Can’t they all just get along?


Ian Bushfield takes a whack at Nathan Cullen’s plan for joint nominations.

In every riding will exist partisans who will not vote for one party or another. Many will switch to the Conservatives before they vote for a different party as well. Progressive votes are not transferable. By reducing the number of options on a ballot, we necessarily reduce our democracy, and force strategic voting against someone rather than for someone.

Leaving aside for a moment the fact that joint nominations won’t work if they happen, let’s also recognize that they probably won’t even be able to happen. The entire idea rests on getting each party to agree to allow these meetings. While a local riding association may choose to hold this meeting with their rivals, there is no guarantee that the parties will respect this decision. Each party has the ability to parachute candidates, so unless there is agreement from the leadership of each party, this idea is dead before it lifts off. To date, only one NDP leadership candidate has expressed any support for this idea and no one from the Liberals has agreed to it.

Counter argument here.


Can’t they all just get along?

  1. “… and force strategic voting against someone rather than for someone.”

    Sorry but this is already happening. I’ve had little option on at least three occasions to vote ndp to thwart a tory victory [ twice successfully and once a squeaker].

    In all the cases i was fortunate in the the ndp candidates were fine individulas so i didn’t even have to hold my nose…and in each i might add the tory candidate was not at all easy to like or in one case x 2 not at all that competent….iows it wasn’t only an ABH vote on my part.

    Haven’t read wheeler’s rebuttal yet or Bushfield’s link to pundit guide, but i must say so far i’m struck by Bushfield’s use of extreme arguments , the worst possible outcome or likelihood – often a sign of looking too hard to shoot something down, imo anyway.

  2. The whole process would be engulfed in a litany of litigation, launched by dissenting riding associations in either/both parties or by putative candidates denied a clear path to nomination in either/both camps.  

    A circus only the Cons would love to watch.

    • Ah, there’s a catastrophic pov that Ian missed i think? :)

      What real evidence do you have for that? Noone is claiming – or they shouldn’t – that cooperation will be painless and trouble free. I suppose the real people to address this are the RA presidents and board members…i certainly have no real idea…only hope.

      • There is enough entrenched animosity between these two established parties in some regions of the country to make this a plausible scenario. It would only take a handful of such fur fights at the riding level to suck the oxygen (and media attention, and $$) from a national campaign. I don’t agree with Bushfield’s prediction that such a detente would drive disaffected partisans into the arms of the hated Cons but I do believe a significant percentage of supporters of both parties would simply stay home on polling day. A better strategy of voter suppression couldn’t be designed by Harper himself.

        If these two ostensibly “progressive” parties are really serious about creating
        synergies, they need to negotiate an organizational merger from the top down. If they’re gonna’ live together, they might as well get married.

        • The odd thing is, at least from the liberal pov, is that as far as i can tell the best hope lies in NOT formally merging for pretty much the reasons you’ve stated. The two parties don’t like each other too much that’s obvious, but if anything a temporary cease fire in order to change the voting system is the best bet – short of the LPC withering away, which i don’t see just yet.

          • If a shotgun marriage can occur successfully on the center-right of the spectrum, why not on the center-left? (I know, I know, only if the shotgun is registered).

          • That was cute.  But it would only end in divorce.  The kids hearts aren’t in it.  But an engagement, now you’re talking!

        • Did you get the part about the riding associations would have to agree?  And did you get the part that, while entrenched partisans are loath to give up their turf, they also don’t want to give up the votes.  So we simply watch closely in every riding that is a contender for this, to see which riding association is the stumbling block.  I sure hope it isn’t mine.

  3. comment deleted by poster

Sign in to comment.