Liberal interim leader Bob Rae greets members of his caucus before his speech on Parliament Hill Monday. Rae says a merger with the NDP is not on the Liberals' agenda. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 7
Former prime minister Jean Chrétien added more fuel to the ongoing debate about a Liberal-NDP merger by stating that the merger between the two parties will happen soon or not at all.
In an exclusive interview with Power & Politics host Evan Solomon, Chrétien spoke about the prospect of a merger between the two parties, and argued that a merger had turned out well for the Conservatives when the Canadian Alliance party joined forces with the Progressive Conservatives in 2003.
Chrétien also mentioned the Liberals had talked about merging with the CCF, the predecessors to the NDP, in 1956.
"If they had done it ... a lot of people think, and I think too, they would have been the government today," he said.
Originally posted: Tues., Aug. 30
Though talk of a potential merger between Canada's Liberal and New Democratic parties is resurfacing following former NDP leader Jack Layton's funeral, the only Liberal caucus member who seems interested in the idea is veteran Quebec MP Denis Coderre.
While most of his fellow caucus members are focused on the future of the Liberal party, Coderre suggested that the united mood after former Layton's funeral had reignited ideas voiced by senior party statesmen earlier in 2011 that the only way to defeat Stephen Harper's Conservatives was to join forces.
"I think that it would be a valid discussion to continue what Mr. Chrétien, Mr. Broadbent and Mr. Romanow did in the past," Coderre said, referring to the past conversations on the issue.
Coderre thinks merger talks are a good idea, and pointed out Monday that even though key NDP players have publicly expressed scant enthusiasm, the party did leave the door open to the possibility at its June convention.
Meanwhile, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae has expressed little interest in the idea of opening the door to a merger, stating "People are free to talk about whatever they want to talk about, but it's not on my agenda at the moment."
Is the idea of an NDP-Liberal merger more feasible now than it was earlier this year? Why or why not? Should the Liberals and NDPs merge? Share your thoughts below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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