Saturday, April 14, 2007

NDP, Libs, Greens should try to avoid vote-splitting

First, I will say that I do still have reservations about one aspect of this: Elizabeth May running in Central Nova against McKay. It will be very difficult for her to win. Not impossible, but very difficult.

That said, May is right that the opposition parties should try to work together to prevent the re-election of the Harper government. This should not be about partisanship in any sense.

May and Dion reached an agreement, but she tried to reach out to the NDP as well, seeking talks with Tom Axworthy and Stephen Lewis about a three-way agreement.

I have a ton of love and respect for Stephen Lewis. He is, along with David Suzuki, one of the two greatest Canadians alive today, in my opinion. He has opened my eyes about battling disease and poverty in Africa, and even brought me to the point of thinking about going there. The man is a saint. I think May approached the right person. However, I wish he had been more receptive to at least some dialogue.

Also, what is up with Layton not even taking May's phone calls. I would have thought it would be customary for party leaders to take each other's calls.

It would be naive to deny that it is a risky move on the part of both May and Dion. It's hard to predict exactly what the political implications could be, but as Red Tory says:

it’s forced many Liberals and Greens to “think outside the box” as the hackneyed expression goes. Generally speaking that’s usually a good thing in politics, where incurious habits of mind can frequently lead to complacency.

And as Saskboy says:

We are at a cross roads in Canadian politics, and I hope the leaders in the NDP, Jack Layton included, take this chance to move Canada away from the Harper Conservatives, and back to a socially progressive and accountable government. May has an agreement from the Dion Liberals to make meaningful electoral reforms when he goes to power, which is something the NDP have been desiring for many years (PR, not Dion in power). Clearly there is common ground to be found among the Liberals, NDP, and Greens even though the partisans inside of us don’t want to admit our respective parties can’t do everything themselves.

If thinking outside the box leads to a healther, more cooperative political system in the future, maybe even one which uses a PR electoral system, as opposed to the highly partisan one we have now, I'll take it.

There is a lot more I could say on this, but I'll close with a couple of blogs that say it well.

From The Galloping Beaver:

There's a kind of denial at work in the partisan debate about this agreement.

Does partisanship blind people to understanding that what the planet faces is going to require everyone cooperating and collaborating with everyone else? Apparently so.

And last but not least, from Politique Vert:

There Are No Political Parties On A Dead Planet.

UPDATE: I also like Scott's Anybody But Harper proposal.