Ken Burch wrote: Why do you keep saying "the NDP should focus on climate change and income inequality", as though the rest of us didn't agree with that?
I'm disappointed in the NDP showing but I still believe the future will see a reversal in NDP fortunes if they continue to focus on climate change and income inequality.
A strong alliance with the social movements would have given the NDP precisely that emphasis.
Because there seems to be a lot of demand for the NDP to speak out more on foreign affairs and all sorts of other issues. The Leap Manifesto began with romantic declarations about indigenous peoples not climate change or the economy.
Social movements are by their nature evangelical about whatever cause it is they are centred around. "Balance" isn't a primary concern. If the NDP affiliates itself with social movements they become a political party in name only with no chance of election.
In my opinion the work of a political party is to get elected then fulfil the responsibilities of government. The election period is about presenting what the party would do differently from the other parties on issues that will impact me or my community directly.
Once elected the party has an opportunity to reflect their guiding principles on whatever issues they are faced with. To not preach about indigenous peoples but to act in the true spirit of reconcilliation. To be a voice for peace on the world stage. To condemn acts of violence against helpless populations and the distruction of public infrastructure. To negotiate trade deals that benefit workers.
I do agree with you that the party has to be more vocal about taking progressive positions on current events as they happen but not just condemnation of current government policy. I liked Singh's response that he doesn't know what he would do about TM other than not expanding it because he didn't have all the figures on it. Even so in general I want to know what the party would do if it were in power.
I agree with you that Singh should have spoken up sooner about taxing wealth and pharmacare and climate change.
I think social movements should do more to support political parties.
If we learned anything from these results, it's that the NDP needs to be, in a way, evangelical in its approach to the voters. It needs to focus, first of all, on those who currently DON'T vote, not on trying to switch over people who are hostile to the party's core values. It needs to be able to send the message to those who are non-voters, or who vote for parties whose agendas are against their own self-interest, as do the plurality of low-income voters who seem to have voted Conservative-as well as those who vote for minor Left parties or the Greens on "anti-establishment" grounds, that while the Cons and the Liberals are the parties of the dreary, nothing-can-be-done status quo, the NDP offers actual hope, offers ideas that address the needs and the dreams of these people-that it's a party which will work to make a real differences in their lives and IN life itself.
As to foreign policy...well, one of the things that comes into the issues of climate justice and income inequality IS, in effect foreign policy and the use of military force. What Canada supports in the rest of the world affects the climate and affects the income levels people have. The way Canada causes other people to be treated in the world affects how people are treated in the world. The climate is affected by which regimes Canada allies itself or invades in the rest of the world. Every war Canada has been involved with in the world in particular, and most recently in the unending wars in the Arab/Muslim world, has been an environmental disaster and has swallowed the resources which might have been used to address income inequality and climate issues at home.
The NDP can't work for transformational change if it stops its agenda of change at water's edge, at the Arctic Sea, and at the southern border. A party of change must be internationalist, and beyond the need for territorial self-defense against external aggression, it should be as non-militarist as possible-not in the sense of personal hostility to members of the service, something none of us should feel, but in the sense of recognizing that the use of military force can no longer make a positive difference in the lives of the many. The work of ending war is directly connected to the work of addressing income inequality and climate change, as is the work of addressing the historic and continuing injustices visited on Indigenous Canadians, especially since there is a long-standing fight on the part of settler-capitalists to steal extractive resources on unceded Indigenous lands, and since a just and progressive future for Canada as a whole will not be built if Indigenous culture is not validated. and if wealth stolen by expropriating the wealth of Indigenous lands in the past is not used to revive and revere those cultures, and grant "parity of esteem" to Indigenous cultures, those comments about Indigenous cultures in the Leap are worth endorsing. It's not as though those comments do anyone any harm. And it's not as though the NDP would ever win the votes of people whose attitude was "THOSE people need to just 'move on' and live like the rest of us" regarding Indigenous peoples.
And the results of 2015 and 2019 prove that it doesn't win votes for the NDP to reduce its strategy to trying to get elected by reassuring people to its right that it's not threatening, and to make it clear that the party's program of change will be as limited as possible.