CBC At Issue: Talks at the highest levels begin on Liberal/NDP coalition/merger

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NorthReport

Please continue with your criticisms of the NDP Unionist. It seems the more you do it, the more NDP MPs get elected.  Laughing

ottawaobserver

Unionist wrote:

Yeah, OO, that was the strategy in the 2005-6 election. Canada has hardly suffered at all as a result. At this rate, the NDP should be in power any time now. With a platform that enabled Liberal voters to elect it to power.

Oh give over, Unionist.  I was answering your throw-away question, not advocating a strategy.  Next time I won't bother.

Stockholm

Ultimately these articles and opinion pieces about possible coalitions post-election are all about the Liberals and mean nothing to the NDP. The NDP has been in favour of being in an anti-conservative coalition government every step of the way. Layton has never ruled out a coalition, was willing to form one every step of the way in 2008/09 and still says whenever asked that the NDP would gladly form a coalition government if another party (i.e. the Liberals) was willing to talk. So any talk about coalitions is preaching to the converted as far as the NDP is concerned. Its the Liberals who need to be talked off the ledge that Iggy put them on with his foolish "no coalition" pledge last fall. He has to shift back to a Cameron/Clegg style non-committal response to the question that rules nothing out.

The only way that a pre-election coalition could ever work would be if Canada adopted Alternative Voting (AV) like they have in Australian and will soon have in the UK. That way The NDP and Liberals (even Greens too) could openly exhort their followers to preference each other in all ridings ahead of the Tories. That would be the ideal solution that would allow the Liberals and NDP to freely compete with each other in all 308 ridings but without any risk of allowing any Tories win with less tha  50% of the vote.

outwest

I totally agree with Stockholm.

Edmond wrote:

"Tactics to exploit "saw-off" ridings, where one party agrees not to run against a second party to stop a third party (often in return for a reciprocal agreement elsewhere), never benefit anyone. Even if both the first and second parties can keep their word – which is far from guaranteed – the result clobbers the weaker party's vote for a long, long time afterward."

This would only be true if the weaker (smaller) parties in the winning alliance don't include electoral voting reform as part of the agreement bargain. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..austerity is happening everywhere. if the ndp side with the powers that be and that it is the working class that will pay for the financial crisis it doesn't really matter if there is a really good ie: retirement platform (the ndp have a great one). there will be no money for it. a major conflict is likely to happen then between working people and the government. we can see this happening in europe under social democratic regimes. whether people believe that with the influence of the ndp things would be better or not..working people will loose big time. across the board they will loose. there is a need to be able to cut the party loose if they do not come on board. to be able to turn energies toward defending our social services on the street and everywhere else. imho.

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

The only way that a pre-election coalition could ever work would be if Canada adopted Alternative Voting (AV) like they have in Australian and will soon have in the UK. That way The NDP and Liberals (even Greens too) could openly exhort their followers to preference each other in all ridings ahead of the Tories. That would be the ideal solution that would allow the Liberals and NDP to freely compete with each other in all 308 ridings but without any risk of allowing any Tories win with less than 50% of the vote.

AV is not proportional but it is a vast improvement over FPTP.

If we had AV or a proportional system, all the anti-democratic talk about the possibility of merging different parties would no longer be part of our political debate. As long as we have FPTP, there will be pressure placed on third parties to merge with the bigger parties.

The Liberals have a good comeback to Harper`s accusation that they`re planning a coalition with the `socialists.` The Liberals can say that they are willing to work with all the parties, including the Conservatives, the party they have voted with for much of the last 4 years.

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

The day the NDP ever merged with the right-wing Liberals would be the end of my support for the NDP.  

 

Did your support for the NDP lessen last year when the NDP signed a coalition deal with the Liberals?

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

The Liberal Party is going full bore on this. First the Liberal CBC and then the Liberal Toronto Star. Who knew! Laughing

The Liberals aren`t the only ones going full bore on this. A lot of NDPers and progressives  support greater cooperation between the opposition parties in order to prevent permanent Conservative rule.

Canadians in general seem to want the parties to work together. A winning election theme may be - we`re the party that will cooperate with all the other parties for the betterment of Canada. We`ll put Canada before petty partisanship.

If a party could show Canadians that they put the countries interest before themselves, they would gain a lot of support. Preston Manning was able to do this when he established the Reform Party by supporting things such as recall. Any party supporting lessening the power of political elites and strengthening democracy will pick up support.

Tommy_Paine

NDP Cabinet spots - Deputy PM, Health, Environment, Labour, International Cooperation, Heritage, Status of Women...plus three or four Secretary of State spots.

Major policy areas to be dealt with - the deficit, pension reform, climate change, electoral reform (Citizen's Panel and referendum on 1 proposal within 4 years), poverty and rural issues.

NDP - gets a reasonable veto over major pieces of legislation, possibly with a bi-partisan committee of elders on stand-by to settle any serious disputes

It could work and in my opinion I would be happy to know that dialogue is at least occuring at some level, because if Harper gets a majority then we can bet on a new abortion law, massive and regressive tax cuts, and possibly capital punishment being reintroduced within 5 years.  Guaranteed.

 

There's absolutely no way the Liberals would even entertain such notions.  They want the NDP to hand them the keys to the treasury, and in return they want the NDP to roll over and play dead.   We've seen the style of Liberal "negotiation" on this before and I've seen no hubrisectomy take place in the Liberal party.

 

Again, the Liberals have no appreciation of the situation they are in, and I think no one should disabuse them of their current notions.

 

As for the Tory boogie man you conjure, Redrover these things are true.    But I'm not sure how getting in bed with the "None is too Many" party, the party of martial law, of wage controls and a party that is not committed to reproductive self determination for women is any protection from the Tory boogie man-- the Liberal party, time and time and time and time and time and time again, proves itself to be just that Tory boogie man.

 

In Canada, "Tory" has become a nickname of the Conservative Party.   However, "Tory" is more properly a philosophy, and there isn't a Liberal member in Canada who is not a dyed in the wool Tory.

 

This pretext of keeping the Conservatives out at any cost is doomed to failure.  Sure, maybe we can stave off a Harper majority.  Do you think that the Conservatives are going to dry up and blow away?  That the next Conservative leader isn't going to be more or less the same?  That in the next 25 years, we can keep the Conservatives from a majority?

It's going to happen, some time or other.  The way to fight this isn't by putting in another flavour of Tory party, it's by understanding how to blunt the initiatives of a Conservative agenda outside the scope of government.

 

There are always going to be conservative minded people in any society, just as there will always be left wing people in a society.  In the grand scheme of things, we probably need each other; that from time to time one gets to drive while the other does it's best to brake, hopefully with a healthy balance coming out of it.

What is truly harmfull to society is a political party that claims to be one but is yet the other.  

 

Do I "like" the Conservatives more than the Liberals?  

Hardly.

 

I just prefer my enemies in the front of me, instead of behind me stabbing me in the back.

 

 

 

Unionist

ottawaobserver wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Yeah, OO, that was the strategy in the 2005-6 election. Canada has hardly suffered at all as a result. At this rate, the NDP should be in power any time now. With a platform that enabled Liberal voters to elect it to power.

Oh give over, Unionist.  I was answering your throw-away question, not advocating a strategy.  Next time I won't bother.

Read more carefully. I didn't say you were advocating anything. I said the NDP's 2006 election strategy was to target the Liberals, and it worked. The old babble threads are available, so we can follow that minute by minute if you don't recall. But if it's too much "bother" to reply to me, well by all means, don't bother.

 

Tommy_Paine

 

Pop Quiz:

 

Name a "progressive" in the Liberal Party.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

NorthReport wrote:
More realistically what we probably looking at is a Bloc-NDP get together after the next election. Now that would be sweet.

That's another possibility I'd love to see, but even so, the BQ and NDP combined would still be far behind the Cons. They at least would edge ahead of the Liberals for Official Opposition status. Such an arrangement would probably make both Cons and Libs heads explode - an unexpected bonus!Laughing

ottawaobserver

Unionist wrote:

ottawaobserver wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Yeah, OO, that was the strategy in the 2005-6 election. Canada has hardly suffered at all as a result. At this rate, the NDP should be in power any time now. With a platform that enabled Liberal voters to elect it to power.

Oh give over, Unionist.  I was answering your throw-away question, not advocating a strategy.  Next time I won't bother.

Read more carefully. I didn't say you were advocating anything. I said the NDP's 2006 election strategy was to target the Liberals, and it worked. The old babble threads are available, so we can follow that minute by minute if you don't recall. But if it's too much "bother" to reply to me, well by all means, don't bother.

Unionist, if you take a light, breezy comment, and come back at it with extreme and dismissive sarcasm, you can hardly play the wounded one afterwards that the underlying intent of your words was mistaken.  Nor be shocked if people don't want to play that kind of dysfunctional game all day.

KenS

JKR wrote:

The Liberals aren`t the only ones going full bore on this. A lot of NDPers and progressives  support greater cooperation between the opposition parties in order to prevent permanent Conservative rule.

"A lot?" Like, one or two.

For that matter, it isn't a lot of Liberals either.

If its stated simply as "greater cooperation" you probably would get a lot in both parties speaking in favour.

But if that extends to a pre-election deal for parties to not run candidates- we're talking a fringe of individuals in either party. 

JKR wrote:

A winning election theme may be - we're the party that will cooperate with all the other parties for the betterment of Canada. We'll put Canada before petty partisanship.

If a party could show Canadians that they put the countries interest before themselves...

Again, depends on what kind of cooperation is being proposed. Stated generally... it probably would encourage some prople to support. But babblers easily confuse what is popular around here, that also fits [very] generally with themes the public expresses general support for, with things that will be broadly supported. Balenced against some of those folks, a lot of Liberal and NDP supporters dont like the other party and would not like even general talk of cooperation... and that would be sufficient to get them to tip them to voting Conservative or not voting at all. There is at best some kind of wash, not the kind of big gains assumed by proponents.

And if we're talking about a deal that involves not running candidates... the number of people who vote Conservative or do not vote would rise dramatically. A substantial chunk of those would be disgruntled for longer than an election cycle.

But that kind of deal is never going to happen for prior reasons. A party simply cannot force that kind of deal on its riding activists. It would be a very bitter pill even in the highly centralized and top down Liberal Party.... with blowback well beyond the riding activists forced to stand down. And even trying to do it would be an eartquake within the NDP.

That is why those kind of stand down deals are only done by parties that have decided they are on the road to full alliance or merger.

KenS

And to anticipate- "light and breezy" is not a reference to the substance within the comment. Of course, there is always substance.

"Light and breezy" is a reference to the game of provocation [or hit and run] being played.

ottawaobserver

Actually I was referring to my own comment as "light and breezy".  I'm beating myself up about it as we speak, in order to save others the effort.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

ottawaobserver wrote:
  I'm beating myself up about it as we speak, in order to save others the effort.
Laughing

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

JKR wrote:

The Liberals aren`t the only ones going full bore on this. A lot of NDPers and progressives  support greater cooperation between the opposition parties in order to prevent permanent Conservative rule.

Canadians in general seem to want the parties to work together. A winning election theme may be - we`re the party that will cooperate with all the other parties for the betterment of Canada. We`ll put Canada before petty partisanship.

 

I'd say progressives generally are fed up with the party politics and gamesmanship of the NDP and the Liberals. What these parties should do is announce they are prepared to enter into a coalition after the next election and that they've agreed to bring in proportional representation, since [URL=http://www.rabble.ca/news/2010/04/most-canadians-want-proportional-repre...'s what Canadians want[/URL].

Sean in Ottawa

I think there is heavy support among opposition supporters to see greater cooperation. Unfortunately the opposition parties don't seem to know how to accomplish this. Cooperation ought not to mean capitulation or merger (for that there is little to no support outside of Liberals).

I have at times suggested a few things the opposition parties could do:

1) run a series of attack ads showing what this government is doing to the country, to accountability and to the democratic process;

2) openly say that there is nothing illegitimate about them working together after an election to govern if they have a majority-- it will infuriate the Cons but give hope to anyone voting against them;

3) identify policies they hold in common and promote those so that people know some of the changes that would occur with the Cons out of power;

4) they can commit to no deals limiting voter choice in any ridings, and no merger talks.

5) they can individually decide to put more money in to the ridings that they can win from each other or take from the Cons rather than no win races that the other party would more likely knock off the Conservative. I say individually based on how best to spend their money to get the most seats and defeat the Cons as opposed to pacts made to limit options.

6) they can retain some common messages where they agree and endorse those messages from each other bringing a better idea of what a parliament where they would work together could look like-- this does not require them to tone down comments pointing out where they are different.

7) they can outline a common approach to accountability, electoral reform including PR.

That is the kind of cooperation that would work. They don't have to risk mistakes-- this is not that hard to see and the boundaries to this cooperation are almost self-evident.

NorthReport

 

Ya, let's just rush to join these losers who have their MPs attend anti-abortion rallies

 

 

 

Liberals 'in chaos from a leadership point of view'

Some Grits say there would be a lot more interest in dumping Michael Ignatieff if there were a significant replacement in the wings. There isn't.

 

 

http://www.thehilltimes.ca/page/view/liberals-05-24-2010

Sean in Ottawa

Why is cooperation framed as joining? Isn't that a separate debate? If not why isn't it a separate debate?

I don't hear many people in favour of opposition parties joining each other. But people are frustrated that the opposition cannot at least align themselves when they agree. After all there are many issues that you are for or against so there are not five sides to every debate.

RedRover

KenS wrote:

But Red Rover isnt just talking coalition.

RedRover wrote:

NDP-Liberal Cooperation pact - each party has between 50 and 75 seats where only their candidate runs, and the other party withdraws or backs the other.  Other seats have both.

This is a non-starter. And it doesn't matter that the notion comes from Dippers as well [though I know of no one publicly except Byers]. And anyone who chalks up resistance from people with careers at stake is blowing smoke. Its the grassroots that would be certain to kill this.

The arrangement would mean that the NDP would very likely hold its incumbents, and possibly pick up 15 and 25 seats.  Why would we support such a thing?

Fidel

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Why is cooperation framed as joining? Isn't that a separate debate? If not why isn't it a separate debate?

Yes, cooperation is what would have to happen to a greater extent in an advanced proportional democracy. What we have today are two old line parties jockeying for what they and their handful few big money backers hope will translate to phony majority dictatorial power for them and theirs over four years at a time. Our news journalists report from time to time that this is what markets want, the security of foreknowledge that creditor-friendly and market-friendly policies will be enforced by marionettes in positions of power and who they have influence over.

The billionaire class demands certain guarantees in order that things go their way. Our politicos have always stressed to the public during the cold war era that rule by a few and decision-making by a handful few always leads to dictatorship and authoritarian rule, and that bad outcomes are inevitable when a relative few make crucial decisions on behalf of the large majority. We have rule by a billionaire oligarchy and their hirelings in government today. And lo', things have not been going so well.

Skinny Dipper

I have no problem with coalitions be it Liberal-NDP, Liberal-NDP-Green, Conservative-Liberal, or some other combination.  I do have a problem with merging two or more parties.  Here's why: it gives me less choice in an election.  It also changes the ideological framework of the country.  Would a new Liberal-NDP party become a left, centre,or right wing party?

My advice to the Liberals: stick to the centre.  Once you start moving to the left, you get into crowded territory.  Also, the Conservatives can grab centrist supporters that you will have abandoned.

To the NDP: stick to the left whether it's left-of-centre or far left.

Finally, a merger of the NDP and Liberals does not mean that they will receive the same amount of votes.  15% + 25% does not equal 40%.  The new Conservatives know this from their merger of the old PC and Canadian Alliance/Reform Party.

RedRover

Stockholm wrote:

The NDP has been in favour of being in an anti-conservative coalition government every step of the way. Layton has never ruled out a coalition, was willing to form one every step of the way in 2008/09 and still says whenever asked that the NDP would gladly form a coalition government if another party (i.e. the Liberals) was willing to talk. So any talk about coalitions is preaching to the converted as far as the NDP is concerned.

Thanks for reminding us.  This gives me comfort that clearer heads could prevail.

If this is at indicative of his actual thinking, then I would hope he would use his 94% support within the party and challenge the party to follow his lead on this.  Some sort of coalition or cooperative pact that would probably (surely?) make many uneasy if not rebellious - even though it would deny Harper his majority and probably be supported by the last 4 party leaders.  Cut the fringe loose, drop in popularity internally from 94 to oh I don't know 77 percent, and deny Harper a majority.

RedRover

Tommy_Paine wrote:

 

Pop Quiz:

 

Name a "progressive" in the Liberal Party.

Glenn Pearson.

ottawaobserver

Name two.

Skinny Dipper

Seats in the 2008 federal election:

  • Conservative 143
  • Liberal 77
  • NDP 37
  • Bloc 49
  • Independent 2
  • Total 308

According to the UBC Election Forecaster of merging the Liberal and NDP votes:

  • Conservative 112 seats
  • Liberal-NDP 153
  • Bloc 41
  • Independent/Other 2
  • Total 308

If ten percent of Liberal and NDP voters stay home because of the merger:

  • Conservative 125
  • Liberal-NDP 137
  • Bloc 44
  • Independent/Other 2
  • Total 308

Note that the UBC Election Forecaster does list the Green Party separately from the Other category.

If Liberals and NDPers want to merge in order to avoid a coalition with the Bloc Québécois, and if these results are fairly accurate, the newly merged Liberal-NDP party would need to form a coalition or agreement with the Bloc in order to kick out the Conservatives from government.

I will suggest better Liberal and NDP promises and a better explanation of their promises to the voters if these parties want to gain more votes and seats.

RedRover

KenS wrote:

But Red Rover isnt just talking coalition.

RedRover wrote:

NDP-Liberal Cooperation pact - each party has between 50 and 75 seats where only their candidate runs, and the other party withdraws or backs the other.  Other seats have both.

If I thought the Libs and NDP would have enough combined seats to form a coalition after the next election, then I wouldn't dare propose something this drastic. 

RedRover

ottawaobserver wrote:

Name two.

Stephane Dion.

Can we play another game now?

ottawaobserver

Stephane Dion -- defender of corporate tax cuts as the reason he could never enter into a coalition with the NDP.

Nice try.  Try again.  In fact, I bet you can't name 10 progressive members of the current Liberal caucus.  For a bonus round, see if you can name 10 if you include former Liberal MPs who are running to get their old seats back.

ETA:  For clarity's sake, you have to be fiscally progressive for it to count.  Nice ideas aren't worth sh*t if you can't pay for them long-term.

ottawaobserver

While you're working on that one, here's an interesting blogpost from one of the better Conservative blogs (the blogger thinks strategically and is not a mindless supporter of the party).  The point being made is that Ignatieff has lost the "benefit of the doubt" from the mainstream media, the turning point being the weekend announcement that the current GG should be reappointed.  I have to say I felt the same kind of sea-change in coverage that day, but this blogger has put it very well.  [The speech in question was Ignatieff's speech to the Toronto Board of Trade the other week, that was so beautifully deconstructed by Scott Feschuk afterwards.]

Quote:

BOD, you must understand, stands for "Benefit Of the Doubt," and it refers to a level of credibility which the media tends to assign to all politicians. Some politicians merit more BOD than others, by virtue of position, experience, training, or natural talent. One thing about the BOD, however, is the same for all: once you break it, it is no longer possible for you to be taken seriously at your current job. And that means the end of your public career is coming sooner than you planned. ...

In Iffy's case, the breakpoint was his press release and announcement calling for the renewal of Michaelle Jean as Governor-General. So many of the Ottawa media responded so negatively to his attempt at politicizing the G-G's appointment, that you could understand why the speech that Mr. Wherry wrote about was so sparsely attended by members of the media: why bother? He's not going to say anything substantive anyway.

And if Michael Ignatieff is no longer being taken seriously by the media, then by extension the Liberal Party of Canada cannot be taken seriously either. That doesn't bode well if you're trying to position yourself as the alternative to government.

NR may be right that we don't want to hitch our *electoral* wagon too much to this guy.  That is altogether a different thing than being willing to enter coalition talks with Liberals after the election.  I guess we'll see how many of them there are as compared with us, but personally I'm feeling reasonably good about our opportunities these days.

Stockholm

I really don't understand what you're talking about. The NDP under Layton has been 100% unswervingly in favour of making post-election accords or coalitions with other parties (ie: the Liberals) - the NDP made a deal with Paul Martin to save him from defeat in 2005 and the party base was 100% supportive of that. When the NDP negotiated a calition with the Liberals in 2008 - dissent within the NDP was virtually non-existent. At the last NDP convention some crackpots from the so-called Socialist Caucus tried to put forward a resolution barring the NDP from forming any coalition or accord with any other party (with the exception of Communist parties!!) - it was voted down almost unanimously.

The NDP is not the issue here - the leader, the caucus, the members, EVERYONE is four square in favor of post-election accords or coalitions with the party (ie: the Liberals) which is most likely to agree to bring in the largest number of NDP policy initiatives. Of course, there COULD be dissent down the road if people don't like details of such an agreement - but that's a whole other story. Right now in principle, I doubt if you can find ANYONE (savce for a few marginalized SC remnants) who would not be 100% in favour of a POST-Election coalition or accord.

Layton doesn't need to "convince" anyone in the party of that - they are already there.

The problem is with the Liberals. They are the party that needs to wake up and smell the coffee about the need to cooperate.

 

RedRover wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

The NDP has been in favour of being in an anti-conservative coalition government every step of the way. Layton has never ruled out a coalition, was willing to form one every step of the way in 2008/09 and still says whenever asked that the NDP would gladly form a coalition government if another party (i.e. the Liberals) was willing to talk. So any talk about coalitions is preaching to the converted as far as the NDP is concerned.

Thanks for reminding us.  This gives me comfort that clearer heads could prevail.

If this is at indicative of his actual thinking, then I would hope he would use his 94% support within the party and challenge the party to follow his lead on this.  Some sort of coalition or cooperative pact that would probably (surely?) make many uneasy if not rebellious - even though it would deny Harper his majority and probably be supported by the last 4 party leaders.  Cut the fringe loose, drop in popularity internally from 94 to oh I don't know 77 percent, and deny Harper a majority.

 

 

RedRover

Tommy_Paine wrote:

NDP Cabinet spots - Deputy PM, Health, Environment, Labour, International Cooperation, Heritage, Status of Women...plus three or four Secretary of State spots.

Major policy areas to be dealt with - the deficit, pension reform, climate change, electoral reform (Citizen's Panel and referendum on 1 proposal within 4 years), poverty and rural issues.

NDP - gets a reasonable veto over major pieces of legislation, possibly with a bi-partisan committee of elders on stand-by to settle any serious disputes

It could work and in my opinion I would be happy to know that dialogue is at least occuring at some level, because if Harper gets a majority then we can bet on a new abortion law, massive and regressive tax cuts, and possibly capital punishment being reintroduced within 5 years.  Guaranteed.

 

There's absolutely no way the Liberals would even entertain such notions.  They want the NDP to hand them the keys to the treasury, and in return they want the NDP to roll over and play dead.   We've seen the style of Liberal "negotiation" on this before and I've seen no hubrisectomy take place in the Liberal party.

 

Really?

The proposed coalition government includes:

  • 24 members of cabinet and Dion as prime minister
  • 18 Liberal cabinet ministers (including a yet-to-be-named Liberal finance minister)
  • 6 NDP cabinet ministers
  • 6 NDP parliamentary secretaries
  • The 2 caucuses would sit side by side in the House of Commons
  • The agreement between the NDP and Liberals would expire on June 30, 2011, unless renewed. The Bloc is only committed to 18 months.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/12/01/coalition-talks.html?ref=rss#ixzz0orfS9GTl

KenS

RedRover wrote:

If I thought the Libs and NDP would have enough combined seats to form a coalition after the next election, then I wouldn't dare propose something this drastic. 

"Drastic" does not come close to describing the non-statrter you are proposing. Pay attention to what people are saying.

Not running a slew of candidates would tear the Liberal party apart if it it were seriously pushed. And the grassroots outrage in the NDP would never allow it to get that far.

Political parties aren't chess board pieces. They are run by flesh and blood people who have their reasons for doing it. Take that away from them, you don't have parties.

Distilling that to 'peoples stake in careers' is totally unrealistic as well as trivializing the dedication of volunteers.

remind remind's picture

Did no one else watch the At Issue panel?

 

....because the OP is a bunch of nonsense, that the At Issue panel said this last Thursaday night....

Herbert made some comment about the NDP and Liberals should be talking in the back ground after the British coalition forming, and that it would have to be the elder statesmen doing the talking. But then she went on to indicate, QUITE CLEARLY, that this was NOT happening as far as she knew.

Now, all of a sudden we have people, like Rob, stating "it is so", based on what was supposed to have been said by the AI panel.

As such, as far as I can see, also given the nonsensical piece in The Star, this is a BS Liberal ploy to try and get NDP supporters to switch straight across if the NDP are going to have a "coalition" anyway. Or some other dying gasp of lacklustre Liberal brilliance like it.

 

RedRover

Tommy_Paine wrote:
 

Pop Quiz:

Name a "progressive" in the Liberal Party.

RedRover wrote:

Glenn Pearson.

ottawaobserver wrote:

Name two.

RedRover wrote:

Stephane Dion.

Can we play another game now?

ottawaobserver wrote:

Stephane Dion -- defender of corporate tax cuts as the reason he could never enter into a coalition with the NDP.

...ETA:  For clarity's sake, you have to be fiscally progressive for it to count.  Nice ideas aren't worth sh*t if you can't pay for them long-term.

Whoooooops.

'Moreover, the Liberal-NDP coalition will not roll back or delay the implementation of $14-billion of corporate tax cuts set to be implemented over the next four years -- a major concession for the NDP that campaigned in the last election to eliminate the measures.'

http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1018500#ixzz0orgq67Bd

Guess the Leader and the entire NDP caucus aren't progressives by your standards.

I can't tell if you are misinformed or misinforming, but I do know you are full of shit.

edmundoconnor

outwest wrote:

This would only be true if the weaker (smaller) parties in the winning alliance don't include electoral voting reform as part of the agreement bargain. 

That's hoping the larger party does not put reform off for as long as possible, does not make any referendum question so divisive and confusing that it gets voted down, then does not claim they filled their part of the bargain and leaving the smaller party/ies feeling cheated.

NorthReport

The Liberals are the enemy of the NDP just as the Cons are. Some folks here have a difficult time grasping this simple fact.

Stockholm

Yes, but sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend and unless you think that the NDP is about to form a majority government after the next election - the reality is that the NDP is going to have to work with other parties to achieve any objectives. I think we understand that - its the Liberals who need to get their heads out of the clouds!

ottawaobserver

RedRover wrote:

'Moreover, the Liberal-NDP coalition will not roll back or delay the implementation of $14-billion of corporate tax cuts set to be implemented over the next four years -- a major concession for the NDP that campaigned in the last election to eliminate the measures.'

http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1018500#ixzz0orgq67Bd

Guess the Leader and the entire NDP caucus aren't progressives by your standards.

I can't tell if you are misinformed or misinforming, but I do know you are full of shit.

From Brian Topp's book on the coalition negotiations:

Brian Topp in How We Almost Gave the Tories the Boot wrote:

[After he summarizes the five points of the proposed policy accord...]  By focusing on the economic crisis, we would not have to discuss the NDP's corporate tax proposals or our views on Canada's role in Afghanistan, two issues where we were significantly at odds with the Liberals.  This is not to say that we were not going to work on these issues.

Our bet was that the titanic size of the federal deficit in coming years would force the Liberals and any government to reverse Mr. Harper's foolish corporate tax cuts.  Events would drive that issue towards us -- provided we were in a position to argue the issue at the table at the right time (probably during the second budget).

I believe that should answer your question.  And you asked earlier why I thought you might be a Liberal?

RedRover

KenS wrote:

RedRover wrote:

If I thought the Libs and NDP would have enough combined seats to form a coalition after the next election, then I wouldn't dare propose something this drastic. 

"Drastic" does not come close to describing the non-statrter you are proposing. Pay attention to what people are saying.

Not running a slew of candidates would tear the Liberal party apart if it it were seriously pushed. And the grassroots outrage in the NDP would never allow it to get that far.

Political parties aren't chess board pieces. They are run by flesh and blood people who have their reasons for doing it. Take that away from them, you don't have parties.

Distilling that to 'peoples stake in careers' is totally unrealistic as well as trivializing the dedication of volunteers.

Thanks for the lecture Dr. Ken.  I have been reading what people have been saying.

You seem to be focusing in on the whole stake on careers point that I apparently made, but I searched the thread for careers and only found hits in your comments.  I'm not sure if I referred to something in my posts, but I have several and am not going to review them to defend myself.

As much I want to suplant the Liberals, become Official Opposition, and govern within the next 20 years I absolutely do not want to hand Harper a majority - even for five years - while pursuing these incremental goals.  It would be preferrable if we could do both - pursue goals while denying Harper a majority - but the polls don't seem to be indicating this is less and less likely  We are stalled - more or less - under 20% support and between 5 and 10 points behind the Liberals and Harper is 5 to 10 points ahead of the Liberals  More worringly - Harper is about three points short of majority territory.   This is not the expected/desired outcome (I think) for most of us who are committed to the goals listed above.

Furthermore Ken, my proposal isn't a formal merger,  but more like a limited detente.  Our New Democrat agenda - electoral reform, fighting climate change, empowering women, alleviating poverty at home and abroad, peace, more effective regulation of the economy, improved healthcare, homecare, and pharmacare, and a more economically sustainable and equitable society - are at risk of being set back to pre-WWII levels in about 5 years if Harper gets a majority.  We still have significant and unresolvable issues with the Liberal ideology/policy preferances, but each of our respective ideal societies are increasingly further back in the rearview mirror, which is why a limited detente, cooperation, coalition - whatever you want to call it - is worth considering. 

Stopping Harper via cooperation with the Liberals *should* be seen as something positive since it would mean that society would not degenerate or regress as quickly while we resumed our own political ambitions in the long term.

NorthReport

With the sinking of the Liberal ship we will indeed be very fortunate if Harper does not receive a majority government next kick at the can.  But all this fear mongering about the Conservatives is just standard Liberal talking points that they having been spewing out for years. Having said that the absolutely worst possible thing the NDP could do to their election chances prior to the election is go anywhere near any kind of alliance with anyone. I have to admit though to looking forward to the day when the positions are reversed and we can treat the Liberals to the way they have treated the NDP after the last election. Do onto others.....

RedRover

ottawaobserver wrote:

RedRover wrote:

'Moreover, the Liberal-NDP coalition will not roll back or delay the implementation of $14-billion of corporate tax cuts set to be implemented over the next four years -- a major concession for the NDP that campaigned in the last election to eliminate the measures.'

http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1018500#ixzz0orgq67Bd

Guess the Leader and the entire NDP caucus aren't progressives by your standards.

I can't tell if you are misinformed or misinforming, but I do know you are full of shit.

From Brian Topp's book on the coalition negotiations:

Brian Topp in How We Almost Gave the Tories the Boot wrote:

[After he summarizes the five points of the proposed policy accord...]  By focusing on the economic crisis, we would not have to discuss the NDP's corporate tax proposals or our views on Canada's role in Afghanistan, two issues where we were significantly at odds with the Liberals.  This is not to say that we were not going to work on these issues.

Our bet was that the titanic size of the federal deficit in coming years would force the Liberals and any government to reverse Mr. Harper's foolish corporate tax cuts.  Events would drive that issue towards us -- provided we were in a position to argue the issue at the table at the right time (probably during the second budget).

I believe that should answer your question.  And you asked earlier why I thought you might be a Liberal?

So you are confirming that the corporate tax cuts would have stayed in the coalition?

So Stephane Dion isn't a progressive because he would keep the corporate tax cuts, but Jack, Topp, and the NDP benches are still progressives because they only accepted regressive tax cuts for two years?

Topp would be expected to offer such a defense to the base after this (worthy) experiment, but the bottom line is that the corporate tax cuts were staying as part of the government programme while 6 New Democrats would've been serving in Cabinet and the rest offering the Coalition Government their full support.

After this episode, either Dion and Layton are both progressives, or they are not friend (at least by your ad hoc definition).

Fidel

Stockholm wrote:

Yes, but sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend and unless you think that the NDP is about to form a majority government after the next election - the reality is that the NDP is going to have to work with other parties to achieve any objectives. I think we understand that - its the Liberals who need to get their heads out of the clouds!

I agree. And this is the way it would have to be with an advanced proportional system of representation. The need for cooperation between certain parties would be magnified by a fair voting system. And we will need cooperation between parties to even achieve advanced democracy. If we're progressive-minded social democrats, then we have to think in terms of the democratic consensus either way, and whether we are struggling along with the current obsolete system or not. We can never have things all our own way in even a more democratic system. But it's high time that one of the other two parties realized the same and is why voters are reluctant to hand either one of those parties dictatorial powers by another phony majority.

NorthReport

Seriously Red Rover if you really are a New Democrat, which I don't believe for a second, please quit the party. Laughing

RedRover

NorthReport wrote:

With the sinking of the Liberal ship we will indeed be very fortunate if Harper does not receive a majority government next kick at the can.  But all this fear mongering about the Conservatives is just standard Liberal talking points that they having been spewing out for years. Having said that the absolutely worst possible thing the NDP could do to their election chances prior to the election is go anywhere near any kind of alliance with anyone. I have to admit though to looking forward to the day when the positions are reversed and we can treat the Liberals to the way they have treated the NDP after the last election. Do onto others.....

You've now seen a Harper minority for 5 years. 

With that in mind, and assuming you've been staying abrest of what the government has actually done (ie: tax cuts, deficits, gentle curbs on abortion access, tougher criminal penalties, huge number of Senate appointments, hardline on Iran, pro-Israel foreign policy, etc), I must ask....what do you think the Harper would be like as a majority - without any curbs on power (not the Senate, not the Supreme Court, not a minority government)?

Please do clear it up, because it scares the hell out of me and I don't need any Liberal talking points to tell me so.

Sean in Ottawa

North Report-- you have said the same thing to me in the past-- it is offensive.

Fidel-- I agree-- but of course we cannot repeat often enough our willingness to build consensus while rejecting the notion that we have to give up a party or point of view to do so.

Red Rover-- I think you have to be careful about the distinction between the kinds of OTHER opinions the NDP would co-exist with in a compromise arrangement with another party and the policies the NDP would advocate. This is exactly why the NDP needs to cooperate but maintain its own distinct vision and policies. We can say , for example, in order to work with the Liberals here are the things we accept we could not impose as a minority member of the coalition but they are items we have an alternate view on.

The whole issue of accountability needs to be clear. For example the party in such an arrangement ought to present the issues and state clearly what its policies are, what policies we tolerate that we do not agree with in order to work in a larger group than just ourselves and what we are in complete agreement on. This should be out there for the public to see.

It is hard to do because it requires a level of openness most are unaccustomed to.

Fidel

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Fidel-- I agree-- but of course we cannot repeat often enough our willingness to build consensus while rejecting the notion that we have to give up a party or point of view to do so.

I have no idea how faithful NDP supporters might perceive such cooperation. That is an electoral dynamic outside our small circle of control. But we would have to emphasize that the NDP would have to compromise on certain things in order to gain certain other things. The "selling out" aspect of it is exactly what the NDP had to do in the 1970s in order to win certain social advancements for Canadians. Yes we sell out in a way, but so will the other party seeking power have to sell out to some extent in exchange for NDP support. It's not a perfect situation, but it's as close to democracy as this outdated electoral system allows for at the present time. Selling out is sometimes also known as cooperation and even democracy in action. The NDP needs to deal shrewdly with the Liberals.

NorthReport

Back in the real world the sky is not falling.

But it is obvious you have bot the Liberal kool aid.

Which is better:

a) A political party which states it is right-wing and lives up to its promises once elected

b) A political party which states it is not right-wing but actually enacts right-wing legislation as soon as it is in power.

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