Friday, March 30, 2012

Chretien is right

..about a Lib/NDP merger. 

He mentions Peter Mackay being elected leader of the PCs (by undermining David Orchard). But then seeing the potential Paul Martin juggernaut, it quickly motivated Harper and Mackay to deal. And deal they did quickly.  The PCs had a huge conference call with the ridings and voted.  And voila, today, a Conservative majority.

Chretien was also correct on party funding by saying parties shouldn't appeal to one group, like unions or corporations so he reduced that influence. This was the most fundamental change to Canadian political history.  It was shocking to many considering Liberals are all about gaining power first and foremost. 

Then Harper took the opportunity to take it one step further and eliminated that influence. When I argue with people who claim Harper is in cahoots with big business, I ask them where they think the party gets its money from?  They still think it's big business.  Well, it's not, I tell them. Harper got rid of that.

Anyway, now you look at Mulcair wanting to move his NDP party to the middle.  He at least sees the vacuum there.  The ghosts of Jack continue to lead the party, so Mulcair, a former Liberal, is in a tough position if he wants to pull off a Peter Mackay.  Keep in mind, that other smart, articulate NDP candidate was open and honest about merging.

Or maybe Chretien is seeing the writing on the wall for his Liberals (as per Harper's master plan and what happened in the UK).  With the NDP about three times stronger than the Liberals in the House, and with the Liberals still holding Bob Rae around, it's not easy being Liberal--especially after the Conservatives and NDP squashed the last two intellectual Liberal leaders in Dion and Iggy.  And who's waiting in the wings?  Who?  No one.  Trudeau's busy boxing Conservative senators. 

So that's why I say, ol' Jean Chretien is right.  Maybe the only way back to power for the Liberals now IS to merge with the NDP.

h/t Warren Kinsella


Thucydides said...

The Young Dauphin flamed out quite some time ago (the final nail in the coffin was probably his "I'd support separatism" remark), and I can't think of anyone who could step up for the Liberals right now.

Even a Liberal NDP alliance might be an idea who's time has passed; the rise of small "c" conservative parties in the West (Saskatchewan Party in office and the Wildrose Alliance a potential governing party in Alberta) will probably strengthen the Conservative movement across Canada as other provinces seek to emulate the strong economic growth and fix their own finances.

A secondary consideration is they must all be quite frightened of Ontario capsizing with a projected $300 to 400 billion in debt by the end of this mandate; best get their financial houses in order and build up a surplus in case. The flow of business, capital and skilled labour from Ontario paradoxically will help the other provinces.

Bob Rae and Thomas Muclair must be watching in helpless rage as the tide of history rises to engulf their political movements.

Anonymous said...

As Stephane Dion sayses to-day "Dion, who was an observer at the NDP convention in Vancouver in June of 2011, reports that based on what he witnessed he has concluded that New Democrats and Liberals come “from different worlds.” The former Liberal leader said the NDP has a strong union tradition and a radical wing that is “almost Communist.” If Grits and socialists ever did unite as a new entity, this radical wing accommodated within Mulcair’s party would eventually move anyway to reinvent the New Democratic Party.

Dave B. said...

The Liberals are so far in debt, why would the N.D.P. want to merge with them. They are like an old hound. Sometimes you have to put them to sleep. Let them die, and you have the same result without taking on all that debt.

gimbol said...

At this point in the game, the party operatives prefer to poach the membership of the others party. This strategy has one basic flaw. Those that are considered wobbly on party ideology tend to have none at all, and will only be interested in supporting a party that is either in power, or is situated in a position where they could take power (minority).
This is also the basis of Mucliars charm offensive.
His time for success is extremely limited.
The liberals also hear the clock ticking where if they don't really do a sea change, they will cement the perception of fringe party.