Coalition to oust Tories won't work 0
War without allies is bad enough - with allies it is hell.
- British World War II Air Marshal Sir John Slessor
There's only two problems facing those who want an "electoral coalition" to defeat the Stephen Harper Conservatives in the next election - it's undemocratic and it won't work.
Despite that, social media group Leadnow.ca is promoting efforts for the New Democratic, Liberal and Green parties to "cooperate" to field a single alternative candidate to defeat federal Conservatives in key ridings and end the Harper government.
Internet group Avaaz.org goes farther, even advocating in an e-mail that its supporters consider joining the Conservative Party to oppose Harper policies from the inside, as well as join the other parties to push to "make democracy work."
Both groups support NDP leadership candidate Nathan Cullen's idea that the NDP hold joint nominating meetings with the Liberals and Greens in Conservative-held ridings for the 2015 election. [Note: I respect Cullen, but endorsed Peggy Nash for leader.]
Despite their enthusiasm, electoral co-operation has failed repeatedly, most recently in last year's vote that saw Harper win his first majority.
And how do Leadnow and Avaaz expect to make democracy work better by reducing the existing options available to voters?
The premise behind these concepts is simple - the Harper Conservatives are so evil and permanently destructive to Canada that nothing else but stopping them matters.
Democratic choice and the real ideological differences between the parties are to be sacrificed to stop Harper.
Even during the Second World War, all parties ran candidates against each other in the 1940 and 1945 federal elections - surely no one can say Canada today requires such a draconian step as eliminating some parties' candidates?
Using dubious scare tactics to force Canadians to accept lowest common denominator politics is reprehensible.
What Harper is doing is highly objectionable to those who voted against him - but the Conservatives earned a mandate in an election where strategic voting to block them was widely advocated and failed.
Of course, that's not the way Leadnow and Avaaz see it.
Their goal is to terminate the Harper government, followed by some undefined "electoral reform" after the next election.
Then the Conservatives would never form government again and everyone - except Tories - would live happily ever after.
But the evidence shows it just won't work.