Will the NDP and Liberals merge? 0
OTTAWA - All options should be on the table for the future of the Liberals - including a merger with the NDP, Justin Trudeau said on Monday.
"I'm not convinced a merger is the right way to go - I'm certainly open to being convinced," the Liberal MP told reporters as party members wrapped up the second day of their summer caucus retreat.
"The emotions around the death of (NDP leader Jack) Layton showed the progressive forces have a lot in common in this country."
The Montreal MP noted the Liberal party was in a time of reflection, and while both the NDP and the Liberals had different pasts and visions, they both share certain values.
"If we're serious about getting this country on the right track and reflecting the will of the vast majority of Canadians who didn't vote for Mr. Harper, I think we have to be open to looking at different possibilities," he said.
Another Quebec MP, Denis Coderre, also noted a merger would be worth considering over the coming months while both parties were in flux.
"I believe if we want a country with a progressive future it will be a valid discussion," he said.
But other prominent Liberals maintained any discussion of merging the Canada's centre and left-wing political parties wasn't on the agenda during the four days of Grit meetings in Ottawa.
"The Liberal Party wants to build its own platform, its own thrust for the future," said deputy leader Ralph Goodale.
Former Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy put merger talk down to people feeling "wistful."
"There's a real determination of Liberals to be Liberals," he said. "(When) you see a strong Liberal party I don't think you'll hear serious talk of any formal collaboration."
Meanwhile, interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae called on party members to focus on the party's ideas and grassroots reform to bring the Grits back from the brink after losing over 40 seats in the May 2 federal election.
"If we focus on these things, we're going to win the election in 2015," he said in a speech to the party.