Breaking up the logjam of Canadian politics

July 29, 2009

Jeffrey Simpson’s column in today’s Globe speaks of the four blocks in Canadian federal politics, and how they consign Canadians to minority governments for the forseeable future.  The Conservatives hold the west and rural Ontario.  The Liberals hold urban centres in Ontario, English-speaking Quebec, and the maritimes.  The NDP pulls 15%.  The Bloc controls Quebec.  Simpson does not mention the Green Party in his analysis.

When speaking to veteran political observer and Leeds and Grenville Liberal nomination candidate Marjory Loveys this week I formed the impression that she is well aware of this logjam, but an interesting impression emerged from the discussion:

The philosophical differences between the NDP and the Liberals are certainly no wider than those of the Reform party and the Progressive Conservatives.  When’s the last time the NDP tried to nationalize a bank?  Oh wait:  the Republicans did that.  And Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada has practically nationalized the auto industry.  Uh… so what’s keeping the Liberals and the NDP from forming a coalition of the left to balance the CPC?  And the Green Party doesn’t fit anywhere on the political spectrum.  It’s a trend, a fashionable place to park a protest vote.  If the Liberal/NDP get a platform together and involve the Green trendites, a majority may well be within reach.

Don’t count the Left wing out just yet.


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