Monday, December 18, 2006

Murray Dobbin: Vote NDP to Keep Libs Honest

This is Murray Dobbin's response to a editorial Terry Glavin wrote last week asking for reasons to vote NDP in the next election. Murray Dobbin makes a case for progressives to vote NDP in order to keep the Liberals honest. But he cautions Layton to lay off Dion, outlining a better way.

Murray Dobbin is a Vancouver-based writer and political commentator, and founder of Word Warriors (

He writes a regular column for the on-line journal

Terry Glavin's editorial question sparked an ongoing debate. An excellent response was written by Idealistic Pragmatist. You can read it here.

If you would like to follow this debate, and perhaps voice your views, check out the website and follow the links to sign in/up for comments.

Vote NDP to Keep Libs Honest

But Jack, lay off Dion. Here's a better way.

By Murray Dobbin

December 18, 2006

The Tyee debate about who to vote for in the next election is missing an important piece of the puzzle: the nature of political power.

Far too often the analysis of elections and politics in general focuses almost exclusively on who "wins' formal power -- that is, the biggest number of seats and the right to form a government. This kind of limited assessment leads to putting all the analytical eggs in one basket by asking which leader is (in the case of those who want to defeat Stephen Harper) the best -- the most progressive, the most trustworthy, the most charismatic, the most visionary.

But it is always much more complicated than that because the actual exercise of power is extremely complex, involving a usually entrenched bureaucracy that can facilitate or hobble any particular initiative and divisions within the governing party.

It also involves the key constituencies of power that each party has historically relied upon.

Lastly, it involves the major media players -- as important in the exercise of power, and the restraints on it, as either politicians or bureaucrats.

Shoot for a Liberal minority

What does this mean for advocates for social justice and for environmentalists in the next election?

It means, realistically, doing everything they can to elect a minority Liberal government, with the NDP holding a real balance of power -- in effect, an informal coalition.

...Read rest of article here.

2 comment(s):

I'm so scared of Harper experiencing a second coming that I'll prbably vote Liberal for the first time in my life.

By Anonymous lept, at 7:29 AM  

I'm seriously considering it too, for the same reasons.

By Blogger Annamarie, at 9:00 PM  

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