How to replace Harper in next election

During the past two elections the Conservatives have been able to form a minority government with the support of only about a third of Canadian voters. The alignmet of the vote on the right through the merger of the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties while the vote from the center to the left is split several ways has allowed Harper to seize and hang on to power.

Philip Resnick and Reg Whitaker, writing in today's The Tyee, call on the Liberals, New Democrats and Greens to make an electoral deal. This is something I have been advocating for some time. Basically it would involve the caucuses and leaders of the three opposition parties whose principal support lies outside Quebec agreeing amongst themselves not to contest a sufficient number of seats across the country so as not to split the anti-Conservative vote. As Resnick and Whitaker point out,
"roughly 65 percent of Canadian voters do not want a Conservative government for a whole variety of reasons -- its contempt for Parliament and for an independent civil service, its poor environmental policy, its gutting of cultural programs, its weakening of Canada's international position as a respected middle power."

They suggest that these three parties focus on the 60-80 seats where a three-way split in opposition party votes has allowed the Conservatives to win ridings with fewer than 35 percent of the votes, or come within striking distance of defeating current Liberal or NDP sitting members. "The party with the best-placed candidate in 2008 would then be able to run its candidate, with the others stepping down. To ensure the Greens some representation, in particular the seat where its leader chooses to run, the other two parties would give its candidate a clear run."

I think that this is the right way forward. Identify those seats that could be taken from the Conservatives if the other parties cooperated and do just that.



Mary Kolz said...

Unite the left. Its got to be done some way.

C. Anne Rogers said...

To ensure the Greens some representation, in particular the seat where its leader chooses to run, the other two parties would give its candidate a clear run. ..no no no ..May has moved from N.S. all across Canada to B.C. to run in my riding just to split the vote!

Pat Daly said...

I have been saying all along that the Opposition parties have to get their act together and cooperate together to oust the Harper dictator.

Nadine Lumley said...


Alex said...

An interesting argument for sure.
But there's a few factors I think the authors discount too much.
One is what's in it for the Greens. They need to run candidates to get federal funding. They wouldn't have candidates under this scenario.
Secondly would the NDP really trust the Liberals that much. To me that was the great weakness with Dion's coalition.
Thirdly--read the Hill Times today about Iggy's supposed reluctance to defeat the Tories.
The theory also assumes that the suppoters of the parties whose candidate has stepped aside for "the united front" will actually vote for it.
Also don't forget most of Chretien's majorities were achieved with about one third of the vote.