Sunday, May 06, 2007

Eats suits and leaves

A Mexican MP speaking at one of the recent Integrate This! workshops explained it took the leftie parties of Mexico 20 years to hammer out a coalition for those policies on which they could all agree -the environment, workers' rights etc, while still maintaining a strong adversarial stance on those policies where they don't.
It was, he said, very difficult. It seemed all but impossible until they were forced to acknowledge it was the only way to get anything progressive accomplished. He stressed that the coalition only eventually succeeded after the three parties' leadership realized the grassroots must be included on the ground floor of the deal from the outset.

Up here the closest we get to what the Mexican MP is suggesting is strategic voting. This usually, usually mind you, only consists of voting for the Libs after being inundated with three days of their commercials prior to federal election voting day warning that they are the only ones capable of keeping the dreaded Cons at bay .

So what would it take, given our ridiculously antiquated first-past-the-post voting system, to get ahead of that particular ball prior to the next election?

Accidental Deliberations recently had a post up considering the principles under which centre-to-left party cooperation might be possible in order to beat the Cons. Now, in From Principle To Practice, AD begins outlining the conditions necessary to make such a deal work.
Give it a look. Leave your suggestions. Ready or not, we're the grassroots.

It's quite likely that the environment and our subbing for US imperialist adventures will both go sideways regardless of what we do now. But in twenty years time an excuse like "I couldn't abandon my unwavering allegience to my Lib or NDP or Green bit of turf" is unlikely to be seen as an acceptable reason for having failed to rise to the challenge of doing just that, and starting as soon as possible.

2 comments:

Ian said...

There is no possibility at all of eating the suits here. The strongest opposition to this proposal would come from the parties' leadership, as even you must realize. The Libs wouldn't even change their rules to allow their own membership to vote for their own candidates at their last convention, preferring to keep that a caucus privilege.
That said, the electorate would certainly appreciate the voting guidance AD's system would provide as it would take some of the risk out of strategic voting.
Politics is turf, Alison.

Alison said...

Ian : I know all this; we all know it. We still need a redefinition of turf and a more realistic way of dealing with national problems. That's it.

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