Jagmeet Singh, NDP Leader

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..singh doesn't run the party no more than mulcair did. the problems that the ndp faces lies much deeper than the leader. people on this board having been talking about those problems for years with no resolution in sight.

..blaming the leader without dealing with those deeper issues is a dead end. not to mention that it provides the false notion that all you need is the "right leader". more was needed than just corbyn and as we see today corbyn is not enough. 

It's not JUST the leader.  There's an urgent need for the establishment of internal party democracy, and it is essential that the rank-and-file have control over what goes into the platform and the policy book.  Since 1961 as a certainty, and perhaps from the beginning(I don't know how policy decisions were made in the CCF era), the party has been run by a cynical, dismissive internal party bureaucracy whose guiding principle has always been that the rank-and-file are idiots who should never have any real say in what the party is about.  Since 1961, this approach has almost always kept the party in third place.  It did massive damage in the 1960s and 1970s, when the party refused to engage with the New Left, and has done more of the same in the post-WTO era, keeping the party at arms-length from the only people in left-of-centre politics with any new ideas and any real enthusiasm for working for change.    This notion that the NDP has to be kind of grumpily dismissive of idealism and transformative politics hasn't done the party any good-there simply is not any large group of people who WANT a break from the status quo, but sneer at most of the people working for such a break.  Why not just admit that activists are not the enemy, that open discussion is not the enemy, that passion and enthusiasm are not the enemies?

..a problem in search of a solution. as it has been for years. where is the path to something different?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..singh doesn't run the party no more than mulcair did. the problems that the ndp faces lies much deeper than the leader. people on this board having been talking about those problems for years with no resolution in sight.

..blaming the leader without dealing with those deeper issues is a dead end. not to mention that it provides the false notion that all you need is the "right leader". more was needed than just corbyn and as we see today corbyn is not enough. 

It's not JUST the leader.  There's an urgent need for the establishment of internal party democracy, and it is essential that the rank-and-file have control over what goes into the platform and the policy book.  Since 1961 as a certainty, and perhaps from the beginning(I don't know how policy decisions were made in the CCF era), the party has been run by a cynical, dismissive internal party bureaucracy whose guiding principle has always been that the rank-and-file are idiots who should never have any real say in what the party is about.  Since 1961, this approach has almost always kept the party in third place.  It did massive damage in the 1960s and 1970s, when the party refused to engage with the New Left, and has done more of the same in the post-WTO era, keeping the party at arms-length from the only people in left-of-centre politics with any new ideas and any real enthusiasm for working for change.    This notion that the NDP has to be kind of grumpily dismissive of idealism and transformative politics hasn't done the party any good-there simply is not any large group of people who WANT a break from the status quo, but sneer at most of the people working for such a break.  Why not just admit that activists are not the enemy, that open discussion is not the enemy, that passion and enthusiasm are not the enemies?

Fully agree with you about Corbyn-it IS a collaboration, and that's why Corbyn's enemies are so obsessed with driving Momentum, the incarnation of that collaboration, out of the party, by smearing it as antisemitic and conspiratorial and cultish when it is clearly neither of those things.

..yes about the attack on momentum but what i am talking about is broader than that. labour will sometimes do things that are politically expedient. ie: brexit. there are external forces that support labour and are engaged in trying to push labour to take a different position.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..singh doesn't run the party no more than mulcair did. the problems that the ndp faces lies much deeper than the leader. people on this board having been talking about those problems for years with no resolution in sight.

..blaming the leader without dealing with those deeper issues is a dead end. not to mention that it provides the false notion that all you need is the "right leader". more was needed than just corbyn and as we see today corbyn is not enough. 

It's not JUST the leader.  There's an urgent need for the establishment of internal party democracy, and it is essential that the rank-and-file have control over what goes into the platform and the policy book.  Since 1961 as a certainty, and perhaps from the beginning(I don't know how policy decisions were made in the CCF era), the party has been run by a cynical, dismissive internal party bureaucracy whose guiding principle has always been that the rank-and-file are idiots who should never have any real say in what the party is about.  Since 1961, this approach has almost always kept the party in third place.  It did massive damage in the 1960s and 1970s, when the party refused to engage with the New Left, and has done more of the same in the post-WTO era, keeping the party at arms-length from the only people in left-of-centre politics with any new ideas and any real enthusiasm for working for change.    This notion that the NDP has to be kind of grumpily dismissive of idealism and transformative politics hasn't done the party any good-there simply is not any large group of people who WANT a break from the status quo, but sneer at most of the people working for such a break.  Why not just admit that activists are not the enemy, that open discussion is not the enemy, that passion and enthusiasm are not the enemies?

Fully agree with you about Corbyn-it IS a collaboration, and that's why Corbyn's enemies are so obsessed with driving Momentum, the incarnation of that collaboration, out of the party, by smearing it as antisemitic and conspiratorial and cultish when it is clearly neither of those things.

..yes about the attack on momentum but what i am talking about is broader than that. labour will sometimes do things that are politically expedient. ie: brexit. there are external forces that support labour and are engaged in trying to push labour to take a different position.

That is true.  Corbyn is in a no-win situation on that.  The right-wing of the party are obsessed with getting him to take an all-out "stop Brexit" position.  If Corbyn does that though, support for the party instantly collapses in the North and Northeast of England, the areas that were left to rot economically in the EU era.  It could even bring UKIP back to life and cause a large increase in racist violence.  An all-out "stop Brexit" stance could never be broadly popular with the electorate and would likely reduce Labour, in the subsuquent election, to a 1983-style humiliation-and it's likely that that is WHY the anti-Corbynites are so obsessed with trying to force him into such a stance-they would rather see Labour lose badly and the assault on the social welfare state continue(and it's likely that more than a few anti-Corbynites actually want the welfare state further reduced and the NHS diluted down to nothing) than see Labour win the election under a leader who does not defer to City of London on economics and the Pentagon on foreign policy, and who does NOT keep rank-and-file activists totally out in the cold in Labour's decision-making process.

josh

epaulo13 wrote:

..singh doesn't run the party no more than mulcair did. the problems that the ndp faces lies much deeper than the leader. people on this board having been talking about those problems for years with no resolution in sight.

..blaming the leader without dealing with those deeper issues is a dead end. not to mention that it provides the false notion that all you need is the "right leader". more was needed than just corbyn and as we see today corbyn is not enough. 

This, the leader doesn’t matter, is not only factually incorrect, it’s self-defeating.  

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

josh wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..singh doesn't run the party no more than mulcair did. the problems that the ndp faces lies much deeper than the leader. people on this board having been talking about those problems for years with no resolution in sight.

..blaming the leader without dealing with those deeper issues is a dead end. not to mention that it provides the false notion that all you need is the "right leader". more was needed than just corbyn and as we see today corbyn is not enough. 

This, the leader doesn’t matter, is not only factually incorrect, it’s self-defeating.  

..i would never suggest the leader doesn't matter josh. just that singh doesn't run the party.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..singh doesn't run the party no more than mulcair did. the problems that the ndp faces lies much deeper than the leader. people on this board having been talking about those problems for years with no resolution in sight.

..blaming the leader without dealing with those deeper issues is a dead end. not to mention that it provides the false notion that all you need is the "right leader". more was needed than just corbyn and as we see today corbyn is not enough. 

It's not JUST the leader.  There's an urgent need for the establishment of internal party democracy, and it is essential that the rank-and-file have control over what goes into the platform and the policy book.  Since 1961 as a certainty, and perhaps from the beginning(I don't know how policy decisions were made in the CCF era), the party has been run by a cynical, dismissive internal party bureaucracy whose guiding principle has always been that the rank-and-file are idiots who should never have any real say in what the party is about.  Since 1961, this approach has almost always kept the party in third place.  It did massive damage in the 1960s and 1970s, when the party refused to engage with the New Left, and has done more of the same in the post-WTO era, keeping the party at arms-length from the only people in left-of-centre politics with any new ideas and any real enthusiasm for working for change.    This notion that the NDP has to be kind of grumpily dismissive of idealism and transformative politics hasn't done the party any good-there simply is not any large group of people who WANT a break from the status quo, but sneer at most of the people working for such a break.  Why not just admit that activists are not the enemy, that open discussion is not the enemy, that passion and enthusiasm are not the enemies?

Fully agree with you about Corbyn-it IS a collaboration, and that's why Corbyn's enemies are so obsessed with driving Momentum, the incarnation of that collaboration, out of the party, by smearing it as antisemitic and conspiratorial and cultish when it is clearly neither of those things.

..yes about the attack on momentum but what i am talking about is broader than that. labour will sometimes do things that are politically expedient. ie: brexit. there are external forces that support labour and are engaged in trying to push labour to take a different position.

That is true.  Corbyn is in a no-win situation on that.  The right-wing of the party are obsessed with getting him to take an all-out "stop Brexit" position.  If Corbyn does that though, support for the party instantly collapses in the North and Northeast of England, the areas that were left to rot economically in the EU era.  It could even bring UKIP back to life and cause a large increase in racist violence.  An all-out "stop Brexit" stance could never be broadly popular with the electorate and would likely reduce Labour, in the subsuquent election, to a 1983-style humiliation-and it's likely that that is WHY the anti-Corbynites are so obsessed with trying to force him into such a stance-they would rather see Labour lose badly and the assault on the social welfare state continue(and it's likely that more than a few anti-Corbynites actually want the welfare state further reduced and the NHS diluted down to nothing) than see Labour win the election under a leader who does not defer to City of London on economics and the Pentagon on foreign policy, and who does NOT keep rank-and-file activists totally out in the cold in Labour's decision-making process.

..again it's not about the issue but the processes at play. a far cry from what is going on in canada re the ndp.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..singh doesn't run the party no more than mulcair did. the problems that the ndp faces lies much deeper than the leader. people on this board having been talking about those problems for years with no resolution in sight.

..blaming the leader without dealing with those deeper issues is a dead end. not to mention that it provides the false notion that all you need is the "right leader". more was needed than just corbyn and as we see today corbyn is not enough. 

It's not JUST the leader.  There's an urgent need for the establishment of internal party democracy, and it is essential that the rank-and-file have control over what goes into the platform and the policy book.  Since 1961 as a certainty, and perhaps from the beginning(I don't know how policy decisions were made in the CCF era), the party has been run by a cynical, dismissive internal party bureaucracy whose guiding principle has always been that the rank-and-file are idiots who should never have any real say in what the party is about.  Since 1961, this approach has almost always kept the party in third place.  It did massive damage in the 1960s and 1970s, when the party refused to engage with the New Left, and has done more of the same in the post-WTO era, keeping the party at arms-length from the only people in left-of-centre politics with any new ideas and any real enthusiasm for working for change.    This notion that the NDP has to be kind of grumpily dismissive of idealism and transformative politics hasn't done the party any good-there simply is not any large group of people who WANT a break from the status quo, but sneer at most of the people working for such a break.  Why not just admit that activists are not the enemy, that open discussion is not the enemy, that passion and enthusiasm are not the enemies?

Fully agree with you about Corbyn-it IS a collaboration, and that's why Corbyn's enemies are so obsessed with driving Momentum, the incarnation of that collaboration, out of the party, by smearing it as antisemitic and conspiratorial and cultish when it is clearly neither of those things.

..yes about the attack on momentum but what i am talking about is broader than that. labour will sometimes do things that are politically expedient. ie: brexit. there are external forces that support labour and are engaged in trying to push labour to take a different position.

That is true.  Corbyn is in a no-win situation on that.  The right-wing of the party are obsessed with getting him to take an all-out "stop Brexit" position.  If Corbyn does that though, support for the party instantly collapses in the North and Northeast of England, the areas that were left to rot economically in the EU era.  It could even bring UKIP back to life and cause a large increase in racist violence.  An all-out "stop Brexit" stance could never be broadly popular with the electorate and would likely reduce Labour, in the subsuquent election, to a 1983-style humiliation-and it's likely that that is WHY the anti-Corbynites are so obsessed with trying to force him into such a stance-they would rather see Labour lose badly and the assault on the social welfare state continue(and it's likely that more than a few anti-Corbynites actually want the welfare state further reduced and the NHS diluted down to nothing) than see Labour win the election under a leader who does not defer to City of London on economics and the Pentagon on foreign policy, and who does NOT keep rank-and-file activists totally out in the cold in Labour's decision-making process.

..again it's not about the issue but the processes at play. a far cry from what is going on in canada re the ndp.

OK.  If it wasn't Brexit it would be something else...like the antisemitism smears.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

OK.  If it wasn't Brexit it would be something else...like the antisemitism smears.

..what i'm talking about are the processes of pro corbyn labour both inside and outside the party not just blindly following the party. these movements have their own priorities and are engaged to include those priorities into the labour agenda. like participatory democracy. like in bernie's campaign he was good on some things and not on other things. movements forced him to take better positions.  

NDPP

josh wrote:

Singh says NDP won’t bail on Canada-Israel parliamentary group.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/06/20/jagmeet-singh-israel_a_23464097/

NDPP wrote:

"More than 200 New Democrats and international activists, such as Pink Floyd founding member Roger Waters and linguist Noam Chomsky, have added their name to an open letter calling on NDP MPs to leave the interparliamentary group with Israel after recent Palestinian deaths [Murders] in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli military.

Sid Ryan, the former Ontario president of CUPE, said he's not surprised the NDP won't follow the will of many of its grassroots members and embrace a more pro-Palestinian stance. MPs are afraid to speak out he said.

'The Israel lobby is extremely powerful. I found that out when I supported the BDS campaign - they mounted a campaign to try to have me ousted as the leader of CUPE Ontario....It's a bit cowardly actually, to be frank about it, not being willing to speak out about human rights violations..."

 'It's a bit cowardly.' No shit!  Singh and the NDP are made for each other.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
 

Yes, the NDP needs to challenge neoliberalism...but it can only challenge it by being able to tell the voters "not only is this wrong, but we've got these things we're going to do instead that will be better for you".  The NDP has great values and some sort of a better vision for society-there is no valid reason to fear the idea of trying to inspire voters with that vision, with appealing to the natural wish most people have for a clear improvement on the dreariness of the now.   

Ken Burch wrote:
  Justin's charisma no longer really works, and Jagmeet's charisma has proved to be an illusion.    

Trudeau's charisma is doing just fine and so is Singh's. 

Preferred Prime Minister – Nanos tracking has Trudeau as the preferred choice as PM at 38.7 per cent of Canadians followed by Scheer (25.4%), Singh (8.8%) and May (4.3%). Twenty two per cent of Canadians were unsure whom they preferred.

Singh only gets 8% but 36% believe he has the qualities of a good leader.

Qualities of a Good Political Leader – Half of Canadians (54.5%) believe Trudeau has the qualities of a good political leader while 42.0 per cent believe Scheer has the qualities of a good political leader. One in three (36.1%) say Jagmeet Singh has the qualities of a good political leader, while 35.6 per cent believe the same about May. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 If Jagmeet doesn't go(and he would need to make that decision soon) he needs to change-he needs to make the leadership structure collegial,  

There is no reason for him to go just because of some malcontents within the party.  As to the way the party is run, I don't think that has changed since Layton so it isn't his sin. The party has been run this way for decades. It seems the majority of members accept the current structure.

Ken Burch wrote:
 needs a strong Quebec face within the leadership,  

Right now that is Boulerice and Caron. New Quebec faces wouldn't suddenly appear with a new leader. 

Ken Burch wrote:
  and finally needs to actually connect with the social movements and let go of the party's decades-long delusion that what those movements want is somehow at absolute odds with what "ordinary Canadians" want or need. 

It isn't a delusion. Currently it is at odds with what "ordinary Canadians" want regardless of whether or not it is what they need. 

Ken Burch wrote:
An end to social and economic injustice WOULD BE a better deal for regular folks just trying to get on with their lives.   

Being right does not get politicians elected. 

Ken Burch wrote:
And, contrary to your perception, most activists are THEMSELVES regular folks just trying to get on with their lives.  Activism usually derives from what people actually experiece in their lives, and activism isn't about asking for special favors for a few-it's almost always, in the end, about justice for all, because the freedom of the many is bound up in the liberation of all. 

Yes, and activists must convince the general population of that.  Once the general population is convinced the party which most closely offers what the public believes is in their best interests will gain their support. Maybe that could be the NDP. Maybe it would be an entirely new political party. It could even be the Liberal party. 

Purpose of political party = get elected

Purpose of social movements = advance the well-being of humanity

They have entirely different goals. If a political party's base is on the left then social justice issues will be part of the philosophy of the party but only in so much as it contributes to electibility because that remains the primary goal. That is achieved by convincing voters the party will do the best job of governing. Hence the rush to the centre by all parties. The natural tendency is for people to not want radical change. For a political party to convince people radical change is required is extremely difficult in a wealthy successful country like Canada. 

The goal of social justice movements is to educate and to advance the interests of particular segments of the population or in some cases virtually the entire population such as pharmacare. The goal is to change society not run it as is with minor tweaks.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

... If a political party's base is on the left then social justice issues will be part of the philosophy of the party but only in so much as it contributes to electibility because that remains the primary goal. That is achieved by convincing voters the party will do the best job of governing. Hence the rush to the centre by all parties. The natural tendency is for people to not want radical change. For a political party to convince people radical change is required is extremely difficult in a wealthy successful country like Canada. 

 

Why should Canada radically change if it is a wealthy and successful country?

Why should a political party like the NDP try to radically change Canada if Canada is a wealthy and successful country?

If all parties should rush to the centre, what is the purpose of having a leftist party like the NDP?

Why have the NDP be another centrist party when the Liberals already have that role covered and having another centrist party just splits the centre-left vote and helps the centre-right win?

Why do you oppose PR that would give the left a fair shake?

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Singh is paralyzed by fear, afraid to say anything controversial at all. He is trying to appeal to people who would never vote for him, while he wears clothes which are more expensive than the cars of the people who would normally vote for him. Save the suits for Parliament!
 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

progressive17 wrote:

Singh is paralyzed by fear, afraid to say anything controversial at all. He is trying to appeal to people who would never vote for him, while he wears clothes which are more expensive than the cars of the people who would normally vote for him. Save the suits for Parliament!
 

Indeed.  And his approach is simply an extreme form of the vision of politics the party bureaucracy has held to like a Stalinist "line" since 1961-the idea that "we can't actually talk about what we stand for, and we have no make sure we don't by not actually standing for anything more than necessary."

Why do they stay with something that has failed for fifty-seven years?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..so what is the role played by the caucus, by the membership in today's ndp? do they not also contribute to the state of the ndp? 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

..so what is the role played by the caucus, by the membership in today's ndp? do they not also contribute to the state of the ndp? 

Good question.  In practice it is a negligible role at best.  All decision-making power within the NDP is controlled by a party bureaucracy, which, like all party bureaucracies, would rather see the party it runs slowly die out than see it prosper by listening to the majority of NDP supporters and activists.  This bureaucracy is implacably hostile to the idea that any political party should actually be about working for economic and social justice or about any significant structural change-it is convinced that nothing but tiny incremental adjustments are possible or even desirable.  

This party bureaucracy, essentially created by that famous Left-hating Cold Warrior David Lewis, is committed to preventing anything in the party from ever changing-unless that change is a further tack to the "center"(or what anyone else would call the Right).  They are the ones who have prevented the NDP from connecting with the social movements-even though the social movements are the ONLY place on the left, or even the "centre-left" where anyone is working with any energy or creativity for change.  They are the ones who would never allow the NDP to be a peace party, even though Canada has desperately needed a party that challenged the inevitability-of-war consensus.  They are the ones who refused to allow the party to connect with anti-WTO activism or the passionate energy of Occupy.  They are the ones who wouldn't tolerate NDP MPs supporting the Quebec students-even though nobody who OPPOSED what the students were fighting for would ever have voted NDP or even agreed with it the party on any significant number of issues.  They are the ones who still refuse the party to make any significant criticisms of what the Israeli government does to the IDF-even though there's essentially no such thing as a left-Zionist, let alone any significant left-Zionist organizations, in all of Canada.  They are the ones who insist on dumping parliamentary candidates because they speak out too fiercely against injustice.

This is a long-term institutional problem.  And at the moment, there's no clear solution.

In 2017, they essentially imposed their chosen candidate as leader, while shielding that candidate from any real need to debate or any expectation of having to say what he would stand for as leader.

The inner bureaucracy is the key to all of this.

And the only way to get the party out of this particular dilemma is to find some way of finally dislodging this bureaucracy.  But it's not clear how to do that.

Replacing the NDP with ANOTHER Left party doesn't really seem to be an option.

None of the existing alternatives have any real popular appeal.  most-the CP, the CPML, the SEP, the Greens, if we can CALL them a Left party-have a program that connects with what actual voters want.  The sectarian parties speak a language most people can't understand.  The Greens can't be trusted to not end up simply being ANOTHER bourgeois party.  

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs ken. i've experienced a similar bureaucracy in the labour movement.

..i'm still digesting what you've written and questions are coming slowly and this may continue or not for a day or 2. understand that i'm trying to understand.

here's one..so angus's anger, your anger is misdirected at singh and should rightly be pointed at the bureaucracy? 

NorthReport

Let's discuss the two major hurdles Singh is facing:

1 - the colour of skin

2 - the public display of his religion 

Most Canadians by now can handle #1 but #2? 

 

 

robbie_dee

Ken Burch wrote:

This party bureaucracy, essentially created by that famous Left-hating Cold Warrior David Lewis, is committed to preventing anything in the party from ever changing-unless that change is a further tack to the "center"(or what anyone else would call the Right).  They are the ones who have prevented the NDP from connecting with the social movements-even though the social movements are the ONLY place on the left, or even the "centre-left" where anyone is working with any energy or creativity for change.  They are the ones who would never allow the NDP to be a peace party, even though Canada has desperately needed a party that challenged the inevitability-of-war consensus.  They are the ones who refused to allow the party to connect with anti-WTO activism or the passionate energy of Occupy.  They are the ones who wouldn't tolerate NDP MPs supporting the Quebec students-even though nobody who OPPOSED what the students were fighting for would ever have voted NDP or even agreed with it the party on any significant number of issues.  They are the ones who still refuse the party to make any significant criticisms of what the Israeli government does to the IDF-even though there's essentially no such thing as a left-Zionist, let alone any significant left-Zionist organizations, in all of Canada.  They are the ones who insist on dumping parliamentary candidates because they speak out too fiercely against injustice.

This is a long-term institutional problem.  And at the moment, there's no clear solution.

In 2017, they essentially imposed their chosen candidate as leader, while shielding that candidate from any real need to debate or any expectation of having to say what he would stand for as leader.

The inner bureaucracy is the key to all of this.

And the only way to get the party out of this particular dilemma is to find some way of finally dislodging this bureaucracy.  But it's not clear how to do that.

Who, specifically, is the "inner bureaucracy"? If you're not comfortable naming names (besides the long dead David Lewis) can you at least identify job titles? Is it principally staffers, officers, donors, union leaders, or some other group? How do they exert power, specifically? I'm not necessarily disputing your characterization but I'm saying that ultimately there is a constitution and various processes through which decisions get made and executed. Singh, who you say was "imposed" on the party, got a lot of votes from actual people through what appeared at first glance at least to be a relatively open and democratic process. There are actual people who sit on the committees that "vet" potential candidates before they are allowed to run. Who are those people and who selects them? Etc. If you believe there is an  entrenched group of power brokers who are asserting undue influence on the Party, identifying who that group is and the means by which they assert there power would, presumably, be the first step to actually doing something about it.

robbie_dee

NorthReport wrote:

Let's discuss the two major hurdles Singh is facing:

1 - the colour of skin

2 - the public display of his religion 

Most Canadians by now can handle #1 but #2?

I'm not sure you can separate the two. Tommy Douglas was an actual minister of the Baptist Church and to this day I don't think you'll find too many New Democrats or members of the general public who had a problem with that then or would have a problem with that now.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

..txs ken. i've experienced a similar bureaucracy in the labour movement.

..i'm still digesting what you've written and questions are coming slowly and this may continue or not for a day or 2. understand that i'm trying to understand.

here's one..so angus's anger, your anger is misdirected at singh and should rightly be pointed at the bureaucracy? 

in many ways, yes.  

NorthReport

Excited to be marching in this Sunday with and a squad of New Democrats!!! 

https://twitter.com/theJagmeetSingh/status/1010262836801662979

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

robbie_dee wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

This party bureaucracy, essentially created by that famous Left-hating Cold Warrior David Lewis, is committed to preventing anything in the party from ever changing-unless that change is a further tack to the "center"(or what anyone else would call the Right).  They are the ones who have prevented the NDP from connecting with the social movements-even though the social movements are the ONLY place on the left, or even the "centre-left" where anyone is working with any energy or creativity for change.  They are the ones who would never allow the NDP to be a peace party, even though Canada has desperately needed a party that challenged the inevitability-of-war consensus.  They are the ones who refused to allow the party to connect with anti-WTO activism or the passionate energy of Occupy.  They are the ones who wouldn't tolerate NDP MPs supporting the Quebec students-even though nobody who OPPOSED what the students were fighting for would ever have voted NDP or even agreed with it the party on any significant number of issues.  They are the ones who still refuse the party to make any significant criticisms of what the Israeli government does to the IDF-even though there's essentially no such thing as a left-Zionist, let alone any significant left-Zionist organizations, in all of Canada.  They are the ones who insist on dumping parliamentary candidates because they speak out too fiercely against injustice.

This is a long-term institutional problem.  And at the moment, there's no clear solution.

In 2017, they essentially imposed their chosen candidate as leader, while shielding that candidate from any real need to debate or any expectation of having to say what he would stand for as leader.

The inner bureaucracy is the key to all of this.

And the only way to get the party out of this particular dilemma is to find some way of finally dislodging this bureaucracy.  But it's not clear how to do that.

Who, specifically, is the "inner bureaucracy"? If you're not comfortable naming names (besides the long dead David Lewis) can you at least identify job titles? Is it principally staffers, officers, donors, union leaders, or some other group? How do they exert power, specifically? I'm not necessarily disputing your characterization but I'm saying that ultimately there is a constitution and various processes through which decisions get made and executed. Singh, who you say was "imposed" on the party, got a lot of votes from actual people through what appeared at first glance at least to be a relatively open and democratic process. There are actual people who sit on the committees that "vet" potential candidates before they are allowed to run. Who are those people and who selects them? Etc. If you believe there is an  entrenched group of power brokers who are asserting undue influence on the Party, identifying who that group is and the means by which they assert there power would, presumably, be the first step to actually doing something about it.

I don't have the actual names. I'd name them if I did.  I'm not the only person who has commented on the "inner circle" and the ability it seems to have to prevent any meaningful change within the party.  They intersect with whoever happens to be leader, but seem to survive as a class, as a kind of nomenklatura, no matter who has been leader so far.

robbie_dee

Got it. I wasn't trying to put you on the spot and I get that you're not the only one to raise this critique. I am just not sure if there is a specific cabal controlling things in the Party per se, or if what is really going on is more about the dominant ideology in our society - which has been formed and made hegemonic by broader institutions outside of the NDP- and the way that constrains fundamentally well-meaning but highly tactically oriented activists from imagining how to do things differently.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i had another discussion in another thread a couple weeks ago were a party member suggested that what was needed was an intervention from outside the party. like what happened with the labour party under corbyn. like what happened with sanders.

..thing about those interventions is that they were spontaneous. it isn't like you can call that up on demand. triggers are needed to catch the imagination with the possibility of change at the end. i just don't see that happening here. not that it couldn't happen just don't see and triggers.

..without the triggers the prospect of spending years trying to change the system from within is not appealing imo though others may disagree. trying to overcome the divisions that you see within the party re extraction alone sounds insurmountable to me without a trigger.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

robbie_dee wrote:

Got it. I wasn't trying to put you on the spot and I get that you're not the only one to raise this critique. I am just not sure if there is a specific cabal controlling things in the Party per se, or if what is really going on is more about the dominant ideology in our society - which has been formed and made hegemonic by broader institutions outside of the NDP- and the way that constrains fundamentally well-meaning but highly tactically oriented activists from imagining how to do things differently.

And part of the problem is the degree to which this is indefinite-you know there is SOME sort of institutional hindrance to change and transformation, but nobody ever just openly says "I'm part of the means of obstruction".  People who are closer to the party than I am would be the ones who could provide the answers on that.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:

Got it. I wasn't trying to put you on the spot and I get that you're not the only one to raise this critique. I am just not sure if there is a specific cabal controlling things in the Party per se, or if what is really going on is more about the dominant ideology in our society - which has been formed and made hegemonic by broader institutions outside of the NDP- and the way that constrains fundamentally well-meaning but highly tactically oriented activists from imagining how to do things differently.

And part of the problem is the degree to which this is indefinite-you know there is SOME sort of institutional hindrance to change and transformation, but nobody ever just openly says "I'm part of the means of obstruction".  People who are closer to the party than I am would be the ones who could provide the answers on that.

Institutions like the NDP promote those that share the dominant ideology of the institution. Since Jack Layton the dominant ideology of the NDP has been that electablity is the end and be all of politics. Under his mantle the party backed away from its historic oppostion to NAFTA and to NATO.  It reminds me of the '90's when the NDP who had been preaching reform of our institutions for a generation decided it was passe and stopped talking about it. Preston Manning took up the talk and won a shitload of seats while the NDP was sitting on its hands.  Singh is just the latest in a string of leaders elected because they promised to seek power as their primary goal. The majority of Canadians like the status quo and are not willing to vote for change until it is necesary. Unfortunately the NDP in the last election ceased embracing change at the moment that Canadians were willing to try a new direction. It then offered them Mulcair's "we will maintain the status quo" campaign. 

So until the head office fires most of the people who believe that winning power is the main objective the NDP will be irrelevant. Tommy Douglas, the saint of all Canadian lefties, toured the province for a decade teaching before he was elected. He didn't try to figure out what the peple wanted so he could promise it too them he educated them as to what they needed and when they understood they elected him repeatedly.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:

Got it. I wasn't trying to put you on the spot and I get that you're not the only one to raise this critique. I am just not sure if there is a specific cabal controlling things in the Party per se, or if what is really going on is more about the dominant ideology in our society - which has been formed and made hegemonic by broader institutions outside of the NDP- and the way that constrains fundamentally well-meaning but highly tactically oriented activists from imagining how to do things differently.

And part of the problem is the degree to which this is indefinite-you know there is SOME sort of institutional hindrance to change and transformation, but nobody ever just openly says "I'm part of the means of obstruction".  People who are closer to the party than I am would be the ones who could provide the answers on that.

Institutions like the NDP promote those that share the dominant ideology of the institution. Since Jack Layton the dominant ideology of the NDP has been that electablity is the end and be all of politics. Under his mantle the party backed away from its historic oppostion to NAFTA and to NATO.  It reminds me of the '90's when the NDP who had been preaching reform of our institutions for a generation decided it was passe and stopped talking about it. Preston Manning took up the talk and won a shitload of seats while the NDP was sitting on its hands.  Singh is just the latest in a string of leaders elected because they promised to seek power as their primary goal. The majority of Canadians like the status quo and are not willing to vote for change until it is necesary. Unfortunately the NDP in the last election ceased embracing change at the moment that Canadians were willing to try a new direction. It then offered them Mulcair's "we will maintain the status quo" campaign. 

So until the head office fires most of the people who believe that winning power is the main objective the NDP will be irrelevant. Tommy Douglas, the saint of all Canadian lefties, toured the province for a decade teaching before he was elected. He didn't try to figure out what the peple wanted so he could promise it too them he educated them as to what they needed and when they understood they elected him repeatedly.

Here's the question:  How many more winnable by-elections does the party have to lose before the next election, and how many seats have to be lost at the next election, before the "head office" acknowledges that focusing on winning power by sounding innocuous doesn't actually lead to the NDP WINNING power?  And if these people are failing at their own stated objective, what's the point of keeping them in their jobs at all?  It begins to look as though "the head office" would rather see the party die out than allow it to change.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i'm not totally convinced that the bureaucracy has a death grip on the party. i'm not totally convinced that the membership or caucus is made up of mostly lefties trying to find it's way out from under the heavy hand of the cabal. mulcair not only had support for the positions taken but were jointly conceived with the caucus. yes the bureaucacy is powerful. yes more membership input could lead to better decisions but the level of  struggle within the party has to change as well. this is an essential part.

..how can the party be radicalized is a better question because then no one has to be waiting around for the party to decide. positions can be somewhat shaped from outside the party by becoming engaged with the issues at hand. doug ford just got elected, the cons are wrecking havoc in manitoba. the ecology suffers more each day. it's not like there is nothing to be done. and this could support a change in the level of struggle within the ndp. imho.

..this event happened in wpg and has lessons for activists. it's a way to deal with the issues at hand, organize for now and into the future. we can also look closer at the que student strike and the pipeline/tarsands resistance.  

 This is How to Fight!

Women in West Virginia Teach Powerful Lessons

The recent wildcat strike by teachers and support staff in West Virginia is being called one of the most important events in the labour movement since the 1970s. We would like to take a closer look and examine its success and discuss its relevance to the situation here in Canada.

Presenters:

  • Kate Doyle Griffiths (via Skype) is active with International Women’s Strike-U.S. and the Red Bloom collective in New York City. Kate spent time in West Virginia during the strike.
  • David Camfield is active with Winnipeg Labour Council and Solidarity Winnipeg.

Here are some articles circulated before the discussion:

Recorded on 29 March 2018 in Winnipeg, Canada.

Pondering

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

... If a political party's base is on the left then social justice issues will be part of the philosophy of the party but only in so much as it contributes to electibility because that remains the primary goal. That is achieved by convincing voters the party will do the best job of governing. Hence the rush to the centre by all parties. The natural tendency is for people to not want radical change. For a political party to convince people radical change is required is extremely difficult in a wealthy successful country like Canada. 

Why should Canada radically change if it is a wealthy and successful country? Why should a political party like the NDP try to radically change Canada if Canada is a wealthy and successful country? If all parties should rush to the centre, what is the purpose of having a leftist party like the NDP? Why have the NDP be another centrist party when the Liberals already have that role covered and having another centrist party just splits the centre-left vote and helps the centre-right win? Why do you oppose PR that would give the left a fair shake?

I don't see PR delivering better governments than FPTP. It's a false "solution", a distraction. It doesn't give people any more power over political parties or representatives. A recall option would give people more power. PR gives political parties more power. 

I didn't say parties should rush to the centre I said that is what they do because that is where the votes are.  Give the base some candies and aim for the middle. The only way to achieve radical change in Canada is to convince the population that it is needed. That cannot be  achieved through a political party. It can only be achieved through activism even though that too is a faint hope. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

... If a political party's base is on the left then social justice issues will be part of the philosophy of the party but only in so much as it contributes to electibility because that remains the primary goal. That is achieved by convincing voters the party will do the best job of governing. Hence the rush to the centre by all parties. The natural tendency is for people to not want radical change. For a political party to convince people radical change is required is extremely difficult in a wealthy successful country like Canada. 

Why should Canada radically change if it is a wealthy and successful country? Why should a political party like the NDP try to radically change Canada if Canada is a wealthy and successful country? If all parties should rush to the centre, what is the purpose of having a leftist party like the NDP? Why have the NDP be another centrist party when the Liberals already have that role covered and having another centrist party just splits the centre-left vote and helps the centre-right win? Why do you oppose PR that would give the left a fair shake?

I don't see PR delivering better governments than FPTP. It's a false "solution", a distraction. It doesn't give people any more power over political parties or representatives. A recall option would give people more power. PR gives political parties more power. 

I didn't say parties should rush to the centre I said that is what they do because that is where the votes are.  Give the base some candies and aim for the middle. The only way to achieve radical change in Canada is to convince the population that it is needed. That cannot be  achieved through a political party. It can only be achieved through activism even though that too is a faint hope. 

How would PR give the Liberals and Conservatives more power than they have now? I think they prefer the complete power they currently have with phoney FPTP majority governments over what they would have with PR governments where they would have to compromise with other parties.

Doesn't FPTP drive the few big-tent parties we have to the centre? If the NDP and Liberals merged it would force the Conservatives to move to the centre and it would increase the chances of a slightly left of centre government winning under FPTP but wouldn't that reduce our political pluralism? Wouldn't a party with more radical leftist policies have a better chance of gaining representation in Parliament under PR?

We have recall here in BC and it seems to have made little to no difference.

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The majority of Canadians like the status quo and are not willing to vote for change until it is necesary. Unfortunately the NDP in the last election ceased embracing change at the moment that Canadians were willing to try a new direction. It then offered them Mulcair's "we will maintain the status quo" campaign. 

So until the head office fires most of the people who believe that winning power is the main objective the NDP will be irrelevant. Tommy Douglas, the saint of all Canadian lefties, toured the province for a decade teaching before he was elected. He didn't try to figure out what the peple wanted so he could promise it too them he educated them as to what they needed and when they understood they elected him repeatedly.

I agree on Mulcair. By choosing him as leader the NDP missed the opportunity of a generation.  Having  said that the days when politicians can pursuade people to radical change are over.  Douglas introduced provincial medicare which eventually led to national medicare introduced by the Liberals. So when are Horwath and Notley going to introduce pharmacare? 

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-birth-of-medicare

It is not surprising that the first breakthrough would be in Saskatchewan. The province, which was the home base of “agrarian socialism,” had been governed since 1944 by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) led by T.C. (Tommy) Douglas. The CCF had originally intended to socialize much of the economy but, like social democratic formations elsewhere, had retreated from this position and by the 1950s concentrated on building a welfare state within a mixed economy. Medical care had always been a centerpiece of its welfare state program and by 1959 considerable strides had been made. The initial innovation was universal hospital insurance which was introduced as early as 1947, and by 1958 had been adopted nationally as a federal-provincial jointly funded program. This is what made it financially possible for Douglas to announce in 1959 that the province would be launching a universal medical insurance plan.

Not even Tommy Douglas managed to convince people of his  philosophy in general. He didn't attack capitalism. He zeroed in on one issue. 

JKR

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

... If a political party's base is on the left then social justice issues will be part of the philosophy of the party but only in so much as it contributes to electibility because that remains the primary goal. That is achieved by convincing voters the party will do the best job of governing. Hence the rush to the centre by all parties. The natural tendency is for people to not want radical change. For a political party to convince people radical change is required is extremely difficult in a wealthy successful country like Canada. 

Why should Canada radically change if it is a wealthy and successful country? Why should a political party like the NDP try to radically change Canada if Canada is a wealthy and successful country? If all parties should rush to the centre, what is the purpose of having a leftist party like the NDP? Why have the NDP be another centrist party when the Liberals already have that role covered and having another centrist party just splits the centre-left vote and helps the centre-right win? Why do you oppose PR that would give the left a fair shake?

I don't see PR delivering better governments than FPTP. It's a false "solution", a distraction. It doesn't give people any more power over political parties or representatives. A recall option would give people more power. PR gives political parties more power. 

I didn't say parties should rush to the centre I said that is what they do because that is where the votes are.  Give the base some candies and aim for the middle. The only way to achieve radical change in Canada is to convince the population that it is needed. That cannot be  achieved through a political party. It can only be achieved through activism even though that too is a faint hope. 

How would PR give the Liberals and Conservatives more power than they have now? I think they prefer the complete power they currently have with phoney FPTP majority governments over what they would have with PR governments where they would have to compromise with other parties.

Doesn't FPTP drive the few big-tent parties we have to the centre? If the NDP and Liberals merged it would force the Conservatives to move to the centre but wouldn't that reduce our political pluralism? Wouldn't a party with more radical leftist policies have a better chance of gaining representation in Parliament under PR?

We have recall here in BC and it seems to have made little to no difference.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

Did you support Singh because you WANTED him to run the party into the ground? 

I didn't support Singh I supported Caron. Part of my support for Singh is that he appears to listen to Caron. 

Ken Burch wrote:
Also, when the NDP promotes "what it wants", it's probably at least in part because the party sees "what it wants" as actually being beneficial to the electorate. 

Apparently the electorate doesn't agree and they get to decide.

 

Ken Burch wrote:
The situation is heading towards disaster here, Pondering.  It won't be possible for the NDP to gain seats and votes during the next general election campaign if it loses every byelection running up to it.  It won't be possible for the NDP to hold ANY Quebec seats at all if Outremont goes Liberal in the by-election.  Doesn't that concern you in the least?  

Getting  rid of Singh is not a solution to those problems. If anything they would make them worse. Outremont is a Liberal seat that Mulcair won based on his reputation not the reputation of the NDP.  You don't support him so you are holding Singh responsible for those losses rather than recognizing the specifics of various ridings. In my opinion the political landscape dictates the the NDP probably won't do very well in 2019 regardless of the leader. Trudeau will most likely get another majority. 

Ken Burch wrote:

 Do you even WANT the NDP to hold its current ground?  It can't recover in future elections if the party goes down to 20 seats again, and the party will have no reason to exist if it goes back to ONLY electing MPs in Ontario, the Prairies, and B.C., as the NDP is currently on track to do.   

So who do you think would do a better job than Singh? 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..ken just so you know your courage to take on my question in #766 allowed me to firm up my position on the ndp as a party. it led me to futher understand from my own point of view. to clarify where i was a bit shakey in my understanding. this was helpful and i thank you. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

... If a political party's base is on the left then social justice issues will be part of the philosophy of the party but only in so much as it contributes to electibility because that remains the primary goal. That is achieved by convincing voters the party will do the best job of governing. Hence the rush to the centre by all parties. The natural tendency is for people to not want radical change. For a political party to convince people radical change is required is extremely difficult in a wealthy successful country like Canada. 

Why should Canada radically change if it is a wealthy and successful country? Why should a political party like the NDP try to radically change Canada if Canada is a wealthy and successful country? If all parties should rush to the centre, what is the purpose of having a leftist party like the NDP? Why have the NDP be another centrist party when the Liberals already have that role covered and having another centrist party just splits the centre-left vote and helps the centre-right win? Why do you oppose PR that would give the left a fair shake?

I don't see PR delivering better governments than FPTP. It's a false "solution", a distraction. It doesn't give people any more power over political parties or representatives. A recall option would give people more power. PR gives political parties more power. 

I didn't say parties should rush to the centre I said that is what they do because that is where the votes are.  Give the base some candies and aim for the middle. The only way to achieve radical change in Canada is to convince the population that it is needed. That cannot be  achieved through a political party. It can only be achieved through activism even though that too is a faint hope. 

That's really condescending to use phrases like "give the base some candies".  The Left doesn't support what it supports out of personal self-indulgence, or out of contempt towards the folks you refer to as "ordinary people".  And there is little, if anything the Left supports that is actually all that unpopular OR actually harmful to society as a whole.  It wouldn't hurt society as a whole for war spending to be significantly reduced, or for a real effort to address social injustice to go foward(social justice work and the fight against neoliberalism are directly linked, in many ways, and social jsutice and economic justice need to be addressed together to make sure that either is addressed fully).  

Also, there isn't THAT much general public support in Canada for the misery Netanayhu inflicts on Palestinians, or for the pipelines, or for letting the situation with the missing and murdered Indigenous women ride.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Did you support Singh because you WANTED him to run the party into the ground? 

I didn't support Singh I supported Caron. Part of my support for Singh is that he appears to listen to Caron. 

Ken Burch wrote:
Also, when the NDP promotes "what it wants", it's probably at least in part because the party sees "what it wants" as actually being beneficial to the electorate. 

Apparently the electorate doesn't agree and they get to decide.

 

Ken Burch wrote:
The situation is heading towards disaster here, Pondering.  It won't be possible for the NDP to gain seats and votes during the next general election campaign if it loses every byelection running up to it.  It won't be possible for the NDP to hold ANY Quebec seats at all if Outremont goes Liberal in the by-election.  Doesn't that concern you in the least?  

Getting  rid of Singh is not a solution to those problems. If anything they would make them worse. Outremont is a Liberal seat that Mulcair won based on his reputation not the reputation of the NDP.  You don't support him so you are holding Singh responsible for those losses rather than recognizing the specifics of various ridings. In my opinion the political landscape dictates the the NDP probably won't do very well in 2019 regardless of the leader. Trudeau will most likely get another majority. 

Ken Burch wrote:

 Do you even WANT the NDP to hold its current ground?  It can't recover in future elections if the party goes down to 20 seats again, and the party will have no reason to exist if it goes back to ONLY electing MPs in Ontario, the Prairies, and B.C., as the NDP is currently on track to do.   

So who do you think would do a better job than Singh? 

It's not about anything as simple as Singh doing "a bad job".  Singh, in many respects, reflects and embodies the views of the party bureaucracy, with its absurd paranoia about offering policies that create actual enthusiasm and its ridiculous adamance in refusing to connect with the social movements-the ONLY parts of the left-of-centre side of the political spectrum in which there is any energy and any real awareness of how to organize the public and build support for change-which matters because the NDP can't do well at all UNLESS it connects to those who build such support.  

There are two possible ways out of the current situation;

1)Singh goes.  A very short-duration leadership contest is held-the shorter the better, so that there's no advantage given to candidates with a lot of cash on hand.  The party bureaucracy or whoever it is within the party that act as the means of obstruction agree to get out of the way and let the rank-and-file elect whoever they WANT to elect, while passing whatever resolutions the rank-and-file sees fit to pass.  A new leader who connects the party to all or most of those seeking structural change is chosen, the communications system within the party is revamped so that the means of obstruction don't GET to prevent rank-and-file party members from communicating with party HQ and getting their messages through to the leader.  Any and all ties between anyone in the party bureaucracy and Hill & Knowlton are immediately cut, out of the realization that there is no valid reason to have the party's ads done by the same agency that does ads for the OTHER big parties;

2)Singh stays on, and makes all or even most of the changes listed above-I have nothing personal against Singh, agree that he deserved a chance, and think that it's bullshit for anyone to keep bringing up the turban or slandering the guy by calling him "a religious nationalist"; Singh is no more a religious nationalist than the Irish rebels of the 19th and early 20th Century were.  He also begins to truly speak to the issues of the day-if he doesn't put out a platform, he at least gives the public some idea of what he would do with power-because that's what the voters want to know more than anything else and because there's no way to win by HIDING what he'd do if elected.  Also, because it's ridiculous to act as if this party's general ideas can never win the argument with the voters-if a party's ideas can't be popular, that party isn't going to be electable no matter what.  Singh is against economic inequality-fine, so are most people who aren't Donald Trump.  If he doesn't want to offer a platform, why not at least have public forums where progressives can offer their own for consideration?   Why not re-orient the NDP as a peace party(wouldn't have to mean outright pacifist-obviously, an NDP government would need to defend Canadian territory from outside military attack), but it can't do any harm to make a clear break with the Liberal-Con position in favor of the Anti-Muslim Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen and wherever the hell else they're going on.  In speaking about that, Singh could talk about how the money being used to build implements of death for use against the Middle East and other parts of the world could be used to make life better for Canadians at home.

What I'm saying, in general, is that enthusiasm is a weapon for a party like the NDP-it isn't a threat, it isn't the enemy.  Neither is passion.  Neither is something like specificity.  If the NDP is even going to manage a respectable showing at the next election(which has to mean continuing to elect MPs from Quebec, since the party can only go into collapse across the country if it has a wipeout in Quebec), it needs to start firing people up.  It needs to start making its presence known and being about real issues and real needs.  Personal charisma and nice suits, combined with buzzwords, can't do a damn thing by themselves.

YOU want the NDP to win.  Contrary to everything you've convinced yourself of on the matter, the Left of the party wants the exact same thing.  Why not listen to them, when the pools and the by-election disaster which just occurred proves that keeping them out in the cold and treating social democratic values as an embarassment aren't doing a damn thing to assist the cause of an NDP win?  Why can you not see that the approach you've insisted on-say nothing and somehow try to slipstream through by default-doesn't work?  

It didn't even work in Ontario-the sole reason the ONDP made large gains there was that Horwath listened to the Left.  

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

That's really condescending to use phrases like "give the base some candies".  The Left doesn't support what it supports out of personal self-indulgence, or out of contempt towards the folks you refer to as "ordinary people".  And there is little, if anything the Left supports that is actually all that unpopular OR actually harmful to society as a whole.  It wouldn't hurt society as a whole for war spending to be significantly reduced, or for a real effort to address social injustice to go foward(social justice work and the fight against neoliberalism are directly linked, in many ways, and social jsutice and economic justice need to be addressed together to make sure that either is addressed fully).  

It isn't even a tiny bit condescending. It's common political knowledge that both the NDP and the Conservatives have moved to the centre while trying to appease their bases with "candies" in the form of side policies to appeal to their bases. While I am not familiar with the entire history of Tommy Douglas I'm pretty sure he focused heavily on medicare rather than all left-wing causes. I doubt he tried to collect all the "movements".

Currently one of  the best issue the NDP can focus on for 2019 is a genuine pharmacare program because the argument for it is financially sound and the public is supportive. 

I think Singh is  taking the right path politically with regards to Palestine. He has moved to the left in comparison to Mulcair but he isn't making it the NDP's signature policy. 

I get the feeling that you believe the NDP should take the "leftist" position on all issues. I don't agree with how far right the NDP was taken by Mulcair but taking the farthest left position on everything isn't a solution either. 

The purpose of a political party is to win elections not just promote certain ideals.  For that reason it has to pick which issues it wants to ride or die on. That can't be every just cause. Once in power the situation changes somewhat but not entirely. 

Notley may have a majority but if she dared oppose pipelines her resignation would be forced. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Notley may have a majority but if she dared oppose pipelines her resignation would be forced.

..forced by whom?

brookmere

Ken Burch wrote:
Singh is no more a religious nationalist than the Irish rebels of the 19th and early 20th Century were.

Singh has said openly that the Sikhs are a people with the right of self-determination. That is nationalism by definition. I don't claim to know the motives of every Irish nationalist, but I can quote from the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, 1916:

The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

brookmere wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
Singh is no more a religious nationalist than the Irish rebels of the 19th and early 20th Century were.

 

Singh has said openly that the Sikhs are a people with the right of self-determination. That is nationalism by definition. I don't claim to know the motives of every Irish nationalist, but I can quote from the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, 1916:

The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.

A PEOPLE, not a religion.  Singh supports an independent state for Indian Sikhs because he has come to the conclusion that there will never be an Indian government that does not oppress the Sikh people.  He doesn't want to create a situation in which non-Sikhs would live in a position of submission and subservience to Sikhs in such a place.   And he is not prejudiced against Hindus or Muslims.

His position is no different than that of those who supported Irish self-determination in the 19th Century or Palestinian self-determination today.  And unfortunately, in all three cases, there was no "Left" alternative to self-determination for each of the three communities we've reference in that exchange-there was no possbility of a any meaningful positive change happening within the existing polities each of those three communities are currently living under-India is going to have a right-wing Hindu nationalist government for decades to come, if not forever, just as Great Britain was never going to treat the Irish Catholic community with equality and justice and just as Israel is going to be Likud, if not a government to the RIGHT of Likud, for the rest of eternity.  Calls for self-determination are always an unavoidable by-product of a situation in which the entity a community is ruled by is unchangeable.  What else would you have Singh do?  It's impossible to ever end the persecution of Indian Sikhs without Sikh independence.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

That's really condescending to use phrases like "give the base some candies".  The Left doesn't support what it supports out of personal self-indulgence, or out of contempt towards the folks you refer to as "ordinary people".  And there is little, if anything the Left supports that is actually all that unpopular OR actually harmful to society as a whole.  It wouldn't hurt society as a whole for war spending to be significantly reduced, or for a real effort to address social injustice to go foward(social justice work and the fight against neoliberalism are directly linked, in many ways, and social jsutice and economic justice need to be addressed together to make sure that either is addressed fully).  

It isn't even a tiny bit condescending. It's common political knowledge that both the NDP and the Conservatives have moved to the centre while trying to appease their bases with "candies" in the form of side policies to appeal to their bases. While I am not familiar with the entire history of Tommy Douglas I'm pretty sure he focused heavily on medicare rather than all left-wing causes. I doubt he tried to collect all the "movements".

Currently one of  the best issue the NDP can focus on for 2019 is a genuine pharmacare program because the argument for it is financially sound and the public is supportive. 

I think Singh is  taking the right path politically with regards to Palestine. He has moved to the left in comparison to Mulcair but he isn't making it the NDP's signature policy. 

I get the feeling that you believe the NDP should take the "leftist" position on all issues. I don't agree with how far right the NDP was taken by Mulcair but taking the farthest left position on everything isn't a solution either. 

The purpose of a political party is to win elections not just promote certain ideals.  For that reason it has to pick which issues it wants to ride or die on. That can't be every just cause. Once in power the situation changes somewhat but not entirely. 

Notley may have a majority but if she dared oppose pipelines her resignation would be forced. 

It's not about "taking the leftist position" at all times.  It's about the party being a place where rank-and-file party members have a REAL say in what the party they work to elect stands for, and about that party being connected to the sources of enthusiasm and support that exist on the progressive side of politics.

And it's not as though there's a lot of people who'd back pharmacare but are "centrist"(i.e., right-wing) on a ton of other stuff.  There may be a lot who are apolitical, but if you work for what they center-and btw, the Left supports things like pharmacare and the fight against economic inequality JUST AS MUCH as it supports Palestinian self-determination or a real fight to end all forms of social oppression.  Contrary to whatever myths you've willed yourself to believe, it has never been the case that the activist Left saw bread-and-butter issues as unimportant-in fact, the Left supports alternatives to capitalism precisely BECAUSE those alternatives would do a lot to meet the bread-and-butter needs of "ordinary voters".   

The Left has always been just as much about dealing with the practical needs of ordinary people-it would have to be, given that the Left is made up OF ordinary people-as it is about visions of change.  It's just that, unlike you, the Left doesn't make a massive distinction between the practical and the visionary, and doesn't buy into the idea that there's this need to appease some sort of stereotypical, imaginary Archie Bunker/King of Kensington-type tunnel-visioned working-class-to-middle-class voter who can't see beyond the end of his nose.

The NDP doesn't have to totally become a social movement-it just needs to let go of the David Lewis delusion that you can address practical voter needs, OR you can fight for a vision of a different life, but you somehow can't do both.  And there's no actual practical evidence that the NDP has ever prospered by keeping activists at a dismissive, contemptuous distance.  Look at how much good that DIDN'T do the party in years like 1972 and 1988-years where there was large-scale activism for broad social gains, but the NDP, in distancing itself from that activism and making its presentation as bland as possible, gained as few seats and votes as possible-only nine seats(and less than l% of the vote)added in 1972, only twelve seats added(and essentially no gains in vote share at all) in 1988, the NAFTA election, when voters were BEGGING for a chance to vote against that deal and were essentially denied such a chance.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
 And it's not as though there's a lot of people who'd back pharmacare but are "centrist"(i.e., right-wing) on a ton of other stuff.  There may be a lot who are apolitical, 

People who are apolitical don't vote so they don't matter from the perspective of getting elected. The majority of Canadians tune into election news during the last couple of weeks, or even days, to decide who to vote for.  People who are political most often have their mind made up well in advance and are quite settled in their political philosophy and world view. It is very rare for someone on the right to switch to the left or vice versa, someone on the left switching to the right. They might however switch on some issues. Most people don't identify as left wing or right wing. 

The majority of Canadians strongly support Medicare and want real Pharmacare. Even though the NDP is the most likely party to deliver it the NDP does not win. The typical NDP response seems to be "because the Liberals lie and trick them" as though people don't know that after decades. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 Contrary to whatever myths you've willed yourself to believe, it has never been the case that the activist Left saw bread-and-butter issues as unimportant-in fact, the Left supports alternatives to capitalism precisely BECAUSE those alternatives would do a lot to meet the bread-and-butter needs of "ordinary voters".     

The left is failing to reach the majority of voters. The right is succeeding. Voters elected Ford because they believe that Ford will do more to meet their bread and butter needs than the NDP would have. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 The Left has always been just as much about dealing with the practical needs of ordinary people-it would have to be, given that the Left is made up OF ordinary people-as it is about visions of change.    

Well they are failing to reach ordinary people. Ordinary people fear leftist visions of change. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 It's just that, unlike you, the Left doesn't make a massive distinction between the practical and the visionary, and doesn't buy into the idea that there's this need to appease some sort of stereotypical, imaginary Archie Bunker/King of Kensington-type tunnel-visioned working-class-to-middle-class voter who can't see beyond the end of his nose.  

That isn't the 99%, or even the 80%, or even 50%.  Your description betrays the prejudice of the left in their notion of what people who don't identify with being on the left are like. A vision of change is important. That contributed to Trudeau's win but he won on economics not vision.  

Ken Burch wrote:
  The NDP doesn't have to totally become a social movement-it just needs to let go of the David Lewis delusion that you can address practical voter needs, OR you can fight for a vision of a different life, but you somehow can't do both.  

Addressing practical voter needs is presenting a vision of a different life. 

The problem with the Leap Manifesto wasn't the plan. It was the way it was presented.

Ken Burch wrote:
  ... the Left supports things like pharmacare and the fight against economic inequality JUST AS MUCH as it supports Palestinian self-determination or a real fight to end all forms of social oppression.  

That won't win elections. 

What do you think another leadership contest would achieve? 

The NDP constitution defines how the party is run. 

http://xfer.ndp.ca/2013/constitution/2013_CONSTITUTION_E.pdf

Once elected it seems the president and officiers have the most power subject to a check on power through council. They decide what comes up for discussion and votes at conventions. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Voters elected Ford because they believe that Ford will do more to meet their bread and butter needs than the NDP would have.

Sex ed is not about bread or butter.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Voters elected Ford because they believe that Ford will do more to meet their bread and butter needs than the NDP would have.

Sex ed is not about bread or butter.

If "they" were voting on the basis of sex ed they would have voted for the NDP. Sex ed was a candy for social conservatives that Ford knew wouldn't be enough to stop voters who priorize economic management. The NDP lost because voters who usually vote Liberal believed Ford would be the safer choice. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..quite a large list of very respected folks. this would be one of many ways to engage the ndp to make different choices.

Open Letter: A Call for the NDP to Withdraw from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group

The undersigned are appalled by the recent deaths in Gaza. At least 110 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by sniper fire and noxious gas used by the Israeli military. The recent violence takes place alongside ongoing land theft, destruction of olive groves, construction of Jewish-only roads, imprisonment without due process, and a blockade of Gaza. During its 70-year history, Israel has been as unjust towards Palestinians as the white-ruled apartheid state was to Black South Africans.

We are concerned that members of Parliament would seek to strengthen relations with a country systematically violating Palestinian rights.

In particular, we are dismayed that NDP justice critic Murray Rankin and NDP defence critic Randall Garrison serve as executive members of the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group. NDP MPs Peter Julian and Gord Johns are also members of that organization. The Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group promotes "greater friendship" between Canadian MPs and members of the Israeli Knesset and has organized events with other pro-Israel lobby organizations.

It is wholly inconsistent with the avowed principles of the NDP for the party to be working for "greater friendship" with a country that is killing and maiming thousands of overwhelmingly non-violent protesters, many of them children, while systematically violating international law and human rights standards with regard to all Palestinians.

Accordingly, we call on NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, MPs Garrison, Rankin, Julian, and Johns, and the parliamentary caucus to immediately disassociate themselves from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group....

NDPP

"Helen Laverdiere, the NDP's foreign affairs critic, said that the party currently has no intention of withdrawing from the interparliamentary group." - CJN

https://canadatalksisraelpalestine.ca/2017/05/28/canadian-human-rights-a...

https://twitter.com/HLaverdiereNPD/status/1008820556173643777

' Run with the rabbits - hunt with the hounds'

'A party of the working class, led by the middle class, in the interest of the ruling class' = NDP

SeekingAPolitic...

Jagmeet Singh

Let me say that I had Singh 3 or 4 the ballet.  I thought he was a weak choice before the election, during the election, after his rise to power.  Either the people who ran the party or Singh made a choice that will lead to electrotal defeat in a major way at the next election. Namely turning it into personal fight, between Singh and Trudeua was a stragety deemed to fail.  

This idea was based on monumtem, that Singh beat Trudea at every clash.  Success leads to more success kind of thinking.   The major problem there was no monumtem no victores agaisnt, Trudeua can fail a dozen times and in the end he will win if the monumtem is broken.  Truduea rans the show and with that comes, the PM, the well funded party.  He can lose many fightings but Singh loses one fight its over.  And Singh and NDP lost fights one after the other.  By election to by election, Singh was branded the person run over Trudeau.  Once it became  common news that he was a potitical dud it was to late.  Now we have crippled leader and no policy messaging what the NDP stands for.  Everything was built on personality of the leader, rather than policy.  

The idea of a palace coup and replace him before the election to me nonsense.   NDP party and it leadership will lead the party to the edge of destruction at the election.  Its really it seems to me a coup would destroy any confiedence the party lead by its roots (50 + on first vote).  The NDP voters will have to take resposibly for the scale lose the NDP will meet with in a general election.  Making Singh the scapegoat will not be enough, I think the scale of lose will open it to more informal critque and be open to new ideas.  One hopes.   

voice of the damned

epaulo13 wrote:

Notley may have a majority but if she dared oppose pipelines her resignation would be forced.

..forced by whom?

Well, her pollsters might sit her down and say "Look, opposing pipelines is electoral suicide in Alberta", and if she continued with her opposition, there would probably be a revolt of one form or another within the party. Whether it's someone challenging her for the leadership, or MLAs bolting from the party(I'd wager on the former being more plausible), she likely wouldn't make it to the next election.

Pondering

SeekingAPoliticalHome wrote:
 This idea was based on monumtem, that Singh beat Trudea at every clash.  Success leads to more success kind of thinking.   The major problem there was no monumtem no victores agaisnt, Trudeua can fail a dozen times and in the end he will win if the monumtem is broken.  Truduea rans the show and with that comes, the PM, the well funded party.  He can lose many fightings but Singh loses one fight its over.  And Singh and NDP lost fights one after the other.  By election to by election, Singh was branded the person run over Trudeau.  Once it became  common news that he was a potitical dud it was to late.  Now we have crippled leader and no policy messaging what the NDP stands for.  Everything was built on personality of the leader, rather than policy.  

On what basis did you make that determination. I don't recall any of his supporters presenting those arguments. Singh does have some of Trudeau's qualities but that doesn't mean that is why he was elected. Do you really think that when the election rolls around the NDP won't have  any policy or platform to introduce? 

Who, out of the candidates presented for leadership would have better numbers than Singh right now? Do you think Angus, who was in second place, would have done better in the byelections?

SeekingAPolitic...

Pondering wrote:

SeekingAPoliticalHome wrote:
 This idea was based on monumtem, that Singh beat Trudea at every clash.  Success leads to more success kind of thinking.   The major problem there was no monumtem no victores agaisnt, Trudeua can fail a dozen times and in the end he will win if the monumtem is broken.  Truduea rans the show and with that comes, the PM, the well funded party.  He can lose many fightings but Singh loses one fight its over.  And Singh and NDP lost fights one after the other.  By election to by election, Singh was branded the person run over Trudeau.  Once it became  common news that he was a potitical dud it was to late.  Now we have crippled leader and no policy messaging what the NDP stands for.  Everything was built on personality of the leader, rather than policy.  

On what basis did you make that determination. I don't recall any of his supporters presenting those arguments. Singh does have some of Trudeau's qualities but that doesn't mean that is why he was elected. Do you really think that when the election rolls around the NDP won't have  any policy or platform to introduce? 

Who, out of the candidates presented for leadership would have better numbers than Singh right now? Do you think Angus, who was in second place, would have done better in the byelections?

Singh was vocal about he dominate trudeua, and he entourarged the idea of fight of leaders.  And the media was only to to happy push the idea of a clash of the leaders.  I will find some articles to point to this out.  

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