03.06.2014 10:01 AM

Liberal-NDP merger/coalition/cooperation? A truly federalist NDP?

Sigh.

Well, you guys know I – like Messrs. Chretien, Romanow and Broadbent, among others – favour progressives finally coming together.  So that we stop splitting the vote, and so we finally defeat Mr. Harper.

You also know that I believe another referendum is increasingly likely – and that we all need all of the federalist political parties onside for that effort, as they mostly were in 1980 and 1995.

Thomas Mulcair has ensured that neither will happen.  With this statement, he has (a) made any cooperation with Liberals impossible and (b) he has strengthened the hand of the Parti Quebecois.

Jack Layton, Canada misses you, very much.

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21 Comments

  1. sezme says:

    That’s certainly one way of looking at it, and you may be right, Warren. But really all Mulcair is saying (and this recognizes reality) is that voting PQ in a Quebec election is not the same as voting Oui in a potential referendum. It makes that referendum more likely, but it isn’t the same as voting Oui. It’s a nuanced position and I can see why people would be angry, but the NDP has nothing to gain from alienating the people who consider the PQ (and the NDP federally) the only progressive options even if they don’t support the sovereigntist agenda. Personally I’d be more against voting PQ provincially because of the “Charter of Values”.

  2. Theresa says:

    As an (ex) swing voter in Quebec, every time I’ve voted, I’ve had to hold my nose before putting my little X in the box. Last election, I voted PQ, not FOR the PQ but against the Liberals. Charest was too arrogant and the party too corrupt. Besides, under Charest, the QC Liberals are too right-wing for my taste. The CAQ is not an option as they are even further to the right of the Liberals.

    As Mulcair points out, separation is not the sole issue in Quebec politics. In particular, people following the Charbonneau Commission are angry with all the corruption, with possible links to the Liberals. A PQ victory, minority of majority, shouldn’t be construed as an automatic wish for a referendum or a rejection of federalism.

    I lament the fact that there is not a federalist left-wing or at least left-leaning party in Quebec. I was happy when the PQ only came in as a minority, and I’m hoping whatever party wins this April will also only get a minority.

  3. Greg Vezina says:

    Voters can deal with this themselves in every riding without any help, assistance or approval of the parties, their leaders, unelected backroom operatives or the media, so long as they are informed, which we all know will not happen on traditional media. But the good news is voters will be able to use the Democracy Channel® National online election poll website, which will be launched later this year, to take over our electoral process and wrestle control for themsleves. There will be a secure online poll for all 338 ridings and a few days before election day they will know how the splits are likely to go and they can vote accordingly. Good bye leader and party control of our democracy and the beginning of the end of media manipulation of our elections. Coming soon Democracy101.info and DemocracyChannel.net

  4. Coelocanth_Jones says:

    This former Grit, now Dipper, who was driven away from the federal party due to its nakedly right wing nature under Dion and Iggy, maintains that it makes just as much sense for us to join the tories as to join the grits. It would be dandy if we could form some sort of pan-left party, but the Liberals, apart from a few great guys and ladies, are simply not a Left wing party at the moment

    • Michael says:

      And you think the NDP are now a left wing party?

      The leadership has pulled them to the centre, where they know the majority of voters are situated. Sadly your NDP has sold their left wing down the river for a shot at power.

  5. Redgerrymander says:

    If the Liberals stopped campaigning from the Left and ruling like the Tories, you might have a point. Otherwise, I fail to see how joining up with a bunch of Tories in sheep’s clothing will benefit progressives in any way. If you’re a left-leaning Liberal (or Red-Tory for that matter), join the NDP rather than just stealing their policies and pretending to be anything other than hypocrites.

  6. Billy says:

    Strange, when I saw electoral co-operation in the title I thought you would be applauding Mulcair’s who last week not only left door open to such co-operation but also categorically stated that defeating Harper is his main priority. Attacking Mulcair’s federalism is the same kind of disingenuous cap Trudeau has been trying to make hay with. If you loved Canada you would be grateful the NDP succeeded in supplanting the BQ and work to make sure it stays that way. You would also recognize that Mulcair was tirelessly in the trenches trying to keep Canada United during the two previous referenda and would be there again should it come to pass.

    • Coelocanth_Jones says:

      this

    • Kevin T. says:

      But the team that Jack Layton got elected in Quebec is mainly composed of ex-PQ and BQ members, so it seems like Mulcair is trying to let the embers lie cold rather than blow on them and lose his party’s strongest base – separatists who jumped ship. I don’t think this is about attacking Mulcair’s federalism, but rather that he is acting like a queef when faced with the federalist issue in Quebec and not simply standing up for Canada. For us in Quebec, it is either vote Liberal or vote separatist, and until there is another viable federalist option, it is our only choice.

  7. Ryan Spinney says:

    The Liberals are just trying to take advantage of the lack of knowledge people in the ROC have about how Quebec politics works. They try and exploit the divisions in this country for thier own benifits and they do so in a way that damages federalism.

    Have you concidered the associating federalism with a party being investiaged for major corruption harms federalism.

    As for cooperation this has no impact on that. And for merger remind me what exactly the Liberal Party offers to such an arrangement? What compromises is the Liberal Party willing to make to the NDP on Policies, because it seems only the NDP is expected to make compromises, all of them in what would simply be the Liberal Party with a new name.

    Are you willing to raise corporate taxes? Cut subsidies to the bank and oil sector? Say no to Keystone? Restore the gun registery, abit in a fairer improved form? Get abolish the Senate? Will it support the unity bill? Proportional Representation without a referundum? What does the Liberal Party offer to the NDP on Policy issues?

    A merger has to be based on more then I hate Harper or its pointless, it’d be basically an aimless entity, no purpose or direction, much like the current Liberal Party.

  8. Ron Waller says:

    If the “Rest of Canada” interferes in a Quebec election that is likely to produce the opposite of the desired effect.

    What most English-speaking Canadians outside of Quebec don’t understand is that French-speaking Canadians don’t generally view separatists as country-destroying evildoers.

    So what English Canada might see as a righteous cause, French Quebec will see as an assault on their democracy. If anything, it will make the separatist option worth taking another look at.

    If center-left voters are sick of distorted undemocratic election results, do as 31 of 34 developed countries have done (most a century ago): adopt some kind of electoral reform. It’s not rocket science.

  9. sezme says:

    Also, Mulcair seemed to be hinting the launch of a provincial NDP in Quebec, which would presumedly give Quebecers a progressive federalist option in the Assembly. Now I’d assume he’d wait until after the next federal election which should according to his calculations establish the NDP in Quebec as something more than a fluke. After that, then yes, perhaps the Party will launch a well-funded provincial arm. And at that point he’ll want to welcome all the pequistes who are willing to jump ship.

    • Coelocanth_Jones says:

      A provincial NDP, under the leadership of Pierre Ducasse, established itself last month. They are in no shape to field candidates yet, and will thus sit this election out. Mulcair dropped the ball the last time he proposed creating a Quebec NDP, IMOHO

      • sezme says:

        Well okay, it was more than a hint, but my timeline is basically right. Of course the NDP like every other political party will wait for the proverbial “winning conditions”. Who knows when they’ll come?

  10. Sean says:

    I’m in favour of merger, but merger is dead for now. Liberals have seen the polls for a year or so. They know they are in the driver’s seat at 35% and won’t be inclined to negotiate with a 25% party. The NDP needs to be crushed in 2015 and Mulcair will likely resign on election night. In May 2015, hundreds of NDP staffers will suddenly be unemployed and will no doubt be handing resumes to new Liberal M.P.s. Then there might be some serious talk.

    • Kev says:

      Will those resumes be carefully edited to avoid mention of their involvements with Québec Solidaire, the Bloc, or the Parti Québécois?

  11. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    sezme,

    Mulcair is on thin ice. If the polls are to be believed, Justin will be the preferred choice in the next federal election. That is likely to translate into a plurality of Quebec seats for the party. If that happens, as I expect it will, that will be the end of a provincial NDP even before it has a chance of getting off the ground.

    • sezme says:

      You could be right in your forecasts. But every party has to try to win and strategize accordingly. Otherwise, what’s the point? In the end, it’s up to the voters, or at least it’s supposed to be.

  12. dave says:

    Do you think if you unite two loser parties you’ll produce a winner?

    • sezme says:

      Like the Progressive Conservatives and the Reformers? They ought to try merging; they just might have an outside shot at beating the Liberals if only they didn’t abhor each other.

  13. e.a.f. says:

    the people of Quebec may give Ms. M. her majority but whether they vote for a seperation will be another thing. Ms. M. may have become premier of Quebec and most likely will hold on to the position, having seen the other candidates. However, Ms. M. is not Leveque. she is lacking some fundamental elements to be a really good leader. There wasn’t anything much which should have caused her to call an election beyond her trying to pass her “manifesto” If she were to obtain a majority, and they passed her “racial manifesto”, there might be more problems than she anticipated. many will just pack up and leave the provinc,e leaving Quebec with lower realestate prices and fewer professional. it may all sound ever so good to her base at this time, but if they if there is sufficient out flow of citizens, Quebec would not be in a good place.

    There is something “weird” about the woman. She strikes me as someone out of their league.

    As to a joint venture of the federal Liberals and federal NDP, won’t happen unless Harper wins the next election with a minority. Neither party leader wants to give up their positions. They could and should put up a united front on the seperatist issues, but as we know some of the Quebec federal NDP come from slightly different positions on confederation. of course given the state of the country, with harper sending it into something akin to a dictatorship, perhaps it is time for Canada to restructure. If Quebec leaves Canada, is there any reason for the Maritines to remain?

    Only time will reveal all, but as it currently stands don’t expect the “progressives’ to join forces. Its a whole new ball game and the players aren’t like those you mentioned above.

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