Friday, March 16, 2012

What Jedras Said

Jeff Jedras (aka A BCer in Toronto) has a brilliant post up just now about the follies of merger activists who propose the merger on the grounds of wanting a "not Harper" party:
Wanting to stop the Conservatives is no reason to mash two groups with very different philosophies and beliefs together. It’s like a couple that don’t love each other getting married for the good of their child. In the long run, an unhappy marriage won’t do the kid any good, and you probably divorce anyway.

... We all need to offer something more to Canadians than “we’re not Stephen Harper.” That’s not going to engage anyone but the most ardent partisans and, besides, most Canadians don't dislike Harper as much as Trudeau and other partisans do. Offer Canadians a more compelling alternative and you’ll get somewhere; a negative option will get you nowhere, even with all the coalitions in the world.
 Damn right. The Opposition parties aren't going to simply combine and win an election. Such a move, committed under the circumstances of "we don't like Harper," is short-sighted and opportunistic. Canadians aren't going to fall for that ploy. There's no vision behind it, we'll just be played off as wanting power for ourselves.

Like Jedras, I didn't join the Liberals simply because I wanted to oppose Harper, or in his case, Mulroney. I mean, I joined the party when Dion was being ravaged by everyone, including our own party members. And let's face it - if I wanted to join a party that opposed Harper the most, it'd be the NDP.

But I joined the Liberals, and I stick with the Liberals, because the party represents what I believe, from domestic healthcare, to foreign affairs, to taxation, to the environment. If we merged with the NDP, I wouldn't vote for whatever comes out of that on the basis that it's not Stephen Harper's party - I'd vote for it based on my values. And it's a hard sell to convince me the next NDP leader and most of that lot will share my values.

So knock it out of your heads that we require a stop-gap measure like a merger to win. What we need is to connect back to our values, and give Canadians a vision. That's how we'll win. Not through mergers, not through "Cullen plans," not anything else. Vision.

5 comments:

  1. Does the liberal party really represent what you believe? Was it created because a group of people came together, who all agreed on things and decided to create a party? Was the NDP created like that? No. Party's aren't created from whole cloth. Party consensuses are entirely the result of people settling their differences for the greater cause. I don't agree with all the positions of the liberal party and I would hope no one was so partisan as to chug that koolaid

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  2. this co-operation tactic from Nathan Cullen is a proposal to defeat the Cons in the next election
    We did it finally in the Saanich Gulf Islands,and in 2008 we would have won were it not for stubborn Greens, and maybe robocalls

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  3. I support Oemissions take on this. Let's toss out the Harper government and have a coalition government.

    But before the next election (my guess is Harper will call one in early 2014 to prevent the new Liberal leader having too much time to come up with policies and put his or her stamp on the party), let's start talking seriously about the Cullen Plan of voluntary riding electoral cooperation, and let's get groups of Dippers and Liberals together to start talking about the principles which the coalition government will implement in the first 2 to 3 years of its existence.

    For example, let's agree on the Harper laws we need to roll back.

    And let's agree on what taxation levels should apply to large and small corporations.

    And let's map out some social initiatives which both parties can support.

    And let's work towards restoring Canada's role in the world, which is much reduced now.

    Let's agree on reforming our electoral laws, to give MPs more power (and less to the Prime Minister) and encourage cross-party cooperation in Parliament; and let's work on a modified proportional representation system.

    Lots of good, solid progressive centre-left cooperation opportunities, without any merger of the NDP and LPC.

    Action, not just rants.

    Canada needs it right now.

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  4. With all due respect to your beliefs Volkov, and I always try to be respectful to what you have to say, I think that there is a great deal of problem with an overly partisan postion, particularly in times of real trouble such as we are experiencing. Many Liberals have try to stay loyal to their party, but like so many political parties it has significantly shifted its ideological position over the past two decades. It strikes me that many people stay loyal to parties rather than the original principles that drew them to the party in the first place. I know this feeling because the NDP has move quite a bit to the rights since I first came to politics thirty years ago or so, but when one is quite far on the left one supports the NDP in many cases because there is no party left of them to support.

    Merging the two parties is obviously a problem, however, I really believe that all the opposition parties should withdraw from the House in light of what is really a national crisis of democracy, and they should vow to refuse to return until there is a royal commission on the robocon scandal, and they should frankly refuse to take part in the next elections unless there are significant changes in the rules and operations of the electoral system. Such an effort would make world-wide news and correctly demonstrate the real crisis taking place here. In other words, both the NDP and Liberals are acting more or less as though this is business as usual and it really isn't. Therefore, I advocate crisis cooperation the way people with different opinions do in such times. I may not agree with many Liberal Policies (and quite a few NDP ones too), but I believe that both parties actually want to save our country's democracy from a dangerous force of anti-democracy.

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  5. Oemissions,

    You still failed at it, for one. Two, it wasn't a voluntary act.

    Calivancouver,

    Yes, the Liberal Party embodies most of my values as I understand my values and the Party's values to be. I'm not saying I agree 100% on every single issue and detail and variance of an idea, but the Liberals match me more than any other party. I support the Liberal Party's goals. If those goals switch to killing puppies, I ain't gonna support them. Right now, however, it's in sync.

    Curiosity Cat,

    I've got no problem figuring out our priorities, even if its between our two parties. I see no reason why this needs to be done by forcing the two parties together in some mish-mash, slightly-deviant monster of mixed loyalties and disenfranchised voters.

    Calivancouver,

    To point out, I'm 21 - I haven't had the chance to see two decades of ideological drift yet in my chosen party. I feel the Liberals are a match to me right now, and if I have to, I'll fight within the party to ensure that continues.

    Not sure about that "withdrawing from the House" idea though, but it's an idea. May just be worth exploring.

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