Jody Wilson-Raybould & Jane Philpott: Where do they go politically from here?

336 posts / 0 new
Last post
jerrym

Debater wrote:

I don't think they have a future in the Liberal Party after the damage they have inflicted on their own party.  It's not just Trudeau who dislikes them -- the majority of their own caucus mates wanted them ejected.

Their opportunism and constant need for atention has also turned off a lot of the progressive voters they will need.  They have ended up helping the Conservatives.

You sound bitter. I don't doubt that many current Liberal MPs would not want them back because they have cost the party its lead in the poll and more important, for many of them, a greater chance of being personally defeated. But if a new leader said he wanted to broaden the party tent and end the internal disharmony, there is the possibility that they might be an attempt to recruit them, over the objections of some Liberal MPs I am sure. After all, Trudeau was the one who said we need to end the disharmony of the Chretien and Martin factions. 

As to opportunism, in a world where a gaffe, let alone a scandal, can send you tumbling rapidly downwards  in the polls or an election or do the opposite for the other side, politicians, by the nature of the job, are opportunity seekers. It is hard to find those who will take a risky stand on an issue, even when one does it with some calculation of how to minimize the damage to themselves or increase the risk to their opponent. Very few politicians, or people for that matter, make decisions that 100% pure selflessness, ignoring risks and not attempting to minimize negative consequences, in order to advance the cause. For that reason, I do admire JWR and Philpott for going well beyond the conventional approach in taking a stand. 

robbie_dee

Mackenzie Gray (CTV National News Producer) recently tweeted that EMay offered to step down as Green leader after the 2019 election if either JWR or Philpott wanted to run for the post. They both declined.

voice of the damned

robbie_dee wrote:

Mackenzie Gray (CTV National News Producer) recently tweeted that EMay offered to step down as Green leader after the 2019 election if either JWR or Philpott wanted to run for the post. They both declined.

So, in other words, the only reason Elizabeth May chooses to stay on as Green leader is because two people who were still Liberals a few weeks ago don't want her job?

If that is the case, it's likely that May has been planning to quit anyway, and thought that going out while holding the door for JWR or Philpott would have been a good way to make her exit. So, my hunch would be she's probably gonna be gone after the election in any event.

Debater

Mackenzie Gray clarified the first tweet by saying that May said the leadership decision would be up to Green Party members and that she also offered Paul Manly the opportunity of taking over.

Debater

Former Liberals play the long game with Independent campaigns

Chantal Hébert

Mon., May 27, 2019

https://www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/2019/05/27/former-liberals-play-the-long-game-with-independent-campaigns.html

Misfit Misfit's picture

Debater,

You can say that you are voting Green but I for one see you as being a Liberal. And you talk through the lens of a Liberal hardliner.

it doesn’t matter how you vote but you don’t come across as a Green to me anyway. 

Debater

Like many Canadians, there's an overlap in my political orientation -- I have voted Liberal, NDP & Green in my life.

And I think you'll find that hundreds of thousands of other Canadian voters do the same.

jerrym

Misfit wrote:

Debater,

You can say that you are voting Green but I for one see you as being a Liberal. And you talk through the lens of a Liberal hardliner.

it doesn’t matter how you vote but you don’t come across as a Green to me anyway. 

Nor to me. It seems you are hoping to suppress the NDP vote in the hopes of winning more ridings for the Liberals by encouraging lefties to vote Green, but that is a dangerous game, because growth in the Green vote will also come from the Greens. Since the Greens have so far to grow in most ridings, this could end up costing both the Liberals and NDP seat losses to the Conservatives more than any gains for the Greens, possibly helping them gain power. You hardly ever comment on issues, including green issues, just on the rise and fall of parties that always seems to end up favouring the Liberals. 

Debater

You're reading too much into it, as usual.  Sometiems a vote for the Greens is just a vote for the Greens. There's no plot behind it, and I'm not directly involved in politics anymore.

As for the NDP, the Liberals don't have to be very worried about a party that is down in support and is at risk of losing at least 12 of its 15 Quebec seats.  (See Fournier's polling analysis posted on the other thread).

Debater

Philpott and JWR: How the mighty have not yet fallen

The two MPs are attempting to pull off the Jerry Maguire of Canadian politics by running as independents. The odds are long.

by Paul Wells

May 27, 2019

https://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/philpott-and-jwr-how-the-mighty-have-not-yet-fallen/

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

robbie_dee wrote:

Well, I could see Wilson-Raybould at least winning her seat as an independent. Philpott I don't know, but I'd assume running as an independent is better than any of her alternatives. I'd guess the strategy here for both of them is to try to hold their seats, and then try to get back into the Liberal caucus if Trudeau loses.

JWR will not win if she tries to sit on the fence over Trans Mountain and the tank farm beside SFU. Given the Liberal position during the last election was that the whole NEB process was flawed and it would be fixed. On her watch the NEB was "reformed" and we still are getting a pipeline filled with a toxic brew being built through Canada's third largest metropolitan area. The NDP and Conservatives were virtually tied for second so it will be interesting to see which way the swing is going to go.

Seems to me if she equivocates she will lose all of the new Liberal voters that were attracted to the shiny new "Trudeau" pony. Also no NDP supporters from last time will be wanting anything less than a complete attack on the pipeline. As well the traditional Liberal voters in this higher income area might not like the fact that she has attacked their party or like her enough to switch from their traditional Liberal vote.

In 2015 the Libs got 44%, the NDP 27%, the Cons 26% and the Greens 3%

In 2011 the reshuffled numbers from the old ridings her new riding was formed from show that her seat is most likely going to go to the Conservatives and possibly the NDP.

Cons. got 35%, the Libs 30%, the NDP 24% and the Greens 9% Those numbers imply that the Liberal lies about the environment cost the Greens but didn't hurt the NDP. If the NDP becomes the Green Shift champion it could grab enough of JWR's vote from last time to eke out a win against the Conservatives.

Debater

Wilson-Raybould and Philpott begin their journey to obscurity

 Andrew Cohen

May 28, 2019

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/cohen/wcm/bef6ecb1-b137-4d2b-ac12-4b083eb6ba3f

jerrym

kropotkin1951 wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:

Well, I could see Wilson-Raybould at least winning her seat as an independent. 

JWR will not win if she tries to sit on the fence over Trans Mountain and the tank farm beside SFU. Given the Liberal position during the last election was that the whole NEB process was flawed and it would be fixed. On her watch the NEB was "reformed" and we still are getting a pipeline filled with a toxic brew being built through Canada's third largest metropolitan area. The NDP and Conservatives were virtually tied for second so it will be interesting to see which way the swing is going to go.

Seems to me if she equivocates she will lose all of the new Liberal voters that were attracted to the shiny new "Trudeau" pony. Also no NDP supporters from last time will be wanting anything less than a complete attack on the pipeline. As well the traditional Liberal voters in this higher income area might not like the fact that she has attacked their party or like her enough to switch from their traditional Liberal vote.

In 2015 the Libs got 44%, the NDP 27%, the Cons 26% and the Greens 3%. ...

 If the NDP becomes the Green Shift champion it could grab enough of JWR's vote from last time to eke out a win against the Conservatives.

I agree with kropotkin on this. With JWR and a Liberal running as well as candidates from the other three parties, the winning percentage is virtually guaranteed to be reduced. JWR could win if she takes a strong environmental stance on BC issues, but if she does not it will likely be a fight between the NDP and the Cons. 

robbie_dee
Pondering

I didn't think they would run independently because they would be backbenchers. Happy to be wrong after reading that article. It would be wonderful if all our MPs were indenpendent. It is my ideal scenario. I disagree that they are walking into obscurity. They are both high profile and respected. If they have something to say the press will report it. They are easily as high profile as May and I would argue are more accomplished. 

They have reputations of integrity and honor. They are each personally accomplished outside of politics. They are genuinely likeable. Voters crave politicians they can have genuine respect for. 

They should start a party of Independents. They could band together logistically around the ideal of being able to represent their consituents without the interference of a party. It would have no ideology.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
They should start a party of Independents. They could band together logistically around the ideal of being able to represent their consituents without the interference of a party. It would have no ideology.

Until the first Conservative gets turfed from caucus over a bozo eruption about refugees getting gay abortions and sits as an independent.  Then it would get an ideology.

Misfit Misfit's picture

If they have no ideology then they don’t stand for anything. Sounds silly.

And Elizabeth May is a very accomplisghed lawyer. 

JKR

I thought the Liberal Party already stood for nothing except getting elected.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Most swing voters aren't that aware. I think her reputation is fully intact with the public. She would be a feather in the cap of the Greens or NDP. It just occured to me she would make a great senator. 

The only way she could get appointed senator would be to join the Cons.  No way in hell would Justin or anybody who succeeded him as LPC leader ever give her the ultimate patronage plumb.

Pondering

Misfit wrote:

If they have no ideology then they don’t stand for anything. Sounds silly.

And Elizabeth May is a very accomplisghed lawyer. 

Didn't know that about May. I have only ever known her as the Green Party leader. 

It isn't necessary to have an ideology to make practical governing decisions. It is possible to decide pharmacare is a good option because it costs less. No ideology necessary. I think most Canadians would be relieved to have a government that makes all decisions based on logic and practicality rather than on ideology. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Misfit wrote:

If they have no ideology then they don’t stand for anything. Sounds silly.

And Elizabeth May is a very accomplisghed lawyer. 

Didn't know that about May. I have only ever known her as the Green Party leader. 

It isn't necessary to have an ideology to make practical governing decisions. It is possible to decide pharmacare is a good option because it costs less. No ideology necessary. I think most Canadians would be relieved to have a government that makes all decisions based on logic and practicality rather than on ideology. 


It looks as though you equate ideology with rigidity and dogma.  Ideology is simply another word for core values.  And you can't make all decisions on "logic and practicality"-empathy needs to come into it, too, as does a recognition that everyone deserves to be treated with a baseline level of respect and dignity, that everyone's intrinsic worth needs to be recognized.  Leave it just to "logic and practicality" and at some point somebody will decide that the practical, logical decision is to exterminate everyone who is not part of the dominant race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and immigration status.

It can't be logic and practicality MINUS empathy and decency.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
It isn't necessary to have an ideology to make practical governing decisions. It is possible to decide pharmacare is a good option because it costs less. No ideology necessary.

Pharmacare could exploit the government's buying power, yes, but Pharmacare isn't just about buying in bulk, it's also about nationalizing prescription coverage.  I'm not arguing against it at all, but it's not as though there isn't a giant value judgement in there -- that everyone should pay for my meds because the cost to everyone would be less than the cost to me.  It's not the same simple economics as buying milk for $2/l instead of $3/l.

nicky

I thought May was a non-practicin* lawyer.

i am unaware of anything she has done of significance in the legal field.

Why do you call her “accomplished”, Misfit?

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
It isn't necessary to have an ideology to make practical governing decisions. It is possible to decide pharmacare is a good option because it costs less. No ideology necessary.

Pharmacare could exploit the government's buying power, yes, but Pharmacare isn't just about buying in bulk, it's also about nationalizing prescription coverage.  I'm not arguing against it at all, but it's not as though there isn't a giant value judgement in there -- that everyone should pay for my meds because the cost to everyone would be less than the cost to me.  It's not the same simple economics as buying milk for $2/l instead of $3/l.

Lack of ideology doesn't mean lack of values.

The general public isn't putting that much thought into pharmacare. Medicare=good therefore pharmacare would also be good. If you want to go farther Pharmacare is simply a collective insurance that lowers the cost of drugs. 

Pharmacare has broad public support and reduces inequality, one of the main challenges of our time. Even the IMF recognizes that inequality is bad for the economy. Poverty is not good for business. The key to a robust economy is keeping money in circulation. Children are the greatest resource or future burden a country has. Education in large part determines the future of the country as a whole and payback is fairly short term. Cities with clean air, great transportation, and educated citizens attract tech companies and head offices.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Nicky,

Well, it was Pondering who stated, “They are easily as high profile as May and I would argue are more accomplished.”

So I want to say that Elizabeth May was accepted into law school as a mature student. She practiced law at a law firm. She acted in a legal capacity for the federal government, and has been a high profile leader of a political party in Canada for many years. She also obtained a theology degree while working full time and I consider her entire career to be quite eemarkable, high profile, and accomplished.

She is not a Clayton Ruby or an Eddy Greenspan, but she had worked very hard and has used her law defeee remarkably well and has contributed to society tremendously with her degree. I consider her to be an accomplished lawyer but you are welcome to disagree. 

 

Mighty Middle

Poll in Jane Philpott riding

Liberals (35%) Conservatives (30%) Jane Philpott (19%) Green (4%) NDP (2%)

https://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/jane-philpott-faces-long-odds-of...

Misfit Misfit's picture

It seems like the NDP support is going to Jane Philpott.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
It isn't necessary to have an ideology to make practical governing decisions. It is possible to decide pharmacare is a good option because it costs less. No ideology necessary.

Pharmacare could exploit the government's buying power, yes, but Pharmacare isn't just about buying in bulk, it's also about nationalizing prescription coverage.  I'm not arguing against it at all, but it's not as though there isn't a giant value judgement in there -- that everyone should pay for my meds because the cost to everyone would be less than the cost to me.  It's not the same simple economics as buying milk for $2/l instead of $3/l.

Lack of ideology doesn't mean lack of values.

The general public isn't putting that much thought into pharmacare. Medicare=good therefore pharmacare would also be good. If you want to go farther Pharmacare is simply a collective insurance that lowers the cost of drugs. 

Pharmacare has broad public support and reduces inequality, one of the main challenges of our time. Even the IMF recognizes that inequality is bad for the economy. Poverty is not good for business. The key to a robust economy is keeping money in circulation. Children are the greatest resource or future burden a country has. Education in large part determines the future of the country as a whole and payback is fairly short term. Cities with clean air, great transportation, and educated citizens attract tech companies and head offices.

I'm not sure why you keep using the term "ideology"-it's a Cold War/Red Scare term, used to accuse people of Stalinism or Maoism and nobody on this board-I'd also say no significant numbers of people in North America or much of anywhere else, for that matter-are arguing for anything even remotely similar to that.  

There are a lot of people who are kept too busy by our current system to have time to think about politics and ideas in great detail-but that doesn't mean those people have no deep, burning wish for something better and different within them, it simply means they may have less time and energy to express those wishes than people like us do-and it can't be concluded from that that the NDP HAS to keep looking as though it has no passionately-held core values, has to commit itself to never proposing any major break with the status quo.

From what I've read in your posts, you seem to think the voters have repeatedly been given the option to vote for significant change and repeatedly said no to that option.  That simply isn't reality.

There has been no major party in Canada which has carried out a parliamentary strategy OR fought an election based on a call for significant change since the CCF renounced the Regina Manifesto.  Since then-while there have been personally radical CCF or NDP(or, on some occasions in Quebec, BQ)federal candidates and MPs, the leadership of the NDP, since the mid-1940s, has been just as committed to largely keeping things as they are has the Conservatives or Liberals-the CCF/NDP has advocated that the status quo be made slightly less brutal and nasty, but that's about it.    

Ever since the abandonment of the Manifesto, the NDP's approach has been a kind of anti-ideology ideology, and could be characterized as "sectarian dilutionism"-which I will define as an unvarying tendency to respond to each setback NOT by finding a more compelling message, not by creating a narrative that actually connects with the lived experience of people, but by continually blurring the differences between the NDP and the other parties, simply by saying less and less and less.  

Therefore, there is no basis for the idea that we can simply conclude that the voters would automatically move away from the NDP if it started speaking of transformation.

To call for transformative politics is simply to express true hope.

What worked for Jack Layton in 2011 was not any moves to moderate the program-he didn't change it much at all from his previous campaigns-but the sense of optimism, passion and energy he conveyed, the sense of possibility.  The possibility-based campaign Jack ran that year would have created an NDP breakthrough on ANY manifesto.

If voters are going to listen to a campaign based on enthusiasm and possibility, they are willing to vote for a politics of transformation.

The need is simply to find a way to present transformation in a language everybody can grasp and understand:  That's what Tommy D. did with his "Mouseland" fable:  he made an argument for radically redistributing wealth and power as a children's story with a comic punchline.

The key is not to avoid "ideology"-it's to make whatever the NDP or any other Left party calls for sound practical and acheivable, and relevant to the experience and need of the voters.

A dream of a better world can easily be presented in such terms, because a better world will have a direct positive impact on the lives of the majority.

There have been two situations, in the last three decades, in which sectarian dilutionism has prevented the NDP from making a major breakthrough: 

The first was In 1988, when the leader and his advisors, even though the NDP was in second place at the beginning of the campaign, refused to run on a theme of passionate opposition to NAFTA and recognition of Quebec's right to self-determination-a choice which allowed the PC's, who were effectively endorsing that right through their constitutional proposals, to win the votes of a huge number of Quebecers who started the campaign supporting the NDP);

The second was the 2011-2015 period, when the leader of that era refused to lead a crusade against Harper's assault on the social welfare state, kept the party distant from the Quebec student protests and Idle No More(even though nobody who opposed the students and their fight against massive tuition increases OR the FN cause would even have considered voting NDP) and joined the Cons and the Liberals in giving unquestioning public support to Netanyahu and everything he did to the Palestiniand, and instead of fighting the right on any major matters of public policy, focused almost entirely on erasing all vestiges of internal party democracy, on presenting the NDP as a guarantor of balanced budgets above all else, and on a melodramatic but pointless battle to have an irrelevant Conservative senator prosecuted on corruption charges, a matter nobody out there in the electorate ever cared about; and who, during the disastrous 2015 election campaign he led, ignored the lesson he himself had taught only months earlier in his opposition to C-51, an opposition that represented the only truly progressive moment of his tenure as leader, that voters RESPOND to and support public figures who actually make a passionate stand on issues of the day.

 

 

 

 

Debater

Misfit wrote:

It seems like the NDP support is going to Jane Philpott.

Interesting.  In yesterday's Vancouver Granville poll, NDP support seemed to also be going to Wilson-Raybould.

Markham can be pretty conservative, so I thought Philpott's independent run would help the Conservatives take the lead, so it's surprising to see the Liberals with the edge.  But with the Conservatives in 2nd, they could still win.  Looks like a Liberal vs. Conservative race.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Debater wrote:
In yesterday's Vancouver Granville poll, NDP support seemed to also be going to Wilson-Raybould.

One of my friends who lives in Vancouver-Granville and who usually votes NDP (her politics are of the Sven Robinson/Libby Davies variety) wrote on FB that JWR would get her vote if an election were held now, and another woman who lives in the riding and previously voted NDP said the same in the comments. A couple of other folks convinced my friend to wait to see where JWR comes down on the issues before making a final decision.

Debater

Yeah, it's a bit ironic that JWR is attracting NDP support, because her policies as Justice Minister were somewhat conservative.  And one of her former legal colleagues has been on Twitter for months saying she was pretty conservative when he worked with her.

But it's good for JWR if she can attract NDP votes.  Less good for Jagmeet Singh & the NDP, however.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Debater wrote:

Yeah, it's a bit ironic that JWR is attracting NDP support, because her policies as Justice Minister were somewhat conservative.  And one of her former legal colleagues has been on Twitter for months saying she was pretty conservative when he worked with her.

But it's good for JWR if she can attract NDP votes.  Less good for Jagmeet Singh & the NDP, however.

The other ironic part is that my friend's reason for saying she would vote for JWR was  that she thinks JWR will suck up the "progressive" vote in Van-Granville, and therefore the NDP can't win. So if the NDP vote collapses and goes to JWR, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

nicky

I think Debater is quite correct about JWR being essentially conservative.

I have heard from defence counsel in Vancouver who dealt with her as a prosecutor that, for from being a progressive, she was quite hard line and had no problem asking for severe sentences for marijuana offences. 

Harper passed any number of repressive amendments to the Criminal Code. Some of us in the legal field expected the Liberals to revoke most of these. In three years as Justice Minister JWR left almost every one of Harper’s measures in tact.

in fact, her few legislative initiatives have been decidedly Law and order.

One of the best Liberal judicial appointments has been the progressive Sheila’s Martin to the Supreme Court of Canada. It has recently been reported that JWR opposed her appointment and instead promoted Judge Joyal, the very conservative Chief Justice of Manitoba.

I don’t know how JWR acquired her progressive reputation. As far as I can see it is undeserved.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Left Turn wrote:

Debater wrote:

Yeah, it's a bit ironic that JWR is attracting NDP support, because her policies as Justice Minister were somewhat conservative.  And one of her former legal colleagues has been on Twitter for months saying she was pretty conservative when he worked with her.

But it's good for JWR if she can attract NDP votes.  Less good for Jagmeet Singh & the NDP, however.

The other ironic part is that my friend's reason for saying she would vote for JWR was  that she thinks JWR will suck up the "progressive" vote in Van-Granville, and therefore the NDP can't win. So if the NDP vote collapses and goes to JWR, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Van-Granville was never a winnable riding for the NDP; in 2015(the first election where the riding existed)JWR, as the Liberal candidate, beat the NDP candidate by over twenty points).

And there was simply no circumstance in which she would ever have considered crossing over to the NDP anyway-assuming the party's riding association in Van-Granville could be made to accept her as candidate, which is questionable at best.

Debater

Ken Burch wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Debater wrote:

Yeah, it's a bit ironic that JWR is attracting NDP support, because her policies as Justice Minister were somewhat conservative.  And one of her former legal colleagues has been on Twitter for months saying she was pretty conservative when he worked with her.

But it's good for JWR if she can attract NDP votes.  Less good for Jagmeet Singh & the NDP, however.

The other ironic part is that my friend's reason for saying she would vote for JWR was  that she thinks JWR will suck up the "progressive" vote in Van-Granville, and therefore the NDP can't win. So if the NDP vote collapses and goes to JWR, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Van-Granville was never a winnable riding for the NDP; in 2015(the first election where the riding existed)JWR, as the Liberal candidate, beat the NDP candidate by over twenty points).

And there was simply no circumstance in which she would ever have considered crossing over to the NDP anyway-assuming the party's riding association in Van-Granville could be made to accept her as candidate, which is questionable at best.

Actually, the NDP targeted the riding of Vancouver Granville in 2015 and was hoping to win it.  They put a lot of effort into trying to get Mira Oreck elected.  One of the progressive strategic voting organizations even endorsed her instead of Wilson-Raybould.

2015 was a high water mark for the Liberals in B.C. -- the first time since 1968 they finished 1st.  In most years the NDP should be competitive in a riding like Vancouver Granville, otherwise it does not bode well for the NDP's ability to win nationally.

brookmere

Debater wrote:
In most years the NDP should be competitive in a riding like Vancouver Granville, otherwise it does not bode well for the NDP's ability to win nationally.
The NDP has never been competitive in any federal riding in Vancouver's West Side. Even in 2011, it did not finish better than 3rd in any of them. Vancouver-Granville has some areas around its margins that are amenable to the NDP, but its core areas are about as bad as it gets for the party.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
 I'm not sure why you keep using the term "ideology"-it's a Cold War/Red Scare term, used to accuse people of Stalinism or Maoism and nobody on this board-I'd also say no significant numbers of people in North America or much of anywhere else, for that matter-are arguing for anything even remotely similar to that.  

In post 266 I suggested independents band together as a party without any ideology for logistical support because we are in a party system. In 268 Misfit said:  "If they have no ideology then they don’t stand for anything. Sounds silly."

Independents would still stand for something individually they just don't identify with parties and can vote freely. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 From what I've read in your posts, you seem to think the voters have repeatedly been given the option to vote for significant change and repeatedly said no to that option.  That simply isn't reality. 

I don't think that and I don't think it would have worked in the past. I do think we have a window of opportunity to turn the tide but that it will be enormously difficult. I'm not convinced that a political party is the vehicle that can do it but I'm not sure what is. It will take a combination of approaches and worldwide social movements. 

Ken Burch wrote:
There has been no major party in Canada which has carried out a parliamentary strategy OR fought an election based on a call for significant change since the CCF renounced the Regina Manifesto.  

The Leap Manifesto received national attention and was not greeted with enthusiasm. Canadians are pretty happy with the country over all. Any suggestion that dramatic or radical change is required is met with rejection because all in all most Canadians are relatively satisfied with the country as a whole if not individual issues. Radical change sounds like a crap shoot you take when you have nothing to lose. 

The key to getting dramatic or radical change to occur in Canada is to sell it as not dramatic or radical. 

Ken Burch wrote:
Since then-while there have been personally radical CCF or NDP(or, on some occasions in Quebec, BQ)federal candidates and MPs, the leadership of the NDP, since the mid-1940s, has been just as committed to largely keeping things as they are has the Conservatives or Liberals-the CCF/NDP has advocated that the status quo be made slightly less brutal and nasty, but that's about it.  

Most Canadians consider Canada to be a successful and peaceful country. Canada is high up on the best cities of the world. Brutal and nasty are not words most Canadians would apply to Canada. People are disatisfied with rising inequality and climate change so are looking for significant changes but they are not looking for revolution. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 Ever since the abandonment of the Manifesto, the NDP's approach has been a kind of anti-ideology ideology, and could be characterized as "sectarian dilutionism"-which I will define as an unvarying tendency to respond to each setback NOT by finding a more compelling message, not by creating a narrative that actually connects with the lived experience of people, but by continually blurring the differences between the NDP and the other parties, simply by saying less and less and less.

People want concrete solutions coupled with economic justification not ideology. 

Ken Burch wrote:
Therefore, there is no basis for the idea that we can simply conclude that the voters would automatically move away from the NDP if it started speaking of transformation. 

You can be transformative without being ideological. The Leap Manifesto came across as "ideological". The Green New Deal does not.

Ken Burch wrote:
 What worked for Jack Layton in 2011 was not any moves to moderate the program-he didn't change it much at all from his previous campaigns-but the sense of optimism, passion and energy he conveyed, the sense of possibility.  The possibility-based campaign Jack ran that year would have created an NDP breakthrough on ANY manifesto. 

I don't agree. It was run in the context of the unknown Harper, the sponsorship scandal of a very long in the tooth government suffering internal strife, and a fairly centrist campaign by the NDP. Layton was not promising transformation or revolution. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 ​The second was the 2011-2015 period, when the leader of that era refused to lead a crusade against Harper's assault on the social welfare state, kept the party distant from the Quebec student protests and Idle No More(even though nobody who opposed the students and their fight against massive tuition increases OR the FN cause would even have considered voting NDP) and joined the Cons and the Liberals in giving unquestioning public support to Netanyahu and everything he did to the Palestiniand, and instead of fighting the right on any major matters of public policy, focused almost entirely on erasing all vestiges of internal party democracy, on presenting the NDP as a guarantor of balanced budgets above all else, and on a melodramatic but pointless battle to have an irrelevant Conservative senator prosecuted on corruption charges, a matter nobody out there in the electorate ever cared about; and who, during the disastrous 2015 election campaign he led, ignored the lesson he himself had taught only months earlier in his opposition to C-51, an opposition that represented the only truly progressive moment of his tenure as leader, that voters RESPOND to and support public figures who actually make a passionate stand on issues of the day. 

There is no evidence any of those issues impacted or would have impacted the election. Mulcair was in first place. The NDP lost because the Liberals convinced people they had a solid economic plan and the NDP's plan did not come across as realistic because delivering National Childcare while balancing the books for all 4 years would be impossible. C-51 was not an election issue and the NDP could not have made it an election issue. The economy is always first. 

Ken Burch wrote:
The key is not to avoid "ideology"-it's to make whatever the NDP or any other Left party calls for sound practical and acheivable, and relevant to the experience and need of the voters.  

Then it is a plan on a specific issue or project not ideology. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

What I'm saying is that your use of the term "idology" is a strawman.  Nobody in this discussion is actually arguing that the NDP should campaign in the dead phraseology of Leninist or Maoist street pamphlets.  

As to the reaction the Leap Manifesto received-there was a limit to how much "enthusiasm" it could generate simply because, at the time it was released, no party was supporting anything similar to the Leap, so it was received simply as a set of broadly-enunciated goals that nobody, at that time, was going to act on.  We have no way of knowing how what sort of reaction the Leap would have received had it been part of any party's election manifesto.  It would have been an interesting exercise for Elizabeth May to commit the GPC to the basic ideas of the Manifesto-and she might have been the only party who could do so, since her party literally had next to nothing to lose(the Manifesto would never have cost her her riding)

We're in agreement that Mulcair's balanced-budget obsession-coupled with his absolute refusal, in the one televised debate he chose to participate in, to mention any of the progressive planks in his program-cost him the election-I assume you would also agree that Mul had NO excuse for not immediately resigning on election night, since he knew instantly that no leader can ever lead her or his party to any future gains after leading their party from second to third place in an election-because he hung on so stubbornly long and insisted on staying on for a year AFTER BEING OUSTED AS LEADER, and since he singlehandedly created the conditions that caused the GPC victory in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election, we can fairly say the NDP won't be free and clear of Mulcair until after this election-an election where the party may experience another 1958- or 1993-style disaster-which would put the party in a situation in which it was NOT clear that it would be able to recover.   The NDP's core values would still exist, and those values retain their resonance with the people, but it's an open question as to whether anyone would believe that the NDP could ever again be an effective vehicle within which to fight for those values.

What I'm saying is that the NDP doesn't need to sound like a party of bland complacency to prosper at the polls-it doesn't need to run a "vote for us-if we win, you won't know we're there" campaign.  It simply needs to find a way to make transformational politics sound practical and achievable, and to make the case that a transformational program would make a real and positive difference in people's lives.

I agree that parties and social movements can't act in exactly the same ways; my disagreement is with the idea that left-of-center political parties must make a point of asserting that they have no connection with social movements, or must make a point of anathemizing activists and activist culture.   Remember, most activists come out of ordinary communities and normal life-their activism is informed by their lived experience and the actual reality around them-it's not as though all activists land in Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal after journeying from the planet Leftzar 3.4 or something.  Activists are human beings who live real, day-to-day lives.

It's not possible to build support for a left-of-center party by refusing to defend activism as a valid purpose in life.

As to ideas that can and do connect with people:

There is a large bloc of votes the NDP could get in actually fighting for the ideas of the Green New Deal-you could create "Mouseland" type fables or short pieces on its basic ideas...the GND can basically be summarized as "Jobs AND Survival".   It also connects with the income inequality question, since the jobs created by the GND would mainly be high-wage jobs.

Encouraging the growth of co-ops is also a popular idea that connects with the ordinary people having coffee down at Tim Horton's-the NDP could push for the creation of a National CO-OP bank so that, when the corporate overlards(spelling intentional) at Tim's close another few hundred franchises, the customers could form co-ops under their own management, get jobs out of the deal, and probably make BETTER donuts for themselves and their friends in the bargain.

People want a sense of hope from those who ask for their vote-speak the language of hope and you can win support for things that wouldn't have seemed possible.  That's what Tommy taught us; that's what Jack taught us.

Mulcair failed because he spoke the language of contempt and disparagement, the language of dismissal and of fear of change.  The only people who were going to respond to THAT language were people who wouldn't have vote for any party OTHER than the Cons.

A group of independents, for that matter, would need to speak the language of hope and difference; if they made a point of sounding like the status quo, nobody would see any point in voting for them.

 

Pondering

Ken, you do seem to think the NDP should vocally embrace all social activist positions, in other words being a leftist party. I think the whole left/right/centre thing is outdated and not useful for a party to identify with. Hence the rush to the centre.  The upside of all this is that people don't care about the word socialism anymore but leftist still has a negative radical connotation which is ironic given the behavior of the right. 

As an example, I don't think the NDP's position on Israel and Palestine has any concrete impact at all. The entire issue is more of a vote loser than a vote winner. I think the NDP should be more balanced but not make a big deal out of it. Let individual MPs speak out on the topic. If asked speak up against the war crimes of Israel but as much as possible just stay off the topic and bring the focus back to internal Canadian issues, income inequality and climate change. 

Syriza won in Greece because they specifically rejected the leftist label and ran solely on anti-austerity. They then betrayed the people of Greece but that doesn't change how they won. 

Ken Burch wrote:
We have no way of knowing how what sort of reaction the Leap would have received had it been part of any party's election manifesto.  

The Leap was covered on national news for a few weeks. You speak a lot about the NDP not supporting social movements enough. If there was this sizable swath of Canadians willing to vote for transformational change it would have caught on at least among NDP members and supporters. As far as I can tell the portion of the NDP that is activist is tiny. It's mostly a union party that represents the worker class which is why they get so twisted up when an issue touchs both union jobs and the environment or indigenous issues. Up until now they have sided with union jobs but it seems that is changing under Singh. It remains to be seen how much. 

Ken Burch wrote:
The NDP's core values would still exist, and those values retain their resonance with the people, but it's an open question as to whether anyone would believe that the NDP could ever again be an effective vehicle within  which to fight for those values. 

The NDP is not hiding its leftist leanings it actually is a centrist party that leans left not a leftist party that leans to the centre. The NDP is pro-business because union workers need big successful corporations for union jobs. NDP values are blue-collar not activist. 

Ken Burch wrote:
What I'm saying is that the NDP doesn't need to sound like a party of bland complacency to prosper at the polls-it doesn't need to run a "vote for us-if we win, you won't know we're there" campaign.  It simply needs to find a way to make transformational politics sound practical and achievable, and to make the case that a transformational program would make a real and positive difference in people's lives. 

Agreed, and that is about marketing. The left needs to learn how to sell. 

Ken Burch wrote:
I agree that parties and social movements can't act in exactly the same ways; my disagreement is with the idea that left-of-center political parties must make a point of asserting that they have no connection with social movements, or must make a point of anathemizing activists and activist culture.   

I don't think the NDP should have a closer connection to social movements than any other political party and the same vice versa. Social movements should reject any and all connection to political parties. They don't strengthen one another they weaken one another if they become linked. 

The environmental movement isn't linked with the Green party so it pulls from all political stripes. 

Ken Burch wrote:
I agree that parties and social movements can't act in exactly the same ways; my disagreement is with the idea that left-of-center political parties must make a point of asserting that they have no connection with social movements, or must make a point of anathemizing activists and activist culture. 

If there is a current event that activists are involved in and the NDP actively supports then by all means they should express that support. The students of Quebec is one example (failure to support) and Trans Mountain is another but the NDP isn't supporting the TM activists they are supporting the cause. 

Even with the student cause I think the NDP should have supporting generally in the sense of pointing out the economic benefits of an educated population to the country and should have raised the issue of trade schools as well.

I agree with many of the ideas you suggested in terms of supporting co-ops, both and creating a vision of the sustainable future we must embrace. The GND is indeed jobs+survival. I also think a major angle is that minimum corporate taxes need to be included in trade deals otherwise corporations set countries up against each other to compete. 

You are right about the language of hope. I like the GND because it isn't all doom and gloom and we must suffer for the planet. It infuriates me when environmentalism interpreted as the need to sacrifice and gives things up and lose money. 

Ken Burch wrote:
A group of independents, for that matter, would need to speak the language of hope and difference; if they made a point of sounding like the status quo, nobody would see any point in voting for them.

One could be far left and the other far right. The only thing they would promote is looking at their local independent candidate. That way representatives would actually represent their communities not a political party. 

swallow swallow's picture

If you're using Syriza as an example of non-leftist banding, Pondering, their name is literally an acronym for Coalition of the Radical Left.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

What stances taken by the social movements in Canada are you so deeply frightened of, Pondering?  And what is it about the idea of the NDP saying "we're not just another partner in the status quo" that so terrifies you?  I'm not trying to start a confrontation here...I'm asking what real world experiences you've had the have convinced you that virtually no Canadians can tolerate the idea of change?  If Canada was really a country where no talk of change could be endured by the electorate, wouldn't every seat in Ottawa, every provincial legislature, the Quebec National Assembly, and all local offices be held by nothing but people of the right? 

 

Pondering

swallow wrote:

If you're using Syriza as an example of non-leftist banding, Pondering, their name is literally an acronym for Coalition of the Radical Left.

Even so their election campaign rejected it and asked people to put aside left and right. They ran purely on the austerity issue. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

swallow wrote:

If you're using Syriza as an example of non-leftist banding, Pondering, their name is literally an acronym for Coalition of the Radical Left.

Even so their election campaign rejected it and asked people to put aside left and right. They ran purely on the austerity issue. 

Anti-austerity IS a left position.  Everybody on the right and center supports austerity.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And you're misrepresenting my views when you say I want the NDP to endorse "all social activist positions".  That's not true.  I simply want them to have a different relationship with the social movements than the Cons and Liberals have-a position that says "unlike the other parties, we don't assume that electoral politics is the ONLY valid form of political expression, and we don't believe that nobody other than political parties should have a say in the political discussion".  What would be so terrible about THAT?                                                                                                                                                  

Also, if you look at the polling, a LOT of what you would call "social activist" positions are quite popular-I think that even applies to most FN issues.

And to correct a misconception you have, most "social activists" are solidly pro-labour and work in alliance with the labour movement-many, if not most, are union members themselves.

There simply isn't this massive divide between social activists/social movements and ordinary people.  The fact that most people don't have the time to be activists does not mean that most people are actively hostile to social activists and social movements.  A lot of non-activist people see those activists as fighting for things that they, the non-activists, would benefit from.

When you hear the term "social activist", is your perception of those people stuck back in 1970?  That is, do you equate everybody who identifies as a "social activist" with the people who went to rallies in solidarity with the FLQ in the days before the October Crisis?

Have you not noticed that almost a half century has passed since then?  That the FLQ has been extinct since the Crisis?  That nobody on the Canadian Left in THIS era uses or endorses tactics even remotely similar to them?

And the 2015 elections-an election in which the Leap was not endorsed by any party-were no more a rejection of the Leap than the French National Assembly elections of 1968-an election in which no party endorsed the agenda of the student/worker alliance of May-were a vote AGAINST the student/worker alliance-or, for that matter,that the U.S. presidential election in the same year, in which both major party candidates supported the continuation of the war against Vietnam even though the rank-and-file voters of one of those major parties had overwhelmingly voted against the war, was a U.S. national vote to tell the peace movement to eff off.

In both cases, what you had was a statement of defiance or the release of a set of alternative ideas occuring more or less around the time of a parliamentary/legislative election in which no one on the ballot was supporting that statement or those ideas.

 

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
It isn't necessary to have an ideology to make practical governing decisions. It is possible to decide pharmacare is a good option because it costs less. No ideology necessary.

Pharmacare could exploit the government's buying power, yes, but Pharmacare isn't just about buying in bulk, it's also about nationalizing prescription coverage.  I'm not arguing against it at all, but it's not as though there isn't a giant value judgement in there -- that everyone should pay for my meds because the cost to everyone would be less than the cost to me.  It's not the same simple economics as buying milk for $2/l instead of $3/l.

Has nothing to do with empathy. The majority of people would benefit. The government would also save money both through less expensive drugs and through reducing stress on emergency services and medicare. 

Private insurance companies have to charge premiums to create profit. Paying into any insurance means you are paying for someone else's meds. Pharmacare is a non-profit single-payer insurance program. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Private insurance companies have to charge premiums to create profit. Paying into any insurance means you are paying for someone else's meds. Pharmacare is a non-profit single-payer insurance program. 

It seems to me that for ideological reasons people on the left tend to support establishing new public insurance programs and for ideological reasons people on the right tend to oppose establishing new public insurance programs. In Canada I think there is a clear ideological divide on the issue of Pharmacare whereby the centre-left parties, the NDP, GPC, LPC, and BQ, tend to support establishing a new Pharmacare program and the right of centre parties, the CPC and PP’s tend to oppose a new Pharmacare program. I think most Canadians see this ideological divide.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

JKR wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Private insurance companies have to charge premiums to create profit. Paying into any insurance means you are paying for someone else's meds. Pharmacare is a non-profit single-payer insurance program. 

It seems to me that for ideological reasons people on the left tend to support establishing new public insurance programs and for ideological reasons people on the right tend to oppose establishing new public insurance programs. In Canada I think there is a clear ideological divide on the issue of Pharmacare whereby the centre-left parties, the NDP, GPC, LPC, and BQ, tend to support establishing a new Pharmacare program and the right of centre parties, the CPC and PP’s tend to oppose a new Pharmacare program. I think most Canadians see this ideological divide.

Yes, but the evidence is clear that public insurance is always better and cheaper than private because there is no profit added on to the actual costs of administering the insurance, which is a well understood and easily managed task. A cost benefit analysis will always favour public over private insurance.

JKR

Michael Moriarity wrote:

JKR wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Private insurance companies have to charge premiums to create profit. Paying into any insurance means you are paying for someone else's meds. Pharmacare is a non-profit single-payer insurance program. 

It seems to me that for ideological reasons people on the left tend to support establishing new public insurance programs and for ideological reasons people on the right tend to oppose establishing new public insurance programs. In Canada I think there is a clear ideological divide on the issue of Pharmacare whereby the centre-left parties, the NDP, GPC, LPC, and BQ, tend to support establishing a new Pharmacare program and the right of centre parties, the CPC and PP’s tend to oppose a new Pharmacare program. I think most Canadians see this ideological divide.

Yes, but the evidence is clear that public insurance is always better and cheaper than private because there is no profit added on to the actual costs of administering the insurance, which is a well understood and easily managed task. A cost benefit analysis will always favour public over private insurance.

So why doesn’t universal public insurance cover areas such as pharmaceuticals, dental, optometry, and home care?

NorthReport

Capitalism

Pondering

 

Both political parties and social movements are undermined by close association.

Ken Burch wrote:
 I simply want them to have a different relationship with the social movements than the Cons and Liberals have-a position that says "unlike the other parties, we don't assume that electoral politics is the ONLY valid form of political expression, and we don't believe that nobody other than political parties should have a say in the political discussion".  What would be so terrible about THAT?

Social activism is all about having a say in politics regardless of who is in power. The NDP already has a different relationship with social movements than the Liberals and Conservatives on issues on which they have common ground. 

Political parties must compromise because they serve a varied population. Social movements must not compromise because it would be a betrayal of their cause. Social movements can have supporters across all parties not just the NDP. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 Also, if you look at the polling, a LOT of what you would call "social activist" positions are quite popular-I think that even applies to most FN issues.  

Indigenous peoples represent 5% or less of the population. People are very supportive of virtue signaling and symbolic apologies and even improving funding to reserves. Doesn't mean they are ready to acknowledge the right of indigenous peoples to have a veto on resource projects. 

Ken Burch wrote:
  And to correct a misconception you have, most "social activists" are solidly pro-labour and work in alliance with the labour movement-many, if not most, are union members themselves.

Unions were involved in both Occupy and the Student marches both of which I attended. You need to stop putting me in some box that has nothing to do with who I am. I present my reasoning. You ignore it and start arguing against positions I have never supported and opinions I don't hold.

Unions are an industry that support workers for a living. That has led to clashes between the interests of unions versus the interests of social activists which lean more towards environmentalism and the people disadvantaged by corporate exploitation operating through a very well-paid and privileged workforce, union workers. 

A political party, to win, has to weight the interests of multiple players. They can't fully support one movement over another no matter how righteous the cause. A political party has to balance what's right with what's possible. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 Have you not noticed that almost a half century has passed since then?  That the FLQ has been extinct since the Crisis?  That nobody on the Canadian Left in THIS era uses or endorses tactics even remotely similar to them?  

This is where you go off the rail. I have been posting on this board a long time and I attended Occupy and the student marches in Montreal. Did you? Did you bring food to the occupiers? Attend meetings? Do you go to marchs for the environment? That's a real question. How active are you in real world actions? 

Ken Burch wrote:
 And the 2015 elections-an election in which the Leap was not endorsed by any party-were no more a rejection of the Leap than..... 

It didn't go viral even with activists. Idle No More, pipeline protesters and Occupy types didn't rally around and nor did unions. 

Ken Burch wrote:
In both cases, what you had was a statement of defiance or the release of a set of alternative ideas occuring more or less around the time of a parliamentary/legislative election in which no one on the ballot was supporting that statement or those ideas.

Years have past in which The Leap Manifesto could have been promoted both within and without the party. After Mulcair lost the election NDP members could have rallied around The Leap Manifesto. They could have written letters of support. During the election for the new leader members could have insisted that they address it.  

There is no silent majority of people willing to vote for disruptive or radical change. It isn't that Canadians are neoliberalists it is that they are risk adverse because the country is pretty great as is. 

Absolutes are almost always exagerations so I should not have said "all social movements". I am guessing it is pretty close to right. I think you would like the NDP to be more vocal in supporting decriminalization of the prostitution industry, objection to interference in Venezuela and every other issue in which you believe there is a clear right and wrong. 

So I ask you, what do you mean when you say the NDP should be closer to social justice movements or work with them or whatever? What does that look like to you?

Pages