05.11.2011 02:17 PM

Unity now

There’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell that Liberals or New Democrats will pay this any heed.

But they should.

39 Comments

  1. Mandos says:

    I mean, this discussion is so self-absorbed. What I want to know is what Liberals will give up in order for this merger to be accomplished.

    NDP supporters are used to losing, so the idea of continuing to lose in order to maintain platform integrity is not so odd. Simply because of this, the NDP will always be in a stronger position in merger talks—even if the tables were turned in terms of seat numbers. Above all, socialist or otherwise, union or otherwise, the federal NDP’s support consists in large part of idealists.

    What is the sine qua non or bottom-line of the Liberal pro-merger faction?

    • Attack! says:

      Well, this is a Lib’s site, which is why it’s proceeding from a Lib’s point of view, M, and since when should such negotiations be done in public right under the scornful eyes of the mutual enemies?

  2. Michael Behiels says:

    Yes, hell will freeze over etc etc before thoughts turn inevitably to the creation of a new centre-left coalition of various groups, some of them in the LPC, some of them in the NDP, and some of them not aligned with any centre-left party at the moment. It must be a BIG RAINBOW TENT!

    Emotions must first run their course before cooler heads prevail.

    The bloom has to come off the Orange Crush rose. Dippers have to come to their senses and realize that they are not in any position to stop Harper from implementing step by step his full New Right Conservative Agenda.

    The Liberals have to become aware of how and why they ended up as a rump in Parliament. They have to put the sordid last decade behind them, become a far more democratic organizations, and turn to a new generation of younger liberals who have the energy and determination to build (not rebuilt the old Party) a very new 21st century party representing 21st century liberal ideas and values.

    Once the dust has settled for both Dippers and the Liberal party then a rational discussion can proceed on why and how the two parties can comes together to form a unity centre-left party. This new party will have to be capable of contesting and then beating what has become a powerful New Right Conservative coalition and a Conservative government with a virtual monopoly of economic and political power in its hands.

    This challenge is not for the faint of heart nor will it happen just because liberals and social democrats think it should happen. It will take a lot of very hard work and the determination to overcome one serious obstacle after another. It took the New Right Conservatives over twenty years to obtain a majority government.

    • Mandos says:

      The Liberals became, basically, under Chretien and Martin, the party of mainstream neoliberal economics. The Conservatives are the same but with a resentful Randroid and SoCon flavour (which existed in Liberal ranks…). From the point of view of NDP-supporting political idealists, these are two forms of long-term unsustainable calamity. That is the bottom line here, the real obstacle to a merger.

      • Philip says:

        Exactly. From a Liberal Party member’s perspective I must say that it is the economic differences that present the biggest hurdle to a merger in my mind. I don’t see any unbridgeable gaps between the NDP and the LPC on the social policy side.

  3. H Holmes says:

    Why?

    How have dynamics in Canadian Politics changed in the last 75 years.

    There are progressives, liberals, and conservatives.
    This hasn’t changed.

    MacKenzie King, Trudeau and Chretien seemed to make it work.
    Seems like lots of people are looking for a quick fix, instead of a long term solution.

    I am not.

  4. Marc says:

    Warren

    I had understood that one of the things that drew you to politics and to Mr Chretien was his strong stand against accomodation with Quebec nationalism.

    Would you be willing to sign up to ‘soft’ Quebec nationalism in order to be part of a united Liberal-NDP party, or do you consider that that NDP would have to renounce their current acceptance of Quebec nationalism, which played a significant role in their almost doubling their vote total and tripling their caucus in the last election, as a condition of merger with the Liberal Party?

  5. Cromwell says:

    If it’s such a brilliant idea, why aren’t you suggesting it for the Ontario Liberals and NDP ?

  6. Harith says:

    NDP don’t need the Liberals.

    If this is the only answer for the Liberals right now they might as well just end it now.

  7. billg says:

    How have dynamics in Canadian Politics changed in the last 75 years……
    Oh I dunno…computers…the internet….open sexuality…gay marriage….planes crashing into buildings…..seems like a dynamic change to me

    • H Holmes says:

      This has been a three party country since Benett.

      The progressives, had their own party.
      They then worked with the liberals, causing many to join the Conservatives and also caused a split with unions making the CCF.
      CCF, then joined disenfranchised Liberals to Make the New Democrats.

      The PC’s made a bad deal with Quebec nationalists and got burned by the nationalist wings of the party Reform and Bloc.

      All the while in Quebec the votes have gone from hard line federalist parties to nationalist parties.

      Joining with the NDP won’t change the fact that this is a three party country.

      It also doesn’t change the fact that the conservatives still have strong regional wings in their party that they will have to contend with.

      You should always look to the past to see the future, Harper sure did.

  8. WildGuesser says:

    Why does he call the Liberals the ‘left’. Canada has achieved so much because of the 3 party system and the 2 main parties having to stay close to the centre in order to get votes. A 2 party system would not be good for Canada. The Liberal party returning to compete for the centre, and not trying to compete for the left with the NDP, is best for the LPC and for Canada in the long term.

  9. Matt M says:

    Why should the Liberals merge with the NDP? I think it makes more sense to merge with the Conservative Party, they are better positioned than Bloc lite these days.

  10. Craig says:

    What an incredibly defeatist article/attitude. Boiled down, it is really just saying there is no “centre” any more and thus there should be no Liberal Party any more and we should all just join the NDP. Is that what you are really saying too, Warren?

  11. jeffm says:

    It’s funny listening to Liberals argue out the whole merge/don’t issue as if that was a decision that will be made by Liberals. In case you missed the election last week, that decision will now be made by the NDP, not Liberals. Based on the election results it will not be a merger, but a takeover by the NDP.

  12. just call me rick says:

    I agree-merge the parties and form a brand new party with a new constitution. With 8 years of Conservative rule (likely 2 majorities) will come massive deficits and debts (like W in the U.S.). Flaherty did the same in Ontario. %.6 Billion dollar deficit during the best of econimic times. That’s been the end-game of the Cons- to create massive debt so that no matter who is in power, you won’t be able to invest in social programs and create a more equitable country. Why would a Progressive Party want to rule over rubble? Circumstances will prevent it from becoming too Progressive. Merge to prevent the catastrophe.

  13. just call me rick says:

    I agree-merge the parties and form a brand new party with a new constitution. With 8 years of Conservative rule (likely 2 majorities) will come massive deficits and debts (like W in the U.S.). Flaherty did the same in Ontario. $5.6 Billion dollar deficit during the best of econimic times. That’s been the end-game of the Cons- to create massive debt so that no matter who is in power, you won’t be able to invest in social programs and create a more equitable country. Why would a Progressive Party want to rule over rubble? Circumstances will prevent it from becoming too Progressive. Merge to prevent the catastrophe.

  14. The Doctor says:

    Yeah, the institutional role that unions (esp. the Canadian Labour Congress) play in the NDP is something that a lot of merger proponents have not really addressed. The NDP is unique among Canadian political parties in that regard; there is no other major Canadian political party that has a guaranteed, enshrined and institutionalized role set aside for an interest group the way the NDP does for Big Labour.

    As far as I can see, if a merged Dipper-Lib party tried to do away with that, Big Labour would go ballistic. If it kept that feature, then the new party would be the bitch of Big Labour, the way the NDP is now.

  15. Michael says:

    Prior to 1993 there was a PC party on the right, the Liberals and the NDP on the left. Why didn’t the left vote get split then?

    Even if you forget about the years after 1993 when there were two parties on the right (PC & Reform in its various incarnations), why was there no talk of vote splitting pre- 2006 when Harper managed to finally win an election?

    All of the sudden now that Harper has won a couple of elections it’s all due to the splitting of the vote on the left?

    All of this left, right, centre stuff is obsolete thinking. Take the Harper government as an example. What exactly is right wing about it? It’s a convenient label that appeals to a lot of people, but I don’t see a government that has increased spending, increased the size of the civil service, relied on governement spending to stimulate the economy as right wing. And they have yet to touch any of the right wing social issues with a 10 foot pole. So what exactly is right wing about Harper?

    To me all of you pro-merger people just sound like Chicken Little going on about how the sky is falling.

  16. Danny Boy says:

    Rick I sense from the tone of your argument that you are not a member of either party….I can see many problems at the provincial level………In the NDP we don’t have separate organizations, unlike the Liberals and Conservatives we belong to the federal and provincial wings as well……after we jump into bed together it will take a tremendous amount of goodwill to forge a new party………it may be possible in Ontario but what happens in BC where the right has coalesced around the provincial Liberals?
    Gord, public financing has loosened the bonds somewhat between the NDP and labour movement though few dippers would agree, if Harper ditches it we may have to turn to our base

  17. brucewayne says:

    LMAO, ….the LPC kneecapped it’s own leader just to save a few bucks….LMAO

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2011/05/11/18135356.html

  18. One of the premises of this article is nonesense:

    “Until the left unites into one political party, there will continue to be a string of majority or minority Conservative governments in Canada. Now that the Conservatives finally have their long-sought first majority, we can expect more because the elimination of subsidies to all political parties is soon to come as promised. This one stroke will drive the final nail in the Liberal coffin because none of the remaining political parties, individually, will have the financial support base to carry on.”

    And that is absurd. There are millions of potential donors in Canada. These words exemplify why the Liberal party has crapped out so dramatically. They see the ‘financial base’ as a fixed pot of money. What nonesense. If the CPC was so stupid, they would still be stuck with a ‘financial support base’ instead of an ever growing number of eager contributors. If you actually cared about organising, and winning future elections, then you would be growing your base every day, and reaching out for new members. Instead you are mired in the past, where new members are purchased by the truckload for the purpose of voting in leadership contests, then discarded once their purpose is fulfilled. And to top it all, you are now taking out the long knives for a ‘Leadership’ contest. If it is as odiferous as they usually are, the Liberal Party isn`t likely to recover from this election.

    I don`t know why I comment here, it isn`t like you actually care what canadians think. Too busy navel gazing. I guess I am saddened that the Liberal Party, which once meant a lot to me is self destructing.

  19. Mike London says:

    I vote either NDP or Liberal, depending on my mood at the time, and the editorial writer is right. It’s just a matter of how long each party wants to drag it out.

  20. Kevin_B says:

    I have a slogan for the merged party:

    Fiscally responsible. Socially progressive.

    • Mandos says:

      As I mentioned above, this is why the parties will have a tough time merging: what Liberals mean by “fiscal responsibility” (deficit/debt obsession) isn’t what NDPers mean (concern with unemployment, inequality, social well-being, etc).

    • james Smith says:

      I have a better one:

      Fiscally Irresponsible Socialists

    • Wolprog says:

      A good name would be the ‘Progressive Party’, would it not? A name with history embedded in both the NDP and Liberals, alike.

  21. Political Outsider says:

    Danny Boy makes a good point that you can’t have a federal merger without provincial Liberal/NDP mergers too.

    So Warren, rumour has it that you have some pull with Dalton McGuinty. If you’re committed to the merger idea, why not suggest that the Premier offer to pull provincial Liberal candidates from the ten ridings with NDP incumbents, in exchange for NDP candidates dropping out of the ten races where the Conservatives came closest to defeating a Liberal MPP in 2007?

    Liberals out of Beaches–East York, Hamilton Centre, Hamilton East–Stoney Creek, Kenora–Rainy River, Nickel Belt, Parkdale–High Park, Timmins–James Bay, Toronto–Danforth, Trinity–Spadina and Welland

    NDP out of Ancaster–Dundas–Flamborough–Westdale, Barrie, Don Valley West, Eglinton–Lawrence, Kitchener–Conestoga, Lambton–Kent–Middlesex, Mississauga South, Nipissing, Oak Ridges–Markham and Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry (I replaced London–Fanshawe with Mississauga South)

  22. james Smith says:

    If my choice is Blue or Orange I choose none of the above. IF this merger were to take place, I would either not work on federal election campaigns, or I would consider joining the Green Party. I have plenty of Dipper friends & would support some tit for tat arrangements, but I am not a socialist & I cannot abide the glib Mr L.

  23. MattMcD says:

    It’s too bad the Liberals couldn’t merge with the Conservatives like they did here in BC.

    Then you could confuse the hell out of thousands of unenlightened voters who don’t realize that the BC Liberals are more in line with the Tories than the LPC.

    • MattMcD says:

      *Make that “Then you could confuse the hell out of thousands of unenlightened voters who would vote for you regardless of the platform based on the name. Just like how in BC there are are a lot of people who don’t realize that the BC Liberals are more in line with the Tories than the LPC.”

      Need an edit button here.

  24. cgh says:

    Sorry, Warren, you’re wrong on this one. By merging, you hand the centrists and right wing Liberals to the Conservatives on a platter. You permanently hand over rural Canada to the Conservatives. This inevitably makes the CPC the natural governing party of the country. In case you hadn’t noticed, the NDP went virtually nowhere on election night in all of the other nine provinces outside Quebec. Under Layton’s time as leader, the NDP have completely lost their western base in Saskatchewan and are slowly losing their support in northern Ontario. A similar story is happening in Manitoba as well. It might further have escaped your notice that the Dipper’s green shift nonsense doesn’t play very well in resource-based areas of the country.

    The fact is that left wing parties are loathed in western Canada. Unless a party can have some appeal in all provinces in Canada it has little legitimacy as a contender for governance. By uniting, the Liberals and NDP would only be pooling their weaknesses and losing what little remains of the Liberal appeal to the centrists.

    Your suggestion may seem appealing on a short term basis but it is ultimately disastrous for Liberals. In doing so, you abandon forever all of western Canada to the Conservatives without the slightest hope of ever being competitive there for generations. Given the shifting population, demographic patterns and the sources of Canada’s income, this means that the Liberals permanently abandon those parts of Canada which are growing in wealth, population and GDP. The change in seat distribution alone over the next 20-30 years shows how stupid this idea really is.

    A good strategist never substitutes short term tactics for long term strategy. By harping on this merger, you have done precisely that.

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