All elements within the progressive movement, whether Liberals, New Democrats or Greens, are unified in opposition to the policies of the Conservative Party, yet they spend much of their time attempting to defeat the other two.
It is very common when one speaks of co-operation, coalitions or unification to hear, “But they–” followed by an attack on a policy or past action of that party. As long as the left defines itself by what it stands against, it will continue to divide into smaller and smaller groups, each more bitter and disorganized than the last.
Liberals, New Democrats and Greens are members of these unique parties because we do have differences in policy and leadership, though we nearly all agree that our environment is in trouble and major changes are needed immediately, tax cuts for the rich should be ended, corporations have far too much power, and that the government should act in the interests of all Canadians–not just those that voted for it. We also know that we will never get a fair, honest and accountable government if we continue to fight amongst ourselves.
Competition between three center/left parties is what empowers the Conservative government, when we are the majority. Any agreement to not run candidates in particular ridings creates resentment among voters and party members. No arbitrary system of cooperation seams fair to all.
How can we retain or unique platforms and values, and still cooperate–and compete–in a way that is fair to all Canadians?
The solution is to hold a combined nomination meeting (or virtual meeting) in each riding where the winning candidates from two political parties that receive the most votes stand in the general election, while the party in last place sits out that election. This can be accomplished by EDAs in cooperation, or by the party Leaders agreeing not to sign the nomination papers of any candidate that received the least number of votes at their nomination meeting when compared to the other party or parties in agreement. This would allow the best candidates and organizations to run, and only eliminate candidates that have no chance to win. All parties would be fairly represented with even the Greens winning some of these nominations.
If federal funding is maintained, while there would be less candidates running for each party, each candidate running would get more votes. The reduction of “strategic voting” would encourage more progressive voters to join, donate and volunteer for each party. The result would be even more votes, and therefor funding, for each party.
Liberals, the NDP and The Green Party would be guaranteed more seats, and voters would be guaranteed a better, more representative government.
Consider this and the alternative–a possible majority Conservative government. Those that still disagree with all forms of co-operation, coalition or unification, owe every Canadian, including those yet to be born, an explanation as to why they believe a neo-conservative government is preferable
Copyright 2008 Daniel Mick