This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

by Aaron Wherry

Pat Martin says, if no one else takes up the cause, he’ll enter the NDP leadership race as a pro-merger candidate.

“I haven’t spoken to any potential candidates about this. But the one that says it openly that they will explore and promote some form of co-operation with the Liberals will have my enthusiastic support and in the absence of any such candidate I’ll do it myself,” Martin told iPolitics.

The way forward seems clear: a new party jointly led by Pat Martin and Denis Coderre.




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This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

  1. Awesome. Libs are going to be screwing pooch next few years because there are two ideologue parties now – they take positions and don’t act like weather vanes – and Libs are going to appear even more vacuous than normal. 

    fall is here, hear the yell 
    back to school, ring the bell 
    brand new shoes, walking blues 
    climb the fence, book and pens 
    i can tell that we are gonna be friends …… 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az8UDe6UQGQ

    • Focus Tony….this is about a merger.

  2. The fact that Pat Martin and Denis Coderre are the two main proponents of the idea is the biggest argument against it.

    If they’re fer it then I’m agin it.

    • A lot of people seem to be pushing for it….I’m surprised at the support it has.

      Maybe it’s just a general ‘unite the left’ thing….but it’s certainly being talked about at long last.

    • God yeah. all they need now is David Orchard to endorse it.  They need to keep them away from the microphones.

      • All kidding aside, I wonder what has happened to him? He seems to have completely disappeared in the last year or so. This would be a great opportunity for him to try and take over the Liberals the way he tried to take over the Tories. Perhaps he’s just tired of the perpetual campaigning.

        • I shouldn’t have mentioned him for fear of invoking his return to politics.  What was I thinking?

  3. I support the lefties taking at least one more election cycle to hash through this merger thing.

    Take two, or three!

    • By then the country will be completely wrecked.

  4. Before any more merger talk, shouldn’t the LPC decide what direction it wants to take the party? And how does the LPC propose this merger would ultimately work for them? Last I checked, they got a lot fewer votes and have a lot fewer seats than the NDP.  Is the LPC really happy to be the little brother in this merger?

    How anyone thinks this is a good idea beyond saying “If we unite the left*, we’ll beat Harper” is beyond me. Many seem to assume that you can just add up the NDP votes, add the LPC votes and that’ll be your vote count, without accounting for leakage to the CPC, GPC or perhaps even the BQ.

    *I’m not so ready to call the LPC a leftist party either.  I was hoping they’d come back to the centre, perhaps even centre-right.

    • The Libs have never been a leftist party.

    • The Libs don’t care what direction they take the party, as long as that direction leads to power.

      • Thank you for the Con ad, but there is no election.

    • In politics one plus one can equal one and a half. Parties can’t force their members to follow them, and the residual Liberal vote may not flow to a united “left” party, just as the united CA/PC party didn’t immediately receive all the votes of those who had supported the previous parties.  There are a lot of traditional “blue liberals” who won’t join a leftist party dominated by the NDP.  There are a lot of populist NDP supporters who won’t vote for a united party run by old Liberal insiders. Many of them remember that the Liberals always ran from the left and governed from the right and, quite senibly, don’t trust them.

      • Funny how all this was never a concern when Peter Mackay got into bed with Harper eh?

        • The point is, it was a concern, and why the parties were only able to successfully merge after giving the Liberals three majority governments, and both the CA and PC parties were flirting with insolvency, politically and fiscally. It is impossible to push a merger before party members are ready. I see no sign that the membership of either the NDP or the Liberals are ready, notwithstanding any posturing by politicians.

          • It will always be a concern for some people….but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

            I have no idea if the Libs or NDP are ‘ready’ for it….and neither do you.

            As I said, my preference is for a new party altogether…but there’s no harm in talking merger.

          • Oh there will be lots of talk. Whether that will cause harm is a matter of perspective.

          • @MikeRedmond:disqus 

            Well they have to talk about it at some point, so it might as well be now when both parties are leaderless and looking for a new direction.

  5. Based on past experience, the only way a merger will occur is if both parties recognize the futility of trying to go it alone, and if it can be sold as a true merger, not a take-over of one party by the other. 
    While the Liberals may recognize their problems, I doubt they have put the denial stage of grief sufficiently far behind them to allow contemplation of a merger with the rival that supplanted them.  The NDP have no particular reason right now to want a merger, unless it is entirely on their terms. 
    If, and it is a big if, there is a merger of these two parties, it will come only after at least one, and probably more, election cycles in which both parties become both humble and desperate enough to see the necessity of a merger.  That was the pattern in the reconciliation of the PCs and CA/Reform.  I just don’t see the possibility of it happening any time soon for the NDP and Grits. 
    There may be an attempt to form a middle way fourth party – which would, of course, suit the government fine – the more fractures on the opposition side the better.

    • Or a new party could draw people from all the other parties, and not be a ‘fracture’ at all.

      People are pretty bored with the old ways.

  6. So bizarre how nobody seems to have noticed that (other than Pat Martin) all this merger talk seems  to be being pushed by the Liberals.  A bit unseemly of them, appears a little desperate on their part if you ask me … almost an admission that the Liberal brand is finished and rebuilding the party is not going to work … or at least, they would rather take the short cut and ride on the coattails of the now more popular NDP.

    • Mmmm no, Dippers are pushing for it too.

      Dippers are well aware the last election was a fluke.

      • Really?  Where?  I have not seen it.  Everything I have seen (other than Pat Martin) is Liberal generated.  

        Whether the last election was a fluke or not, Liberals seem to be aware that they have bungled their brand management badly. 

        • Mulcair is open to merger talks….so are others.  The news today is all about merger.

          As to the Libs…ya know, in 144 years of confederation the Libs are bound to be out of power sometimes.

          They were in for 70% of the time since 1867,,,they are the most successful political party on the planet.

          • The news today is all about merger – but it is being pushed by the Liberals not the NDP. 

            As for the Liberals being successful, they were and I was a supporter for many years, but they have severely damaged their brand through mismanagement, much like the PC’s did under Mulroney. To me the talk of merger by the Liberals is merely an attempt to short-circuit the rebuilding process that they would otherwise have to undergo.  

            That being said, I think Paul Wells is right – the only true change would be a structural change – which would mean the Liberals abandoning the power structure (and the people in those positions) who drove them into this mess.  If I were the NDP, I would want to make sure that any merger would come without that considerable baggage and I would wait first to see whether I could go it alone.

          • Sigh…no, it’s not, but I’m guessing you’re Con and keen to push this idea.

          • I agree. There is nothing the Liberals can promise the NDP right now that the NDP doesn’t think it can accomplish on its own.  At the moment the Liberals have no bargaining power. While individual Liberals may join the NDP there is no reason for the NDP to change policy or offer positions of authority to anyone in the Liberal party organization.  That may change in an election or two, if the NDP surge was just an ephemeral matter. But then the question remains – is there, in any case, a reason for the Liberal party to exist?

          • @MikeRedmond:disqus 

            Both Libs and NDP now have interim leaders….it’s the perfect time to talk merger….although I well understand you’d like to prevent that. LOL

          • To Original Emily  Re: your comments below …

            Perfect time to talk merger? Only if you are LIberal and hoping to exploit the gap Layton left … Don’t see what is in it for the NDP …

            As for I’m a Con trying to push this idea? I was just thinking the same thing about you! If I were a Con I would be encouraging the NDP to swallow some Liberal tarnish … 

            Besides, do I have you confused with someone else but didn’t you write somewhere else that Harper is a political genius and wasn’t it you who was chatting here with me mocking the Liberal bus tour this summer? Didn’t think you were a Liberal fan …

          • @Katie_Smith:disqus 

            Everyone is talking about it because both parties are leaderless, and this is a perfect time to do so

            Boy…you DO have me confused with someone else.

            Harper is a backwoods amateur, and I have no use for him.

  7. Good ol’ Pat. I hope the journalist community is grateful for his ability
    to meet their needs. Probably not.

  8. I haven’t checked in here for a long time. Seems like more of the same old, same old. The self-satisfied supporters of virtually unfettered right-wing ascendancy still patting themselves on the back, while the rest try to decide whether to circle the wagons or just circle jerk.

    Harper’s gotta’ love it.

    • But Harper’s a “backwoods amateur”, according to OE1, our resident political scientist, so who cares whether he loves it or loathes it? 

      • We know in what condition he took the country.  We’ll see where he leaves it once he’s done.  Only then we’ll know if he governed us like a backwoods amateur. 

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