Uniting the left

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I am confident in our New Democratic Party. I am not so confident that Canadians are willing to switch parties based on the good policies and awesome people we have in our party. All Canadians are proud of their particular party’s achievements and rightly so.

I am in conversation every day with other Canadians who still support the Conservatives, even after what they have done to our veterans, aboriginal peoples, our democracy, water protection and regulations, but their excuse is always “who else is there?” Many just want to be on a winning team, regardless of whether that team is playing by the rules or not.

We must, along with the Liberals, Greens, and Bloc, convince Canadians — all Canadians — that there is a choice. But a fractured choice is not going to be enough.

With the Liberals climbing in the polls and the advancement of the Green Party in recent byelections, Canadians want a party that stands up for all of them, not just the perceived notions of protecting unions, or the environment, or the middle class or Quebec. All left-leaning parties think they support all Canadians, and they do.

So why fracture when we can unite under a new banner, just as the Conservatives did when the Reform/Alliance party took over the Progressive Conservatives? Conservative supporters were not impressed and, in the end, many moved to another party or just stopped voting, leaving the Reform/Alliance with its same supporters and a few extra from the PC party.

It has taken 50 years for the NDP to achieve official opposition, even with our policies on health care, employment insurance and the Canada Pension Plan, even with Tommy Douglas’ and Jack Layton’s personalities. We have the people and great policies, but not the hearts and minds of all Canadians. Seventy per cent of Canadians are supporters of the NDP, Liberals, Greens and the Bloc. Thirty per cent are supporters of the Conservatives, yet they have a majority — because of the fractured left.

We are playing a card game where three of a kind beats a pair. If four of our parties banded together, we’d have four of a kind. Canada can’t afford to continue on holding to four pairs of aces while Harper has three deuces and continues to win.

We have two years left with the Harper Conservatives in power. Canada wants, needs, is begging for, a breakthrough. Even Canada’s military has had to band together with allies to defeat evil regimes in the world. Our political parties are no different.

Two years to talk, to debate, to work together, to unite, to become Canada’s party with Canadians as their priority, not oil companies and Chinese pandas.

The future of all of our parties starts today.


Robin Brentnall


Organizations: Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party, Alliance Green Party

Geographic location: Canada, Quebec

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Recent comments

  • wtf
    February 05, 2013 - 23:29

    Don't mean to pop your bubble but policies are used to guide decision making. Since the NDP have never been in power to make decisions then they have never, and don't now, have policies. They have an election platform. Another shocker, the Liberals are not a left wing party. They're riding the fence and thats why they've won so many elections. Paul Martin was the best conservative finance minister we ever had.

  • Anonymous
    February 05, 2013 - 10:31

    i'm ok with socialism. Everyone else seems to get a government handout, why not me?

  • Robin Brentnall
    February 05, 2013 - 09:05

    Chris Chafe: So we should have free market government with no social programs or safety nets? Norway, Finland, and Sweden are the most socialist of the EU and are on top of the OECD list of best places to live! Canada has dropped to 7th. BTW, Canada is a socialist based country. PI: I believe the NDP is the best party. Unfortunately, many believe Toronto has the best hockey team. The race for second place is not going to improve Canada.

  • Christopher Chafe
    February 05, 2013 - 08:25

    Have you ever considered for a minute the fact that more people are not aligning themselves with the Socialist NDP party is that we see what Socialist Government's have done to multiple European Countries and do not want to see Canada become the same way.

  • Politically Incorrect
    February 05, 2013 - 07:08

    Given that the Liberal Party is funded by and represents the same business and banking sectors as the Conservative Party, I fail to see how it is left-leaning in any sense of the word. The same holds true for the Green Party, which, apart from pro-environmental policies is as conservative as the other two parties. The NDP has over the past decades shod those values that could be described as 'socialist' (despite the constant red-bating from the right wing alarmists) in an effort to replace the waning Liberals. Nevertheless, the NDP with its commitment to improving the lives of workers and resisting the capitalist class demands that we join the race to the bottom while they skim more off the top, remains a social democratic alternative to the parties of the right. We have seen what a two party 'Tweedle Dee / Tweedle Dum" oligarchy has done to the U.S. where there is no alternative to the parties of privilege, war, and wealth.