There is no reason why the Social Democrats should not join with - or at least listen to - the Labour Party.
That is according to columnist with the Irish Examiner, Fergus Finlay.
He was speaking after the co-leaders of the Soc Dems, Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall, announced they were stepping down.
Mr Finlay told The Hard Shoulder he would like to see a dialogue between the two parties.
"I'd actually like to think so; I'd like to think that at least it will open up a line of dialogue," he said.
"Social democracy in Europe and in the world is being squeezed now.
"It's a viable, important, central, political philosophy and it's being squeezed by extremism in the UK.
"All over Europe it's being swallowed up in a way by extremism, and it hasn't been able to fight back against that.
"It's also been really damaged by the emergence of different kinds of politics - gender politics, identity politics, green politics - single issue stuff, if you like, and I don't mean that disparagingly.
"The voice of social democracy has been kind of muted.
"There isn't a future for social democracy, I believe, unless social democrats put aside their differences and get together".
' I just can't see why'
Mr Finlay said he believes the personal attitude of the Social Democrats leaders towards the Labour Party "has been a stumbling block in the way of dialogue."
He said a change could be an opening to something new.
"I can't see Holly Cairns or Gary Gannon having difficulty with the leadership of somebody like Ivana Bacik - I just can't see why that would be.
"There may be ego reasons, for all I know, why they would object to that.
"You have a vibrant, women leader of the Labour Party in Ireland now who, given a chance, can make a hell of a difference.
"I don't expect Sinn Féin to give her the chance, I don't expect Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael to give her the chance.
"But I do expect people who share the basic political philosophy that she espouses to at least listen to her," he added.
Listen to the full interview below: