Dave Barrett RIP

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bekayne
Dave Barrett RIP
Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The best premier B.C. has had to date.  Enacted massive change in an absurdly short period of time.  A man of the people in the truest sense.

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I love his nickname, "Allende of the North" - a true testament to his strong socialist commitment. RIP Dave Barrett.

lagatta4

Very sorry to hear that. Rest in power, brother!

Pogo Pogo's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

The best premier B.C. has had to date.  Enacted massive change in an absurdly short period of time.  A man of the people in the truest sense.

  If you ever have the pleasure to sit at a table with Svend Robinson you may get a different opinion.

There may have been better speakers, but when he talked he was able to connect to rank and file members/supporters better than anyone I have heard. 

bekayne

laine lowe wrote:

I love his nickname, "Allende of the North" - a true testament to his strong socialist commitment. RIP Dave Barrett.

https://mickleblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/dave-barrett-and-salvador-al...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pogo wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

The best premier B.C. has had to date.  Enacted massive change in an absurdly short period of time.  A man of the people in the truest sense.

  If you ever have the pleasure to sit at a table with Svend Robinson you may get a different opinion.

There may have been better speakers, but when he talked he was able to connect to rank and file members/supporters better than anyone I have heard. 

Svend was a great M.P.(I'd still like to see him back in the House, though I think we've established that he should never stand in Vancouver Center again)but he was never premier.  The comparison I was making was to Harcourt and Clark among NDP premiers(Miller and Dosanhh weren't in long enough to make any meaningful impression, 'though we'd have to call Dosanjh the worst BCNDP leader of all time in pure political terms for his decision to concede defeat in the MIDDLE of the 2001 campaign) among Dippers or among people like the Bennetts, Simon Frasier Tolmie, or Amor De Cosmos-I only included him for the name, which he gave himself like, in California, man-among premiers from OTHER parties.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

bekayne wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

I love his nickname, "Allende of the North" - a true testament to his strong socialist commitment. RIP Dave Barrett.

https://mickleblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/dave-barrett-and-salvador-al...

We could also compare him to Gough Whitlam, the Australian Labor Party prime minister who's tenure in office was more or less the same as Dave's, and who ended up being dismissed from office by the Australian governor-general(after enacting what were some incredibly moderate measures) in response to pressure from a variety of international forces, most likely including the CIA.

Unionist

Dave Barrett has a great legacy, and (I think) was head and shoulders above any of the current crop.

Shame that in October 1975, he momentarily forgot his base (incurable plague of all NDP governments ever) and legislated 50,000 striking workers back to work for a 90-day "cooling-off" period - which, besides violating their constitutional rights, had the unfortunate effect of trapping them in Trudeau (Sr.)'s wage controls. As a young worker and trade unionist, I recall the reverberations throughout the country of that shocking, stupid, unnecessary action. He then called a snap election for December - and lost. Surprise surprise.

We should cherish and learn from his contributions, and learn from his errors too. He would have wanted that.

brookmere

I've heard many policiticans speak with intelligence and passion, but what made Dave Barrett special is that he combined these with a sense of fun. The politics of joy if you will. I'm fortunate to have heard him in person.

It should also be noted that Barrett was Canada's first (and perhaps only?) Jewish premier. I'm sure it influenced his outlook, but he never traded on this fact politically.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Not saying Robinson over Barrett.  Rather that Robinson was not at all a fan.

Unionist

brookmere wrote:

It should also be noted that Barrett was Canada's first (and perhaps only?) Jewish premier. I'm sure it influenced his outlook, but he never traded on this fact politically.

Tom Marshall was premier of NL from January to September 2014. He is also one of us. Don't think there have been any others.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pogo wrote:

Not saying Robinson over Barrett.  Rather that Robinson was not at all a fan.

OK.  And I can understand that.  They were from different generations of the social democratic left...Dave was from just before the party moved towards a progressive position on LGBTQ issues(did anyone try to get the Barrett government to pass anti-discrmination legislation, for the record?) and it would not surprise me if Dave's views on that were closer to those of Tommy Douglas or David Lewis than to the federal NDP of Svend's era or later.

Not sure what other issues Svend might have had with Dave, and if you'd like to pm me with some of the things Svend has said about him, I'm interested in hearing them.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Bob Rae is Jewish

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Misfit wrote:

Bob Rae is Jewish

So was Dave.  So was David Lewis, and so is everybody else in his family including his granddaughter-in-law Naomi Klein.  What's your point?

NorthReport
josh

Ken Burch wrote:

Misfit wrote:

Bob Rae is Jewish

So was Dave.  So was David Lewis, and so is everybody else in his family including his granddaughter-in-law Naomi Klein.  What's your point?

Jewish premiers.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I see.  

Ok, Bob was the second.  Dave was the first, and there was a nineteen year gap between the two.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

brookmere wrote:

It should also be noted that Barrett was Canada's first (and perhaps only?) Jewish premier. I'm sure it influenced his outlook, but he never traded on this fact politically.

Tom Marshall was premier of NL from January to September 2014. He is also one of us. Don't think there have been any others.

Bob Rae, as someone else just pointed out.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Is Bob Rae Jewish?  I know his wife (Arlene Perly Rae - her father did the Perly Guide) is but I did not think he was as well.

josh

1/4 apparently.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Didn't he actually convert or something?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Evidently he was raised Anglican, but now attends Temple.  So, like Jerry's dentist.

nicky

I worked on the 72 campaign that brough5 Barrett and the NDP to power. I have neve4 been prouder of contributing to any election campaign. Dave had the most sweeping and progressive record of any premier or Prime Minister in my lifetime.

Here is something that I wrote on Babble a few years ago:

I'm getting a little misty-eyed thinking about what a great speaker Barrett was. I have never seen anyone hold an audience like him. I think he was superior to Stephen Lewis because he could connect on a visceral level. He was also funny and extremely fast on his feet.

Two example of his wit, although not during speaches:

I was near him once as he entered a hallway to address a rally. A Trotskyite type who was selling a left-wing broadsheet jumped in front of him, thrust the paper in his face and said. "Here Barrett, read how the NDP is selling out the working class." Instead of ignoring him as most politicians would do, Barrett stopped, calmly took the paper, leafed through its 8 pages very quickly, thrust it back at the seller and asked, "where's your union bug?" The seller was dumbfounded and Barrett then laid him low with, "I'm not gonna buy any paper put out by a bunch of scabs."

Second one. Shortly after he became Premier, he held a press conference in which he was asked if there would be any pork-barrell politics in his administration. With the timing of a great comedian, Barrett fiegned disbelief and said, "In my administration? A little corned beef barrell maybe."

What a shame we didn't pick him.

Pogo Pogo's picture

We had the benefit of sitting beside Howard Pawley during the voting for leader to replace Ed Broadbent.  Pauley was a supporter of Barrett and his reasoning was that he saw a big conservative wave and Barrett would help save as many seats as possible. I voted for Audrey as she had a far more progressive platform, but with hindsight I probably would have made a different choice.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Evidently he was raised Anglican, but now attends Temple.  So, like Jerry's dentist.

Did he join the Liberals for the comedy, too?

Unionist

Bob Rae is not Jewish by any definition. His mother wasn't Jewish, he was raised as an Anglican, he never converted to Judaism, and he doesn't describe himself as Jewish. He discovered in his adult years that he had a Jewish grandfather. He married Arlene Perly, who is Jewish, therefore his children are Jewish. He took out membership in a Jewish temple, but that doesn't make him Jewish.

So please don't saddle us with him.

bekayne

Unionist wrote:

Dave Barrett has a great legacy, and (I think) was head and shoulders above any of the current crop.

Shame that in October 1975, he momentarily forgot his base (incurable plague of all NDP governments ever) and legislated 50,000 striking workers back to work for a 90-day "cooling-off" period - which, besides violating their constitutional rights, had the unfortunate effect of trapping them in Trudeau (Sr.)'s wage controls. As a young worker and trade unionist, I recall the reverberations throughout the country of that shocking, stupid, unnecessary action. He then called a snap election for December - and lost. Surprise surprise.

We should cherish and learn from his contributions, and learn from his errors too. He would have wanted that.

He though Bill Bennett was a lightweight, and got a bit too cocky. Back in those days, public opinion polls were banned in B.C. Had he waited until 1976, a more favourable electoral map would have come in as well.

nicky

A speech by dave Barrett in retirement:

https://youtu.be/nPW2sADBQuo

NorthReport
Hunky_Monkey

bekayne wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Dave Barrett has a great legacy, and (I think) was head and shoulders above any of the current crop.

Shame that in October 1975, he momentarily forgot his base (incurable plague of all NDP governments ever) and legislated 50,000 striking workers back to work for a 90-day "cooling-off" period - which, besides violating their constitutional rights, had the unfortunate effect of trapping them in Trudeau (Sr.)'s wage controls. As a young worker and trade unionist, I recall the reverberations throughout the country of that shocking, stupid, unnecessary action. He then called a snap election for December - and lost. Surprise surprise.

We should cherish and learn from his contributions, and learn from his errors too. He would have wanted that.

He though Bill Bennett was a lightweight, and got a bit too cocky. Back in those days, public opinion polls were banned in B.C. Had he waited until 1976, a more favourable electoral map would have come in as well.

Interesting to note though he received more votes in 1975 and essentially the same percentage of vote as he did in 1972.

NorthReport

Actually if you look at the actual statistics in the 1975 election, the NDP under Barrett received 39% of the vote,  less than 1% what Barrett had received in 1972, so the voters didn’t abandon the NDP. What happened is both the Liberals and the Conservatives bled votes to the Socreds. In other words the right united to defeat the NDP.

NorthReport
NorthReport

In retrospect now it is obvious the Federal NDP should have chosen Barrett to lead them. Who knew!

NorthReport
NorthReport
bekayne

NorthReport wrote:

In retrospect now it is obvious the Federal NDP should have chosen Barrett to lead them. Who knew!

A lot of people did at the time.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

bekayne wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

In retrospect now it is obvious the Federal NDP should have chosen Barrett to lead them. Who knew!

A lot of people did at the time.

At the time of the leadership vote, nobody knew that, by the time of the 1993 election, there would be deeply unpopular provincial NDP governments in B.C. and Ontario, or that the far-right Reform Party would catch on by playing to white Western Canadian resentment of Quebec and of Canada's no-longer-deniable multicultural "fact", or that in the second case the NDP would be almost as great a victim of Reform's rise as the PC's were.  Nor is there any reason to think that Dave, great guy as he was, would have been any more likely to overcome that than Audrey McLaughlin was.

There was nothing in the policies he proposed OR in his personal presence that would have given him any better chance of fighting off Preston Manning's party of hate OR the massive decline in NDP support in Ontario and B.C. caused by the decision of the provincial NDP governments there to join the Sask NDP government of the day in being just as willing to cut the social wage and attack the poor as the Liberal and PC governments were in that era.  

Also, if Dave had won, we can assume the historic NDP breakthrough in the Chambly by-election would never have happened-and without that precedent, it's extremely unlikely that the Orange Wave of 2011 would have been possible.  Let's face it...withoug Chambly, Tom Mulcair would never have taken Outremont.  

It simply wasn't possible for the NDP to have avoided major if not massive losses in seats and votes in 1993, no matter who was leader.  People who embraced what Manning about weren't going to be impressed by anything Dave had to offer-they were voting hate, bitterness, and a vindictive desire to drag the country back to 1958-nothing any social democratic leader could have said in '93 would ever have connected with any of the people who voted Reform that year. They were voting to say "fuck you" to all modern, decent humane values.

And I hate to say it, but none of those people, in that year, would have voted for a party led by somebody who wasn't a Christian.  That's just the unchallengable reality of the minds of Reform voters.

 

NorthReport

In retrospect I disagree.

———————————

 

http://theprovince.com/category/news/bc-politics

NorthReport

In retrospect I disagree.

———————————

Three years. 357 pieces of legislation. Dave Barrett’s extraordinary record.

http://theprovince.com/category/news/bc-politics

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NorthReport wrote:

In retrospect I disagree.

———————————

Three years. 357 pieces of legislation. Dave Barrett’s extraordinary record.

http://theprovince.com/category/news/bc-politics

As I said, Dave was a great premier in the short time he had the job.  I take nothing away from him on that.  It's hard to see how that would have transferred to the federal sphere eighteen years later.  Dave's approach would have been to play to "Western resentment" politics, and Western resentment politics could never be made into something progressive and inclusive.  All he'd have done as federal leader would have been to tack further and further right.  It's entirely possible that he'd have come out against multiculturalism-and there's no way to do that without at least passively appeasing white supremacism.  It's also entirely possible that he'd have beaten Mike Harcourt to the punch on the idea of demonizing "welfare mothers".

And if Dave's personal appeal, whatever it still was by the early Nineties, was that impressive, shouldn't he at least have been able to hang on to his riding in '93?  he had taken it by 11,000 votes five years earlier...it should have been a safe seat with Dave standing for re-election in it.  That result, by itself, discredits the idea that Dave still had any particular political magic by the time he sought the federal leadership.

And it's not cool to use his passing to implicitly attack Audrey McLaughlin, who faced a combination of adverse conditions no leader could have overcome.  They'd have lost 44 seats in '93 if Tommy D. had come back from the dead to lead them.

NorthReport

 

Oh my goodness!

Ken Burch wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

In retrospect I disagree.

———————————

Three years. 357 pieces of legislation. Dave Barrett’s extraordinary record.

http://theprovince.com/category/news/bc-politics

As I said, Dave was a great premier in the short time he had the job.  I take nothing away from him on that.  It's hard to see how that would have transferred to the federal sphere eighteen years later.  Dave's approach would have been to play to "Western resentment" politics, and Western resentment politics could never be made into something progressive and inclusive.  All he'd have done as federal leader would have been to tack further and further right.  It's entirely possible that he'd have come out against multiculturalism-and there's no way to do that without at least passively appeasing white supremacism.  It's also entirely possible that he'd have beaten Mike Harcourt to the punch on the idea of demonizing "welfare mothers".

And if Dave's personal appeal, whatever it still was by the early Nineties, was that impressive, shouldn't he at least have been able to hang on to his riding in '93?  he had taken it by 11,000 votes five years earlier...it should have been a safe seat with Dave standing for re-election in it.  That result, by itself, discredits the idea that Dave still had any particular political magic by the time he sought the federal leadership.

And it's not cool to use his passing to implicitly attack Audrey McLaughlin, who faced a combination of adverse conditions no leader could have overcome.  They'd have lost 44 seats in '93 if Tommy D. had come back from the dead to lead them.

NorthReport

Dave Barrett Memorial: 'His vision indeed far exceeded that of so many Canadians'

“The meaning of social justice, of compassion, of caring for all British Columbians, not just a select few but everybody, that’s what Dave Barrett was about”

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/dave-barrett-his-vision-indeed-f...

NorthReport

Dave Barrett Memorial: 'His vision indeed far exceeded that of so many Canadians'

“The meaning of social justice, of compassion, of caring for all British Columbians, not just a select few but everybody, that’s what Dave Barrett was about”

 

Former B.C. premier Dave Barrett was hailed as a political trail blazer whose passion, care and charisma captured the heart and soul of the province during a state memorial service Saturday that at times took on the tone of grassroots political gathering more than a grieving ceremony.

Barrett, B.C.’s first elected New Democrat premier, died last month in Victoria after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 87.

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/dave-barrett-his-vision-indeed-f...

NorthReport

Legacy of Dave Barrett lives on

 

For a politician who exited the premier’s office more than 40 years ago,  Dave Barrett left behind him a long and, in many ways, a still living legacy.

The lasting protection of agricultural land. Public auto insurance. Pharmacare.  Neighbourhood pubs. The Cypress Bowl recreation area. Robson Square. The B.C. Day public holiday.

The list goes on. The Art of the Impossible,  a sympathetic account of the Barrett years, written five years ago by journalist Rod Mickleburgh and Geoff Meggs, chief of staff to the current premier, closed with a “partial and subjective list” of the Barrett accomplishments that ran to 97 items.

The Barrett government passed more than 400 pieces of legislature during its brief 3½-year term in office. Not all were good ideas and some were evidence of a government that tried to do too much, too soon.

Barrett would say that in coming to office after 20 years of increasingly ossified Social Credit government, the province’s first New Democratic Party administration had to realize that “we’re here for a good time, not a long time.”

But that’s a bit of historical revisionism. Premier Barrett tried very hard for a second term in the fall of 1975, legislating a cooling-off period for 50,000 workers in four separate labour disputes, then calling a snap election.

Labour didn’t like it and some unions sat on their hands. Still Barrett actually increased his vote count over the previous 1972 election by almost 60,000 votes, a considerable achievement given all the controversies that erupted during his term of office.

The NDP nevertheless lost 20 seats because the right of centre opposition, split three ways in 1972, combined under the leadership of Socred premier Bill Bennett, son of W.A.C. Bennett, whom Barrett had driven from office three years earlier.

Then a remarkable thing happened. Though Bennett and the Socreds rode to office by opposing many of Barrett’s actions, they proceeded to pay grudging tribute to the departed NDP premier by leaving many of his accomplishments more or less intact. The Insurance Corp. of B.C. and the agricultural land reserve were foremost among them.

http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-legacy-of-dave-...