Goodbye, NDP

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Rev Pesky wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

From Frozen Snowshoe:

If a staff member was told to make sure he didn't step out of line at a convention and did so, she was just doing her job.

Really. Think about that for a moment. Is this person saying the NDP would send a staffer to monitor an elected MP, and try to prevent them from speaking? That's  bordering on criminal.  

How is that bordering on criminal? If everyone could speak whenever they chose for as long as they chose it would be chaos. The staffer was just doing her job. 

Rev Pesky wrote:
  I mean, the party has a perfect right to say to a caucus member that if they go somewhere, and say some things, they risk their position in caucus. This is far beyond that. This is downright suppression. It's one thing to say to someone that there may be repercussions from saying things, it's another thing altogether to demand they don't say those things at all, and put hired people in position to make sure they don't say them. That is unconscionable.  

He wasn't silenced he just wasn't allow to speak at the mike. 

Rev Pesky wrote:

Instead, the federal government’s discussion paper proposes output-based allocations for carbon-intensive, trade-exposed facilities. Weir is releasing a discussion paper comparing this approach to federal border adjustments. It outlines several advantages of border adjustments: they could be applied comprehensively, increase federal revenues rather than reducing provincial revenues, and comply with international trade agreements.

Federal NDP leadership candidate Peter Julian has endorsed this approach to ensure that carbon pricing applies consistently across the Canadian market, wherever the seller is located.

That was the idea too dangerous to be spoken aloud. These were the words a party staffer was sent to prevent Weir from speaking.   

It wasn't too dangerous it was too stupid. Everyone who thinks they have a good idea doesn't get to present it at the mike. He could hand out his discussion paper, publish it on his website etc.

Rev Pesky wrote:
  But my suggestion to the NDP membership is, 'clean house'. The bureaucrats have completely taken over the party, and it won't become a progressive party again until the bureaucracy is gone.  

Depends on how you define progressive. Of the three parties it remains the most progressive. It does differ from the Liberal party. Why not make up your mind when the platform comes out?


He wasn't silenced he just wasn't allow to speak

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

josh wrote:

He wasn't silenced he just wasn't allow to speak

Dare I say Orwellian? Pondering is proving herself to be quite the authoritarian when she agrees with the authorities.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..while the venezuala governement leaves a lot to be desired it is still far better than the right wing parties have to offer the peoples. there is and inside outside struggle working to overcome the contradictions. another example of inside outside would be the labour party. 

Communes and Workers’ Control in Venezuela


It is interesting that we are used to seeing class struggle for the state or outside the state, but here it is somehow brought into the institutions…

It is both inside and outside. We could say it is “inside, outside, with, against and beyond” the state and the institutions! Which is really complicated and contradictory. We have to keep in mind that these are (at best) bourgeois institutions, so their tendency is to assimilate and co-opt everything, not to build socialism or participation, obviously. Therefore it is a very complicated and contradictory struggle, which has been an important element in countries like Venezuela.

In countries that are built around very few extractive industries, oil in the Venezuelan case, class struggle has not been direct but mostly about access to the state, which was the big distributor of the oil rent. This was true even before Chávez. You had private capitalists trying to get as much money as possible, while workers also directed their demands to the state. After 1998, with the election of Chávez, this struggle was moved also inside the state and it is still there.

Unfortunately I think that huge pressure from the outside is silencing too many contradictions and struggles. In a moment when the threat from the outside is so strong many of the movements who would have critiques to voice have to close ranks. Because obviously if the opposition takes back power, or if the US intervenes militarily, directly or using Colombia as a proxy (which I think is more probable), then there is not even a chance to have these discussions because everything in the Bolivarian Revolution would be eliminated.

..i have a personal fondness for the spanish experiment which i believe can be adopted easily here to advance our own experiment. it is amazing to me how far the pipeline/extraction/environment struggle has gotten. the coming together of so many people of diverse walks of life. it has stymied big oil and governments alike. i've never seen this before to this extent in canada. it is also cross border. it even deals with the ndp contradictions somewhat in alta, bc and ottawa. you want to pursue the tarsands project go ahead..we'll block the pipelines says que says bc says many others across the country.

Madrid as a democracy lab


More than 300.000 users strong, Decide Madrid is consolidating itself as the hegemonic space for participation in the city. It activates a variety of processes, debates, proposals, and projects. Its free software means that any city can adapt Consul to its needs, without any substantial investment, and set up a platform. From Barcelona to A Coruña, from Rome to Paris and Buenos Aires, dozens of institutions around the world have replicated the initial Decide Madrid core, thus setting up what Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s digital minister, calls a "liquid federation of cities". Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, ​​praising the cooperative network of participation cities says: "It is very interesting that in Barcelona we have been able to carry out our first experience of digital participation, Decidim Barcelona, ​​adapting Madrid’s base code. Once we have had a first proposal, we have shared it with many municipalities throughout Catalonia".


As I mentioned in the other thread, this wasn't at a national convention; it was at a Saskatchewan Provincial convention, which makes this even more bizarre.

I suppose if one is inclined to abandon a movement to people who think they can get away with stuff like this there have been plenty of opportunities to do so back to the 70s, at least.

On the other hand, there isn't a party or movement in the world that doesn't have similar gangs. There's a reason why it is called politics.

Rev Pesky

From Pondering:

It wasn't too dangerous it was too stupid. Everyone who thinks they have a good idea doesn't get to present it at the mike. He could hand out his discussion paper, publish it on his website etc.

I'll begin by pointing out that in the original that I quoted, Peter Julian, another person who briefly ran for party leadership agreed with Weir's approach. So that must mean Julian is just as stupid as Weir? Or perhaps it's some other person who is stupid.

And this bit about 'just doing her job'. This is a crock. In fact, I can't imagine who gave the order to the staffer, and I can't imagine a staffer accepting that order.

I wonder if pressure had to be brought to bear on the staffer. That wouldn't surprise me a bit. After all, what staffer in their right mind would accept an order to 'prevent someone from speaking'. My response would have been, preventing people from speaking is not in my job description. You want Weir  silenced (pardon me, 'not to speak') you go and do your own dirty work'.

Further from Pondering:

If everyone could speak whenever they chose for as long as they chose it would be chaos.

Yes, if that were the case, it would be chaos. But that's not what were talking about. Weir wasn't being prevented from talking for as long as he chose, nor when he chose.

He was prevented from speaking at all.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

SocialJustice101 wrote:

NDPP, what's wrong with supporting Ukraine?    Surely no one remotely progressive can support the crony capitalist mafia state that Putin is running.   He is killing journalists and opposition leaders.

The only valid position for progressives to take on Ukraine is staying the hell out of it.  Neither "side" , "pro-Russian" or "Pro-Ukraine" is progressive or has any possible chance of creating an inadvertent progressive outcome.  And from what I've seen, both sides are repressive and basically anti-democracy.

​There are a tiny handful of "pro-Ukrainian" progressives-from the Maidan resistance, the only incident on the entire "pro-Ukrainian" side that wasn't absolutely controlled by the nationalist center-right to far-right, but they will be powerless and irrelevant for the rest of Ukrainian history.  There are to my knowledge, no "progressives" at all on the "pro-Russian" side.  No non-reactionary, non-fascist, non-antisemitic, non-Islamophobic outcome is possible there.

The only thing up for grabs is which decaying empire the competing right-wing nationalist factions wish to ally with-and who other than reactionaries and geopolitics fetishists could possibly think that matters?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

progressive17 wrote:

The Communist Manifesto might be more relevant today than it ever was. Both the Guardian and the BBC have noticed this. Happy 200th Marx birthday...

Absolutely so.  What we need is to do to honor Marx's vision is to totally and absolutely free Marx from any connection to "Marxism-Leninism", an ideology which has nothing whatsoever to do with Marx's shining vision of human liberation and the democratization of life, and which twisted his heroic words to justify repression.


Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

The executive, leader and followers are driven by votes and money. Even panders to a particular base they try to keep happy with as little as possible while they cleave to the centre. 

And here's the thing you don't seem to be seeing: this approach never actually HELPS the NDP.  It simply isolates the party from people who would be its natural supporters if made welcome, without winning the votes of the people centrism is meant to appease:  those voters who are ideologically to the NDP's right and who won't vote for any party that DOESN'T treat the Left like pond scum.  What the NDP "braintrust" refuses to see is that there's no way the NDP COULD ever win voters like that, that that sort of person would almost never vote for any part other than the Liberals or Conservatives no matter what.

Centrism has proved useless to the NDP.  So has suppression of the voices of ordinary party members.  It just doesn't work.

Why can you not accept that, and why do you seem to have a choking hatred and deep-seated fear about the very ideas of internal democracy?  What is it passion for ideas that so frightens you?  What is it about genuine enthusiasm for politics that fills you with contempt?  And where did you get the idea that the only way a party can fight for "regular folks" is to draw a stark line between them and activists, to assume that regular folks and those who work for systemic change can never find common ground?  That it's not possible to win the election by winning the argument?

You vision of politics is extrodinarily bitter and defeatist sometimes.  I think the idea of changing life actually scares you for some reason.

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

I suppose if one is inclined to abandon a movement to people who think they can get away with stuff like this there have been plenty of opportunities to do so back to the 70s, at least.

If there's one thing the NDP is not, it's a 'movement'. It is, as you suggest, a political party similar in many ways to other politicial parties.

​Believe me when I say I have never been deceived about the NDP. I have always known that just electing them was not enough. Once elected they had to be pushed, and pushed hard in some cases, to accomplish a useful end. As you say, there were other opportunities to abandon the party. When they removed the word 'socialist' from their founding documents, when they separated themselves from the labour movement, 

But no relationship ends overnight. Nor is it any single incident that brings the relationship to an end. There may be a 'straw that broke the camels back', but that straw was preceded by many others. As I stated above, I think the turning point for me was reading "Building the Orange Wave" by Brad Lavigne. In that book he almost gloats over how the Jack Layton team was able to  block the wishes of the party membership, how they were able to keep everyone in line.

You might say that book sensitized me. After many years of ignoring some of the most egregious failures of the party, I suddenly seemed to be aware of them in a way I hadn't before. 

I still voted NDP however. My MP is Peter Julian, and while I think he's a bit of a nobody, he also seems to be a decent sort. I was a bit surprised when he dropped out the party leadership race, but I had not imagined he would have won in any case, so that wasn't a big deal.

However, since the last election, the party seems determined to destroy itself. Making Mulcair hang on for what must have been a torturous tour as a dead man walking, the election of a neophyte to party leadership, a position which it is becoming clear he has no aptitude for, the fact that he (Singh) didn't try to enter the Commons as an elected member, and now this fiasco with Weir, and Moore.

Too many failures. Too many stupid mistakes. 



If this is the last straw for you, fine. And maybe you'll find something more suited to you, or not.

I'm just saying that this kind of hierarchical control, and these internal struggles aren't something new, and they aren't exclusive to the NDP. All of these parties have driven themselves into the ground at one point or another.


Debater wrote:
That is not to say that it's impossible for the NDP to gain major ground at some point down the road, but it is not in the same position as a 3rd party that the Liberals were in.

I'm talking about when Ignatieff was leader followed by Rae, not after Trudeau became leader. During that time people were saying the Liberals might as well merge with the NDP, with the NDP taking the lead of course. Lots of pundits discussed the demise of the Liberal Party.


Rev Pesky wrote:

I suspect the above was posted before the story on Christine Moore surfaced.

But perhaps I should put the question another way. Does the NDP party have significant policy differences from the Liberals? 

Yes. They are against P3s. They supported Catalonia's right to secede and Quebec's right to do the same with a 50% +1 result. They are against the ISDS in trade deals. That's just off the top of my head.

Rev Pesky

From Pondering:

They are against P3s. They supported Catalonia's right to secede...

Well, I'm sure those Catalonians who favour secession have taken heart, but as to P3's I looked all over the NDP website and I can't find anything that says they are opposed to P3's.

​As close as I could come was a story which noted that Mulcair was somewhat ambivalent about P3's. He didn't really favour them, on the other hand he wasn't completely opposed. A position (or non-position, if you will) I suspect is still part of the NDP pantheon.

As far as ISDS, as unfortunate as it is, you're not going to get any trade deal without it these days. So you can either oppose trade deals, or you can accept that ISDS will be part of the deals you do sign.

Which reduces the differences to the Quebec separation. In that separation has more or less disappeared from view in Quebec, I doubt that any policy either the Liberals or NDP have will ever effect anything.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

SocialJustice101 wrote:

Is offering a "toxic caricature" the same as flying planes into buildings? 



Wait-You're seriously arguing that if somebody critiques the Haredim that means they're ok with Al Qaeda?