Former new democratic leader Ed Broadbent was talking on the CBC recently about the current liberal-new democratic supply and confidence agreement in Ottawa. He thinks this agreement should have been shorter. Not to just be contrary, I think it should have been for much longer. It comes down to the assertion that a long-term relationship is much more satisfying than just a night of passion.
In fact, I have always been a strong believer in a permanent relationship between the two parties. The NDP has gone through its socialist phase as the CCF and more recently its labour-related phase has brought it to maturity. It is ready to take the responsibilities of an adult in society. It might even be available to procreate.
And we have seen what the new democrats can achieve as a provincial government. It bombed in Ontario in the 1990s. It almost saved Alberta from itself. It is ready for better times in British Columbia. It has launched itself in Manitoba. All it needs is to combine its passion for progress with experienced progressives.
The progressives available for liaison in Canada are in the liberal party. And I give you fair warning, not all liberals today are progressives. Yet, if you combine the new democratic and liberal progressives, the combination can dominate Canadian politics for years to come. Think of it. Don’t just salivate at the thought. Look to the nights of bliss. Think of how much better Canadians can fulfill their destiny.
But always bear in mind that like good sex, a coalition works when there is mutual respect. This has always been the formula for good relations. It is not something short term. Dominance builds despair. Philandering causes straying on both sides. Combining experience and knowledge builds strength and security.
What needs to happen is for the federal new democrats and liberals to launch planning groups who can study how to enter the arrangement. This is not a shotgun marriage. It is adult to adult. It has the seeds of discontent for some of us. Nobody believes that everyone will be on-side to the arrangement.
But it can and should be done. Canadians need to look around. Do they want the discontent and divorces of the Americans, the fustiness of the Brits, the unguarded passions of the French, the coarseness of the Russians. We have something very good going for us in Canada. We can show the rest of the world how it is done.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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