Warren Kinsella and Jamie Heath Together Flog NDP/Lib Merger

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JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

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.

Western Canada is a good example of how FPTP politics works when it is in equilibrium. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and BC, are all two-party dominant systems where one dominant right-wing party does not have a structural advantage over one dominant left wing party because there is no vote splitting. FPTP moves politics toward being 2-party dominant where both parties become relatively centrist big tent parties. That's why FPTP is known as being a two- party system. There's actually a principle in political science called "Duverger's law."

Here's the Wikipedia description of Durverger's law:

Quote:

In political science, Duverger's law is a principle which asserts that plurality rule elections structured within single-member districts tends to favor a two-party system. This is one of two hypotheses proposed by Duverger, the second stating that "the double ballot majority system and proportional representation tend to multipartism."[1]

The discovery of this tendency is attributed to Maurice Duverger, a French sociologist who observed the effect and recorded it in several papers published in the 1950s and 1960s. In the course of further research, other political scientists began calling the effect a "law" or principle. Duverger's law suggests a nexus or synthesis between a party system and an electoral system: a proportional representation (PR) system creates the electoral conditions necessary to foster party development while a plurality system marginalizes many smaller political parties, resulting in what is known as a two-party system.

A two-party system often develops in a plurality voting system. In this system, voters have a single vote, which they can cast for a single candidate in their district, in which only one legislative seat is available. In plurality voting (i.e. first past the post), in which the winner of the seat is determined purely by the candidate with the most votes, several characteristics can serve to discourage the development of third parties and reward the two major parties.

Duverger suggests two reasons this voting system favors a two party system. One is the result of the "fusion" (or an alliance very much like fusion) of the weak parties, and the other is the "elimination" of weak parties by the voters, by which he means that voters gradually desert the weak parties on the grounds that they have no chance of winning.[2][3]

A prominent restrictive feature unique to this system is purely statistical. Because the system gives only the winner in each district a seat, a party which consistently comes third in every district will not gain any seats in the legislature, even if it receives a significant proportion of the vote. This puts geographically thinly spread parties at a significant disadvantage. An example of this is the Liberal Democrats in the UK, whose proportion of seats in the legislature is significantly less than their proportion of the national vote. The Green Party of Canada is also a good example. The party received approximately 5% of the popular vote from 2004-2011 but had only won one seat (out of 308) in the House of Commons in the same span of time. Another example was seen in the 1992 U.S. presidential election, when Ross Perot's candidacy received zero electoral votes despite getting 19% of the popular vote. Gerrymandering is sometimes used to counteract such geographic difficulties in local politics but is controversial on a large scale. These numerical disadvantages can create an artificial limit on the level at which a third party can engage in the political process.

The second unique problem is both statistical and tactical. Duverger suggested an election in which 100,000 moderate voters and 80,000 radical voters are voting for a single official. If two moderate parties ran candidates and one radical candidate were to run, the radical candidate would win unless one of the moderate candidates gathered fewer than 20,000 votes. Observing this, moderate voters would be more likely to vote for the candidate most likely to gain more votes, with the goal of defeating the radical candidate. Either the two parties must merge, or one moderate party must fail, as the voters gravitate to the two strong parties, a trend Duverger called polarization.[4]

A third party can enter the arena only if it can exploit the mistakes of a pre-existing major party, ultimately at that party's expense. For example, the political chaos in the United States immediately preceding the Civil War allowed the Republican Party to replace the Whig Party as the progressive half of the American political landscape. Loosely united on a platform of country-wide economic reform and federally funded industrialization, the decentralized Whig leadership failed to take a decisive stance on the slavery issue, effectively splitting the party along the Mason-Dixon Line. Southern rural planters, initially lured by the prospect of federal infrastructure and schools, quickly aligned themselves with the pro-slavery Democrats, while urban laborers and professionals in the northern states, threatened by the sudden shift in political and economic power and losing faith in the failing Whig candidates, flocked to the increasingly vocal anti-slavery Republican Party.

In countries that use proportional representation (PR), and especially in countries such as Israel where the whole country forms a single constituency, the electoral rules discourage a two-party system. The number of votes received for a party determines the number of seats won, and new parties can thus develop an immediate electoral niche. Duverger identified that the use of PR would make a two-party system less likely. 

This helps explains why the NDP in two-party areas like Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and BC are relativrly centrist. It also explains how someone like Gary Doer can comfortably work for the federal Conservative government while it's hard to imagine some like McDonough or Broadbent doing the same.

In Alberta where the PC Party has historically faced a divided left, they have monopolized power. Now that the right-wing vote is also being split the PC's are suddenly in real danger of losing power.

The federal NDP has a chance of forming government but the current unstable 5-party system that has been with us for just a decade has given the Conservatives a structural advantage. History would indicate that a consolidation of the centre-left will take place. The first party to go may be the Greens as it is easy to envision them merging  with the Liberals.

socialdemocrati...

What's interesting is that the three party system has been stubbornly resilient in Canada. The voters haven't been able to totally eradicate all third parties (although individual parties have faded in fortune). And third parties have been stubbornly resistent to merger

Looking at the federal landscape:

  • Our first 50 years of history are a typical two party system.
  • In 1921, the Progressives AND the "labor" parties win seats. How the allegedly center-left Liberals beat the Conservatives is an interesting discussion.
  • In 1935, the two minor parties are replaced by Social Credit and the CCF. Conservatives collapse. Liberals soar.
  • In 1958, Social Credit collapses, and Conservatives soar.
  • In 1962-63, Social Credit returns. The NDP is formed from the CCF. Conservatives fall to a minority, before being replaced by Liberal minorities/majorities.
  • 1979 Conservatives win freak majority with only 35% of the vote, first majority in 20 years.
  • 1980/1984 Social Credit collapses for the last time. Liberals win a majority before giving the Conservatives a record supermajority.
  • 1993 the Bloc and Reform emerge. The Conservatives collapse suddenly, and the NDP takes a serious hit. Liberal supermajority.
  • 2004 Conservative merger. Liberal minority.
  • 2011 Bloc collapse. Conservative bare majority, NDP opposition. Liberals take a serious hit.

How have we managed to avoid a straight two-party system for almost 100 years?

I think the simplest explanation is regionalism. The third and fourth parties found fertile ground in the West for a long time, in their various forms, ideologies, and positionings. I'd even venture to say that Quebec (obviously under the Bloc, but even under the Union Nationale) didn't align neatly into the Conservative/Liberal positioning that was presented to them Federally. But Western-regionalism gave the minor parties a base, whereas Quebec-regionalism has played a much more varied role in parliament.

A side point is this makes Conservative merger more interesting. In the past, the Progressive Conservatives have made temporary appeals to the western right-wing protest vote. But once the PCs were squeezed out of Quebec, they could no longer say to westerners "you have to vote for us if you want a conservative agenda". With Quebec out of play, the (small-c) conservative center of gravity shifted to Alberta, and the Reform Party turned the tables on the PCs. "If you want a conservative agenda, you have to vote for us."

autoworker autoworker's picture

How can there be co-operation, without consensus on the Clarity Act?

JKR

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

What's interesting is that the three party system has been stubbornly resilient in Canada. The voters haven't been able to totally eradicate all third parties (although individual parties have faded in fortune). And third parties have been stubbornly resistent to merger

...

How have we managed to avoid a straight two-party system for almost 100 years?

I think it's because the Liberals, the party of the centre in Canada, dominated during those 100 years. If the party of the right, the Conservatives/PC's or the party of the left, the CCF/NDP had begun to dominate elections because of vote-splitting on the other side, the Liberals would have been absorbed by other parties like they were in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and BC. When the Liberals were dominating federal politics, who did the Conservatives/PC's have to merge with, the CCF/NDP? Of course not, because people who've supported the Conservative/PC have generally preferred the Liberals over the CCF/NDP. The same holds true on the left. Who did the CCF/NDP have as a possible merger partner to end Liberal hegemony? The Conservatives/PC? This was also a non-choice because CCF/NDP supporters have seen the Conservatives/PC's as being at least as bad as the Liberals.

But now, with our current 5-party configuration, and the party of the right dominating 
there is pressure to end vote-splitting on the left just as there was pressure on the right side ten years ago to merge to end vote-splitting on the right. 

If the PC's and Reform were still separate parties, Paul Martin would likely still be PM, and there would still be a huge amount of pressure on the right for some kind of cooperation.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

autoworker wrote:
How can there be co-operation, without consensus on the Clarity Act?

Well, that is a good question. However, democracy is a majority plus 1. It seems to me that consensus is going to be pretty hard to get. I don't, for example, see any Lib saying that in a election where they one by 1 vote, not saying that there is no need for "clarity". I'm just sayin'. The other questions that really needs to start being asked, given how the Libs have mostly governed this country, why 146 years afters its founding are we still having this discussion? Isn't it time to start asking whether or not the Libs actually did a good job addressing this isssue. I think its reasonable to assert the answer is no.

socialdemocrati...

The Clarity Act is a distraction. It's a piece of anti-democratic legislation that's been otherwise inconsequential. Our federation survived for 125 years and two referendums without it. And now support for Quebec separatism is at its lowest since the movement for independence began.

Liberals and New Democrats agree that we should have a united Canada that includes Quebec. There's a consensus on the fundamental issue of sovereignty.

What we don't have is a consensus on respect for democracy. Liberals are the party of prorogation. The party that limits freedom of speech and freedom of assembly the moment there's a protest of any size. So it's not a surprise that Liberals want to use legalistic loopholes to stop Quebec from leaving.

New Democrats want to actually win Quebeckers' hearts. And seeing as the NDP has succeeded, the whole sovereignty question is moot. (At least, until some party is dumb enough to inflame the dispute again.)

NorthReport

Very nicely said and thanks for that sd.

autoworker autoworker's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

The Clarity Act is a distraction. It's a piece of anti-democratic legislation that's been otherwise inconsequential. Our federation survived for 125 years and two referendums without it. And now support for Quebec separatism is at its lowest since the movement for independence began.

Liberals and New Democrats agree that we should have a united Canada that includes Quebec. There's a consensus on the fundamental issue of sovereignty.

What we don't have is a consensus on respect for democracy. Liberals are the party of prorogation. The party that limits freedom of speech and freedom of assembly the moment there's a protest of any size. So it's not a surprise that Liberals want to use legalistic loopholes to stop Quebec from leaving.

New Democrats want to actually win Quebeckers' hearts. And seeing as the NDP has succeeded, the whole sovereignty question is moot. (At least, until some party is dumb enough to inflame the dispute again.)

The question isn't moot. Trudeau has been unequivocal with regard to the Clarity Act, and his position doesn't jibe with the NPD's, in or out of Quebec. Anyway,I don't believe its quite the hornet's nest that it's made out to be, as we'll likely discover with the next election's result, but it does preclude a merger.

socialdemocrati...

Only a Liberal would respond to an evidence-based argument with "because JT said so".

KenS

You know autoworker, it's hard to figure why you are so interested in the Clarity Act... as far as I can tell, supporting it [at least 'in the final analysis'].

I don't agree with people supporting it. But I easily understand. Except in your case, I can't figure out what stake you might have to apparently feel a need to defend it against the NDP. How many people would name it as a key sticking point in potential cooperation between the NDP and Liberal?

autoworker autoworker's picture

KenS wrote:

You know autoworker, it's hard to figure why you are so interested in the Clarity Act... as far as I can tell, supporting it [at least 'in the final analysis'].

I don't agree with people supporting it. But I easily understand. Except in your case, I can't figure out what stake you might have to apparently feel a need to defend it against the NDP. How many people would name it as a key sticking point in potential cooperation between the NDP and Liberal?

Co-operation and merger are not the same thing. I wouldn't object to a coalition, or even Joyce Murray's proposition. As for the Clarity Act, I don't understand how any federalist could concede to the dissolution of Canada based on a possible result within the margin of a rounding error.

Unionist

The Liberals and NDP have at least a functional consensus on the Clarity Act.

There was a motion in the House to repeal it, and both parties voted "no" - even though the NDP voted against it when it was first enacted.

Give the Liberals some credit. At least they voted the same (wrong) way both times.

I'm proposing a campaign slogan for the NDP:

Clarity Act - can't live with it, can't live without it.

 

Unionist

autoworker wrote:
As for the Clarity Act, I don't understand how any federalist could concede to the dissolution of Canada based on a possible result within the margin of a rounding error.

You mean "any colonialist", don't you? Because if the recognized government of Québec sends a text message to Ottawa and says, "we're now independent", Ottawa has no business looking behind the curtain to second-guess how that decision was made. Ottawa's only business is to say, "fine, that's your decision", then sit down and assert any demands and interests that it wants in order to bring about an orderly, respectful, and peaceful sayonara of Québec from the federation.

As a federalist, you don't have to like the decision. As a democratic person, you can't stop it.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Autoworker, from my perspective, the Libs have basically been charge over this country's history. In all of that time they haven't come up with a solution to Quebec. They have maintained they are the only ones who understand Canada and Canadians, and that Canada NEEDS the LPC. Yet, despite being given the keys over and over, they have failed. So having failed, and having NO lasting solution that will be good for Canada, they just redefine what is a representative vote and tell everyone to basically "live it". So, from my perspective, it seems that you are basically saying, lets continue to reward failure. That is pretty sad, in my opinon. Its obviously time for someone else to drive. And as to your comments about federalists conede the end of Canada, well, whether you intend it or not, that comment almost borders on calling anyone who opposes the Clarity act a tratior. I don't know, I spent 25 years in the Canadian Navy. I am pretty sure that I am a patriot and love Canada as much as you or any Liberal Party member, including, and espeically, Le Dauphin. You may not be personally calling me a traitor, but, it sure feels like it. I'm just sayin'.

Aristotleded24

Arthur Cramer wrote:
Autoworker, from my perspective, the Libs have basically been charge over this country's history. In all of that time they haven't come up with a solution to Quebec. They have maintained they are the only ones who understand Canada and Canadians, and that Canada NEEDS the LPC. Yet, despite being given the keys over and over, they have failed. So having failed, and having NO lasting solution that will be good for Canada, they just redefine what is a representative vote and tell everyone to basically "live it". So, from my perspective, it seems that you are basically saying, lets continue to reward failure. That is pretty sad, in my opinon. Its obviously time for someone else to drive. And as to your comments about federalists conede the end of Canada, well, whether you intend it or not, that comment almost borders on calling anyone who opposes the Clarity act a tratior. I don't know, I spent 25 years in the Canadian Navy. I am pretty sure that I am a patriot and love Canada as much as you or any Liberal Party member, including, and espeically, Le Dauphin. You may not be personally calling me a traitor, but, it sure feels like it. I'm just sayin'.

To say nothing of the fact that it was a Liberal government which presided over the referendum which nearly tore up this country.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Arthur Cramer wrote:
Autoworker, from my perspective, the Libs have basically been charge over this country's history. In all of that time they haven't come up with a solution to Quebec. They have maintained they are the only ones who understand Canada and Canadians, and that Canada NEEDS the LPC. Yet, despite being given the keys over and over, they have failed. So having failed, and having NO lasting solution that will be good for Canada, they just redefine what is a representative vote and tell everyone to basically "live it". So, from my perspective, it seems that you are basically saying, lets continue to reward failure. That is pretty sad, in my opinon. Its obviously time for someone else to drive. And as to your comments about federalists conede the end of Canada, well, whether you intend it or not, that comment almost borders on calling anyone who opposes the Clarity act a tratior. I don't know, I spent 25 years in the Canadian Navy. I am pretty sure that I am a patriot and love Canada as much as you or any Liberal Party member, including, and espeically, Le Dauphin. You may not be personally calling me a traitor, but, it sure feels like it. I'm just sayin'.

To say nothing of the fact that it was a Liberal government which presided over the referendum which nearly tore up this country.

Hence, the Clarity Act.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

-

autoworker autoworker's picture

Unionist wrote:

autoworker wrote:
As for the Clarity Act, I don't understand how any federalist could concede to the dissolution of Canada based on a possible result within the margin of a rounding error.

You mean "any colonialist", don't you? Because if the recognized government of Québec sends a text message to Ottawa and says, "we're now independent", Ottawa has no business looking behind the curtain to second-guess how that decision was made. Ottawa's only business is to say, "fine, that's your decision", then sit down and assert any demands and interests that it wants in order to bring about an orderly, respectful, and peaceful sayonara of Québec from the federation.

As a federalist, you don't have to like the decision. As a democratic person, you can't stop it.

 

The Crown would be well-advised to ignore provocative jesters.

Aristotleded24

autoworker wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Arthur Cramer wrote:
Autoworker, from my perspective, the Libs have basically been charge over this country's history. In all of that time they haven't come up with a solution to Quebec. They have maintained they are the only ones who understand Canada and Canadians, and that Canada NEEDS the LPC. Yet, despite being given the keys over and over, they have failed. So having failed, and having NO lasting solution that will be good for Canada, they just redefine what is a representative vote and tell everyone to basically "live it". So, from my perspective, it seems that you are basically saying, lets continue to reward failure. That is pretty sad, in my opinon. Its obviously time for someone else to drive. And as to your comments about federalists conede the end of Canada, well, whether you intend it or not, that comment almost borders on calling anyone who opposes the Clarity act a tratior. I don't know, I spent 25 years in the Canadian Navy. I am pretty sure that I am a patriot and love Canada as much as you or any Liberal Party member, including, and espeically, Le Dauphin. You may not be personally calling me a traitor, but, it sure feels like it. I'm just sayin'.

To say nothing of the fact that it was a Liberal government which presided over the referendum which nearly tore up this country.

Hence, the Clarity Act.

It was the Liberals who messed up to the point of allowing the referendum to be that close in the first place, then it was their federal branding campaign which resulted in the Sponsorship Scandal and revived Bloc fortunes.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

autoworker wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Arthur Cramer wrote:
Autoworker, from my perspective, the Libs have basically been charge over this country's history. In all of that time they haven't come up with a solution to Quebec. They have maintained they are the only ones who understand Canada and Canadians, and that Canada NEEDS the LPC. Yet, despite being given the keys over and over, they have failed. So having failed, and having NO lasting solution that will be good for Canada, they just redefine what is a representative vote and tell everyone to basically "live it". So, from my perspective, it seems that you are basically saying, lets continue to reward failure. That is pretty sad, in my opinon. Its obviously time for someone else to drive. And as to your comments about federalists conede the end of Canada, well, whether you intend it or not, that comment almost borders on calling anyone who opposes the Clarity act a tratior. I don't know, I spent 25 years in the Canadian Navy. I am pretty sure that I am a patriot
and love Canada as much as you or any Liberal Party member, including,
and espeically, Le Dauphin. You may not be personally calling me a
traitor, but, it sure feels like it. I'm just sayin'.

To say nothing of the fact that it was a Liberal government which presided over the referendum which nearly tore up this country.

Hence, the Clarity Act.

It was the Liberals who messed up to the point of allowing the referendum to be that close in the first place, then it was
their federal branding campaign which resulted in the Sponsorship Scandal and revived Bloc fortunes.

With the NPD as ideologically pure as the driven snow, why would it entertain a merger with such scoundrels?

KenS

Who is entertaining it?

Jamie Heath proposes it. [And to be fair, he is not proposing merger. But getting into some kind of bed together other than to hammer out a coalition for governing, is significant enough.]

He proposes it. It's of interest, whether you like the idea or not.

There is just about no way I would support it. If it comes, that would end my engagement with electoral politics.

But its a great topic for focusing.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Ken, AW is yanking your chain. He thinks that NDP partisans are too partisan, and the LPC centerism is the answer to everything. Nope, no ideological purity, just mushy, whatever the way the wind blows governance with a sole eye to holding onto power. Yep, that's the ticket!

socialdemocrati...

I'd entertain merger with the Liberal Party because at least they've campaigned on a few of the things that the NDP stands for, even if they also ended up campaigning and governing on the things that Conservatives stand for. I think inside most people are people who are "socialist about some things" and "conservative about other things". A successful movement will tap into peoples' better angles. Keep in mind that in the past, the Liberal party passed universal health care, a national energy policy, and even a Charter of Rights. It just took a minority government propped up by the NDP to get there, and/or a provincial NDP government leading the way.

Liberal voters deserve better than the leaders they've elected.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

A merger of the two parties would lead to a completely centrist party. The NDP has many left leaning centrists in its membership plus some lefties.  If you merge that with the centrists in the Liberal party and you let the members democratically decide on policy then you don't get anything but a re-branded liberal party where the left wing is even more marginalized than within the current NDP.

We need more parties not less. The Conservatives are getting stale and the Canadian voter has a way of sticking with politicians until the tipping point arrives and then they get the bums rush.  I suspect that the day of reckoning is coming sooner than the Conservatives imagine. The scandals are going to kill them just like it killed the Liberals and Lying Brian.

JKR

kropotkin1951 wrote:
We need more parties not less.

And the only way that's going to happen is if we get fair voting / proportional representation.

It would be great if we had a party that supported policies such as adding a universal drug plan, dental care, and optometry to Medicare, free public transit, universal child care/early education, leaving NATO, fair trade, global democratic governance, free post-secondary education, a guaranteed annual income, adequate housing for all, guaranteed union representation on corporate boards, more public recreational centers, etc....

janfromthebruce

The Liberal Party that SD talks off when the way of the Dodo bird pre-1993, and is not progressive now.

socialdemocrati...

Yeah, I'd have to agree that the Liberal party changed when I was a kid. The Liberal party that worked with the NDP on those major things, I only know from history books. That why the operative word is "entertain", not actually advocate.

mark_alfred

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The Conservatives are getting stale and the Canadian voter has a way of sticking with politicians until the tipping point arrives and then they get the bums rush.  I suspect that the day of reckoning is coming sooner than the Conservatives imagine. The scandals are going to kill them just like it killed the Liberals and Lying Brian.

I agree.  I think they've plateaued and can only go down.

Debater

mark_alfred wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The Conservatives are getting stale and the Canadian voter has a way of sticking with politicians until the tipping point arrives and then they get the bums rush.  I suspect that the day of reckoning is coming sooner than the Conservatives imagine. The scandals are going to kill them just like it killed the Liberals and Lying Brian.

I agree.  I think they've plateaued and can only go down.

I agree with you.  I think the CPC will find it difficult to build on the 39.8% from 2011.  They do not appear capable of getting over 40% and have not been able to even stay in the high 30's since the last election.  In a lot of polling they are down in the low 30's, as in today's Abacus poll.

They are looking at a loss of seats in the next election.  Now the question is of course, which party is most likely to benefit from a decrease in Conservative support?  It depends on the riding and province obviously to some extent, but on a National level, history would say it is the Liberals.  Red tories, Blue liberals etc. who are thinking of leaving Harper are more likely to vote Liberal than NDP.

Too soon to say for sure at this early stage, but that is certainly what appears to have happened in the Abacus poll.  CPC support is down and LPC support is up but NDP support is stable.  So it appears the CPC voters from 2011 are going back to the LPC.

But early days yet.  Too soon for LPC to assume they will pick up those voters.

socialdemocrati...

I definitely think Trudeau is making a play for the anti-gun registry, anti-environment vote, pro-foreign investment vote. Whether Conservatives vote for him is whether they (a) believe him and/or (b) hate the prospect of an NDP government even more. Right now, that drop in Conservative support hasn't translated into more support for the other parties, and they'd be pretty inclined to stay home or plug their nose and vote Conservative.

But I don't think the drop in Conservative support is based on wanting more "progressive" Conservatives, considering Harper has dodged the issues of abortion and gay marriage. (No matter how many times Liberals try to insist that there's a hidden agenda there, while ignoring the bigots in their own caucus.) The PCs / red Tories must be pretty happy. Not sure what they'd be angry about.

The drop in Conservative support is definitely based more on frustration with scandals and wasted money and abuse of power. If a party could position itself as truly reforming and cleaning up government? There's a lot of voters there.

North Star

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I definitely think Trudeau is making a play for the anti-gun registry, anti-environment vote, pro-foreign investment vote. Whether Conservatives vote for him is whether they (a) believe him and/or (b) hate the prospect of an NDP government even more. Right now, that drop in Conservative support hasn't translated into more support for the other parties, and they'd be pretty inclined to stay home or plug their nose and vote Conservative.

 

 

I don't think Trudeau can appeal to that constituency. A blue Liberal like Hall-Findlay or John Manley could have. For those kind of voters I'm willing to bet a lot of them are turned off by the Trudeau name, and think his Dad was the co-chair of the Comintern with Fidel Castro. 

Slumberjack

Everytime I see this thread come up on TAT my brain cues up that old song from Air Supply, 'making love out of nothing at all.'  Knock it off.

KenS

North Star wrote:

I don't think Trudeau can appeal to that constituency. A blue Liberal like Hall-Findlay or John Manley could have....

What makes yu think that any kind of ideological consistency is required for making those appeals?

Slumberjack

If there's any substance to this kind of talk, instead of ideological consistency we're sure to bear witness to all sorts of caprices as they unfold.

janfromthebruce

And red tories are just as likely to vote NDP as Liberal, to suggest otherwise is to ignore the west, where that is exactly what happens.

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:

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?

Good. One problem: it will take about three years before that election: a year to consult on and design the model, a year to hold boundaries hearings for the new larger ridings (assuming MMP), and a year for Elections Canada to get ready for the new system. The coalition will need to govern for three years. A pre-election agreement on all of that would be most unlikely. An agreement to co-operate in bringing in PR would make sense even if the NDP won a majority, since multi-party design makes sense for a multi-party system. A signed coalition agreement before the election? Unlikely.

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

And when they currently oppose PR? Big problem.

Unionist wrote:
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.

Agreed.

JKR wrote:
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.

Still very possible.

JKR wrote:
Scenario #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.

Umm, but no country has ever moved from AV to PR. This argument was debated at length in the UK referendum on AV. There is just no evidence that it would open the door wider.

Societies rarely change their voting systems for parliamentary, legislature or council elections. When those scarce opportunities arise by popular demand, proposals for cosmetic change are diversionary and may make the legislatures even less representative. Some established politicians are only too willing to misdirect public opinion in the name of reform. Democrats must be constant in the demand for fair democratic representation for every citizen and nothing less.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
We need more parties not less.

What he said.

JKR

janfromthebruce wrote:

And red tories are just as likely to vote NDP as Liberal, to suggest otherwise is to ignore the west, where that is exactly what happens.

According to a recent Abacus poll, the 2nd choice of Conservatives is much more likely to be the Liberals than the NDP. Here are theIr numbers:

Conservative's 2nd Preference:
Liberal: 57%
NDP: 20%
Other: 15%
Green: 8%
BQ: 1%

http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/why-a-change-to-your-ballot-w...

Ippurigakko

JKR wrote:
janfromthebruce wrote:

And red tories are just as likely to vote NDP as Liberal, to suggest otherwise is to ignore the west, where that is exactly what happens.

According to a recent Abacus poll, the 2nd choice of Conservatives is much more likely to be the Liberals than the NDP. Here are theIr numbers: Conservative's 2nd Preference: Liberal: 57% NDP: 20% Other: 15% Green: 8% BQ: 1%
">http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/why-a-change-to-your-ballot-w...

Weird.... No wonder if Trudeau become lib leader they vote him like 39% from conservative is 2nd place.... but NDP 20% went to Liberal? no make sense?

And I shocked about BQ 2nd choice like NDP 61% and Lib ONLY 2%!

Lib 2nd choice is NDP 57%... vs Con`s 2nd choice Lib 57%? looks like switch...

Cons going to Liberal and Liberal (Non-tory supporter) going to NDP. WEIRD?

janfromthebruce

Well, I did suggest that red tories will also go NDP, as 20% of Cons suggest their 2nd choice is NDP. To suggest that the Liberals in the end would support a NDP minority govt or create a coalition govt with the Cons is to ignore history and 2nd place choices here. Liberals would more likely support the Cons rather than the NDP.

sherpa-finn

I want to try to connect the dots between this thread (on the case for/against electoral collaboration between the NDP, Libs + Greens) and the Electoral Projections thread for 2015.

What I see on the latter thread is an emerging consensus that an election in 2015 will most probably bring us a minority gov't of uncertain colour, but quite possibly with the Conservatives having a small plurality once again.

And what I see on this thread is a general aversion to any formal pre-election agreements between parties, - the case being made to let the people speak and the electoral chips fall where they may ... it will then be up to Mulcair, Trudeau and May - having given it their best shots in a national campaign, to assemble some sort of progressive coalition in teh House afterwards. 

Forgive me, - but haven't we all seen this film already? What makes us believe that if the Tories do get another plurality in 2015, that Mulcair + Friends will ever get a sniff of power?

My view is that if this does in fact look like the most probable post election scenario, the 3 'progressive parties' will need to go into the 2015 campaign with some sort of electoral agreement formally committing to work together on a set of key policy issues. Making such an agreement before the election will remove the inevitable Tory complaint after the election that the other parties are engaged in treason and have no right or mandate to 'overthrow' their duly elected minority gov't.  Such an agreement would also  hopefully oblige the Governor General to invite the Leader of the Opposition over for tea once the Tory minority gov't falls, as it must.  

Just BTW, my list of issues for the joint platform would comprise a broad set of commitments on electoral reform, gov't transparency, environmental protection, aboriginal rights and international relations. I would keep 'hard' economic issues out of the joint platform, and encourage the parties to campaign on their distinct (or not) economic platforms. 

socialdemocrati...

What's interesting is when you go regional. http://www.threehundredeight.com/2013/03/preferential-ballot-poll.html

Take BC, where provincial Conservatives are used to voting strategically Liberal to stop the NDP. Liberals are (on average) 20 points behind the NDP and 30 points behind the Conservatives. Liberals are in third or fourth place in nearly every BC riding. The most likely result?  So if Conservative support falls, then the NDP picks up seats. At least a few, possibly many.

The picture isn't much different in the Prairies. Liberals are in third or fourth nearly everywhere here. Liberals are behind Conservatives by an average of 40 in Manitoba and by an average of 60 in Alberta. Liberals are in no position to pick up anything, and Conservatives can't get much higher. The only consolation for the right wing parties is that any "2nd choice" swapping between them probably won't help too many New Democrats either. The prairies are unfortunately the most static region for voter change.

Ontario and Atlantic Canada are the most fluid. Liberals and New Democrats are pretty close to each other, with a soft but significant lead for the Conservatives. Hard to say whether any fluidity will benefit Liberals or New Democrats, and that will depend a lot on the campaign. But it will definitely hurt the Conservatives the most.

The best news is Quebec.

Not only is the NDP the most popular first choice. They're also the most popular second choice.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Q4S5BtBGA8s/UVOBo8LZLqI/AAAAAAAAONU/SBJXGh1p-F...

The NDP is the most popular second choice among Liberal supporters at 54%. Conservative voters are just as likely to pick Liberals OR NDP as their second choice, at 40%. And among Bloc supporters, the NDP is their second choice at 61%, and no other federal party breaks 20% for Bloc's second choice.

janfromthebruce

And I don't see the Liberals as progressive, so perhaps rather than suggest that Liberals are progressive, we evaluate the differences between parties. Next the Greens under Elizabeth May. May has shown repeatedly that she despises the NDP, no matter the leader. It does not matter how many NDP elected with solid environmental credientials, she throws them under the bridge.

There was an article today which personally made sense to me. Why doesn’t Elizabeth May just join the Liberals?

Most recently, she announced the Greens would not be running a candidate in the upcoming Labrador byelection against ex-Conservative cabinet minister, Peter Penashue, and she strongly urged the NDP to follow suit, as this would increase the probability of a Liberal victory. May’s point is that such electoral co-operation is needed to defeat their common enemy, the Conservatives.

This might be true, but please note May is not asking the Liberals to step aside in the name of electoral co-operation, even though as the Toronto Star’s Chantal Hébert recently pointed out, the provincial NDP is growing in popularity in Newfoundland and Labrador.

As a further reminder was what happen in the past 3 recent byelections, where there was 3 candidates and a Conservative. In particular, where in Ontario the Green did not stand a chance, and nor the Liberal, as the NDP had come 2nd last time, and also 2nd in the by election results.

More silly season happen in the Calary election. May is full of crap and personally I just wish she would join the Liberals and be done with it.

Aristotleded24

sherpa-finn wrote:
And what I see on this thread is a general aversion to any formal pre-election agreements between parties, - the case being made to let the people speak and the electoral chips fall where they may ... it will then be up to Mulcair, Trudeau and May - having given it their best shots in a national campaign, to assemble some sort of progressive coalition in teh House afterwards. 

Forgive me, - but haven't we all seen this film already? What makes us believe that if the Tories do get another plurality in 2015, that Mulcair + Friends will ever get a sniff of power?

My view is that if this does in fact look like the most probable post election scenario, the 3 'progressive parties' will need to go into the 2015 campaign with some sort of electoral agreement formally committing to work together on a set of key policy issues. Making such an agreement before the election will remove the inevitable Tory complaint after the election that the other parties are engaged in treason and have no right or mandate to 'overthrow' their duly elected minority gov't.  Such an agreement would also  hopefully oblige the Governor General to invite the Leader of the Opposition over for tea once the Tory minority gov't falls, as it must.

The flip side is that Harper has been running against a "reckless coalition" of "socialists, separatists, and Liberals" for the last 5 years, and any such arrangement before the election would allow him to try again. And if he gest another majority again, then what?

When Jack campaigned in 2011, he did not campaign on the idea of a coalition. He campaigned on advancing his agenda, and said he was willing to work with the mandate that the Canadian public voted for. If that couuld be achieved through some sort of accord or coalition, that was fine. A formal agreement is essentially putting the cart before the horse.

KenS

sherpa-finn wrote:

What I see ... is an emerging consensus that an election in 2015 will most probably bring us a minority gov't of uncertain colour, but quite possibly with the Conservatives having a small plurality once again.

..... 

Forgive me, - but haven't we all seen this film already? What makes us believe that if the Tories do get another plurality in 2015, that Mulcair + Friends will ever get a sniff of power?

My view is that if this does in fact look like the most probable post election scenario, the 3 'progressive parties' will need to go into the 2015 campaign with some sort of electoral agreement formally committing to work together on a set of key policy issues.

The Prorogue / Governor-General events were fairly unique.

That aside, including it as special case actually, what would make a 2015 Cons plurality durable again is what was generalized last time: there was always at least one party needed for deposing Harper who was mortally in fear of an election. The Coalition attempt was an exception Harper end ran. He was able to end run it because he could bully the Liberals back into hiding. In other words: he could do it because the fear of at least one party was the norm.

We could have re-run of that again. It could be the Liberals, it could be the NDP, who are too frozen to move. Doesnt matter which.

Tell us how a pre-election agreement is going to 'solve' this?

Sean in Ottawa

The Conservatives may have peaked in popular vote in the last election, however with the new seats and the right placement they could get the same proportion of seats with a lower popular vote.

sherpa-finn

 

Sean in Ottawa: The Conservatives may have peaked in popular vote in the last election, however with the new seats and the right placement they could get the same proportion of seats with a lower popular vote.

Absolutely: so we have to work to chisel away at this Tory Majority - agreed! As other Babblers have discussed in this and other threads, there are assorted, feasible electoral scenarios by which to make that happen, driven most likely by the combination of modest Liberal gains in Ontario and modest NDP gains out west.  

But it is not at all so obvious that these gains can be cranked up into a majority gov't for either the NDP or Liberal. Or even an NDP or Liberal plurality, for that matter. Indeed, if I was a betting man, today I'd have to put my money on the most likely 2015 post-electoral scenario being another Conservative minority gov't. 

So, where does that leave Canadians?  With the GG inviting Mr Harper (or Kenny, or Baird) back over to Rideau Hall to form yet another Conservative gov't. And we are back to the future to 2006. Or as Yogia Berra reportedly said, "Its deja vu, all over again!".

So then, as Ken S suggests, the Tories will do the old "divide and conquer" routine for a couple of years, and when Mulcair or Trudeau finally pulls the plug on the Minority Gov't, its straight back to the hustings again. With the Tories again the perennial favourites as they make the case for a majority to restore economic stability and investor confidence. Should the NDP + Libs then dare to suggest the formation of a parliamentary alliance or coalition instead of an election, the Conservative wolves and MSM will be out howling about this treasonous attempt to hijack our democracy. 

So, my question simply is this: given the strong likelihood of another Conservative minority gov't in 2015, what should Messrs. Mulcair and Trudeau be doing to make 'another future' possible?

From where I sit, the prospect of a possible parliamentary alliance post 2015 should be put on the table before the next election. This way, everyone knows going into the campaign what the possible scenarios are coming out. Yet there is no compromising of the political need and interests of all the national parties (and leaders) to go out and give it their all, chasing after every vote in every constituency across the country.

That's just my take: it seems to me to be a damn sight more palatable a scenario than watching another electoral slug-fest leading to the 33% Tories emerging once again as rulers of the roost. And it seems much more likely to bring change than any of these parallel discussion of party mergers or public campaigns for strategic voting.

Sean in Ottawa

Liberal-NDP cooperation is not automatic and it is not based on any recent goodwill.

To defeat the Conservatives neither the NDP or the Liberals has to have a majority-- so what would it take you ask?

If either party had more seats than the Conservatives the other would work with them. I feel certain of that.

The concern is if the Conservatives have the greatest number of seats. If the Liberals had fewer seats than Harper but close, I am confident that the NDP would dance with them rather than the Conservatives. However, if the NDP had fewer seats than the Conservatives, it is less clear that the Liberals would cooperate to remove the Conservatives. Would the Liberals choose to support an NDP government or a Conservative government? Would they claim that the outgoing government before the election should have an opportunity or not?

The NDP have worked with the Liberals before but they have not found them reliable partners in spite of some successes.

Neither party will agree to a pre-election alliance. To do so would mean dropping candidates and supporters in up to half the country. The NDP and the Liberals are simply not close enough to each other in policies, leadership or supporters. They do not have a shared history. They don't trust or like each other. These are distinct movements with distinct ideologies. Certainly they oppose the Conservatives and I agree it is not correct to say the current Liberals are close to the current Conservatives. In many respects the current Liberals are very similar to the old Progressive Conservatives in outlook, ideology and policies and they have some aspects of older Liberal traditions. The NDP can observe some common cause with them but cannot ignore the differences.

The fact that so many keep ignoring is the reality that the difference between the NDP and the Liberals is no less great than the difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives. Common candidates, restricted choices in an election cannot be contemplated on this basis.

This is not to say some cooperation cannot exist. Both parties can commit to work to remove Harper (the NDP will believe the Liberals when they see it though based on past experience).

Both parties could, as I suggested, run joint ads on the Conservative record,sharing some anti conservative ad cost. They cannot, however, share a program. The NDP would have to be careful to distinguish itself from the Liberals, however, to avoid painting the Liberals as more progressive than they actually are.

Both parties could agree to certain electoral changes and agree to a joint bill to enact those changes following an election should they have enough votes to make it law.

But none of this deals with the problem of split opposition to Harper. You can't solve that riddle because it is a reality: there is more than one vision to replace Harper. You cannot fix the electoral system which favours the Conservatives without winning power first. You cannot restore democracy by restricting it to win election.

The NDP, no doubt, will appeal to Canadians to be given a chance to govern, saying that the Liberals as an opposition have had chances, governed badly at times, and not merited election in several outings. Let the NDP have the greatest number of seats and form a government. If enough people agree to that we can have a change of government. If they are split between that and the draw of a celebrity son then we have a problem. This is the challenge of a system where you don't go fixing elections by limiting democratic options.

KenS

As badly as people want to get rid of Harper, no one is ever going to win without a vision of what follows.

And what would the "vision" be of a committee concocted vehicle of convenience?

KenS

It would take some pretty fancy negotiations to have a pre-election alliance that covered anything more than mutual agreements to not run candidates [no small thing in itself].

For one thing, when [if] party leaders start thinking about it what comes up immediately is not wanting to be bound to strategic agreements when you dont know what things will look like after the election. Junior partner in a coalition puts the future of your party at great risk.

The only time there has been a pre-election alliance in countries with our Westminster FPTP parliamentary democracies, the two parties explicitly saw it as a step towards merger. [Libs and Social Democrats in the UK.] There are very compelling reasons that is true. Not least: figure out how a party is to campaign to voters to vote for you, when that translates into 'maybe you get the other party in the drivers seat'. Nobody has figured out how to do that walk and chew gum. And its not lack of creativity or political will. Political will for what? If your political will is that your poltical parties dont matter, then sure, its easy. But what does the replacement look like? Is anything other than even more bare grab at winning for winning's sake?

socialdemocrati...

Jack had it right. You don't campaign on a coalition. You campaign on an agenda, and say you'll work with any party to get it done.

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