About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

L2: Leftists United

The Guelph Mercury had an article Thursday about Frank Valeriote's recently articulated desire to unite the left, a la the Conservatives and uniting the right, at least in intention if not literally. He first made remarks about a union at the University of Guelph debate on Sept. 4th. "The right did it," he said. "I'm not sure why we can't do it. If we don't, we face a long time of a right government."

"If we don't somehow reach out to one another, we may indeed find ourselves on the outside looking in," Valeriote told the Mercury Wednesday. "I don't think any of us want to live with another three or four years of right, right-wing government. I'm not proposing a merger, but, if I'm blessed with getting elected, you can be darn sure I'll be reaching out to everyone in Parliament to find out what we have in common."

Amongst the other left-wing candidates, there was some disagreement on that point.

Tom King:
"I don't know what Frank is talking about, I consider (the Liberals) to be in the same bed as Stephen Harper. It's his way of opening the conversation to there are only two parties, the Liberals and the Tories, and everyone has to be hunkered down with the Liberals to keep the Tories out. [...] I'd be more than happy to take Frank's ideas to Ottawa," King said. "But I don't see the Liberals having the backbone for heavy lifting."

Mike Nagy:
"I'll work with every party once I'm in the House, but I need to be in the House. Greens draw from the whole spectrum."

It would be an interesting idea to see the left work as some kind of coalition should we come face-to-face with another minority government situation, but as the article points out, there's a lot of partisan rivalry between the Liberals and the NDP, and the NDP and the Greens. Even before Layton (initially) refused participation in the debates should Elizabeth May be there, the Green Party leader had a certain amount of bitterness towards Layton.

Back in the spring, May told me about Layton that "The strategy is ‘the enemy of my enemy,’” she said, "that when the Liberal Party is crushed and eliminated, than the NDP can replace them as the natural alternative to the Conservatives. It’s politically inspired and it doesn’t make sense ideologically"

Then again, there was a lot of bad blood between the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives... still is actually. Still, in the face of a potential Harper majority, is it an offer that the left can refuse?

1 comment:

Kenneth said...

Proof that the strategy of "divide et imperat" is working for the Corporate Right. People are struggling to make ends meet in a society that has been skillfully divided by arbitrary multiple loyalties and the prevailing universal double standard that promotes one set of rules for "business" and another for everyone else.

In the end, it is far better to be effective than to be "right". Uniting all progressive minded parties (ie. the "left") is all about being effective. Mr. Valeriote is spot on right here.