Many have lamented how the left and centre of the Canadian political spectrum have been left out of power for many years. There have been calls for the left leaning NDP and centrist Liberal party to merge in order to take down Harper.
There even is a movement afoot for the NDP and Liberals and Greens to only run the most likely winner amongst their three parties in each riding to get around the limitations of our First Past the Post system and then put in force a proportional representation system. A system that would reward a 37% showing with 37% of the seats. Not with the majority of the seats.
At this date, both the merger and the proportional representation scheme seem unlikely to happen. So are we stuck with Stephen Harper being the prime minister till he deigns to finally step down?
We can look at what made the last stable non conservative governments. What tricks did those party leaders use to win elections?
The last win for the Liberals was Paul Martin’s minority government that edged out Stephen Harper with a smear campaign. Something Harper definitely took to heart, smearing any possible winner except himself since 2006.
That Martin government seemed more like a fluke than a dynasty. Indeed, a dangerous moniker got attached to the Liberals at around this time. They began to brag about being the natural ruling party of Canada. Does the party wonder why they find themselves in third place, now?
Beating Harper now seems like a fluke and smart strategy by Martin. The elections before that is more of concern to this topic.
Jean Chretien won 3 back to back to back majority Liberal governments. Anyone from this time realizes that ‘natural ruling party’ was so much BS. The true king maker was Preston Manning. Just before Chretien’s first federal victory, Manning started the Reform Party. It was a second right wing party besides the Progressive Conservatives.
The key to centrist, leftist victory is to split the right wing vote. This was in play throughout all of Chretien’s victories.
So I dare someone to start a second federal right wing party. I’m looking at you, Wildrose party of Alberta.
Even more likely, some lefty could start a right wing party. That person should have flown below the radar for the last few years so their political views aren’t known. Then if the right wing vote splitting doesn’t work, that lefty has a chance to become prime minister, too. Sure it’s a low thing to shift on the political spectrum but we’re all used to political parties shifting after a victory.
Right, F-35 Stephen Harper?