Those who favour a merger of the NDP and Liberal Party should not hold their breath. These two parties have values systems that are significantly different at the moment, and each brings to the table baggage which would make a hippopotamus choke.
Harper united the right wing parties (with a whiff of skullduggery in the process), and ended up gaming the archaic first-past-the-post system of federal elections, just as Chretien's Liberals had managed to do before him. Harper won a minority government and soon edged this up to a majority government, all with just over one-third of the votes cast.
Quebec rebelled when folks there realized that Harper Tories were moving the country into territory occupied by Republicans and other non-Canadian species, and on May 2, 2011 they voted for a change.
What they wanted was a government to replace the Tory one.
Recent polls have shown overwhelming majorites (60%) of supporters of the NDP and LPC favour some form of electoral cooperation in order to oust the Tories.
But other polls have shown that most supporters of those two parties do NOT want to merge the two parties.
Where does that leave us?
These are the foundational facts of The Cat's suggestion:
- Most voters do not vote for the Tories.
- Most supporters of the LPC and NDP want some form of cooperation between the parties the better to replace the Tory government in 2014 or 2015.
- Most supporters of those parties no NOT want the parties to lose their individual identities through a merger of the parties.
- Many progressives in both parties are in favour of the Cullen Plan, of electoral ceasefire though some form of joint nominations BEFORE the next election, in order to increase the probabilities of Tory MPs in seats with small margins losing their seats in 2015.
- Most of the Old Guard NDP candidates for leadership of the NDP (Topp, Dewar, Mulcair) are opposed to the Cullen Plan.
- The Tories managed to demonize attempts by the NDP (with Topp part of the team then) and LPC trying to oust the Tory government through a formal Coalition accord, and a foolish Liberal leader then turned his back on any thought of a coalition (much as Mulcair has done this time).
- The evidence supports some form of cooperation between the two parties as being essential to replace the Tories, as it is improbable that either the NDP or LPC can win a majority of seats in the next election.
- Our current system of electing MPs is archaic, out of touch with modern democratic thought, and undervalues the votes of millions of Canadians.
- There are ways to solve all the problems by having cooperation pre-election and post-election between the NDP and LPC, while at the same time modernizing Canada's democracy.
How is this possible?
The Cat's Three-Step Plan does this by three easily understandable and practical actions:
- Adopt the Cullen Plan or a variant of it before the next election, to optimize the chances of the centre-left voters voices being heard and Tory MPs in ridings with low margins being replaced by MPs of either the LPC or NDP.
- Have the LPC and NDP agree BEFORE the next election on the major points to be contained in a post-election coalition government of those two parties. The Prime Minister would come from the party with the most seats, while the Deputy PM would come from the other party. The Coalition Accord would last for at least 3 years. The two parties would vote to support the Coalition government in confidence votes, but be free to vote as they wished on other issues.
- Both parties would support the introduction within 6 months after the election of a process designed to replace the current first-past-the-post system of elections with a modified proportional rerpesentative system in the following election.
The Cat's Three-Step Plan does not require a merger of the NDP and LPC.
It does require a change for the better in the way we elect governments in future.
Unlike today's nonsensical system, votes of Canadians will be given value, and future governments would have to convince enough MPs to continue governing.To make the Plan a viable one, NDP supporters should support Nathan Cullen as their first choice on Saturday and Peggy Nash as their second choice. Liberal supporters should support candidates for leadership of the LPC in the 2013 election only if they agree to the Three Point Plan.