Saturday, July 12, 2008

You Can Have Both

Sean in Sackatchewan, reacting to all the Liberals posting on another NDP defector:
Which is it? Are the NDP irrelevant on the federal scene, the voice of a vocal few? or are they a party that others should be worried about?

You can't have it both ways my Liberal friends. Make a choice, which I don't care. But the credibility of your arguements go out the door when one day you post about how the NDP is hurting the country and the next that it is irrelevant and headed for oblivion. I can deal with both, and I can argue against both, but you can't have both.

The quote in question:
"I've sort of given up on them. I think Layton is not the leader I expected ... He's no Tommy Douglas. He's sort of in bed with (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper half the time, (or so) it looks to the general public, and only interested in his own advancement."

Reid Scott

Credibility out the door? It would seem the above addresses both arguments, entirely consistent. Layton is hurting the country, which is why I'm leaving, which speaks to looming "irrelevance". The two arguments Sean posits as contradictory actually work in tandem, entirely connected, entirely logical.

I guess what Sean means, if the party is irrelevant, why does it matter what they are saying, nobody cares what a "few" think, so who cares? How can an irrelevant entity hurt the country, how can that doom Liberal fortunes?

I view today's comments as a SMALL sign, taken in isolation no big deal, people move between parties all the time. That said, the comments resonate for me, one because I came to that same conclusion on my own, and two, because it's not the first time I've heard it. In the last election I voted for the NDP, almost didn't after Layton's embarrassing debate performance, but still decided it was the best choice. Some argued that bringing down Martin was another example of opportunism, but I felt it was a tired, entirely bereft of ideas regime, that left little in the way of inspiration, or right to govern for that matter. I didn't fault Layton in the least, it seemed entirely justifable to have an election, under the circumstances. That changed in the first few months of this new government, when it became increasingly obvious that Layton was working tandem with Harper to hurt the Liberals, a naked example of ambition completely trumping philosophical leanings. Everyone has their own opinion, people can say that wasn't the case, but to me it was one of the most obvious political moves I can remember. It was there that I started to have some sympathy for the Liberals, squeezed on both sides, by two crazen politicians, so far apart on the political spectrum it was frightening, yet prepared to dance for mutual self interest.

You can point to the voting record now, but don't tell me that NDP headquarters wasn't getting some heat from certain supporters over this uncomfortable dynamic in 2006. They were, you know it and I know it, which resulted in a different approach, again based on self interest.

If you want to say the Liberal "weakness" over the past month had dampened enthusiasm in the ranks, caused disillusionment or outright hostility, you would be right. Everyone heard it, to deny otherwise is spin. However, it is equally true to say that certain people have lost their faith in the NDP in recent days, primarily as a result of their pre-occupation with attacking someone who actually takes climate change seriously, while mentioning the "do nothing" guy almost as an afterthought. This is where I get back to Sean.

The NDP has environmental credibility. It was the first, second and only reason I voted for them in 2006. Same for my 2004 Green vote, and again for my 2000 NDP vote. If there is an election this year, it will be the first time I vote Liberal in 11 years. The NDP is a coalition, but it is true to say they get considerable support from those who list the environment as a priority. This is where the distaste enters, and this is why we now see some people coming forward to criticize the NDP tactics. It's not just one old guy, it's another former MP, it's people that were once devoted allies on the green front. The reason, the NDP is not irrelevant on this file, so by targeting the only true alternative in a disporportionate way, if governing is your measure, it can cause harm. A debate about ideas, fine, that's politics, but to act as though the other plan isn't a serious one, cheapens the whole debate, and hence the blowback.

The NDP isn't irrelevant, but by harming the one party far closer ideologically (Harper the most right wing in history, Dion clearly progressive by any definition), which indirectly aids the arguments of the more natural philosophical enemy, it sets to undo it's well earned reputation. Pointing to the signs doesn't mean the endgame, it just means that you can see a path to irrelevance.

I think you can have both, because I know I'm not alone in my disillusionment with the NDP. That started when no one could accuse me of bias, in fact, my voting record serves as the spin resistent proof. The statements by Scott are spot on, which shows how a misguided perspective can lead to down times ahead for the NDP. You can have it both ways, citing examples of the damage now, based on current status, while also pointing to signs, as to why this approach could lead to eventual irrelevance. As a matter of fact, I see much of the "attacks" stemming from an internal calculation, although an entirely bad one politically, that this plan can't succeed because it has the potential to bring that irrelevance, or at least, put a central draw on the sidelines. It would seem Liberals aren't they only one thinking about possible obscurity. The irony, that "resistance" actually lends to the intial fear, which gave rise to the strategy.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that it is now obvious that Layton is in bed with Harper and will permanently damage his party. This should be a major growth period for the party with two major factors coming together this year. First with the Conservatives moving so far right it allows the liberals to move to the center opening up opportunites for the NDP to gain soft left Liberal votes. Combine this with a tanking world economy and growing number of disadvantaged people in the country the crazy attack on the Liberals direction is not very smart to say the least.

Dion is brilliant making the poor and the environment center pieces of his parties platform and stealing them from the NDP.

The response I expected Layton to give was to critcize the Liberals for not moving far enough on both fronts. The riding local meetings must be interesting right now considering he has insulted two of his largest groups of supporters.

Mark Francis said...

Tax shifting was first used by socialist democratic governments in Europe. Sweden started in 1991, and was successful with it.

Cap-and-trade (the NDP and Conservative choice to reducing emissions) so far hasn't worked in Europe. I'm sure they'll iron the bugs out... in time.

Liberals have also endorsed cap-and-trade (March 2007), and would implement it later.

I've never understood why Canada's social democrats never adopted tax shifting as a policy. It has the effect of shielding consumers from some of the effects of the taxation, while still pressing large emitters to reduce emissions. Meanwhile, cap-and-trade, which also pushed increased costs due to the pricing of carbon down to consumers, offers no relief in of itself.

Under cap-and-trade, the price of carbon is volatile as _capitalists_ speculate over the supply of carbon credits.

Cap-and-trade has just never seemed to me to be the socialist's natural first choice...

Steve V said...

One point, I can't reconcile, is this claim that the carbon tax doesn't target the big emitters, the way cap and trade would. If that were true, why then the angst from the big emitter provinces? I mean, if they are getting off, and the burden is on the little man, it doesn't explain the "outrage". There are some serious errors in logic in what is being presented.

Anonymous said...

What bothers me is that for decades the NDP told us how great it would be if, buy chance, they every had the balance of power.

Then, when it happened under Layton they had the MOST opportunity and wealth the country has ever seen (read: 20 billion dollar surplusses) and did the LEAST with it.

Under Martin, and Harper, Layton has essentially had the balance of power for 5 years and will have nearly nothing to show for it.

And don't tell me that little side deal with Martin counts. Layton could have asked for National Childcare, Home Care, a perscription drug program, dental care, legalization of marijuana, or any number of other real achievements. But, instead, he took a tiny hand out and then bit the hand that fed him.

Then he convinced everyone he could make Partliament work under a Lib or Con government (who can forget him sending broadbent out to tell everyone Harper isn't scary) and meanwhile has frittered away another parliamentary session.

No legacy. No vision. Just ATM fees and text message garbage.

Meanwhile, Harper is chipping awat at everything I thought new democrats stood for.

Shame.

Anonymous said...

(Compare that Layton record to creating medicare, CPP, Petro Canada, and the achievements of other ndp leaders)

Mushroom said...

"I've never understood why Canada's social democrats never adopted tax shifting as a policy."

Mark,

The same reason why Canada's social democrats are opposed to private delivery of public healthcare. We live in a liberal democracy that is quite stingy with regards to social programs.

Also, the NDP also has Western Canadian populist tendencies. Thus, they can speak the same message as Harper. Only ideologically polar opposite.

You are also right with regards to carbon tax. A carbon tax targets emissions at source. Just what Lynn McDonald attacks Layton for in opposing it.

Acid Reflux (acidrefluxweb.com) said...

I'll be honest, I haven't read the entire post as my ADD is acting up. However, I am a former card-carrying NDP who left the fold about a year and a half ago.

The conservative agenda is supposedly the antithisis of the NDP, yet they are in bed with them, they forced the election that put them in power in the first place. It is quite easy to be on such moral high ground when this party has no hope in hell of being a marginal party. Yet, they want an election that would give them more or less the same government armed with the political capital of being recently elected to push through a whole host of unimaginable legistlation.

Who's interests are truly being served? Why are they constantly attacking the Liberals as if they were the enemy? Because they want to advance their own self-interest in the delusion that somehow they can pull off the Labour Party's achievement of replacing the Liberal party over in the UK.

Where is the social policy? What we get is a petition against 15 cent text messages (I don't support the charge, but can't the NDP set their sights a wee bit higher).

There was a time when the NDP brought bold intellectual thought to policy makers in Ottawa, especially in times of minority parliaments.

I'm fed up with them. They are irrelevant, and becoming more so.

What does it matter if someone in Saskatchawan doesn't get it?

Blues Clair said...

Thus, they can speak the same message as Harper. Only ideologically polar opposite.

Reminds me of when Jack Layton was inteviewed by Lou Dobbs, during the Nafta leak controversy.

BTW, great post Steve. The BC NDPs 'Axe the Tax' campaign has been very dissapointing as well, and it causes me considerable pain to defend Gordon Campbell.

Joseph said...

I'm with you on that, Blues Clair. I find it almost bizarre to be defending Gordon Campbell, but the pure hypocrisy of the provincial NDP with regards to the carbon tax here has put me in that position with a number of friends and acquaintances.

Great Post, Steve. I find this an interesting development for the NDP as well. It will be interesting to see if anything more comes of it or if it is just breezes past them.

But I thought Reid Scott was clear and unequivocal in his statement on why he was leaving the party he helped found.

Tomm said...

Steve,

I think your post (and your posters) are missing the fundamental problem. You are looking for some advantage between the LPC and the NDP, almost an equating of the two.

They can't be equated. The LPC is a party of opportunism that aches for power and withers without the nipple stuck firmly between its lips. It ultimately doesn't care about policies. It is a chameleon that will change its colors as it dances with the Ontario and Quebec electorate.

The NDP is a party of dogma. They believe in public institutions, public job creation, cradle to grave socialism, and institutional wealth transfer. They almost don't believe in war.

The two will always exist and always have a base. In the present carbon tax issue, Jack Layton may be making the right call, politically. Remember he can preach FOR the same tax next year if he wwants and no one will care or remember. Perhaps he understands that implementing this tax would divide the country in ways that would not easily be put back together. That may very well initate a new crisis with Quebec.

Dion's plan, if implemented, could very well cause major separatist rumblings in the west. Remember that Bob Morton barely lost to Ed Stelmack.

Blues Clair said...

The LPC is a party of opportunism that aches for power and withers without the nipple stuck firmly between its lips

Tomm, you have some interesting points, except for the fact that ALL parties within the grasp or who hold power are opportunists. Witness McCain, Obama, and Harper. Harper has some glaring contradictions with what he said whilst in the opposition and his actions as PM. And look no further to NDP governments that have formed Government. Bob Rae's rein in Ontario and British Columbia's Dippers of the 90s.

Mushroom said...

"The NDP is a party of dogma. They believe in public institutions, public job creation, cradle to grave socialism, and institutional wealth transfer. They almost don't believe in war."

Romanow-Calvert and the Doer governments aren't dogmatic and were quite pragmatic. If Layton wants to use these governments as examples of the NDP's potential, then be my guest. Not going to happen in the distant future.

"Reminds me of when Jack Layton was inteviewed by Lou Dobbs, during the Nafta leak controversy."

This leads me to say this thing. If Dion becomes PM next year, you will get Harper, Stock Day, and Jason Kenney appearing on Lou Dobbs talking about the need to protect Canada against illegal immigration. Highlights the low grade politics these parties likes to go to.

Anonymous said...

"Layton could have asked for National Childcare, Home Care, a perscription drug program, dental care, legalization of marijuana, or any number of other real achievements."

Actually, Layton did demand many of those things. But Paul Martin in November 2005 simply said "NO, I refuse to make any concessions whatsoever with the NDP. I think I can win an election right now - so make my day - I dare you to vote me down!" If you really want to find someone to blame for the Tories being in power - why don't you blame Paul Martin for steadfastly refusing to negotiate in good fait with any of the opposition parties. Instead he adopted the Joe Clark strategy of "I'll govern as if I had a majority" - and he was crushed.

Paul Martin was really an utterly abysmal PM. Possibly the worst in the last 50 years.

Anonymous said...

I guess after going on a very long scavenger hunt - the Liberals FINALLY managed to dig up a New Democrat who wanted to join the Liberals - and it is "drumroll please" - Reid Scott - an octogenerian living in a nursing home who last held public office 32 years ago! Whoop-dee-doo!!

Meanwhile, the NDP has been picking up ex-Liberals in Quebec like Tom Mulcair and Francoise Boivin - and these are younger people who are actually candidates for the next election - and then they really really threw sulphuric acid in Dion's face when they got a high profile academic like Michael Byers to run for the NDP and to say that the main reason was his disgust with how inadequate the Dion "pay to pollute" carbon tax.

Tell you what, the NDP can have Byers, Boivin and Mulcair. The Liberals can have the octogenarian in the nursing home. I think the NDP is getting the better deal.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's all that complicated....Layton is interested in Layton, power, subsidized housing (Stornoway) and he has copied Harper....Harper cuts GST and gets the crowds excited and Layton ATM - simple for stupids.

To blame Martin is a little naive - you don't know what Layton demanded so how can you make a statement like that.

Harper and Layton having been working together since day one - not rocket science here.

And, it's not about the age - it's about the message. This life long NDP'r knows what he's talking about - he was there with Tommy Douglas who was a principled person. Douglas felt social programs were important and formed coalitions with Liberals because he knew that a Conservative government meant the destruction of the services Douglas valued.

Mulcair/Boivin - Mulcair left the Liberals out of anger and has been an NDP'r for a few months - big deal. Boivin was NEW as a Liberal and now NEW as an NDP'r - big deal. Actually, Layton better watch his back with Mulcair around.

Steve V said...

I didn't realize the Quebec Liberal Party was the same entity as the Liberal Party of Canada, but if people want to make the false connection, go for it. Hardly a great argument.

Greg said...

I am a former NDP member and I would still rather drink acid than vote for the Liberals. Sure Dion's plan is wonderful, so was the Red Book in 1993. Liberals are always the left's best friend (in opposition) until they form government. Then they have to "sober and serious" (read do what Bay Street wants) and suddenly progressives are left crying on the sidelines. If you don't believe me take a look at the Obama campaign, where Mr. Obama is so sure he is going to win, he is dumping the progressives ahead of time. If Mr. Scott thinks his advice is going to turn the Dion into our first socialist prime minister, he is going to be one disillusioned old man.

Greg said...

And yes Steven, I know Obama isn't a Liberal, but his behavior is textbook Liberal Party operating procedure (just accelerated).

Steve V said...

greg

Sorry, I think it just nonsense to argue that Dion is just like Chretien/Martin. I mean, it's almost funny to hear Cons on the one hand saying Dion has abandoned the center, moved too far to the left, then have others saying Liberal/Tory same old story. I would counter, the philosophical gap between the two major leaders has never been more pronounced, at least in recent memory. To try and posit otherwise is really more about old grudges, than any accurate gauge of reality.

BTW, you use Obama, which is strange, but why anybody would be surprised at the ritual of moving left in the primaries, moving center in the election, is beyond me. It happens everytime, and it's just reality in a country where the left is really a bit player overall. Comparing Canada and America is a non-starter in my mind, the dynamics so different, it makes little sense to draw analogies.

Greg said...

Obama, which is strange, but why anybody would be surprised at the ritual of moving left in the primaries, moving center in the election, is beyond me

Exactly, that's why you are a proud member of the Liberal Party. There are no principles, only "rituals". Say one thing and do another. It's as natural as breathing to a Liberal. Progressives beware.

Steve V said...

greg

Surely you can do better than that, especially when you consider my voting history. Holy kneejerk, mindless angst.

Anonymous said...

"Douglas felt social programs were important and formed coalitions with Liberals because he knew that a Conservative government meant the destruction of the services Douglas valued."

That's actually not true at all. There was never any "coalition" between the NDP and the Liberals when Douglas was leader. There was never even any formal accord or agreement. From 1963 to 1965 the Liberals were 5 seats short of a majority and from 1965 to 1968 they were three seats short of a majority. They made case-by-case deals with the NDP, the Tories and the chaotic remnants of the Creditistes in those years.

If you read accounts of the four election campaigns that Douglas led the NDP through, he tore strip after strip off the Liberals. He attacked Pearson and Trudeay RELENTLESSLY in those campaigns. You can be sure that if Tommy is looking down from heaven, he is nodding and smiling at how Layton is following in his footsteps and foiling any Liberal attempt to re-gain a majority so they can government exactly like the Conservatives.

ottlib said...

anonymous:

In those cases you are mentioning the Liberals were IN POWER. So of course, the NDP attacked the Liberals relentlessly. That is what opposition parties do.

Ed Broadbent did the same thing but when Brian Mulroney won government Mr. Braodbent shifted his focus to the Conservatives.

Jack Layton attacked Chretien and Martin, which is fine because they were the government and it was to be expected.

What we are seeing now from the NDP is unprecedented in its history. It is virtually ignoring the governing party despite the fact it is pursuing policies that are ananthema to its ideas and instead it is attacking another opposition party.

In fact, the NDP has been cooperating with the Conservatives despite the almost diametrically opposed political philosophies of the two parties.

Mr. Scott and Ms. Mcleod are canaries in the mine folks. I imagine there are alot of old time NDP supporters who find the current strategy of the NDP to be problematic.

Anonymous said...

"In those cases you are mentioning the Liberals were IN POWER. So of course, the NDP attacked the Liberals relentlessly. That is what opposition parties do."

In the 2006 election, the Liberals were in power and lo and behold - the NDP criticized them - and the Liberals to this day keep whining about how they lost power because the NDP actually campaigned against them in the '06 election.

Meanwhile, the NDP has voted non confidence in the Tories 44 times in the past year while the Liberals keep propping them up. All I see is Canada being ruled by a Conservative-Liberal government (with Dion as a silent partner). The NDP has been providing the only real opposition to Harper. If you want Question Period and if you look at NDP press releases and Layton's speeches for every criticism of the Liberals there are at least TWENTY attacks on the Conservatives.

Steve V said...

"If you want Question Period and if you look at NDP press releases and Layton's speeches for every criticism of the Liberals there are at least TWENTY attacks on the Conservatives."

Actually, I suggest you go read the HANSARD QP for 2006. You will find, almost EVERY question from Layton came with a criticism of the Liberals. That only changed once the NDP starting getting some negative feedback, about their pre-occupation with the Liberals. The questioning changed, as did the website.

ace said...

Just for the record, it's Ted Morton and the name of Alberta's premier is spelled Stelmach.

ottlib said...

And yet old stalwarts of the party are leaving and/or sharply criticising the current NDP.

You can dismiss them all you like but these folks have a sense of history with regard to the NDP and what it has stood for over the years.

I really do wonder how other long-standing supporters of the NDP are reacting to the current strategy by the NDP. Could these two be the thin edge of the wedge?

As for voting non-confidence, it is easy to do when you realize that no consequences will come from it. I wonder what the NDP would have done if the Liberals had not telegraphed their voting intentions so much?

It would appear the Liberals are ready to pull the plug so we will have to see how the Bloc and NDP react to that in the coming months.

Anonymous said...

"As for voting non-confidence, it is easy to do when you realize that no consequences will come from it. I wonder what the NDP would have done if the Liberals had not telegraphed their voting intentions so much?"

If you really think that the NDP doesn't want an election, why didn't the Liberals call their bluff by announcing they would vote non-confidence??? (because they are cowards who are afraid of an election that's why).

and BTW: why do all you Liberals seem to spend 90% of your time attacking the NDP instead of attacking the Conservatives. If you really think defeating the Conservatives is sooo important than why don't you just ignore the NDP and focus on Harper??

Mushroom said...

"why do all you Liberals seem to spend 90% of your time attacking the NDP instead of attacking the Conservatives. If you really think defeating the Conservatives is sooo important than why don't you just ignore the NDP and focus on Harper??"

Because the ten seats the Grits need to win in order to gain power are the ones in which voters lent their vote to Layton. We want their vote back. These MPs are heavily targeted: Nash, Dewar, Chow, Savoie, Angus, Julian, Stoffer, Mathyssen, and Godin. Halifax Centre is also open competitive with McDonough standing down.

If these MPs fall, then expect Tory incumbents such as Clement, Flaherty, Bruinooge, Rob Clarke, James Moore, del Mastro, Polievre, Goodyear, Watson, and Colin Carrie to lose their seats in a domino effect. Dion needs the air war to target them, so we are going after the NDP first. Urban and suburban politics, where troop mobilization counts the most. In rural areas, it is all dependent on mailings and TV ads which the Grits will focus on in the last week of the campaign.

ottlib said...

"...and BTW: why do all you Liberals seem to spend 90% of your time attacking the NDP instead of attacking the Conservatives."

Flip side of the same coin.

Mr. Layton has decided he wants to replace the Liberals but he wants to do it on the cheap.

You see, to really accomplish that goal Mr. Layton would have to drag the NDP into the 21st Century and actually come up with policies that have a broad appeal.

However, for whatever reason, he has decided not to do that. Instead he has decided not to modernize the thinking of the NDP and instead just try to accomplish his goal by attacking the Liberals. Often times that finds him making common cause with Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

For some Dipper partisan, such as yourself anonymous, that seems fine to you. It makes sense because it is obvious that your hatred of the Liberals is as intenses as that of the Conservatives.

However, for those Dippers who care more about the ideals of the NDP it is not fine, which is why Mr. Reid and Ms. Mcleod have spoken out and why it will be interesting to see if they are just voices in the wilderness or if they represent a significant number of those who now support the NDP.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Layton would have to drag the NDP into the 21st Century and actually come up with policies that have a broad appeal."

National pharmacare
National child care
Withdrawal from Afghanistan
National housing strategy
No more ethnic profiling of minorities
Investments in cities
Investments in green technologies and shifting the Canadian economy towards a more environmnentally sustainable future.

Sounds a lot more forward looking and 21st century than the Liberals and their "pay to pollute" scheme.

BTW: The only way you are ever going to dislodge the Conservatives from power is by reducing the number of Conservative and BQ seats. Shifting a seat from NDP to Liberal or vice-versa does diddly squat to change the government. The only way the Tories can lose is if NDP+Liberal = 155 seats or more. As much as I have my problems with the Liberals the fact is that the only two party combination that has any chance of producing a viable government is NDP+Liberal. The BQ can not and will not work with anyone and we have already had two years of Conservative Liberal rule - where the Liberal extracted no concessions whatsoever in exchange for their support.

Steve V said...

anon

Actually, one of the ways to turn over Con seats is too stop dividing the vote for their advantage. That's where the soft NDP supporter comes into play.

Anonymous said...

If the Liberals are really and truly only doing whatever they can do dislodge the Conservatives from power - when can I expect an offer from Stephan Dion to Jack Layton whereby the Liberals would not run candidates in ridings where the Liberals were in third place in 2006 behind the Tories and the NDP? (i.e. several seats in Nova Scotia, Oshawa, most of Saskatchewan, Kamloops, Newton-North Delta, Saanich-the Islands, Naniamo-Alberni etc...) - and maybe while we are at it - why don't the Liberals offer to not run any candidates in ridings with NDP incumbents so they can focus 100% of their efforts on winning Conservative held seats. Then challenge the NDp to respond in kind.

I think that a gesture like that from the Liberals would go a long way towards showing that they sincerely care about Canada and not just about winning more seats.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.....when only 11% of Canadians trust the NDP on the economy - common sense would tell you that Layton doesn't really want an election.

If Layton is to be believed and principled - he'd be attacking Harper instead of the Liberals. Oh ya, he does a token attack now and then on Harper - just for show.

Steve V said...

"I think that a gesture like that from the Liberals would go a long way towards showing that they sincerely care about Canada and not just about winning more seats."

What about the NDP doing the same, in many more ridings, where they ran third? Now that would be a gesture. Never happen.

Steve V said...

Some quick math, to put "gestures" in perspective, the NDP finished third or fourth in 234 ridings, 76% of all ridings. Let's make a deal :)

Mushroom said...

"where the Liberals were in third place in 2006 behind the Tories and the NDP?"

The Grits would be happy to run FOURTH in many of the BC ridings you mentioned. Because the party that would sneak up the middle there would be the Greens. They can hurt both the Cons and the NDP better than us, while we will sit on our hands laughing.

Note also the Greens will also do no worse than 8% in the NDP seats the Grits will target, with 12 to 15 per cent highly possible. Thanks to the carbon tax, the Grits and the Greens have a non-aggression pact during the election campaign.

Anonymous said...

"Thanks to the carbon tax, the Grits and the Greens have a non-aggression pact during the election campaign."

The only way you can have a "non-aggression pact" between two parties is for them never to run candidates against each other. Thanks to the "pay to pollute" carbon tax scheme - people who want to pay the carbon tax have two choices - Liberal or Green. The NDP will happily watch the two pro-carbon tax parties cannibalize each others vote.

burlivespipe said...

Question for Anonymoos NdPer... Who finished 3rd in Newton-North delta? It certainly wasn't the Libs, who presently have MP Sav Dalihwal serving in Ottawa.
As Steve sed, this proposal of yours would most certainly be vetoed by Mr Layton quicker than you can say 'Dave Stupich'...
And there seems to be some kind of impression that only the NdP campaigns on its high ground and never sways. I recall them heaving and hurling mightily to get in the 'Tough On Crime' bandwagon during the last election. That's just one example.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying that I actually favour any kind of electoral alliance between the NDP and the Liberals at all. Realistically, it would be very unworkable - we would need an Australian style preferential voting system. BUT, I'm saying if you think that the Liberals are motivated 100% by altruism and they they care not a whit for how many seats they win - just bouncing the Tories from power - why not demonstrate this by pulling all Liberal candidates in ridings where the Liberals were a distant third in the last election.

Otherwise, can we all agree that the number one goal of all the parties is to maximize their votes and seats - pure simple (unless you are the Elizabeth May whose number one goal is to get named Canadian Ambassador to UNESCO by some future Liberal gov't)

Steve V said...

"why not demonstrate this by pulling all Liberal candidates in ridings where the Liberals were a distant third in the last election."

Why doesn't the party with 234 ridings that fall into that category engage, since it is chiefly their circumstance. Hey, the Liberals ran third in 1/15 the ridings we did, why don't they just back off. Unbelievable.