Warren Kinsella and Jamie Heath Together Flog NDP/Lib Merger

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KenS
Warren Kinsella and Jamie Heath Together Flog NDP/Lib Merger

V

KenS

Both write good artcles. And I think Kinsella's argument is particularly strong, even if I don't buy it.

Kinsella: Merger may be wisest move for Grits, NDP

HEATH: Why Liberals and New Democrats should share a bed 

Good articles.

But part of my reason for starting a dedicated thread is so that when I get tired of even reading about it, its in its own thread.

Heath's article is behind the Globe paywall. There are ways around that, and the relevant bits will make it here anyway.

KenS

Not that it is the central argument. But as to appeal among New Democrat's, Cullen got noticed because of his alliance with Liberals idea. He got as far as he did in the leadership campaign- breaking from the bottom of the pack- on his broad appeal, and to a large degree, in spite of his alliance idea.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Nope, no deal! My thoughts. I know, I am vile, contemptible, blah, blah, blah. My reply, whatever.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Jesus, another thread on this topic. Enough already.

Under FPTP, with the Opposition parties all running their 308 (or 338?) candidates, Harper will be the beneficiary - again - and get his majority, while Opposition fight amongst themselves for second place.

Mulcair and Trudeau have made it clear they want no co-operation - haven't they???

KenS

Yes.

But just as obvioulsy, Kinsella and Heath are making their pitch to the grassroots and to the braoder support bases. If the idea gets traction and keeps it, leaderships cannot just keep saying no.

For myself, I'm still saying no.

For one reason, there is the topic of this thread: convincing the grassroots of the NDP that we need a social democratic agenda, and that we can develop one that will win.

It's hard enough to get the NDP to go there. For a merged party it will be a complete non-starter.

If you buy into this because your nose is on the grindstone of doing anything just to unseat Harper, then after that particular fire is put out [that is if doing anything will even do the trick]... we can move onto the treadmill of the rest of the seperate little fires that have been burning down the house for decades.

Steve_Shutt Steve_Shutt's picture

[double post]

Steve_Shutt Steve_Shutt's picture

Interesting that they both put out articles on the same topic (more or less) on the same day.

I suspect that behind the scenes there may be more going on than we know - which I believe is a good thing.

I think Heath's piece speaks more to me - go figure, I'm his target audience - than Kinsella's but they are both correct to conclude that the current trajectory does not look promising for either Liberals or New Democrats come the next general election.

Heath's reference to the cooperation option (as opposed to the merger option) seems more likely to get traction and is, I believe, more likely to succeed in the long-term as well.

In the NDP we have a long-standing policy in favour of proportional representation.  The Liberals, for reasons that escape me at the moment, have recently expressed an interest in looking at electoral reform.  While it is a nice thought to believe proportional rep will be implemented by a majority NDP government federally, just as it has in every province where the NDP has formed a majority government, but I fear other priorities may divert our attention should we form a majority at the federal level.  Perhaps we would be more able to bring about the representative changes we seek by acting in a collaborative manner to bring about the electoral reform we desire.

Working with Liberals to bring this about seems anathama to many New Democrats, I get it.  Were we to get proportional rep by some other means, who would you expect us to work with thereafter?

Swallow some pride.  Arrogance is not our strength, working through differences is.  The cooperation plan makes too much sense not to get moving on.

KenS

Arrogance?

Like insisting that there be a social democratic agenda?

Like asking questions of what the point of being involved in electoral politics?

If it was all about winning [or stopping the decades lasted raging fire], then being stuck on your party doesnt look very commendable.

Steve_Shutt Steve_Shutt's picture

I have no problem in pursuing a social democratic agenda or being involved in electoral politics - I have actively engaged, and will continue to actively engage, in both.

It is not inconsistent with these goals, in my view, to pursue our social democtatic agenda as part of a governing coalition - just as social democratic parties have done so around the world in countless functioning democratic systems.

 

Jacob Two-Two

God I wish this stupid idea would die so people can stop wasting their brainpower on it. This will never happen. There is no likely scenario that leads to this. The party elites have no time for it. The voting public would never go along with it. And while you might find some scattered pockets of the party memberships that support the concept in principle, they are motivated entirely by fear and desperation, not a true shared purpose. Such a union could only fall apart, assuming it was possible in the first place, which it isn't.

The only way to defeat the Cons is to do the hard work of convincing Canadians that your party will do a better job. There's no shortcut for this, especially not one that amounts to an electoral dodge.

Debater

Interesting statement in Kinsella's piece: Wink

Liberals will switch places with New Democrats in 2015.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

There is only one reason the Liberals are pushing the merged party idea...they want to be able to say that "THE NDP DISBANDS-ADMITS IT COULD NEVER HAVE WON, AND THAT IT WAS WRONG TO EVER CHALLENGE US AT ALL.  NOW, THE PEASANT SCUM WHO VOTED FOR IT HAVE LEARNED THEIR PLACE!"

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I wish this thread could be closed. We've been through this already.

KenS

Among other things we've been through:

Steve_Shutt wrote:

It is not inconsistent with these goals, in my view, to pursue our social democtatic agenda as part of a governing coalition - just as social democratic parties have done so around the world in countless functioning democratic systems.

But is not coalition that is being proposed, and then discussed here.

That happens after an election.

In canada, those who want the parties to get into bed together before the election, understandably find it convenient to act as if that is the same as a coalition.

Debater

Steve_Shutt wrote:

Working with Liberals to bring this about seems anathama to many New Democrats, I get it.

It's anathama on THIS forum, (as I found out in 2009 when I first came here & suggested co-operation) but not amongst the general public.

On political forums, most of the posters are long-time members & activists within a political party.  Those here have a hatred of Liberals which I feel the brunt of every day, and I've come to understand why.  It's because the NDP members here are not representative of the public, (just as Liberal partisans are not necessarily representative of the public.)  When you have devoted your life to a party and fought 'the enemy' on the other side, your job is to attack those in the other camp.  Therefore, I am seen as an enemy by most of the NDP posters here, and not to be trusted under any circumstances!

Amongst the general public there is not the same loyalty to one party over another because those who are swing voters and who go back and forth between the Liberals and NDP see common ground amongst the two parties.  That's basically what Joyce Murray, Nathan Cullen and others are trying to get at.

I agree with most of those above though that the cooperation idea is premature at this time and not likely to be implemented before 2015.  It would be a monumental job to which there is still a lot of opposition.  I think both the Liberals and the NDP want to see how they fare in the next election before making any final decisions.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The reason "cooperation" is anathema here, Debater, is that the Liberal Party no longer has any differences with the Conservatives on any major issues.  It isn't for a less-militarist foreign policy, it doesn't challenge the power of big finance or the austerity agenda, it won't restore the massive cuts Harper has made in the social wage(just as Chretien never restored any of Mulroney's cuts)and it doesn't care about the workers or the poor.  A Liberal government will never work for peace or a full-employment economy, nor for green values in any meaningful sense.

A lot of ordinary Liberal supporters do have progressive views, but none of those people have any say in what  your party stands for.  And the leadership of your party thinks it has the right to demand that progressives support it without making any efforts to actually reach out to them on the issues-because that leadership still thinks the Liberals are entitled, simply ENTITLED, to be the only alternative to the Conservatives as a party of government.  The total repudiation of bland centrism in the last election should have shaken your party out of these attitudes, but it didn't change them at all.

Given that, why would you think it WOULDN'T be anathema on this board to cooperate with such a party?

And your hero Justin is much closer to the views of C.D. Howe than he will ever be to those of his own father.

You might hear people express a different attitude about this if we ever saw you or anyone else in your party even trying to get the leadership to break with the Mulroney/Chretien/Martin/Harper consensus.  Why DON'T you ever do that?  And if you won't, why would you think your calls for people here to "cooperate" with the Liberals(by which you mean willingly go back into third place, even letting the Liberals move ahead of the NDP would mean giving up on anything progressive for Canada)?

Get a clue already.

Unionist

To oppose electoral cooperation to defeat Harper, it is important to:

1. See significant differences between the Liberals and NDP, in both platform and especially practice.

2. See little difference between the Harper government and previous Liberal (or for that matter PC) governments.

I don't see either #1 or #2. That's why I enthusiastically wished success to the Dion-Layton coalition. And that's why I'm on the Cullen-Murray page.

Quebecers don't seem to have the same undying loyalty to party labels as others. That's why they their votes are hard to predict. That's why they voted for a party they knew nothing about, except that it was opposed to Harper and it was actually running candidates outside Québec (quelle idée!).

I am a Quebecer.

Debater

Ken B, here are a few of my responses to your analysis:

 

1.  Your first statement is a matter of opinion - not fact.  When you state that there are no major differences between the Liberals & Conservatives, you have to realize that is the opinion of the NDP & those on Babble, but not necessarily that of the general public.  Many members of the public think that the Liberals are too far to the LEFT and not conservative enough.  Blue Liberals, Red Tories etc. who supported Chretien/Martin have gone to Harper because they considered Dion, and even Ignatieff, too progressive.

2.  The attitude of entitlement and arrogance of certain Liberals in the past definitely hurt the party in a major way and I don't dispute that particular point.  The LPC has to stand for something, it has to have ideas and it has to have leaders that connect with ordinary people.  It cannot just have out of touch academics and intellectuals from Harvard installed as leader and expect Canadians to show up to vote for it.

3.  I find it interesting that Justin Trudeau now gets criticized on Babble by NDP supporters for being too far right and not as left-wing as Pierre Trudeau when most of the people here dislike Pierre Trudeau in the first place.  I have read very few positive comments about Pierre Trudeau in my nearly 4 years of posting here.  Most people here seem to think he was too right-wing as well, and criticize him for a host of other issues.  Did you vote for Pierre Trudeau?  I'd be interested to konw how many Babblers were Pierre Trudeau supporters.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I was working in government while PET was PM, but in fairness I can't remember who I voted for back then. I was pretty pissed off at the people who were running my department (Manpower and Immigration Canada) while I was in Ottawa: Bryce Mackasey, Robert Andras, and Otto Lang. I'm pretty sure I voted NDP in protest against those guys.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Debater wrote:

Ken B, here are a few of my responses to your analysis:

 

1.  Your first statement is a matter of opinion - not fact.  When you state that there are no major differences between the Liberals & Conservatives, you have to realize that is the opinion of the NDP & those on Babble, but not necessarily that of the general public.  Many members of the public think that the Liberals are too far to the LEFT and not conservative enough.  Blue Liberals, Red Tories etc. who supported Chretien/Martin have gone to Harper because they considered Dion, and even Ignatieff, too progressive.

2.  The attitude of entitlement and arrogance of certain Liberals in the past definitely hurt the party in a major way and I don't dispute that particular point.  The LPC has to stand for something, it has to have ideas and it has to have leaders that connect with ordinary people.  It cannot just have out of touch academics and intellectuals from Harvard installed as leader and expect Canadians to show up to vote for it.

3.  I find it interesting that Justin Trudeau now gets criticized on Babble by NDP supporters for being too far right and not as left-wing as Pierre Trudeau when most of the people here dislike Pierre Trudeau in the first place.  I have read very few positive comments about Pierre Trudeau in my nearly 4 years of posting here.  Most people here seem to think he was too right-wing as well, and criticize him for a host of other issues.  Did you vote for Pierre Trudeau?  I'd be interested to konw how many Babblers were Pierre Trudeau supporters.

1)If the Liberals lost ground because the voters thought they were too far to the left, the NDP wouldn't have gained ground in the elections(2004, 2006, 2011) in which the Liberals lost that ground.  Only the Conservatives would have gained ground.  Nobody who voted for Harper in 2011 is going to vote for any party that is even slightly to his left...even a Liberal party led by the bluest of Liberals...why on earth would they?  Those people are all hard-right extremists and can't be moved by anything.  The only votes in play are those who want something clearly and dramatically different than Harper.

2)We are in agreement, more or less, on point 2.

3)PET is used as a benchmark because he was the last Liberal leader who tried to engage voters to his party's left(Chretien got some of those votes while running as a crypto-Tory, but that was a one-off-the NDP was in an existential crisis of the sort it won't be come 2015, plus the voters were desperate after years of Mulroney-and can't be duplicated anytime soon-the memory of thirteen years of right-wing Liberal government under Chretien and Martin is branded in the minds of too many left-of-center voterss and they won't repreat the mistake).  The main argument for Justin is that, supposedly, he is the only Liberal leadership candidate today who can take votes from the NDP...logically, he's not going to be able to do that if he is to his father's right on the issues(and, other than LGBTQ issues, he essentially is...backing globalization, fiscal conservatism(I.e., permanent austerity and the death of the social welfare system by a thousand cuts)brown energy policies, and saying nothing at all about human rights and social justice.  This is why PET is referenced here...not because Babblers would necessarily have voted for him(although some might have considered it, at least in '68 when Tommy Douglas was seen as being a bit past it) but because they at least respected his intelligence and, most importantly, his willingness to be at least somewhat independent of U.S. domination(something Justin isn't interested in at all, being a good little corporate lackey).

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

There are very few people on this board who were 21 in 1968.  I'm an old timer and my first election was 1972.  As a university student I loved campaigning against corporate welfare buns. By his last election in 1980 Trudeau was hated by NDP supporters more than Joe Clark. The invocation of martial law and then wage and price controls both took any progressive veneer off of him.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

All of that is true.

Not a spelling flame...but I actually enjoyed your phrase "corporate welfare BUNS".  They could have baked those and given them out at NDP rallies in '72.

Debater

I wasn't just referring to the 1968 election - I was referring to all of the elections between 1968 & 1980, and whether anyone here voted for Pierre Trudeau in any of them.

And by the invocation of martial law, do you mean the use of the War Measures Act in the early 1970's which was requested by the Government of Quebec at the time?

It's also important to remember that Pierre Trudeau's support continued to go up in Quebec in the years after his handling of the FLQ crisis, culminating in a record 74 out of 75 seats in 1980, so he certainly had the support of Quebecers.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Although, in 1972, the election after the War Measures Act, the Liberals got less than 50% of the vote in Quebec for the only time during the Trudeau era.  If the NDP had had its act together at the time, it could have made major gains in Quebec in that election...but David Lewis was too much of a fossil to connect with the voters there at the time(and too paranoid about "communism" to engage with the wider Left outside the party, thus losing the chance to make much larger gains in the country as a whole).

And the vision of federalism that Trudeau espoused is now politically extinct in Quebec.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

What year did Ed Broadbent become NDP leader? I can't remember. I faintly recall him railing against Trudeau.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

dp

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

1975

For people on dial up I don't mind doing a quick Google search.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Thanks, K.  I quit working at M&I before Broadbent became leader, so I guess it was Stephen Lewis I voted for.

Can you imagine a more motley crew as Ministers heading up your department than Otto Lang, Bryce Mackasey, or Robert Andras?  Frown

I think Bryce Mackasey was the worse, although I once had a nasty run-in with Otto Lang. In a stuck elevator.

JKR

The debate over merging the NDP, Liberals, and Greens shows why establishing fair voting / proportional representation should be the primary issue for Canada's centre-left.

If the Conservatives win yet another phony FPTP government in 2015, a merger between the NDP, Liberals, and Greens will invariably become a viable solution for Canada's centre-left. If merger negotiations occur, establishing fair voting / proportional representation should be the primary issue strictly agreed upon by all parties involved. Proportional representation would be the basis of merging until fair voting allows political parties to operate within a system that's not plagued by vote-splitting.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

If you are talking federal politics it was Stephen's Dad David you voted for. Stephen led the Ont NDP

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

"And by the invocation of martial law, do you mean the use of the War Measures Act in the early 1970's which was requested by the Government of Quebec at the time?"

Just because someone wants others rights taken away, doesn't make it right. I am not sure how looking at things this way justifies its use. Canada was a dictatorship; people had no rights. It was excessive, and over reaction. My father, a long time CCFer thought upto his final days Trudeau was in many ways the greatest PM the country ever had. But as noted above, he never forgave him for the WMA. My dad, who fought in Europe against the Nazis understood what fascism and undemocratic actions were. This is a very really questionable legacy for PET. Far too many people are willing to dismiss this.

And as I have written elsewhere, I certainly never joined my country to fight its citizenry. I would have taken my release if this had put me in a position to act against my fellow citizens. This is very real. It does not get the kind of serious consideration it deserves. Far too many people are willing to dismiss what is a truly very dark spot in the history of this nation. Make no mistake about it. I wish people would stop dismissing it so lightly in the sake if perserving an imagined legacy. We, as a nation have never really come to grips with this. We deserve to have a mature discussion about this.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Well said Arthur.

The kidnappings were a police matter and should have been dealt with as such. My Dad was a vet too and he hated Trudeau for invoking the WMA but from the other side of the political spectrum.  He died still proud to call himself a Diefenbaker Conservative.  I didn't inherit much of his politics except a love of Canada and a deep distrust of continentalism. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

If you are talking federal politics it was Stephen's Dad David you voted for. Stephen led the Ont NDP

Wow, my memory really is getting bad! Frown

Yes, of course it was David Lewis. Isn't he the guy that coined the phrase "Corporate welfare bums"?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

JKR wrote:
If the Conservatives win yet another phony FPTP government in 2015...

If Harper gets another majority, I think it's the end of Canada as I remember it. Frown

Debater

We don't even know whether Harper is going to run in the next election.

Steve Paikin suggested in a recent piece that Harper may pack it in before 2015.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Well said Arthur.

The kidnappings were a police matter and should have been dealt with as such. My Dad was a vet too and he hated Trudeau for invoking the WMA but from the other side of the political spectrum.  He died still proud to call himself a Diefenbaker Conservative.  I didn't inherit much of his politics except a love of Canada and a deep distrust of continentalism. 

I seriously doubt that Diefenbaker would have anything to do with what now calls itself the Conservative Party of Canada.  And if they lose in 2015, he'll be somewhere in the mists giggling to himself, like he did on tv when Stanfield's PC's were routed in '68.

Debater

Ken Burch wrote:

Although, in 1972, the election after the War Measures Act, the Liberals got less than 50% of the vote in Quebec for the only time during the Trudeau era.  If the NDP had had its act together at the time, it could have made major gains in Quebec in that election...but David Lewis was too much of a fossil to connect with the voters there at the time(and too paranoid about "communism" to engage with the wider Left outside the party, thus losing the chance to make much larger gains in the country as a whole).

And the vision of federalism that Trudeau espoused is now politically extinct in Quebec.

 

Well, in 1972 it was the year when Trudeau was reduced to a Minority across Canada, so some decline in the vote may naturally have occurred in Quebec.  The point is that support for Trudeau remained strong in Quebec in every one of his elections - even the one election he lost to Joe Clark, he still won Quebec.

To this day no one has ever beaten Pierre Trudeau's record in Quebec of 74 seats and 68% of the vote.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I agree that Dief would hate Harper and his minions.

If Harper thinks he is going to lose then he will resign and try to take enough baggage with him to change the tide. That is why focusing on him personally is a big mistake IMO. He knows he will get his reward from corporate Canada when his time is done.

socialdemocrati...

I'm not personally opposed to a coalition. I just want to know what form it would take. I liked the Dion coalition. He was a decent guy with real principles. Ignatieff was dangerous. So is Trudeau, to the extent that he has no policies, and what policies he has proposed are all in line with Harper.

Kinsella is a bit of a hack. He's generally "rah rah" Liberal until they screw up, and the dust has ettled. If he's talking about a coalition again, it's because he doesn't believe in Trudeau.

NorthReport

Trudeau Beats Harper! Murray Unites Grits with NDP!

And other Liberal fantasies fueled by social media.

 

 

Cartoon about Marc Garneau

Cartoon by Greg Perry

 

"Twitter is a great place to tell the world what you're thinking before you've had a chance to think about it." -- Chris Pirillo, blogger

Canada is apparently doomed -- unless one of two things happen, depending on which Twitter feed you follow:

Either Justin Trudeau -- Parliament's member for Twitter-East -- becomes Liberal leader, is elected prime minister in 2015, and vanquishes both Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair, or;

Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray becomes Liberal leader and drags into a one-time-only 2015 electoral cooperation deal her own reluctant party, the uninterested NDP and the keen Greens, who all then implement proportional representation and allegedly ensure Conservatives never rule Canada again.

While the first option is extremely unlikely, it at least has a mathematical possibility of coming true.

The second option, however, would require more things to happen in precisely the right order with exactly perfect timing than the Big Bang Theory that created our universe.

But two of Canada's biggest social media groups, LeadNow.ca andAvaaz.org, are betting everything on the cosmology caper coming true.

For others, either one of those events happening in Canada in 2015 would be a sign of political apocalypse akin to the Mayan calendar's 2012 end of the world prediction, and equally unlikely.

Nonetheless, when the Twitterati become restless thinking that Harper will extend his Darth Vader rule by winning another election in 2015 -- they do what they do best: Tweet.

 

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/03/19/Liberal-Social-Media-Myths/

janfromthebruce

NR, now that was funny. Did anybody think that perhaps Kinsella penned/staged his piece today to change the channel on talking about the liberal leadership race "flop" and get everybody talking about merger, coalition and so on?

I thought that because it sure changed the local political channel here.

Also, just because some Liberal thinks that perhaps Harper will step down does not mean that it's even based on reality except in his dreams. But it sure got everybody chatting about that instead of thinking about that Harper is just a stand-in for the conservative brand. It's like wack-a-mole and another pops up. Focussing on Harper is just a deadend but Liberals love to go down the rabbit hole.

On the other hand, Kinsella may be thinking that when Justin is elected he just won't have the organization capacity or drive or interest to actually organize a party - you know riding organizations, structure - it's called hard work and experience which Trudeau has not shown - through he political experience - to possess. Sadly, Justin is a 2 time university dropout who lacks drive and commitment.

Anyway, when I go check liberal blogs and so on, they talk about supporting electorial reform to STV - ranked ballot and not proportional representation. I guess they see that as the best way to ensure Liberals are on top and aren't interested in a system where every vote counts and people are represented by the party of choice.

I agree with NR.

Michelle

These days, there isn't much difference between the NDP and the Liberal Party anyhow.  So what the heck.

KenS

So we should just dispense with even the possibility there could be a party worth supporting?

KenS

Kinsella is definitely a hack. And he always has an agenda driving his polemics.

But he's totally behind Trudeau, and sneers at Mulcair.

It is his party he has little confidence in. So he seems to see nothing that has developed since before the 2011 election to change his mind that a merger is required.

nicky

I am still sorting out my views on electoral cooperation with the Liberals (and Greens)

Like most of you I have a low level of trust in the Liberals. Although there are a number of Liberal progressives with whom we could work there remains a large faction of social and economic conservatives within the party. A few years back for example about 40% of the Liberal caucus was anti-choice and anti- gay marriage.  Finance Ministers like Manley and Martin were little better than Flaherty. I could go on and on in this vein citing numerous examples that are blindingly obvious to everyone except Debater.

The  real crunch for me (and I think Tom Mulcair from what I understand) was the coalition negotiations in late 2008 to early 2009. The NDP compromised to put the coalition together. It agreed to take only a quarter of the cabinet seats where it had half as any MPs as the Liberals. There is a great untold story about how the Liberals backed away from the coalition. In essence the party succumbed to corporate pressure not to allow the NDP into government. And because of that the country will have suffered maybe seven more years of Harper.

Because the Liberals have such a large conservative element they are inherently untrustworthy coalition partners.

On the other hand it seems to me beyond question that the Conservatives have benefited from  the split in the opposition vote and will continue to do so, particularly under the new redistribution. The optimal situation for the Conservatives is that the NDP and the Liberals be more or less equal in support. That will allow the Conservatives to maximize their seats in a FPTP system. The continued presence of the Greens also siphons off anti-Conservative votes into an electoral garbage bin.

There have been many arguments raised against the efficacy of electoral cooperation and I have not found any of them to be very convincing. Poll after poll shows that the NDP is by far the second choice amongst Liberal, Green and  Bloq voters.  The same applies for the Liberals when measured against the Conservatives.  The Liberal and Green electorates are more progressive than the parties themselves.

Some of the arguments against merger are to the effect that The Conservatives would get a large enough share of the second choice vote to win any way. But these same studies all show that the Conservative win would be by far less than without a merger.

I also think that there would be much less leakage of votes between coalition partners if their voters knew there was an electoral arrangement.  More recalcitrant Liberals would be more likely to vote NDP if it had the imprimatur of their party.

The argument is also made, most recently in http://blunt-objects.blogspot.ca/ that the Conservatives will not win a majority anyway so we should wait until after the election before sorting out coalition arrangements. We all heard this kind of talk before the last election and we know how that turned out.

I certainly do not favour a merger of the parties, nor joint nominations which can be swamped by one side or another. But I think we should explore the possibility of a limited form of electoral cooperation. We might consider an arrangement whereby we not run candidates in selected ridings. The NDP could stand down in down in perhaps 25 ridings in which the Liberals are the best placed challengers. The Liberal could reciprocate. We could allocate 4 or 5 seats to the Greens in return for their cooperation in the rest of the country. Polling could identify those ridings in which his would be most effective.

Otherwise we may be risking 5 more years of Harper.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I never knew any of those guys personally of course, but I never liked Otto Lang from what I saw of him. He seemed like a really nasty, over opinionated, self-righteous, smug, boob. And those were his good points!

mark_alfred

I oppose any sort of gerrymandering of the election.  The parties and activists within them should put forth their ideas as best as possible, and where the chips fall, so be it.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

This merger stuff, if it occurs, I will stay out of the way. All that will happen is I'll get really mad when I'm talking to people and make even less sense, then I do most of the time here. Harper will have had to announce he's introducing private health care before I would vote for a merged "left wing party". It'll just be the Liberals under some new name or merged name with Liberal at the front, like, Liberal-Democrats. Bleah! Count me out. Sorry. I know no one likes it when I post this kind of comment, but its how I feel.

JKR

mark_alfred wrote:

I oppose any sort of gerrymandering of the election.  The parties and activists within them should put forth their ideas as best as possible, and where the chips fall, so be it.

Electoral cooperation or outright merger are the exact oppsites of gerrymandering. Electoral cooperation or merger are attempts to deal with the gerrymandering that invariably occurs with FPTP. Electoral cooperation or merger are attempts to produce electoral results within FPTP that more accurately reflect the will of the voters.

FPTP only produces accurate and fair results for single-seat elections that are limited to only two candidates. In other kinds of elections FPTP produces unfair results. That's why all political parties use preferential ballots for their single-seat elections and why most countries use proportional representation to elect their multi-member legislatures.

FPTP should only be used in presidential-type elections limited to two candidates. Presedential-type elections that have more than two candidates should use preferential ballots. Legislative elections should use proportional representation.

Basic math, not political expediency, should be used in choosing appropriate electoral systems.

Jacob Two-Two

I prefer the Single Transferable Vote because it maximises voter choice.

And that's why a merger would be doomed to fail. The general public does not see Harper as the scary monster that the NDP and Liberal loyalists do. On the contrary, he gets reasonably positive ratings for his performance as Prime Minister. They don't like him either, but they're not scared of him. So when you start monkeying around with the electoral process for the singular reason of ousting Harper, people will not be rallying around you. They'll feel like you're cheating or rigging the system and they will be legitmately upset at having their choices as voters limited by the backroom dealings of the party executives. I believe the voters would punish both parties and give Harper another majority.

But it's irrelevent because the party executives themselves have no interest in this, so it can't even get off the ground, let alone get to the point where it would backfire enormously.

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