Tuesday, January 6, 2015

An Appeal For A United Front

I have often extolled the quality of letters written by Toronto Star readers. Today, a particularly cogent missive from Eric Balkind, who lives in Guelph, Ontario, argues that the only sure way of defeating Harper in this year's election is for the other parties to unite.

Unfortunately, his appeal is likely to fall on deaf political ears, given the fact that our 'leaders' place a much higher priority on enhancing their own power than they do on the collective well-being of Canadians:
As we begin a new year, I suspect that many Canadians can hardly wait for the next federal election to be called. I am also convinced that most folk want to see a change in Ottawa; under the current regime we have watched as this great country has been downgraded as the result of PM Stephen Harper’s narrow, single-minded approach to governance.

Massive omnibus bills that conveniently hide unjust and narrow policies are routinely presented and passed in the Commons, scientists are muzzled, veterans are treated as irksome problems, and First Nations people continue to live in Third World conditions and the matter of the 1,000-plus missing and murdered aboriginal women is “stuffed under the political carpet.”

Provincial premiers receive little attention and essentially, the country is run by just one man. Moreover, the list of affronts to a true democracy grows longer almost by the day.
We can change this lamentable state of affairs but our opposition parties must wake up to reality because there is every chance that a Conservative government will be returned, once again, to an entirely undeserved new term in office.

Time for the opposition parties — Liberal, New Democrat and Greens to put differences aside and amalgamate. Time for their leaders to put aside personal egos and begin to work for what is best for Canada. Time for them to hammer out a common, left-of-centre platform and form a new party called perhaps, the Liberal Democrats.

As long as each and every riding in the country is contested by one just conservative candidate and at least three or more more liberally minded hopefuls, the conservatives will continue to gain the advantage of the split vote. If these three groups have the resolve and the drive they can rid us of the Harper scourge and begin to remake our country into a fairer and more egalitarian place in which to live.

I suspect that Mr. Harper’s biggest fear is that such a move might happen because, if it did, he would certainly be swept from power. His greatest hope is surely that the opposition will remain divided and allow him another majority although he commands the allegiance of far fewer than 50 per cent of the population.

Now is the time for Liberals, New Democrats and Greens to think, first and foremost, of the country rather than of their own, narrow political perspectives; the future of one of the most decent countries on the planet is very much at stake!

Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May, please, for all of our sakes, get your acts together. If you don’t make the effort I shudder to think what our Canada will look like five years from now.


  1. It is important to keep these thoughts in mind as we approach the turning point in Canadian political thought and theory with the 2015 election before us. Unaligned pundits see the necessity of a united front in eliminating the 'Harper Government' fiasco we have endured for the past nine or so years and this is positive news.

    Though I continue to encourage thoughtful and critical debate within the LPC on this subject, this individuals comments may be, on the surface with respect to the progressive parties, a truism at the Leadership levels - many grassroots party members will continue, within the ranks to examine contingencies that focus on the so-called 'coalition' option. I have suggested that both Nathan Cullen and Joyce Murray have open and frank discussions on this matter with the sanction of the respective party leaderships - those that are wise within the party power infrastructures may be heeding this advice - however, the grassroots party membership may not know whether this endeavour is currently being actioned or not. Finally, I would include the Green Party in any formal discussions on any proposal being considered - I have made political contributions to them in the past and will continue to do so as they support many of the central beliefs many of us hold dear.

    1. Thanks for your insights here, Rural Roots. It is good to know that this idea is being entertained and encouraged; while I realize that not everyone agrees a coalition is either viable or desirable, the emphasis has to be on what is best for the entire country, given the many depredations the Harper regime has wrought. Given our current electoral systems, either a merging of parties or at the very least strategic decisions as to which party has the best chance in given ridings, are approaches that desperately demand serious consideration.

    2. Aside from choosing to work within the existent system with direct input into policy decision-making (LPC), I also share memberships in several other NGO interest groups which espouse the goals you have expressed in your reply as they are fundamental in ensuring that pursuit of 'what is best for the entire country' is paramount. Our current electoral system must be improved and enhanced through consultation with all in a truly democratic and principled way - I will be working on developing party policy that reflects this goal as I'm sure you and others will as well - I admire your efforts in this regard and wish you continued success in getting the message out there.

  2. Back in '06 I started saying this and was castigated by all and sundry to such a vitriolic extent that I essentially surrendered to the inevitable. At that point I made a prediction: the LPC and NDP would eventually amalgamate/work together sometime soon after Harper's second majority - and by the time that second majority had finished there would be nothing left of Canada worth saving.

    I've seen and now see no reason to alter that prediction.

    1. I fear the accuracy of your prediction, Dana.