Alberta Liberal Party leadership

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robbie_dee
Alberta Liberal Party leadership

Not that anyone really cares, but the Alberta Liberal Party is picking their leader this weekend.

 

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EDMONTON — Wanted: A leader for Alberta's Liberal Opposition. Few seats. No stars. Hefty debt. Small budget. Massive Tory majority.

That job description would be enough to scare most politicians away. But three men have put their names forward to replace Kevin Taft as party leader. The winner will be announced Saturday.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jz6k9b42ntJf3cYirk3zMDvpKaUA

Regions: 
Wilf Day

robbie_dee wrote:
Not that anyone really cares, but the Alberta Liberal Party is picking their leader this weekend.

I care. Alberta Liberals need PR both federally and provincially more than any other Liberals, although there are other regions (like most of Quebec) that are right behind them. Outgoing leader Kevin Taft was an overt PR fan. Their last federal star, former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, was a covert PR fan before her defeat when she became overt. And there are lots more. I hope the new leader is one.

 

Wilf Day

New Liberal Leader David Swann supports PR

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"There's something fundamentally wrong with democracy in Alberta," he said. "People are turned off. The Liberal Party isn't connecting with them. We're not inspiring people. We're up against a wall."

The way out, Swann says, might be a Liberal-NDP-Green merger - a temporary one or a permament arrangement.

The parties, Swann said, are "already on the same page" with their broad support for proportional representation - something Swann sees as key to overcoming the perceived political apathy among Albertans.

"David is open to changing the Lib name and reaching out to other progressives, a move that might bring proportional representation and end one party rule in Alberta."

Swann, a champion of environmental causes, is seen as sitting further left on the political spectrum than the other two Liberal candidates.

Wilf Day

Even though Alberta's provincial Liberal party is quite separate from their federal cousins, and much more popular, they need proportional representation too.

What would a proportional Alberta Legislature look like? 

Overall, PC voters would still have elected a majority: 44 of the 83 MLAs. Liberal voters would have elected 22 MLAs, NDP voters seven, Wildrose Alliance voters six, and Green Party voters four.

In the 12 ridings of Northern Alberta, Liberal voters would have elected two regional MLAs: maybe Lisa Higgerty from Hinton and Ross Jacobs from Fort McMurray. In the 13 ridings of Central Alberta, another two MLAs such as Diane Kubanek and Richard Farrand of Red Deer. In the 13 ridings of Southern Alberta, two more regional MLAs such as Karen Charlton of Medicine Hat and Bal Boora of Lethbridge. In the 23 Calgary ridings, three more MLAs such as Craig Cheffins, Mike Robinson and Avalon Roberts. In the 22 Edmonton ridings, four more MLAs such as Rick Miller, Mo Elsalhy, Bruce Miller and Weslyn Mather.

New Democrat voters would have elected a regional MLA from Northern Alberta such as Adele Boucher Rymhs from Peace River. In Central Alberta, a regional MLA such as Lisa Erickson from Leduc County. In Calgary, a regional MLA such as Julie Hrdlicka. In Edmonton, two more MLAs such as David Eggen and Ray Martin.

Wildrose Alliance voters would have elected two MLAs from Southern Alberta, no doubt leader Paul Hinman, plus another such as Kevin Kinahan from Coaldale. From Calgary, two regional MLAs such as Chris Jukes and Bob Babcock. From Central Alberta, a regional MLA such as Dean Schmale from Winfield. From Northern Alberta, a regional MLA such as Dale Lueken from Fairview.

Green Party voters would have elected a regional MLA from Calgary such as leader George Read, one from Edmonton such as Glen Argan, one from Central Alberta such as Joe Anglin from Rimbey, and one from Southern Alberta such as Dan Cunin from Cochrane.

All MLAs would have faced the voters, and all votes would have counted. Democracy, eh?

And did you notice how many women get elected? 

An STV model like BC-STV would likely have had much the same result. 

Noise

We'll see what Swann is capable of I guess...  From what I've seen, he's atleast identifying the majority of his challenges (especially voter apathy and PR), which seems to be a step above Taft's capabilities. 

Quote:

Overall, PC voters would still have elected a majority: 44 of the 83 MLAs. Liberal voters would have elected 22 MLAs, NDP voters seven, Wildrose Alliance voters six, and Green Party voters four.

I think we should have 59% of the seats empty to represent the overwhelming percentage of non voters...  What does that give us, 34 filled and 49 vacant?  Heh, if our current FPTP system did this... I'm not sure if any candidate actually got a greater percent of the votes than the number of non-voters in any riding (wheres the 'Go Democracy' smiley face?). 

I'm unsure how a party merger may turnout...  But the Lib + NDP + Green vote ultimately outweighs the conservative vote by significant margins within most urban ridings (Most of Edmonton that went Tory ended up having the votes split between Lib and NDP allowing the Cons to win).  At very least, the seat distribution would be more representative than what we've got now. 

 A name change away from 'Liberal' would help significantly, but only in area's where Liberal is considered a curseword... Mostly rural where the vote is between Wildrose and conservative anyway.  The only case where I see a name change being valid would be a full merger of the oppositions.

Wilf Day

Noise wrote:
I'm unsure how a party merger may turnout...  But the Lib + NDP + Green vote ultimately outweighs the conservative vote by significant margins within most urban ridings.

They could agree on proportional representation -- largely, they already do -- far easier than agree on a merger. 

Noise wrote:

I think we should have 59% of the seats empty to represent the overwhelming percentage of non voters...

Why vote when your vote won't count?

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Pointless speculation... we (Alberta NDP) rejected the idea of merger by an overwhelming margin. I have every confidence that if someone brings the idea up again, it will be rejected by pretty much the same margin. The gap is simply too big... it is the Liberals and the PCs that share common ground, the Liberals have a little two much history of being a home for defeated PCs, and if you look at their record on the issues, they either agree with the PCs or refuse to take a position at all (except on those occasions when they try to outflank them on the right). A Green/NDP merger might be possible, but the Liberals are definitely beyond the pale. I am surprised people waste time discussing it.

Noise

Quote:
Why vote when your vote won't count?

Actually, a few urban areas (calgary city center atleast) ended up without the conservatives...  So some of us kinda counted for a change.

 

 

Bagkitty:

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The gap is simply too big...

 

...

 

I am surprised people waste time discussing it.

 I've been told a few times that the gap between the parties was too large, though I don't fully understand them with the exception of the position on corporate donations (particularily from oil money).  Is the gap really so large that it can never be bridged?

 But if you want to know why people are discussing it, particularily peoples like me...  Take my situation.  I'm an Alberta Lib as they are the only ones capable of defeating the Cons in my riding (Calgary-Buffalo)... Period.  Policy didn't exactly play that much in making that descision.  If I actually investigated the parties policy, I'm pretty sure through a few posts from Lou Arab that I'd align better with NDP policy than the Alberta Lib (non-) policy (They dropped 2 policy items I really liked and replaced them with.. nothing...  which really annoyed me).  I'd support Notley as the merged party leader too.

I know the standard response...  If I support the Alberta NDP, vote NDP right?  Under the current system (which will be perpetuated until something can challenge the Conservatives), a vote for the NDP is about as worthwhile as a write in for Bigbird...  So really why bother?  Atleast with the Libs, I can say that I helped my candidate get elected (which was a first time that the candidate I voted for ever won their seat).

I hope that make sense for why I'd like to see this merger discussed...  I don't see any change in the election model until something is capable of challenging the Cons.  Until then, my choices are apathy or stuck helping what I perceive to be the lesser of 2 evils. 

outwest

 

Actually, there's a groundswell movement for major change and cooperation between the three parties taking place in Alberta already. Right now it's just talk and a few small meetings of academics, lawyers, and politcos, here and there, but here's hoping it will move into the mainstream public arena sometime in 2009, and that it WORKS.

 

 

 

 

outwest

Lou,

 

I didn't say a "merger" I said some kind of cooperation. There's a difference. The Greens are in complete disarray, many NDPs are shifting over to support Swann precisely because he's open to some kind of alliance. Agreed, the remaining stalwart NDPs are the sticklers, but you'd be surprised at what can happen in a scant 3 years if people get fed up, enough. And whatever happens now in the grassroots might not make much difference for 2012, but it could for 2016. Who knows.

 

I'm as cynical as anyone about change in Alberta, but if you care an ounce about your kids' future water supply (that's what's mainly at stake here) you have to keep trying.

 

outwest

In fact, I wasn't suggesting that you don't personally care about your kids' future; I was explaining the reasons why I personally keep involved despite my OWN cyncism and the terrible odds.

 

I know what took place with the NDP vote - doesn't mean those folks won't find out within swift time that they've tied their political future to a deadweight leader who, for refuses to accept the inevitable - that something in the way we opposers vote has to change. I actually like Brian Mason a LOT and am NDP to the core; I just think he's being incredibly myopic and self-serving about the huge political dilemma we're in, that's all, and I don't think that 190 people in a hall speak for the entire party, either. They can vote the status quo if they like, but as they say, doing the same thing over and over and expecting change is the definition of insanity. If anything, you'd think Linda Duncan's election as the only NDP MP from Alberta (thanks to multi-party cooperation in that riding) would have taught the provincial NDPs what a little common sense can do.

 

I totally agree that Swann was naive to have mentioned a sales tax - but heh, how many of our leaders have said incredibly inane political things and never been condemned for it? I'm not going to lose faith in a thoughtful and committed leader just because of one or two mis-timed comments.

outwest

Swann isn't my optimal choice for a leader, either, but he's a fine, honest, and intelligent person -- certainly a better choice than 90% of the political leaders who've been voted into power in this country since I can remember.

 

NDPers can defend the status quo all they want, but they, the Liberals, and the Greens will go absolutely NOWHERE in Alberta if they continue on as usual -- that is, staying divided and thus conquered. I can imagine the oil big wigs laughing all the way to the bank as they watch the opposition spin its wheels every damned election. Given the fact that I don't see some charismatic, handsome, articulate, brilliant leader showing up to lead us out of the fire, I say at this point we should try anything.

 

Why, what's your solution?

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

My 'solution' is to stop looking for quick fixes.

Look, we live in a province with a more conservative voting record than Utah and Texas.  No amount of shuffling the chairs is going to change that.

My 'solution' is to do the hard work that no one likes to do, but actually produces results.  We won't win without candidates and volunteers willing to knock on thousands of doors, make thousands of phone calls, ask everyone they meet for a donation, and all the other unglamourous tasks we all hate.

My 'solution' won't lead to results overnight.  It will occasionally produce setbacks, such as the loss of David Eggen and Ray Martin in the last election.  But it is the only thing that will actually work in the long run.

And it will certainly work better than dreaming of alliances no one wants.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

The solution is to do what the Nova Scotia NDP did - build a party that s capable of challenging for power.  Note that the NSNDP did that by ultimately displacing the Liberals.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Which, BTW, means I agree 100% with Lou.

Stuart_Parker

Comparisons to Nova Scotia don't seem very on point. If we are going to look at formulas for victory, we need to look at other jurisdictions with nearly forty years of uninterrupted one-party rule. One-party states are tough nuts to crack. The strategies that work in conventional multi-party democracies are not going to work in Alberta at this time. 

 Realistically, an incredibly broad, ideologically incoherent populist party that encompasses not only liberals and socialists but various rural populist malcontents that vote Alliance, Social Credit, Representative, etc. is probably going to be required in order to actually create a party capable of challenging the Tories. 

I have complete faith that the NDP can continue its "better to rule in hell than serve in heaven" approach to hold onto a bunch of urban Edmonton neighbourhoods but if we want to look at actually changing how Alberta is governed, the first priority has to be showing people that it is actually possible to beat the Conservatives.

------------------

"One of the strange things about ideas is that they have a life of their own. They take over people and sometimes whole countries." - Brian Fawcett

outwest

 

I agree with Stuart.

 

I never said that forming alliances eliminates the critical necessity of knocking on doors and creating a strong community base in ALL of those parties. I did say in previous posts that it'll probably take another 8 years (2016 election) to show results. How on earth can you call that a "quick fix?" More work on the ground, in fact, is part of the new movement that is brewing:cooperation between parties, more citizen participation, canvassing, finding better candidates. This isn't just "shuffling chairs," this is about doing all things differently. Finding new leaders, uniting, engaging citizens on a grassroots level.

 

73ish seats of 82 or so are held by Tories. And you don't think that those in the opposition don't need to unite? You're dreaming if you don't. Do the math. 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

You do not strengthen your own party by making another party stronger.

outwest

 

Malcolm,

Yes, but this is a different strategic tactic. If the opposition parties came together in a one-time voting alliance with the specific, central goal of passing proportional representation legislation (this is what is being discussed), after which every party could go back to fighting elections on their own, the NDP, in particular, would be in a much stronger position to win more seats.

 

Instead of holding 2 seats as it currently does now, the NDP would win, I believe, 8. Tell me how that weakens its current position, rather than strengthening it?

 

Policywonk

Getting there is the problem. There's no secret why more Liberals than New Democrats are in favour of electoral cooperation; under current conditions it would likely benefit them more than us, and not make a dent in the Conservative majority.

Current precedents would indicate that simply passing PR legislation wouldn't fly; you need to build support for PR in general and a specific system in particular. I doubt it could be done in one term. 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

First off, this reflects the continuing confusion between strategy and tactics.  Electoral alliances are tactical, not strategic, by their very nature.  And even when they are effective tactically (which is bloody rare enough as it is), they are almost always strategically disastrous.

 

Your tactic will build up the Liberal Party, which is simply another right wing party.  If you were at least talking about deals with another progressive party I could at least see some coherent argument - even though I doubt I'd be persuaded.

 

Cats is cats, folk.  And white cats eat mice just the same as black cats.

Wilf Day

What I find fascinating about the last Alberta election results is the incredibly poor turnout: only 40.6 percent. And the federal turnout was poor too.

Surely the first question is, what could appeal to all those non-voters?

Comparing the two elections in Alberta this year:

Party: Provincial vote; federal vote

Cons: 501,063; 822,147

WA: 64,407; N/A 

Libs: 251,158; 144,646

NDP: 80,578; 160,874

Green: 43,222; 111,314

Non-voters: 1,399,682; 1,078,885

 

Stuart_Parker

I see this is turning into another thread about the peculiar sacredness of the NDP as a corporate entity. The Liberal Party, you will notice, is, as part of its proposal, suggesting that it is willing to cease being the Liberal Party because the brand is getting in the way.

Why should New Democrats not be equally prepared to sacrifice their brand if that is what it takes to change Alberta politics. Is there some magic contained in the dumbest party name currently in operation in Canada? What, exactly are the essentially meaningless words "New" and "Democratic" doing for us? More importantly, what are they doing for the people of Alberta? Nothing.

These words don't contain any magic. The corporate entity to which they are attached contains no special properties. What is needed in Alberta is a broad inclusive process that brings anti-Conservative voters together.

Here are some things to be concerned about in a larger anti-Tory unity project in Alberta: 

- making sure labour is involved

- making sure the new formation is an advocate for public ownership

- making sure the new formation champions income redistribution

- making sure the new formation champions social programs

These are real issues with which social democrats are engaging. But these petty concerns like "will people who work against us at the federal level benefit," "will our corporate entity continue to exist," or "what will people do without a party with the word 'New' in the title?" are not among them.

Michelle

Welcome to babble, Stuart!  Nice to see you here. :)

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

This isn't about "corporate entity," Stuart.  It's about mice and cats.  No matter how much the cats try to squeak like mice, they're still cats.

 

Strategically, miuce working with cats is virtually always bad strategy.

 

But the idea stinks tactically as well.  As Lou correctly points out, the proposal will inevitably mean MORE VOTES FOR THE TORIES!

Stuart_Parker

Malcolm, the TC Douglas metaphor is not only shopworn at this point. It's not on point for what I'm saying. To suggest that there is some fundamental ontological difference, at this point, between two parties both hawking some kind of anemic Third Wayism indicates that you're wearing some pretty serious blinders. 

If there were really some kind of vast fundamental difference between NDP members and Liberal members, it wouldn't be possible to explain the existence of people like Bob Rae and Ujjah Dosanjh. Most of our leadership class is made up of haute bourgeois class traitors and has been for some time. Are you seriously telling me that the Mike Harcourts of this world are "mice"?

What, other than their corporate affiliation distinguishes a loyal Mike Harcourt from a traitorous Bob Rae? Other than the corporate entity they choose to affiliate with, how am I to tell the mice from the cats?

Also, if you had read my post, you would have seen that I am not proposing that Liberals should call themselves New Democrats or that New Democrats should call themselves Liberals. What I am saying is that both brands are worse than useless in Alberta. That's why the Alberta Liberals are now suggesting that their party name has got to go. Nobody has done a poll as to whether New Democrats, Liberals, Socreds, Greens or Wildrose Alliance supporters would switch to voting for a made-in-Alberta big tent party unaffiliated with any federal brand. To use Lou's polling data to suggest that is simply disingenuous.

Stuart_Parker

Michelle wrote:
Welcome to babble, Stuart!  Nice to see you here. :)
Thanks Michelle! It's nice to be seen.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Well, that explains your position.  Quite remarkably and in the face of all evidence, you believe that the Liberals are "ontologically" closer to the New Democrats than to the Conservatives.  Thus, proposing "strategies" (actually tactics, but whatever) that would, over the long term, benefit the Liberals and destroy the NDP makes some sort of sense to you.

 

It would be nice, though, if you could just admit that your agenda is to build up the Alberta Liberals as a (renamed) corporate entity.

 

In the meantime, some of us would like to create a viable social democratic alternatve.

Noise

Well, it's nice to see it discussed at very least.

 

 

Lou Arab:

Quote:
My 'solution' is to do the hard work that no one likes to do, but actually produces results.  We won't win without candidates and volunteers willing to knock on thousands of doors, make thousands of phone calls, ask everyone they meet for a donation, and all the other unglamourous tasks we all hate.

Great solution that works on an individual level...  My riding managed to get our candidate in through pretty much just that, which I'd call a successful election if it weren't for the greater result.  Why wouldn't this solution work at a merged party level as well?

Quote:

Instead of wasting your time trying to force a shotgun marrage, try doing some fundraising for the candidate of your choice.

All of this talk of mergers and co-operation is little more than an excuse to avoid the ugly grunt work of trying to convince Albertans to vote for a progressive alternative.

This is why voter turnout is so low Lou, if you wish to extend voter apathy, you've got the correct position.  It is the usual Alberta political choice...  Conservative vs an uphill-never-win-battle vs apathy.  Do you wonder why nearly 60% choose apathetic?  Even if at one point they had choosen the grunt work, how many would devote themselves to a cause election after election, defeat after defeat, and continue to stick to it like you have here?

I would imagine it would be easier going around for donations for a merged party that stood to win more than 2 or 3 seats in an election as well...  But that is just speculation on my part, I find people less willing to donate to the party they percieve to have lost the election long before it was called.
 

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I can't find the link, but shortly after the last election, See Magazine published the results of a poll which asked Alberta voters what their second choice would be if their party wasn't on the ballot. More Liberal voters chose the Tories over the NDP.  NDP voters chose the Liberals over the Tories, but a fair number of our supporters would cast a ballot for Stelmach before Taft.

You're using the poll to prove something it isn't intended to do...  In a merge party scenario, both parties are off the ballot replaced with a single party.  Liberal voters would be voting for their first choice (their merged party) just like NDP voters (which woul be.. umm.. their merged party), with the conservatives being the second choice behind the merged party.  The poll might accurately show what happens in a liberal party collapse (bleh, more conservatives), but I don't think you can use this poll to accurately reflect where votes would end up in a merged party scenario.

Quote:
Look, we live in a province with a more conservative voting record than Utah and Texas.  No amount of shuffling the chairs is going to change that.

Wilf put the numbers in this thread...  Libs: 251,158 (Provincial); 144,646 (Federal).  Thats alot of votes that are willing to jump to the left for provincial elections (er, percieved left...  Alberta libs and left are hardly the same), though it could be the opposite with Alberta Libs unwilling to vote for their federal counterparts.  Your poll is right, had the liberal party completely disappear I'm guessing the votes would go Conservative...  But in the case of a merged party, I'd guess they'd go to the merged party before conservative.  I also think you'd get a much better turnout from those that chose apathetic over Conservative if they had a PR carrot to chase.


Quote:
The entire delegation for my riding (Edmonton-Strathcona) voted against the motion, and I would say that the delegation accounted for about 50% of the volunteer hours during the last election, and about 90% of the volunteer hours between elections.

Can I ask what the major sticking points for NDP party members are?  I'm still not fully informed on that...  And I believe these points should be used to shape and mold the new party, not to reject it.

Quote:
Your plan is short sighted, goes against opinion research, ties the NDP to a loser Liberal leader, and asks NDP leadership to go against the wishes of party activists.  

To me, the plan of doing nothing and continuing the same seems a far dimmer of an outcome than the most pessimistic outcome for a merged party.  I wouldn't want it to go against party activists wishes either...  I'd prefer if the activists had their agenda and wishes included as a base within a new party.

Noise

Malcolm:

Quote:
It would be nice, though, if you could just admit that your agenda is to build up the Alberta Liberals as a (renamed) corporate entity.

I'll take that as one of the major sticking points for NDP members then? This would be one of the major points that I'd like "former NDP" activists to be extremely loud about and resist as the core activists within a new party to ensure that we don't follow that path...  But I get the feeling I'm being naive there. 

 Do you think all Alberta Liberal party members are hard-core corporate sell-outs then, or can you see that alot of us Alberta Libs agree with you?  Look, if the NDP was at all competative in my calgary riding, I'd be a dipper without question, but it's not and I'm with the lesser of 2 evils instead...  If your values were incorporated within a new party, well shit... I'd be ecstatic.

 

Quote:
Quite remarkably and in the face of all evidence, you believe that the Liberals are "ontologically" closer to the New Democrats than to the Conservatives.  

Like it or not, that is public perception.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I have found that when the "talking heads" turn their attention to the Alberta Liberal Party (ALP), selective blindness is the order of the day. They seem to be unable to remember the recent history of the party they are discussing.

They gloss over the "little" things like the ease with which the disgruntled Nancy MacBeth (who had recently lost her bid to lead the PCs to Ralph Klein) was able to assume the mantle of leadership of the ALP without ever articulating a change of vision -- her positions as ALP leader were pretty much identical to those she held when running for the PC leadership.

They seem unable to address how the subsequent leaders of the ALP (Nichol and Taft) filled their roles as leaders of the opposition by (a) supporting the intent behind government policy (while trying to focus attention on disagreements over details on how such policies should be implemented), (b) making occasional forays into trying to outflank the PCs on the right, or (c) refusing to take any position at all on the issues of the day (personally, I liked it best when they choose option (c) -- there are reasons why many people thought Raj Pannu was the official leader of the opposition rather than Ken Nichol). Taft may have been more "assertive" when speaking than Nichol, but I would challenge anyone to point out policy statements made by him that were substantially different from the government (PC) positions...

It is only by totally ignoring the past decade of ALP leadership that anyone could suggest that there is common ground between the ALP and the NDP and/or Greens. If merger/cooperation is really on the table, the talk should be about a PC/ALP merger -- a reconciliation between the mouth-breathers and their sligthly more "urbane" cousins. If the ALP has a role to play, it is as "Tories With Table Manners" -- they could provide a kinder face to a party (PC) who are probably more concerned about the Wildrose Alliance on their (hard) right than about a centerist coalition forming.

I realize that Swann is only recently elected leader and it is not totally fair to paint him in exactly the same colours as his predecessors --  but nor should he be given too much of a free ride -- he was there, in the legislature, serving as a good ALP MLA -- and good ALP MLAs have a history of enabling the PCs to go about doing business as usual.

Noise

Quote:
They gloss over the "little" things like the ease with which the disgruntled Nancy MacBeth (who had recently lost her bid to lead the PCs to Ralph Klein) was able to assume the mantle of leadership of the ALP without ever articulating a change of vision

If this comment is directed at me BK, you're setting up strawmen for yourself to fight...

Quote:
They seem unable to address how the subsequent leaders of the ALP (Nichol and Taft) filled their roles as leaders of the opposition by

Who's 'they' again?  How about 'us' that are quite pissed off at points A through C and want to see change?  Why do you have this unwavering image of all ALP members as righties waiting for their chance at a corporate sell-out?

What really pisses me off is the manner that both sides are reacting to this... Like this is a loss for the NDP.  As far as I'm concerned, this is an opportunity for those on the left to give a single defined vision that we've lacked for so long.  Every reason you (BK) have listed here isn't a reason to resist a merger, it's a reason to drop the ALP completely and redefine the party based on a 'united left' vision for Alberta.

Please, quit viewing a merger as a NDP disbands and joins the ALP...  If thats the case, I'd oppose it too as we'd be back to 2 rightwing parties really (3 if you count the ultra-right).  Every last post seems to be coming from that angle.  This is a chance to redefine the left here in Alberta...  I find it painful to see those on the left that should be spearheading the new policies and visions for a new party are the ones dismissing this the quickest.

Can we change the discussion away from how different the parties are to what we'd like a merged left to look like?  Lou, I'd really like to hear your answer to this in particular (and like I said, I'd support Notley over Swann)...  Would would the party look like if it was formed by your core activists?

Stuart_Parker

Malcolm wrote:
Quite remarkably and in the face of all evidence, you believe that the Liberals are "ontologically" closer to the New Democrats than to the Conservatives.
No. What I'm saying is that you can apparently tell the difference between the "cats" and the "mice" based on the party membership they're holding. Lucky you. I can't. I can't seem to predict, based solely on what party someone has joined whether they are going increase or reduce welfare rates, whether they are going to build public assets or sell them off, whether they are going to negotiate with native protesters or surround them with land mines and fire 14,000 rounds of ammunition at them.

Malcolm wrote:
Thus, proposing "strategies" (actually tactics, but whatever) that would, over the long term, benefit the Liberals and destroy the NDP makes some sort of sense to you

Let me get this straight: if the Liberal Party and the NDP both disbanded and merged into a party where the NDP comprised 60% of the membership base, how would this constitute "benefitting the Liberals and destroying the NDP"?

Malcolm wrote:
It would be nice, though, if you could just admit that your agenda is to build up the Alberta Liberals as a (renamed) corporate entity
First of all, my agenda, to be very clear, is to try and have some intelligent discussion with my fellow social democrats about strategy and tactics. I have no stake in the Alberta Liberal Party. I've never lived in Alberta and I've been a reluctant NDP supporter for the past eight years after a very disappointing three-week attempt to work with the Liberal Party.

My previous career was fighting against the Third Way neoliberal policies of the Harcourt, Clark and Miller governments in BC as they privatized services, cut welfare, demonized poor people, persecuted the disabled,  shot Indians and increased the province's carbon output as fast as they could.

Noise

Stuart:

Quote:
Let me get this straight: if the Liberal Party and the NDP both disbanded and merged into a party where the NDP comprised 60% of the membership base, how would this constitute "benefitting the Liberals and destroying the NDP"?

Where did you get that 60% membership base number from?  I know the ALP membership is pretty dismal afterall, but I'd like to know actual ratio's on that.  I think in our contested nomination, we had some 50-60 members present (and alot of them were new signups by the candidate that won the nomination).

And just to throw it out there:

Quote:
It would be nice, though, if you could just admit that your agenda is to build up the Alberta Liberals as a (renamed) corporate entity

I don't beleive the ALP is organized enough to be able to pull off such an agenda either...  Individual ridings are pretty autonomous (atleast it was last election) and it's left to that candidate to get the volunteers and support she/he needs.

Stuart_Parker

Noise, I pulled that number out of the air. The number of active members each group contirbutes to a hypothetical new party is going to be determined by on-the-ground organization. I believe that with the assistance of organized labour and New Democrats form elsewhere in Canada, the Alberta NDP could absolutely out-organize the Liberals in the first phase of such a process.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Well, perhaps you're not both activists for a right wing political agenda.  It seems, on reading your subsequent posts, that you may merely be incredibly naive.

 

Sure, there are progressives who end up joining the Liberal Party.  They generally do so under the misconception that the Liberal Party generally believes the pretty progressive things they say between elections.  They also constitute a tiny minority of Liberals.  They, like you, are naive about politics.  They certainly do not represent the mainstream of their party.  This is borne out by the polling Lou referred to (consistent with every other poll ever conducted, btw) that the vast majority of Liberals look to the Conservative Party as their second choice.

 

The math of adding Liberal vote and NDP vote to come up with some mythological result is worse than foolish.  That`s not the way people vote.  It never has been.  People vote the way they vote for a constellation of reasons. 

 

But what data we do have for predicting voter behaviour suggests that:

a) if the "merged" party is a progressive social democratic party, the vast majority of Liberal voters will not support it.

b) if the "merged" party is not a progressive social democratic party, the vast majority of New Democrat voters will not support it (and why the hell would we anyway?)

 

It is a nice bit of misdirection you both use, claiming that NDP objections are about institutional identity.  The fact is that the right-left coalition party you propose (hey, we could call it the Progressive Conservative Party!) is a foregone failure.

 

If you want a progressive alternative in Alberta, there is no quick fix.  Building a progressive alternative means WORKING and BUILDING and ORGANIZNG, not some fun and games pitch and switch bullshit gimmick.

 

The Progressive Conservative monopoly on power in Alberta will eventually collapse.  Maybe not tomorrow, but as a party they have already gone on longer than any previous Alberta one-party monopoly.

 

When they lose, they will lose to the party best positioned to adapt to the changing circumstances, the party best positioned, organizationally, to take advantage.

 

Given a choice between a real progressive social democratic party or a hodge-podge brokerage party with empty progressive rhetoric between elections, I know which one I would choose.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Noise.... I checked to see if I was being particularly unclear, I believe I was not. "They" is a reference to the "talking heads" clearly mentioned in the first paragraph of my second post... the "pundits" the MSM dearly loves to turn to when talking about matters political. Their contribution, in this instance, is as about as enlightening as the top ten lists they tend to issue this time of year. If you want to consider yourself one of the pundits, by all means, go ahead.

I think Lou Arab is totally right in dismissing it (merger talk) as the musings of a few academics (apologies for the paraphrase) -- although I think he might have expanded his dismissal a notch by referencing newspaper and broadcast columnists needing to fill column inches or avoid "dead air" and, in doing so, would have covered the majority of people who are considering this kind of talk with any seriousness.

As I acknowldeged in my earlier post, Swann is newly selected and has yet to leave his imprint on the ALP. His selection as its leader may signify a major shift in course for them. But until such time as there is evidence of some seismic change in the ALP, I will continue to dismiss them as the Tories With Table Manners they have revealed themselves to be going back to when Nick Taylor was leading them in the 70s and 80s.

Or put another way, my definition of progressive cannot be stretched to encompass the ALP in any of the incarnations I have witnessed (taking me back to Nick Taylor). Consquently I will continue to vote with the majority of my fellow Alberta New Democrats in opposing any formal cooperation or potential merger with them.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Noise wrote:

Can we change the discussion away from how different the parties are to what we'd like a merged left to look like?  Lou, I'd really like to hear your answer to this in particular

Sorry if I've taken a while to respond, Noise.  I've been away from babble for a bit.

The reason I (and I believe other NDP convention delegates) can't support a merged party is that I think NDP values would be overtaken by Liberal opportunism. The Liberals have had (and still have) a lot of right wing members.  Laurence Decore was pro-life, and proposed most of the slashing that Klein did before Klein.  The current Dean of Business at the UofA is a former Liberal MLA, and Nancy MacBeth has already been mentioned. 

There is a mythology in Alberta politics that only another right wing party can beat the Tories.  This mythology was supported by the fact Decore came closer than anyone.  There would be strong pressure in a merged party to move to the right. 

For those who advocate co-operation instead of merger, I think in the end, it leads to the same thing.

Noise

Lou - No worries...  I take the extended rabble breaks too.  I understand where you're coming from and I hope you can see my side...  Though I'm begining to understand that it's just optimism from myself.

Quote:
that I think NDP values would be overtaken by Liberal opportunism.

And I hope just the opposite...  That these values would overtake the Liberal opportunism.  That your members, activists, and volunteers would prevent what prevails within the current ALP.

Heh, as much as anything...  I see this as an opportunity for those ideological ALP members to be brought into a united left, as opposed to bringing NDP members into the Liberal fold.

 

BagKitty - Sorry, I didn't put together your posts...  I understand now.  One comment for you:

Quote:
I will continue to dismiss them as the Tories With Table Manners they have revealed themselves to be going back to when Nick Taylor was leading them in the 70s and 80s.

Ya sure there isn't something from the 30's that you can hold the current incarnation of the Liberal party responsible for too?  ;)   It's interesting to see these reasons come up well before I was politically aware (or even born)...  I can assure you, the actions of the party in the 70's and 80's played no role in my (or most of the people I worked with campaigning) descision to join and volunteer for the Alberta Liberals.  Number one reason...  I don't share conservative values.

Thats it too. There really was no other factor in my descision than that...  And it was made 5 years ago.

Noise

Malcolm:

Quote:
They generally do so under the misconception that the Liberal Party generally believes the pretty progressive things they say between elections.  They also constitute a tiny minority of Liberals. They, like you, are naive about politics. 

?  I'd give atleast 90% of the people I worked with last election fit under this misconception then, perhaps even all of us (Perhaps I should point out that the majority of that ALP I know are under 30?). 

Quote:
It is a nice bit of misdirection you both use, claiming that NDP objections are about institutional identity.

err, I claimed that?  If you took the time to read my posts, you'd notice that I've been asking why and not claiming to know.  Here, if you're going to read anything from my posts... Make it me quoting Stuart for you:

Quote:
No. What I'm saying is that you can apparently tell the difference between the "cats" and the "mice" based on the party membership they're holding. Lucky you. I can't.

It's lovely that you can tell what 90% of us beleive just by our party association.  I can try this too...  2 L's in your name represents your undying love for pro-lifers, no?  If it's incorrect for me to say that, then why the FUCK do you assume the right to do the same to me?

 

Now that I'm by all your condescending bullshit...  Here's the point I'll dispute (and have been in the course of the thread if you've read much of it before giving us your knee jerk 'everythings run by right-wing activists!' response):

Quote:
But what data we do have for predicting voter behaviour suggests that:

a) if the "merged" party is a progressive social democratic party, the vast majority of Liberal voters will not support it.

You are using a poll saying that the second choice of the 'anti-conservative' vote is conservative.  In Calgary we have 3 voters... Conservative, not conservative, and protest (usually goes green, especially federally...  We hold 10-15% green federally).  Ask the not conservative vote here where it'll land, and by gosh it goes to conservative or the protest route...  The NDP just aren't significant enough here (Calgary) to be considered as anything other than 'the anti-conservative that stands no chance' vote.

Look at our vote totals that Wilf provided:

Quote:

 (provincial, federal)
Cons: 501,063; 822,147

WA: 64,407; N/A 

Libs: 251,158; 144,646

NDP: 80,578; 160,874

We nearly doubled the NDP vote federally, which is in part due to the fantastic campaigning of the NDP in EDM Strathcona and the willingness of Liberals there to vote for Duncan.  Do you think these NDP federal voters are just abstaining provincially, or could they be lining up with what they feel has the better chance of taking down our provincial Conservatives?

(Just as a side note, nice to see NDP popular vote overtake the Libs in Alberta.. I wasn't aware of that)

From Elections Canada:

2006 EDM Strathcona results:
Linda Duncan NDP 17153 32.51%  
Andy Hladyshevsky LIB 9391 17.8% 

2008 EDM Strathcona results:
NDP-New Democratic Party Linda Duncan 20,103
Liberal Claudette Roy 4,279

Seems to contradict the 2nd choice polling results, no?  The majority of our votes are Conservative or not conservative...  Give us not-conservative option and we'll line-up behind it (just like the ALP wants and expects).

More than willing to continue this type of discussion if you are...

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

It's all very nice to talk about Conservative voters and anti-Conservative voters as though that were actually what was going on.  It makes all sorts of completely unsubstantiated assumptions about voter behaviour - assumptions that are virtually never substantiated when the electoral rubber hits the road.

 

Yes, there are NDP - Liberal swing voters, many of whom are motivated by an antipathy to the Conservative Party in its various permutations.

 

But there are also Liberal - Conservative swing voters and even (believe it or not) NDP - Conservative swing voters.  The former are often motivated by a shared centre right philosophy, the latter most often by a shared inclination to an undifferentiated populism.

 

If we look at the recent federal election, the bulk of lost Liberal votes appear to have gone to the Conservatives, with the Greens and then the NDP picking up the remainder.

 

Thus, if you merge these two completely different parties - the centre-right Liberals and the left New Democrats, it is utterly foolish to assume that Lib vote + NDP vote = Merged vote.  If that party is generally perceived as the Liberals swallowing the NDP, it will likely retain most (but not all) of the Liberal vote and gain a minority of NDP voters.  If it is generally perceived as the NDP swallowing the Liberals, the reverse will be true.

 

In fact, I doubt you can point to a single example anywhere where a merged party has managed to get the aggregate votes of its predecessor parties.

 

Let's look at a recent example where two far more similar parties merged.  The Conservative Party has still not obtained the aggregate vote of the prior Progressive Conservative and Reform / Alliance parties.  It's recent gains have come principally from former Bloc voters and former Liberal voters.  While the new Conservative Party has managed to hold the largest share of former PC voters, significant numbers of ex-PC voters have migrated instead to the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens.  (In fact, the Canadian Election Study for the previous federal election showed a surprising demographic commonality between Green voters in that election with PC voters from previous elections.)

 

Given that the Alberta Liberal Party is currently larger than the Alberta NDP, it seems more than naive to assume that New Democrat commitment to genuine progressive politics will trump the two-headed monster of centre-right Liberal philosophy and morally unrooted Liberal opportunism.  I suppose it is possible.  It is also possible that Khazakstan will sweep the rest of its games in the World Juniors.  I'm just not prepared to bet the farm - and the future of progressive politics - on such long odds. 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Noise wrote:

From Elections Canada:

2006 EDM Strathcona results:
Linda Duncan NDP 17153 32.51%  
Andy Hladyshevsky LIB 9391 17.8% 

2008 EDM Strathcona results:
NDP-New Democratic Party Linda Duncan 20,103
Liberal Claudette Roy 4,279

Seems to contradict the 2nd choice polling results, no?  The majority of our votes are Conservative or not conservative...  Give us not-conservative option and we'll line-up behind it (just like the ALP wants and expects).

I've actually been telling people that the Strathcona results are a perfect example of what I was talking about earlier in this thread - the need to forgo alliances and strategic voting and get off our ass and work.

But to make my point, we have to look back further than two elections.  Let's look at the NDP results in Strathcona over the last 15 years:

1993: 5% (4th place)
1997: 14.5% (3rd place)
2000: 15% (3rd place)
2004: 24% (3rd place)
2006: 32.5% (2nd place)
2008: 42.5% (winner)

Source: Wikipedia

Admittedly there has not been too many people talking mergers at the federal level, but there was a lot of talk about strategic voting. In 1997, NDP supporters could have given up in dispair (as you seem to have in Calgary Noise) but Jean McBean, Raj Pannu and others starting working hard and building and organization brick by brick.

I moved into the riding in 2002, and in the 2004 election - I was told by Liberals to stop splitting the vote and support right wing candidate Debby Carlson.  I didn't, and people in the NDP like Erica Bullwinkle stubbornly continued to fundraise, canvass, and work very, very hard to keep expanding the NDP ground campaign. 

In 2006, the same thing happened, and the NDP vote (and organization) continued to grow - because people worked hard and ignored the calls for some kind of quick fix that a) wouldn't work and b) even if it did work would leave us feeling pretty unsatisfied with the result.

The point holds with the issue of a merger or alliance on the provincial level.  It won't work, it won't fly, and it is no substitue for what really turns voters around - strong campaigns and hard work.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Stuart_Parker wrote:

I see this is turning into another thread about the peculiar sacredness of the NDP as a corporate entity. The Liberal Party, you will notice, is, as part of its proposal, suggesting that it is willing to cease being the Liberal Party because the brand is getting in the way.

Why should New Democrats not be equally prepared to sacrifice their brand if that is what it takes to change Alberta politics. Is there some magic contained in the dumbest party name currently in operation in Canada? What, exactly are the essentially meaningless words "New" and "Democratic" doing for us? More importantly, what are they doing for the people of Alberta? Nothing.

This is a totally different issue and a red herring.  I have no love for the NDP name.  I could easily see myself supporting a name change, as long as it is done in conjunction with the Federal Party.

But there is a HUGE difference between changing the lable and changing the product.

Noise

Malcolm:


Quote:
If we look at the recent federal election, the bulk of lost Liberal votes appear to have gone to the Conservatives, with the Greens and then the NDP picking up the remainder.

 Heh, funny you can call my post "completely unsubstantiated assumptions about voter behaviour " and then follow up with your own unsubstantiated assumptions.  Mine come from door knocking in past elections and voter numbers from election websites...  Where are your unsubstatiated assumptions coming from?

Here, I'll back up my "unsubstatiated assumptions" one more time and I'll challenge you to do the same with yours.

Wilf's numbers:

Quote:

Cons: 501,063; 822,147

WA: 64,407; N/A 

Libs: 251,158; 144,646

NDP: 80,578; 160,874

Green: 43,222; 111,314

Non-voters: 1,399,682; 1,078,885

Total vote between Green/NDP/Lib provincially = 373,958 (It's stable over the years too, elections Alberta has the 3 parties gaining 377'017 votes in '04 and 361'043 votes in '01).  Total green/NDP/Lib vote federally = 416,834...  It's really the same voters that get moblized provincially and federally, you can see it at a riding level as well.  I completely disagree with your assumption that the bulk of ALP votes end up going conservative in the recent federal election, it went green and NDP first.

The gain in conservative votes comes from the WA and the non-voters that get spurred by the west vs east standoff...  It's not the 'left' vote jumping to the Cons.

 


More examples needed?

John Chan in Calgary North (Federal) took in 7147 votes (15.32%, the best NDP showing in Calgary), with the green in with just a few votes behind @ 7403 and the Libs with some 5699 votes.  The same region provincially is 3 seats (admittadely the riding lines are not the same, but close..  It's about 3.5 ridings actually) saw 2 ALP's gaining seats with 7000 votes a piece.  The third was John Chan's riding where he got 1700 votes, almost half of what the ALP member gained there.  Seat went Conservative by 1/2 of the votes that went to John Chan instead of the ALP.   Why?  Because they lined up behind the ALP as the only alternative to the Cons in Calgary.  Of course, this is me describing numbers to you...  I've got totals in spreadsheets that mark out these overlapping boundaries and vote totals.  The NDP/Green/Lib vote is amazingly similiar in this region, federally it goes NDP/Green and provincial it's ALP.

(As an interesting side note...  IT would appear John Chan gets more NDP votes federally than the entire calgary NDP got in the provincial election too). 

Your "completely unsubstantiated assumptions about voter behaviour" appears to be saying that voters that will willingly vote NDP and green federally and jump to ALP provincially would vote conservative before voting for an ALP/NDP/Green Merge.  Am I reading your assertion wrong?

Your turn Malcolm...  Care to back up your "unsubstantiated assumptions" with some numbers for us?

 

 

Quote:
Thus, if you merge these two completely different parties - the centre-right Liberals and the left New Democrats, it is utterly foolish to assume that Lib vote + NDP vote = Merged vote.

Yes, there won't be a 1+1 = 2 vote combination that occours by any means...  But it will be in the 1+1 = 1.75 range, which is enough to win atleast another 15 seats in Calgary and Edmonton.


Quote:
Given that the Alberta Liberal Party is currently larger than the Alberta NDP, it seems more than naive to assume that New Democrat commitment to genuine progressive politics will trump the two-headed monster of centre-right Liberal philosophy and morally unrooted Liberal opportunism.  I suppose it is possible.

Theres the sticking point that I agree with you on...  It would have to be done as both NDP and Liberal disolving altogether with a new party formed from what's left (pun intended).  If you go by federal numbers...  The NDP support is greater than Liberal support in Alberta now.


 

Quote:
(In fact, the Canadian Election Study for the previous federal election showed a surprising demographic commonality between Green voters in that election with PC voters from previous elections.)

Ya I know, I've posted that on this forum as well...  I've been supporting Green as the alternative to the Cons (by door knocking and posting signs) last election.  We didn't do too badly @ 16.7% green support for Natilie Odd.

 

Quote:
even (believe it or not) NDP - Conservative

No shit, I've been campaigning in Calgary for 4-5 years and have been claiming this on rabble (beleive it or not) for the past 2 elections...  The NDP overtook the liberals in total votes (beleive it or not, I pointed that out last post too).

Get off you fucking high horse Malcolm, you're posts continue to be condescending.  I think theres therepy programs for such superiority complexs, but theres a good chance the Conservatives cut them already.  Feel like discussing this as equals instead, or do I have to be the lowly surf that couldn't have a clue what I was talking about (beleive it or not?) and continue to put up with Lord Malcolm's mighty nature?

Ever been door knocking in Calgary?

Noise


Lou:

Thanks for that reply...  The same movement exists here, but without the star candidate theres no traction to be had.  Calgary center-north and John Chan is our closest to this ([url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_Centre-North]wiki[/url] is the source).

'04  -  6298 votes, 12.12%

'06  -  9,341 votes, 16.78%

'08 -   7,417 votes, 15.32%

 

The downturn in 08 is leeching votes from NDP to the green.  But the more interesting number is spread between NDP/Lib/Green...  (edited to clarify...  These numbers are the total votes between all 3 parties and the number in brackets is the voter turnout percentage). 

'04 - 23231 (60.97%)
'06 - 23542 (63.80%)
'08 - 20519 (under 50%)

'08 only saw the green gain a few votes, all the other parties saw a downturn as people stayed home instead of voting.

It's the same people, shuffling between one of the 3 parties searching for the best Conservative alternative.  In the case of a merged party, it'll be the same people voting for it.


Though...  I think I need to challenge this Lou:

Quote:
I've actually been telling people that the Strathcona results are a perfect example of what I was talking about earlier in this thread - the need to forgo alliances and strategic voting and get off our ass and work.

So you're saying the strategic voting 'Liberals for Linda Duncan!' was not a factor in her election... Just hard work and consistent progress?

NDP/Lib/Green vote totals for EDM Strathcona:

'08  - 27422 (65.4%)
'06  - 29683 (70.6%)
'04  - 28738 (65%)

If you check.. Rahim has managed to turn in the same 20k - 23k votes every election.  It's eerily consistant.  Wanna see where your votes are coming from?  Your NDP numbers on are the left... Liberal is on the right

1993: 5%      - 38.50%
1997: 14.5%   - 35.38%
2000: 15%     - 31.89%
2004: 24%     - 29.01%
2006: 32.5%   - 17.80%
2008: 42.5%   - 9.06%

You've done a fantastic job of shifting the Liberal vote in EDM strathcona from Liberal to a united NDP vote.  Would a party merger on a provincial level have the same result you've achieved (uniting Lib and NDP vote with one party) in a quicker time frame than 11 years?

Noise

 I guess my point with that comment is you're not convincing people of values they don't already hold... You're convincing them to join you under your left wing candidate as opposed to their right-wing liberal. 

Would the nomination have gone to Debbie Carlson under a merged party, or is there now enough support to overthrow a very right-wing liberal had she been exposed as such?  I'm pretty confident that the ALP member I'm supporting is off on the left (interviewed him prior to campaigning for him)...  With a clear Alberta Left vision, would these very right-wing liberals still hold onto power within the new party?

This last election saw the first contested ALP nomination for my riding in a long time (I've been told 'ever' but I'm unsure on it's validity)...  Did any of the Liberals get to choose Debbie Carlson as their candidate, or did she qualify as the only one that would run?

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Carlson was a provincial MLA at the time and won a contested nomination.  The NDP nomination was uncontested.  I doubt she could win a nomination today, but then...

outwest

 

I'll beat the dead horse here and once more repeat my contention that sticking to our individual parties in Alberta will bring nothing but the same old, status quo results.

 

If the opposition parties don't start to co-operate in ways that make sense, they will stay utterly dvided and you'll see someone like Ted Morton at the helm come 8 years time. How delightful.

 

 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

It's amazing how condescending someone can sound when accusing someone else of being condescending.

 

BTW, it's spelled "serf," not "surf."

 

The fact of the matter is that your numbers don't prove your contention unless you accept all of your assumptions as given.  You are interpreting the fact that votes for one of the two parties went down and for the other went up by comparable margins to mean that voters from the one party switched to the other.  In fact, there is no logical reason to assume that.  And while the Canada Election Study for the most recent election isn't out yet, I don't expect it to show remarkably different results from previous ones which indicate, among other things, that Liberal - Conservative voter migration is significantly more common than Liberal - NDP voter migration.  After all, it's only been that way for some 75 years now.

 

Now don't get me wrong - I'm all in favour of political realignment.  But the only political realignment that will deliver a progressive alternative is one in which progressive voters wake up to the fact that the Liberal Party, even if it wins, will never deliver progressive change.

 

Merging parties requires at least some minimal commonality between the parties - as was the case with the Reform/Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives, both right wing parties.  Such a commonality simply does not exist between the right wing Liberals and the left wing NDP.

 

And BTW, even if Lib + NDP ends up = 1.75 (Lib + NDP)  (highly optimistic), it still means the PC vote as the primary beneficiary of the missing 0.25 - that could conceivably have an effect on your calculations.

 

It is worth remembering that the Alberta PCs still had an absolute majority of the popular vote at the last election, so your Frankenstein Party still would have been sitting on the sidelines.

 

The only undeniable fact so far presented here is Lou's contention that the hard work of slogging in the trenches will pay dividends.  Your proposed gimmick has never worked for any pair of parties in any Canadian jurisdiction.  It didn't work for the Liberals and Social Democrats in the UK.  Hell, it didn't even work for the Scottish National Party and the National Party of Scotland.

 

You are proposing a "solution" that has consistently failed everywhere and everytime it has ever been tried, and claiming proof from numbers that simply do not confirm your contention.

 

Thus, I can only see two logical reasons for you to insist on this dubious tactic - and believe me, thinking you naive is by far the kinder interpretation.

 

(Lou, my first thought to your comment "an MP that reflects my views" was "I should think so."  Then I realized you were referring to your MP, not to your particularly talented MLA.)

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Quote:
Your
proposed gimmick has never worked for any pair of parties in any
Canadian jurisdiction.  It didn't work for the Liberals and Social
Democrats in the UK.  Hell, it didn't even work for the Scottish
National Party and the National Party of Scotland.

Well, almost.

Actually, considering that the SNP won the last elections for the Holyrood parliament, the merger between the Scottish Party and the National Party of Scotland can, in fact, be said to have worked for them.  

_________________________________________________________________________________
Our Demands Most Moderate are/
We Only Want The World!
-James Connolly

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

outwest wrote:

Lou,

 

I didn't say a "merger" I said some kind of cooperation.

Actually, the resolution that party members voted against outlined several options for'cooperation' and that was what was defeated by a vote of about 190 to 6.

outwest wrote:
 

I'm as cynical as anyone about change in Alberta, but if you care an ounce about your kids' future water supply (that's what's mainly at stake here) you have to keep trying.

 

That's one of the more condesending remarks I've seen on Rabble in some time.  The suggestion that if I don't agree with you I don't care about my kids or the planet is offensive.  

Now, as to the substance of what you are suggesting: the idea that the NDP should tie its fait to a Liberal leader with the political sense to propose a sales tax days after getting elected leader makes no sense.  This guy is going down and attaching the NDP to his sinking ship won't do anything for the environment my kids will have to live in when they grow up.

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