Canada’s Only Hope: An Orange-Green Merger
Igantieff bullied his way to the top.
- The result: the Federal Liberals are lower in the polls today (23%) than they were under Dion’s ‘peak’ (26%).
- The result: the ‘progressive’ contingent of the Liberal Party of Canada looks to be prepared to take a walk.
The Green Party of Canada AND the NDP are gaining on Canada’s ‘traditional’ parties.
- The result: combined, the Green and NDP represent more than 29% of decided voters. This is a far cry from the 37% that the Cons currently register, but if you were to look at the numbers by riding (which I don’t have), I’m willing to bet that the combined impact would lead to a much higher polling in valuable urban ridings than the Conservative base of rural locations.
- The result: it’s conceivable that if an election were held today, the NDP might hold as many seats as the Liberals.
What does this all mean? The Greens and the NDP MUST drop their gloves, get together, agree on their differences and lead this country into the future.
Let’s face it: there are only 3-4 central issues that separate the two parties. We must encourage all of the representatives from both parties to do the following:
- Show the door to the leaders of the NDP and the Greens. I will never vote for the NDP again as long as Jack Layton is in charge, and I think millions of Canadians feel the same way. He delivered a minority government to Stephen Harper, not once but TWICE. He has kept this man in power and he has blood on his hands. Elizabeth May has drifted unsuccessfully to three different ridings in the past and has not chosen winnable ridings. More importantly, it’s been about Elizabeth May and not the Green Party of Canada in the last three elections.
- Get together. Talk. Write. Set up a wiki. Find your differences and put them aside. You’ll find that you have more in common than you have keeping you apart.
- Create solid, consistent and unique policy.
- Pick a single leader with dozens of talented people to support him/her.
- Win seats.
With Ignatieff’s Liberals about to implode and the Harper Conservatives poised to make impromptu visits to Geneva to defend their war crimes in Afghanistan, there’s no time like the present to respond to all Canadians with a progressive platform.
It’s that simple. We need action today, so lobby your local MPs, candidates and the leaders of these two parties.
Canada’s future depends on it.
The NDP did not deliver any minority governments to the Conservatives. The voters and our electoral system did.
Do you really think that stating this falsehood is conducive to cooperation? If you do, welcome to the status-quo.
It’s not that simple.
The Liberals have been jumping from leader to leader over most of the past decade and look where they’re at. The facts are that with Layton at the helm the NDs have become as important as they are, and while May brought the Greens up to almost electable, they’re not there yet and are more likely splitting votes then anything else.
Layton didn’t “deliver” Harper minorities, that’s a Liberal cop-out to make themselves feel better for shitting the bed as a party.
1 is definately required,
2. if the NDP would admit that profit is not evil and that market forces Can be used as an effective tool for change if regulated properly, there is enough common ground to work. The majority of Canadians feel this way and I think its a major road block to NDP growth. If the NDP would be more flexable on economics a new vision could also steal more pissed off libs, something that there are more of each day.
I’ve had this discussion with a NDP candidate and we both agree that economic ideology is the sticking point between the two parties and he would work with greens. The previous candidate however assumed that green votes belonged to him and was rather rude about it, even though our combined votes were about 1.8x what he normally got.
3. Peace, natural stewardship, PR, anti globalization, social services and perhaps shutting down the oil sands until they can be done cleanly and nationalizing Canadian Oil for Candian use.
4. is the hardest I could not pick someone both sides would tolerate.
It bothers me that everyone assumes that the Green Party, because of their environmental stance, is a left-wing social-democratic party. They’re actually an economically conservative “free-market” oriented party. Many of their supporters are red tories from the old PC party. The NDP supports good environmental policy (probably as strongly as the greens, though certainly with less focus on the issue), but they also support social-democratic economic policies.
To be fair, the Greens are mostly unified only around enviromentalism, and draw support from people across the political spectrum, but the main body of the party is economically conservative.
“The Greens and the NDP MUST drop their gloves, get together, agree on their differences and lead this country into the future.”
‘drop the gloves’ is a hockey reference that means get ready for a fight, not shake hands.
Otherwise can we ask ourselves why the Green Party has grown in popularity when the NDP has historically and consistently brought the environmentalist message to Ottawa?
I’d suggest two reasons for two different groups of voters.
1. The simple label. The return of Al Gore marks the rise in support for the Green Party. At the risk of sounding pompous, the ‘Green’ label is attractive for those who know little about the politics of parliament who want to ‘do their part’ to stop climate change, so they vote ‘green’ along with buying ‘green’ dishwasher detergent (instead of limiting their use of the energy intensive appliance)
2. The “not left or right” stance of the Canadian version of the Green Party. While any student in Politics 101 would find this stance curious, what it’s really saying is unlike the NDP we’re interested in market-based solutions to the climate crisis. The libertarian faction of the Green Party of Canada is not to be overlooked. Let’s remember that market-based solutions are what got us into this mess.
While i am sympathetic to the motives of this idea, these are two very different parties. If they weren’t the Green Party would be unable to bring in staff, convince candidates to run across the country, or be the functioning party that it is.
Many (not necessarily most) Greens follow a libertarian bent, and resent the NDP’s opposition to Dion’s Green Shift, which is a major piece of Green Party thinking. Big deal for them to support NDP policy. The more likely scenario is the NDP absorbing green supporters, but the Green Party still being around. And I don’t see that as very likely.
Thanks everyone for the obvious corrections!
Rather than just pull the article, I’d like to acknowledge that in my haste, I made a number of grievous errors, as indicated by many comments that people posted (and thank you for the feedback). I apologize.
That said, here are some additional thoughts:
1. I appreciate that the Greens are in a very different category than the NDP in terms of policy, philosophy and history. I fell victim to the classic stereotype of Greens being ‘left of centre’. However, my hope is rooted in the idea of finding common ‘progressive middle ground’. Is this possible, or no? So far, it feels like a no.
2. ‘Dropping the gloves’ is definitely not a good metaphor for ‘showing the love’!! My bad. Thanks for the correction and it’s pathetic that someone who calls himself Canadian would blow that metaphor.
3. The thoughts from ‘Green Assassin Brigade’ give me hope. I think many NDPers concede that the market is not evil, but I suspect many others appreciate that the market isn’t perfect either. It’s that middle ground that I hope would offer fertile opportunity for a merger, but I concede that I’m being naive. Other comments give me less hope and remind me that the two parties are still very far apart on most components of their platforms.
4. I’m frustrated by the NDP support of anything related to the Cons (but this also provides the inspiration behind the Green/NDP merger argument), but I should not be so harsh as to say that cooperation isn’t a good thing. In fact, it’s a desired state.
However, the Cons are back-stabbers and cannot be trusted and supporting these people in any way makes me feel my vote is invalidated. What am I to do when the result is just a constant political battle rather than one of mature professionals trying to do their jobs for Canadians and what’s best for Canada?
Anyways, the NDP efforts to cooperate at least show that they might be able to work something out with similar market-oriented Green party members, right? Right?
5. I don’t believe that Jack’s support of the Cons is a rumour spread by Liberals. The NDP abstained in the fall of 2009 as opposed to voting with the Cons. A ‘gray’ manipulation of support vs absence, but the Cons are still alive, aren’t they?
And in 2006, didn’t they threw their support behind the Cons to topple the Liberals?
Anyways, I’ve learned a valuable lesson with this discussion. I’ve been superficial with my suggestion and I’ve insulted many people with blanket statements. I’m sorry.
Even in this response, I continue many of those statements, but I’m still a frustrated voter that wants to see adults run our Parliament and who wants to discover some way to get rid of the Cons.
Is that so bad?
At the end of the day, what’s the solution?