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Go to the Dance

March 3, 2011

I’ve got an analogy for the Conservtive party’s stance over the possibility of a coalition. They’re just clever bullies, and they should be treated appropriately.

Think back to high school. Lets say there’s this bully who likes the same girl (or guy) as you. They don’t want you to go to the dance because you’ll distract their love interest. But this bully’s not a dummy, he doesn’t threaten to beat you up. Instead he taunts you about dancing.

Bully : “Oh you’re a dancer, why would you want to got to a stupid dance, only losers go to the dance, no one’s gonna dance with you anyways.”

So what do you do? What would you tell your kids to do? The right answer, is to stand up to them, in this case, ignore and go anyways.

The CPC approach to a coalition of the NDP and Liberal party is sort of like that. They don’t want a coalition to happen and be taken seriously by the public because it would be the end of their tenuous minority reign.  They know it’s a legal possibility and the fact the UK is functioning perfectly well with a coalition that was formed after a hard fought election makes it plain on the face of it that there is no problem with a coalition in our parliamentary system.  In fact, citizens of every other parliamentary democracy laugh when they hear Canadians fretting about whether a coalition is legal or illegitimate. “Don’t they even understand their own system?”, they say.

The only thing the Conservatives can do is make you feel stupid for even imagining such an action and raise fear of collusion with ‘separatists and socialists’.  The former is not true since the Bloc would never be part of an official coalition unless they renounced separatism and the cause of separatism is weaker in Quebec than its ever been right now.  Needing their support (if it is needed) to maintain a government would be no different than the current Conservative government’s need to maintain support on issues of confidence from the Bloc, NDP or Liberals. They have been doing this for five years without forming any kind of coalition.  The use of ‘socialists’ as a smear is offensive to any Canadians who actually believe the state has an important part to play in our society. This counts most Canadians since universal healthcare and everything it implies is consistently the number one thing Canadians list with pride as defining Canadian identity.

So my advice to Jack and Iggy is to go to the dance.

Stand up to these bully’s and refute their silly accusations.  Run against each other but with respect so that if the electorate deems both your parties worthy (something you really need to work on convincing us of), you can choose to work together to make parliament work. If you tear each other down the whole time that will be harder.

But if you rule out working together right off the bat then you’re just falling into the bully’s trap and you’ll never get the girl (or guy).

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2011 10:56 am

    Someone I know suggested an even bigger step: in certain critical ridings, the NDP & Libs work together & pull one of their candidates out so as not to split the vote. What say you? The cpc would howl but what would the electorate do?

    • March 4, 2011 4:15 pm

      This option has been discussed before too and always generates a lot of heat (see https://popthestack.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/you-thought-i-was-crazy-another-strategic-proposal-for-ndp-libs/ for an example).

      I don’t know what the answer is, strategically it seems to make sense to reduce the splitting but I think to partisans of both parties this is a really tough thing to do. And to make it something other than the Liberals tricking other parties into backing off is difficult. The NDP seem to have more to lose here. Its also suggested sometimes for the Greens but then they’d be sacrificing being serious by running in every riding for an uncertain gain of a few seats.

      We don’t all seem mature enough to handle that unfortunately.

  2. March 4, 2011 4:41 am

    Liberals and NDP working together for the greater good? Yeah, that’ll definitely happen.

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