Coalition; to be or not to be?

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Policywonk wrote:

So you think that there aren't examples of parties running to the left and governing to the right?

All the parties have run to the left and governed to the right. Provincially, the NDP has done it in BC, Sask, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia have done that.

But there is an idological difference between the Conservatives and Liberals. The Conservatives believe that social programs are bad for people. Liberals on the other hand believe that social programs help people but are often unafordable. Liberals are willing to implement social programs when finances are in good shape. Conservatives never want to implement social programs.

I'm describing the parties' ideologies in a simplistic way. To do this topic justice would require an essay.

But like a lot of social-democrats like Broadbent, I think the NDP can work with the Liberals to get important things done. Medicare and old age pensions are just two examples.

Unfortunately I can't say the same for possible cooperation with the Conservatives. I don't blindly hate Conservatives. I just see them as a people who support views generally opposed to my views. I actually admire many Conservatives who stick by their principles and ideology.

Politics shouldn't be about defeating those that you hate. It should be about supporting ideas and policies that you believe in.


It's been a perfectly good Tory-Liberal merger since Harper was elected to phony-minority government. Why would Liberal Party elitists want to fix what isn't broken?

They will try campaigning on the left as usual. And with the way our wonky electoral system works, a relatively small gain in votes could translate to a phony-baloney majority for the right-wing "Liberals."


Boom Boom wrote:
U: They can't deny that members of their respective parties are talking to each other, for instance Chretien, Kinsella, Broadbent, and former NDP premier Roy Romanow, and there may be others who haven't come public with their discussion yet. And they can't prevent their members from talking to anyone in the other party without clamping some kind of Harper gag order on them.

I understand that, and you're right of course. But what I found interesting is that neither one of them said: "I am unaware of any discussions." That means that both of them have specific knowledge of discussions. All they said is that the discussers were "not authorized" or "not assigned". Am I reading that wrong?



Neo-Kaleckian wrote:
I swear I've read the Alf Apps quote "we wont even talk merger until the NDP rejects socialism" a dozen times.

According to Terry Malewski reporting for CBC News tonight, apparently the denials do not include senior members from both parties, and who may even continue discussing an alliance.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

U: Maybe they can't deny that members of their respective parties are talking to each other, for instance Chretien, Kinsella, Broadbent, and former NDP premier Roy Romanow, and there may be others who haven't come public with their discussion yet. And they can't prevent their members from talking to anyone in the other party without clamping some kind of Harper gag order on them.


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think you're absolutely right, U. By the way, I edited my post to add the word "maybe" at the start.


NorthReport wrote:

Some folks would much rather be inundated with propaganda from the Liberal CBC and the Liberal Toronto Star, eh! Laughing

JKR wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Way too many people here and elsewhere are blinded by their hatred of the Conservatives.

The Liberals are far more of an adversary to progressives than the Conservatives, because the Liberals fly false colours.


Is that why we have to be inundated with so much Conservative propaganda and spin from right wing sources like the National Post?

Propoganda pieces from the CBC and Star don't help either.

In our age of modern digital communication, spin has saturated everything in a thick layer of misinformation. Columnists are now mostly partisan pundits who write articles with the primary goal of swaying opinion, not telling it like it is. Political pundits in the media would rather tell us half-truths to sway some voters then stick to the truth.

Warren Kinsella's antics this week is the pinnacle of spin trumping reality.

When was the word "spin" invented?

The social sciences like psychology and linguistics have made great strides in the advancement of spin and information control. Harper has his doctorate in it. Ths is one area where advancement has left us poorer off.


Boom Boom, it's called plausible deniability and the practical application of weasle words. We already know that Chretien and Broadbent have had serious discussions about a coalition/merger/cooperation call it what you want so the party leaders can truthfully claim that no one has been authorized to discuss it wink wink nudge nudge.

I apply Media Rule #4 - the more stridently someone publically denies something (I did not have sex with that woman!) the more likely the denial is false. And the more publically confident that a CEO or leader of an organization is about something the less likely it's true (see Bre-X saga or BP's CEO teling us how quickly they could have the well under control for examples).




Wow, imagine that. Chretien talked to Broadbent. Paul Martin spoke to Mulroney. And Preston Manning spoke to Gilles Duceppe. Politicians speak to each other all the fucking time. So what!!!

These kind of threads remind me of the dumbing down process we are being subjected to in our msp.


Remind, it's seriously amusing reading your responses to my post...I've been writing and commenting on politics and current affairs for 15 years...I've been called a right-wing zealot on the G&M comment boards and a socialist commie on Usenet and bulletin boards...Calling me a Liberal here as some sort of pejorative is just more of the same ad hominen attacks posing as informed comment...I'm certainly willing to be wrong, and to admit that there's a better way to think about this or any other issue when it's well argued, so please drop the ad hominen agruments and put your ideology on hold. Not everything nor everyone has some ideological agenda. There is no propaganda here but your own. I'm not some secret operative trying to drive the NDP onto Liberal shoals as you claim.


But let's deconstruct your four points. a) not only does your scenario not make the NDP better off, it would make the NDP cease to exist, eh!

The CCF changed its name to the NDP, does this mean that the CCF no longer exist? Only in name. By the same measure, the Liberal Party of Canada would cease to exist as well, but you're not sweating that fact are you?

A formal merger would not be the end of the NDP; it would simply be another transformation in the party's history, no different from the merger of the Progressives and the Conservatives or the reform and the PCs. I'm not suggesting for a moment that the NDP should simply "fold its tent", as some claim, and willy-nilly become members of the Liberal Party of Canada. A formal merger would instead allow the NDP to influence/control the rules of the game from the start - convention structure, membership rules, party bylaws, delegate selection, leadership selection - as well as party policies and election strategies. The NDP would bring a wealth of innovative and organizational leadership to any new entity and it would be an equal partner in the venture.

Wouldn't this be better than being a junior partner in a Liberal coalition of convenience?

b) the Liberals are in bad shape and getting worse

-- The LPC is not the political machine it used to be granted but it has reversed much of the financial stasis it suffered in recent years and is much better organized on the ground than just a few years ago. For example, memberships and donations have increased in 2008 and 2009, reversing years of decline.


c) your condescention is so typically Liberal, it is a great example why there is an NDP

--Just one more ad hominen argument without merit- I am a condescending Liberal so therefore I'm wrong.


d) and this is the clincher, the Liberals are NOT ideologically the same as NDPers, they are ideologically the same as the Conservatives

--Sigh....I never wrote that the NDP was ideologically the same as the LPC, although the Liberals have borrowed liberally (pun) from the NDP playbook over the past 50+ years, everything from old age pensions to medicare to labour reform to foreign policy.

This gives the two parties significant common ground to work with in Parliament and beyond, certainly more than any two other parties. Arguing that the NDP are different but the Liberals and Conservatives are the same glosses over significant policy and ideological differences, many of which are so blatant that you shouldn't have to ask what they are.

All of which goes to my primary point....which is better, a merger of equals or being a junior partner in a Liberal coalition of convenience?

Like I said, I'm willing to listen to and adopt better alternatives made with better arguments.


Just like the NS NDP approach the federal NDP has no need to rush things. The Liberals are into major infighting, so might as well give them time to completely self-destruct.  Laughing


Unionist wrote:

Nobody said: "There have been no discussions about a merger between any NDPers and Liberals that we are aware of."

Any theories as to why they commented this way?


It wouldn't shock me to find out that some people from both parties had on their own decided to talk to each other and maybe make up a proposal they could present to their respective parties. A discussion, but not an official one.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Closing for length.


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