Wednesday, December 15, 2010

United we stand

Chantal Hebert has an interesting take on the grit/dipper fortunes. She suggests that an outright coalition would be good for these two parties ( particularly in Quebec). She also says that the grits do not often win against a united Tory party. A fact that should be remembered.

As possible harbingers of the federal campaign to come, the recent developments in Winnipeg and Quebec are ominous. They certainly live up to the fears that prompted Jean Chr├ętien, Roy Romanow and Ed Broadbent to quietly promote a different arrangement between their two parties last spring.

At the time they worried that Layton and Ignatieff were headed for a mutually destructive election showdown that could benefit only the Conservatives.

A decade ago a similar war of attrition between the Tories and the Reform/Alliance allowed Chr├ętien to secure three consecutive majority mandates.

Like the then-Tories, many Liberals believe their party will be restored to its former glory just as soon as it gets its hands on the right leader. They conveniently forget that for the past three decades the Liberal track record against a united Conservative party has been almost exclusively made up of defeats.

Like the then-Reformers, some New Democrats continue to believe they will eventually overtake the Liberals or, short of that, at least gain enough ground to have a strong hand in any future negotiation with a minority Liberal regime.

They are all more likely to end up sitting side by side across from a majority Conservative government.

Moreover, no party leader is eternal and there is no telling whether Layton’s successor will be able to keep the Quebec torch alight. Two decades ago, Broadbent worked equally tirelessly to ignite a modest NDP flame in Quebec only to see it doused in the election that followed his retirement.

Meanwhile, the fact that the Liberals have joined the NDP on its habitual treadmill to nowhere is the antithesis of a moral victory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The NDP has tended to have good leaders overall, but they are often goofy too. Mind you they are not under intense scrutiny and maybe their real flaws go unnoticed. It is NDP policies that hold them down, but they are socialists and they will not change. The Liberals are still not ready to accept the reality of the times and thus they will continue to flounder. A coalition could happen but it would be unstable as the Liberals would take the NDP for granted and the NDP are desparate to drive social agendas their way and Liberals would resist much of their demands. Conservatives need to seize the moment... over the past two or so years, the timing has not been good for an election but now it is firming up nicely! I called it right! (real conservative)

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