Here's Stephen Harper's plan to win the 2015 election

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Sean in Ottawa

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Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

"This is the post I will direct you to when you come around with this garbage again."

Back at you.  There is no justification for this level of personal attack over a difference of opinion on events in 2005 that will have no bearing on the 2015 election.

for the rest of your post I refer to my previous since you have said nothing new.

For this bit I might remind you that calling your posts garbage is not a personal attack. I have not called you anything. What I think of the person who produced those posts I keep to myself as people here should do.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Your position is that if Layton had not presented the motion for the election date Harper would have done it himself. Mine is that Harper would not have liked the optics of teaming up with just the Bloc so I think he would have waited the three months. In both cases these are opinions. I don't think I deserve to be disrespected for having that opinion.

Except that not only had Harper teamed up with the Bloc to try and defeat the Liberal government in the spring of 2005, he had for a very long time been chomping at the bit to defeat the Liberals at the earliest opportunity. Your contention that Harper would have hesitated for one second to bring down the Liberals over the optics of co-operating with the Bloc is utterly without any factual or historical foundation.

Debater

Why are we still debating the 2005 election?

What's more to the point is that in April 2011, Layton told voters "You can vote NDP and you don't have to worry about a Conservative Majority".

As we know, that turned out to be wrong.  That's why it's way too soon for people to write Harper off for 2015.  Harper has every intention of running for a fourth term, and both the Liberals & NDP would be foolish to assume he's finished.  He won't go without one heck of a fight.

As Paul Wells explains in The Longer I'm Prime Minister, the goal for Harper is to stay in office as long as he can.  Endurance is the objective.

thorin_bane

Or we can look at how the liberals turned their back at so many chances to take down harper, or even form a coaltion. Instead they continued to vote with the government including the budget and said "we are watching you" while doing nothing and asking nothing in return. So therefore complicit in Harpers budget and policy.

Debater

Well, the bottom line is that the 2011 election resulted in a Harper Majority.  The Orange Wave not only failed to defeat Harper, it failed to even keep him to a Minority.  Part of that legacy may be why voters are coalescing behind the Liberals again.  If the NDP cannot beat Harper, it is best to vote for the party that can, or that at least kept him to a Minority.

jjuares

Debater wrote:

Why are we still debating the 2005 election?

What's more to the point is that in April 2011, Layton told voters "You can vote NDP and you don't have to worry about a Conservative Majority".

As we know, that turned out to be wrong.

Now I don't know the role vote splitting played in Harper's election. But I do know it takes a certain amount of hubris for a party that received less than 19% of the vote to accuse a party that received 30% of vote splitting. Do the Liberals even realize that votes need to be earned and aren't simply one of their entitlements?

Pondering

thorin_bane wrote:
LIKE, wow pondering to see Sean this riled up shows how your are totally unwilling to see anything but what you want to. Sean is far more reasonable than most on this board wrt to new members. Heywood Floyd or even some of the others we have entertained over the years have never provoked this kind of response. And again Pondering shows the very reason why most of the people on this progressive board can't vote liberal.

Nobody, not even Sean, is automatically right about everything. I could see him being upset if I were insisting that I'm right and he's wrong. All I am defending is the right to have an opinion that differs from his about events in 2005. I don't think that warrants his anger or anyone's disrespect. Especially after the following statement:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
This was a different vote.  This was an attempt by Layton to allow Martin to pass Kelowna and child care.  But instead of taking the opportunity to accomplish something and then running on it, the Liberals chose not to accomplish something and run on finger pointing.

The very legislation Sean was insisting all this time had absolutely no chance no matter what of passing. The reason he has been attacking me all this time, and now he admits it could have passed while still berating me.

Maybe that's what pissed him off so much. Realizing that I was right about Kelowna even though he disagrees about who was at fault.

Sean in Ottawa

Yes, Layton did not predict the Liberals melting down that badly running as terrible a campaign as they did. Do you think there is any chance Trudeau will melt down to that degree? Personally, I don't for many reasons including the fatigue with Harper. Any call for strategic voting by the Liberals could even backfire. And the anti Harper vote is pretty solid, I would expect that if Trudeau lost votes it would be to the NDP not many to the Conservatives.

Debater

jjuares wrote:
Debater wrote:

Why are we still debating the 2005 election?

What's more to the point is that in April 2011, Layton told voters "You can vote NDP and you don't have to worry about a Conservative Majority".

As we know, that turned out to be wrong.

Now I don't know the role vote splitting played in Harper's election. But I do know it takes a certain amount of hubris for a party that received less than 19% of the vote to accuse a party that received 30% of vote splitting. Do the Liberals even realize that votes need to be earned and aren't simply one of their entitlements?

I think you are missing the point.

Going into the 2011 election, the only party that could stop Harper was the Liberals.

For 2 reasons.

1.  The Liberals were the Official Opposition and the NDP were the 4th party.

2.  The Liberals had a history of beating Conservatives, or at least keeping them to a minority.  The NDP had never won a federal election in its history.

Therefore, what was the likelihood that a party that was 3rd in the polls, 4th in seats & had never before won in history was going to be able to climb up that high in one election to change 150 years of history and beat the Conservatives?

So, yes, the NDP beat the Liberals, but it did not beat the Conservatives.  That's the point.  For the 4th party to attack the 2nd party was almost guaranteed to help the 1st party.  Layton, Lavigne & Topp didn't seem too bothered by that.

But there's not much point in re-hashing that all the time.  It's done, and Harper got his Majority.  Now we're in 2014, and voters are going to think more carefully this time around about which party has a history of beating Conservatives.

So far the Liberals & Justin Trudeau are the ones doing that.

Debater

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Yes, Layton did not predict the Liberals melting down that badly running as terrible a campaign as they did. Do you think there is any chance Trudeau will melt down to that degree? Personally, I don't for many reasons including the fatigue with Harper. Any call for strategic voting by the Liberals could even backfire. And the anti Harper vote is pretty solid, I would expect that if Trudeau lost votes it would be to the NDP not many to the Conservatives.

But as I said in my other post, what Layton was doing was somewhat opportunistic.  That's politics, and that's fair game.  But we can't pretend that Layton, Topp & Lavigne were that interested in beating the Conservatives.  Their main objective was to pick up Liberal seats.  They had been doing it for several elections, reaching out to "Layton Liberals" and asking Liberals to "lend us your vote".

Picking off Liberal voters didn't help beat Harper.  To beat the Conservatives you have to attract suburban voters in the red tory/blue liberal ridings, particularly in places like the 905.

Maybe you are right that Layton didn't expect an Ignatieff meltdown, but he chose to make his big moment in the English debate about going after Ignatieff rather than Harper.  It was smart politically, because it led to becoming Official Opposition.  But knocking out the 2nd party wasn't a good result for progressives because it ended up resulting in a Conservative Majority.

Anyway, the Liberals did have to accept their share of the blame.  The internal civil war between the Chrétien-Martin faction damaged the party, the base fell apart, the fundraising apparatus & ground game had deteriorated after many years of neglect, and poor leadership choices had been made.  There had also been a complacency and overconfidence on the part of Liberals are having been in power so many times in the past.

The fall from grace led to finally having a leader like Justin Trudeau realizing that things have to be done differently.  So he told the party to put an end to the Chrétien-Martin feud and become united again, and to start reaching out to voters and stop taking ridings for granted.  Although he may be less experienced than some of his Liberal predecessors, he's excercised much better smarts & sense when it comes to running a political party.  The other leaders didn't want to admit previous mistakes and make changes.  But Trudeau has been willing to do so.  That's a strong start.

Sean in Ottawa

Debater, I don't even need to point out the obvious contradictions in that last post of yours.

And the theory does not hold water -- otherwise I'd use it against the Liberals now.

Do you live in Ontario? Remember Mike Harris? Came from third. Bob Rae? Same thing. In fact if Ignatieff had not failed so completely Layton likely would have become PM with the Liberals not so far behind. Those Ontario seats the Liberals  and NDP lost were often by small margins. That election could have turned out very different. In fact the NDP had not even peaked yet. I think another week and we would have seen a Layton minority even with the dreadful Liberal debacle. Many people wonder just how effective Conservative tricks were in that election and if they made the difference to Harper getting a majority. I don't think we have uncovered the most serious of the dirty tricks or the extent of the ones we know of.

I don't think a strong NDP is a going to help Harper at all. They may change the split in seat totals between the NDP and Liberals but they won't deliver the seats to Harper unless the Liberals melt down like 2011. I don't see that happening.

 

jjuares

Debater wrote:

jjuares wrote:
Debater wrote:

Why are we still debating the 2005 election?

What's more to the point is that in April 2011, Layton told voters "You can vote NDP and you don't have to worry about a Conservative Majority".

As we know, that turned out to be wrong.

Now I don't know the role vote splitting played in Harper's election. But I do know it takes a certain amount of hubris for a party that received less than 19% of the vote to accuse a party that received 30% of vote splitting. Do the Liberals even realize that votes need to be earned and aren't simply one of their entitlements?

I think you are missing the point.

Going into the 2011 election, the only party that could stop Harper was the Liberals.

For 2 reasons.

1.  The Liberals were the Official Opposition and the NDP were the 4th party.

2.  The Liberals had a history of beating Conservatives, or at least keeping them to a minority.  The NDP had never won a federal election in its history.

Therefore, what was the likelihood that a party that was 3rd in the polls, 4th in seats & had never before won in history was going to be able to climb up that high in one election to change 150 years of history and beat the Conservatives?

So, yes, the NDP beat the Liberals, but it did not beat the Conservatives.  That's the point.  For the 4th party to attack the 2nd party was almost guaranteed to help the 1st party.  Layton, Lavigne & Topp didn't seem too bothered by that.

But there's not much point in re-hashing that all the time.  It's done, and Harper got his Majority.  Now we're in 2014, and voters are going to think more carefully this time around about which party has a history of beating Conservatives.

So far the Liberals & Justin Trudeau are the ones doing that.


If you are going to quote Layton or anyone else you should provide a link.
Yes according to you and other Liberals, the Liberals are the only ones who could possibly beat the Conservatives. More Liberal humility at work.

Debater

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Debater, I don't even need to point out the obvious contradictions in that last post of yours.

And the theory does not hold water -- otherwise I'd use it against the Liberals now.

Do you live in Ontario? Remember Mike Harris? Came from third. Bob Rae? Same thing. In fact if Ignatieff had not failed so completely Layton likely would have become PM with the Liberals not so far behind. Those Ontario seats the Liberals  and NDP lost were often by small margins. That election could have turned out very different. In fact the NDP had not even peaked yet. I think another week and we would have seen a Layton minority even with the dreadful Liberal debacle. Many people wonder just how effective Conservative tricks were in that election and if they made the difference to Harper getting a majority. I don't think we have uncovered the most serious of the dirty tricks or the extent of the ones we know of.

I don't think a strong NDP is a going to help Harper at all. They may change the split in seat totals between the NDP and Liberals but they won't deliver the seats to Harper unless the Liberals melt down like 2011. I don't see that happening.

There aren't any contradictions, actually.

The NDP was 4th in seat count, as well as being 3rd in the polls, plus it had never won a federal election before.  So we are talking federal elections, not provincial elections.  Mike Harris's party (the PC's) obviously had a very long history of forming governments in Ontario!  It's not an analogous situation to the federal NDP.

There is no evidence thus far (and this is backed up by the recent polling) that the NDP can attract red tories/blue liberals and win the Ontario suburbs (or make major inroads in other parts of the country).  That's not my spin, but just the reality of the results.

It's possible that some of the scenarios you suggest might have occurred if the election had continued longer and if this or that might have happened, but we are really getting into advanced speculation there.  It's unlikely Layton could have beaten Harper outside Quebec.  Look at the way Ontario deserted the Ignatieff Liberals in the final week and went over to Harper to block Layton in that province.  I don't think that would have changed if Layton had an additional week.

As for the Conservative dirty tricks, you are right that as usual Harper and his team were ruthless in finding any way they could to win.  Which is why I don't think you or I should assume Harper is a goner for 2015.  If he runs again, it means he has something up his sleeve to try and win.  Look at how the CPC is trying to stack the deck against young voters with the "Fair" Elections Act.  Unfortunately, I don't think we will ever find out the full truth about what they were up to in many of those ridings.  They have made Michael Sona take the fall for the whole thing, and so far he has refused to name any higher-ups, even though the Judge ruled that he suspects other people were involved.

Anyway, the one thing I hope we all agree on is we should not make the mistake again like we did in 2011 of assuming Harper can't win, or Harper can't win a Majority.  We've heard that false sense of security before, and look where it got us.  Paul Adams cautions Liberal & NDP voters in Power Trap of the same thing:  "We'll get Harper next time, nothing to worry about!".  Yeah, sure.  Harper isn't gone until he is gone.  Let's remember that.

jjuares

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Debater, I don't even need to point out the obvious contradictions in that last post of yours.

And the theory does not hold water -- otherwise I'd use it against the Liberals now.

Do you live in Ontario? Remember Mike Harris? Came from third. Bob Rae? Same thing. In fact if Ignatieff had not failed so completely Layton likely would have become PM with the Liberals not so far behind. Those Ontario seats the Liberals  and NDP lost were often by small margins. That election could have turned out very different. In fact the NDP had not even peaked yet. I think another week and we would have seen a Layton minority even with the dreadful Liberal debacle. Many people wonder just how effective Conservative tricks were in that election and if they made the difference to Harper getting a majority. I don't think we have uncovered the most serious of the dirty tricks or the extent of the ones we know of.

I don't think a strong NDP is a going to help Harper at all. They may change the split in seat totals between the NDP and Liberals but they won't deliver the seats to Harper unless the Liberals melt down like 2011. I don't see that happening.

 


The other obvious point is that the current PM comes from the Reform Party. There is nothing sacred about the Conservative/Liberal duopoly. Debaters point is just arrogant nonsense.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

I maintain that what matters is the actual policy being offered. We haven't seen the platforms yet so there is little to judge them on but so far Trudeau keeps saying the right things and Mulcair keeps saying the wrong things. 

I'm pretty sure the NDP's platform will continue to be clearly more progressive than the LPC's platform no matter who the respective leaders of each party are. As far as I can tell there is only one sensible reason why progressives support the LPC. That reason being that the LPC's is more electabile than the NDP. Personally I rate the majour parties in this order:

1. NDP: 80%; A-
2. GPC: 70%; B
3. BQ: 60%; C
4. LPC: 50%; D
5. CPC: 15%; F

So when the CPC and LPC are vying for first place, I root for the LPC even though I think the NDP is superior to the LPC. Unfortunately, I have doubts regarding the possibility of the NDP winning a FPTP election in the foreseeable future. Here in Canada it seems that many progressives, moderates, and conservatives are all open to voting for the LPC when a CPC government falters. Unfortunately, the NDP does not seem to pick up as much support when the CPC falters as fewer conservatives seem to consider the NDP a viable alternative to the CPC. Seeing this phenomena, many progressives support the LPC because they are the only party that can replace a CPC government.

This is why I would support a merger of the NDP, LPC, and Greens if there was no possibility of establishing proportional representation in Canada. I think this would be in the interest of the left because our political system uses FPTP, a system that unfairly penalizes the third place party.

Debater

JKR wrote:

So when the CPC and LPC are vying for first place, I root for the LPC even though I think the NDP is superior to the LPC. Unfortunately, I have doubts regarding the possibility of the NDP winning a FPTP election in the foreseeable future. Here in Canada it seems that many progressives, moderates, and conservatives are all open to voting for the LPC when a CPC government falters. Unfortunately, the NDP does not seem to pick up as much support when the CPC falters as fewer conservatives seem to consider the NDP a viable alternative to the CPC. Seeing this phenomena, many progressives support the LPC because they are the only party that can replace a CPC government.

The point you make above is the central argument I have been trying to make for some time now.  This can be seen in the polls & by-election results.  Unless conservative swing voters (red tories/blue liberals) are going to leave Harper & go to the NDP, it is unlikely the NDP can win a federal election, particularly in Ontario.

The recent by-election results in Scarborough-Agincourt highlighted this phenomenon.

JKR

Debater wrote:

JKR wrote:

So when the CPC and LPC are vying for first place, I root for the LPC even though I think the NDP is superior to the LPC. Unfortunately, I have doubts regarding the possibility of the NDP winning a FPTP election in the foreseeable future. Here in Canada it seems that many progressives, moderates, and conservatives are all open to voting for the LPC when a CPC government falters. Unfortunately, the NDP does not seem to pick up as much support when the CPC falters as fewer conservatives seem to consider the NDP a viable alternative to the CPC. Seeing this phenomena, many progressives support the LPC because they are the only party that can replace a CPC government.

The point you make above is the central argument I have been trying to make for some time now.  This can be seen in the polls & by-election results.  Unless conservative swing voters (red tories/blue liberals) are going to leave Harper & go to the NDP, it is unlikely the NDP can win a federal election, particularly in Ontario.

The recent by-election results in Scarborough-Agincourt highlighted this phenomenon.

 

Debater, doesn't this phenomena show that the NDP's policies are more progressive than the LPC's?

Debater

Not necessarily, no.  It looks like a portion of progressive voters have started to move back to the Liberals under Justin Trudeau after having voted NDP under Layton.  What it does show is that the Liberals have greater centrist appeal because they are able to attract support from both the left & the right.

Anyway, it's a complicated equation that we can't really figure out right now.

Debater

Anyway, getting back to the topic title . . .

Another Conservative MP announces he won't run in 2015.

This is the 20th CPC MP to call it quits for 2015.

-

Edmonton MP Peter Goldring won't run in next election

Sep 08, 2014

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-mp-peter-goldring-won-t-...

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
For this bit I might remind you that calling your posts garbage is not a personal attack. I have not called you anything. What I think of the person who produced those posts I keep to myself as people here should do.

Your post 193 was all about what you think about me after I said I wasn't using the argument anymore anyway but that it still affected my own opinion due to my personal memories of that time.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
post 193

Sorry Pondering that is a complete cop-out. It is unacceptable. This is a red line for being able to engage.

......

To continue to say this affects your opinion of the NDP should erase ANY credibility you have here. Opinions can vary but we should not have to continually debate facts that are on the public record.

This business about the NDP being responsible for Martin's downfall is a piece of Liberal propaganda that has been exposed as a lie. If you want any credibility you have to be willing to work from some sets of facts. The numbers of people for each party in the House is verifiable and it is not too much to ask that you agree with the public record at this point.

Since you admit to having used this argument, you have a responsibility to check the sources and retract it. Otherwise this is just a BS fest for you.

Where someone in the NDP were to lie about facts to make an argument I would expect that argument to be exposed as well. I would participate in doing so. I am tired of this getting in the way of rational cnversation where Liberals here and in other places say the NDP defeated Kelowna etc. etc. etc. Time to ask that people here at least provide the intellectual honesty to admit the most basic political facts of the country in order to have a meaningful and honest political discussion. Starting with how many votes there were in the House in late November 2006 is only reasonable since this is a point of misinformation from many Liberals (not just you) over the last several years.

I never lied about any facts but I did go looking for more of them to defend myself from your accusations.

Suddenly, you lost interest in facts.

I never claimed that Layton was responsible for Martin's downfall or the subsequent loss of the election. All I have ever said is that if the election had not been pushed forward Kelowna would have passed and I held Layton responsible for pulling the election date forward.

Given that Layton himself introduced the motion to set an earlier election date my memory of events was not unreasonable.

It took you 100 posts to admit the Kelowna accord was hanging in the balance based on the timing of the election only you placed more responsibility for it's failure on Martin.

This applies to you too Sean:

Time to ask that people here at least provide the intellectual honesty to admit the most basic political facts of the country in order to have a meaningful and honest political discussion.

Aknowledging facts goes both ways. You challenged me to find facts, I found the facts to support my memory of events which you then ignored.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
What I think of the person who produced those posts I keep to myself as people here should do.

You did not follow your own advice. My turn.

I find it very difficult to believe you didn't remember the events of Nov. 2005 beyond the single non-confidence vote. You knew the Kelowna accord did hang in the balance along with other progressive legislation. You ridiculed me for remembering it instead of admitting there was a chain of events that did involve Kelowna but for which you held Martin responsible.

You chose to denigrate me for having memories that conflicted with your inaccurate version of events in which Layton did no more than vote on an isolated non-confidence motion one day in the house.

When I tried to refocus the discussion on the facts of what happened you continued to focus on me and insist the only significant factor was the non-confidence vote and I was being unreasonable for even considering surrounding events.

Are you intellectually honest enough to admit you put me in the position of having to defend my memory of events in order to defend my character?

Pondering

Pondering wrote:
I maintain that what matters is the actual policy being offered. We haven't seen the platforms yet so there is little to judge them on but so far Trudeau keeps saying the right things and Mulcair keeps saying the wrong things.

JKR wrote:
I'm pretty sure the NDP's platform will continue to be clearly more progressive than the LPC's platform no matter who the respective leaders of each party are.

The NDP position on marijuana legalization and the recent oregano comment indicates disrespect for party democracy and for the expertise of members of the party. Energy East is no more environmentally sound than Keystone. Mulcair has said he is releasing some platform items this fall. We'll see what conditions he attaches to health-care funding. I wonder if he will re-introduce Layton's demands of 2005 concerning privatization.

JKR wrote:
This is why I would support a merger of the NDP, LPC, and Greens if there was no possibility of establishing proportional representation in Canada. I think this would be in the interest of the left because our political system uses FPTP, a system that unfairly penalizes the third place party.

I don't think proportional representation would necessarily serve the interests of Canadians. It could even result in increased regionalization and a stronger position for parties like the Bloc. I think we need deeper national discussions on how best to improve our democracy. There are a lot of steps we can take aside from moving to proportional representation. I also think that over the next decade the right will splinter again.

The alliance between fiscal conservatives, libertarians, and social conservatives can't hold indefinitely. Some moderate PC types have already gravitated to the Liberals and that will continue. What I'm hoping for is the Liberals and NDP becoming the two major parties within the next decade. Union between the two parties would make that impossible. The left would have to birth a new party to replace the NDP. Much easier to just keep the NDP independent.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Harper is too big of a megalomaniac to resign unless the right job came along.

Most likely a janitor in the Israeli Parliament.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Pondering wrote:

I don't think proportional representation would necessarily serve the interests of Canadians. It could even result in increased regionalization and a stronger position for parties like the Bloc. I think we need deeper national discussions on how best to improve our democracy. There are a lot of steps we can take aside from moving to proportional representation. I also think that over the next decade the right will splinter again.

The only Canadians whose interests would not be served by proportional representation are the oligarchs. The main virtue of FPTP, according to its supporters, is that it results in "strong governments" which can pass their agendas without the support of a majority of voters. By some strange coincidence, these agendas seem to always be those desired by the said oligarchs. On the few occasions when the Liberal Party has passed actually progressive legislation, it has generally been during a minority parliament, not a "strong government". You pretend to consider the oligarchs the enemy, but in fact you act as their faithful servant in these discussions, mainly by supporting the Liberal Party, but also by opposing PR.

Regarding regional parties, they always benefit from FPTP. For example, the BQ never got 50% of the votes in Quebec, but they often got over 50% of the seats. Also, the seats for the national parties would be spread out much more across the provinces. For example, the Liberal Party would have MPs in Alberta under PR. When you say that we "need deeper national discussions on how best to improve our democracy", what you really mean is that without FPTP there would never again be a Liberal majority, and that idea makes you sad.

What makes me sad is that millions of Canadians have no voice whatsoever under FPTP, and their opinions will go forever unheard until we get PR. But for you, that is a feature, not a bug.

thorin_bane

Suprised preferential voting wasn't brought up, you know the liberals bread and butter of mushy middle second choices.

Pondering

Michael Moriarity wrote:
When you say that we "need deeper national discussions on how best to improve our democracy", what you really mean is that without FPTP there would never again be a Liberal majority, and that idea makes you sad.

No, what makes me sad is people like you who are fixated on conflict. Personally I think that the greatest key and threat to democracy is control of information. I think if most government accounting numbers were freely available we would have a far more efficient government and reduced corruption. PR countries have not yet delivered utopia and there are different forms of PR.

Michael Moriarity wrote:
What makes me sad is that millions of Canadians have no voice whatsoever under FPTP, and their opinions will go forever unheard until we get PR. But for you, that is a feature, not a bug.

Dramatic much? PR is not a magic bullet for giving people a voice. Splintering into special interest factions is not necessarily an improvement over our current system. There are different avenues to giving people a greater voice.

It's like the simplistic notion of scrapping the senate without adding any checks or balances against the power of the PM. Altering our democracy deserves extensive debate. The failure to convince any provinces to move to PR suggests progressives haven't succeeded in convincing Canadians that it would benefit us so it doesn't appear as though you want to hear the opinions of Canadians. Seems more like you want to dictate the solution not give people a voice.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
This is why I would support a merger of the NDP, LPC, and Greens if there was no possibility of establishing proportional representation in Canada. I think this would be in the interest of the left because our political system uses FPTP, a system that unfairly penalizes the third place party.

I don't think proportional representation would necessarily serve the interests of Canadians. It could even result in increased regionalization and a stronger position for parties like the Bloc. I think we need deeper national discussions on how best to improve our democracy. There are a lot of steps we can take aside from moving to proportional representation. I also think that over the next decade the right will splinter again.

The alliance between fiscal conservatives, libertarians, and social conservatives can't hold indefinitely. Some moderate PC types have already gravitated to the Liberals and that will continue. What I'm hoping for is the Liberals and NDP becoming the two major parties within the next decade. Union between the two parties would make that impossible. The left would have to birth a new party to replace the NDP. Much easier to just keep the NDP independent.

I see no evidence that the right is going to splinter again like they did in the late 1980's. Libertarians and social conservatives are smart enough to know that establishing another right wing party or parties would just put them back into the political wilderness they were in during the 1990's and early 2000's. I think the right learned their lesson the hard way when the Liberals were winning election after election by default because Canada's right was splintered between Reform/Alliance and the PC's. Having learned from their difficult experience, I see the right remaining united for the foreseeable future behind the CPC and partially supporting the LPC when CPC governments falter or become stale. Because they are facing a splintered left the CPC may well become Canada's "natural governing party" as they now only require approximately 34% of the vote to win elections against a divided opposition made up of the NDP, LPC, GPC, and the BQ.

Since the CPC is likely going to remain in 1st or 2nd spot for the foreseeable future, either the NDP and LPC are going to find themselves relegated into 3rd place and end up being continuously underrepresented due to FPTP. I think as long as the NDP, LPC, GPC, and BQ, divvy up the centre-left portion of voters, the CPC is going to have a structural FPTP based advantage.

Pondering

JKR wrote:
I see no evidence that the right is going to splinter again like they did in the late 1980's. Libertarians and social conservatives are smart enough to know that establishing another right wing party or parties would just put them back into the political wilderness they were in during the 1990's and early 2000's. I think the right learned their lesson the hard way when the Liberals were winning election after election by default because Canada's right was splintered between Reform/Alliance and the PC's. Having learned from their difficult experience, I see the right remaining united for the foreseeable future behind the CPC and partially supporting the LPC when CPC governments falter or become stale.

Political theorists see people as belonging to monolithic fixed categories. Libertarians, social conservatives and fiscal conservatives did not decide to team up and become "the right". Political organizers decided to go after those constituencies and unite them to defeat the Liberals. Anti-abortionists now know they aren't going to get anywhere with the Conservatives on that file. These are often people who also belong to churches that sponsor refugees and donate to causes. Many are supporters of environmental causes and want organic local foods. Maybe that's why some Conservative voters switch to NDP which I have had great difficulty understanding.

Free trade, guns and small government are not the sole concerns of Libertarians. Harper's tough on crime agenda and muzzling of civil servants and scientists is anti-libertarian. Legalization of marijuana will attract Libertarians.

Fiscal conservatives aren't all about free trade either. They are deeply offended by misappropriate of taxpayer funds and not necessarily fans of privatization.

Voters can decide to go with another party, or they can decide to just stay home.

JKR wrote:
Because they are facing a splintered left the CPC may well become Canada's "natural governing party" as they now only require approximately 34% of the vote to win elections against a divided opposition made up of the NDP, LPC, GPC, and the BQ.

The BQ is dying and Quebec is becoming a possible federal king-maker again. The NDP is the official opposition because of Quebec.

The overall movement of Canadians towards the left is what ironically led to Harper's wins. Conservatives and Liberals were centre right and left and always alternated with the NDP side-lined as the conscience of Canada but not a contender for the throne. The Tea Party style attempted takeover of conservatism splintered it so political organizers realized they had to reunite supporters under one banner which they did under Harper. They still aren't the PC party of old which is driving red tories to the Liberals.

Merging the Liberals and the NDP would not create a party of the left. More likely we would be left with the equivalents of the Democrats and Republicans.

Looking at the numbers of who would consider voting for which party is illuminating.

57.2 Liberal, 43.8 NDP, and 40.7 % Conservative.

The NDP's highest support is with youth. The Conservative base is shrinking along with the people who would consider voting for them. 

If the NDP and the Liberals merged I think the NDP would lose the majority of it's members who would splinter off to form a party of the left who would then attract everyone the Liberals disappointed which would recreate the NDP under a different name and probably farther left but it would take a decade or two.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Political theorists see people as belonging to monolithic fixed categories. Libertarians, social conservatives and fiscal conservatives did not decide to team up and become "the right". Political organizers decided to go after those constituencies and unite them to defeat the Liberals. Anti-abortionists now know they aren't going to get anywhere with the Conservatives on that file. These are often people who also belong to churches that sponsor refugees and donate to causes. Many are supporters of environmental causes and want organic local foods. Maybe that's why some Conservative voters switch to NDP which I have had great difficulty understanding.

The NDP/Conservative swing vote is about "stand for something or fall for anything." They see the Conservatives and the NDP both as having lines in the sand they will not cross under any circumstances and they respect that, whereas they see the Liberals will do what they have to in order to win votes. There's also "standing up to the special interests," whether these interests are defined as banks, big business, big labour, and I could go on and on. I call this demographic "blue collar Tories." They want their government services there when they need them, they want to feel safe in their communities, they want their tax dollars treated with respect, and they want their children to have as good or better opportunities than they had (if applicable). Look at voting patterns in Maniotba, and there are people who voted for Greg Selinger and for Stephen Harper.

Pondering wrote:
If the NDP and the Liberals merged I think the NDP would lose the majority of it's members who would splinter off to form a party of the left who would then attract everyone the Liberals disappointed which would recreate the NDP under a different name and probably farther left but it would take a decade or two.

Yup. I'd be among those cheering on that splinter group.

thorin_bane

Me as well. Have a hard enough time with watered down NDP let alone it being consumed by the liberals.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
I see no evidence that the right is going to splinter again like they did in the late 1980's. Libertarians and social conservatives are smart enough to know that establishing another right wing party or parties would just put them back into the political wilderness they were in during the 1990's and early 2000's. I think the right learned their lesson the hard way when the Liberals were winning election after election by default because Canada's right was splintered between Reform/Alliance and the PC's. Having learned from their difficult experience, I see the right remaining united for the foreseeable future behind the CPC and partially supporting the LPC when CPC governments falter or become stale.

Political theorists see people as belonging to monolithic fixed categories. Libertarians, social conservatives and fiscal conservatives did not decide to team up and become "the right". Political organizers decided to go after those constituencies and unite them to defeat the Liberals. Anti-abortionists now know they aren't going to get anywhere with the Conservatives on that file. These are often people who also belong to churches that sponsor refugees and donate to causes. Many are supporters of environmental causes and want organic local foods. Maybe that's why some Conservative voters switch to NDP which I have had great difficulty understanding.

Free trade, guns and small government are not the sole concerns of Libertarians. Harper's tough on crime agenda and muzzling of civil servants and scientists is anti-libertarian. Legalization of marijuana will attract Libertarians.

Fiscal conservatives aren't all about free trade either. They are deeply offended by misappropriate of taxpayer funds and not necessarily fans of privatization.

Voters can decide to go with another party, or they can decide to just stay home. What evidence do you have that there is a serious attempt afoot at establishing another right of centre party in Canada?

I still see no sign whatsoever that anyone is seriously considering establishing a new right of centre party in Canada.

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Because they are facing a splintered left the CPC may well become Canada's "natural governing party" as they now only require approximately 34% of the vote to win elections against a divided opposition made up of the NDP, LPC, GPC, and the BQ.

The BQ is dying and Quebec is becoming a possible federal king-maker again. The NDP is the official opposition because of Quebec.

The overall movement of Canadians towards the left is what ironically led to Harper's wins. Conservatives and Liberals were centre right and left and always alternated with the NDP side-lined as the conscience of Canada but not a contender for the throne. The Tea Party style attempted takeover of conservatism splintered it so political organizers realized they had to reunite supporters under one banner which they did under Harper. They still aren't the PC party of old which is driving red tories to the Liberals.

Merging the Liberals and the NDP would not create a party of the left. More likely we would be left with the equivalents of the Democrats and Republicans.

Looking at the numbers of who would consider voting for which party is illuminating.

57.2 Liberal, 43.8 NDP, and 40.7 % Conservative.

The NDP's highest support is with youth. The Conservative base is shrinking along with the people who would consider voting for them. 

The NDP, Liberals, BQ, and Greens have relatively high numbers in the "vote consider" category because they share a large pool of voters. On election day these inflated numbers are of little help to the NDP, LPC, GPC, and BQ, because on election day voters can only vote for one of these parties. On the other hand the Conservatives relatively low numbers in the "vote consider" category does not preclude them from winning elections because they have a large core of loyal supporters who don't consider voting for other parties.  

Pondering wrote:

If the NDP and the Liberals merged I think the NDP would lose the majority of it's members who would splinter off to form a party of the left who would then attract everyone the Liberals disappointed which would recreate the NDP under a different name and probably farther left but it would take a decade or two.

If a united centre-left party formed a government that established programs such as a national childcare program, a new Kelowna Accord, returned the retirement age back to 65, decriminalized marijuana, introduced a pharmacare program, established a home care program, expanded rapid transit, etc,,,. I suspect the left in Canada would support a new centre-left united governing party in much the same way the right now remains united behind the CPC government that united the right and successfully established right wing polices during the last 8 years since the merger of the PC's and Alliance parties.

 

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:
If a united centre-left party formed a government that established programs such as a national childcare program, a new Kelowna Accord, returned the retirement age back to 65, decriminalized marijuana, introduced a pharmacare program, established a home care program, expanded rapid transit, etc,,,. I suspect the left in Canada would support a new centre-left united governing party in much the same way the right now remains united behind the CPC government that united the right and successfully established right wing polices during the last 8 years since the merger of the PC's and Alliance parties.

It's also the case that if pigs had wings they would be able to fly. This is not the case, so we have to deal with the reality that actually confronts us.

JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

JKR wrote:
If a united centre-left party formed a government that established programs such as a national childcare program, a new Kelowna Accord, returned the retirement age back to 65, decriminalized marijuana, introduced a pharmacare program, established a home care program, expanded rapid transit, etc,,,. I suspect the left in Canada would support a new centre-left united governing party in much the same way the right now remains united behind the CPC government that united the right and successfully established right wing polices during the last 8 years since the merger of the PC's and Alliance parties.

It's also the case that if pigs had wings they would be able to fly. This is not the case, so we have to deal with the reality that actually confronts us.

The NDP seems to be dealing with the reality that their popularity is slipping by revealing their election platform a year before the next election. I think this is a great idea but it does have some risks as the other parties will be able to better plan their attack on the NDP's election platform well before the next election. If the NDP produces some great progressive policy planks over the next year I think thier popularity may well ascend. As far as I'm concerned, the best case scenerio now is for the NDP to gain support this year and form a government in 2015 . Another less positive outcome would be for the LPC to be limited to a minority government with the NDP maintaining considerable influence over that government.

Right now it seems to me that many Canadians are dealing with the reality that actually confronts us by supporting the party they think has the best chance of replacing the Conservatives. So far that seems to be benefitting the Liberals the most.

If the NDP ends up shut out of power once again next election I think it should be time for the left to consider backing the NDP only in jurisdictions where they are in 1st or 2nd place. As things stand now it looks like over the next election cycle the NDP will be out of power both federally and in all the provinces as the only NDP government in Manitoba is unpopular.

All that being said, realistically I know that the NDP is here to stay as many people on the left would rather support a non-governing NDP than support a more popular party that unites NDP'ers, Greens and Liberals under one banner. So being a realist I support PR as the best and only realistic solution to our FPTP problem that all too often leaves the NDP unfairly represented within our countries legislatures.

Debater

JKR wrote:

If the NDP produces some great progressive policy planks over the next year I think thier popularity may well ascend. As far as I'm concerned, the best case scenerio now is for the NDP to gain support this year and form a government in 2015 . Another less positive outcome would be for the LPC to be limited to a minority government with the NDP maintaining considerable influence over that government.

I think you could be correct that the NDP could pick up a few points by attracting more progressive (eg. left-leaning Liberals & NDPers) to come back to the NDP instead of staying with Justin Trudeau & the Liberals.  Trudeau has been doing a good job of appealing to red tories & blue liberals because it is necessary to beat Harper, but there is a risk of Trudeau ignoring his left flank.  But while you are correct that the NDP can 'gain support', they cannot 'form a government in 2015'.  Not unless it is with the Liberals.

This is because in order to win at the federal level, you have to win substantial seats in Ontario, and Mulcair cannot doing that without winning over many red tories & blue liberals.  Layton was not able to get those voters in 2011, and Mulcair as of 2014 has not been able to get them either.  So while progressive voters may still consider Mulcair an option, he will be stuck unless he can get a large number of moderate conservatives & liberals, too.  He'll just be back to where Layton was in 2011, and likely lower.

I think a Liberal Minority with the NDP holding the balance of power is something many more voters could agree upon.  I think it's the only arrangement that is likely to occur in 2015, other than another Harper win.  There's no evidence the NDP can win government thus far, and the Liberals aren't going to win a Majority unless there is another major Conservative collapse.

Jacob Two-Two

There was no evidence that the NDP could become the opposition until it happened, so clearly what passes for evidence in the world of politics is not terribly reliable. The scenario I find least likely is another Con victory. The only reason they ever did so well was because the Libs were busy self-destructing and the public weren't ready to vote NDP. I don't think that's the case anymore, so how the NDP and Libs share up the spoils is anyone's guess. I think it will depend heavily on the campaigns even more than usual. Political brand loyalty isn't what it used to be, which isn't good news for the Liberals, since they don't have a lot else going for them.

Aristotleded24

The one elephant in the room that is relevant here is the budget deficit. The Conservatives claim that they will have a surplus in 2015, and the media is starting to pick up on this theme. Recall that this government also includes the trifecta of Tony Clement, John Baird, and the late Jim Flaherty, who were key players in the Mike Harris government. This government claimed to balance the books, only to have it discovered that this was not the case when they were defeated from public office. To give credit where credit is due, Liberal MP Scott Brison called them out on this. Remember that governments generally time the announcements of balancing the budgets to coindice with election years, and it is generally a very effective trick. In order for the NDP to win, Mulcair's team needs a plan to find out exactly what is going on with the budget figures and let Canadians know. How does this happen?

JKR

Debater wrote:

JKR wrote:

If the NDP produces some great progressive policy planks over the next year I think thier popularity may well ascend. As far as I'm concerned, the best case scenerio now is for the NDP to gain support this year and form a government in 2015 . Another less positive outcome would be for the LPC to be limited to a minority government with the NDP maintaining considerable influence over that government.

I think you could be correct that the NDP could pick up a few points by attracting more progressive (eg. left-leaning Liberals & NDPers) to come back to the NDP instead of staying with Justin Trudeau & the Liberals.  Trudeau has been doing a good job of appealing to red tories & blue liberals because it is necessary to beat Harper, but there is a risk of Trudeau ignoring his left flank.  But while you are correct that the NDP can 'gain support', they cannot 'form a government in 2015'.  Not unless it is with the Liberals.

I'd agree that a NDP government is unlikely to be a majority government but I think a minority NDP government is possible if the NDP does well in Quebec.

Debater

At the moment the NDP has fallen behind the Liberals in Quebec, and even if it did very well in Quebec it wouldn't get them a minority unless they held their seats in the rest of Canada and picked up lots of new ones, particularly in Ontario (where they are currently 3rd and where Mulcair's personal ratings are very low).

Debater

Btw, in case it hasn't been posted anywhere else, CPC MP Rob Merrifield quit Parliament today to take a new job with Alberta Premier Jim Prentice.

So that's another CPC MP that Harper will have to replace.  Luckily in it's in a pretty safe Alberta riding.

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Rob Merrifield retires as MP to work for Alberta Premier Jim Prentice

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rob-merrifield-retires-as-mp-to-work-for...

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