Warren Kinsella and Jamie Heath Together Flog NDP/Lib Merger

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knownothing knownothing'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. 

You kidding? Dief is my favorite PM. He was a socialist and he stood up for Saskatchewan and individual rights.

Policywonk

JKR wrote:
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.

Did you notice that the Republicans won a majority in the House while the Democrats got more votes? Also a preferential ballot with only two candidates is FPTP. FPTP can produce reasonably fair results, but only if the votes are distributed in unlikely ways.

edmundoconnor

nicky wrote:

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.

Indeed. Alan Tonks voted against gay marriage, and for its repeal, and he was ejected from office only two years ago (I was a spear carrier on Mike Sullivan's 2011 campaign, in the interests of disclosure). The idea that somehow the party somehow still doesn't contain more than a few homophobes just because HQ has wised up that broadcasting you have anti-equality views isn't a terribly good idea is, to put it mildly, delusional. And that is merely one area that's close to my heart. The conservative positions taken by many in the party aren't broadcast by Kinsella (and others) because they know that will spoil the whole show.

I await the solemn promise of Justin Trudeau to implement a national childcare program on his first day in office with eager anticipation.

I kicked a homophobe out of office. Ask me how!

edmundoconnor

nicky wrote:

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.

What guarantee is there that the Liberals, after promising solemnly not to run candidates in certain ridings, going back on their word and doing exactly that? Or supporting 'independents' that curiously seem to share *exactly* the same views as the Liberals, and have a surprising number of Liberal riding association members volunteering on their campaign? Short of getting the Liberal party to sign a legal contract, none. Given their history, I would be amazed anyone would take the Liberals at their word.

Liberals find the NDP temporarily useful. Once we've served our purpose of elevating Trudeau to 24 Sussex, any pretensions of progressivism will be swiftly binned. Just watch him, indeed.

KenS

Kinsella is talking merger because that is what he called for before [and Chretien]. And he goes for provocative.

Heath says alliance because he was part of the Cullen campaign proposing that.

No, they aren't exactly the same thing. But they are on the same wave length. And they wanted to underscore that by publishing articles in rival newspapers on the same day.

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:
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.

I too wished good luck to the Coalition. In fact the local NDP, Liberals, and Labour Council held a giant rally and march in Peterborough in support of it. I was there. Best demo in years.

An electoral alliance needs a basis. The coalition didn't include proportional representation because -- well, it was the Bloc's fault or Dion's fault or, no, they would both have agreed to it but Dion couldn't sell it to Goodale and most of the Liberal caucus. Or whatever the memoirs will say eventually.

Joyce Murray understands perfectly that the electoral alliance must be based on PR. Assuming she doesn't win, will she sell the Liberals on the idea?

Until she does, Jamey, you're wasting your time. Even if she does, that's a prerequisite, not the sole platform. A PR system will take a year to design including consultation, then there will need to be New Boundaries Commission hearings, and then Elections Canada will have to get ready for the first PR election. Sounds like about three years. The coalition government will have to do a few other things in those years. Agreeing on a coalition agenda after an election can be done. Before? Unlikely. An electoral alliance based on the slogan "coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition, we'll settle the agenda after we win if we need to, trust us?"

By the way, why are these two articles linked? Kinsella is talking merger. Jamey Heath isn't.

NorthReport wrote:

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.

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

I don't usually agree with Bill Tieleman, but he has a point. Still, we have to wish success to those who are trying to sell the Liberals on PR. They will need to buy in in 2015 if we end up after the election with a coalition after all.

nicky wrote:

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.

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.

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.

Possible. But, again, only after the Liberals agree to proportional representation, the deal-breaker for the Greens as well.

We need to keep the two issues separate. The Greens and the NDP support PR. So do some Liberals. This is a useful multi-partisan discussion to pursue, even in the event of an NDP majority in 2015, since the voting system should not become a partisan toy. More so in the event of a coalition after the election.

An electoral alliance before the election is premature, more debateable, and may never happen. Separate issue.

JKR

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

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

STV is also my favorite proportional system. If I could wave a magic wand, I'd choose 7-seat STV for Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal elections. I think single-member ridings are undemocratic as one person cannot fairly represent thousands of people with different backgrounds. But most Canadians seem to like having single-member constituencies, so the best proportional system for Canada is probably MMP because it maintains single-member ridings. Canadians also dislike party lists so the best MMP system for Canada would be open-list MMP.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I agree with STV at seven seats or even five.  It would work well in our urban centres but it is problematic in the north and other far flung rural areas. I voted yes to STV both times in BC.  I found the NDP and BC Fed response typical of people who want to sound progressive on electoral reform but are thinking they are soon going to get a phoney majority under FPTP.

JKR

Policywonk wrote:

Did you notice that the Republicans won a majority in the House while the Democrats got more votes? Also a preferential ballot with only two candidates is FPTP. FPTP can produce reasonably fair results, but only if the votes are distributed in unlikely ways.

Yeah I noticed that because of gerrymandering the Republicans elected 30 more Representatives than the Democrats even though the Democrats had more votes! Why hasn't that been an issue in the US? The Republicans phony FPTP majority in the House of Representatives has drastically changed the kinds of policies that can be established in the US.

It's safe to say that if a party to the left of Democrats had been competitive in the election, vote splitting on the centre-left would have seen the Republicans win a huge landslide even though most Americans would have preferred a party to the left of the Republicans.

----

It's true that when there are just two candidates on a ballot, FPTP and AV are  basically the same. It should be noted that vote splitting is a non-issue for AV and it becomes a non-issue when there are only 2 candidates running in FPTP elections. This illustrates how FPTP creates pressure for two-party systems. That's why there was pressure for the PC-Alliance merger and why there's pressure now for a merger on the centre-left. As long as we have FPTP there will be pressure to establish and two-party political systems. The history of Canadian politics is the establishing and re-establishing of 2-party dominant systems. That happens not by people's choices but by the dictates of FPTP.

It should be noted that AV also tends to create two-party dominant systems but without the problem of vote-splitting that FPTP has. Proportional representation / fair voting creates multi-party systems.

Sean in Ottawa

I find this debate is dominated by extremes.

I actually would like to see some per-election cooperation between the NDP and the Liberals.

Before people's heads explode-- this cooperation should not take the form that many think it must for any cooperation to exist.

Where the NDP and the Liberals have something in common -- let them advocate for it together and let them even share ads to promote it. If Liberals converted on PR let them share the cost of an ad campaign on the merits of PR. If they could agree on a campaign on public accountability or support for a PBO let them campaign on that together. Let them share the costs on an ad campaign about the Conservatives-- good reason to do that keeping their independent ads more positive or pointing out their differences. This makes sense given the economic advantages the Conservatives have and the degree to which they will use public money for propaganda. All opposition parties are hurt by that and sharing the costs to counter it makes good sense and actually increases the credibility of the argument. The point is there is no conflict of interest there-- rather a shared interest.

If the Liberals were in power today and abusing their public trust (as they have before) and there was an unfair electoral financing law and widespread cheating-- I would agree to share an ad about that-- with the Conservatives even.

When it comes to reducing electoral choices, sharing candidates, refusing to run or criticize each other I am against that.

I am not one of those who thinks the Conservatives and the Liberals are the same. I see the difference. I don't care for either but I can see that they are not the same. But the NDP and the Liberals are no more alike. Where the parties are different we should not hide that-- we should advocate for why we should be the better choice.

I think the voters are capable of seeing where the parties agree and where they disagree and that can be laid out. There is a special case to be made for cooperation where there is no conflict in policies or messages while preserving the arguments where there are differences.

I find it unfortunate that by advocating reasonable cooperation where there are common interests I end up without any camp to call my own-- there are those who deny that something historic is happening with the Conservatives and that irreversible damage is happening and that they have huge advantages. They would not see the point of the cooperation I would like to see. By the same token the other side may want to see the Liberals as reliable allies, partners, a party with much in common with us who we can trust. I don't accept that and would not want to see a single NDP voter in candidate unable to support the party she/he supports. Finally there is enough of a struggle keeping the NDP honest and principled. I consider it the best but I don't have unlimited trust. I want NDP supporters not Liberals being listened to by the NDP leadership. I want the NDP to be held to account for both good and bad decisions. Yes, I think there is a reasonable ground.

I also recognize the reality that there is so little trust that any cooperation may be pointless-- perhaps in part due to the last time the NDP trusted the Liberals to cooperate to bring down the Conservatives. That did not turn out well. I am familiar with the story of Lucy and Charlie and the ball... So cooperation is a fine idea, I doubt the Liberals would agree to what I'd like to see but if they were I'd be open to it and I don't think we need to betray or limit any supporters to do it.

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Where the NDP and the Liberals have something in common -- let them advocate for it together and let them even share ads to promote it. If Liberals converted on PR let them share the cost of an ad campaign on the merits of PR. If they could agree on a campaign on public accountability or support for a PBO let them campaign on that together. Let them share the costs on an ad campaign about the Conservatives-- good reason to do that keeping their independent ads more positive or pointing out their differences. This makes sense given the economic advantages the Conservatives have and the degree to which they will use public money for propaganda. All opposition parties are hurt by that and sharing the costs to counter it makes good sense and actually increases the credibility of the argument. The point is there is no conflict of interest there-- rather a shared interest.

What an excellent idea!! Such sensible cooperation would show Canadians that politics can be a positive endeavor of people respectfully and collectively working together. What a contrast that would be from our current down and dirty adversarial winner-take-all politics. To fundamentally change politics and society we need a fundamental change in collective consciousness. The NDP would be well served supporting collective decision making. By taking part in hyper-partisan adversarial politics the left plays into the hands of the right that sells us the idea that society is all about competition and destroying your hated rivals. 

It's no coincidence that social democracy has flourished in countries that stress collective multi-party decision making. 

Sean in Ottawa

I don't have a problem with some over representation of northern and rural areas of the country in order to make PR work. With PR the additional representation would not unbalance the House as it would be shared across parties. In fact PR could make such over representation which is needed for practical service to public reasons viable and fair. Harder to service far-flung populations.

JKR

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I agree with STV at seven seats or even five.  It would work well in our urban centres but it is problematic in the north and other far flung rural areas. I voted yes to STV both times in BC.  I found the NDP and BC Fed response typical of people who want to sound progressive on electoral reform but are thinking they are soon going to get a phoney majority under FPTP.

I'd rather live in a system with huge rural multi-member STV ridings where almost everyone is represented by someone they voted for and share their ideology with than have large rural single-member FPTP ridings where people are represented by centrist politicians who most didn't vote for and who few share their ideology with.

It'll be interesting to see if the BC NDP puts proportional representation on their platform. If they don't it'll be another sign that the BC NDP are jettisoning their left-wing in favour of the corporate and union elites.

JKR

Giving far flung sparse rural areas extra seats to make PR work is a great idea. Too bad the BC Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform didn't recomend it. Instead it proposed having two-seat rural ridings. A few overepresented 5 or 7 seat rural ridings would have allowed for a more uniform model where everyone was represented by the same amount of candidates. The lack of uniformity across the province was one reason some people chose to vote "no" in the 2009 referendum.

Over representing rural areas might be a way for people to take another look at STV.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

JKR wrote:

I'd rather live in a system with huge rural multi-member STV ridings where almost everyone is represented by someone they voted for and share their ideology with than have large rural single-member FPTP ridings where people are represented by centrist politicians who most didn't vote for and who few share their ideology with.

My discomfort with the idea is actually from the other side of the lens.  I have seen how hard it is for an MP to represent a far flung rural riding on the coast and it is not pretty.  If the ridings are very huge it will impossible for MLA's too physically be able to get into all the little communities on any kind of regular basis.  I too have no problem with less voters in sparse ridings but not to the extent that say PEI has compared to any major city.

I would likely have voted for just about any PR system that was proposed although I probably would have balked at a party list system where people who did not run could then be elected.  I prefer the highest loser idea where the candidate with the highest percentage of votes in a losing campaign gets named the next member for an underrepresented party.

socialdemocrati...

The problem with unity isn't just "rah rah my team".

Have you ever met a Liberal who never wants to talk policy?

Some of them are in complete denial. Martin didn't slash health care to pay for corporate tax cuts. Martin didn't avoid acting on climate change -- or he WAS going to get around to it, eventually. There are no Liberal MPs who are against abortion or gay marriage, or for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Or worse, when confronted with the facts, they DEFEND IT. I *want* some restrictions on abortion! Gay marriage is too polarizing! Corporate taxes ought to be lower, and the cuts to health care were completely necessary! We had to destroy the village in order to save it! Michael Ignatieff was RIGHT about Iraq, and thank God he worked with Harper to keep us in Afghanistan!

But mostly, they don't want to talk about it. When you ask them why they're Liberal, they say stuff like "the NDP are socialists and I'm not a socialist". Yes, some of them are actually neoliberal-conservatives. But a lot of them aren't, and when you ask them, they want more social spending. Which means they're either lying to win my respect, or they're honest about what they want but not honest about how their party has thrown them under a bus.

And now it's happening again wtih Justin Kardassian's (few) policies on the oil sands, on foreign ownership, on the gun registry. "Nope, didn't happen."

If you want people to open their minds towards you, then you yourself have to come to the discussion with an open mind.

Unionist

I could cite all the same "issues", and countless more, if I wanted an excuse never to unite with the NDP.

Like the fact that it took them 5 years of invasion of Afghanistan to call, haltingly and ambiguously, for withdrawal.

Like the fact that they allowed Bev Desjarlais to stay in the caucus, and didn't even prevent her from running for nomination the next time round (it was the local constituents who dumped her).

Like the record of NDP provincial governments on climate change and child care and privatization and pharmacare and crime and strike-breaking and...

Luckily, my training and habits come from the trade union movement, where you have to unite with everyone in common struggle, even if you don't actually agree on one single "issue".

If it was worth trying for a coalition in December 2008, it's worth trying for a pre-election accord of some kind to defeat Harper. The most feeble argument against this notion is, "Liberals are all lying scum-sucking cowardly right-wingers". The second most feeble one is, "It's an assault against democracy not to let everyone always vote for whatever party they want" - and then it's ok to do an unelected unannounced coalition after.

It's all about putting partisanship ahead of principle. Dress it up, put lipstick on it, it doesn't change.

 

NorthReport

Let's not ever forget it was the Liberals who killed the deal previously.

And what's the rush?

The NDP just arrived as Official Opposition.

Let's try a few elections to see if they can form government, and if not, then sure, try another kick at some kind of  joint efforts with the Liberals.

But this is way, way too soon.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Of course there is a rush. The closer and longer the NDP are to power the more they will inevitably be corrupted by it. I wish they would have won the last election.

 

socialdemocrati...

I share knownothing's concern. The longer the NDP stays "close to power", the less they're actually reforming the system, and the more that they're attracting the careerists that ruined the two other parties. Fortunately they're just getting started, but I wouldn't be optimistic if this ends up taking 10 years.

Unionist

So while the truly faithful of each party wait patiently for power, we have to watch Canada being destroyed by Harperism. That can't be right.

socialdemocrati...

I'm not sure Harper is doing particularly worse than Paul Martin. All the warnings about abortion and endless wars, we pretty much have the status quo from ten years ago. Gradually whittling down the social safety net to pay for corporate tax cuts.

But no, that doesn't make it right.

Unionist

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I'm not sure Harper is doing particularly worse than Paul Martin.

Yeah, well that's why we can't be allies on this one. I'm a trade unionist and anti-imperialist and Quebecer. I see a difference. And it's big enough for me, and many others that I know, to look beyond party labels and party sins to build unity to defeat this plague. How otherwise could I vote for a person like my own MP?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Too many opposition parties splitting the anti-Conservative vote. And, a significant part of the Canadian electorate thinks Harper is doing just fine. The opposition parties need to co-operate somehow just one time so we can get a government that really cares for people, and reverse some of the Harper cuts. Otherwise we're stuck with Conservative governments for the foreseeable future.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

well, if they do it, they need to get an accord IN WRITING.  Clearly, handshake agreements can't be trusted.

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

Let's not ever forget it was the Liberals who killed the deal previously.

And what's the rush?

The NDP just arrived as Official Opposition.

Let's try a few elections to see if they can form government, and if not, then sure, try another kick at some kind of  joint efforts with the Liberals.

But this is way, way too soon.

People aren't going to settle with trying a few more elections. People are giving the NDP, Liberals, and, Greens until 2015 to see if the Conservatives government can be replaced by a divided opposition. People on the centre-left aren't going to allow the Conservatives to win a few more phony FPTP governments before they demand that the NDP, Liberals, and Greens, put their partisan egos aside for the common good. Waiting for a few elections to go by would mean that the Conservatives would be in power until at least 2027. People read the polls and see that the Conservatives have been hanging onto power for what will be almost a decade with the support of just 35% or less of the population. People won't tolerate having that state of affairs continue for an entire generation.

The 2015 election will be a watershed election for Canadian politics. Hopefully 2015 will see Prime Minister Mulcair begin the establishment of fair voting that will finally end minority rule in Canada.

Wilf Day

JKR wrote:
The 2015 election will be a watershed election for Canadian politics. Hopefully 2015 will see Prime Minister Mulcair begin the establishment of fair voting that will finally end minority rule in Canada.

Words to live by.

NorthReport wrote:

Let's not ever forget it was the Liberals who killed the deal previously.

And what's the rush?

The NDP just arrived as Official Opposition.

Let's try a few elections to see if they can form government, and if not, then sure, try another kick at some kind of joint efforts with the Liberals.

But this is way, way too soon.

Agreed.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I prefer the highest loser idea where the candidate with the highest percentage of votes in a losing campaign gets named the next member for an underrepresented party.

It's amazing how many Canadians put this option forward, despite no group or prominent person promoting it. It works in the province of Baden-Wurttemberg, which now has the first Green Party chief minister in Germany (or anywhere?), in a coalition with the social democrats.

JKR wrote:
It's no coincidence that social democracy has flourished in countries that stress collective multi-party decision making.

Indeed.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
. . . So cooperation is a fine idea, I doubt the Liberals would agree to what I'd like to see but if they were I'd be open to it and I don't think we need to betray or limit any supporters to do it.

Wait and see does no harm.

JKR wrote:
STV is also my favorite proportional system. If I could wave a magic wand, I'd choose 7-seat STV for Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal elections. I think single-member ridings are undemocratic as one person cannot fairly represent thousands of people with different backgrounds. But most Canadians seem to like having single-member constituencies, so the best proportional system for Canada is probably MMP because it maintains single-member ridings. Canadians also dislike party lists so the best MMP system for Canada would be open-list MMP.

Seven-seater STV is pretty good. Six-seater STV has proven itself in four elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Seven-seater STV had proven itself in four elections to New Zealand's 20 District Health Boards.

But seven-seater districts for the House of Commons would have 700,000 residents. While this might be acceptable in Canada’s nine largest metropolitan areas (which contain 51% of Canada’s population), the other 49% of us live in communities smaller than 700,000 people.

Aristotleded24

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
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.

My bold. You said it very well Jacob.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
I prefer the Single Transferable Vote because it maximises voter choice.

- snip -

So when you start monkeying around with the electoral process for the singular reason of ousting Harper, people will not be rallying around you.

- snip -

 I believe the voters would punish both parties and give Harper another majority.

The electorate will likely give Harper another term - even another majority - in 2015 unless changes are made beginning now.

Jacob Two-Two

What are you basing that on? Overarching analysis of polls show an steady decline in Conservative support. Harper's approval is down, scandals are swirling around the party. Nobody's ever liked Harper. The reason he's won is because the Liberals have been falling apart at the seams and the public was unused to seeing the NDP as an option. I don't see the Liberals getting their shit together, but I think the notion that the NDP can't run the country is fading fast. The Conservatives are totally beatable under the current landscape. In fact, if the election were called tomorrow, I'd have no problem with that.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The Opposition to Harper is still divided between the NDP, Liberals, BQ, and Greens. The Liberals will pick up steam once they officially ave a leader, especially if it's Trudeau. Despite seven years of governing this country in a very right wing fashion, the Cons still lead in the last poll I saw, and Harper still leads Mulcair in the leadership polling.

 

NorthReport

A lot of this stuff, I'm not refering to you BB, but a lot of this stuff is just Liberal talking points.

The NDP has just arrived at being Official Opposition.

We'll know in an election or two if they can form government or not on their own, which I personally think they can. If not, that will be the time to look at alternatives. But who knows, maybe in a couple of elections from now, the Libs may want to join with the Cons to defeat the NDP government.

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:

A lot of this stuff, I'm not refering to you BB, but a lot of this stuff is just Liberal talking points.

Oh really? Which Liberals? Nathan Cullen?

Quote:
The NDP has just arrived at being Official Opposition.

Sorry, but when they were nowhere and the Liberals were Official Opposition, were you more favourable to an accord?

I didn't think so.

Quote:
We'll know in an election or two if they can form government or not on their own, which I personally think they can.

What makes you think that? And what happens to Canada in the meantime?

What about a post-election coalition? Where do you stand on that? Did you support the last one?

Quote:
If not, that will be the time to look at alternatives. But who knows, maybe in a couple of elections from now, the Libs may want to join with the Cons to defeat the NDP government.

And the Leafs may win the Stanley Cup.

I despise the neoliberal pro-imperialist grovelling opportunism of the Liberals and the NDP and the Bloc. But Harperism is far far worse than any alternative. That's why I have no difficulty voting NDP when I need to (to defeat the Liberal in my riding), or Bloc (when they had a better chance and a better candidate). And that's why I have no difficulty supporting the notion of an alliance to defeat Harper.

You see, we have practically no die-hard NDP or Liberal or Bloc folks here, the way you very very obviously do in the rest of Canada. That's what makes it hard to understand why progressive people would give undying support to a party - any party - which screws them every single time it actually gets elected.

All support must be conditional, tactical, flexible, changeable. Otherwise, you end up working for Mulcair, instead of vice versa.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm not prepared to wait a couple of elections to see whether the NDP can govern or not. Fuck the NDP, if that's their thinking. I want Harper gone in 2015. Have you paid attention to what he's done already?

NorthReport

That is quite judgemental Unionist, seeing as the Mulcair-led NDP has never held power. Of course Mulcair will not be perfect, no one ever is, but he sure is a lot better than my second choice.

I am no bigger fan of Harper than you are, but what specifically are the terms for this and I cannot help but be so skeptical, for this joint project?

NorthReport

Try being very specific? What joint arrangements are you taking about?

 

Any why should the NDP trust the Liberals when they were fucked over by them when Jack was leader?

 

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:

Try being very specific? What joint arrangements are you taking about?

Ok, how about this: A signed agreement between all opposition parties that they will govern as a coalition if Harper gets a minority win? And that they will introduce PR in their first term, then ask for dissolution and an election?

 

Quote:
Any why should the NDP trust the Liberals when they were fucked over by them when Jack was leader?

That's just childish. This isn't about "trust" - it's about mutual self-interest.

Harper used his tool G-G in December 2008 and outmanoeuvred Dion and Layton and Duceppe, as usual. Furthermore, I'm 103% convinced he had a private deal with Ignatieff, which he then took, laughing, to the bank.

Now, why should the Liberals "trust" the NDP? No sooner had Buzz Hargrove brokered a deal between Martin and Layton for an "NDP budget" in 2005, than Layton decided to vote non-confidence in November. I have never seen, in simple terms a worker like me can fathom, the exact reason Layton voted non-confidence. It was something about health care. But what??

So, nobody trusts anybody. I personally wouldn't trust any of them with 5 cents of my money, let alone the future of my descendants. We do the best we can. And if what Harper represents and does isn't repugnant enough to get you moving now, to defeat him now (not in "one or two elections" FFS), then I guess we'll meet someday on opposite sides of the trenches. I hope not.

So, I gave you my brilliant alliance notion. No merger. No riding deals. No one steps aside for anyone else. Nada, nothing. How do you like it now?

 

Jacob Two-Two

Yeah, looks good. I'd support it. But neither party is ever going to agree to it, so I can't see myself throwing away a lot of energy advocating for it.

Jacob Two-Two

This is what it boils down to for me. We have two scenarios:

1. The NDP builds trust and respect over the next two years, has no major mishaps, and turns in a solid campaign, overtaking the Libs and Cons and forming government.

2. The Liberals and NDP put aside their past and present differences, their egos and ambitions, and collaborate in some way to form a unified front against the Conservative menace.

I guess I'm just a cynic, but I find the second notion to be wildly unlikely, while the first is optomistic but hardly outrageous. So if we think of this in cost-benefit terms, option two loses out. 

Unionist

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

Yeah, looks good. I'd support it. But neither party is ever going to agree to it, so I can't see myself throwing away a lot of energy advocating for it.

You never saw the coalition coming. Neither did I. So let's not write off radical opportunities so easily. Seriously.

mmphosis

Okay, if the Liberals can have some fantasies, maybe I can too.  :)

The NDP is elected as a majority government in the next election because ...

  • the NDP, Greens, and BQ merge to form a united Left-Green-Bloc party
  • Just in time for the next election, Trudeau quits the unpopular Liberals and joins the NDP
  • the NDP drops their unpopular pro-war stances like their recent support of the invasion of Libya
  • the NDP adopts a far more Green platform but not at the expense of their social-democratic values
  • President Obama and the United States Democrats endorse Canada's New Democrats
  • the Conservatives continue to drop in popularity for so many reasons
  • the Wild Rose Party of Canada comes onto the scene
  • of the increasing popularity of the "orange wave"
  • enough people show up to vote

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Anything that takes out the Cons gets my vote. That's my single priority right now for 2015.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Liberals are welcome to join the NDP any time they wish - the door is always open.

I am sure Liberals like Debater feel that love now. The door is open as long as they self flagellate on the the way in and repeat mea culpa mea culpa five million times for all the sins of past Liberal governments.  Otherwise how could you trust them they could just be a fifth column?

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

NorthReport wrote:

 Liberals are welcome to join the NDP any time they wish - the door is always open.

So, you're the official spokesperson for the NDP now?

Aristotleded24

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
What are you basing that on? Overarching analysis of polls show an steady decline in Conservative support. Harper's approval is down, scandals are swirling around the party. Nobody's ever liked Harper. The reason he's won is because the Liberals have been falling apart at the seams and the public was unused to seeing the NDP as an option. I don't see the Liberals getting their shit together, but I think the notion that the NDP can't run the country is fading fast. The Conservatives are totally beatable under the current landscape. In fact, if the election were called tomorrow, I'd have no problem with that.

Boom Boom wrote:
The Opposition to Harper is still divided between the NDP, Liberals, BQ, and Greens. The Liberals will pick up steam once they officially ave a leader, especially if it's Trudeau. Despite seven years of governing this country in a very right wing fashion, the Cons still lead in the last poll I saw, and Harper still leads Mulcair in the leadership polling.

Even so, you look at the current polling, and the Conservatives are not that far ahead of the NDP, so on the numbers we have right now, Harper is very unlikely to hold his majority. That doesn't factor in what may happen during a campaign.

Besides, polls in the interim period don't really mean much. I can remember between the 2004 and the 2005-2006 election, the Liberals were dogged by scandal, and yet the Conservatives never held a lead over the Liberals for more than one consecutive poll. I'm sure that some Conservative activists were just as frustrated as we are now, and yet look how that election turned out.

I also have to reiterate what Jacob said about the perception of ganging up on Harper. Remember that Harper used the "reckless coalition" phrase repeatedly, to good effect for him in the polls. He would certainly campaign against any non-competition agreement or whatever Kinsella and Heath would propose, and he may win a majority based on that anyways.

No. There is no shortcut. You cannot add up the votes of other parties to say, "Harper shouldn't have won because he doesn't have support." More people voted for Harper than any other leader. The only way to defeat him is to do the hard work of having conversations with Canadians, and convincing him that someone else can do a better job than him. That's what Heath, Kinsella, and many other activists who don't spend much time among average people don't understand.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

All the Opposition leaders could be holding town halls and even debating amongst themselves outside of the bunker mentality that is Parliament Hill, just to show that they can get along with each other and don't have to be partisan all the time but rather that they can work together for the betterment of the country. The BQ leader - well, maybe he can do what Gilles Duceppe did once - go across the country and make his case.

JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:
You cannot add up the votes of other parties to say, "Harper shouldn't have won because he doesn't have support." More people voted for Harper than any other leader. 

Following this logic, we could have a few more parties to the left of the Conservatives and Harper would still represent the will of the people even if he received 20% of the vote, as long as his party wins the most seats.

The 30% of the voters who vote for the party that keeps their taxes the lowest are going to stick with the Conservatives. If the Conservatives can keep adding a tiny proportion of the voters to join their core 30%, and there continues to be four significant parties to the left of the Conservatives, the Conservatives will become Canada's new "natural governing party" with the support of just 1 in 3 voters.

JKR

NorthReport wrote:
After the next election wake us up when the ballots have been counted and not before

I'd agree with that. The NDP or Liberals could win the next election, so they are not going to consider any type of pre-election cooperation. So formal coalition arrangements or joint nominations will not take place before the 2015 election.

Here are three possible scenarios I can see looking into my crystal ball:

- My preferred scenario would see the NDP form government in 2015 and establish fair voting / proportional representation. In that case we would all live happily ever after.

- Scenerio #2: The Liberals somehow manage to form a government and establish the electoral system they currently support, the Alternative Vote (AV), single-seat preferential voting. This ends FPTP and the problem of vote splitting and opens the door wider for further electoral reform that will bring in fair voting.

- Scenario #3: The Conservatives form another phony FPTP majority government, which causes a merger of the NDP, Liberals, and Greens into a party that supports fair voting. The merged party unifies the non-Conservative vote and wins the 2019 election and goes on to establish fair voting. Fair voting allows for a multi-party system by the time an election rolls around in 2023. At that point the new Social Democratic Party and the new Liberal Democratic Party form a coalition government that starts Canada onto a path toward social democracy.

NorthReport

After the next election wake us up when the ballots have been counted and not before.

Depending on the results, that would be the time to explore making any arrangements with other parties.

Liberals are welcome to join the NDP any time they wish - the door is always open.

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:
The 30% of the voters who vote for the party that keeps their taxes the lowest are going to stick with the Conservatives. If the Conservatives can keep adding a tiny proportion of the voters to join their core 30%, and there continues to be four significant parties to the left of the Conservatives, the Conservatives will become Canada's new "natural governing party" with the support of just 1 in 3 voters.

I'm not prepared to concede that Conservative voters cannot be convinced to switch parties. In Western Canada, much of the swing vote is a swing NDP-Conservative vote, because the Conservatives and the NDP both claim to be fighting for their version of "the little guy." Here in Manitoba, there are many people who vote NDP provincially and Conservative federally, as evidenced by looking at the distribution of provincial and federal seats.

Try going out and actually dealing with real people instead of listening to what the pundits and the professional politicians have to say.

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