September 3, 2008

Canadian Election: A Call for Solidarity on ‘The Left’

By Author-ED

A few years ago, the folks on ‘the right’ were represented bya mis-aligned, rag-tag group that now forms our minority government and constantly bullies the opposition into their bidding.  They threaten election, they will likely call one within the next couple of days and they will likely continue … with another minority leadership.

Historically, there were at least three major, nationally recognized ‘right wing’ parties vying for leadership of Canada (or at least the West), including:

  • The Reform Party
  • The Alliance Party
  • The Progressive Conservatives

Add to that the volume of even smaller more radical groups and the right-wing vote looked like it would be permanently fractured beyond any ability to win a few seats, let alone run the country.

They knew this.  The Liberals knew this.  Even the NDP knew this.  We (‘the left’) all gloated in the knowledge that we’d never have to worry about sending our kids abroad in US battles or risk privatizing health care.  No missile defense system here.  We’re all small-l liberals.

And then the Right surprised us all.  They did what the left should have done long ago (and still can).  Ironically, they showed a sign of solidarity and ‘unionized’.

They got together.  ‘Collective Power’ could have been their mantra.  They realized that there was strength in numbers, not power in fragmentation and small voices being silenced by the wave of Liberalism that ran Canada for decades.

They all banded together to create ‘The Conservatives’.  No more ‘Progressives’ here.

They all got behind an intentional strategy to put their squabbling aside and steal the government from the progressives and left.

And their plan is still moving forward today.

I’ll wager that the election that will be called was part of Harper’s plans two, maybe even four, years ago.

Il’l wager that most of the bullying and taunting of the opposition labelling them as ‘kind’ and ‘soft’ have been in the works for half a decade.  Prime Minister Martin was depicted as ‘constantly dithering’ in order to add a level of uncertainty and unkind apathy to a man who was caught up in the wasp’s nest set up by his previous boss.

Stephane Dion is depicted as a whiner.  The kid who would tell his mom that the school yard bully is stealing his lunch money.

The Green Party is gaining momentum and the face of Elizabeth May will become better recognized than out other leaders.  Jack Layton of the NDP risks losing many seats to a sense of ‘green guilt’ that is washing over the populace.

What to do?  What to do?

Punch the bully in the nose.  Surprise him.  When he gets mad and throws a trantrum, his credibility goes down the toilet.

We all know the answer:  we must engage in our show of solidarity.

Maybe Buzz Hargrove was on to something a few years ago when he asked locals to support Liberals in weak NDP ridings.

What I do know is that if we don’t consolidate the left-wing vote and then settle things after we’re in power, we’ll never be in power.  This election will drain the coffers of all of the opposition parties.  It’ll kill them if there’s another election in October 2009.

What was once killing the Conservatives is now killing the Progressive Left.  Fragmentation is not our friend.

A majority government for the (now obviously Radical Right) Conservatives is just an election away and we’re ‘dithering’ and ‘whining’.  The Liberals have voted for the Conservatives more times than I can imagine, but apparently, ‘our government doesn’t work’ (straight from Harper’s mouth).

We’ve lost funding for the arts, women’s causes, legal rights for less-privileged citizens, the right to abort (it’s there, it just hasn’t been tested yet), our communication infrastructure, our lives as we eat because of industry self-regulation, our right to peace (‘support our troops’ is now more ubiquitous than ‘just do it’) and the Conservatives will keep chipping away at everything else that we hold dear until we’re just another state.

Let’s put an end to this nonsense.  LET’S GET TOGETHER.  NOW.

I suggest the following:

  1. The Liberals, the Greens and the NDP represent the majority will and vote of Canadians.
  2. We will not be able to consolidate under one banner before the election.
  3. These three parties must agree to disagree on issues before the election.
  4. During the election, these three parties must show solidarity.
  5. Our only competition is the Conservative Party of Canada.
  6. The leaders of Canada’s Progressive Parties (the Greens, NDP and Liberals) should meet before the election to create a strategy of ‘inclusion’ (a government run by the will of the majority of Canadians) by means of ‘exclusion’ (reducing or eliminating candidates in key ridings in order to guarantee seats won for the Progressive Left).
  7. This means we will have to choose the ridings that each party will be closest to winning (including the Green Party) and take them from the Conservatives, without fragmenting out own vote.
  8. The result:  we spend the same amount of campaign funds on fewer ridings.  This means we will increase the odds of winning more ridings collectively.
  9. The leaders of Canada’s Progressive Parties will have to get together after the election to form a Canadian Caucus, one that truly reflects the majority of Canadians (not this one-third nonsense that rules us now).
  10. After the election, we will lay out a specific strategy that will marginalize the Right.

Some of the points sound awful.  They sound defeatist and undemocratic.  But if we don’t do it, we’ll hand over the will of the majority of Canadians to a small group of people that are determined to alter the future of this country to their benefit and the detriment of the majority.

Please, people.  Answer my call.

To paraphrase John Lennon:  A great future starts today.  If we want it.