Something, something, merger


In the presence of reporters, Justin Trudeau says something about the possibility of a Liberal merger with the NDP that might be considered interesting.

“If we’re serious about getting this country on the right track and reflecting the will of the vast majority of Canadians who didn’t vote for Mr. Harper, I think we have to be open to looking at different possibilities,” he said. “I’m certainly not going to take anything off the table but I’m certainly not convinced that a merger is the right thing or the way to go. I’m open to being convinced, but I’m not there.”

In a separate interview, he says the only people talking about a merger are reporters. The Globe, in turn, cites Denis Coderre to explain its interest.

Meanwhile, in a cryptic Facebook note, former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff makes an observation from Jack Layton’s funeral that could apply to Liberals and New Democrats (or Liberals and Conservatives or Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats or humanity in general).

At Jack Layton’s funeral service at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, I thought, yes we are separate families, separate traditions, and yes, we’ve fought each other over the years, but now sitting together in the same hall, isn’t it obvious how much we have in common?

The words we care about —generosity, justice, hope—they care about them too. We don’t own these words and they don’t own them either. These values are bigger than all of us, bigger than our divisions and our arguments.

It was good to put the past behind us for an afternoon and imagine what the future of our country might look like if we put those values first.


Something, something, merger

  1. Professional NDP and liberals and the stalwarts who support them sure go crazy whenever merger or even collaboration between the parties is mooted. This is contrast to most voters, who would be pleased to see the two cooperate to defeat Harper.

    It is now becoming crystal clear that pressure for collaboration will have to come from outside, and that the staffers and stalwarts in both parties are more interested in partisan jobs and gains than they are in defeating Harper.

  2. it is all moot at this point. Harper will be PM for life. He will be so unpopular in a few years that he will have no chance or re-election, so he will prorogue, or declare some sort of national emergency that pre-empts election.

    you guys are dreaming if you think anything but a dictatorship is coming. Pft. “coming” – we have a one-man-government right NOW. The senate does what it is told, no cabinet ministers have ANY say, and the backbenchers just keep mailing out propaganda.

    Face it canada: you got  conquered. Democracy is as dead as dead.the only thing that will oust Harper is a bloody coup, and since Canadians don’t “do” passion, it looks like this herd of sheep has been rounded up nicely.

    incidentally, if you would like to help me raise funds to move away from canada and never come back, i can be reached at russellbarth.ca

    • Just out of curiousity, where would you go?

    • Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, ass.

    • Well at least you understand how progressives feel about the current Conservative/Reform merger extreme right wing government.

      • Really?  ‘Cause I’m pretty “progressive” and not only do I not think that Harper is a dictator, I don’t think he has any intention of becoming one either (and most importantly, I think it would be impossible for him to do so anyway).

        • Of course we always have those who are bomb throwers and really don’t want to be rationale in their discussions. If you analyze what he says it shows he doesn’t know how our system works at all.

          Can you imagine what our country would be facing today if Layton had won a minority government. All three parties being led by an interim leader and the interim PM would not have any idea about the whole country. Simply a separatist sympathizer who only knows about Quebec and the public sector unions.

    • He will be so unpopular in a few years that he will have no chance or
      re-election, so he will prorogue, or declare some sort of national
      emergency that pre-empts election.

      On the first point, this is precisely why we have a Governor General and a Queen still, and on the second, there is no type of national emergency that pre-empts elections.

      That said, I do suspect that you’re going to do well in your attempt to raise funds to leave Canada and never come back.

    • You are one bitter dude Russell.  Sorry about your PTSD and Fibromyalgia and your wife’s epilepsy.  Suggest you up your meducal marijuana use as hating Harper will only eat at your insides, but hey, if it helps you get through the day, fill your boots!!!

    • Feel free. However like all good socialist you want to use other peoples money to leave. Go. One less socialist.

  3. ” I’m open to being convinced, but I’m not there.”

    If Libs are looking for new name/party they could call it Vicky Pollard Party. 

    Libs never take position – they don’t seem to have firm opinions about anything other than they should be in power – and always waffle about like Trudeau. 

    “Yeah but, no but, but yeah ….” 


    • It’s funny, but you’re not the first ideologue I’ve seen who tries to use that “never take a position” like it’s an insult.

      This is the primary reason why a merger between the two won’t happen. Liberals are liberals and not NDP or CPC or worse because they’re more concerned with pragmatics than ideology. And what’s more.. they think that’s a good thing.

      I mean, sure, anybody can grab an ideology, put blinders on, and full-steam ahead into a wall. And it seems a lot of people like to do that. After all, it requires less effort and thinking, so long as you consider any evidence which disagrees with you as some sort of conspiracy of the media, or scientists, or experts, or whatever.  

      But for those of us concerned with reality as it is, and not as it should be in some fantasy lands of our mind, approaching things without a position defined ahead of time is a sign of actually wanting to solve the problem.

      • Well said, Thwim! 

      • While the NDP does have some ideology they adhere to, mainly surrounding unions, they can be pragmatic and mix things up too.  In Ontario, we have the ONDP opposing some green initiatives and they fought the OLiberals attempt to get religious prayers out of Parliament.  Environment and respecting secularism in government are issues one might have associated with left-ideology, but the ONDP has probably correctly gauged public opinion on these two issues.  

        However, I agree the unions and, for lack of a better phrase, “class divisions” which the NDP goes full steam ahead on do distinguish them from Liberals.

        • And this is why you see more talk of merging between Liberals and NDP than you do between Liberals and CPC.  That degree of flexibility.

        • And the NDP fighting against green initiatives have angered the environmentalists….and opposing the removal of prayer from the legislature is just silly.

          It’s all vote-pandering…gambling on topics they are guessing at as popular in order to get elected.

          It’s how BC lost the HST benefit.

      • If your’re concerned more about reality than ideology, here’s a bit of reality for you: The “Middle of the Road” is dead, stand in the middle of the road and you’ll get run over, as recently happened to the Liberals.

        Reality, only a coalition of progressives can defeat the CRAP. The Liberals have to either get on the bus, or they’ll continue to be under it.

        • Or in other words, “Dammit, put on your blinders! Don’t think man, RUN!”

          Thanks, but no.

          You really don’t get it, do you? “The Middle of the Road” is another ideologic stand. I refuse them. Approach each problem without a stand already in place and you have a hope of solving all of them.

          And while you may be right that the public at large is unconcerned with solving problems and instead only concerned with appearances, (or as I typically call it, stupid) that doesn’t mean that I have to be as well.

  4. Aw geez, the NDP and Liberal Party are like the two shy friends who obviously like each other, and would probably have gotten together already if it wasn’t for their nosy friends the media making a huge deal out of every time the NDP offers the Liberals an hors d’oeuvre.

    Media (nudging NDP in the side): “Soo…you like her eh? She’s cute! You should go for it! No really, I think you two would be great together! You should ask her out. I’m serious!”

    Other media (pulling LPC aside): “Well he’s certainly a handsome one! No really, he is! If he gives you his number, you should call him. I’m serious! You’d make SUCH a darling pair! Oh stop blushing now!”

    Just let ’em talk on the balcony for a minute and see what happens.


    • And then in the second Act, he discovers that she previously worked for a crown corporation that locked out its workers unitl the government legislated them back to work. He becomes increasingly alarmed as he realizes she is influenced by the ideas of her father who controls a corporation and raided the pension fund to prop up his executive bonus, before closing its Canadian plants and moving its operation to Korea. Free for whooooooooooooooooo? he cries and leaves her at the altar.

  5. “The words we care about —generosity, justice, hope—they care about them too   ….  and imagine what the future of our country might look like if we put those values first.”

    Liberals and other left wing types are snobs or self centred or narcissist. Have high opinion of themselves and think everyone else inadequate. Personal is political and Libs/left wing think they have ownership of what words mean. 

    Generosity, justice, hope – these are all values or feelings everyone experiences other than sociopaths and the like. Left wing don’t own what those words represent. 

    And not everyone agrees that Libs or left wing types represent generosity, justice or hope.

    Macleans – Do Atheists Care Less? 

    “…… Statistics Canada released a survey on Canadians and their charitable habits. While less than one in five attend church regularly, those who do are far more likely to give to charities, and are substantially more liberal in the size of their gifts to both religious and non-religious organizations. The average annual donation from a churchgoer is $1,038. For the rest of the population, $295.

    With respect to volunteer effort, two-thirds of churchgoers give their time to non-profit causes while only 43 per cent of non-attendees do likewise. And churchgoers put in twice as many hours volunteering.

    All this munificence is in stark contrast to complaints from anti-religion authors ….. ” 

    PJ O’Rourke ~ The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors–psychology, sociology, women’s studies–to prove that nothing is anybody’s fault. 

    No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions, but consider how much you’d have to hate free will to come up with a political platform that advocates killing unborn babies but not convicted murderers. A callous pragmatist might favor abortion and capital punishment. A devout Christian would sanction neither. 

    But it takes years of therapy to arrive at the liberal view.

    • Churches are registered charities.

      Greenpeace, Adbusters, the Humanist and protest movements are not.

      So when religious folks donate to their church and go door-to-door annoying innocent people, that all counts as charitable giving and volunteering.

      When athiests donate to things such as Greenpeace and go to protest corporate domination of the public sphere, that doesn’t count as charitable giving and volunteering.

      You may want to consider comparing apples to apples.

      Incidentally, it seems most often it’s the devout Christians that support capital punishment. The pragmatists generally don’t, because it doesn’t do anything useful.

      • “You may want to consider comparing apples to apples.”

        You may want to consider learning how to read instead of being entirely too impressed with sound of your own voice.

        “… those who do are far more likely to give to charities, and are substantially more liberal in the size of their gifts to both religious and non-religious organizations.”

        • Hint: Just because it’s a non-religious organization doesn’t automatically make it not a charity. You still have no basis for comparison because you’re not looking at those non-religious organizations which are not legally defined as charities.

          You’d understand this if you looked at the origins of that Statistics Canada report you’re quoting.  They took the figures as donations and volunteering for charitable organizations, religious and non. Donations or volunteering toward organizations that are not considered charitable by our government, suc as the ones I pointed out earlier, did not count in their surveys.

          You’ve managed to reach apples to oranges, but you’ve still got a distance to go before you have any sort of point.

          Incidentally, I’m not saying that conservatives or religious folks aren’t generous, just that you trying to show that atheists aren’t is wrong.

    • Generosity, justice, hope – these are all values or feelings everyone
      experiences other than sociopaths and the like. Left wing don’t own what
      those words represent.

      Indeed.  However, you do realize, don’t you,  that you basically just paraphrased EXACTLY WHAT IGNATIEFF WAS SAYING!!!

      • Iggy: “It was good to put the past behind us for an afternoon and imagine what the future of our country might look like if we put those values first.”

        “…. you basically just paraphrased EXACTLY WHAT IGNATIEFF WAS SAYING!!!” 

        Yes and no. Iggy was saying people have different ideas but he is also saying we need to put ‘those values first’.

        Maybe some of us already think we are putting those values first and Libs or NDP are lagging behind. 

        Also, generosity for instance. 

        What does that mean, exactly? Me giving money to charity willingly or State taking way more  taxes than it needs? Is State being generous by paying bureaucrats much more than their worth? Are pols being generous when they run around Canada like clowns with their novelty cheques and claiming Cons/Libs/NDP did something even tho it paid by taxpayer and not party? 

        How can I express my generosity – donate to charity – when State takes an enormous amount of my wealth every year and gives it to educated halfwits who don’t deserve or need my charity?

        • Since you like Stats Can reports, you may want to look at the one that shows that people don’t get more charitable the more money they have. They donate the same percentage when they’re poor as when they’re rich.

          So how you could express your generosity is exactly as you’re doing (or not doing) so now.

          • hahahahahahaha. That’s funny, Thwim. 

            I am person, not people, and I don’t care what you think stats tell you. It is quite simple, if I had more to give, I would give more and it has nothing to do with percentages. 

            No one is normal, we all have individual preferences. 

            The Agenda With Steve Paikin 
            Virginia Postrel: How We View Progress


          • Do you understand what “percentage” means?

  6. If there is to be a merger, the senior members of the party…Broadbent, Chretien etc will have to put it together and present it to the members. Politicians of the day can’t do so.

    Again, my preference is for an entirely new party.

    • Well, in a sense, since getting together for just ONE leadership race would be the first move, there really would be a new party. It would be a bit different than a merger with all the trappings already in place. Once you have a common leader it’s over.

      • No, a merged party is not a new party. One leader would just lead to a lot of internal squabbling, and we don’t need any more of that.

        I mean something entirely new…a party for the 21st century.

        Without the baggage, and the old warhorses, and the same old policies.

        • I’m just saying that having a once in a lifetime opening of both old parties being without leaders, is a grand opportunity to create a new or newly merged new party up and running with a  fresh start (founding/leadership convention)  an end to squabbling. Of course, some Liberals, the John Manley types would go to Harper where they belong anyway. 

          • Oh I agree…a merger is better than constantly splitting the vote. It’s just not my first choice.

  7. Finally, Iggy says something worth quoting: 

    “We don’t own these words and they don’t own them either. These values are bigger than all of us, bigger than our divisions and our arguments.”

  8. Why am I seemingly the only one who is utterly confused by any proposed merger.  Are the NDP and the Liberals really all the alike?  Has the NDP come that far towards the centre, or the LPC drifted further left?

    It just seems to me that merging parties because you’re not the CPC isn’t exactly the best reason to merge.

    • But it seems that the PCs and the Reformists joined simply to not be Liberals, and it’s worked out well for them.  Surely there were as many differences with those two parties and there are with the NDP and Liberals.

      I see many differences between them, but it would be nice to see strong leadership and impetus to bridge those differences and come out stronger.

      • The PCs and Reform were not two separate and distinct parties….Reformers split from the PC in the first place…..they were simply getting back together.

        • That’s not the way I recall it, Emily, although I acknowledge that you typically know a lot more about politics than I do…I thought Preston Manning started the Reform Party before he had a seat in the HoC — and because the west was dissatisfied with Mulroney’s PC gov — sometime in the late Eighties?  And in 1993 Deb Grey won the first seat for the party that morphed into Canadian Alliance. I know that Manning resigned, and then Day won leadership –and wasn’t Harper actually Manning’s Chief of Staff?

          But I wouldn’t say Manning was splitting from anything but rather forming something new and different.  No?

          • He started a separate party with people who weren’t satisfied with the federal PC party….they wanted something stronger and more socially conservative than what Stanfield, Clark, Mulroney etc were doing.

            Mannings father…Ernest Manning …was not only very devout, but Social Credit…a strongly religious party…..and Ernest Manning was the one who promoted a major distinction between left and right in Canada….the polarization we now see between the Cons and the NDP

            Almost all the people I met in the Reform party were former PCs. Some were CHP. I certainly didn’t meet any former Libs or Dippers.

            The Bloc were originally PC as well, under Mulroney …until they too went their own way.

            You’ll note that in Alberta, the PCs took over from SoCred…and have been in over 30 years….but they are nothing like PCs in the ROC.

            And the only party that has any chance of beating Alberta Cons are the Wild Rose party….which is even more conservative.

      • But it seems that the PCs and the Reformists joined simply to not be Liberals, and it’s worked out well for them.

        Did it really though?  I’ve often argued that the Harper government is to the left of where a Martin government would have led us, and that Harper is basically now “more Chretien than Chretien”.  I agree that the IDEA behind the merger was to “not be Liberals”, I’m just not so sure how well they succeeded, lol.

    • The left is desparate to find a way to beat Harper. So they are concocting various scenarios. However, in a political sense 1 and 1 does not up to 2 as the Alliance and the PC’s found out and they were part of the same family who simply had a parting of the ways. The Libs and the NDP are two separate cats. There would be all kinds of ramifications which nobody can anticipate.

      If either the Libs in their left wing incarnation or the NDP under their new leader put foward a set of policies i.e. national daycare, pharmacare, increased pensions, carbon tax etc. and put forward a real budget which showed the cost of these programs Harper would be in power for a very long time. However, they will never do that. It would be all high falutin’ rhetoric trying to fool the gullible Canadians who believe they can have everything their heart desires without it costing them a dime.

      • The left isn’t deperate to beat Harper. Left to thier own devices, CRAP will beat itself.

        • You guys have been saying that for almost 10 years. You will be saying it for another 8 years. Sucks to be you guys.

  9. As usual the Liberals don’t know what the talking points are suppose to be. The Dauphne seems to be getting his message mixed up. In one interview he suggests that merger should be discussed and then in another suggests it is only the media who are interested in it. Which is it Justin? Better talk to Bob Rae and get the talking points down.

    Then Rae in his speech as quoted in the media suggests that Harper is not going to get a free ride. It is this kind of arrogance that has got the Liberals in trouble. Instead of making bravado statements why not focus on doing the almost impossible task of rebuilding the party. Of course there is nothing in it for Rae to successfully rebuild the party…for who? Not for him.

    • Or you could just watch the speech and see where Rae called the Cons arrogant.

      • Of course you would support anything Rae has to say. I say once again. Canadians rejected Ignatieff for saying these silly kind of things particularly when the facts don’t support them. With Harper having full control of the House and the Senate and for Rae to suggest that the Libs have any power to stop him shows he either lacks a sense of reality or he is just shooting his mouth off which he is pretty good at doing. However, it hurts his credibility, at least if he has any left, every time he does it.

        • How many times do you have to be told?

          Are you deaf?  Blind?  Just plain dumb?

          I’m not a member of any political party…I’m certainly not a leftie, and I don’t like Bob Rae.

          Now pay attention.

          Certainly Libs can stop Harper…Opposition parties can always stop a govt….it’s how they get to be govt themselves, by opposing the one in existence, and providing an alternative.

          Rae said Harp’s idea that everyone in Canada has become ‘conservative’ is both delusional and arrogant…and Rae’s correct in that.

          The week long mourning for Layton alone should have told you that.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • FLASH…I don’t give an airborne intercourse what your opinion is.

            I don’t like Harper’s policies…he’s backwards when we need to go forward

            And as a Canadian I have a perfect right to dislike any politician or policy I wish….so you’ll just have to get over yourself.

          • You are right. You are entitled to approve or disapprove of any politician you like. However, that same right applies to me as well. You seem to have a big problem with that.

          • Nope, you just seem to get really steamed when someone disagrees with you

          • No I only get steamed when somebody like you is ignorant and begins insulting and calling me names. You  know there are people who don’t agree with you. Simply put forward your counter argument. However, it seems to be your style to call people names or insult their intelligence. You need to grow up.

          • LOL I realize Cons are in turmoil, and all upset…but I’m bored with  these site games.

            You can apparently call me anything, or say anything to me….when you get it back you come all over hurt feelings and start whining.

            Next up is worrying about the time I spend on here…after that I’m sure you’ll be concerned about my health as a ‘shut-in’.

            Look….just stick to discussing the topics, and stop getting personal…it’ll save you a lot of time and effort.

          • Good. Take your own advice and all will be good.

          • Oh DO stop whining. LOL

    • Funny thing..some parties believe in independent thought, not talking points. Difficult for someone such as you to understand, I’m sure, but it does happen.

      • Who do you think you are kidding? There isn’t an independent thought that comes out of the mouth of any politician (all parties). If they try to freelance they are shut down pretty quickly.

        • Kindly don’t project your (party’s) failings on to others.

  10. Harper government eroding democracy:  says Amnesty International
    Amnesty International’s new leader, 49-year-old Salil Shetty, told delegates attending the Aug. 23 CIVICUS World Assembly meeting held in Montreal on citizen participation in society:  “Amnesty International is more and more concerned about the serious worsening of the human rights approach of this government.”
    “There is a real shrinking of democratic spaces in this country … Many organizations have lost their funding for raising inconvenient questions.” (A reference to the case of several Canadian NGOs which discovered their long-standing funding arrangements with the federal authorities terminated by the Harper government, including one NGO falsely accused by cabinet minister Jason Kenney of being anti-Semitic.)

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