zero wing

The zero wing of a political party is a faction advocating the dissolution of that party and its merger to form a larger coalition or "big tent" with one or more other parties on a zero base. As quality management has become more popular in government, modern ideas of political party governance have made this more popular.

Such shakeups are far more common in parties than in the bureaucracy. It may be that the role of the politician is differentiated from that of the bureaucrat in a representative democracy precisely to facilitate such shakeups. In China for instance it is often observed that the system does not separate the political and bureaucratic functions and is thus subject to the most dangerous kind of zero base measure: a violent revolution. A zero wing can prevent a party likewise from collapsing in acrimony by providing an organized way to express dissatisfaction, e.g. with GPC Governance.

In Canada:

Depending on circumstances, there might be a muted or invisible zero wing in a party, but sometimes (2001 NDP New Politics Initiative, 2003 Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, 2005 New Green Canada and Green Federation of Canada, the zero wing can be quite vocal and perhaps cause the party to cease to exist, against the will of some longstanding party supporters). Even when it appears to have "lost" as in the 2003 case, a party can be merged by its leader under Elections Canada rules, despite any written assertion to the contrary - see Peter MacKay,David Orchard, Progressive Canadian Party of Canada and Conservative Party of Canada for an obvious case.

Because of this power accorded to leaders, a zero wing can never be completely ignored. Some parties create poison pills to make it difficult to reform or disband or merge a party, e.g. the Green Party of Canada requires a 90% majority to dissolve, which is the highest such requirement in Canada. A similar extreme requirement kept the United States Green Party going in a rump form after the vast majority of its members joined the Green Party of the United States, which continues to create some confusion.