17 April 2012

An alternative to A Grit-Dipper merger #nlpoli #cdnpoli

Okay so this is about the federal parties, but Rob Silver has a provocative idea.

But why not start a discussion between Liberals, New Democrats, Red Tories, and young people who have never been a member of a political party in their lives about a new vehicle – a new party. Consider it a blank slate. If we were starting from scratch, what would we fight for? How would we organize ourselves? So while there would still by definition be trade-offs (unless you start a new party by yourself, it's impossible for there not to be in politics), hopefully by starting something new, instead of squishing together two organizations with existing rules and structures, you could avoid the easy-to-imagine analysis of “who's taking over who,” “who won and who lost” that permeates so much Ottawa groupthink. Instead you'd create a new party for the next century. Naive potentially, I know.

The worst-case scenario? There's nothing there, both parties go on their merry way with new leaders and life goes on. Either there's something there to discuss, or not. Something that can be agreed to, or not. Something that a big enough group of caucus and membership of the parties are willing to leave their existing party in favour of, or not.