Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Opposition "Co-operation" End Game

Plenty of ink and conversation revolving around the merits of co-operation amongst the opposition parties.  As well, talk of which parties are truly "left", "progressive" and how any party overlap would truly deal with vote splitting.  While I support the idea of co-operation in principle- primarily because it at least acknowledges the current system favours the Conservatives, despite limited support- it really is nothing more than a half measure in the final analysis. 

Joyce Murray has brought co-operation into the Liberal leadership race, akin to Nathan Cullen in the NDP race, perhaps an irony not yet digested.  The Greens are fully on board with co-operation, as Elizabeth May has recently reiterated.

 Murray cites the impetus as a need for "like minded parties" to come together, have a runoff of sorts and let the winner then stand against the Conservatives.  However, there is a fundamental contradiction in all this "like minded" talk, namely, it suggests synergy, commonality, shared values and goals.  Murray sees progressives coming together, yet still within their own factions, only to then pick one and envisions everyone working behind said individual.  I call that a normal PARTY nomination, in fact Liberals are quite used to competing visions duking it out in the "primary", then rallying behind, DESPITE differing visions based on results.

There is a very clear end game to all these co-operation machinations.  If only truly believes progressive forces are divided, there is this "like minded" demographic currently fractured, then just get on with it and physically become one entity, rather than this bastardized acknowledgement of affinity, yet some symbolic retention of tribal colours.  Politics forever involves compromise, we see this daily as party's ebb and flow with different leadership, all partisan adopt a pragmatic tone to reconcile wavering identity.

Here is the bottom line, dippers will proudly recite all the provincial NDP governments as PROOF socialists can govern effectively.  Trouble is, not ONE provincial NDP government has governed in a socialist manner, every single one is centrist, some bordering on corporatist, some blue Liberals for cripes sake, if you take their legacies in totality.  If anything, all these NDP manifestations that have actually governed serve as proof the far left disappears the moment one is forced to attract widespread support.  We see this reality right now federally, as Tom Mulcair moves the NDP to the center in an effort to capture ultimate power, it's a political necessity, yet partisans will remain steadfast no matter.  

As well, Liberals seem to have no problem getting behind a true left of center leader like Dion, as well as a borderline liberal like Ignatieff.  Liberals compromise personal perspective in the name of the "big tent", which really is a testament to "like minded" people entering a coalition of sorts.  The very fact Liberals are currently "finding themselves" through this leadership race a testament to just how malleable our identity.  Also noteworthy, Dion can speak at a Green Party convention, be well received and nobody follows the logic to obvious conclusion.

I don't believe a merged party translates to simply adding up the math of the various opposition parties, that adoption would bleed some support elsewhere, no question about it.  However, it is also true that had Joan Crockatt faced one opponent, she would have lost, I believe that in my bones.  At the very least, even the cynics must acknowledge the odds are improved with consolidation.

Joyce Murray propose co-operation in a limited number of ridings.  While I support any effort that confronts political silos, unless the concept has full adoption, it will allow special interest manipulation and undo the spirit of the plank.  Again, when we move to the end game, any usage of "like minded" denotes a commonality that can be cultivated into a new entity, which is a compromised manifestation, not much different from current "progressive parties".  It would appear co-operation is nuanced enough to make it palpable to partisans.   But ,really once the process reaches conclusion towards a single candidate, partisans then rally behind, work together, we see the tribes further exposed as ultimately unnecessary.  In fact, the end result of the co-operation angle is no different than what happens in every single riding, for every single nomination meeting, within every single individual party. 

I guess it's a start....


Dan F said...

Has there been any polling to show where the green vote in Calgary came from? I seem to recall that many of them were ex-PCs who would never in a million years vote Liberal or NDP, but could be persuaded to vote Green

Steve V said...

A merged party would also go a long way to eliminating a lot of that "never in a million" type baggage, as it would be a new entity.

thwap said...

How's about "respect for parliamentary democracy" as the commonality.

Chretien pushed things but not the way harper has done. Purge McGuinty from the Ontario Liberals for his disgraceful behaviour, and make Canadians choose between contempt or respect for Parliament.