DEXTER GOVT: Managing Communications with the Base on a Diet of Austerity Budgets and Tax Cuts

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KenS

Quote:

Dexter's right hand man Matt Hebb was NDP to NSGEU senior staff [still running all federal and provincial campaigns] to government. Same cycle for another senior staff in the government. Matt Hebb's wife is the communications person for the union.

She is on the front lines of complaints by union members and activists. That will make for some interesting carryback to the inner sanctum of Orange Tower. [Numbering 5 people at the core.]

The government has already been getting pushback from parts of the base, even without coherence to those parts. I can see it in the hysterical defensiveness of the MLAs. They are primed before I say anything.

And the pace of good news emails to the membership is picking up. Branching out now to have some names and faces of back bench MLAs on them, rather tha the usual suspect: the Cabinet Ministers by now pretty strongly associated with spinning the bad news.

KenS

For the Nova Scotia Dippers out there, Convention is in 5 weeks.

Whether you are going or not, this is the time to be discussing this government among people you know.

KenS

So.

My family pays the price of working for years, decades, to bring the Nova Scotia NDP to where it is.

That removes the only reliable income in the household, so within a year we will be joining the trail west. With that, this house on the Bay of Fundy built over a hundred years ago by my wife's grandfather, will pass out of the family.

I ask that every Nova Scotia New Democrat and supporter read the thread on the education cuts that this government shamelessly spins.

No, I expect that you read it. We paid the price, the least you can do is read and reflect on the facts.

Obfuscating the NDP's Cuts to Schools: what is going on in Nova Scotia

Three more school borads announced their cuts last night, news on that begins with post#15.

KenS

I'm pretty depressed at the moment.

Which I guess is what happens when you get the bad news after a long time of being on the edge and angry. The anger gets burnt out.

About cuts to delivering services, Dexter and company will be as quiet as possible now. Especially, keep that bag of tricks (What The Future Holds) out of sight.

Count on burnout, numbness, and a stunned base to calm the waters.

KenS

As far as that 'What The Future Holds' Dexter bag of tricks has in it: big time health care cuts up next.

And that is going to be MUCH messier- more of the public will be touched and care personally, and there is no equivalent of retiring teachers to soak up all the cuts with the attrition rag.

Be lots of bodies lying around, much more visible than with the schools.

So we can't have that until after the election. And that perhaps is the single biggest reason why they will not wait on pulling the trigger until Budget 2013, or even pre-Budget run-up to. Because even though the cuts will be downloaded to the health boards to make, putting out budget numbers will make it too obvious what is coming.

Slumberjack

I expect my head to be on the block any day at all now as well.  But personally I'm not so much worried about that in terms of ever having worked in support of that outcome.  On behalf of others facing similar circumstances, my conscience is clear at least with regards to that.  I can only guess at the hell you and others may be going through, which causes me despair more than anything else the Dexter government might conjure up out of its bag of tricks.

KenS

Gallows humour: check out the caption that goes with the picture of Dexter in this story.

His words make a nifty juxtaposition with the headline of the story.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/05/10/ns-power-exec...

 

NS Power executives get double-digit raises
Emera CEO paid $2.99 million

"Premier Darrell Dexter says the raises coming to Capital Health workers could result in layoffs."

Yes, they'll have to pay with their jobs for those extortionist 2% wage increases.

KenS

And, hot off the presses:

Health districts feel pinch

Quote:

The budget axe will fall on health authorities in 2012-13, but not as hard as expected.

WHAT a surprise. Now who would have predicted that?

1springgarden

[img]http://thegrainery.ca/images/FrankDarrell.JPG[/img]

A hard-hitting piece in this week's Frank magazine explores how the Dexter NDP has moved far away from the base of the party but still manages to keep solid polling numbers.  David Young here on Babble similarly pointed to the NDP's solid polling numbers (post #43) and, despite the criticism of the Dexter NDP, this is in fact correct.  Explanation? A combination of no available left alternative party, the NSGEU having not yet broken with the NDP government over the austerity agenda (few protests) and the undeniable policy appeal to the right -- Dexter is carrying out the program of the business community.

From the article:

Dr. Jeff MacLeod, Political Science Dept., Mount Saint Vincent University wrote:
"This government is an enigma in a couple of ways to me.  Firstly, they've managed to move so far away from their base in such a dramatic way, and frankly so far, only pay a small political price."
...
"It's hard to imagine how they could alienate their base anymore than they have."
...
"It's pretty hard to distinguish the rhetoric you hear from this cabinet from others in the past. There's more austerity than you saw in the MacDonald government."
...
"it's difficult to imagine how they will construct an election campaign that's going to make any sense, compared to what they did last time."

The article says that because the opposition is weak, the Dexter NDP is dominating the discourse (eg "Balance", "Jobs Start Here", "Making Life More Affordable") and will likely continue to govern.  I'm sure it helps that Dexter has largely co-opted the PCs/Libs platform.  The fact that the NDP left-wing base has nowhere to go electorally makes for a winning combination alongside the business-friendly appeal of the Dexter austerity agenda.

A sidebar article says Colchester North NDP riding president James Stevens has quit, quoting him "I have been unhappy with the direction the NDP has taken under the premier.  And my dismay increases with announcements from the government.  I will not be re-offering for the presidency."

If there was ever "trust" placed by the base in the Dexter NDP, it is evaporating rapidly and for good reason.

Wanted to post this information to continue to chronicle the emergence of left-criticism to the NS NDP government.

Slumberjack

I contend one of two things is at play here.  It is either the case that the grassroots organizers of the party still considers it feasible to keep trying to influence and push forward a progressive agenda from within, hoping against all evidence of the past few years in other words, or they are party to the acquisition of power for its own sake, that being the privileges, perks, personal influence and satisfaction that comes from being loyal grassroots organizers for the winning side.  You see, there are grassroots everyday sympathizers who vote every once and awhile, and then there are certain upstanding individuals within any political organization that do the day in and day out groundwork to mobilize that segment of the electorate.  No revolt from within can occur so long as the select few who do the work of organizing set themselves to the task.  All the higher echelon of the political apparatus has to do in order to maintain course is to ensure that certain key people are looked after.

KenS

Except for that last sentence "All the higher echelon of the political apparatus has to do in order to maintain course..." I pretty much agree with what you say is at play, in the NS NDP... and in any left grassroots organization that governs, contends to govern, or otherwise priorizes moving the mainstream.

I actually know the apple cart can be upset, and sometimes is, even with the top layers kept happy. But that is cart before horse. The horse is mostly what you were talking about, and I'll add to that.

Grassroots organizers ALWAYS believe it feasible to influence in the direction of a progressive agenda. Or they are content with whatever they get. The latter is not necessarily the manifestation of a solitary focus on power for powers sake. In the NDP at least, it is more often a boundless capacity to rationalize..... which turns back to the first thing: the activists who know this isnt going in the direction for which they do this work, but think its feasible to influence things in that direction. The 'rationalizers' tell themselves the direction being taken is already sufficient.

Practically speaking, I would characterize that as two basic types of grassroots activists. There are the ones who will rationalize just about everything. Then there are the others who are more realistic, but think it is reasonable to expect a change... no matter how difficult they realize that may be.

The latter group, as a change begins to look less possible, they leave. The rationalizers stay. But even they are not to be taken for granted. They may evaluate less rigorously, but there are still tipping points for everyone.

It is actually BOTH kinds of grassroots organizers who keep the party in the shape it can win elections. The NS NDP can remain far ahead as the most popular with the general public, but if the footsoldiers walk away, it is sunk. First stiff wind that comes along, it is out of power.

And while you might think that the footsoldiers leaving can be replaced by people attracted to the situation as is [winning does have that charm].... it does not work that way. Historically, governing NDPs have a hard time maintaining the strength of the organization even when their governing is not particularly straining the trust of the base.

KenS

"What do you want? ... The PCs and Liberals to come back to government instead? Is that supposed to be better?"

Liberals and Tories, same old story. Now in Nova Scotia, the NDP too.

No, that's not fair. The Dexter government has competency over the boobsey twins.

Which is why they are so popular with the local mainstream media: same old agenda, applied with competence.

What's not to like, eh?

That's fine if it is what you want, or if you are Dipper willing to sheepishly take whatever is dished up. ["At least we're doing it. They would do it worse."]

I was never looking for pie in the sky. Ironicallly, I've always been pegged more or less on the right of the party. But I do expect social democracy. Maybe it has to be diluted... fine, I'll wait.

But that same pragmatism that gets to me to wait, also gets applied to the bigger picture: if we are not getting anything different from the NDP, then it's not social democracy... even [necessarily] watered down social democracy.



Night Of The Governing Dead

Zombies Took the NS NDP !

 

KenS

Zombies

KenS
KenS

Dexter says no way to republicizing NSPower- CBC audio clip of Labour Council arguing for it.

And apparently the Liberals have an ad in the Coast calling for re-publicising.

disenchanted

A perfect photo in this article, which conveys all we need to know about the nature of "social democracy" under Darryl Dexter.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/96469-armour-group-lands-rbc-as-an...

Better to hang out with RBC than with the labour council.

 

 

Unionist

KenS wrote:

Dexter says no way to republicizing NSPower- CBC audio clip of Labour Council arguing for it.

And apparently the Liberals have an ad in the Coast calling for re-publicising.

Nor did the Saskatchewan NDP take back Potash Corp.

Nor did the Manitoba NDP take back Manitoba Telephone System.

But oh, did they righteously beat their breasts in opposition while these public goods were stolen and given away cheap.

 

Slumberjack

The Dexter Diet.  Taking food from the tables of hard pressed education and health care sector workers and their families, and wrapping it to go for the Irvings.  A sure way to slim down to the bone.

Hunky_Monkey

Quote:
Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald has released Nova Scotia's first ever government-wide strategy for mental health and addictions care called Together We Can: The Plan to Improve Mental Health and Addictions Care for Nova Scotians.

The five-year plan outlines 33 actions to provide better care sooner for Nova Scotians living with mental illness and addictions and their families.

Some of the key actions include:
•Placing mental health clinicians in SchoolsPlus family of schools in all school boards in Nova Scotia to identify and treat mental health problems of children and youth earlier
•Funding projects of community agencies to help Nova Scotians of all ages living with mental illness and addictions
•Expanding opioid replacement treatment to areas of the province with the greatest need
•Expanding the successful Strongest Families program, which provides telephone coaching to families that have children with behavioral or anxiety difficulties, across the province
•Expanding peer support to help people with mental illness transition successfully from the hospital to the community
•Expanding the toll-free crisis line across the province to make sure that people with mental health and addictions concerns are able to talk to someone immediately

http://www.gov.ns.ca/health/mhs/mental-health-addiction-strategy.asp

Hunky_Monkey

Quote:
Ambulance fees are dropping for some Nova Scotia residents.

“We are making these changes to protect Nova Scotia’s most vulnerable, so an emergency situation does not become a financial burden,” Health Minister Maureen MacDonald said Monday.

“For some Nova Scotians, the cost associated with using this service has caused them to second-guess themselves in an emergency.”

As of July 1, residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and residential care facilities, who need an ambulance will pay $50 instead of the current $134.52, MacDonald said during an announcement at an Emergency Health Services paramedic base in Burnside.

As well, Nova Scotia residents unable to travel by conventional vehicle for health reasons and who need an ambulance to get to medically necessary appointments will see the cost drop to $100 from $168.14

People with lower incomes will also be eligible for a break on ambulance fees beginning Sept. 1 through a “financial hardship appeal process.”

The reduction in ambulance fees is one of a number of initiatives to improve access to health care as outlined in the government’s December 2010 Better Care Sooner plan, MacDonald said.

“A few Nova Scotians have shared their stories with me and we have discussed the costs associated with an ambulance ride,” she said.

“I firmly believe that during a medical emergency our most vulnerable citizens should be able to call on our ground ambulance service without worrying about how they are going to pay that bill.”

MacDonald said she believes this is the first time ambulance fees have been reduced in the province.

The details of changes to ambulance fees for low-income Nova Scotians will be announced during the summer, she said.

There will be “a finanical hardship appeals process for Nova Scotians with low incomes. Nova Scotians who qualify for the financial hardship appeal process will not have to pay an ambulance fee.”

Bill VanGorder said many seniors are worried about the costs associated with an ambulance. Some wrongly believe it can cost as much as $700.

The “announcement of these reductions will give Nova Scotia seniors the peace of mind to call 911 when they are experiencing an emergency,” said VanGorder, past-president of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, Nova Scotia chapter, and chairman of the Group of IX Seniors’ Advisory Council.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/96113-ambulance-fees-cut-for-mos...

KenS

When I heard Maureen talking about the mental health initiatives yesterday, I thought this is good.

Credit given where credit due: STEPHENSON: Kudos to N.S. for mental health moves

So its business as usual in Nova Scotia, we have got some good initiatives from the NDP as well as from all of the same old story Liberals and Tories.

 

KenS
1springgarden

Good article KenS, thank you for writing it.  The NS NDP had options other than the present tax-cut induced austerity, as the case has never been made that the tax cuts are affordable and do not lead right back to structural deficit (see http://rabble.ca/comment/1345853 ).

An NDP in opposition would have no doubt vociferously opposed the tax cuts and austerity to pay for them.  As it is, with the NDP in government, there is very little opposition in the legislature to the program of rush back-to-balance, tax cutting, austerity for public services and prioritizing a competitive business environment.  If anything, the NDP's program has encouraged the PCs and Liberals to position themselves further to the right to differentiate themselves from the NDP.  The result has been that the whole political discourse in Nova Scotia has tacked to the right.  It's arguable the NDP was more useful to Nova Scotians in opposition where they had previously acted as a useful left opposition.

Your article together with Christine Saulnier's article [url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alex/2012/04/hst-cut-nova-scotia-detract... cut in Nova Scotia: Detracting from real debate about our future[/url] details the full story of the Dexter NDP's failure of social democratic vision.  It will be difficult to mount much enthusiasm for a second NDP term in government.

Slumberjack

Total secrecy is also an effective way to manage communications.

Loan Details Withheld

Quote:
Nova Scotia is investing $304 million in Irving Shipyard as part of a federal shipbuilding procurement, but the government refuses to release more information about the deal. 

The NDP government said that might harm the province's economy and releasing information would violate the privacy of a third party. The loan is the biggest single financial investment in the history of the Nova Scotia government. A total of $260 million is a forgivable loan and the remaining $44 million is repayable.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

1springgarden wrote:

Good article KenS, thank you for writing it.  The NS NDP had options other than the present tax-cut induced austerity, as the case has never been made that the tax cuts are affordable and do not lead right back to structural deficit (see http://rabble.ca/comment/1345853 ).

An NDP in opposition would have no doubt vociferously opposed the tax cuts and austerity to pay for them.  As it is, with the NDP in government, there is very little opposition in the legislature to the program of rush back-to-balance, tax cutting, austerity for public services and prioritizing a competitive business environment.  If anything, the NDP's program has encouraged the PCs and Liberals to position themselves further to the right to differentiate themselves from the NDP.  The result has been that the whole political discourse in Nova Scotia has tacked to the right.  It's arguable the NDP was more useful to Nova Scotians in opposition where they had previously acted as a useful left opposition.

Your article together with Christine Saulnier's article [url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alex/2012/04/hst-cut-nova-scotia-detract... cut in Nova Scotia: Detracting from real debate about our future[/url] details the full story of the Dexter NDP's failure of social democratic vision.  It will be difficult to mount much enthusiasm for a second NDP term in government.

Yeah, they are Libs, just like they are here in Manitoba. If Mulcair turns out to be a Lib as well, I am done with politics.

Slumberjack

Anti-politics is still politics, except that it seeks to unplug as many people as possible from what passes for politics. What we actually have is a continuous snow job across the length and breadth of this frozen popsicle stand.

Aristotleded24

Arthur Cramer wrote:

1springgarden wrote:

Good article KenS, thank you for writing it.  The NS NDP had options other than the present tax-cut induced austerity, as the case has never been made that the tax cuts are affordable and do not lead right back to structural deficit (see http://rabble.ca/comment/1345853 ).

An NDP in opposition would have no doubt vociferously opposed the tax cuts and austerity to pay for them.  As it is, with the NDP in government, there is very little opposition in the legislature to the program of rush back-to-balance, tax cutting, austerity for public services and prioritizing a competitive business environment.  If anything, the NDP's program has encouraged the PCs and Liberals to position themselves further to the right to differentiate themselves from the NDP.  The result has been that the whole political discourse in Nova Scotia has tacked to the right.  It's arguable the NDP was more useful to Nova Scotians in opposition where they had previously acted as a useful left opposition.

Your article together with Christine Saulnier's article [url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alex/2012/04/hst-cut-nova-scotia-detract... cut in Nova Scotia: Detracting from real debate about our future[/url] details the full story of the Dexter NDP's failure of social democratic vision.  It will be difficult to mount much enthusiasm for a second NDP term in government.

Yeah, they are Libs, just like they are here in Manitoba. If Mulcair turns out to be a Lib as well, I am done with politics.

Dexter sounds much worse than Doer was.

madmax

Why has this thread not been moved to the Provincial Section???

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

With policies like the above Dexter has managed to become the most hated Premier in the country.  Mind you he is basically in a statistical tie with Christy Clark and Jean Charest. The NDP talks the talk while in opposition.  It is their follow through that remains lacking. 

Quote:

The approval rating for New Brunswick’s David Alward is 36 per cent, slightly ahead of Quebec Premier Jean Charest (32%), Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty (31%), and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark (30%). The lowest ranked premier this quarter is Darrel Dexter in Nova Scotia at 27 per cent.

This month, four provincial heads of government are disapproved by three-in-five of their constituents: McGuinty (60%), Clark (63%), Charest (64%) and Dexter (65%).

The Opposition

The survey also asked respondents to provide an approval rating for all of the opposition party leaders in their respective province. The list is headed once again by New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Lorraine Michael in Newfoundland and Labrador (57%). British Columbia NDP leader Adrian Dix gained six points this quarter to reach second place (53%), followed by Nova Scotia Liberal leader Stephen McNeil (52%), and Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath (51%).

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/45141/wall-best-dexter-worst-as-canadian...

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

With policies like the above Dexter has managed to become the most hated Premier in the country.  Mind you he is basically in a statistical tie with Christy Clark and Jean Charest. The NDP talks the talk while in opposition.  It is their follow through that remains lacking. 

Quote:

The approval rating for New Brunswick’s David Alward is 36 per cent, slightly ahead of Quebec Premier Jean Charest (32%), Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty (31%), and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark (30%). The lowest ranked premier this quarter is Darrel Dexter in Nova Scotia at 27 per cent.

This month, four provincial heads of government are disapproved by three-in-five of their constituents: McGuinty (60%), Clark (63%), Charest (64%) and Dexter (65%).

The Opposition

The survey also asked respondents to provide an approval rating for all of the opposition party leaders in their respective province. The list is headed once again by New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Lorraine Michael in Newfoundland and Labrador (57%). British Columbia NDP leader Adrian Dix gained six points this quarter to reach second place (53%), followed by Nova Scotia Liberal leader Stephen McNeil (52%), and Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath (51%).

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/45141/wall-best-dexter-worst-as-canadian...

Its because they act like Liberals.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Its because they act like Liberals.

So do you think that Dexter will make the big leap to federal politics.  He could follow in the footsteps of Dosanjh and Rae and run for the Liberals. I hear they have an opening for a faux progressive.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

There's no longer any incentive for a right-leaning Dipper to cross over to the Libs.  Dosanjh and Rae did that, as much as anything else, because at the time that was the only chance they had to be in power at the federal level.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

There's no longer any incentive for a right-leaning Dipper to cross over to the Libs.  Dosanjh and Rae did that, as much as anything else, because at the time that was the only chance they had to be in power at the federal level.

 

Sorry Ken I don't have a tongue in cheek smilie.

Wink

Fidel

This is all fine but it feeds the illusion that says the Feds in Ottawa appear to have been doing their jobs all along. It's an overall political narrative that says the feds are not to blame for the top-down neoliberalorama. The implication is that the blame for a lack of money for programs spending in general falls on each and every province and territory for allowing themselves to be divided and conquered and pitted one against the other in Darwinian economic competition aka the race to the bottom. I can't buy into this weak conspiracy theory. The wheels fell off that one some time ago. In a comparison of 30 state capitalist country economies over the last 30 years, our boys in Ottawa are near the front of the class for having implemented the full neoliberal Monty. Top marks.

clambake

Depressing thread. So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?

knownothing knownothing's picture

clambake wrote:

Depressing thread. So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?

All governments lose their direction and principles over time. Get the young people making decisions and get the old people to give advice on how the system works.

Fidel

clambake wrote:
 So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?
 

No they are all bad. And the feds never cut tens of billions of dollars in social transfers to the provinces, so our neoliberal stooges in Ottawa are only a positive force for good in the deal. If only NDP provincial governments would raise corporate tax rates to match what the feds demand from profitable corporatinos  when fully funding the social lien, more people might vote NDP. What the NDP does with all the bags of money the feds hand to them no one really knows for sure. But we can still offer our creative crticisms on the NDP hoping that they will change political tack some day. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

clambake wrote:

Depressing thread. So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?

Dave Barrett's and Mike Harcourt's governments but not Glen Clark's. 

I thank Dave for the agricultural land reserve all the time.

KenS

knownothing wrote:

All governments lose their direction and principles over time.

And then there are some that are that way from the beginning... although then you wouldnt really call it losing direction.

Fidel

Glen Clark? Was he the guy made premier of B.C. one year after an infamous federal budget was handed down from Ottawa? Uncanny coincidence perhaps. And that patio deck for a liquor licence affair was absolutely scandalous. 

KenS

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I thank Dave for the agricultural land reserve all the time.

You must be some old.  Wink

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

clambake wrote:

Depressing thread. So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?

Dave Barrett's 1972-75 BC NDP government was actually pretty good.

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:

clambake wrote:

Depressing thread. So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?

Dave Barrett's 1972-75 BC NDP government was actually pretty good.

More or less. Don't forget the 80,000 striking workers (brewery, ferry, bus, can't recall all the sectors) that he legislated back to work for a several-month "cooling off" period, which had the lovely effect of capturing them within Trudeau's wage-and-price-control time frame.

I have a fairly long memory for governments which attack workers. And so do workers.

ETA: Whoops, just noticed this:

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Dave Barrett's and Mike Harcourt's governments but not Glen Clark's.

Harcourt's government legislated striking teachers back to work in 1993.

And [url=http://mostlywater.org/node/542]here's more detail[/url] about how every single NDP government in BC's history has attacked workers' right to free collective bargaining at one time or another.

Just to keep the record straight.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I said pretty good...not infallible.  Compared to the Rae years in Ontario or the Sask. NDP austerity regime in the Nineties(OR the Doer government in Manitoba that refused to ever pass an anti-scab bill), Barrett was at least far less of a disappointment.  There were significant gains for workers and a strong boost in the social wage. 

It isn't realistic to expect a provincial government, even a QS government in Quebec should you ever get one, to never get crosswise with the labour movement.  Even Clement Attlee stopped some strikes during his 1945-51 Labour government in the UK, IIRC.  And if SYRIZA gets into power in Greece this Sunday, they will probably piss off a lot of supporters.  It's basically about hoping you get more wins than losses during the time a left-of-center government is in power.

Fidel

Ken Burch wrote:
  Even Clement Attlee stopped some strikes during his 1945-51 Labour government in the UK, IIRC.

Unions in the 60s and 70's seem to know which governments were vulnerable when attempting to bring them down with strike actions. I think European unions were infiltrated by right-rightists.

Of course, the political right didn't fear unions as much. Old Churchill admitted to admiring General Franco's approach: Soldiers and machine guns. And Maggie worked with Lech to knock down unions in two countries.

Solidarnosc!

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist you are absolutely right that all the BC NDP governments acted like less than honourable employers in collective bargaining.  That was not the question I was answering. I am saying that neither Harcourt or Barrett pissed off their base.  They may have been disappointing in many areas but not enough to piss off their base.  Glen did that and Ujjal took the fall. 

I went into the BC Elections site and it confirmed what I thought I knew.

In 1972 Barret received about 448 thousand votes with 39.6%.  In 1975 his vote increased slightly to 505 thousand but with 39.2%.

In 1991 Harcourt received 595 thousand votes at 40.7%. In 1996 the NDP got 624 thousand votes but was down to 39.5%

In 2001 after Glen pissed off the base the NDP got 343 thousand votes at 21.6%

That is pissing off your base.

KenS

The Base Bites Back

Here's a letter that went to all Caucus members. And from there has been circulating very quickly.

The government seems to be doing pretty well with the general public in its polling. But you can't win when you are fighting too much of your base.

Significant chunks of the base are always unhappy with NDP governments. But there is a difference between being disgruntled, and being terminally pissed.

 

Molly Hurd and Lars Osberg

6271 Summit Street
Halifax, NS
B3L 1R6

Sunday, June 23, 2012


Dear NDP Caucus Member,

We are writing this letter - as supporters who have worked for, and donated to, the NDP
through many past elections - because we would like to support the NDP in the next Nova
Scotia provincial election, but we are now trying to see the point.

We supported the NDP, through many years, because we think Nova Scotia needs
changes. Although in many ways this is a wonderful place to live, Nova Scotia could do better.
For many years, while in opposition, the NDP spoke to the values of social justice, equality of
opportunity and environmental sustainability that we think to be important. One can only
imagine what the NDP, when in opposition, would have said about the priorities of a provincial
budget which:

• Gave (via forgivable loan) $304 Million to the Irvings
• Cut the tax rate for large corporations;
• Forced spending cuts on health care, and primary, secondary and post-secondary
education.

We recognize that building a fairer, more sustainable and more beautiful province will
take resources. However, even before the provincial budget was presented, the Premier
announced that the government's over-riding priority, once budget balance is achieved, will be to
cut the HST and reinstate the rates of provincial income and sales taxation established by the
previous Conservative government.

One cannot expect to receive public services without paying for them. The Dexter pledge
to restore the previous Conservative government's tax rate policy will tie the hands of a reelected
NDP government for the long-term. If the over-riding priority of an NDP government on
the tax side is to reinstate the tax rates of the previous Conservative government, then budget
balance implies that on the expenditure side one cannot expect that Nova Scotians will ever
receive better public services than those provided under previous Conservative and Liberal
governments.

Indeed, in addition to the revenue from income and sales taxes, the previous Conservative
government could, and did, spend the money from temporary increases in revenue from offshore
natural gas and equalization - revenues which are now gone. And this NDP government has also
chosen to forego over $90 Million per year in revenue by exempting home heating fuel from


sales taxation (a policy choice which provides the biggest benefits to those with the largest
houses, least insulation and highest thermostat settings). So when the NDP now promises to
return to the previous Conservative government's tax rates, one cannot expect that this will
provide enough revenue to pay for the level of public services actually provided by the previous
Conservative government, let alone honouring long-standing NDP commitments to reduce
poverty and improve healthcare and education.
houses, least insulation and highest thermostat settings). So when the NDP now promises to
return to the previous Conservative government's tax rates, one cannot expect that this will
provide enough revenue to pay for the level of public services actually provided by the previous
Conservative government, let alone honouring long-standing NDP commitments to reduce
poverty and improve healthcare and education.

We recognize that government must pay its bills. We know that if tax rates on Nova
Scotia's more fortunate citizens increase, to pay for the services which will benefit all members
of the community, then we personally will pay more taxes. We think that it is only fair that those
of us who have received greater financial benefits from the community should also pay more to
support the community - and in past elections, we worked for, and donated to, a party that we
thought shared these values of social justice and would change Nova Scotia for the better.

However, a party whose principle taxation pledge is to bring back the tax rates of the
previous government is not a party of change. And there is nothing new about the expenditure
priorities of the last NDP budget - indeed, there is a long tradition of Nova Scotia governments
throwing millions of taxpayer dollars at large industrial employers, from Clairtone to Sydney
Steel, in attempts to maintain blue collar jobs, while starving education and social services. So
if the NDP now actually stands for anything fundamentally different, for any change from
previous governments, it is hard to see what it is. And if the NDP is not a party of change in
Nova Scotia, why should those who want change support it?

Yours sincerely,

Lars Osberg and Molly Hurd
Jackie Barkley
Carl Boyd
Helen Castonguay
Milton Chew
Theresa Chu
Joeanne Coffey
Blanche and Tom Creighton
Michael Cross
Gwen Davies
Patricia De Meo
Dick Evans
Anne Marie Foote
Heather Frenette
Ruth and Herb Gamberg
Jim Guild
Judy and Larry Haiven
Jane and Steve Hart
Patricia Hawes


Barb Keddy
Marie Kettle
Pat Kipping
Winniefred Kwak
Heather MacDonald
Innis MacDonald
Margie Macdonald
Sheila MacDonald
Jane MacMillan
Leanne MacMillan
Ann Manicom
Carol Millett
Wayne Mundle
Paul O'Hara
Brian O'Neill
Donna Parker
David Roback
Olga Scibior
Linda Scherzinger
Wendy Watson Smith
Linda Snyder
Sarah Wakely
Cliff White
Rita Wilson
James Wolford
Carole Woodhall
Marie Kettle
Pat Kipping
Winniefred Kwak
Heather MacDonald
Innis MacDonald
Margie Macdonald
Sheila MacDonald
Jane MacMillan
Leanne MacMillan
Ann Manicom
Carol Millett
Wayne Mundle
Paul O'Hara
Brian O'Neill
Donna Parker
David Roback
Olga Scibior
Linda Scherzinger
Wendy Watson Smith
Linda Snyder
Sarah Wakely
Cliff White
Rita Wilson
James Wolford
Carole Woodhall

 

1springgarden

The only answer is "Keep Modernizing", or so I've been told.  "You can't have socialism in one province", this may be a race to the bottom but we're "in it to win it!"

I don't think it was discussed here that NS Finance Minister Graham Steele resigned from his high-profile cabinet post about a month back, supposedly to spend time with his family, but I heard (a rumour) it was a disagreement with Dexter over the HST cut, Dexter personally announced the HST cut just days before Steele presented this year's budget.  Who is advising Dexter?

As for the Hurd / Osberg letter, it is a serious slam from prominent Halifax members of the NDP, Lars Osberg being an "NDP Economist" if ever there was one and the signatories being from throughout academia and labour (but curiously not the NSGEU).

It's obvious Dexter, like all the capitalist premiers, is completely out of ideas, has no compelling vision to offer and his "Better deal for today's families", "Jobs start here" and "Back to balance" are all ringing completely hollow. 

The Nova Scotia economy is eroding, Dexter's and Harper's cuts are biting harder and the province needs fresh thinking fast.  The NDP should very soon reject "balance" in favour of stability until the economy recovers, the dollar declines and Harper is defeated, in the meantime policies should emphasize redistribution.  If the NDP fights the 2013 election once again on a Tory / Liberal (NDP?) platform (tax cuts, austerity) then the party needs to lose the election and rid ourselves of Dexter and his advisers.

 

Hunky_Monkey

1springgarden wrote:

I don't think it was discussed here that NS Finance Minister Graham Steele resigned from his high-profile cabinet post about a month back, supposedly to spend time with his family, but I heard (a rumour) it was a disagreement with Dexter over the HST cut, Dexter personally announced the HST cut just days before Steele presented this year's budget.  Who is advising Dexter?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Steele announced the cuts? And they weren't in the budget that Steele introduced but in possible future budgets? As long as the 1 point cut matched a future budget surplus?

KenS

I'm not sure what your point is.

The HST tax cuts were not part of this budget. But governments all the time put future fiscal commitments in with [current] budgets.

And you dont think there is anything the least bit contingent about that tax cut do you? Formally, it is contingent on a matching budget surplus. But you know that having promised it, they are on the line, and they will do it. There is already the planned continuation of the slashing so that they will get that surplus. Thay told the school boards that. And they'll be turning up the heat on the health boards after the election is out of the way.

If it takes even more slashing than they expect to pay for these tax cuts, so be it.

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