Yesterday Ken Lewenza, the president of the Canadian Autoworkers Union, wrote to NDP MP Pat Martin — copying other members of the NDP caucus — praising his courage for promoting the idea “in suggesting that the next leader should work towards a merger or some type of alliance with the Liberal Party.” Martin, an outspoken Winnipeg MP, said this week that he will support a candidate for the NDP leadership who will commit to co-operating with the Liberals, with a view to creating an electoral coalition that could unseat the Tories in the next election. If no other candidate supports the idea, Martin said, he will run. Potential NDP leadership candidates Brian Topp, Thomas Mulcair, Peter Julian, Robert Chisholm and Megan Leslie have all rejected the idea, and so has Liberal Leader Bob Rae, but Martin said he has heard from senior New Democrats who support the idea. The CAW is among the largest unions in Canada, and traditionally has played a powerful role in backroom NDP politics, although during the Paul Martin minority Liberal government then-president Buzz Hargrove lent his political muscle to the Liberals.

Source: Ottawa Citizen