all yearn for the good old "sane" days of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin.  [img]http://i32.tinypic.com/oi5aw2.jpg[/img]

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I hated both of them...Paul Martin was bad but next to Harper,Chretien was Che Gueverra

Fidel

A Che Guevara with a mean handshake. What's afta NAFTA?

wage zombie

M. Spector--Perhaps you know of some countries with less economic inequality than Sweden or Norway?

Fidel

M. Spector's right I was just doing a little reading up on how the Nordic countries are mirror images of the neoliberal setup here in the Puerto Rico del Norte:

[url=http://www.tradingeconomics.com/sweden/current-account-balance-in-us-dol...'s current account balance: surpluses since 1995[/url]  Apparently our corrupt stooges in Ottawa need some help with addition and subtraction

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/jan/11/economy.g8]Sweden proves neoliberals wrong about how to slash poverty. But Brown isn't listening[/url] Monbiot 2005

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Government_Pension_Fund_of_Norway]Norway's Petroleum/Pension Fund $512B USD[/url] socially responsible investing Nordic style. Making Canada look like "a corrupt petro state" by comparison.

[url=http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/factbook-2010-en/11/02/02/index.html?..., environmental, and social statistics: OECD[/url]

Freely accessible PSE for all Swedes, Norwegians, Finlanders and Danes(Google)

[url=http://archive.idea.int/press/pr20011120.htm]High voter turnouts in Denmark[/url] Election rigging no doubt

[url=http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=sweden+infant+mortality&aq... mortality in Sweden?[/url] 2.3/1000

Virtually indistinguishable if it wasn't for a few minor diffs with universal daycare, education, and unionized labour rates,  and so on. But otherwise, they have pretty much the same weather for a few months a year. And they play winter sports there, too. Our corrupt stoogeaucracy in Ottawa compares fairly well on closer look.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

M. Spector wrote:

No I don't believe that at all.

I believe the Liberals would prefer to have all the cabinet positions.

I believe the only reason they agreed to let the NDP have a (disproportionately small) 25% of the cabinet seats was that it was the price demanded by Layton for handing them a blank cheque for 2½ years. (Maybe he demanded more seats, but Dion bargained him down, who knows?)

Brian Topp's [url=http://www.amazon.ca/How-Almost-Gave-Tories-Boot/dp/155277502X]memoir[/url] confirms that the NDP wanted more Cabinet seats and the Liberals wanted them to have fewer.

November 29, 2008: "We wanted seven cabinet seats out of twenty-four. The last Liberal offer was three....In principle, we wanted enough of a team to have at least one minister from every region of the country. One from BC, one from the Prairies, one from Toronto (Layton) [as Deputy PM], one from either Northern or industrial Ontario; one from Quebec; one from the Atlantic."

November 30, 2008: The Liberals offered five seats; Topp countered with six, including Deputy PM. Broadbent met with Chretien and they agreed on six, with no Deputy PM. Their recommendations to their respective parties were accepted.

And that's how the accord ended up with NDP getting 6 out of 24 cabinet seats.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

No deals! Screw the Liberals!

JKR

I'd rather make a deal with the Liberals than have 4 extra years of Conservative phony FPTP government.

Hopefully the NDP will win a majority in 2015 but if that's not in the cards, the only way the NDP will govern will be with the cooperation  of another party or parties that doesn't include the Conservatives.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Chretien and Martin are a dream team next to the garbage we have now.

The NDP will not win a majority...But a coalition CAN.

janfromthebruce

Well considering that you think the lib team is garbage presently, it makes even more sense that the NDP will majority. I mean who votes or wants garbage? And personally, Martin was a slimy piece of work - corporate steam ship master with his crew flying under a foreign flag so they didn't have to pay benefits and pension plans for their labour - now that's slimy.

 

alan smithee wrote:

Chretien and Martin are a dream team next to the garbage we have now.

The NDP will not win a majority...But a coalition CAN.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I agree with you in regards to Paul Martin...I didn't like Chretien either...And I do not support the Libs because they are ball-less liars.

But I can't recall a more divisive,destructive gang of bastards like the 'Conservatives'

They got to go at any and all costs.

And if that means voting Liberal.Rhino or Doug Hennig's old party then sobeit.

Do you really believe the NDP can win a majority on their own?

I wish but let's be realistic,please.

At this point,a coalition would defeat Harper---effortlessly...And it would be a REAL majority--over 50%!

janfromthebruce

well Alan I beg to disagree with you. Chretien with Martin as the finance minister brought in more unprogressive economic changes than Mulroney only dreamed of. Not sure what yu mean by coalition but that is decided after an election and not before.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Great points Jan. Chreiten and Martin got away with murder !(can I say that word?)

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

Chretien with Martin as the finance minister brought in more unprogressive economic changes than Mulroney only dreamed of.

I agree with you. But what's the point of that comment? That you can only form coalitions with nice people? First of all, replace "Mulroney" by "Harper", and see how your statement reads. Next, replace "Chrétien and Martin" by "Liberal-NDP coalition", and see if it still reads the same.

Notwithstanding all the terrible cuts that Paul Martin had brought about as Finance Minister and Prime Minister, Jack Layton met with him in spring of 2005 and agreed to support the Liberal budget, and in fact prop up the Liberal government, in exchange for concessions. That deal lasted for about six months. Was that wrong? If Paul Martin had agreed to some NDP cabinet seats, would Layton have been forced to say, "No, you're worse than Mulroney"?

Quote:
Not sure what yu mean by coalition but that is decided after an election and not before.

Interesting point. Why does that have to be the case?

 

Doug

There's really not much point in discussing this until after the next election. Neither party is in a position yet to think it needs the other.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

The Liberals made cuts...They didn't GUT services.

To state that Chretien and Martin were worse than Harper is delusional at best.

The NDP and Liberals must put this country ahead of their parties and MERGE.

Fact is,if they merged a year ago,there'd be no Harper government today....also fact that a merger would guarantee the Cons will be shown the door in 2015.

How can anyone think that past governments were worse than these fascist bastards---including Mulroney.

What's so hard to understand about this?

janfromthebruce

Well alan, I let facts get in the way of passion. In fact, Chretien and Martin brought in cuts and gutted services in which Mulroney wanted to do but as a "conversative" couldn't get away with without being branded as a hard nosed and uncaring "conservative". Meanwhile the Chretien govt of 1993 got elected on a platform of "jobs jobs jobs", universal childcare, getting rid of the GST, and rejigging NAFTA, and guess what, they did none of those things and restructured social programs, cuts to provincial transfers and so on. Oh, and they took the unemployment money and used it to balance their books - that was workers' $$$.

It wasn't until 2006 and a minority govt, after building a surplus, and giving lots of corporate give aways that they actually had to do anything progressive. I guess you forgot who kept Harper in minority govt up until the 2011 election - eg. it was not the NDP.

Alan I don't want Canada to become what is going on in the states - republican and democratic with just some light really between them.

Unionist, a coalition in my view happens after an election, an accord is an agreement that happens before.

 

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I don't want to be accused of being a Liberal---I'm not...I always vote NDP as I would if there was a provincial NDP party in Quebec which we all know there isn't (I have no idea why since Quebec NEEDS a provincial NDP)

I'm simply stating that Harper has to go and this will never happen with so called 'progressives' choosing not to vote and believing that the NDP can somehow win a majority without merging with the Liberals.

I think we're all on the same team,I just do not buy the notion that this country has ever (atleast in my lifetime) had a more divisive,deceitful,un-Canadian government as the current regime we are stuck with.

Of course PR would probably give the NDP majority numbers,PR is not going to happen any time soon.

I'm with you,I don't want a 2 party system like the Americans but we are dealing with a fascist government right now and we should be working on ridding such a government from ever attaining power again.

I'd rather a merger than a civil war.

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

Unionist, a coalition in my view happens after an election, an accord is an agreement that happens before.

Ok. Personally, I'd like to see a strategy to defeat Harper that has some chances of success. Full disclosure: I consider Harper's regime to be many times worse than what we experienced under Chrétien and Martin.

Jack Layton negotiated a deal with Paul Martin in spring of 2005 to support the budget if it contained certain NDP demands. I thought that was a great idea, in principle.

Jack Layton spearheaded an attempted coalition in December 2008 to defeat the Harper regime. I enthusiastically supported that.

Could we try to imagine an accord before the next election, to prevent Harper from winning another majority? Because if we wait till after, and he wins another majority, it will be too late for a coalition - right?

Lord Palmerston

What do you think of Nathan Cullen's cooperation scheme, unionist?  

Unionist

Lord Palmerston wrote:

What do you think of Nathan Cullen's cooperation scheme, unionist?  

His particular proposal is a non-starter for me primarily because "progressive" isn't good enough to stand for office - you have to swear allegiance to the [url=http://en.nathancullen.ca/joint_nominations]federation[/url]. If I applied that criterion in the union movement, we wouldn't have one. If you want Quebecers to appreciate Canada, let them figure out its worth through experience - not by requiring loyalty oaths as a prerequisite for unity. Cullen's proposal, in that sole respect, would drag the (CCF-)NDP into the deserved wilderness in which it roamed in Québec for 73 years.

Suppose we subtract that criterion. Then we could have an interesting discussion about how to Stop Harper and do something forward-looking, at least in the electoral forum.

The problem with having that discussion here is partisan politics - "partisan" not in the sense of being on the side of workers or women or the poor etc., but in the sense of "[fill in the name of your party] right or wrong!". The discussion degenerates quickly. People remind you of how the Liberals always break promises, as if you were born yesterday and don't know how rotten their governments have been. They don't allow for the fact that there may be individual Liberal/Green/Bloc/other voters who are just as progressive-minded as we think we are in many significant respects - maybe more. Then they tell you how bad the Greens are, as if they're all one colour. Then they tell you the Bloc are traitors to Canada, but even if we're broadminded and ally with them, the stupid Canadian electorate will tar and feather us if we appear in the same photo as one of them. Then when you remind them of the trail of broken promises and neoliberal agendas and betrayals of working people committed by many NDP provincial governments, and say: "... but I'm still prepared to unite with them, so what's your problem with Greens, Liberals, Bloc, etc.?" - the shit hits the fan.

In short, LP, what's the point of having that discussion here? It just leads to fireworks.

Having said that, let's get back to Cullen's proposal for a moment, because I don't really understand it. My bad, I guess. Here's what he says:

Nathan Cullen wrote:
We can, which is why I've proposed holding joint nominations in Conservative-held seats.  These would work much like a primary, with progressive, federalist members -- the NDP, Liberals and Greens -- electing a candidate as we currently do, with the winners facing off to present one candidate, running under one banner (I hope the NDP's), against the Conservative.

What does that mean? Which banner? Who would decide? Would it automatically be the party banner of the individual that happens to be nominated? Would it have to be that? Why not a new banner - one that reflects very specifically the progressive coalition (or whatever you want to call it) aimed at stopping Harper? If the Elections Act can't handle that, maybe they could all run as Independents with that informal banner?

That way, dyed-in-the-wool Liberals/NDPers/Greens/Bloquistes/Cons wouldn't have to go against their religion by casting a ballot for a rival party. A member of the NDP wouldn't actually be violating the NDP constitution, for example, by supporting another party.

Just thinking out loud here.

ETA: In case anyone is actually reading this rambling post, I should of course add the obvious, namely, that after the election, the "Independents" would join with willing partners to form a coalition government if Harper doesn't win a majority. And his chances of a majority would naturally be greatly reduced by such joint nomination contests.

 

 

theleftyinvestor

I think it could make sense in the Cullen proposal to designate joint-nominated candidates as distinct - whether the ballot would say "Joint NDP-Liberal Green Nomination", or "Coalition" or whatever.

I think it would also be important to decide - if the joint nominee is going to represent voters who would have voted for any of 3 or more parties, what are their responsibilities post-election? Should a joint nominee agree in advance not to side with the Conservatives on a specific list of policy issues even when Liberals do? Should they be up-front about which issues they *would* side with Conservatives on if the Liberals do? Should a joint nominee promise not to sit with one party's caucus post-election, or should they clearly define which caucus they will sit with?

Would a joint nomination perhaps be best suited for people who are not actually members of any of the federal parties but who share the aim of a progressive coalition? There are a lot of popular local municipal politicians across the country who fit this description and could do well. Perhaps a Vision Vancouver type could be the one to land a solid defeat of Wai Young in whatever the new Vancouver South will look like.

In regards to Quebec - there aren't very many Conservative held ridings there in the first place, so that limits the number of seats it'd apply to in the first place. Even if Cullen hadn't specifically excluded the Bloc, I am doubtful that residents of those ridings would end up opting for the joint nomination.

Unionist

theleftyinvestor wrote:

In regards to Quebec - there aren't very many Conservative held ridings there in the first place, so that limits the number of seats it'd apply to in the first place. Even if Cullen hadn't specifically excluded the Bloc, I am doubtful that residents of those ridings would end up opting for the joint nomination.

That's hardly the point. It's Cullen's insistence that joint candidates be "federalist" which is the problem. Why not just omit that and let people choose whom they want, without professions of allegiance to the current federation?

As for the rest of your post, it's all food for an interesting discussion, although I don't think the ballot could indicate anything except either a legally registered party, or "independent". Unfortunately, Cullen's proposal never got off the ground, because of all the reasons we know - so none of these issues have been fleshed out - at least, as far as I know.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

theleftyinvestor wrote:

Should a joint nominee promise not to sit with one party's caucus post-election, or should they clearly define which caucus they will sit with?

Doesn't the NDP already have a policy against floor-crossing? Wouldn't running as an independent and then joining the NDP (or Liberal) caucus violate that policy, unless the member resigns and runs in a byelection for the party he or she wants to sit with?

Unionist

No one needs to join anyone else's caucus. The whole point is to have a coalition after the election (unless Harper wins a majority). They need to agree to vote together and form a government together. Everyone would be running on that program, so there's no surprise to the electors.

What do you think of my tweak on Cullen's proposal, Spector?

 

JKR

In India they have had to deal with this problem [aka FPTP] too. They've dealt with FPTP by having opposition parties put up common candidates.

India - First Past the Post on a Grand Scale

Quote:

The major effect of the electoral system, at least until 1977, was to guarantee majority governments based on a minority of voter support. The FPTP electoral system resulted in the ruling Congress party securing stable majorities in the Lok Sabha, usually against a fragmented opposition. But since 1977, when the opposition parties combined to form coalitions and started putting up common candidates against the Congress candidates (as was the case in the 1977 and 1989 general elections), the Congress majorities have vanished.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I think Unionist's idea of common anti-Harper candidates running as independents is a very good one. I would suggest a few more refinements.

1. A central plank of the coalition platform should be to bring in P.R. during the first term, so that the common candidate stratagem would only be necessary for one election.

2. The common candidates chosen could be individuals who have not been active members of any political party, but who are well known and respected in their communities. Thus none of the party cadres would have to feel that they were being forced to vote for "the enemy".

3. The common candidates could agree beforehand to only run once. Thus, there would be no fear of long term effects on the balance between the cooperating parties.

I really think something like this could work. Too bad it seems very unlikely to happen.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

This could be the start of something big.

Last Thursday, we sent a message to the whole Leadnow community. We asked if you would support political cooperation between the NDP, Liberals and Greens to defeat the current government in the next election, and then pass electoral reform. Almost 10,000 responded. 95% said yes, with an astounding 72% “strongly agreeing”.[1]

Now, as the NDP and Liberals choose their new leaders, we urgently need to turn that incredible support into real action.

http://www.leadnow.ca/cooperation

Wilf Day

As I said before, a pre-election alliance is interesting in theory, but in practice would be an option for the NDP in only seven ridings:

Ottawa-Orleans (where PSAC endorsed Liberal David Bertschi last May), Ajax-Pickering (this may explain why Mark Holland is supporting PR, he might in theory pull this off), Don Valley West (where the NDP ran an invisible place-holder last May and the Conservative won by 611 votes, were we already doing an informal alliance?), Eglinton-Lawrence, Etobicoke Centre, Mississauga South, and Yukon (unlikely). That's it. If the Liberals stood down in six or seven as well, would that be revolutionary? But first the Liberals would have to support proportional representation, which only a minority of them do today.

 

janfromthebruce

I'm with Wilf on this one and agree with what he said above. ALL OF IT.

I'm going to respond to Michael's suggestions now:

 

1. A central plank of the coalition platform should be to bring in P.R. during the first term, so that the common candidate stratagem would only be necessary for one election. NOT INFORCEABLE

2. The common candidates chosen could be individuals who have not been active members of any political party, but who are well known and respected in their communities. Thus none of the party cadres would have to feel that they were being forced to vote for "the enemy".  SORRY BUT THEY'D HAVE TO INSPIRE SOMEONE

3. The common candidates could agree beforehand to only run once. Thus, there would be no fear of long term effects on the balance between the cooperating parties. ha ha ha - too many in real time examples to dispute that people change their mind - eg. Rae, many newly minted Con senators!

I really think something like this could work. Too bad it seems very unlikely to happen. I don't see this as workable and the political damage far outweights the gain - which is Wilf pointed out about is 7 SEATS, that's it 7 SEATS!

 

 

 

Wilf Day

janfromthebruce wrote:

I really think something like this could work. Too bad it seems very unlikely to happen. I don't see this as workable and the political damage far outweights the gain - which is Wilf pointed out about is 7 SEATS, that's it 7 SEATS!

Well, seven if we pick up the seven where the Liberals might stand down. And seven the other way around. Makes 14 less Conservatives. Might tip the balance. But pretty hypothetical at this stage.

And that's on the old boundaries. When we have the new boundaries, and Elections Canada calculates the transposition of votes, there might be another few where the NDP would have no hope and could stand down, and maybe four more the other way in BC. Cullen's plan makes the most sense in BC.

But at this point, I think the best stance is to say "we aren't slamming the door on co-operation. We even tried to make Dion Prime Minister, and Ignatieff spent the last campaign bragging that he turned us down. The public wants parties to work together, and we've always been willing to do that. Let's wait and see if the Liberals are really interested." That's actually what the majority voted in Vancouver in June. Cullen's campaign has not been clear enough on this, although I think they're trying.

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

I'm with Wilf on this one and agree with what he said above. ALL OF IT.

Good! So you agree with this part:

Wilf Day wrote:
... a pre-election alliance is interesting in theory ...

So do I. I'd like to find a way to Stop Harper. What do you think of cooperation at the riding level to do that?

Er, by the way, contrary to Wilf's "7 riding" theory, people don't always vote the same way in 2015 as they do in 2011, nor in 2011 the way they do in 2008. When something happens to inspire them, they may radically and overwhelmingly change their minds. Have a look at what swept Québec on May 2. Now imagine if we invite people to forget about "my party right or wrong" for one moment and cooperate at the local riding level - among people who know each other, who work and live and go to school together - for an important cause, the cause of stopping the dismantling of Canada. You might find that such a movement could baffle the number crunchers and produce interesting results in 70 ridings, not 7.

 

janfromthebruce

nay Unionist and I liked Wilf's 2nd last post here. I'm just not interested.

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:
. . . contrary to Wilf's "7 riding" theory, people don't always vote the same way in 2015 as they do in 2011 . . . You might find that such a movement could baffle the number crunchers and produce interesting results in 70 ridings, not 7.

No doubt, but the core of Cullen's plan is, the local riding association decides. I found six ridings in Ontario where I can see that as possible. And even some of them might say, as Unionist just said, that people will vote differently in 2015, and therefore they insist on running an NDP candidate. Certainly Mulcair has repeatedly made the point that, if Cullen's plan had been in effect in the last election, the majority of our Quebec caucus would not even have run.

Cullen's plan makes the most sense in BC. In return for the NDP agreeing to ask its ridings to consider the plan, BC Liberal ridings would also consider it; and that could result in a single candidate (NDP) winning the following ridings if we were still on the present boundaries: Nanaimo-Alberni, Vancouver Island North, and maybe Fleetwood-Port Kells; with a shot at Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, Kootenay-Columbia and Okanagan-Coquihalla, and maybe even Cariboo-Prince George, Pitt Meadows--Maple Ridge--Mission and Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam. On the new boundaries, several more.

One problem is, voters don`t watch closely enough. If they hear the Liberals and NDP are co-operating, they may switch their vote the wrong way where both parties are running.

It`s all premature until the Liberals express willingness to co-operate on terms that include proportional representation. I`m just making two points:

1. Not slamming the door on the Liberals is a good stance.

2. If we were to actually do it, there are few ridings where the local NDP would ever stand down.

Unionist

Wilf Day wrote:

But at this point, I think the best stance is to say "we aren't slamming the door on co-operation. We even tried to make Dion Prime Minister, and Ignatieff spent the last campaign bragging that he turned us down. The public wants parties to work together, and we've always been willing to do that. Let's wait and see if the Liberals are really interested." That's actually what the majority voted in Vancouver in June. Cullen's campaign has not been clear enough on this, although I think they're trying.

Oh, I think I disagree with that.

Why should this strategy depend on whether or not the Liberals are interested?

I never really understood the detail of Cullen's approach, but maybe we should fill them in ourselves.

Forget about the Liberal Party - go after the Liberals. And Greens. And Bloquistes. And others too, why not. Reach out locally. If there's agreement on a candidate, run her for her party - if her party says "no" to this process, then run her as an anti-Harper Independent. Lots of room for refinement of this approach, no?

theleftyinvestor

Wilf Day wrote:

Cullen's plan makes the most sense in BC. In return for the NDP agreeing to ask its ridings to consider the plan, BC Liberal ridings would also consider it; and that could result in a single candidate (NDP) winning the following ridings if we were still on the present boundaries: Nanaimo-Alberni, Vancouver Island North, and maybe Fleetwood-Port Kells; with a shot at Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, Kootenay-Columbia and Okanagan-Coquihalla, and maybe even Cariboo-Prince George, Pitt Meadows--Maple Ridge--Mission and Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam. On the new boundaries, several more.

One problem is, voters don`t watch closely enough. If they hear the Liberals and NDP are co-operating, they may switch their vote the wrong way where both parties are running.

It`s all premature until the Liberals express willingness to co-operate on terms that include proportional representation. I`m just making two points:

1. Not slamming the door on the Liberals is a good stance.

2. If we were to actually do it, there are few ridings where the local NDP would ever stand down.

A particularly contentious riding where the NDP could conceivably be asked if they'd stand down would be Vancouver South (or whatever remains of it). The NDP riding association there, I've heard, is fiercely anti-Liberal. But the idea of jointly nominating someone who is not resolutely tied to either the Liberal or NDP could well be a strategy that wins over the association. I'd suggest George Chow if it weren't for the fact that he's already on their sh!tlist for having supported Dosanjh instead of Meena Wong federally before trying to mount a bid to run for the BCNDP in Vancouver-Fraserview. But maybe someone else on the Vision team (remember there will be another civic election in 2014, so an incumbent could retire).

theleftyinvestor

M. Spector wrote:

theleftyinvestor wrote:

Should a joint nominee promise not to sit with one party's caucus post-election, or should they clearly define which caucus they will sit with?

Doesn't the NDP already have a policy against floor-crossing? Wouldn't running as an independent and then joining the NDP (or Liberal) caucus violate that policy, unless the member resigns and runs in a byelection for the party he or she wants to sit with?

The spirit of the policy is against electing someone who says they belong to one party and then later goes behind the voter's backs to join the NDP caucus.

If the candidate wins the joint nomination when it's known that they'll sit with the NDP, and says during the election "I have been jointly nominated, and the ballot will reflect this fact, but I am disclosing that I will sit with the NDP caucus", then there is really no deception at all.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

So you're talking about a candidate who is essentially an NDP candidate in all but name. Why run as a nominal "independent" at all?

Further questions arise: Why would Liberals and Greens vote for such a candidate?

What happens if the Liberals get more seats than the NDP - would the "Independent" MP sit with the Liberals if the NDP and Liberals don't form a coalition government?

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