Monday, October 7, 2013

"Libdemo" - the Return of Co-operation, Merger, and Other Nonsense

You knew it wouldn't go away, and it hasn't - those who feel that the only way to beat Harper's Conservatives is to force everyone together in an unhappy mess of three parties have arisen again, this time with a website and a name that could really use improvement.

Once again, people who do not seem to understand that 1:1 vote transfer does not work have come out of the woodwork. These folks, naive as they are, are gonna learn today.

Here is there diagram of explaining their reasoning of why the parties should merge. It blatantly disregards even the simplest notions of how complex this problem actually is. In a situation where there is a single, merged party, not every voter who voted for one of the constituent parties in the previous election is a guaranteed vote for the merged party in the next one.

I have explained this many times before. You can read some of the past posts through links at the end of this post. Simply offering a merged entity, a Liberal Democrat Green Party or whatever, does not guarantee success. You have to take into account he fact that you're going to alienate some voters who wanted to vote for the Liberals, NDP, or Greens specifically, and not the LDGP. I know personally of people who said that they either vote NDP or Conservative, but never for the mushy middle Liberals - offer up the LDGP, with a constituent and probably influential part being the group they dislike, and you can't count on that vote. Nevermind the fact that many blue Liberals, whether they've stuck with our party or already drifted over to the Conservatives, are just going to be put off even more by Frankenstein's left-leaning monster. How do we expect to grow a new party's base if, from the outset, we're alienating segments of swing voters?

I've never said that a merged party cannot win - it could, very easily. The issue is that it can also very easily lose, the same as any of the current parties can, so what would be the difference? Because of vote-splitting? While addressing what can be a serious problem, they're ignoring what has been the cause: a serious lack of leadership within the centre-left, allowing the Conservatives to reap votes and causing general indifference among voters. How will a merger solve that problem?

If you want to get rid of the Harper Conservatives, you need to actually work at it. That means getting whatever your chosen party is into gear, with proper fundraising, supporting smart leadership, and actually offering a palatable choice for voters. The added benefit is that even if you lose the next election, you have a base to work off of by learning from your mistakes and growing.

Yet with a quick fix, your energy is expended on a quick fix with no guarantee of success. Think about this, too: if the merged party loses in 2015, what do you do then that you would do any different if the parties had stayed separate?

The answer, of course, is nothing. And for all that nothing, you've created an unhappy family of people that, frankly, would probably be happier apart anyways.

Maybe years down the road, after moves towards better co-operation and maybe a coalition or two, we can have this conversation seriously. That is how I personally see things going, if we continue with this kind of stalemate anyways (which, to be honest, I don't see happening anyways; either the NDP or the Liberals are going to drop back to/stay in a permanent third-place position within the next decade) Whatever Libdemo's reasoning is definitely hasn't convinced me otherwise.

Past Posts on Merger Stuff
The Faulty Logic of Merger Advocates
Co-operation Silliness, Part Gazillion
The Cullen Plan
Unite the What? (though the Mace links don't work anymore)
Preferential Balloting and Merger


  1. If the Liberals merge with the NDP I'll be voting Conservative.

    1. I've thought about it, and I'm still not sure what I'd do. It would depend on what the new party offered, though it would just be Liberals 2.0. But under the leadership of Harper, I can't see myself voting Conservative. Maybe a spoiled ballot will suffice.

    2. In all honesty I'd probably just go back to voting Green.

  2. Unless one progressive party gets a clear advantage over the other they WILL split the vote. If one wins a minority government the winner will depend on the other to stay in power. So they both better be at least a little nice to each other. If they both lose because of a vote split, the pressure to merge will become enormous. Treating politics like a hockey game, ignoring the growing ideological polarization, and failing to embrace new ideas is killing this country...

    1. What growing ideological polarization?? What has happened over the last few years has been a conservative party that acts and runs on a fairly centrist platform, avoiding bringing up or dealing with social issues and generally running the economy like any Liberal would; and a left-wing party that has also moved to the centre, and only won favour because of surprise support one province, rather than getting broad support that challenges the Conservatives in the rest of the country.

      That isn't polarization, my friend - that's parties moving to the centre and Canadian regionalism at play. There may be a new paint of coat, but not much has really changed under the hood.

  3. This is a desperate grasp of the NDP and especially the Greens because May knows her party's days are numbered. And I am not giving my vote to any smerge Libdemo.... what a stupid name.... like the CRAP alliance.

  4. Can someone explain to me why a single united right-wing party (in English Canada) means (nearly) endless small-c conservative governments in 2000-beyond, when, a single united right-wing party (in English Canada) meant (nearly) endless small-l liberal governments in 1950-1990

    1. Don't bring logic into this, Teddy.