Sunday, September 25, 2005

Out of Curiousity - Party Affiliations

When you hear stories of a provincial politician "switching" parties and running federally, what is your initial impression?

When you read a story like this [Globe & Mail, Tory MLA in Manitoba seeks to join federal Liberals]:
A Conservative member of the Manitoba legislature will change political parties in a bid to run against Tory health critic Stephen Fletcher in the next federal election.

John Loewen, the MLA for Fort Whyte, announced yesterday that he would seek the Liberal nomination in the riding of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia.
Or this oldy, [CTV, Former NDP premier appointed as Liberal in B.C.]:
Prime Minister Paul Martin named three Liberal star candidates in B.C. for an upcoming federal election, including former NDP premier Ujjal Dosanjh.
Is your natural reaction that the provincial party member run for the same party federally? Now, John Loewen's reason for not running as a Conservative in the next federal election is known, and Mr. Dosanjh's was ... I don't know ... that's unimportant.

Now, it's known that provincial parties often differ from their federal counterparts in a lot of ways. Maritime Conservative parties tend to be very centrist, Ontario Conservatives the same (sans Common Sense Revolution). Liberals in BC tend to be right of centre, and Liberals in Alberta tend to be invisible [ ;-) ]. The Yukon Party is the renamed Progressive Conservative Party and the Saskatchewan Party came about from the merger of the Saskatchewan Liberal and Progressive Conservative Parties (how do you suppose that meet-and-greet went?).

How many people out there are members of different parties federally versus provinically?

I seem to recall that at one time, for instance, it was common for people to be members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, but a member of the federal Liberal Party. I am also of the opinion (and correct me if I'm wrong), that membership in the federal NDP requires membership in the provincial NDP. In that latter case, is their an example of a provincial NDP that differs in "focus" than the federal party? How do you reconcile it if it does?

Even if you're not a member of different parties, I'd still be interested in hearing your thoughts.

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Anonymous said...

I'm told that the Saskatchewan Dippers run themselves more like Ontario Libs. Since the Ontario Dippers do not run themselves like the Ont Libs, one must conclude that Sask Dippers are not like Ont Dippers. Thus, at most one of the Ont Dippers and the Sask Dippers can be in line with the federal party, if indeed Sask Dippers are akin to Ont Libs.

The differences may be in practice rather than in philosophy, however.

daveberta said...

The question is: Are the Federal Conservatives counterparts of the provincial PC parties?

We don't know if they have an official affiliation, but we don't find it surprising that more moderate provincial Tories would run for the Federal Libs rather than the Federal Tories (at least while the Liberals are in power in Ottawa. Once they get the boot, the game changes entirely).

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

Da Zing, interesting. I had always envisioned the Saskatchewan NDP as "hardcore" NDP.


Daveberta, interesting as well. I'm not aware of any official affiliation between the federal and provincial Tories either.

I consider myself, for instance, a moderate conservative. I'd like the federal CPC to take a more moderate stance on social issues, but I'm not sure I'd become a federal Liberal over it.

My reaction though, was "meh" - he said he thought the CPC was too socially conservative, and I understand that could well be somebody's tipping point.

Oh well. He'll probably lose to Steven Fletcher anyway.