2006/02/17

Should the Liberals and NDP unite?


According to the latest poll by Decima Research, if another federal election were held, the results would be as follows:

Conservatives 35% (Jan. 23: 36%)
Liberals 25% (Jan.23: 30%)
NDP 24% (Jan. 23: 17.5%)
Quebec: Bloc 35% (Jan. 23: 42%)

The facile conclusion from these results is that the Tories would still win. But the results raise a far more interesting question: is it time for the left to unite?

Anthony Westell in the Globe and Mail makes the pitch that it is time for the Liberals and the NDP to get together in a new party as the the former PCs and alliance did on the right:

"The reality is that both the Liberal and New Democratic parties are social-democratic in outlook; they differ in degree, not in principle, in means, not ends. There are conservatives on the Liberal right and socialists on the NDP left, and they might break away if the two decided to work together, but that would be good for democracy, offering voters a clearer choice.

"Red Tories and the right-wing Reform/Alliance parties were divided by policy and by bitter personal rivalries, but they were able to compromise when they saw that it was the only way to power. It should be easier for Liberals and New Democrats to compromise on the essentials of a platform, and on ridings in which they will give each other a clear run. The alternative may be years in the wilderness under a Conservative government."

The NDP is in a key position to broker a merger that would give us a true alternative to the Conservatives. The Liberals are currently leaderless and without any clear vision. Jack Layton's personal popularity runs ahead of his party. Jack would make the perfect leader for the new Social Democratic party of Canada. Let the merger talks begin!

7 comments:

Dipper said...

Yes, it's time for the left to unite. The conditions are ripe for a merger.

Anonymous said...

Now that the right has united, it makes perfect sense to enter discussions on uniting the left. The Liberals are leaderless and wrestling with redefining themselves. The NDP is in a good position to enter merger discussions. Let the right-wing Liberals like Emerson join the Conservatives. We could use a real battle of ideas rather than personalities.

jacobin said...

yeah, i think the liberals and the ndp should unite, after watching jack speak during the debates he seemed to be lacking that je ne sais quoi of actually believing he's a leader, which he is.

secondly, the alberta alliance party and the conservative party that mulroney destroyed did.

finally, i also think quebec should seperate, don't get me wrong i love canada, but lower and upper canada don't need each other to survive anymore, and i think gilles duceppes would be a great leader and both quebec and canada would prosper

http://www.lessansculottes.info/

Sandra said...

Interesting proposal ... but I don't like the name ... maybe Liberal Democrats would sound better! :)

Ogilvie said...

I wouldn't vote for them, but I agree entirely. There is little to choose between them. All the CBC types who never met a social democrat they didn't like, or a conservative they did, are probably salivating right now at the thought. If it's in the Globe, it shouldn't be long before Mansbridge and his Liberal re-election team are running with the idea.

cardinal47 said...

Ogilvie, I think you are unduely biased against the CBC. Mansbridge was much kinder to Harper than Martin during the last campaign.

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

A merging of the left of centre is inevitable. This does not necessarily mean a merger of the NDP and LPC; it could take place as a leaching of support from the NDP to the LPC, as voters come to realize just how extreme – in Canadian terms – the New Tory party under Harper is.

The New Tories are not at all a merger of the old Alliance/Reform party with the old Progressive Conservatives. It is a party which resulted from a takeover of the PCs by the Reform/Alliance party, aided by the sellout of the PC leader. As a result the policies and value systems of the New Tories are solidly rightwing Alliance/Reform ones. Most voters do not appreciate that yet, but policies do become laws and programs, and the results will be apparent to all within months.

The NDP is probably doomed to shrink substantially on the federal scene once the LPC has a new leader, and has finished a review of its own policies. I expect the LPC to move leftwards from Martin's amorphous Tory-like policies, and to have a harder edged demarcation of its policies as compared to the New Tories.

Layton asked voters to lend him their votes. Some did, and Harper took power as a result. Now progressive voters will consider the impact of a rightwing neocon government under Harper brought into power and propped up by Layton's colossal blunder, and lend their votes for mainstream Canadian values, by voting for a reinvigorated Liberal government.

Layton will then become another footnote on the Canadian political landscape, along with others who gambled and lost, such as Joe Clark.