Uniting the "Left" Pt II

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robbie_dee
Uniting the "Left" Pt II

 

robbie_dee

Could the results of this election precipitate a merger between the Liberals, NDP and/or Greens?

Toronto Star columnist [url=http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/94530]David Olive[/url] seems to think so.

[url=http://www.thestar.com/FederalElection/article/501838]The Liberal Democratic Party?[/url]

quote:

On Thursday, the leader of a centre-left federal political party was in Kitchener to unveil a $1.25-billion-year program to create 165,000 child-care spaces. The same day, the leader of another centre-left party was at an east-end Toronto day-care centre pledging a $1.45-billion-a-year plan to create a minimum of 150,000 child-care spaces.

A tweak here, a minor adjustment there, and the competing campaign pledges would be indistinguishable. The most salient thing the promises by Stйphane Dion and Jack Layton have in common is that neither will see fruition, at least not under a government formed by Dion or Layton, respectively, after voters cast their ballots Oct. 14. So far, at least, polls show Stephen Harper's Tories heading for a renewed minority government or perhaps even a majority that day.

We appear set for a replay of the 2000 election, when then-PM Jean Chrйtien, against the wishes of a fretful Liberal caucus he memorably dubbed "Nervous Nellies," exploited a divided right and was vindicated with a renewed majority in what was initially derided as an unnecessary snap election.

Eight years later, the Tories are poised to return the favour, exploiting a split among no fewer than four opposition parties vying for centrist and left-of-centre votes, and coast to a renewed minority or even a majority in another snap election also widely seen as unnecessary.

So soon, we've gone from a Liberal monopoly that feasted on divided opposition through three majority governments to a new one-party rule under the Tories.

Uniting the left is a notion in increasing favour with pollsters, pundits and pols like Lorne Calvert, the former Saskatchewan premier who believes Canadians would be more comfortable with a two-party system and that his NDP is the natural base for building an alternative to the Tories.

It must be said that "uniting the left" is something of a misnomer. It would be an awkward coalescence of corporate-apologist Liberals, capitalist-bashing Dippers, the separatist Bloc Quebecois and libertarian Greens. Yet some combination of those moderate and centre-left parties has rarely seemed a timelier proposition.

Canadians are comfortable in what purists on both the right and left scorn as the mushy middle. Storming the Bastille in dinner jackets after tucking the kids in for the night is an urge not much given to us.

The numbers tell the story of our satisfaction with nation-defining values of civility, moderation, communally funded health care and other entitlements, and wealth redistribution. As parties perceived to embody those values, the Grits and NDP have captured an average combined 51.6 per cent of Commons seats in the past 10 elections since 1974 – a number that would be higher if proportional representation replaced the current first-past-the-post system. That compares with the 39.6 per cent won during that period by the now-defunct Progressive Conservatives and Canadian Alliance parties and the new party most of their members united four years ago to create, the ruling Conservative Party of Canada.

The Grits won six of those 10 elections, and would have won eight if partnered with the NDP. (The two exceptions arose from the brief ownership of Quebec by Brian Mulroney's Tories in 1984 and 1988.) Add in the social democratic BQ, which has averaged 15.9 per cent of Common seats in its five electoral outings, and the average Commons representation of centrist and moderate-left voters rises to 71.1 per cent.

Governing with anything but a convincing mandate – the Tories won just 36 per cent of the vote in 2006 – Harper has skilfully managed as if he had a majority, easily gaining passage of more than 70 bills and his two budgets. He has reinvented minority government by designating an inordinate portion of government bills as confidence votes, daring the opposition to force an election. And by selectively ignoring legislation – including his own fixed-election-date law – when it suits him. In that sense, it hardly matters whether the Tories are returned with a minority or majority. Which should make the urgency of uniting to defeat the Tories altogether that much more obvious among the government's opponents.

"With Layton focusing on Harper, there's never been a better time for the Liberals and Greens to `unite the left,' go easy on the NDP, and bring down the Harper government," says NDP politics blogger Devin Johnston. "Instead, most Liberals seem to have resigned themselves to the fact they can't beat Harper this time around. Therefore, they are doing the next best thing: attack the NDP."

Because they fish in the same waters, Grits and Dippers have traditionally had far more contempt for each other than for the Tories, despite their ostensible ideological compatibility.

But the dynamics, as they say, are changing. The NDP that sought to quit NATO and nationalize banks and oil companies is long past – to the chagrin of the far left – and the ties with organized labour that gave rise to the NDP's creation in 1961 are frayed. Today's Grits, for their part, have purged or otherwise lost most of their right-wing stalwarts, including Paul Martin, John Manley, Roy MacLaren and David Emerson.

In the past two elections, Layton, a one-time energy consultant, has adopted business-friendly policies of funding his proposed retrofitting of commercial and government buildings to make them energy efficient, and spending heavily on environmental technology to create tens of thousands of "green jobs." The Grits, meanwhile, have poached from the NDP their new priorities of income equality, urban renewal, infrastructure rebuilding, pharmacare and curbing climate change.

Practically speaking, the Grits and Dippers complement each other. "Despite the fact the Liberals lack vision and policy, the party does know how to seek, gain and hold power," notes Arthur Weinreb, associate editor of Canada Free Press. "The New Democrats, on the other hand, responsible for much of Canada's social policy, have never held power federally and their chances of doing so in the near future appear to be grim. The merger between the Liberals and the NDP seems to be a perfect fit."


[Edited to note this thread as a belated continuance from [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=005272]he...

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]

Left J.A.B.

I reject outright the notion that the Liberals are left and that the current Greens are anything more than a right wing splinter group that has co-opted the language of the left to fool a number of well intentioned progressives.

daveNewDem

CRAP CRAP AND MORE CRAP

Progressives who push for a united left will see the same thing happen to their values as those of the Progressive Conservatives after the merger with Reform

I know that I have not found the Liberal Party to be progressive since the early 70s (and that progressive quality was a reflection of the times and trying to shore up their support against a growing NDP).

I personally think that the Liberals are loosing ground and will be in bad shape by the end of this but it will be because they don't realize that people want parties that believe in more than gaining and keeping power. They want parties that represent real policy options and ideas.

The only strength left in the Liberal brand (brand because it ain't a party of ideals) is in Ontario and in parts of the maritimes.

This is the moment for the NDP to truly push through and really have a shot at governing (yes difficult - not impossible in a minority scenario) but then it does mean that people will have to vote their hopes and values and not from a place of cynicism and fear.

I would suggest that I would rather identify with Ed Broadbent and Bill Blaikie, wise man of principle than with Bob Rae and Ujjal Dosanjh political opportunist and mediocre leaders.

jrootham

I've been in civic election campaigns that were fairly explicitly NDP-Liberal alliances. They are fucking annoying. The way the parties operate differ enough that attempting to merge them would be a guaranteed disaster since significant numbers of party workers (mostly NDP) would just leave.

I'm much more interested in working for PR (which is at least as likely to happen) than allying with the Liberals, although I would happily work in a governing coalition with Liberals in a PR environment (modulo a really hard nosed political deal on policy).

Stockholm

Another option would be for Canada to adopt Australian style "preferential voting" where people rank their choices on the ballot. That way, people who vote NDP, Liberal, Green or BQ can all unite in always ranking the Conservatives dead last on their ballots and Canada would end up with an almost permanent non-Conservative majority since the other parties could all agree to preference each other ahead of the Conservastives.

janfromthebruce

So the libs are tanking in this election, and the SOS goes out to save them?

Oliver and other lib appologist are wrapped in the myth that the libs are left. Iggy and his troops which would have marched in lock-step with Martin are there.

Besides libs promised national daycare since 1993. As we heard, libs are just doing their fake to the left - again!

I see neither libs now or Greens now as left.

Sorry but this dog won't hunt. I did love these quotes in the article, and add fuel to thought for New Democratic strategies for this election.


quote:

"With Layton focusing on Harper, there's never been a better time for the Liberals and Greens to `unite the left,' [b]go easy on the NDP[/b], and bring down the Harper government," says NDP politics blogger Devin Johnston. "Instead, most Liberals seem to have resigned themselves to the fact they can't beat Harper this time around. Therefore, they are doing the next best thing: attack the NDP."

quote:

notes Arthur Weinreb, associate editor of Canada Free Press. "[b]The New Democrats, on the other hand, responsible for much of Canada's social policy.[b/]

Attacking the party that brought us most of Canada's social policy, which Canadians cherish and love and bind us together as a nation.

And of note, Devon Johnston gets a couple of quotes. Note he does not bash the liberals but suggests that if Liberal really cared about Canada they would ease up on New Democrats to slay Harper. Good quote and looks like Layton is on the right lens, and libs are not.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I have news for you, the left is nothing more than a word. To be effective, the left must form and dissolve coalitions as circumstances demand.

There is no true left no more than there is any true religion. The left embodies essentially two certain values which are [i]social and economic justice[/i] for all and especially workers and the vulnerable. It isn't rocket science.

The path to get there, or rather the various true paths, is what is at the core of the left's inability to coalesce into real political power.

However, the left is joined at various times by women, people of color, environmentalists, peace activists, religious organizations, and many, many individuals.

As an example, environment, to many, is a social and economic justice issue. But the same tensions that exist in the middle and the right, also exist among the left. So, for some, who are on the left, jobs and economic growth to eliminate poverty (it is a perception and not my own), trounces environment.

The greater the issue, the larger the left. The more narrow the issue, the smaller the left.

The question for self-described leftists on this board is rather simple - unlike rocket science: Is the threat of a majority Harper government sufficient for the left to come together in a grand coalition?

If yes, what demands would various powerful representatives of the left demand from those in the centre- and centre-right for joining?

Is there any issue important enough to trump party sectarianism on the left? I would hope so, but the evidence doesn't offer optimism.

Left J.A.B.

What is it that Greens and Liberals don't get about thier party being left? It just isn't. There is no grand coalition to unite becuase the Liberals have walked in lock step with the Conservatives on virtually every issue when it comes to economics.

The Liberals are an amalgam of mostly right-leaning people- think Paul Steckle and a few progressives. If the Liberals want to splinter and the centre left of their party (not centre left in Canadain politics)come into the real progressive tent and the right join the Conservatives we might all be better off regardless of the outcome of one single election.

[ 20 September 2008: Message edited by: Left J.A.B. ]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Left J.A.B.:
[b]What is it that Greens and Liberals don't get about there party being left. It isn't. There is no grand coalition to unite becuase the Liberals have walked in lock step with the Conservatives on virtually every issue when it comes to economics.

The Liberals are an amalgam of mostly right-leaning people- think Paul Steckle and a few progressives. If the Liberals want to splinter and the centre left of their party (not centre left in Canadain politics)come into the real progressive tine and the right join the Conservatives we might all be better off regardless of the outcome of one single election.[/b]


quote:

Is there any issue important enough to trump party sectarianism on the left? I would hope so, but the evidence doesn't offer optimism.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by janfromthebruce:
[b]So the libs are tanking in this election, and the SOS goes out to save them?[/b]

Yep!

quote:

[b]I see neither libs now or Greens now as left. [/b]

They aren't and sadly they would and are attacking the only party that has:

quote:

[b]brought us most of Canada's social policy, which Canadians cherish and love and bind us together as a nation.

And of note, Devon Johnston gets a couple of quotes. Note he does not bash the liberals but suggests that if Liberal really cared about Canada they would ease up on New Democrats to slay Harper. Good quote and looks like Layton is on the right lens, and libs are not.[/b]


Proves that they are non-thinkers and are definitely not concerned with actual social justice and environmental change.

Left J.A.B.

You understand that the Liberals and Greens are not left eh?

If you do repeating the same stuff doesn't make your point, it makes it seem like you just don't get the issues.

What economic issues important to the left would the Liberals endorse? We had 13 years of them pursuing the exact same economic policies Harper has pursued. I would be pretty sceptical of death bed conversions.

Alone30s

quote:


Originally posted by Left J.A.B.:
[b]You understand that the Liberals and Greens are not left eh?[/b]

Yup we get that. I am a Liberal and I lean a little to the left. Mr. Fisher who lives next door is a Liberal too. He leans a little to the right fiscally. My mother grew up in a Progressive Conservative houshold, but she and dad vote Liberal. I would say they are about in the center with their ideas and stuff.

So you see, you are right - the Liberals are NOT left. Just some of us are. Thank you for pointing that out. But we all work from within the same party to make it balance out as best we can for Canadians. Big tent eh? As I scan back over the last century, I see it's working. And it will again. Maybe sooner than some believe.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


You understand that the Liberals and Greens are not left eh?

If you do repeating the same stuff doesn't make your point, it makes it seem like you just don't get the issues.


You don't understand what "left" is. I gave you a definition above. A failure to understand that the left must work in coalitions would preclude you from being left. That means any Liberals, Greens, and NDPers who do know the role of coalitions in left politics is more left than you are.

Amazing, eh? You thought you were left. Fooled yourself.

Paul Gross

quote:


Some commentators have mused on the prospects of some sort of Liberal-NDP-Green coalition should the Tories be re-elected. Michael Ignatieff, campaigning in Whitby, Ont., yesterday strongly rejected such a possibility.

"I don't think the Liberal Party of Canada is a party of the left. There's no coalition to be done," he said. "We're a party of the centre and people vote for us because we're in the centre."


[url=http://theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080920.ELECTNDP20/TPStory... and mail[/url]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

You see, Ignatieff, not being of the left, outright rejects a coalition. He can do that, because his interests are met by a Conservative government easily as well as a right-leaning Liberal government.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The Greens, being committed to "market" solutions, are by definition not of the left. Being committed to market values and "small government" automatically puts you against social justice and anything remotely helpful to working people.

Canada doesn't need Blairism.

thorin_bane

FM your definition of the left is the same one the Conservatives use. Not those of us on the left use. Do you think it is any coincidence that the greens are a right wing party that panders to the left [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]
Hell most of the board is pissed at how much to the right the NDP are, nevermind the libs and greens.

[ 20 September 2008: Message edited by: thorin_bane ]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Ken Burch:
[b]The Greens, being committed to "market" solutions, are by definition not of the left. Being committed to market values and "small government" automatically puts you against social justice and anything remotely helpful to working people.

Canada doesn't need Blairism.[/b]


See, there we are again. The great NDP lie once more rearing its ugly head. Okay, Ken, in what way is the NDP not a market party? I mean, isn't a cap and trade program, the auctioning, selling, and trading of carbon credits, by definition, a market solution? Or have you developed a new definition for "market solutions"?

Layton and the NDP [i]is[/i] Blairism. Get real.

quote:

FM your definition of the left is the same one the Conservatives use. Not those of us on the left use.

It is? Provide me an example of that if you don't mind. And in any case, it is a correct definition.

quote:

Do you think it is any coincidence that the greens are a right wing party that panders to the left

Define right. By right wing I think of free market, consumer culture, status quo.

That would make the NDP a right wing party no different in scope than the other two.

quote:

Hell most of the board is pissed at how much to the right the NDP are, nevermind the libs and greens.

And yet you schill only for the NDP despite it being as market and status quo oriented as the others.

Interesting.

I think that goes to what Tomy Paine was saying yesterday about most of the NDP being middle- to upper-class folk committed to keeping rotten institutions because they are net beneficiaries of the rotten system.

[ 20 September 2008: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]

Bookish Agrarian

Good freakin god.

Not more of this blarney.

I can't even begin to express how sick to death I am of hearing this same crap I have been hearing for the whole of my adult life.

The day the NDP merges with the Liberals and/or the Greens is the day I start a new social democratic party. The NDP is a social democratic party, that means our economic analysis of the capitalist system leads us to beleive in a mixed economy and that government has a role to play in leveling class disperity. The Liberals and Greens simply do not share this vision.

There is no point to this sort of discussion other than a blantant attempt by Liberals and their more economicly conservative little cousin the Greens to try and marganilze social democrats and the questions we raise about who does and does not benefit in our economic structure.

ravenj

The world is going a bit weird right now. Remember how the NDP was criticized on its old policy of nationalizing banks? Well, the US Republican government is doing just that. I know the intents are different, but I can't help but to wonder what is "Left" from this point on.

I do agree this current thinking of "uniting the left" is not worth considering.

George Victor

Heard a Republican senator out of Florida say that debt has been nationalized and profit privatized with the Wall Street bailouts.

Seems to me that's sort of what New Democrats and the CCF before them have been alluding to all our lives.

But given the traumatic state that capitalism finds itself in, is it not time for we social democrats to begin putting it into economic terms...even to the degree that the good senator from Florida does? Time to show that the stodgy old New Democrats in the West, always dutifully balancing their budgets, knew how to run economies and could do so nationally?

If we can't demonstrate in the midst of this crisis point of finance capital, that capitalism has to be regulated by the book, and large areas of it nationalized in the name of preservation of resources and jobs, then we should hand in our critics' kits.

Providing security for all our pensions savings while building public transportation and renewable energy projects with them. Something with real equity, not ABCPaper for the derivatives crowd. Etc. Etc. Etc. Don't think the Greens and Libs are up to that. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I'm all for uniting progressive voters behind one party.

Amalgamating one left wing party with too right wing parties who scam some progressive voters is NOT the way to accomplish this.

The way to unite the left is to destroy the Liberal Party a a viable political and electoral force.

Doug Woodard

quote:


Originally posted by Malcolm French, APR:
[b]
The way to unite the left is to destroy the Liberal Party a a viable political and electoral force.[/b]

That won't work; the NDP carries too much baggage and can't look at the future clearly.

What David Olive is talking about is a coalition of the moderate centre-right, the centre, and the moderate left, in one big-tent party, although he's not thinking clearly about the Greens. Probably as soon as the Conservatives responded by shedding most of their neocons and social conservatives, Olive's super-party would break up.

A more realistic solution is proportional representation. But it seems the NDP doesn't really want that. What it wants is to repeat Bob Rae's feat in 1990 Ontario and win a majority government on a minority of the votes, without thinking about where that would lead it. It's not likely.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario

NorthReport

Let's put this in context, shall we!

David Olive, columnist for the Liberal Party's main media outlet in Canada, the Toronto Star (followed closely by the CBC by-the-way), looks out his window, and sees trouble ahead for his beloved Liberals. Not tiny, little troubles, but big, major troubles. In this current election campaign, Olive obviously sees a serious deterioration from the previous dismal Liberal election campaign. Like it's obviously going from bad to worse for his hapless Liberals. So M Olive, being the classy guy he is, wants to drag the NDP down into the gutter with the Liberals. Even if what he proposes is idiotic, don't ya just feel for dis man. It sounds like he needs a hug real bad, and he had better get one bfore the vote results on October 14, because it sure looks like that is gonna be one ugly nite for the people he pumps for, the Liberal Party of Canada.

Layton must be having quite the chuckle over yet another pathetic attempt by the Liberals to confuse the voters.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

(dupe post. self-delete)

[ 21 September 2008: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The other question you always have to ask about tactical voting proposals like this in the Canadian context is, what are the Liberals going to give the NDP in exchange for the NDP playing ball with them?

Will we see the Liberals, for example, dropping out of the race in every Tory-held B.C. riding and all the Saskatchewan ridings other than Goodale's, for example?

Will they pull their candidate against Mulcair in Outremont?

Will the Liberals even offer any pro-worker policies(you know, like the ones they've never offered before)?

And what, exactly, does the Liberal Party's "Mini-Me"(the Green Party)bring to the table in this?
Will they drop out in all ridings outside BC and Central Nova(that is, all the ridings they already know they have no chance of winning)?

These questions will never get answered.

This is because the Liberals are, in fact, offering NOTHING in any of these scenarios. They just want the NDP to pull all of its candidates in marginal Tory ridings, and won't(as was the case in B.C. in 2004)give anything back.

[ 21 September 2008: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


The day the NDP merges with the Liberals and/or the Greens is the day I start a new social democratic party.

Ohhhhh, I see what the problem is here.

Here let me help:

A coalition is an among individuals, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant. Possibly described as a joining of 'factions'.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition

The combining of two or more independent bodies into a single body.
[url=http://www.ono-island-real-estate.com/dictionary/M.html]www.ono-island-r...

I'll let you digest that for a while. I know its complicated, but take your time.

quote:

The way to unite the left is to destroy the Liberal Party a a viable political and electoral force.

I know! Because being permanently under the thumb of the right is just so much better.

Sean in Ottawa

Frustrated-- I can tell why you are so frustrated.

I realize you don't agree and that's okay we don't have to. But this is a fundamental disagreement. You see many people here believe, as I do, that the thumb of the right is both red and blue. If you think about this for a while you will see how ridiculous your proposal actually is.

In order to succeed, you would have to convince people here that there is enough of a distinction between the Liberals and the Cons to be worthy of sacrificing our electoral independence -- even temporarily as you do acknowledge. The problem is that the record of the Liberals in campaigns appears to support your view but the record of Liberals in government directly and completely contradicts it.

Indeed, for your argument to win, we would need to see the Liberals elected without NDP help (something that is deeply unlikely)
and then see them bring in truly progressive legislation. Unfortunately, left to their own devices the Liberals support the same kind of policies that they have all last year-- Conservative ones. This is why we fight to elect an alternative to this.

We have indeed heard Liberals sound as progressive as Dion can sound on a good day, support all the regressive crap that he was supposedly fighting against. For this you only have to go back to the very last example of a Liberal government overturning a Conservative one-- remember that? Axe the GST? Tear up the FTA? Child care? I remember that. I would need to have a severe case of Alzheimers to vote for the Liberals or support any kind of alliance with these liars, cheats and the consumers of political space that they have no intention of representing while in office.

Anyway, I thought I would help you by explaining what you are up against here. It is not your argument that is so much at fault but the reality the Liberals have created that they simply can not, ever, ever, ever be trusted to do what they say they would do once they get into government

Bookish Agrarian

[ 21 September 2008: Message edited by: Bookish Agrarian ]

Sean in Ottawa

Frustrated-- please observe the speed in which this idea is rejected? This is a Lead balloon.

The Liberals are discredited-- the only unity will come when they no longer occupy any significant political space and the vote is split between two truly opposing visions.

I realize this is not what you want to hear and this means we all have a lot of work cut out for us -- but this is the reality and anything else is a simplistic diversion that only makes the end job more difficult. Even if you do not agree-- the vast majority of New Democrats think this way-- this is why we vote NDP even when we have no chance in our ridings. With this opinion representing the NDP you will have to come up with a completely different strategy to oppose the Cons.

If the so called progressive Liberals think they are so close to the NDP and want to stop Harper, then they should move to us since we have real historical reasons not to see things the other way.

Liberals should understand this. Often the smaller initial group is actually the better compromise. The reason is that those who thought like you already have joined the Liberals but because the NDP has been smaller the group that could come to the NDP remains undetermined.

Try to get the Liberals to come to the NDP as a compromise if you like-- although I am not convinced that will sell. But, I must say life is far too short for you to be spending your precious energy that needs to be spent saving the planet trying to get New Democrats to get in bed with the Liberal party on anything other than a confidence motion to bring down a Con government-- and even that we can't succeed with.

[ 21 September 2008: Message edited by: Sean in Ottawa ]

MCunningBC

quote:


Originally posted by robbie_dee:
[b]Could the results of this election precipitate a merger between the Liberals, NDP and/or Greens?

Toronto Star columnist [url=http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/94530]David Olive[/url] seems to think so.

[url=http://www.thestar.com/FederalElection/article/501838]The Liberal Democratic Party?[/url]

[/b]


I am really surprised, Robbie. Surprised that you would point to an article on restructuring the Canadian political left that make no mention of organized labour.

How could the NDP get along with Liberals and Greens, both of which parties are made up of memberships that are contemptuous of and hostile towards unions?

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]I can't even begin to express how sick to death I am of hearing this same crap I have been hearing for the whole of my adult life.

The day the NDP merges with the Liberals and/or the Greens is the day I start a new social democratic party. [/b]


Yes, I concur, and IMV it certainly would not happen. For the very same reasons you denote below.

quote:

[b]The NDP is a social democratic party, that means our economic analysis of the capitalist system leads us to beleive in a mixed economy and that government has a role to play in leveling class disperity. The Liberals and Greens simply do not share this vision.

There is no point to this sort of discussion other than a blantant attempt by Liberals and their more economicly conservative little cousin the Greens to try and marganilze social democrats and the questions we raise about who does and does not benefit in our economic structure.[/b]


There will soon be a day, and it might be even sooner than some people think, where workers of Canada understand that they are not served by those who are actually contemptuous of those who actually make this country work, and vote accordingly.

Polunatic2

quote:


What is it that Greens and Liberals don't get about thier party being left? It just isn't. There is no grand coalition to unite

I agree with the first supposition but I do think there are progressive people who identify with both the libs and greens. But that doesn't make them left parties.

As for the "grand coalition", there is one that should be built - but not with other political parties. It's uniting social movement activists and others who consider themselves on the left around some kind of realistic electoral program.

However, this would require an openness from the NDP to consider policy alternatives that were shelved a long time ago as well as new policies. It would require some kind of shift in approach - from pure electoralism to a blend of activism and elections.

Yes, I'm aware that many NDP activists are involved in social movements already, but that's more on their own initiative than as a party policy or strategy. And I know there are some riding associations that take on issues and try to build their base in between elections - but I think those are a small minority and are fuelled by the energy and initiative of riding activists.

Just as NDPers don't want to subsumed by the Liberals, many on the non-NDP left don't want to be subsumed to the NDP.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Doug Woodard:
[b]

That won't work; the NDP carries too much baggage and can't look at the future clearly.[/b]


Baggage?

141 years of Grit and Tory scandal, incompetence and corruption doesn't stand in their way, but the NDP has too much baggage???

[img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

Needless to say, Doug W., I found the rest of your post just as fuzzy-headed.

Tommy_Paine

quote:


Originally posted by Malcolm French, APR:
[b]I'm all for uniting progressive voters behind one party.

Amalgamating one left wing party with too right wing parties who scam some progressive voters is NOT the way to accomplish this.

The way to unite the left is to destroy the Liberal Party a a viable political and electoral force.[/b]


[b]HERE HERE![/b]

We could put this silly ideas to rest, and send the bamboozlers and three card monte guys packing if we only had a coherent deffinition for what "left" is, and a coherent vision for where we want to progress, and a coherent methodology for arriving there.

But we don't. And as long as we don't, we make ourselves easy prey for these snake oil salesmen.

We need a new manifesto. And I'm sorry, while I may be smart and educated enough to know this, I am niether when it comes to writting it.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

[ 21 September 2008: Message edited by: Lard Tunderin' Jeezus ]

ceti ceti's picture

Come on, the NDP is not even left, it's just a pale shade of centre left. The Liberals have been like the old Progressive Conservatives for a while now.

The choice really is whether Harper, who is the farthest right Canada has ever gone and the most dangerous on a global scale, will be given a free hand to drive Canada further to the right. The convergence of corporate forces with the neo-Conservative ideology is the most the dangerous thing facing the planet right now -- a growing shadow that has already captured power in the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, etc. If Harper is given the keys to the dominion, he will no doubt become a key ideological and military member of this new "Northern block".

The old Canadian consensus died when the Reform-Alliance absorbed the Progressive Conservatives. At least that allowed Canadians to muddle through. That's no longer case. The new Conservatives are stoking the embers of reaction and resentment, selfishness and fear, and riding them to election victory

The question is whether one prioritizes the need to combat this threat and unite all non-Conservative forces, whether on the centre, left, or even right as you may argue in the Green case.

I think a lot of Canadians instinctually understand this as demonstrated by the ABC movement, but partisan politics are such that non-fascist forces will be weakened and divided further after this election.

And then a Weimar-like disaster.

[ 21 September 2008: Message edited by: ceti ]

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The dirty secret is, if the NDP pulled its candidates in the bulk of ridings(which is what "strategic voting" actually means in the minds of the Liberal Party)they'd be unable to go back and recontest those ridings in the future, and thus they'd stop being a national party. Which is the actual Liberal objective behind the "strategic voting" talk.

Aristotleded24

quote:


Originally posted by ceti:
[b]The choice really is whether Harper, who is the farthest right Canada has ever gone and the most dangerous on a global scale, will be given a free hand to drive Canada further to the right. [/b]

That is a certainty. Even in the likely event that Harper fails to win a majority, the Liberals will be so weak that they will simply roll over and let Harper do what he wants. Basically as things have been for the last year.

Red T-shirt

I totally agree with the poster that stated "this dog won't hunt"! I loved Tommy Douglas for his ability to put complex situations into very simple terms that the public could easily understand. He would take one look at this proposal and say "NO" because it does the inhabitants of mouseland no good to form alliances with either the Black Cats or the White Cats. To modernize the situation a bit he might even add that the Green Cats are not our freinds either.
Liberals are in deep trouble right now and whenever that happens they drift toward the left and try to steal enough support to survive. Liberals are famous for cmapigning on the left and then governing from the right.
I'm all for a coalition government and I strongly support proportional representation, but a merger is out of the question.

MCunningBC

quote:


Originally posted by Ken Burch:
[b]The dirty secret is, if the NDP pulled its candidates in the bulk of ridings(which is what "strategic voting" actually means in the minds of the Liberal Party)they'd be unable to go back and recontest those ridings in the future, and thus they'd stop being a national party. Which is the actual Liberal objective behind the "strategic voting" talk.[/b]

As practiced, the Liberal/Hargrove/Stanford vote strategic scams were designed to not only elect more Liberals in Ontario, but to elect more Conservatives in the West by misdirecting people towards third place Liberal candidates. It's part of the game of duopoly played by the Red/Blue team.

MCunningBC

quote:


Originally posted by ceti:
[b]And then a Weimar-like disaster.

[/b]


Does this qualify as a Godwin post?

I rather like your brand of Liberal doomsday rant, much more so than those of other, less sophisticated practitioners. There is a charming tone of intellectualism to it, as opposed to the harsh and hectoring "don't be a loser" talk which most Liberals peddle.

After this is all over, you may be able to find a niche in the marketing industry.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

There is a word to describe a mouse (progressive) who advocates "coalitions" and "mergers" with the red and green cats because the blue cats are so "scary."

The word is "idiot."

Of course, most of those who propose these foolish ideas aren't idiots. They are merely Liberals.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sean in Ottawa:
[b]Frustrated-- I can tell why you are so frustrated.

I realize you don't agree and that's okay we don't have to. But this is a fundamental disagreement. You see many people here believe, as I do, that the thumb of the right is both red and blue. If you think about this for a while you will see how ridiculous your proposal actually is.

In order to succeed, you would have to convince people here that there is enough of a distinction between the Liberals and the Cons to be worthy of sacrificing our electoral independence -- even temporarily as you do acknowledge. The problem is that the record of the Liberals in campaigns appears to support your view but the record of Liberals in government directly and completely contradicts it.

Indeed, for your argument to win, we would need to see the Liberals elected without NDP help (something that is deeply unlikely)
and then see them bring in truly progressive legislation. Unfortunately, left to their own devices the Liberals support the same kind of policies that they have all last year-- Conservative ones. This is why we fight to elect an alternative to this.

We have indeed heard Liberals sound as progressive as Dion can sound on a good day, support all the regressive crap that he was supposedly fighting against. For this you only have to go back to the very last example of a Liberal government overturning a Conservative one-- remember that? Axe the GST? Tear up the FTA? Child care? I remember that. I would need to have a severe case of Alzheimers to vote for the Liberals or support any kind of alliance with these liars, cheats and the consumers of political space that they have no intention of representing while in office.

Anyway, I thought I would help you by explaining what you are up against here. It is not your argument that is so much at fault but the reality the Liberals have created that they simply can not, ever, ever, ever be trusted to do what they say they would do once they get into government[/b]


Sean in Ottawa, like many of your NDP friends here on babble, you seem not to understand what a coalition is. Apparently, Jack does.

A coalition could represent NDP cabinet positions and chairs of some important committees. It could represent anything a power sharing arrangement would demand.

And Sean in Ottawa, please, the attacks on the Liberals are entirely childish. If provincial governments offer any sort of example, the NDP will govern from the right and sacrifice core principles and values just as soon as they did take power.

I mean I remember a public auto insurance scheme for Ontario and public sector contracts being ripped opened and violated by an NDP government, do you?

The question is will a Liberal/NDP coalition provide better government than Harper will?

KenS

Posted in another thread, Greg Lyle in the G&M in a discussion about if there is a fractured left vote in Canada:

quote:

However, whether there is a coherent left in Canada is not a settled question. When it comes to values, Canada is a fractured country. The centre-left has several core value divisions, the biggest being the role of government. Close to a third of Canadians feel government should focus on redistributing wealth rather than creating opportunity. This is not a small difference in opinion, but a fundamental dispute over the role of government that explains why New Democrats and Liberals feel the need to have two distinct parties.

......

Traditionally, the way the centre-left elites have sought to overcome these divisions and stop Tories from getting elected is with a call for strategic voting. The core premise of strategic voting is that centre-left voters should look for the party in their riding that has the best chance of beating the Conservatives and unite behind it. This is the strategy the Bloc is pushing in Quebec in this election. The problem with this strategy is that it is just not realistic. Many voters, particularly swing voters, do not have the information they need to make this choice. Even well-informed voters may not agree in many seats.


[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080923.welxnstrateg... strategists [/url]

Radioactive Wes...

The NDP has a vision and a defined ideology.
The Conservatives do too, like it or hate it.

The Liberals have no ideology other than getting elected and will sacrifice anything to accomplish that goal.

Dion will be removed following the greatest Liberal defeat in modern history, it only remains to be seen if it will be a Turner sized loss or Kim Campbell sized one, and/or an NDP leader of the opposition. The media will turn on Dion realizing that they can’t force this election to turn into a horserace and will choose to start bashing Dion.

The real test will be who the Liberals select as their next leader, and that will decide the "coalition".

If Iggy wins, the lefties will bolt and the NDP gains, if Rae wins they lose their righties who will join the Cons. I don’t think that the Grits will select another compromise candidate as the current two have too much time and money invested to give up easily.

All that selecting Dion did was hold off the inevitable decision…

Ghislaine

quote:


Originally posted by Radioactive Westerner:
[b]The NDP has a vision and a defined ideology.
The Conservatives do too, like it or hate it.

The Liberals have no ideology other than getting elected and will sacrifice anything to accomplish that goal.

Dion will be removed following the greatest Liberal defeat in modern history, it only remains to be seen if it will be a Turner sized loss or Kim Campbell sized one, and/or an NDP leader of the opposition. The media will turn on Dion realizing that they can’t force this election to turn into a horserace and will choose to start bashing Dion.

The real test will be who the Liberals select as their next leader, and that will decide the "coalition".

If Iggy wins, the lefties will bolt and the NDP gains, if Rae wins they lose their righties who will join the Cons. I don’t think that the Grits will select another compromise candidate as the current two have too much time and money invested to give up easily.

All that selecting Dion did was hold off the inevitable decision…[/b]


Your post is dead-on. I continually cannot figure out why more people do not vote NDP. The liberals are so clearly lacking in principles and definitely not leftist (which is what makes all of these calls to " unite the left" so funny). When pressed by the NDP, they try to seem rightist and when pressed by the Cons they try to seem leftist and they have a strange agreement with the capitalist greens. They end up seemed devoid on principles. Add to that the fact that they have so many members from other parties, who seem like they joined solely due to the chance of forming government some day. Rae would be the most blatant example of this.

Why are so many people continuing to support the Liberals? I do not think that the NDP can win, however a minority Con with strong opposition NDP would be an improvement in my opinion.

Polunatic2

quote:


a minority Con with strong opposition NDP would be an improvement in my opinion

How would that be any different than the last government? Would a liberal minority be an improvement?

Ghislaine

quote:


Originally posted by Polunatic2:
[b]How would that be any different than the last government? Would a liberal minority be an improvement?[/b]

No. I think it would be an improvement as it is a realistic outcome and would give Layton a chance to show what he has got. What a contrast he would be to the past year of Dion as possibly the most ieffectual opposition leader in history. I think he would bring the government down without fear over issues based on principle and that he would end up with a lot more credibility heading into (yet) another election.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


The NDP has a vision and a defined ideology.

Really? Perhaps you will define both for me.

quote:

think it would be an improvement as it is a realistic outcome and would give Layton a chance to show what he has got.

Yeah, we need Layton as the backseat driver on the Titanic.

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