March 2012
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My Letter to Thomas Mulcair re: Cooperation

Dear Mr. Mulcair,

Congratulations on your election to Leader of the NDP!  I was impressed during your campaign by your commitment to progressive ideals, electoral reform, and the environment.  I really hope you can engage young voters – who historically don’t come out to vote in large numbers – and also reach out to the millions who have given up voting entirely.

I’m writing to you to ask that you don’t discount the powerful idea of cross-party cooperation called for my various organizations such as LeadNow, Avaaz, and fellow NDP member Nathan Cullen during his campaign.  Nathan’s strong showing in the race, and increased discussion of the idea inspired many polls that clearly show that the idea of cooperation among parties to oust Harper is popular – especially in certain ridings – and I feel it would be a tremendous shame to dismiss this fact going forwards.

The election of Elizabeth May last year, and the NDP’s surge in Quebec, was small consolation for the false majority government we ended up with.  What good is gains like that when progressives effectively have 0% of power?  And I’m intimately familiar with how vote-splitting in a relatively few number of ridings caused the CPC majority to happen.

I know there’s time before the next election, and lots can happen.  Maybe the Liberals will fade completely, making the notion of cooperation unnecessary.  Maybe support for the Conservatives will collapse over some other scandal – although their supporters seem remarkably indifferent to the myriad of scandals and lies that have been exposed already.  But maybe, despite the NDP’s best efforts, the Liberals gain enough traction to again set the stage for disastrous vote-splitting again in the next election, resulting in another false majority for Harper.

Should that happen… I would hope the NDP, Liberals, and Greens recognize the grave danger such a scenario presents to Canada, and work together for not just mutual gain, but for Canada.  And then when you get power, please fix our voting system so we don’t have to endure this kind of false majority ever again!

Thank you.

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