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My reaction to supposed merger talks? Bemusement.

I suppose I need to react to this story, since it’s all over the various aggregators/news places/Twitter/Facebook etc.

As I said, I was and still am a bit amused or in bemusement at it (not ticked like some folks, but Jeff lays out good reasons why); not because of the actual proposal or if it has merit or not, but perhaps at the timing of it. Quite honestly, when I saw the CBC news report on the web, I had to check the date of it to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. Anyhow, my musings on this are that one would think if you’re holding merger talks with the NDP, secrecy at this point is your best weapon. The publicity of this and the timing seems, as I said, rather odd to me.

As for the benefits vs disadvantages of this, its rather hypothetical without seeing specifics; so all I’ll say is I agree with one of my NDP colleagues/bloggers who thinks even if these talks were serious (he’s like me; the report floored him and came totally out of left field, and he has good NDP party connections) there is simply little to no time to draw up a merger agreement on policy, election of a new leader, and getting the 2 party memberships together at dual conventions to vote it up or down, when you’re in a minority parliament situation, and an election could happen at any time.

I will stick to my position of running hard to win, but dealing with the cards that the electorate gives you following an election, and not discounting any options.

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14 comments to My reaction to supposed merger talks? Bemusement.

  • TofKW

    foottothefire wrote…

    “…wait ’til the election wipes Liberals off the map (bets? Anyone? …Harper is wiping his ass with you.”

    Right! Hovering around 30% in the polls right now, a full 8 point below where he was in 2008. Please tell me again why the Grits aren’t trembling by being 4 points back?

    I’d love to see an election right now, if only to smash that false bravado of Harperbots such as yourself.

    And with the G8/G20 boondoggle affecting his own base. Don’t laugh when I say Harper’s planting the seeds for Reform Party v2.0.

  • kjmartin

    This whole merger talk to me screams of the desperation of both parties on the left wanting to get back to ruling power. The really amusing thing was when i heard on the radio that those who were polled would trust Jack Layton more than Iggy. That is very sad indeed and should be a wakeup call for the LPC that they need to rethink who the leader should be. Obviously Iggy is not warming up to Canadians so its time for a real leadership convention to get some one in who is up to the job.

  • foottothefire

    If anyone thinks the BBQ fund raiser will not fly well in the face of merger talks, wait ’til the election wipes Liberals off the map (bets? Anyone?).
    A GROWING number of Canadians now have an expectation movement FORWARD on this matter IS TAKING PLACE. All the smug, “veterans”, dishing it off to a leadership phenomena better have a hard look back at the growing split of the left for the last several decades. That same smug veteran corp had also better get a grip/education in modern day N America politicking because right now…Harper is wiping his ass with you.

  • TofKW

    I agree with your central premise Michael; and after his rather blunt comments from the weekend, this can only be taken as a direct shot at Ignatieff’s leadership. This is not what the Liberals should be discussing right now, and if they are then this should be done in private.

    However I disagree with your suggestion that a Lib+NDP merger would mean some sort of a socialist takeover of the LPC. They would definitely have to veer more to the left and adopt some NDP policy, but the Libs would be the dominant party in terms of both numbers and donations. And I will use your example of the Alliance+PC merger as a guide.

    The Alliance delegation had larger numbers than the PCs, and they had more money than the PCs. There is a reason I (along with Joe Clark, Orchard, Brison, Harron, Bachand, Easton, et al) called this a take-over and not a merger.

    Likewise the NDP should be the ones greatly concerned with these ‘talks’ (if they are indeed serious), more so than the Liberals.

  • Michael Harkov

    Even if I’m wrong and this merger doesn’t take place, there are enough interested people within the Liberal party that are talking about it, which is a VERY troublesome prospect for you guys. The fact that they are taking place regardless of what Ignatieff thinks or says is even more so.

    This is a hell of a narrative to be taking into the summer break with you as you make your way on the BBQ circut during a fundraising season. You think you had fundraising woes before? How many are going to want to donate money to your party coffers now knowing that Layton and the NDP, no matter how remote the possibility, could get their grubby little hands on it?

    Ignatieff is done. Even the most fervent supporter has to be seeing reality by now.

  • Gayle

    The funniest part of all this is how the CPC supporters, like Michael here, are trying to play this as an NDP take over of the LPC.

    Don’t get me wrong, as someone who sits pretty much half way between the NDP and the LPC I would welcome a merge that would see the LPC move to the left away from the centre, but I am not a fool. Why on earth would a party that has governed this country for the best part of our history adopt the philosophy of a party that has never even achieved official opposition status?

    The LPC would be the dominant party in any merger, and while I am certain the LPC will adopt some of the philosophy of the NDP, I cannot see any merger resulting in straying from the centre. That would be suicide.

    But the Michael’s of the world have to spin this as a socialist take over of the LPC before the truth comes out.

    • Michael Harkov

      “But the Michael’s of the world have to spin this as a socialist take over of the LPC before the truth comes out.”

      Probably about as much as when we were all hearing about the Reform (even though they changed their name to the Canadian Alliance) take over of the Progressive Conservatives before that happened as well.

      Some Liberals aren’t keeping their head in the sand, Gayle. You’re “not a fool?” Uh, yeah….you ARE.

  • Michael Harkov

    Scott, check out this link. It leads to a domain name that is registered by, hmmm well, guess which party –

    http://www.whois.net/whois/liberaldemocrats.ca

    Ta-da! The Liberal Party. The Liberal Democrats will likely be the name of this new golem. Now check out the approval date – 2008/12/01. NOW……tell me that this doesn’t have Bob Rae’s and Ujjal Dosanjh’s name all over it. And the lovely irony? The paragraph on the right hand says – “Liberals are coming together to build our platform in meetings across Canada this month. We need your ideas, your voice, your energy. Join us.”

    Heh.

    Scott, this NDP Trojan Horse has obviously been active within your party since AT LEAST 2008. The trouble I’m having is wether this is the proverbial Liberal Troy that gets burned by NDP Greeks from within or the Liberal Rome that burns while you guys are fiddling and “bemused”.

    • @Michael Harkov, I’m not entirely too worried about what conservative supporters think of this. If they’re mocking it, that means they probably fear it in private.

    • ck

      ““Liberals are coming together to build our platform in meetings across Canada this month. We need your ideas, your voice, your energy. Join us.”

      Where on that site does it say that? I even went to cira.ca to try to do some digging. The domain is owned by a netfirms inc.; a website hosting company.

      The site: http://www.liberaldemocrats.ca is nothing but telling the subscriber to that hosting company that they can build their site with links to their login for c-panel and such. But no Liberal or NDP or any merger slogans of any kinds.

  • The difference between amusement and bemusement: amusement appeals to one’s sense of humour; bemusement does the same, but with a strong element of confusion, i.e. not quite getting the joke.

    Honestly I think this storyline is just the parliamentary “silly season” coming early. What we’ve probably got are some low-level activists asking their equivalents in the NDP what a united Left in Canada should look like, an MSM reporting getting wind of it, everyone in a bar drinking heavily, and off they go.

  • [...] Scott’s DiaTribes: ” . . . even if these talks were serious, there is simply little to no time to draw up a merger agreement on policy, election of a new leader, and getting the 2 party memberships together at dual conventions to vote it up or down, when you’re in a minority parliament situation, and an election could happen at any time.” [...]

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