Unite the left

Today across Canada people protested the Liberal’s decision to give up on electoral reform. It’s nice to protest and to push back. It’s great to organize and show that this issue won’t be forgotten. But it doesn’t  matter.

Justin Trudeau is not committed to electoral reform. If he can’t get STV he’s not going to do it. Period. For months they’ve been pressuring the Liberals and it has resulted in nothing. As far as I can tell it’s over. The Liberals have made their choice and they have no reason to change their mind — having both the Conservatives and NDP calling your party leader a liar with no ethics on national TV panels notwithstanding.

So the left has a few options. They can wallow, they can bargain and act like this decision is going to change, or they can accept it and play the game.

The game sucks. The game should change but the people who make the rules don’t want it to. The only way to change the rules is to win the game. The left needs to become a viable government in waiting and contender in the next election if it wants to do that.

It’s time for the NDP to get it together and start looking like they did before Mulcair dropped the ball. Elizabeth May brings a lot to the table but as long as we have a FPTP system there is no room for the Green Party in Canada. They will never win seats outside Vancouver Island and split the left-wing vote. I’d love for them to claim the spot they deserve and that May has worked so hard for but that’s not going to happen.

Instead it’s time for the NDP and Green Party to start talking about a merger. There are only small differences between their platforms. They basically stand for the same things. Both favour social justice, government programs, indigenous rights and environmental protections. Both want PR.

A merger has brought electoral success for the right in Canada. It’s time for the left to do the same. Don’t give up on electoral reform but accept that as long as the Liberals and Conservatives are in power you are not getting it. Divided the left falls, together the left would have a real chance.

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