Ujjal Dosanjh knows something about political wipe-outs. As an NDP premier in B.C. he led an election campaign in 2001 that reduced his party's standing to just two seats. Eight years later, the NDP was on the verge of claiming victory in the provincial election.
Mr. Dosanjh was reminded of the dark days of 2001 when the election results came in on Monday evening.
"Don't write the Liberals off," said Mr. Dosanjh, who joined the federal Liberal Party three years after losing the election. "The NDP came back to form a very strong Opposition and almost defeated the Liberals [in the 2009 provincial election] So let's not write anyone off at this point."
Mr. Dosanjh attributed his loss on Monday night to a split on the left and the national Conservative wave.
But he did not advocate a merger. The NDP picked up only a handful of additional seats outside Quebec, he said. "I do not think Mr. Layton's victory is necessarily permanent and I don't think the Liberal Party's historic defeat is necessarily permanent either," he said. "Everything is in flux in the next four years."
Talk about merging the Liberal Party with the NDP is inevitable following the results of Monday's election, Mr. Dosanjh said .
"In the past, MPs from different parties on the left, informally, have always whispered to each other, if the split continues on the left, Conservatives will be in for a long time," he said.
But he believes that the Liberal Party will continue. "I do not think the wiping out of any party is in the cards for next 15, 20 years," Mr. Dosanjh said.
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