This romance is not getting off the ground. Are we too shy to make the first move? And you do not have to do it for love. Nor is anybody pregnant. The simple facts are that the Conservatives consolidated with the right and finally won a majority government. We let that happen because there was no corresponding consolidation on the left. If the Liberals and NDP do not join forces, we will both be wandering over the scorched earth of a Canada in the punitive hands of the malcontents of the far right.
Canadians do not want nor do they deserve what Stephen Harper and his sycophants are doing to this country. And neither proportional representation nor preferential voting are going to save the day as long as Stephen Harper’s people can win the country with just 40 per cent of the popular vote. He can count, you know!
What we do know about this marriage is that some of our old swains are going to dessert us. The NDP is going lose some of the direct union support. The Liberals are going to be damaged by the mass desertion of the party’s right wing. That is fine. Unions were useful but they had been steadily drifting over to the Liberals anyway. The right wing of the Liberal Party is no loss as those people did us more harm than good.
If Dalton McGuinty was not one of those hidebound conservatives in liberal clothing, we could have a trial marriage here in Ontario. The Ontario Liberal Party desperately needs the humanizing influence that Andrea Horwath’s party could bring to the Liberal caucus. And we would certainly wish Dalton McGuinty well, over there in Tiny Tim Hudak’s caucus. Those two deserve each other.
The critical test for the marriage of the federal wings of the parties is Thomas Mulcair. He needs to be willing to undergo another leadership contest. The best guess is that his ego would tell him to go for it. And he could win.
It also solves the problem for the Liberal leadership. Bob Rae is not the darling of the Liberal left wing. He never has been. Too many of the Liberal left were turned off by his failed leadership in Ontario in the 1990s. Besides, the leadership of a combined new Liberal Democratic Party opens all kinds of interesting possibilities.
The Liberal caucus in Ottawa has some excellent younger contenders who can wait the one or two terms in Parliament if Mulcair is leading their party. There is another possibility in Nathan Cullen. As it stands today, Mike Crawley, president of the Liberal Party of Canada, should be talking to his counterpart in the federal NDP. The wedding bells are ringing.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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