The Urge to Merge




Well what a difference a summer makes, eh?

Who could have guessed a few months ago, that just like that, both opposition parties would have interim leaders? What does it mean? Does anyone care? And should these parties seize on this historic moment and merge, creating one centre-left party?

Now this is a very emotional debate, if you’re a political activist. And don't get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with political activists, they’re important people to all parties. These are the people who work the phones; they put the signs on the lawn. These are the people who have dedicated their lives to creating a political climate in this country that most Canadians feel is vile and disgusting. They do good work. So for argument’s sake let's just remove them from the equation. Which is actually very easy.

Less than two percent of Canadians belong to a political party and very few of them actually work on the campaigns. When it comes to this merger business the average voter is far more practical. If someone voted Liberal or NDP in the last few elections they don't care about some bad blood left over from some hard fought battle in upper, inner, outer, lower. No, they're just mad that the Tory keeps getting elected.

So my advice to both parties: unless you love the aroma of opposition, shotgun wedding time. Pull the trigger. Take Jean Chr├ętien and Ed Broadbent, put them in a room with a pen and paper, a six pack of beer, put the Barry Manilow on the turntable, lock the door and let the magic happen. And don’t let them out until they’ve got an agreement. Don’t worry, they’re both old, they'll want to be in bed by ten.

Do that and this entire thing could be settled by this time tomorrow. The activists will say, “What just happened?” The voters will say, “What took you so long?”

Posted: 14/09/2011 6:58:17 AM | with 0 comments



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