Back about a decade ago the conventional political wisdom was that Prime Minister Stephen Harper wanted “a two-party system, one that pitted right against left, free enterprise against socialism, Conservatives against New Democrats.” I never agreed with that view … and I was never sure that was what Prime Minister Harper actually wanted because I always felt that he understood that a Conservative–NDP two party system would see Canada end up where the UK was last year ~ with a hard left, anti-Semitic bunch of loonies taking over the Labour/New Democratic Party but, just because they have a two party system, that bunch of loonies being elected to govern every now and again.
My, personal, view has always been that Canada is best served by having a spectrum of political options with the centre being shared between a moderately, but responsibly centre-left/slightly left-of-centre Liberal Party and a moderately centre-right/slightly right-of-centre Conservative Party, each flanked by harder left and harder right wing parties. Some years ago I put some faces to that notion, and here is an updated version of my idea:
I believe that 75±% of Canadians vote for the moderate middle. I also believe that most, but not all, Conservatives and Liberals are moderates and many are at least willing, sometimes even perhaps eager to consider the other moderate party before they consider either the hard left or hard right options.
I do NOT believe that the Trudeau Liberals are moderates. I believe that Team Trudeau wants to destroy the NDP and then take over the Hard left and left-of-centre shares of the political spectrum …
… and I suspect that his handlers believe that he ~ his brand ~ can dominate all of the left and a good share of the moderate centre, too.
The Liberal plan is not to destroy the NDP … it is much simpler, and easier and more popular than that: they will just buy the NDP. There is almost nothing on the NDP wish list that the Liberals are unwilling to promise. (They may not keep their promises … how many of his 2015 election promises (other than legalizing pot) did Justin Trudeau keep?) The aim is to persuade most NDP voters that the Liberals are their party, too. it isn’t about avoiding an election, it is about taking over the entire left half of the political spectrum and, finally, becoming Canada’s “natural governing party,” in reality.
I have said before that Canada skews slightly left in politics. The bell curve is not perfect; given choices most moderate Canadians lean ever so slightly to the left:
That favours the Liberals in the first place: it makes it easier for them to persuade left-of-centre voters who might other vote for the NDP to vote “strategically,” to vote Liberal in order to prevent a Conservative victory. It’s a well tested tactic which has worked well for generations. It will make a
takeover buy-out of the NDP even easier. Many left-of-centre voters have, already, voted Liberal; they can be persuaded to do so again and again and again … until their old party is, simply, no longer relevant.
I suspect the test will come in a 2021 election. My guess is that Justin Trudeau will say, to all those left-of-centre voters: “I cannot keep the promises I made in Throne Speech 2020 if I am stuck with a minority government ~ those evil Conservatives will block me. I cannot give you everything you want ~ everything I want to give you ~ unless you put aside your partisan opinion and join my team.” My worst fear is that it will work, as soon as this fall, more likely next spring.