Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Manitoba Liberal Party rejects merger with Green Party

The Manitoba Liberal party under leader Jon Gerrard has been having troubles gaining much headway with the electorate in the province. The party holds only one seat in the legislature at present. It has been decades now since the party was an alternative to the dominant NDP (New Democrats) and the Conservatives.

The NDP has been in power for some time and even managed to retain power in an election after the popular leader Gary Doer stepped down. To illustrate how close seemingly opposite sides of the political spectrum may be social democrat Gary Doer was appointed by the Federal Conservatives under the right-wing leader Stephen Harper appointed Doer as Canadian ambassador to the U.S. There he is no doubt busy selling the virtues of the Alberta Tar sands to U.S. politicians and others. OK. now I have that off my chest back to the Liberals and Greens.

Gerrard has been looking at a number of options to help his ailing Liberals to improve their performance. One option is greater coöperation with the Greens. The Greens however have no representation in the legislature. The Greens received only 2.5 per cent of the popular vote last election. While getting some of those votes would help they will hardly bring the Liberals to power!

At a recent meeting Liberal party officials rules out any merger with the Green Party and even suspended two officials who discussed the issue. For more see this CBC article. Gerrard faces a difficult task since the political right and middle is represented by the Conservatives and the left and middle by the NDP a social democratic type party. It is difficult for Gerrard to carve-out a political space that will attract voters until there is more disenchantment with the present leading contenders.

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