Monday, April 25, 2011

A party of two

I am starting to think that Michael Ignatieff smuggled the two party system into Canada upon his return from the US.

Our parliamentary system was founded on two parties - the Whigs and the Tories. Over time, no doubt due to voter disenchantment with those two parties and coupled with our regional differences, we evolved to a collection of federal parties. Since then we have been governed, with few exceptions, by a party that failed to accumulate +50% of the national vote. A two party system solves that problem.

The Conservatives over the decades fractured itself primarily as a result of the West feeling disenfranchised from the Eastern wing of the PCs. Over the last decade these factions have seen the wisdom of amalgamating into today's Conservative party, which has held minority government status for several years, which has in turn forced several unwanted federal elections. Thus Harper's mantra asking for majority status.

The same is true in our province. Until the Liberals and Conservatives joined forces to become the Sask Party, the NDP ruled - and generally without garnering 50% of the vote. Realistically we are now to the point of voting one of two ways in Saskatchewan as the fringe candidates do not take enough vote to make much of a difference in the outcome.

The Liberals lost the West decades back due to resource issues. Remember the old bumper sticker "let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark"? The Liberals have never recovered in the Western provinces. They relied on Quebec to keep them in power. Since the formation of the Bloc they have struggled to maintain government status via the Quebec vote. The NDP formed in the West and have made gains in the East but not enough to form government.

When this election started I truly thought the Liberals would drain the NDP vote rather than the other way around. When this election is over these two parties are going to have to seriously look at a merge if they hope to block the Conservatives from holding a minority or majority governments in the years to come. A governing coalition of the Liberals and NDP after the election will simply take us back to the polls in a short time.

The Bloc has done a good job of convincing me that Quebec is separate and part from the rest of the country. But for the rest of us, I personally would like to see a two party that actually has the support of the majority of Canadians to govern.

So what will the new party be called?


  1. Well said Madam Mistress, one would be hard pressed to put a slip of paper between Libs and NDP (I would say cigarette paper, but I'm sure that's not politically correct). If there was a joining of the two of them the fence sitting Liberals would have to make a choice and we could move toward the governing party having something closer to 51%. Seperate Quebec, don't ask them just set them free, that would eliminate their whining for a few years until they were completely broke and wanted back into Canada.

  2. What would it be called? What an interesting question;
    NLP New Liberal Party
    LDP Liberal Democratic Party
    KFC Party: only left wings and ***holes

  3. hahaha well put anon 9:32

    Liberals simply need to drift back towards the right. What is surprising is that the Conservatives have not been more centrist leaning recently, given the tremendous leniency given to them by Liberals and NDP (who again would steal the hard right vote if the Cons went more centrist?).

    Liberals just need a real leader and new leadership in the party and they will be fine (and relegate the NDP to fringe party status once again). It says a lot that they had to import Iggy back to Canada to run the party (without being elected by party) with promises of being the PM. Dion was a failure, Martin was a failure (at PM, not FM), and they simply can't find anyone to lead them right now.

  4. So what will the new party be called?
    National Socialist Party of Canada

  5. Well, the NDP also often fades near election day . . . but that's usually because of plausible Liberal claims that to stop the Cons you have to vote Lib, NDP have no chance etc., leading to some combination of tactical voting and staying at home among NDP partisans.

  6. LOL at the above comments - KFC parte! haha! how about: CRAPPP - Citizens Revolting Against Poor Public Policies!


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