NDP-Green Alliance in the News

A while back, I talked about my idea for how the Federal Greens and NDP could join forces in the next federal election (by swapping ridings rather than merging). Last week there was some news involving not the national parties but the BC NDP and BC Green Party. NDP MP Corky Evans said "it's time for the NDP and the Greens to start talking about working together." Apparently he wrote a letter that was circulated among NDPers and was published in a Victoria socialist newspaper (anyone know the name of this newspaper by the way, or have a copy of the letter?). Apparently Evans "does not use the word 'merger,' but he does say it's time for the NDP and the Greens to begin negotiations." Negotiations for what? If not a merger, perhaps a riding swapping system like what I proposed (at least until STV or another proportional representation system is in place)? Even if the NDP party and the Green party had nothing in common, they should both be interested in pursuing such a plan because it should increase both of their seat counts and I assume as high a seat count as possible is the ultimate goal of any political party in an election.

The next day, on October 26th, 2006, Carol head-in-the-sand James had this to say: "It's not on the top of my to-do list. I'm busy being the leader of the Opposition, holding this government to account and raising the issues that the voters elected us to do." What an idiotic response. Anyways, it doesn't sound like there is any talk about riding swapping or anything like that. Unfortunately they're still thinking about it as if it should have something to do with the issues. It had nothing to do with that. In the 2005 BC election the Liberals got only 46% of the popular vote but won 58% of the seats. The NDP had 42% of the popular vote and won 42% of the seats. The Greens had 9% of vote and 0 seats. Essentially the Green voters helped elect some Liberals. Take the Burnaby-North, Burnaby-Willingdon, Vancouver-Burrard, Burquitlam, Vancouver-Point Grey, North Vancouver-Lonsdale, Comox Valley, Saanich North and the Islands, Oak Bay-Gordon Head, Maple Ridge-Mission, and East Kootenay ridings for example. The Liberals barely won those ridings. In fact, in all those ridings the Greens got more votes than the difference between Liberal and NDP votes. Had the Greens given up those ridings and given the Liberals and NDP a virtual runoff vote, the NDP might be willing to give up 1 or 2 ridings where the Greens were strongest, say the West Vancouver-Garibaldi and Powell River-Sunshine Coast ridings. What respect is there to be gained by running in a riding that you know you are going to lose well beforehand, but instead you run (in an albeit ridiculous voting system) and end up splitting the vote. The Democrats (and the Greens) managed to stop Nader in 2004, now it's time for the NDP to stop the Greens in 2009, but the Greens should make sure they get something in return and get a fighting chance at a seat.


Doing research on Green Parties and came across this blog entry. Just curious as to what the NDP would have to offer the Greens as per your final comment in your opinion. Given the attempts at dialogue with Joy McPhail and Carole James, I would be most shocked if any compromising efforts came about from the NDP.
There are a number of issues that vary tremendously along with the Principles that guide the GPBC (as well as all other Green Parties globally) that would make this proposal very difficult outside of the Legislative Assembly. Gregor Roberts was smart in resigning his post as MLA in pursuit of a potential alliance of progressives (including Green) as Mayor candidate with Vision Vancouver. We'll see where that pans out.
Interestingly, Nader is running again as well. When will the Democrats/NDP learn to negotiate, instead of badgering?
Premier Gordon Campbell met with GPBC leader, Jane Sterk, shortly before the budget. Now we have a carbon tax in place. Ireland and the Czech Republic have formed centre-right coalitions with Greens recently. Greens will continue to rise in the polls while the NDP/Democrats wish they'd disappear. From my research, I'd say, keep on wishing!

"Just curious as to what the NDP would have to offer the Greens"

I thought I explained it fairly well. The NDP should back out of the Green party's strongest ridings. In exchange, the Green party should back out of the NDPs strongest ridings. The Liberals could do this with the Greens as well. Depends on what the second-choice vote of Green voters is. Obviously there are many drawbacks to this whole idea. Voters will be angry for sure but they should be told that it is only necessary because of our screwed up electoral system (first past the post) and that if they want to have better choice they need to vote YES for BC-STV this time around.

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