NDP-has the "move to the centre" done more harm than good?

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Rokossovsky

fiddling wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

I thought ditching the word "socialism" was the most honest thing the NDP has done in 25 years. It isn't a socialist party, clearly.

Rokossovsky, I think I would invert your choices of when to apply pragmatism, in your above two posts.

Monbiot's reasoning for opposing the phaseout of nuclear recently is because the majority of the slack in practice gets taken up by fossil fuels rather than renwables.  Thus the urgent need to avoid hitting climate change tipping points trumps the longer-term need to deal with waste-disposal...choosing a lesser evil.

However, when it comes to the promotion of a collective versus individualist society, the same does not hold.  In the name of pursuing centrism as an electoral strategy over the past couple of decades, we're getting caught in a perpetual shift to the right of political discourse and the media landscape.  The end result?  The Liberals of the '70s were positively radical compared to the Mulcair NDP.  Mulcair opposes paying for social investments through increased taxation, is for pipelines if they are horizontal, and no longer speaks about supporting the poor - it's the middle class that matters to him (and Trudeau...and Harper...).  But everyone saw what happened to Olivia Chow's seat tonight.  So what good does abandoning principle really do in such matters?

I don't think it does much. The ideological backdrop upon which the canvas of electoral politics is painted is determined by the scenery that is its context.

I am a socialist. I don't expect "socialism" from the NDP. It is not and has not been a socialist party really since the 70s. The fact that they admit this is excellent, since it frees up the discourse for others to take up.

I would like it if the NDP were a socialist party existing in a political landscape were socialism was a viable political view that could be expressed and acted upon in the electoral political arena, but it is not.

That is why is so strongly rejects completely absurd arguments made by some that the ONDP platform was "right-wing". Its fundamentals were firmly grounded in traditional social democratic principled of public service for the sake of public service, not for private profit, and corporate tax hikes, and reductions in consumption taxes, are clearly "left", if not socialist.

We can't let the tone of the times distort the basic definitions of left and right, regardless of how watered down they may appear in the electoral body of the NDP.

onlinediscountanvils

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

takeitslowly wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

takeitslowly wrote:
There is this myth promoted by people like onlinediscountanvils that Thomas Mulcair is so much more right wing than Jack Layton

Care to cite some evidence for your claim?

 

It's my opinon and I accompanied a link to sustain it. Piss off.

In other words; no, you just want to make shit up.

Piss off yourself, asshole.

 

takeitslowly wrote:
It's not enough you responded another thread with "Fuck Ann McGarth, Fuck the NDP"

Confused much? My "response" was posted 25 minutes before you even posted in that thread.

 

takeitslowly wrote:
now you call me a name when I tell you to piss off.

Personal attack and name calling.

You attacked me. You made a claim about me. I asked you to back it up with some evidence. You couldn't, but rather than admit that you were wrong, you tried to hide behind it being your "opinion". Well, it's my "opinion" that you're being an asshole.

 

takeitslowly

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

takeitslowly wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

takeitslowly wrote:
There is this myth promoted by people like onlinediscountanvils that Thomas Mulcair is so much more right wing than Jack Layton

Care to cite some evidence for your claim?

 

It's my opinon and I accompanied a link to sustain it. Piss off.

In other words; no, you just want to make shit up.

Piss off yourself, asshole.

 

takeitslowly wrote:
It's not enough you responded another thread with "Fuck Ann McGarth, Fuck the NDP"

Confused much? My "response" was posted 25 minutes before you even posted in that thread.

 

takeitslowly wrote:
now you call me a name when I tell you to piss off.

Personal attack and name calling.

You attacked me. You made a claim about me. I asked you to back it up with some evidence. You couldn't, but rather than admit that you were wrong, you tried to hide behind it being your "opinion". Well, it's my "opinion" that you're being an asshole.

 

 It is my opinon so why would I admit I was wrong?

Learn to state an opinion without insulting people by calling them names. In my opinon, if you don't understand the difference, you are not even worthy of my time or anyone's else. In fairness, I wasn't perfect when I told you to piss off, but that was because you already cursed out  the NDP and Anna McGrath on the other thread (http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/anne-mcgrath-ndp-national-dire... - in which you said "Fuck Ann McGrath. Fuck Mulcair. Fuck the NDP.") I do not care for people like you.  This is my last response to you because I am not interested in your hostility.

onlinediscountanvils

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

takeitslowly wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

takeitslowly wrote:
There is this myth promoted by people like onlinediscountanvils that Thomas Mulcair is so much more right wing than Jack Layton

Care to cite some evidence for your claim?

 

It's my opinon and I accompanied a link to sustain it. Piss off.

In other words; no, you just want to make shit up.

Piss off yourself, asshole.

 

takeitslowly wrote:
It's not enough you responded another thread with "Fuck Ann McGarth, Fuck the NDP"

Confused much? My "response" was posted 25 minutes before you even posted in that thread.

 

takeitslowly wrote:
now you call me a name when I tell you to piss off.

Personal attack and name calling.

You attacked me. You made a claim about me. I asked you to back it up with some evidence. You couldn't, but rather than admit that you were wrong, you tried to hide behind it being your "opinion". Well, it's my "opinion" that you're being an asshole.

 

takeitslowly wrote:
It is my opinon so why would I admit I was wrong?

Maybe because your "opinion" was wrong? Maybe because you realize it's not cool to make shit up about other babblers?

 

takeitslowly wrote:
This is my last response to you because I am not interested in your hostility.

That's fine. I hope it's not only your last response, but also the last time you mention me, since I'm not interested in your dishonesty.

josh

fiddling wrote:

If there is no signpost for the left, it washes away,  By the time an NDP government is elected under this centrist strategy, it would be an empty and meaningless victory.

 

And they won't be elected following a centrist strategy because, as we've seen, given the choice of two Liberal parties, voters will go with the real thing.

 

Geoff

Okay, here's the plan: 

1. All the centrists in the NDP can join the Liberals, since they're headed in that direction, anyway.

2. The progressive wing of the party will then infiltrate the Green Party, since it's the only other party with any kind of profile.

3. Finally, we'll change the name to the Red Green Party and take the country by storm.

Not an original idea, I know, but it's, nonetheless, an idea whose time has come. Stay calm, keep your stick on the ice, and vote Red-Green. We've even got a slogan.

sherpa-finn

That would be "Duct Tape Forever!"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMV-QuZCEuE

 

Debater

josh wrote:

fiddling wrote:

If there is no signpost for the left, it washes away,  By the time an NDP government is elected under this centrist strategy, it would be an empty and meaningless victory.

And they won't be elected following a centrist strategy because, as we've seen, given the choice of two Liberal parties, voters will go with the real thing.

Yup.  I think Brian Topp was quoted as saying this a few days ago when he was asked to comment on Mulcair's recent praise of Tony Blair (something which the Mulcair fans on Babble seem to have given him a pass for).

I'll look for the article later, but I believe it was on the Global News site and Topp was saying that if the NDP wants to be like the Liberals, voters may choose the real Liberal Party.

Rokossovsky

Geoff wrote:

Okay, here's the plan: 

1. All the centrists in the NDP can join the Liberals, since they're headed in that direction, anyway.

2. The progressive wing of the party will then infiltrate the Green Party, since it's the only other party with any kind of profile.

3. Finally, we'll change the name to the Red Green Party and take the country by storm.

Not an original idea, I know, but it's, nonetheless, an idea whose time has come. Stay calm, keep your stick on the ice, and vote Red-Green. We've even got a slogan.

Ha ha.

Why would any one vote for a party named after a colour. I can't figure it. What does "Green" mean?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

What does the New Democratic Party mean when the party is 50 years old?

IMO Jack Layton was a disappointment to the left wing of the party that got him elected leader. After Svend's lose to Alexa his team supported Jack becasue he looked left wing. Then his Red Tory roots began to show. In this day and age a real Red Tory like Dief or Joe Who? would be considered a radical.  

I have always wanted a Possum Lodge coalition.  Just remember; stay calm, be brave, and wait for the signs. 

Happy Canada Day from the foothills of Kwénis.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Happy Canada Day Kropotkin (and others) from Steveston.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I have always wanted a Possum Lodge coalition.  Just remember; stay calm, be brave, and wait for the signs. 

Wasn't that "Dead Dog Cafe"?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I have always wanted a Possum Lodge coalition.  Just remember; stay calm, be brave, and wait for the signs. 

Wasn't that "Dead Dog Cafe"?

Absolutely! You win a big BC Bud.

onlinediscountanvils

kropotkin1951 wrote:
IMO Jack Layton was a disappointment to the left wing of the party that got him elected leader. After Svend's lose to Alexa his team supported Jack becasue he looked left wing. Then his Red Tory roots began to show.

He talked a better game early on. I recently came across this [url=http://canadiandimension.com/articles/2009/]conversation between Jack Layton, Sam Gindin, and Leo Panitch[/url]. Imagine if he had even just followed through on this:

I’ve said let’s get our NDP clubs, riding associations and members that they should be helping the social movements do what they’re doing. Instead of wagging fingers complaining that they’re not supporting us, I say let’s go to the movements and find out what they’re working on and how we can help. We have 90,000 members and we’ve got members in the House of Commons that can raise their issues.

What a refreshing change that would be!

Rokossovsky

What the hell does a "social movement" have to do with principled left wing "social democratic" and "socialist" theory and tradition? A "social movement" could be a "right to life group".

Malcontent

Muclair needs to step down.

genstrike

Rokossovsky wrote:

What the hell does a "social movement" have to do with principled left wing "social democratic" and "socialist" theory and tradition? A "social movement" could be a "right to life group".

So, the labour movement, the feminist movement, the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, anti-war movements, hell, the student movement in Quebec that flared up a year or two ago... these all have nothing to do with principled left wing theory and tradition?

I guess that's the sole domain of professional politicians, then?

Rokossovsky

genstrike wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

What the hell does a "social movement" have to do with principled left wing "social democratic" and "socialist" theory and tradition? A "social movement" could be a "right to life group".

So, the labour movement, the feminist movement, the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, anti-war movements, hell, the student movement in Quebec that flared up a year or two ago... these all have nothing to do with principled left wing theory and tradition?

I guess that's the sole domain of professional politicians, then?

No. These only become "progressive" left-wing causes because of their application of left-wing ideals. When we divorce the analysis from the "movement" we are stepping away from the core application of those principles, in way that obscures the underlying first principles that make them progressive.

The use of the term "social movement", very much like the term "progressive", is meant to obscure the left origin of the social justice movement.

For one thing it removes class analysis of any kind, as if these "social movements" float around unhinged from class based social relations and the economy.

Hence I can say, for example, that the "right to life" movement, is also a "social movement", precisely because the term has removed any real analysis of what makes a "social movement" "progressive".

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

What does the Mulcair led NDP have to do with principled left wing "social democratic" and "socialist" theory and tradition?  He is a fucking Liberal who served in a neo conservative government and brags about it and praises Blair as a role model.

 

josh

Did he really praise Blair? Too bad I missed that. Not that I'm surprised.

ETA:

Read it and have to say he lived down to my expectations.

http://globalnews.ca/news/1409121/ndp-signals-move-to-mushy-middle/

sherpa-finn

I suspect the reference to Blair comes from this interview last week on CTV. 

http://globalnews.ca/news/1409121/ndp-signals-move-to-mushy-middle/

Its pretty tame stuff by Mulcair - an endorsement of Blair's approach to political pragmatism (moving Labour to the political centre such that it could actually win power for a decade after a generation of Thatcherism / Tory misrule).

But any reference to Blair on Babble gets quickly rolled into the "Blair as war criminal" criticism which effectively obscures IMHO the debate about the comparative costs and benefits of political pragmatism (in power but with compromised principles) vs political purity (principles retained, but forever in opposition). 

Of course, what really gets people's worked up is the prospect (now seeming most likely for the NDP) of having compromised principles but still ending up in opposition, if not reduced to 3rd party status.

My own view on all this is that NDP members made a decision two years back, - we all knew who and what Mulcair was and is, and we chose this route to 2015.  This is no time to start beating each other up, -  the Libs and Cons will do that quite enough as we have seen in recent months. 

But it is time to start framing a program and platform around which the NDP can energize Canadians in 2015. (And a freeze on ATM fees just won't cut it.)

 

 

josh

It's not Blair the war criminal in this context. It's Blair the neo-Thatcherite. And Mulcair's use of pragmatism in this interview was clearly a code word for moving to the middle. Where he'll suffer the same fate as the NDP did in Ontario. And Howarth's move was more stylistic than Mulcair's.

onlinediscountanvils

Roger Annis: [url=http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1004.php]NDP Lurch to the Right Underscores Need for A New, Left-Wing Party in Canada[/url]

Rokossovsky

josh wrote:
It's not Blair the war criminal in this context. It's Blair the neo-Thatcherite. And Mulcair's use of pragmatism in this interview was clearly a code word for moving to the middle. Where he'll suffer the same fate as the NDP did in Ontario. And Howarth's move was more stylistic than Mulcair's.

Yeah, I know. Raising corporate taxes, opposing privatization and reducing consumption taxes is so "third way".

Can someone please start doing some critical "left-wing" policy analysis as opposed to repeating Ontario Liberal Party talking points that were regurgitated by the mainstream press?

Have you even read the "Third Way" manifsto? Do you know what is in it?

Here it is, for those who have not bothered to read the Schroder/Blair document in full.

Rokossovsky

kropotkin1951 wrote:

What does the Mulcair led NDP have to do with principled left wing "social democratic" and "socialist" theory and tradition?  He is a fucking Liberal who served in a neo conservative government and brags about it and praises Blair as a role model.

 

No more than Layton. If you follow the conversation. That is my point.

If people are so concerned about principled left "class analysis", socialist and social democratic politics, then you had better start looking at the slow errosion of that analysis, and how we ended up talking about things being "progressive" as opposed to "left", and "social movement" as opposed to "socialist movement".

These things, stripped of their analysis and packaged as "social movements" or "progressive" can simply be bandied about and used by whomever, as if Liberals can't support "social movements" or be "progressive", as long as they don't disturb the fundamental economic social relations of capitalism.

The word "socialism" was removed from most "progressive" discourse in Canada, long before Pat Martin started trying to expunge it from the NDP constitution.

So, I hear a lot of bellyaching about Mulcair and his "Blairite" tendencies, but then presented in completely amorphous language that represents no "class analysis" whatsoever. Huh?

If the NDP is drifting right, its not just because of the personalities of one or two figures who have captured the leadership, it is also the result of an ongoing process of ideological errorsion at the roots, and in the left intelligentsia. As they say, a people get the government they deserve. The same can be said of political parties.

And moreover, where is it written in the "Third Way" manifesto that government should reject privatization and increase corporate taxes? No where. In fact the opposite. So, the critique of Mulcair as a "Blarite" should really begin with some kind of critique of policy, not just some off-hand, stupid comments that he made referencing Blair.

If you were really to look at what he is doing, you would see that this reference was entirely intentional, and he is egging on the left in the party to put up or shut up, and you should be very wary of what he intends with that comment.

terrytowel

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Roger Annis: [url=http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1004.php]NDP Lurch to the Right Underscores Need for A New, Left-Wing Party in Canada[/url]

Will the NPI rise from the ashes? They advocated (with Sven Robinson leading the charge) a rainbow coalition. Made up of actvists, immigrants, LGBT community, anti-war protesters, vegans and vegetarians, union members, environmentalists, hard-left socialists, and young people.

Jack Layton was able to bridge the gap between this rainbow coalition and attract centrists to his platform. 

Aristotleded24

onlinediscountanvils wrote:
Roger Annis: [url=http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1004.php]NDP Lurch to the Right Underscores Need for A New, Left-Wing Party in Canada[/url]

I would suggest his analysis of Quebec is off. For one, if it was merely a matter of left-wing disillusionment with the PQ, why didn't the vote for QS do much better than what it did? Secondly, he seems to link the imoprtance of sovereignty in Quebec to the left-wing movement. So why did an anti-sovereignty party win a majority, and how does he account for the low support among Quebeckers for sovereignty (at least in the form the PQ advocated)?

takeitslowly

sherpa-finn wrote:

I suspect the reference to Blair comes from this interview last week on CTV. 

http://globalnews.ca/news/1409121/ndp-signals-move-to-mushy-middle/

Its pretty tame stuff by Mulcair - an endorsement of Blair's approach to political pragmatism (moving Labour to the political centre such that it could actually win power for a decade after a generation of Thatcherism / Tory misrule).

But any reference to Blair on Babble gets quickly rolled into the "Blair as war criminal" criticism which effectively obscures IMHO the debate about the comparative costs and benefits of political pragmatism (in power but with compromised principles) vs political purity (principles retained, but forever in opposition). 

Of course, what really gets people's worked up is the prospect (now seeming most likely for the NDP) of having compromised principles but still ending up in opposition, if not reduced to 3rd party status.

My own view on all this is that NDP members made a decision two years back, - we all knew who and what Mulcair was and is, and we chose this route to 2015.  This is no time to start beating each other up, -  the Libs and Cons will do that quite enough as we have seen in recent months. 

But it is time to start framing a program and platform around which the NDP can energize Canadians in 2015. (And a freeze on ATM fees just won't cut it.)

 

 

 

 

There are alot of liberals on babble just so you know. So you have to be careful who you are speaking to, because some of them DO like to see the NDP going down.

 

Anyways I do agree with you. Like I said on the other thread, the Mulcair needs to talk about democratic reform, and that means proportional representation now that Senate reform is dead.

Debater

sherpa-finn wrote:

My own view on all this is that NDP members made a decision two years back, - we all knew who and what Mulcair was and is, and we chose this route to 2015.  This is no time to start beating each other up, -  the Libs and Cons will do that quite enough as we have seen in recent months. 

I respect you for being honest about this.  You're admitting that the NDP sacrificed its historical principles and position as Canada's social conscience in order to put winning power first & foremost.  That certainly doesn't make them any worse than any other party.  But what it does mean is that the NDP is losing its special place in the hearts of Canadians because it is no longer different than the Conservatives & Liberals.

takeitslowly

Debater wrote:

sherpa-finn wrote:

My own view on all this is that NDP members made a decision two years back, - we all knew who and what Mulcair was and is, and we chose this route to 2015.  This is no time to start beating each other up, -  the Libs and Cons will do that quite enough as we have seen in recent months. 

I respect you for being honest about this.  You're admitting that the NDP sacrificed its historical principles and position as Canada's social conscience in order to put winning power first & foremost.  That certainly doesn't make them any worse than any other party.  But what it does mean is that the NDP is losing its special place in the hearts of Canadians because it is no longer different than the Conservatives & Liberals.

 

Lmao

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Roger Annis: [url=http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1004.php]NDP Lurch to the Right Underscores Need for A New, Left-Wing Party in Canada[/url]

In a P.R. system, this would be a natural and positive development. Without P.R., this would be just another nail in the coffin of any real hope for change. If such a party were to be even moderately successful, it would cement for the next few decades the FPTP Lib/Con duopoly. 

cco

takeitslowly wrote:

Anyways I do agree with you. Like I said on the other thread, the Mulcair needs to talk about democratic reform, and that means proportional representation now that Senate reform is dead.

Is there any reason to think PR at the federal level is any less dead? Surely the Senate reference implies the same for the Commons. 7/50 at minimum for any kind of electoral reform, and possibly unanimity.

Rokossovsky

Michael Moriarity wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Roger Annis: [url=http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/1004.php]NDP Lurch to the Right Underscores Need for A New, Left-Wing Party in Canada[/url]

In a P.R. system, this would be a natural and positive development. Without P.R., this would be just another nail in the coffin of any real hope for change. If such a party were to be even moderately successful, it would cement for the next few decades the FPTP Lib/Con duopoly. 

But then again, all that really happens under PR is the principled left removes itself from a mainstream party, wins a couple of seats, and then maybe gets to be part of a government where it is marginalized just as it is marginalized in a mainstream party when it is party of larger faction in FPTP.

One merely has to look at what happened to the "peace activist" core of the German Green Party in the 90s, when it was first offered a role in government to see that PR doesn't necessarily result in different government policy outcomes, Germany still intervened in the Balkan conflict, despite opposition of the more principled Green Party members, who resigned in protest.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Rokossovsky wrote:

But then again, all that really happens under PR is the principled left removes itself from a mainstream party, wins a couple of seats, and then maybe gets to be part of a government where it is marginalized just as it is marginalized in a mainstream party when it is party of larger faction in FPTP.

One merely has to look at what happened to the "peace activist" core of the German Green Party in the 90s, when it was first offered a role in government to see that PR doesn't necessarily result in different government policy outcomes, Germany still intervened in the Balkan conflict, despite opposition of the more principled Green Party members, who resigned in protest.

Of course, P.R. is not a panacea, but it does provide at least an opportunity for alternative opinions to be heard in parliament, and become part of the political discourse. It is a modest achievement, but I think it is far better to have a few real socialist MPs telling the truth than unanimous, all-party agreement with neo-liberal lies about austerity and imperial adventurism.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

cco wrote:
Is there any reason to think PR at the federal level is any less dead? Surely the Senate reference implies the same for the Commons. 7/50 at minimum for any kind of electoral reform, and possibly unanimity.

You are mistaken in this opinion. It would indeed take a constitutional amendment to implement an elected Senate (proportionally or not). However, changing the manner of electing MPs to the house of commons requires only a simple amendment to the federal Elections Act. As far as I know, all legal experts agree with this.

Rokossovsky

I think people should be more focussed on election reform that is achievable without constitutional review.

For example, the way ridings are weighted is a big deficit to the urban based left. That margin of population allowed in ridings should be reduced. Right now it is allowed to have a 50% difference from one riding to the next, meaning that some rural votes count 2 for 1 in comparison to urban votes.

That is deplorable, but also fixable simply through legislation. If you really want to "Stop the Harpercons" that kind of reform would finish them forever.

Rokossovsky

Really?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Rokossovsky wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

What does the Mulcair led NDP have to do with principled left wing "social democratic" and "socialist" theory and tradition?  He is a fucking Liberal who served in a neo conservative government and brags about it and praises Blair as a role model.

No more than Layton. If you follow the conversation. That is my point.

If I follow the conversation?  Talk down much to people in real life or just on line.

Where have I evetr said Layton was a socialiist or left wing.  He talked a left wing line to gain the leadership and then he became a liberal.  You know the classic right wingers dodge run from the left and lead from the right.  I left the party in disgust when it disciplined my MP for voting against a bill that criminalized gay sex for teenagers.  That was after he changed the party policy on NATO and free trade.                                                      

Rokossovsky

You can add seats that can be distributed among select candidates by party without constitutional reform. I can see how a preferential ballot might not require a constitutional reform. Adding seats that are not defined geographically would be different, would it not?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The House of Commons is its own master and can decide what system it uses to elect its members. BC has had various kinds of electoral systems provincially and it would be the same federally. The only caveat would be the entrenched minimums for the Atlantic provinces would have to be worked into any formula unless the affected provinces agreed to the changes.

Rokossovsky

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

What does the Mulcair led NDP have to do with principled left wing "social democratic" and "socialist" theory and tradition?  He is a fucking Liberal who served in a neo conservative government and brags about it and praises Blair as a role model.

No more than Layton. If you follow the conversation. That is my point.

If I follow the conversation?  Talk down much to people in real life or just on line.

Where have I evetr said Layton was a socialiist or left wing.  He talked a left wing line to gain the leadership and then he became a liberal.  You know the classic right wingers dodge run from the left and lead from the right.  I left the party in disgust when it disciplined my MP for voting against a bill that criminalized gay sex for teenagers.  That was after he changed the party policy on NATO and free trade.                                                      

Yes, the thread of the disscussion point begins by praise of Layton's "engagement" of "social movements", here:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:
IMO Jack Layton was a disappointment to the left wing of the party that got him elected leader. After Svend's lose to Alexa his team supported Jack becasue he looked left wing. Then his Red Tory roots began to show.

He talked a better game early on. I recently came across this [url=http://canadiandimension.com/articles/2009/]conversation between Jack Layton, Sam Gindin, and Leo Panitch[/url]. Imagine if he had even just followed through on this:

I’ve said let’s get our NDP clubs, riding associations and members that they should be helping the social movements do what they’re doing. Instead of wagging fingers complaining that they’re not supporting us, I say let’s go to the movements and find out what they’re working on and how we can help. We have 90,000 members and we’ve got members in the House of Commons that can raise their issues.

What a refreshing change that would be!

To which I responded:

Rokossovsky wrote:

What the hell does a "social movement" have to do with principled left wing "social democratic" and "socialist" theory and tradition? A "social movement" could be a "right to life group".

I was challenging the underlying thesis of Jack Layton's alleged "left-wing" posturing, by pointing out that the very concept of "social movements" is an attempt to step away from traditional socialism, or at least camouflage it in language that doesn't directly challenge the economic order.

 

 

PrairieDemocrat15

Rokossovsky wrote:

josh wrote:
It's not Blair the war criminal in this context. It's Blair the neo-Thatcherite. And Mulcair's use of pragmatism in this interview was clearly a code word for moving to the middle. Where he'll suffer the same fate as the NDP did in Ontario. And Howarth's move was more stylistic than Mulcair's.

Yeah, I know. Raising corporate taxes, opposing privatization and reducing consumption taxes is so "third way".

Can someone please start doing some critical "left-wing" policy analysis as opposed to repeating Ontario Liberal Party talking points that were regurgitated by the mainstream press?

Have you even read the "Third Way" manifsto? Do you know what is in it?

Here it is, for those who have not bothered to read the Schroder/Blair document in full.

*Clap, clap, clap* I agree.

I think Mulcair's handlers need to tell him to ixnay ethay Airblay eferencesray (nix the Blair references) and talk about policy. Whenever Mulcair talks about ideology and the left-centre-right spectrum, I see the (Quebec) Liberal in him; but when he talks policy, I find myself agreeing with him (personal tax increases notwithstanding).

Even though the NDP faces no threat from the left, he does risk turning off left-wing voters with his language about the centre and Tony Blair (though, that didn't seem to hurt Layton).

On a different note, I was looking up pre-campaign polling for the 2011 election - the NDP was in much worse shape a year before the 2011 election than it is now. The party was polling around 15% and was consistently well behind in third even in BC and Sask/Manitoba. Also, the Greens were polling about 10% nation-wide and even came close to tying the NDP in a few polls. A 2010 "voter retention analysis" survey claimed the NDP had lost 45% of its vote from 2008! The point: polls are unreliable and campaigns matter.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Stepping away from traditional socialism happened with the founding of the NDP!  Don't you know the NDP constitution was designed to have not only trade unions joining as affiliates but Societies from social movements as well.

Layton was a hypocrite and Mulcair is just a little further down the same road. At best they are both left liberals and neither of them have ever considered themselves a socialist.

Rokossovsky

PrairieDemocrat15 wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

josh wrote:
It's not Blair the war criminal in this context. It's Blair the neo-Thatcherite. And Mulcair's use of pragmatism in this interview was clearly a code word for moving to the middle. Where he'll suffer the same fate as the NDP did in Ontario. And Howarth's move was more stylistic than Mulcair's.

Yeah, I know. Raising corporate taxes, opposing privatization and reducing consumption taxes is so "third way".

Can someone please start doing some critical "left-wing" policy analysis as opposed to repeating Ontario Liberal Party talking points that were regurgitated by the mainstream press?

Have you even read the "Third Way" manifsto? Do you know what is in it?

Here it is, for those who have not bothered to read the Schroder/Blair document in full.

Even though the NDP faces no threat from the left, he does risk turning off left-wing voters with his language about the centre and Tony Blair (though, that didn't seem to hurt Layton).

Which makes one wonder why precisely he made this comment in the wake of the Ontario election. It is almost as if he was goading the Horwath detractors. Statements like that are more likely to burn-off "core" left activists, not voters. I don't think Mulcair is stupid, and I don't think he just "said it" because it was on his mind.

I am sure he must have had an inkling of how it would be received.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Rokossovsky wrote:

You can add seats that can be distributed among select candidates by party without constitutional reform. I can see how a preferential ballot might not require a constitutional reform. Adding seats that are not defined geographically would be different, would it not?

 

Well, I was last a lawyer over 30 years ago, but currently well informed lawyers like Wilf Day seem to agree with my opinion. As far as I know, the only things that can't be changed by simple legislation are the number of MPs from each province. Other than that, the manner of selecting those MPs is totally up to parliament, with no provincial input.

eta: Of course, it is only the minimum number of MPs provided for some provinces that can't be changed. MPs for most provinces can be increased, as has happened regularly, with no constitutional amendment.

sherpa-finn

Debater wrote: You're admitting that the NDP sacrificed its historical principles and position as Canada's social conscience in order to put winning power first & foremost.  That certainly doesn't make them any worse than any other party.  But what it does mean is that the NDP is losing its special place in the hearts of Canadians because it is no longer different than the Conservatives & Liberals.

I said no such thing, so obviously "admit" no such thing. I will acknowledge that the NDP has backed off its historical belief in the central role of the state in driving solutions to economic and social problems. Just as both Liberal and Conservative parties have done, from their own particular vantage points. Its a fairly universal political response to larger (global) economic forces at work over the past 40 years: Dief would no longer be at home in the Conservative Party of today, nor would Trudeau Sr be in the party of his son.

As regards the "social conscience" argument ... well, my own take on that is that Canadians have long memories of the stink of Liberal corruption and more current memories of Tory hypocrisy re their proclaimed values of integrity, transparency and accountability. And it was likely Mulcair's sustained success in the House highlighting this history of red and blue corruption that prompted the recent CPC/LPC alliance behind closed doors to try and embarass the NDP over the trumped up accusations re mailing and office expenses. 

It may well have worked, - indeed, it may well have succeeded in tarring the NDP with a similar brush in the eyes of the public. 

But we all know that it was simply a fabricated 'gotcha' moment, - and nothing in any way comparable to the systemic corruption and influence peddling of Liberals and Tories once in power.  Would the NDP be any different?  I would like to think so, but maybe we'll never know federally. But until we do, the NDP can keep on waving the social conscience flag from the Opposition benches.  We aspire to greater things, but perhaps its what we do best.

Rokossovsky

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Stepping away from traditional socialism happened with the founding of the NDP!  Don't you know the NDP constitution was designed to have not only trade unions joining as affiliates but Societies from social movements as well.

Layton was a hypocrite and Mulcair is just a little further down the same road. At best they are both left liberals and neither of them have ever considered themselves a socialist.

You think? I think they are at least birds of a feather. Layton very much encouraged Mulcair's advancement in the party. I don't think you can shrug him off as some kind of abberantion from the line that Layton developed.

On policy, he might even be more left wing in some areas. He is certainly more politically cohesive. Layton was all over the place.

That said, my main point was actually to do with the general direction of left-wing discourse on the whole. If we ourselves willingly accept definitions such as "social movements", as opposed to "Socialist movements", is it any surprise that "the leadership" feels it is just fine to expunge "socialist" from the constitution of the party?

No doubt about your historical analysis of the NDP/CCF.

So, there it is. The party as it is today. Support it or not. But if we are going to bitch about its lack of "socialist" content, lets not get caught up in the same fuzzification of defnitions and ideology that beget terms like "social movement".

What the fuck is a "social movement"?

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Layton was a hypocrite and Mulcair is just a little further down the same road. At best they are both left liberals and neither of them have ever considered themselves a socialist.

[url=http://canadiandimension.com/articles/2009/]Layton did call himself a socialist (emphasis mine)[/url]

Quote:
When I ran for city hall I found that the language I was accustomed to using on campus is not the language people are using on the Danforth in Toronto. To tell you the truth, I think the old language is alien to most people. They don’t know what it means and we have to spend too much of our time explaining it to them. That’s not productive. I find that the language of story telling is more effective. Like “Let’s get this housing project built.” Or “Let’s stop our garbage from going up north - We’re up against the biggest waste company in the world - We’ll take them down with grass roots action in favour of composting.” People share our concerns and they can identify with that type of language about very concrete things. I doubt I’ll ever use words like capitalism or imperialism though maybe there will be an occasion. Socialist? I’m proud to call myself a socialist. I prefer it by far to democratic socialist. But I don’t go around shouting it out.

onlinediscountanvils

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Stepping away from traditional socialism happened with the founding of the NDP!  Don't you know the NDP constitution was designed to have not only trade unions joining as affiliates but Societies from social movements as well.

Layton was a hypocrite and Mulcair is just a little further down the same road. At best they are both left liberals and neither of them have ever considered themselves a socialist.

He may have been a hypocrite and left liberal, but Layton did consider himself a socialist. From the same conversation I posted upthread:

Jack Layton wrote:
Socialist? I’m proud to call myself a socialist. I prefer it by far to democratic socialist. But I don’t go around shouting it out.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Rokossovsky wrote:

You think? I think they are at least birds of a feather. Layton very much encouraged Mulcair's advancement in the party. I don't think you can shrug him off as some kind of abberantion from the line that Layton developed.

WTF are you on about. Your use of the 'B" descriptor says alot about your understanding of social movements. I don't know about you but I have been a syndicalist ideologically forever but have still worked on behalf of NDP candidates that I thought were suitable to be my MP. I have helped elect women new comers too politics in two different provinces who were promoted to cabinet ministers in NDP governments. Federally I worked for many years on campaigns for Svend and then Bill. I have normally voted for NDP candiadtes but that was because of the candidate not the party.

I would rather send a strong voice to Ottawa to speak truth to power than to send a bunch of jelly fish to be whipped into shape by the backroom people in Ottawa. 

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