At Issue - NDP Should Give Up Their Quest For Power & Go Back To Being The Conscience of Parliment

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terrytowel
At Issue - NDP Should Give Up Their Quest For Power & Go Back To Being The Conscience of Parliment

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terrytowel

Last night on At Issue (featuring the best political panel on Canadian TV) the panel took viewer questions. Here was the last one

With the election and or growth in radical socialist and anti-austerity parties pretty much everywhere in the world (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Germany & the prominence of socialists such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbin) what prospect is there for the NDP to move in a more left wing and socialist direction? - Jason Baines

Chantal Hebert said there is no room for the NDP on the left anymore. As the Liberals are occupying that space now.

Andrew Coyne basically said the NDP should go back to being the conscience of Parliment.

What do you think? Watch video below for the responses, go 15:00 into video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTltMoL_WYo

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Here's what I think; Chantal Hebert is full of Crap. The Libs will govern right like they ALWYS do, and after TPP is passed unless the US kills it (the won't because so called Progressive Dems will collapse to protect Obamas sorry, appeasing, Corpiratist ass), and we New Dems will be laughing and saying I told you so! Christ, I hate the F******G CBC! Up yours Chantal you Lib clown!

scott16

terrytowel wrote:

Last night on At Issue (featuring the best political panel on Canadian TV) the panel took viewer questions. Here was the last one

With the election and or growth in radical socialist and anti-austerity parties pretty much everywhere in the world (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Germany & the prominence of socialists such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbin) what prospect is there for the NDP to move in a more left wing and socialist direction? - Jason Baines

Chantal Hebert said there is no room for the NDP on the left anymore. As the Liberals are occupying that space now.

Andrew Coyne basically said the NDP should go back to being the conscience of Parliment.

What do you think? Watch video below for the responses, go 15:00 into video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTltMoL_WYo

The line in bold is a pile of horseshit. I would expect better from Hebert. I have lost all respect for her opinion.

The Liberals do not occupy the left. At best they are centrist, but will eventually go right to where Harper was.

If you want examples of why the Liberals are not occupying the left I'll give you some examples:

Pharmacare, Dental care, eye care, day care, higher corporate taxes, actual middle class tax cuts, guaranteed income, etc.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

What these people say is interesting only as an indication of what our corporate overlords want us to believe. Every one of them has earned their place in the media by limiting their speech, (and most likely their thoughts as well) to approved areas. No idea outside those areas will ever be spoken of by these elite mouthpieces.

BTW, tt, the correct quote is "the most watched political panel on Canadian tv", not "the best", and there is a difference, although in this case none of the tv panels is worth listening to, for the very same reasons. They are all tame voices, who can be counted upon not to go "off the reservation".

terrytowel

Michael Moriarity wrote:

None of the tv panels is worth listening to, for the very same reasons. They are all tame voices, who can be counted upon not to go "off the reservation".

Because this panel is on PRIME TIME, the At Issue panel is considered the A-List of politicial panels. Chantal Hebert and Andrew Coyne are considered A List among political pundits on TV

Anyone who appears on the afternoon panels are considered B list.

Ron Martin

Actually, what the NDP must do if it hopes to gain power is return to being the conscience of Parliament.  If the party learns to use the electronic media as a means of grass roots involvement rather than only as a fund raising tool, it may yet have a chance.  I won't hold my breath, though.

terrytowel

Ron Martin wrote:

Actually, what the NDP must do if it hopes to gain power is return to being the conscience of Parliament.  If the party learns to use the electronic media as a means of grass roots involvement rather than only as a fund raising tool, it may yet have a chance. 

Which is EXACTLY what the At Issue panel is advocating. Get away from trying to steal votes from the Liberals and go back to being the conscenience of Parliment.

Debater

Arthur Cramer wrote:
Here's what I think; Chantal Hebert is full of Crap. The Libs will govern right like they ALWYS do, and after TPP is passed unless the US kills it (the won't because so called Progressive Dems will collapse to protect Obamas sorry, appeasing, Corpiratist ass), and we New Dems will be laughing and saying I told you so! Christ, I hate the F******G CBC! Up yours Chantal you Lib clown!

Arthur, you are so full of anger.

I haven't responded to your posts in a while, but I just think for your own good that it would be healthy not to come onto every thread with such angry, negative thoughts and look for the worst in everyone.

Justin Trudeau is turning out to be the most progressive Prime Minister we have had since Pierre Trudeau.  He is almost like having an NDP Prime Minister.  He has already done many things that an NDP PM would do (eg. first gender diverse/racial diverse cabinet in history, bringing in more refugees & showing a more compassionate side than Canada has seen in years, encouraging an emphasis on science, environment & research again, etc.)

That doesn't mean Trudeau is perfect or that he won't let progressives down sometimes because that is inevitable for any leader.  But he is a huge change from the right-wing years we had under Stephen Harper.  And Barack Obama, while flawed, has turned out to be a good President who has been a positive role model for millions of young people & racial minorities of today's generation who never could have dreamed of accomplishing what he has until he shown the way.  Obama is far preferable to anyone running in the GOP.  Have you seen Donald Trump or Ted Cruz?

People complaining about Trudeau & Obama remind me of those who used to claim that Bush & Gore were the same.  History has shown that there are always differences between leaders, even as much as it may be easy for some progressives to cynically claim otherwise.  If it wasn't for Obama there would have been no health care reform at all in the United States, and if it wasn't for Trudeau we wouldn't have a diverse cabinet or the compassionate response to refugees we are now seeing.  And we would still be living under a climate-change denying, anti-science and anti-research PM trying to clamp down on the freedom of scientists and researchers.  Most progressives can see the huge change, and that is why polls show that most NDP voters are happier in 2015 than they were in 2011.

Please try to be happy about some of these things and give yourself a positive moment at this time of year. Smile

Sean in Ottawa

I like Chantal Hébert but once in a while she makes a mistake based on her biases.

Journalists are about messaging. In the case of this government, that is mostly what we have.

For now there is no rhetorical space on the left of the Liebrals. But this does not matter -- as it is not sustainable. Gaps are opening up between their rhetoric and the reality of their specific positions. The NDP can focus on that and the gulf between comments like a middle class cut and a policy that rewards those at the lower end of the 1% with more than those in the middle class will catch up.

Secondly, I disagree with the entire conscience premise. I think the NDP is more useful as a real threat to govern and its policies are better tested by the position of being a party that is trying to get there. I want the NDP to be a credible left alternative that is seeking power and presenting programs credible enough to win but truly principles and reflectng a left point of view. This is better than either the "move to the right" crap or the "don't take us seriously because we aren't really trying to govern" crap.

That said, the conscience objective is the interest of the Liebral party -- it defines the NDP out of a threatening position and it makes sense for Liberals.

People who really support a left alternative want it to govern not be the voice of guilt at the edge of the conversation. There is a word for those who promote the conscience role for the NDP and that is "Liberals" and they are advocating their interest which is to have the NDP no longer a threat. I get the incentive but I really detest the kind of concern trolling this represents and the dishonesty of saying I like this party so much I want them to not even focus on winning.

This is pig shit. Anyone who has been near a farm knows that pig shit smells worse that horse or bull shit.

Debater

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

That said, the conscience objective is the interest of the Liebral party -- it defines the NDP out of a threatening position and it makes sense for Liberals.

Sean, why did you use the spelling "Liebral"?

Is this what passes for intelligent discourse in your world?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Why assume that it has to be a choice BETWEEN seeking power and being the conscience of Parliament?  Why can't the NDP try to become a government WITH a conscience?  Actually seek power by trying to win the broader argument over how the country and the economy should be run?

It's arrogant of the Liberals to assume that there will never come a time when the public will question the existing order, or even that such a time would necessarily be years away.

In the end, making the case for socialism would simply mean making the case for basic human decency.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Debater, concern troll someoone else! As for messing with Sean, don't even try it, you aren't in his league you clown!

Sean in Ottawa

Debater wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

That said, the conscience objective is the interest of the Liebral party -- it defines the NDP out of a threatening position and it makes sense for Liberals.

Sean, why did you use the spelling "Liebral"?

Is this what passes for intelligent discourse in your world?

Oh for Fuck's sake Debater we have had this conversation before -- if I see it, I fix it but it is only an accidental transposition of letters. Spell check does not work in babble for me and this does happen when I am typing -- the right finger hitting the "I" faster than the left hitting the "B".

I don't use mispelling to make a point -- if you want to go over my posts transposition of letters is the most common typo I make -- most of the time they don't make a new meaning. You can see it in posts where I am defending the liberals, neutral or agreeing with them.

You don't like it? Figure out a way to have spell check work in Babble -- it does in every other application I have.

I would think that it is clear that when I want to be nasty, sarcastic or rude -- I don't use ways that someone could think are accidental.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Debater I am very happy using "Lieberals". It fits your party perfectly.

Debater

I guess you don't want to take the opportunity to get into the holiday spirit, Arthur.

I tried to reach out to you above, but you don't appear interested.

I don't think I'll be chatting with you much in the future, but I do hope you can let go of some of that negativity some day for your own sake.

Anyway, Happy Hannukah/Merry Christmas for now. Smile

quizzical

lol

an_unashamed _L...

People who really support a left alternative want it to govern not be the voice of guilt at the edge of the conversation. There is a word for those who promote the conscience role for the NDP and that is "Liberals" and they are advocating their interest which is to have the NDP no longer a threat. I get the incentive but I really detest the kind of concern trolling this represents and the dishonesty of saying I like this party so much I want them to not even focus on winning.

 

I would disagree on the fact that the NDP becoming the left conscience would be a boon to the liberals, the fact is that the current leadership of the NDP abandoned many of its principles in a mad rush to win the election, and because of that they lost, honestly it would be in the best interest of the liberals for the NDP to act the same way that it was through out the campaign, doing its best to win votes than to fight for a cause. if the NDP changed its leadership, then it would stand a chance to convince people that it geniunely is a left-wing alternative to the current parties but until then the most damage it can do is to try and show people the flaws in the liberals actions and warn them against things like the TPP. Unfortunately the recent election has caused many people to stop considering the NDP as a viable party and puts them in the same position as the liberals in 2011, although the moment they try and act as the moral pillar of parlament is the moment harper becomes leader of the green party 

an_unashamed _L...

People who really support a left alternative want it to govern not be the voice of guilt at the edge of the conversation. There is a word for those who promote the conscience role for the NDP and that is "Liberals" and they are advocating their interest which is to have the NDP no longer a threat. I get the incentive but I really detest the kind of concern trolling this represents and the dishonesty of saying I like this party so much I want them to not even focus on winning.

 

I would disagree on the fact that the NDP becoming the left conscience would be a boon to the liberals, the fact is that the current leadership of the NDP abandoned many of its principles in a mad rush to win the election, and because of that they lost, honestly it would be in the best interest of the liberals for the NDP to act the same way that it was through out the campaign, doing its best to win votes than to fight for a cause. if the NDP changed its leadership, then it would stand a chance to convince people that it geniunely is a left-wing alternative to the current parties but until then the most damage it can do is to try and show people the flaws in the liberals actions and warn them against things like the TPP. Unfortunately the recent election has caused many people to stop considering the NDP as a viable party and puts them in the same position as the liberals in 2011, although the moment they try and act as the moral pillar of parlament is the moment harper becomes leader of the green party 

an_unashamed _L...

People who really support a left alternative want it to govern not be the voice of guilt at the edge of the conversation. There is a word for those who promote the conscience role for the NDP and that is "Liberals" and they are advocating their interest which is to have the NDP no longer a threat. I get the incentive but I really detest the kind of concern trolling this represents and the dishonesty of saying I like this party so much I want them to not even focus on winning.

 

I would disagree on the fact that the NDP becoming the left conscience would be a boon to the liberals, the fact is that the current leadership of the NDP abandoned many of its principles in a mad rush to win the election, and because of that they lost, honestly it would be in the best interest of the liberals for the NDP to act the same way that it was through out the campaign, doing its best to win votes than to fight for a cause. if the NDP changed its leadership, then it would stand a chance to convince people that it geniunely is a left-wing alternative to the current parties but until then the most damage it can do is to try and show people the flaws in the liberals actions and warn them against things like the TPP. Unfortunately the recent election has caused many people to stop considering the NDP as a viable party and puts them in the same position as the liberals in 2011, although the moment they try and act as the moral pillar of parlament is the moment harper becomes leader of the green party 

Stockholm

People make it sound like there was this mythic period in the past when the NDP made no attempt to win elections and just campaigned on being the "conscience of parliament". (Implying that the other parties campaign on "vote for us since we are ruthless and have no conscience at all").

In fact the NDP has ALWAYS tried to win power. The party was created in 1961 as an attempt to create a modern Canadian version of the U.K. Or Australian Labour parties and they had as their first leader a successful four term premier of Saskatchewan. There was a whole period in the 80s when the NDP was on the verge of a major breakthrough under Ed Broadbent and was positioning itself as a government in waiting and the whole strategy that Jack Layton forged was "the project" whereby the NDP would eventually become much more influential and a party of government.

Someone PLEASE refresh my memory when the NDP was ever promoting itself as the conscience of parliament and had no aspiration to win elections.

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:
Someone PLEASE refresh my memory when the NDP was ever promoting itself as the conscience of parliament and had no aspiration to win elections.

Hang on, I'm trying, almost there!

Sean in Ottawa

Stockholm wrote:
People make it sound like there was this mythic period in the past when the NDP made no attempt to win elections and just campaigned on being the "conscience of parliament". (Implying that the other parties campaign on "vote for us since we are ruthless and have no conscience at all"). In fact the NDP has ALWAYS tried to win power. The party was created in 1961 as an attempt to create a modern Canadian version of the U.K. Or Australian Labour parties and they had as their first leader a successful four term premier of Saskatchewan. There was a whole period in the 80s when the NDP was on the verge of a major breakthrough under Ed Broadbent and was positioning itself as a government in waiting and the whole strategy that Jack Layton forged was "the project" whereby the NDP would eventually become much more influential and a party of government. Someone PLEASE refresh my memory when the NDP was ever promoting itself as the conscience of parliament and had no aspiration to win elections.

Of course it is a mythology the NDP does not share -- it is the presepctive of the NDP's value from Liberals. They say it is best for Canada for the NDP to have this mythical non-threatening role where they crank out ideas but not really try to win against the Liberals. This idea is great for Liberals and Liberals have always seemed to have a hard time telling the difference between what is good for the Liberal party and what is good for Canada. When you think about it the idea is extremely condescending and arrogant but that is another Liberal tradition. It is also illogical becuase the ideas from a party that expects to have a shot at power tend to be more accountable -- thought through with the idea that they may have to stand behind them in practice. The NDP, however, is a more viable contender for power when it has a clear ideological and principled perspective.

Also the idea that the NDP has to move to the centre in order to win is another falacy that Liberals seem to like becuase they can only imagine the earth through their perspective. Liberals prefer to paint a picture where the NDP either is irrelevant becuase they are too centrist, too much like the Liberals or irrelevant because they are too left and NOBODY wants anything other than the Liberal centre to win. The key point is the Liberals are the only party worth attention becuase (pick the best of the two arguments to use at the moment). Of course the Liberals skate rhetorically themselves offering far more than they deliver, a tradition they proudly point to as "run from the left and govern from the right" (in other words, lie at election time).

Then of course there is the idea of the NDP shifting this way or that way -- I think this is a common perspective of journalists who focus on rhetoric, tone and leader statements more than the core values and platform positions. This is unfortunate. The NDP does not really shift in dramatic ways as a party. It has the same membership and tensions. The party long ago abandonned the nationalise the banks and everything else approach. What has happened since is recognizable from one year to the next in key positions.

But there are two shifts that do take place: the first is how activist and life changing are the policies in the immediate? On that question the NDP with multiple new national program proposals, took a tack to affirm its left position in the last election.

The second is the rhetoric of the leader. On this question Mulcair moved to the right but this is not a reflection of a party shift. His emphasis on balancing the books was out of step but it was not an ideological shift except in the Liberal imagination. (Ideology is not found in deficit it is found where you spend your money.) But there is no question that Mulcair did not come out and defend the NDP platform with any competence or sustained passion which he reserved for poorly placed attacks on the Liberals and his budget mantra.

The gap between the NDP as a party and the the leader's statements were catastrophic in the last election and these were part of the credibility problem. This was not about where they were ideologicaly but how out of step and tone deaf Mulcair was personally and how misplaced the NDP ads were in terms of strategy and the failure of the NDP to answer what the Liberals were saying (like not pointing out issues with the so-called middle tax cut).

This is not to say we cannot criticize NDP positions from a left perspective -- the position on taxation was problematic and seemed to come from the right flank of the party. But when you look at the entire plan you can see there was no wholesale drift to the right (thinking of universal daycare, pharmacare, minimum wage for federal jurisdiction etc.). Th tax positions seemed sourced not in an ideological shift but a profound gutlessness particularly from the leader who was more categorical than the party positions themselves.

At times the NDP has been too timid -- not so much a left-right thing as a rhetorical unwillingness to face the public with the alternative the NDP represents in the rhetoric. Largely the correct policies exist with a couple notable exceptions (Palestine and use of military).

The most problematic was in the tax policies which is part of what I did not like about the platform in spite of many other good things. Secondly the defence of peace and principles in foreign policy seem to be in many respects about timidity as well -- as if the NDP is fearful it will be branded a certain way if they do not take the "right" position. This is not a shift so much as competence. The NDP failing to be consistent on Palestine is a timidity where the party seems to think it cannot explain a principled position to potential supporters (Nobody in the NDP privately defends these positions except in electoral strategy). The branding the NDP faced in many respects was being gutless. But again I think this was not an ideological shift so much as pandering and a lack of confidence in principles.

So what the NDP needs are: first courage and second a leader who is in step with the party and a leader who is positive, optimistic and pro-active about promoting the NDP platforms rather than so afraid of it that he avoids it most of the time except in front of a partisan crowd.

But there is no purpose in being "just a conscience" if you think there is then why run candidates at all? And principled positions are more likely to get votes anyway.

terrytowel

Stockholm wrote:
  Someone PLEASE refresh my memory when the NDP was ever promoting itself as the conscience of parliament and had no aspiration to win elections.

Easy.

I'm a HUGE Alexa McDonough. It was during the 1997 election. The whole goal was to regain official party status with 12 seats. The only had 9 at the time. Led by Brian Topp they had Alexa go across the country saying Reform & The Bloc have let the Liberals off the hook. Only the NDP with official party status will hold the Government to account.

"How are we going to force the Liberals to STOP the cuts? By electing as many NDP members as possible."

Alexa McDonough in 1997 "We won't be forming government. But have always made a difference as the conscience of Parliment!"

Instead of running a national campaign, they narrowed their focus to the most winnable ridings. And pured resources into those ridings.

They only hopes for 12 seats, and almost doubled that by getting 21.

Next!

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

terrytowel wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
  Someone PLEASE refresh my memory when the NDP was ever promoting itself as the conscience of parliament and had no aspiration to win elections.

Easy.

I'm a HUGE Alexa McDonough. It was during the 1997 election. The whole goal was to regain official party status with 12 seats. The only had 9 at the time. Led by Brian Topp they had Alexa go across the country saying Reform & The Bloc have let the Liberals off the hook. Only the NDP with official party status will hold the Government to account.

"How are we going to force the Liberals to STOP the cuts? By electing as many NDP members as possible."

Alexa McDonough in 1997 "We won't be forming government. But have always made a difference as the conscience of Parliment!"

Instead of running a national campaign, they narrowed their focus to the most winnable ridings. And pured resources into those ridings.

They only hopes for 12 seats, and almost doubled that by getting 21.

Next!

This whole thread is just nonsense. You Libs are shameless. Well forget it, the NDP isn't going to do what you want. If the US sings TPP, Trudeau will do the same, and that'll be the death warrant for your party. The NDP is a party of people with serious ideas; not a privileged, entitled, collection of self serving, self satisfied elitiists. The NDP isn't going any where. Deal with it.

Northern PoV

Matthew 16:26

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

terrytowel wrote:

Arthur you don't remember the 1997 campaign?

From the Toronto Star May 2, 1997

New Democrat leader Alexa McDonough said yesterday the government has enjoyed a free ride on the jobs issue - a ride that's about to come to an abrupt halt.

``We're coming back in force, and we're coming back to fight for jobs,'' she said at a press conference.

As Canadians prepare to vote, the NDP leader is conceding the best her party can hope for is a strong opposition voice. ``Not a week will go by without New Democrat MPs holding the Liberals accountable on jobs.''

The NDP must win 12 seats to regain official-party status, a goal that appears within reach.

 

I dom't care what she said, I worked that campaing to win. Forget it Terrytowerl, the NDP will never roll over and die, no matter how much you want it to. Your boy will sign TPP if the US passes it and that'll will be your party''s moment of truth. Forget it. THis is such a ridiculous thread. You know nothing about the NDP or its membership if that is what you think New Democrats see ourselves as. How hunristic to assume you think you know what the NDP wants or stands for. Stop partonzing me. Pathetic.

terrytowel

From the Toronto Star May 2, 1997

New Democrat leader Alexa McDonough said yesterday the government has enjoyed a free ride on the jobs issue - a ride that's about to come to an abrupt halt.

``We're coming back in force, and we're coming back to fight for jobs,'' she said at a press conference.

As Canadians prepare to vote, the NDP leader is conceding the best her party can hope for is a strong opposition voice. ``Not a week will go by without New Democrat MPs holding the Liberals accountable on jobs.''

The NDP must win 12 seats to regain official-party status, a goal that appears within reach.

terrytowel

double post

Northern PoV

Arthur Cramer wrote:

<SNIP> If the US sings TPP, Trudeau will do the same, and that'll be the death warrant for your party. <SNIP>

I've hear of folks singing the news (see below) but a musical treaty will be a  first.  And just in time for Christmas!

F.D.R. In Trinidad

When Roosevelt came to the land of the hummin'bird shouts of welcome were heard
When Roosevelt came to the land of the hummin'bird shouts of welcome were heard
His visit to their island is bound to be an epoch in local history
Definitely marking the new exra, keeping Trinidad in America
For this great man, jubilation was evinced by the entire population
Friendship for the U.S.A. was shown and from his house the stars and the stripes were flown
For the state to open the gate to the president of the United States
In fact everybody was glad to welcome Roosevelt to Trinidad
We are privileged to see the democratic president of the great republic
With his charm an' congenial personality and his wonderful urbanity
We were struck by his modest style and was intrigued by the famous Roosevelt smile
No wonder everybody was glad to welcome Roosevelt to Trinidad
Now we understand that the president had just been on a visit to Brazil and the Argentine
Mr. Cordell Hull in attendance they took part in a peace conference
To stop war and atrocity and make the world safe for democracy
The greatest event in the century in the interest of suffering humanity

Not the best vesion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UPQ6KWV7xo

 

terrytowel

Arthur please don't DEFLECT

From the Windsor Star 31 May 1997

NDP Leader Alexa McDonough addressed the largest, and possibly the most enthusiastic, crowd of the campaign at a rally for local candidates in Windsor. About 900 union members and other party supporters, pumped up by songs of worker solidarity, gave her a rousing welcome. Although the party can expect to win only a handful of seats in Ontario, Windsor could be among them.

McDonough long ago acknowledged her party won't form the next government and she conceded Friday the best New Democrats can hope for is to become a strong opposition voice in the Commons. The NDP, which had nine seats in the last Parliament, hopes to win the 12 necessary for official party status this time.

Again the 1997 campaign was just to get official party status.

McDonough kept saying over and over and over again "How are we going to keep the Liberals accountable? By electing as many New Democrats as possible"

Arthur the question was "When has the NDP ever run a campaign where they didn't want to form government"

The answer is 1997. I was just answering the question.

The fact is the NDP goal in 1997 was just to regain official party status.

There is no dispute of the goal of that campaign.

quizzical

maybe the Liberals and their supporters could answer said question.

Debater

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I like Chantal Hébert but once in a while she makes a mistake based on her biases.

I agree that Chantal Hébert is overgeneralizing.  But she was not the only one doing it.  Jennifer Ditchburn, Rex Murphy, and Andrew Coyne all basically said the same thing.

Of course there is room on the left of the Liberals.  There is always room to move to the left of the government on certain issues.  Even Peter Mansbridge pushed this point with the panel.  It looked like Mansbridge thought they were being overbroad in their conclusions.

However, the basic essence of what Hébert and the others are saying is true -- for the immediate future, there isn't a lot of room for the NDP on the political spectrum.  For now, Canada has a left of centre Prime Minister who has many progressive qualities.  This government may not be far left enough for some here, but Justin Trudeau is almost like having an NDP PM in power, so long as he doesn't move too far to the right or slash the social safety net the way that Chrétien/Martin did.

What backs up what Hébert & the others are saying is some of the recent polling showing that Tom Mulcair is competing with Justin Trudeau for support & approval with voters of his own party.  That is, Trudeau is almost as well-regarded right now by NDP voters as Mulcair is.

Here's an excerpt from a recent poll analysis by Eric Grénier at CBC:

--

Problematic for the New Democrats, however, is how Mulcair stacks up against Trudeau among NDP voters. Forum and EKOS put Trudeau's approval rating among New Democrats at between 67 and 72 per cent, with just 15 per cent standing in disapproval. By comparison, Mulcair scored a 71 to 77 per cent approval rating among New Democrats, with his disapproval rating sitting at 14 to 18 per cent.

. . .

The issue for Mulcair as he tries to hold onto the leadership of his party is not that New Democrats dislike him — they don't. It is that he can't claim their affections to be any greater for him than the man he is supposed to be criticizing and holding to account on their behalf.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/grenier-approval-ratings-polls-1.3363911

White Cat White Cat's picture

I would like to add my two cents worth in why this is a terrible idea.

First, back in the 1960s, Tommy Douglas was able to be the voice of humanity and get things done. This was when the most of the social safety net was created. Of course, Pearson got most of the credit. (Liberals scoff at the idea that Tommy Douglas was the father of universal healthcare, which most Canadians believe.)

Pearson tried to use Douglas to catapult to a false majority, but (atypically) failed. (This was seen as a major failure on his part as a Liberal leader, which just goes to show the kind of corrupt dynamic going on under FPTP caveman voting.)

Next comes David Lewis. He made some ground. Held Trudeau Sr. to a minority in 1972. Trudeau used him to catapult to a fake majority in 1974.

Next is Ed Broadbent. Hell of a guy. But accomplished nothing in terms of legislation.

Next comes: the Empire Strikes Back. In the 1980s, the Friedmanian counter-revolution to the post-war Keynesian revolution (which created modern living standards—unprecedented since the dawn of civilization) oppressed Anglo Saxon countries and spread out across the globe culminating in the 2008 global financial fraud meltdown, wreaking a lot of economic havoc along the way.

During this time the political football was moved down the field further and further rightwards. Trudeau Jr. is actually continuing this process with upper-middle-class tax cuts and TPP free trade. Same with Kathleen Wynne in Ontario who recently privatized the electricity system representing bankers instead of people. (She's salivating over provincial liquor store sales of cannabis. Will really sweeten the pot, so to speak, for whatever plutocrats she's in bed with when she privatizes that.)

During most of this time the NDP was the voice of humanity. One the Liberals were glad to listen to and ignore while getting majority power. With the NDP out in left field — and out of the game at the right end of the field — Liberals were able to campaign left and govern right to great success. (Chretien ran against Mulroney's odious record. Got half the NDP vote. Turned the Liberals in the Brian Mulroney party.)

NDP leaders like Layton, Mulcair and Horwath attempted to create a big tent party that included social democrats and centrist liberals the Liberal party long abandoned. This is something both the Liberals and anti-NDP news media fiercely attacked, even going so far as to claim the Liberal party is now the true party of the Left. (The equivalent of claiming gravity causes people to float up into the sky.)

So there are two forces here that want the NDP to go back to being the unheard voice of humanity: some social democrats on the one side and the Liberal party and anti-NDP news media on the other. The agenda of the latter is to pave the way for more right-wing Liberal fake majorities.

Immoral of the story: the only way to get Canadians out of this pickle (government of, by and for big bad businessmen,) is with electoral reform.

PR is the ideal and obviously worth fighting for. But presently a long shot. Would be smart to have a back-up plan: i.e., Ranked Ballot Voting.

RBV will result in there being two center-left parties and two conservative parties: instead of what we have today: two conservative parties. (Greens will lose out. But as one can see in Germany, Green representation splitting is paving the way for continuous conservative government. PR is rainbow-coalition adverse in moderate countries. Forces grand coalitions of the two major parties: i.e., not good.)

Under RBV, voters don't have to back one center-left horse to challenge the Con horse. Center-left votes are distributed among the two major center-left parties. That means no more Stop Whoever! hysteria that only benefits the Liberals. People can safely vote strategically with an alternative vote rather than sacrifice their real vote. (With two center-left parties, there will be competition for green alternative votes, which will benefit green voters.) Liberals will no longer be entitled to center-left votes (while betraying them in power.)

In short, either PR or RBV will allow the NDP to be: a) a major party that decides which compromises have to be made in a democracy where a majority of voters is represented and compromises must be made; b) the voice of humanity alone that will have some power to get things done.

Now is the time to get electoral reform done. This is, by far, the best opportunity we've ever had. Perhaps the only real opportunity we've ever had. Probably the last one if we fuck it up. 

White Cat White Cat's picture

Debater wrote:

Of course there is room on the left of the Liberals.  There is always room to move to the left of the government on certain issues. 

Political issues are broken down into two categories: social and economic. Both the NDP and Liberals are similar on social issues.

On economic issues, however, the Layton/Mulcair/Horwath NDP occupies the Keynesian center (where the Liberal party was during the post-war Keynesian era: 1945-1984 in Canada.) The Liberal party occupies the right-of-center position established by Brian Mulroney when he brought Friedmanian neoclassical economic ideology to Canada. (After which the economy went straight downhill.)

Social democratic countries, like those in Scandinavia, are left-leaning Keynesian.

During the PWKE, all parties were Keynesian. Some Republican presidents, like Dwight Eisenhower, would be considered socialist by our present absurd standards. (Raised the highest tax bracket to 90% to pay for a mega-government interstate highway system.)

Those who want to beat the NDP back from their encroachment on centrist territory the Liberal party abandoned — but whose votes they still feel entitled to — will attempt to conflate the social and economic axes. "Trudeau is Left Wing: he appointed women to half the cabinet positions! Why? Because it's 2015!" But in terms of economic progress, it's more like 1935.

(PoliticalCompass.org put Mulcair at dead center; Trudeau at 20% right. I would put Trudeau somewhere between 30 and 40% right. They put Harper 85% right.) 

adma

terrytowel wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
  Someone PLEASE refresh my memory when the NDP was ever promoting itself as the conscience of parliament and had no aspiration to win elections.

Easy.

I'm a HUGE Alexa McDonough. It was during the 1997 election. The whole goal was to regain official party status with 12 seats. The only had 9 at the time. Led by Brian Topp they had Alexa go across the country saying Reform & The Bloc have let the Liberals off the hook. Only the NDP with official party status will hold the Government to account.

"How are we going to force the Liberals to STOP the cuts? By electing as many NDP members as possible."

Alexa McDonough in 1997 "We won't be forming government. But have always made a difference as the conscience of Parliment!"

Instead of running a national campaign, they narrowed their focus to the most winnable ridings. And pured resources into those ridings.

They only hopes for 12 seats, and almost doubled that by getting 21.

Next!

But, that was when they were coming from a disastrous single-digit-seat/single-digit-share starting point.  With that in mind, it would have been extraordinarily presumptious for them to openly, verbally aim for government right out of the box--nor did the party have the same demolish-and-start-anew CCF-into-NDP alibi they had after the 1958 election.

Because they had no explicit goal to win *that* election didn't mean they had no long-term goal to win elections--in fact, a lot of the rudiments which ultimately led to 2011 first evidenced themselves in 1997 (the Jack/Olivia/Brian Topp dynamic, among other things)

White Cat White Cat's picture

terrytowel wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
  Someone PLEASE refresh my memory when the NDP was ever promoting itself as the conscience of parliament and had no aspiration to win elections.

Easy.

I'm a HUGE Alexa McDonough. It was during the 1997 election. The whole goal was to regain official party status with 12 seats. The only had 9 at the time. Led by Brian Topp they had Alexa go across the country saying Reform & The Bloc have let the Liberals off the hook. Only the NDP with official party status will hold the Government to account.

"How are we going to force the Liberals to STOP the cuts? By electing as many NDP members as possible."

Alexa McDonough in 1997 "We won't be forming government. But have always made a difference as the conscience of Parliment!"

Instead of running a national campaign, they narrowed their focus to the most winnable ridings. And pured resources into those ridings.

They only hopes for 12 seats, and almost doubled that by getting 21.

Next!

I don't think Alexa accomplished anything in stopping the Chretien/Martin cuts. Look at this graph:

[IMG]http://i68.tinypic.com/28akbjq.jpg[/IMG] 

Shows that the federal government has been continuously downloading costs since Chretien came to power. In 1993, the fed covered 40% of all costs and the provinces 40%. Now it's worse than 30%/50%.

In 2006, Jack Layton was able to stop Martin's corporate tax cutting. But that was only because he had leverage in a minority government.

The only time the NDP can be an effective conscience of a Liberal government is when they have power. Otherwise the Neo-Liberals can forge ahead with absolute corrupt power easily dismissing the NDP as radical socialists completely divorced from hard realities (which Liberals and Cons manufacture.)

BTW, Milligan is a market fundamentalist economic adviser on Team Trudeau. He criticizes the position held by Mulcair (and the PBO) that there's a massive fiscal imbalance between the federal government and the provinces. He obviously knows there is. But his job is to "starve the beast," not inform Trudeau on the facts. 

Stockholm

adma wrote:

terrytowel wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
  Someone PLEASE refresh my memory when the NDP was ever promoting itself as the conscience of parliament and had no aspiration to win elections.

Easy.

I'm a HUGE Alexa McDonough. It was during the 1997 election. The whole goal was to regain official party status with 12 seats. The only had 9 at the time. Led by Brian Topp they had Alexa go across the country saying Reform & The Bloc have let the Liberals off the hook. Only the NDP with official party status will hold the Government to account.

"How are we going to force the Liberals to STOP the cuts? By electing as many NDP members as possible."

Alexa McDonough in 1997 "We won't be forming government. But have always made a difference as the conscience of Parliment!"

Instead of running a national campaign, they narrowed their focus to the most winnable ridings. And pured resources into those ridings.

They only hopes for 12 seats, and almost doubled that by getting 21.

Next!

But, that was when they were coming from a disastrous single-digit-seat/single-digit-share starting point.  With that in mind, it would have been extraordinarily presumptious for them to openly, verbally aim for government right out of the box--nor did the party have the same demolish-and-start-anew CCF-into-NDP alibi they had after the 1958 election.

Because they had no explicit goal to win *that* election didn't mean they had no long-term goal to win elections--in fact, a lot of the rudiments which ultimately led to 2011 first evidenced themselves in 1997 (the Jack/Olivia/Brian Topp dynamic, among other things)

Also, once Alexa MacDonoygh brought the NDP back from the brink of extinction in 1997, she travelled to london to learn about Tony Blair's "third way" approach and quickly began to get the NDP to follow the 3rd way model and to move to the centre...all of whihc created the a backlash within the party that culminated in the NPI that was put foreard after the 2000 election flop when Alexa's version of campaign was to bang a tambourine like a Salvation Army majorette intoning 'health care, heath care, more money, more money, health care, more money...did i tell you we need to throw more money at health care?"

As has been pointed out Alexa MacDonough always wanted to get the NDP into power - but she recognized that when you only have 9 seats and no money its not credible to explicitly say "I'm running to be Prime Minister".

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

This thread should have been titled "Issue:Should The NDP REMEMBER ITS PLACE?"

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

terrytowel wrote:

Arthur please don't DEFLECT

From the Windsor Star 31 May 1997

NDP Leader Alexa McDonough addressed the largest, and possibly the most enthusiastic, crowd of the campaign at a rally for local candidates in Windsor. About 900 union members and other party supporters, pumped up by songs of worker solidarity, gave her a rousing welcome. Although the party can expect to win only a handful of seats in Ontario, Windsor could be among them.

McDonough long ago acknowledged her party won't form the next government and she conceded Friday the best New Democrats can hope for is to become a strong opposition voice in the Commons. The NDP, which had nine seats in the last Parliament, hopes to win the 12 necessary for official party status this time.

Again the 1997 campaign was just to get official party status.

McDonough kept saying over and over and over again "How are we going to keep the Liberals accountable? By electing as many New Democrats as possible"

Arthur the question was "When has the NDP ever run a campaign where they didn't want to form government"

The answer is 1997. I was just answering the question.

The fact is the NDP goal in 1997 was just to regain official party status.

There is no dispute of the goal of that campaign.

This whole G-d damn thread is a deflection. You LIbs have come on this board with a vengence and almost evagelicall level of committment to Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party! You insult, patronize, twist the truth, strive to change the frame. This thread, why? Because the LPC took things for granted and now they are tyring to make sure the NDP NEVER rises again. Why, beause the Lieberal is simply another party of the right, led by a pretty saleman, who willl raise the hopes of Canadians out of one side of his mouth, while stomping them under his jack-booted foot of Capitalism on the other. Don't lecture me Terrytowel! Back the hell off! Ken Burch above NAILED what this thread is REALLY about. You are talking to yourselves like the NDP doesn't exist, has no members, or supporters. And you guys are trying to push this frame in every thread, not only this  one. How Hubristic; how arrogant! I say it again, the NDP isn't going away. DEAL with it!

mark_alfred

I am curious what the Liberals will do about Harper's Bill C-51.  This certainly will be a good opportunity for Mulcair and the NDP to continue to be the conscience of parliament as they were in the last session.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

mark_alfred wrote:

I am curious what the Liberals will do about Harper's Bill C-51.  This certainly will be a good opportunity for Mulcair and the NDP to continue to be the conscience of parliament as they were in the last session.

True! LPC conceinces are flexible!

Sean in Ottawa

Debater wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I like Chantal Hébert but once in a while she makes a mistake based on her biases.

I agree that Chantal Hébert is overgeneralizing.  But she was not the only one doing it.  Jennifer Ditchburn, Rex Murphy, and Andrew Coyne all basically said the same thing.

Of course there is room on the left of the Liberals.  There is always room to move to the left of the government on certain issues.  Even Peter Mansbridge pushed this point with the panel.  It looked like Mansbridge thought they were being overbroad in their conclusions.

However, the basic essence of what Hébert and the others are saying is true -- for the immediate future, there isn't a lot of room for the NDP on the political spectrum.  For now, Canada has a left of centre Prime Minister who has many progressive qualities.  This government may not be far left enough for some here, but Justin Trudeau is almost like having an NDP PM in power, so long as he doesn't move too far to the right or slash the social safety net the way that Chrétien/Martin did.

What backs up what Hébert & the others are saying is some of the recent polling showing that Tom Mulcair is competing with Justin Trudeau for support & approval with voters of his own party.  That is, Trudeau is almost as well-regarded right now by NDP voters as Mulcair is.

Here's an excerpt from a recent poll analysis by Eric Grénier at CBC:

--

Problematic for the New Democrats, however, is how Mulcair stacks up against Trudeau among NDP voters. Forum and EKOS put Trudeau's approval rating among New Democrats at between 67 and 72 per cent, with just 15 per cent standing in disapproval. By comparison, Mulcair scored a 71 to 77 per cent approval rating among New Democrats, with his disapproval rating sitting at 14 to 18 per cent.

. . .

The issue for Mulcair as he tries to hold onto the leadership of his party is not that New Democrats dislike him — they don't. It is that he can't claim their affections to be any greater for him than the man he is supposed to be criticizing and holding to account on their behalf.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/grenier-approval-ratings-polls-1.3363911

You missed the distinction I made which is critical between rhetorical room and actual room. Liberals always talk a good game and deliver yes. This reality is already becomeing clear -- again. This opens room no matter what the Liebrals say -- it is what they do that matters. Like the tax cut for the very rich only partly funded by a tax increase on the extremely rich.

Plenty of room on the left when you start comparing what Liberals do with what they say.

Sean in Ottawa

terrytowel wrote:

Arthur please don't DEFLECT

From the Windsor Star 31 May 1997

NDP Leader Alexa McDonough addressed the largest, and possibly the most enthusiastic, crowd of the campaign at a rally for local candidates in Windsor. About 900 union members and other party supporters, pumped up by songs of worker solidarity, gave her a rousing welcome. Although the party can expect to win only a handful of seats in Ontario, Windsor could be among them.

McDonough long ago acknowledged her party won't form the next government and she conceded Friday the best New Democrats can hope for is to become a strong opposition voice in the Commons. The NDP, which had nine seats in the last Parliament, hopes to win the 12 necessary for official party status this time.

Again the 1997 campaign was just to get official party status.

McDonough kept saying over and over and over again "How are we going to keep the Liberals accountable? By electing as many New Democrats as possible"

Arthur the question was "When has the NDP ever run a campaign where they didn't want to form government"

The answer is 1997. I was just answering the question.

The fact is the NDP goal in 1997 was just to regain official party status.

There is no dispute of the goal of that campaign.

Actually there is.

This is one of the reasons I have so much trouble with Liberals -- they mess around with words -- and you have to guess if they are incapable of knowing the actual definitions of the words or just think they can get away with it.

So, in this case we have two very distinct concepts -- one is goals or aspirations and the other is expectations.

the NDP ALWAYS runs based on a desire to govern and produces proposals for government.

However, when the party is very low (like after the 1993 election and a loss of party status) the party knows that it cannot articulate an expectation that its aspirations (goal) would be met in that election. And the party understands that in spite of the goal or aspiration a much more modest result may still be progress. The reason is mostly credibility.

Now for the Liberals with Limited Vocabularly Support Group: the concept of aspiration and expectation are very, very different. You plan and you set your goals and proposals based on your aspirations. But of course you have to set your expectations to be much more modest sometimes. You cannot approach the public with expectations so wild that nobody can take you seriously. So the NDP leader in 1997 set her expectations, her standard for the minimum the NDP would need to improve its position to make a difference much lower than her aspirations. Aspiration is based on hopes and wants and NOT realistic expectation and for the NDP often these are not the same.

terrytowel

n/a

terrytowel

stockholm wrote:

People make it sound like there was this mythic period in the past when the NDP made no attempt to win elections and just campaigned on being the "conscience of parliament". (Implying that the other parties campaign on "vote for us since we are ruthless and have no conscience at all"). In fact the NDP has ALWAYS tried to win power. Someone PLEASE refresh my memory when the NDP was ever promoting itself as the conscience of parliament and had no aspiration to win elections.

But now some of you  are saying the 1997 election campaign strategy was an anomoly

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

 You cannot approach the public with expectations so wild that nobody can take you seriously. So the NDP leader in 1997 set her expectations, her standard for the minimum the NDP would need to improve its position to make a difference much lower than her aspirations. Aspiration is based on hopes and wants and NOT realistic expectation and for the NDP often these are not the same.

Except...(see below)

terrytowel

It wasn't an anomoly. In 1993 they also abandoned their quest for power, just to hang on to official party status.

So that is not one but two times they have run an election campaign where the goal was NOT to win power. But to be the conscience of Parliment. 1993 and 1997.

McLaughlin soldiering on with aplomb

Tim Harper Toronto Star. Toronto Star [Toronto, Ont] 18 Sep 1993

HAMILTON - It can get lonely out there campaigning for the Conscience of Canada.

There are no protesters awaiting your arrival in town.

There's none of the spontaneous excitement at the evening rally that can give you that second wind when you're in the third city of the day and have been campaigning for 16 hours.

But NDP leader Audrey McLaughlin has brought a pocketful of party icons with her on her first federal tour.

She invokes names from the past to try to keep the country's traditional third party alive as the voice of the people.

At virtually every partisan gathering since this campaign began, McLaughlin reminds supporters of Tommy Douglas, David Lewis, Grace McGinnis, Pauline Jewett, Stanley Knowles and Ed Broadbent.

"They beat the odds, they made a difference," McLaughlin says.

Her strategists in Ottawa explain that the names remind people the NDP can influence policy without needing to win 100 or 150 seats, or trying to form a government.

That's why McLaughlin already talks of propping up a Liberal minority government - if the Grits move to kill the Canada-U.S. and North American free trade agreements.

Yes, they're trying to woo disaffected Liberals back to the fold, but in dealing with the issue so early, they also gained some much- needed media coverage and put the trade deal - a pet issue - back on the front pages.

That's why she asks for "one more voice, one more vote" in Ottawa - not a mandate.

It's a different campaign than McLaughlin had envisioned a couple of years ago, when her party stood at more than 40 per cent support in public opinion polls.

"I've had a lot of frustration with a lot of things in my life. I've had lots of practice being frustrated," she says with a laugh.

She was chatting at the end of day nine of a breakneck 10-day run from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia.

McLaughlin has visited 15 communities in eight provinces, changed time zones nine times and logged 12,922 kilometres (8,012 miles).

But is she really going anywhere?

She must be asking herself that question, but even in a conversation at the end of a long day she maintains an equanimity which surprises many observers who see her constantly bombarded with questions about low poll standings, the Bob Rae problem, the Mike Harcourt problem, her irrelevancy in certain parts of the country.

"Maybe you learn this as a woman or a mother," she says. "You can't freak out today because there's going to be another day.

"It's not that I don't care. Some people who don't know me may think that, but, you know, you can go home and put on the old razor blade music, but it's not going to change anything."

She concedes she has felt a lot of stress and responsibility heading into this campaign as her party continued a freefall in public support.

But she maintains she can handle that stress by herself.

"I can't remember a time since I've been leader when I haven't been under stress, unless there was 15 minutes in there somewhere I'm forgetting. At the end of the day, when I get back to my hotel room, I'm not lonely, I'm tired. I go to bed."

So she continues her sojourn, hammering away at her party's themes:

* A job-creation plan to produce 500,000 new jobs and reduce the deficit by $10.9 billion over five years.

* Elimination of the GST.

* An end to tax loopholes used by wealthy individuals and profitable corporations.

* Opposition to both the Canada-U.S. and North American free trade deals.

* Repeal of legislation which allowed the cost of prescription drugs to soar.

* A $520 million social program which includes the protection of medicare, an education program emphasizing literacy and a national co-op housing program.

* A national day-care program to cover 600,000 children and create 70,000 jobs over five years.

* A national infrastructure program to create 130,000 jobs costing the federal, provincial and municipal governments $1.5 billion each annually over five years.

So far, there's no evidence any of the issues are taking off - although the party is confident it can make free trade an issue again in this campaign.

mark_alfred

NDP:  the conscience of Parliament.  The progressive opposition:

Mr. Gord Johns (Courtenay—Alberni, NDP, 11 Dec 2015) wrote:
Climate change is here. I am overjoyed that the Liberal government, as evidenced in the throne speech, is embracing a new tone when it comes to climate change, but my constituents need more than a tone of change from their government. They need real action, setting ambitious, accountable emissions reduction targets with annual progress reports for meeting targets enshrined in Canadian law.

adma

terrytowel wrote:

It wasn't an anomoly. In 1993 they also abandoned their quest for power, just to hang on to official party status.

So that is not one but two times they have run an election campaign where the goal was NOT to win power. But to be the conscience of Parliment. 1993 and 1997.

Uh, you realize you're cherrypicking from *the electoral nadir of the NDP's existence* in order to reinforce your "wasn't an anomoly [sic]" argument? They abandoned their quest in 1993 *because they were in single-digit free fall mode*. They were being "Clegged" a la the UK Lib Dems in 2015, and it was likewise a matter of "saving the furniture" more than anything--though beneath the disarray the NDP could still exert the "conscience of Parliament" claim with a certain conviction, which is more than you can say about the fatally chameleonic Clegg Lib Dems. Or, for that matter, the Kim Campbell PCs, whom the woeful Audrey NDP bluffed into out-seating.

1993 was because they were falling down an electoral chasm. 1997 was because they were climbing back out of said chasm. (2000 was more of a sloppy-seconds reiteration of 1997.)

To single those examples out is the *absolute blinkin' epitome* of "NDP knowing their place" thinking.

terrytowel

So now it is cherrypicking. I could find some more examples.

But it doesn't seem to matter how many examples I could find.

Posters here are saying

"The NDP run elections 100% of the time to form government."

Then when I bring up some examples when that wasn't the case the reply is

"Except for this reason and this reason and this reason."

Then posters end things by saying

"But really the NDP run to win 100% of the time"

OK got it, On my way to buy some pretzels.

pookie

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

terrytowel wrote:

Arthur please don't DEFLECT

From the Windsor Star 31 May 1997

NDP Leader Alexa McDonough addressed the largest, and possibly the most enthusiastic, crowd of the campaign at a rally for local candidates in Windsor. About 900 union members and other party supporters, pumped up by songs of worker solidarity, gave her a rousing welcome. Although the party can expect to win only a handful of seats in Ontario, Windsor could be among them.

McDonough long ago acknowledged her party won't form the next government and she conceded Friday the best New Democrats can hope for is to become a strong opposition voice in the Commons. The NDP, which had nine seats in the last Parliament, hopes to win the 12 necessary for official party status this time.

Again the 1997 campaign was just to get official party status.

McDonough kept saying over and over and over again "How are we going to keep the Liberals accountable? By electing as many New Democrats as possible"

Arthur the question was "When has the NDP ever run a campaign where they didn't want to form government"

The answer is 1997. I was just answering the question.

The fact is the NDP goal in 1997 was just to regain official party status.

There is no dispute of the goal of that campaign.

Actually there is.

This is one of the reasons I have so much trouble with Liberals -- they mess around with words -- and you have to guess if they are incapable of knowing the actual definitions of the words or just think they can get away with it.

So, in this case we have two very distinct concepts -- one is goals or aspirations and the other is expectations.

the NDP ALWAYS runs based on a desire to govern and produces proposals for government.

However, when the party is very low (like after the 1993 election and a loss of party status) the party knows that it cannot articulate an expectation that its aspirations (goal) would be met in that election. And the party understands that in spite of the goal or aspiration a much more modest result may still be progress. The reason is mostly credibility.

Now for the Liberals with Limited Vocabularly Support Group: the concept of aspiration and expectation are very, very different. You plan and you set your goals and proposals based on your aspirations. But of course you have to set your expectations to be much more modest sometimes. You cannot approach the public with expectations so wild that nobody can take you seriously. So the NDP leader in 1997 set her expectations, her standard for the minimum the NDP would need to improve its position to make a difference much lower than her aspirations. Aspiration is based on hopes and wants and NOT realistic expectation and for the NDP often these are not the same.

(For some reason I can no longer easily manoeuvre within the posting box or I would have cut out the first bit and bolded a few things).

I don't know why you must pepper your analysis with constant digs at those whom you presume to be Liberal supporters, Sean.

It reads as very immature.

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