Thursday, June 03, 2010
Sadly, a Liberal/NDP merger isn’t likely.
According to Liberal strategist Rob Silver, the same Angus Reid poll that has Layton becoming PM in an imaginary Liberal/NDP government (huh?), also found just 54% of Liberals support merging with the NDP. The New Democrats are even less enthusiastic at 40%.
This lukewarm support and the tight timeline to implement a merger before the next election, make the idea political suicide.
To understand why, read Jamey Heath’s book Dead Centre — Hope, Possibility and Unity for Canadian Progressives. Heath, former research and communications director for the NDP caucus, expressing a popular view within the party, not only doesn’t want to merge with the Liberals, he wants to kill them off and create a new “progressive” party to take on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.
This illustrates why you can’t just add existing Liberal and NDP support and automatically assume a merged party would defeat the Conservatives.
Not all NDP supporters, or Liberals, would vote for the merged party, just as not all Progressive Conservatives supported Harper after the Canadian Alliance merged with the PCs.