Liberal/NDP Merger: A Good Move? A Likely Move?


View Poll Results: Would a merger have past Liberal/NDP supporters vote Conservative in the future?
YES 2 40.00%
NO 3 60.00%
I'M NOT SURE 0 0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

shelphs
#1
The Canadian political atmosphere consists of five main parties: the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, Block Quebecois, and the Green Party. Of these, one represents the central-to-right political spectrum. There were two parties – The Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada – until they merged in 2003.

The Conservatives won a majority government in the last election with a voter turnout of 61.1%. Of the very few who took part, 39.6% voted Conservative. The majority of votes, however, were caste for a party on the left. Despite only a minority of Canadians voting for the right, the sole right-leaning Conservative Party won a majority.

Two options exist for the central-to-left parties to be more competitive in upcoming elections: to either merge or to pass legislation that changes the electoral system from simple plurality (first-past-the-post) to one of proportional representation.

Jean Chretien has noted that if a merger were to happen, it would happen quickly or not at all. He supports the Liberals and NDPs becoming one whereas Sheila Copps has been vocal against it on the Liberal’s side, and Libby Davies has been similarly vocal as an NDP.

Though I am strongly in favour of reform for a proportional representative electoral system, I think it unlikely. A merger is far easier to do and far more likely. But will it happen? A joining of the Liberals and NDP depend upon the differences between the two parties and if they are too great and how it would be received by Canadians who voted Liberal and NDP in the past.

With the current simple plurality system in place, merging left-leaning parties is the only realistic means of battling a united right. The only question is: would a merger alter past Liberal/NDP voters to support the Conservatives in the future? If the answer is no or negligible, the two parties should merge. The details of reconciling the differences between the two parties are all that would remain.



I. 2011 Election Results
http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/results.html
II. Jean Chretien and Libby Davies’ stance
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2155542/
Sheila Copps’ position on a merger
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2156921/
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#2
I don't consider the Liberals to be left. When they actually have a plan and are not drifting rudderless, they are more centre, even centre-right. Having them there, keeps the Conservatives centre right as well.

As I see it, a merged left would be more NDP left and the Conservatives would become more right. We could just rename them Democrats and Republicans.

As to your poll, I am not sure what you are asking. If you are asking is merging the party a good idea, I would vote no.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
+1
#3
Seems to me left is more people-oriented and right is more money-oriented. The two mingle like water and oil.
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Seems to me left is more people-oriented and right is more money-oriented. The two mingle like water and oil.

So we need a balance of the two, when either one is gone there's not much point!
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#5
The only way that the Liberals will abandon their core values and merge with the NDP is if they control the party. Presently that is not the case..
 
DurkaDurka
No Party Affiliation
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_Soldier View Post

The only way that the Liberals will abandon their core values and merge with the NDP is if they control the party. Presently that is not the case..

What are the Liberal core values anyway? They seem to shift with the wind.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurka View Post

What are the Liberal core values anyway? They seem to shift with the wind.

Core values? What was I thinking?

Oh yeah. here they are!

Greed, power and the unbridled devotion to Boney M.

Boney M - Rasputin - YouTube
 
mentalfloss
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurka View Post

What are the Liberal core values anyway? They seem to shift with the wind.

That is the liberal core value.

It takes the libertarian out of "people" and puts it into "party".
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

That is the liberal core value.

It takes the libertarian out of "people" and puts it into "party".

Durka can't hear you. He's grooving to Boney M.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_Soldier View Post

Core values? What was I thinking?

Oh yeah. here they are!

Greed, power and the unbridled devotion to Boney M.

Boney M - Rasputin - YouTube

Lets not slam Boney M here. That was a great song.
 
mentalfloss
#11
I'm trying to make the mental connection between Boney M and Liberals.. and.. I don't think I could do it without a substantial dosage of LSD.

Anyway, my two cents on the political landscape is that the Liberals had a very important role to play in the 70s and 80s primarily because those were the times of libertarianism. Now that some (but not all) of the biggest fish have been fed, these social movements are not as prevalent, or they've been put into second priority for economic reasons.

That's when the Liberals lost their identity as freedom givers and began to simply pick their battles between the left and right.

That's at least what it seems like from this armchair.
Last edited by mentalfloss; Sep 9th, 2011 at 11:35 AM..
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+3
#12  Top Rated Post
I am a firm believer that we should change our government often to keep perspective fresh and arrogance at a minimum. I, for one, think that if a merger were to happen we would end up with a longstanding conservative majority. A merger between the NDP and the LIberals would produce the same results of the merger between CA-REFORM-PC [Which I believed was necessary], but the lesson learned from that is that it will take better than a decade to get the merged party over its infighting, backbiting and stigmata.

The question should really be: Is the NDP willing to roll the dice and gamble everything to go back to being second best? Because that is where their members will end up if a merger happens. Hardline Liberals like Jean Chretien are only proposing a merger because they know that the best way to rebuild is to welcome your enemies into your home then eat them and smile.
Last edited by Retired_Can_Soldier; Sep 9th, 2011 at 11:55 AM..
 
mentalfloss
+1
#13
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
#14
I'd spoil my ballot before voting Conservative, so no. Had I been around I might have voted for Diefenbaker or Joe Clark, but Harper has moved Conservatism too far to the right for my liking.
 
wulfie68
No Party Affiliation
#15
OK I realize this one has a poll but did we really need ANOTHER Liberal NDP merger discussion?

I really don't understand the assertions that state "if the Liberals and the NDP merge, the Conservatives will move farther to the right". Thats unrealistic. If the Liberals and the NDP would merge, that would mean the Liberals would have to shift left, the NDP more to the center (but still way on the left) and thus the smartest move would be for the Conservatives to ensure they stay in center to pick up center/right leaning former Liberals who want nothing to do with a combined party that would have to be farther left to appeal to the NDP supporters.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

At this moment. In three or four years, I doubt it.

Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post

Had I been around I might have voted for Diefenbaker or Joe Clark, but Harper has moved Conservatism too far to the right for my liking.

Really, could you qualify this statement, because as I see it the Conservatives have been pretty center.
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurka View Post

What are the Liberal core values anyway? They seem to shift with the wind.

What are ANY party's core values? Do whatever it takes to get elected, remain in power, and last long enough to get that fat pension? It beats me how people get themselves attached to ANY political party! Maybe they are just gullible!

Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post

I'd spoil my ballot before voting Conservative, so no. Had I been around I might have voted for Diefenbaker or Joe Clark, but Harper has moved Conservatism too far to the right for my liking.

And yet you subscribe to N.D.P. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
mentalfloss
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

What are ANY party's core values? Do whatever it takes to get elected, remain in power, and last long enough to get that fat pension? It beats me how people get themselves attached to ANY political party! Maybe they are just gullible!



And yet you subscribe to N.D.P. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The horror!
 
shelphs
#19
EPILOGUE

Party mergers like the Liberal/NDP one now being discussed and the one in 2003 that formed the CPC are a symptom of a damaged electoral system. Canada’s system does not encourage and cultivate diversity in the strong and influential institution of a political party; rather, it promotes polarization by limiting the number of parties on the left and right by coercing them to coalesce and, resultantly, abandon policy ideals as a compromise for a pseudo-shared macro ideology that trumps a more foreign one. This lessens the diversity of representation within government and decreases the level of Canadian voters’ influence.

That said, it is unlikely for the left to do nothing, especially if the Conservatives win another majority in the next election. The diversity of the parties is important, but that importance is diminished by the first-past-the-post voting system and would be further hurt by a sole left party – the CPC – that can consistently win a non-proportionally representative majority. Something would have to be done.

The below table shows a strong divisionary trend between the right and left political spheres: that is, the Conservatives and every other party.

2006 (%) 2008 (%) 2011 (%)
BQ: 10.5 BQ: 10.0 BQ: 6.0 CON: 36.3 CON: 37.6 CON: 39.6
GRN: 4.5 GRN: 6.8 GRN: 3.9
LIB: 30.2 LIB: 26.2 LIB: 18.9
NDP: 17.5 NDP: 18.2 NDP: 30.6
OTHER: 1.0 OTHER: 1.2 OTHER: 0.9

From 2006 to 2008, the Liberals lost 4 percentage points. The Greens gains 2.3, the NDP 0.7, and the Conservatives 1.3. From 2008 to 2011, the Liberal, Block, and Green Party’s numbers declined by 7.3, 4, and 2.9 points, respectively, while the NDP and Conservatives voter base was raised by 12.4 and 2, respectively.

When people who have voted on the left of the ideological divide in the past change their loyalties, they overwhelmingly stay on the left. Assuming only former Liberals would change to the Conservatives, 2 of the 7.3 lost Liberal votes shifted to the Conservatives, leaving 5.3 to the NDP.

Which is to say, assuming the trend holds, of the lost Liberal votes, approximately 27% would shift to the Conservatives and 73% to the NDP. If the current 18.9 percentage of Liberal votes were similarly divided equally between the PCP and a newly merged Liberal and NDP hybrid, the Conservatives’ numbers would be 44.7 points (27% of 18.9 is 5.1 + 39.6) and the merged Liberal/NDP Party would have 44.2 percent (72% of 18.9 is 13.6 + 30.6) of the votes.

It is certainly feasible that a merger would prevent another Conservative majority, but that would depend on how the hybrid is ideologically formed and received by now Liberals. I would prefer electoral reform for a proportionally representative system, but a merger seems more likely, particularly if the next election produces another Conservative majority. In such a case, the right would have to do something. No other likely choice is available aside from a merger in a political atmosphere of a united right and divided left.

It may be time to hit the streets with a message for electoral reform.


i. General Election Results by Popular Vote Percentage
2011 Canadian Election Results
Last edited by shadowshiv; Sep 12th, 2011 at 09:52 AM..
 

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