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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Crazy Talk

I am almost certain that this is just nonsensical blog talk, as opposed to serious consideration.  Why the CBC is reporting this merger talk nonsense, already rejected by the leader of the Liberal party as "absurd", as anything but punditry wankage is beyond my understanding.

Calgary Grit has made the arguments and done the math, and if the only point of an NDP-Liberal merger is to win the election, well, there's no reason to believe that the merged party would accomplish that (though a Liberal-Conservative merger would be tough to beat).  (Forgive the huge poach from that post, Dan, but I think your point here needs to be widely understood.)
Let's run a quick experiment on the 2008 vote totals. Let's say 80% of the Liberal vote decides to vote for the new Liberal Democrats and their catchy Red and Orange colour scheme, 10% votes Conservative, and 10% stay home and watch American Idol. For NDP voters, I doubt the transfer would be quite as fluid - after all, the new party would be led by a Liberal and if NDP voters really cared about stopping Harper or being in power, they'd just vote Liberal in the first place. So, maybe half of them go along with the deal, a quarter vote green, and a quarter stay home. In terms of popular vote, that would actually work out to a 73% vote transfer to the new party, similar to the PC-Alliance merger rate.

So what would be the end result of this?

CPC 163 seats
LD 93 seats
BQ 50 seats
Other 2 seats

Hell, let's assume 80% of both Liberal and NDP voters join the new party, with the others just staying home - not a single former Liberal casts his or her vote for the Conservatives. The end result is still a narrow 7-seat Harper minority.
For the record, as longtime readers know, I favour the "catchy Red and Orange colour scheme".  But the rest of the merger idea is just dumb, and seems once again timed to distract from real issues dogging the Conservatives.  Could the Liberal Party be more dimwittedly self-destructive?

Edited to add: Evidentially, prominant Liberals agree with me, and are stepping hard on this foolishness.

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