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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Liberal Leadership candidate nixes merger with NDP

theacorncentreblog.com received the following response from the Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Party leadership campaign to this question which we e-mailed to her office:
 What is your view of a potential merged initiative of both the NDP and Liberal Party to defeat the Harper government in 2015?
Martha Hall Findlay
October, 2011
(First published in The Mark News, http://www.themarknews.com/articles/6713-
Proponents of a merger between the NDP and the Liberal party rely on a flawed
assumption that, somehow, all the people who voted for one or the other would
simply join forces and vote for a single merged party. On the contrary, a
merged New Democratic-Liberal party could encourage even more people to
vote Conservative next time.
Many Canadians are looking for a political party – indeed, a government – that
does four things: achieves economic prosperity; uses that prosperity to ensure
equality of opportunity and enhance quality of life for all Canadians; holds
progressive social values and encourages social justice; and defines Canada’s
role in the world as tough when necessary, but balanced and focused on
promoting peace and prosperity whenever possible.
This all sounds straightforward (none of these words are new). But if you get
beyond the rhetoric, no political party seems to fit the bill. Not all of it, anyway.
The good news is that this challenge also creates a huge opportunity. If one
political party were able to capture all of these qualities – with deeds, not just
words – it would gain tremendous support. One thing is sure, though: Such a
party will not result from a merger of the New Democrats and the Liberals.
Why is this?
Ask “Smith”, a hypothetical voter who does not represent everyone’s views, but
who does represent the views of a very large number of Canadians, based on
what I have seen and heard over the years. Smith is neither “left” nor “right.” At
the same time, Smith is not a “centrist”, because s/he does not view him/herself
as being in the middle of anything. In 2011, such concepts no longer apply.
Voter Smith is simply looking forward.
Voter Smith runs a small business. S/he understands the benefits of the market,
and of competition. S/he also wants Canada to embrace global opportunities,
not hide away. Smith is not a protectionist: S/he supports free trade and lower
taxes that encourage businesses to succeed in our global environment. Smith
also does not want to be beholden to unions.
A merged New Democratic-Liberal party would reflect the opposite of these
values. And because economic prosperity is the No. 1 issue for most Canadians,
that party would not get Smith’s vote.
There is more. In order to lower taxes, voter Smith wants smaller but more
efficient government. S/he understands that some government activity and
involvement is needed to provide the services and social safety nets that allow
for a minimum quality of life for all Canadians, that health care and education
are fundamental to ensuring equality of opportunity, and that taxes are needed
in order to make all of these things possible.

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