NDP Montreal Convention 2013

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Brachina
NDP Montreal Convention 2013
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Brachina

I can't afford to go myself, but hopefully they live stream the interesting parts.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Barchina, I just lost my job, thanks to the stupid neo lib policies of the LPC and the Tories. I am in the same boat. I hope there will be some coverage but I am not expecting any.

lagatta

They are providing financial aid to some people who can't afford to go. I guess one has to contact one's local riding association?

Hope all the delegates don't get arrested by overzealous Montréal police...

Found this a bit annoying:

 Are there travel subsidies available for Convention?

The Party strives to make each Convention as accessible as possible to diverse communities. An Affirmative Action Subsidy is available to assist with Convention-related travel expenses and delegate fees for members of equity-seeking groups.

• Aboriginal

• Visible minority

• Women

• Youth

• Person with disabilities

• Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered

Certainly agree with all the above, but the category "unemployed, precariously employed, low-income" is somehow missing. Not really a "community" but certainly a discriminated group.

 

 

Brachina

Honestly I'd be happy just for them to keep us who can't attend up ti date, anyone in rabble going?

felixr

I'm also too poor and busy. I would love it if they would put some of the keynote speeches on youtube where everyone can see them.

Wilf Day

I'll be there. Who else?

David Young

I won't be able to make it to this one.

My communicty theatre group is in the final rehearsals for our production of INHERIT THE WIND.

I can't help but think of Harper and his 'Evangelical' supporters every time we rehearse it.  You won't see many of those type of Conservatives attending this play!

 

lagatta

You are welcome to ask us quirky travel questions, but perhaps those should go on the "out and about" board.

wage zombie

I'm excited to be going to convention this year.  I'd love to meet up with any babblers even though i haven't posted here for about a year.

Policywonk

I will be there. Has anyone seen the proposed new preamble yet?

lagatta

There are quite a few "downtime" tourist pointers in the out and about thread, Visiting Mtl at Easter. I can either answer any visiting-related questions there or someone can start a new thread, so as not to sidetrack this more political thread.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Policywonk wrote:

I will be there. Has anyone seen the proposed new preamble yet?

Right here:

Quote:

7-02-13 Resolution on the Preamble

Submitted by The Constitution Committee

Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. New Democrats are Canadians who believe we can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build sustainable prosperity, and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. New Democrats work together to these ends for the sake of our fellow citizens and in the interests of all of humanity.

New Democrats are proud of our political and activist heritage, and our long record of visionary, practical, and successful governments. That heritage and that record have distinguished and inspired our party since the creation of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in 1933, and the founding of the New Democratic Party in 1961.

New Democrats seek a future which brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.

New Democrats celebrate Canada’s diversity and the deep histories, traditions and aspirations of all of its peoples.

New Democrats believe in freedom and democracy, and in a positive role for democratically elected and accountable Parliaments, legislatures and the governments responsible to them.

New Democrats affirm a role for government in helping to create the conditions for sustainable prosperity. We believe in a rules based economy, nationally and globally, in which governments have the power to address the limitations of the market in addressing the common good, by having the power to act in the public interest, for social and economic justice, and for the integrity of the environment.

New Democrats belong to the family of other progressive democratic political parties that govern successfully in many countries around the world. In co-operation with like minded political parties and governments, New Democrats are committed to working together for peace, international co-operation, and the common good of all – the common good being our fundamental purpose as a movement and as a party.

Brachina

 I really like the pramble. I noticed it was very inclusive, Social Democracts, Democractic Socialists, Feminists, Farmers, Labour, Enviromental and Canadians of all backgrounds.

 Some feared the Democratic Socialists would be removed, it hasn't been so I like that.

 

 

 

knownothing knownothing's picture

The CCF started in 1932 I believe in Calgary, not 1933.

I don't think the preamble needs to be changed but this one is not as bad as the last attempt.

North Star

There's been a sleight of hand here. Democratic socialism is retained but it's status as the party's ideology has been downgraded. Also the term social ownership has been removed. Government intervention in the economy is not social ownership. Even right wingers use government intervention in the economy to benefit their interests. I'd also like to mention that Tony Blair yanked out Labour's committment to "common ownership of the means of production" and put in "democratic socialism" in Labour's constitution.

Summer

I find the preamble to be awkardly worded.  The French version is much better and more elegant.   

Take the first two sentences for example.  

Le Canada est un magnifique pays, un pays qui représente les espoirs du monde entier.

Canada is a great country [so far so good], one of the hopes of the world [how can a country be a hope of the world?]. 

Mais nous pouvons bâtir un meilleur pays, un pays où il y a plus d’égalité, de justice et de possibilités pour tous.

New Democrats are Canadians who believe  we [in French, it simply says "we"] can be a better one [why "be" (an incredibly weak verb) in English but "batir" (build) in French?  What does one equal?  Clearly it equals country, in which case, the sentence should say so.  As it currently reads, "one" seems to mean Canadian]– a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity [this is odd word choice and seems to be almost a literal translation from the French]

Why not say: But we believe Canada can be better.  New Democrats believe we can be a country with more equailty, more justice and more opportunity for all Canadians.

 

Or the last sentence of the first paragraph:

En travaillant ensemble, les néo-démocrates s’efforcent de répondre à ces espoirs, dans l’intérêt de leurs concitoyens et de l’humanité toute entière.

compared to:

New Democrats work together to these ends for the sake of our fellow citizens and in the interests of all of humanity.  [to these ends?  really?  not "to achieve these goals" or simply "these goals"]  

 

Where are the NDP communications people in this?  Word choice matters.  

 

sherpa-finn

North Star: I'd also like to mention that Tony Blair yanked out Labour's committment to "common ownership of the means of production" and put in "democratic socialism" in Labour's constitution.

True enough. And of course this made possible Labour forming Gov't for the first time in a generation, after 25 years of Margaret Thatcher + Co. Welcome to the world of realpolitik. Over the ten years of the Blair Gov't (according to Wikipedia): 

In domestic government policy, Blair significantly increased public spending on health and education while also introducing controversial market-based reforms in these areas. In addition Blair's tenure saw the introduction of a minimum wage, tuition fees for higher education, constitutional reform such as devolution in Scotland and Wales, and progress in the Northern Ireland peace process. The British economy performed well and the real incomes of Britons grew 18 per cent during 1997-2006. Blair kept to Conservative commitments not to increase income tax in the first term although rates of Employee's National Insurance (a payroll levy) were increased. He also presided over a significant expansion of the welfare state during his time in office, which led to a significant reduction in poverty.

Did Blair screw up the foreign policy side of Labour's mandate? Absolutely!! ... Kosovo .... Iraq .... Afghanistan.  All failures.

But if you are trying to attribute those failures (of strategy, policy or character) to the removal of the phrase "common ownership of the means of production" from the party constitution,  - I think you are grasping at straws.

felixr

You could hold a vigil here.

North Star

sherpa-finn wrote:

North Star: I'd also like to mention that Tony Blair yanked out Labour's committment to "common ownership of the means of production" and put in "democratic socialism" in Labour's constitution.

True enough. And of course this made possible Labour forming Gov't for the first time in a generation, after 25 years of Margaret Thatcher + Co. Welcome to the world of realpolitik. Over the ten years of the Blair Gov't (according to Wikipedia): 

In domestic government policy, Blair significantly increased public spending on health and education while also introducing controversial market-based reforms in these areas. In addition Blair's tenure saw the introduction of a minimum wage, tuition fees for higher education, constitutional reform such as devolution in Scotland and Wales, and progress in the Northern Ireland peace process. The British economy performed well and the real incomes of Britons grew 18 per cent during 1997-2006. Blair kept to Conservative commitments not to increase income tax in the first term although rates of Employee's National Insurance (a payroll levy) were increased. He also presided over a significant expansion of the welfare state during his time in office, which led to a significant reduction in poverty.

Did Blair screw up the foreign policy side of Labour's mandate? Absolutely!! ... Kosovo .... Iraq .... Afghanistan.  All failures.

But if you are trying to attribute those failures (of strategy, policy or character) to the removal of the phrase "common ownership of the means of production" from the party constitution,  - I think you are grasping at straws.

I am linking them. The removal of Clause IV was aimed to pander to the right, to win over Rupert Murdoch and an acceptance of neoliberal hegemony without any challenge. The battles over Clause IV which had gone on in varying degrees since the late 1950's were very much about the direction of the Labour Party. When asked what her greatest achievement was Thatcher said "Tony Blair and New Labour. We forced our opponents to change their minds." 

Did Blair do some good things? Sure he's not a conservative, but his record speaks for itself. There's Iraq of course, but there's also Financial deregulation, introducing market reforms to the NHS and education and the introduction of tuition fees have all made the Con-Dem assault on the welfare state that much easier today. There's also New Labour's atrocious record on civil liberties with CCTVs and draconian detention laws for terrorist suspects.

That Blair can be seen has having a good record during a time of global economic expansion is hardly surprising, but the economy he built was hardly sustainable.

And what is the result of all of this realpolitik? Labour's base has eroded since 1997, with many of its former supporters not even bothering to vote. Some working class Brits that do still vote that once voted labour are under the sway of the far right. While Labour may lead in the polls it seems to do so by default as Ed Miliband is basically saying "I'm not David Cameron or Nick Clegg" while getting booed by his own supporters for saying some cuts will not be reversed or doing stuff like  "Labour got immigration wrong" and BS like this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/mar/21/labour-abstention-workfar...

There's realpolitik opportunism, or there's building change from the bottom up slowly but surely. I know what will stand the test of time better.

socialdemocrati...

So the people who didn't want to lose "democratic socialist" ended up winning. That's cool with me. In the end, the party's label doesn't matter nearly as much as the party's goals. It's the 21st century and I find that my generation is turned off by almost all "-isms", even if they might be heavily influenced by one or two of those -isms.

knownothing knownothing's picture

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/editorials/why-the-ndp-needs-t...

Globe Editorial: First Take

Why the NDP needs to discard its poisoned roots

NorthReport

[[

lagatta

Yes, I read that pile of crap. Ironically, contemporary ecocidal Harperite capitalism is poisoning not only roots, but the very soil they grow in.

Caissa

The preamble is another sell-out to the right.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The preamble is a P3, poorly, penned, platitudes.

Caissa

I need a giant "Like" button for that one kropotkin 1951.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Here is the original preamble:

The New Democratic Party believes that the social, economic and political progress of Canada can be assured only by the application of democratic socialist principles to government and the administration of public affairs.

The principles of democratic socialism can be defined briefly as:

That the production and distribution of goods and services shall be directed to meeting the social and individual needs of people within a sustainable environment and economy and not to the making of profit;

To modify and control the operations of the monopolistic productive and distributive organizations through economic and social planning. Towards these ends and where necessary the extension of the principle of social ownership;

The New Democratic Party holds firm to the belief that the dignity and freedom of the individual is a basic right that must be maintained and extended; and

The New Democratic Party is proud to be associated with the democratic socialist parties of the world and to share the struggle for peace, international co-operation and the abolition of poverty.

I don't think the changes can be counted as a "win" for democratic socialists. But hey, all they want is to lose, amirite?

sherpa-finn

Or we could go all the way back to 1933 and the Regina Manifesto;

The CCF is a federation of organizations whose purpose is the establishment in Canada of a Co-operative Commonwealth in which the principle regulating production, distribution and exchange will be the supplying of human needs and not the making of profits.

WE AIM TO REPLACE the present capitalist system, with its inherent injustice and inhumanity, by a social order from which the domination and exploitation of one class by another will be eliminated, in which economic planning will supersede unregulated private enterprise and competition, and in which genuine democratic self-government, based upon economic equality will be possible....

Policywonk

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The preamble is a P3, poorly, penned, platitudes.

I would say that it is a lot of words, not saying very much and little about what tools and principles we are applying to achieve our vision (aside from active government and modifying the market system). What about encouraging cooperatives? If you take out the second sentence of the second paragraph and the entire third paragraph it could have been written for the federal Liberals. If we just talk about a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals we are missing the point. We want a sustainable society (not just a more sustainable society) based on equality and democracy, and political democracy cannot be ensured without economic democracy (which is the best definition of Socialism in my view).

Aristotleded24

The preamble leaves me flat. "We want a better Canada" is what it basically boils down to. Great! Every party claims to want a better Canada. The Conservatives are implementing what they would argue is a plan for a better Canada. Why is this news?

As for removing socialism specifically, that is neither here nor there. Most voters don't even know what a socialist is, nor do they care, and the minority of people who feel strongly one way or another won't change their votes. The issue is that if the NDP is seen to be running from its roots out of fear that people won't vote for them, the public will pick up on that fear and pandering, and won't be won over. It's funny that the NDP looks up to the Obama campaign for guidance. When Obama was accused of being a socialist in 2008, instead of running from it, he responded by saying, "this is the vision that I have, if that makes me a socialist I'll wear that label."

socialdemocrati...

Some people are saying it's pretty vague and easy to agree with. But there's a lot of stuff in there that's distinctly social democratic, including the common good, sustainable prosperity, equality, and fairness. That's in addition to singling out social democracy and democratic socialism.

The best the other parties might talk about equality of opportunity or equality under the law. Just as one important distinction, the NDP is the only one that talks about equality as a goal in itself, separate from opportunity and justice. If equality hasn't been the goal all along, I don't know what else it's been.

Brachina

The new preamble is more inclusive, not everyone in the Party conciders themselves Democractic Socialist. It also points out principles like the enviroment and feminism each of which contains within it principle of its own, abit each containing a multitude of interuptations. I honestly think its an improvement.

Caissa

Welcome to the big tent party.

knownothing knownothing's picture
North Star

Flashback:

Quote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godesberg_Program

The Godesberg program was notable mainly because with it, for the first time, the SPD forswore some Marxist ideas. In adopting the Godesberg Program, the SPD dropped its Marxism and hostility to capitalism, which had long been the core of party ideology, and sought to move beyond its old working class base to the full spectrum of potential voters, with an appeal to the middle class and to professionals

Quote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_2010

The Agenda 2010 is a series of reforms planned and executed by the German government, an SPDB'90/Greens coalition at that time, which are aimed at reforming the Germansocial system and labour market. The declared aim of Agenda 2010 is to improve economic growth and thus reduce unemployment.

On March 14, 2003 Chancellor Gerhard Schröder gave a speech before the German Bundestag outlining the proposed plans for reform. He pointed out three main areas which the agenda would focus on: the economy, the system of social security, and Germany's position on the world market.

The steps to be taken include tax cuts (such as a 25% reduction in the basic rate of income tax) as well as big cuts in the cost absorption for medical treatment and drastic cuts in pension benefits and in unemployment benefits alike. In that, the programme closely resembles similar measures taken earlier in the USA (Reaganomics) and the UK(Thatcherism)[citation needed]. Those measures are also being proposed in accordance with the market liberal approach of the EU's Lisbon Strategy. The name Agenda 2010 itself is a reference to the Lisbon Strategy's 2010 deadline.

 

North Star

and this is just plain offensive:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/ID/2370638542/

instead of trying to accomodate all the party's trends they're just trying to belittle the socialists.

socialdemocrati...

Didn't see the offensive part. When challenged on whether the party had changed, she even said the party has always been democratic socialist.

North Star

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Didn't see the offensive part. When challenged on whether the party had changed, she even said the party has always been democratic socialist.

she said that no really knows what socialism means.

If you want to talk about words with confused histories social democracy is one. Even Lenin and Rosa Luxembourg claimed to be social democrats at one time.

Policywonk

The proposed new preamble actually doesn't remove the word socialism, however it does not make it very clear what we are.

Policywonk

North Star wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Didn't see the offensive part. When challenged on whether the party had changed, she even said the party has always been democratic socialist.

she said that no really knows what socialism means.

If you want to talk about words with confused histories social democracy is one. Even Lenin and Rosa Luxembourg claimed to be social democrats at one time.

That's why the preamble, or whatever vehicle we chose to state our vision and principles, has to state clearly what they are rather than describe ourselves using a label. I don't think this proposed preamble is as clear as it should be.

Policywonk

North Star wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Didn't see the offensive part. When challenged on whether the party had changed, she even said the party has always been democratic socialist.

she said that no really knows what socialism means.

If you want to talk about words with confused histories social democracy is one. Even Lenin and Rosa Luxembourg claimed to be social democrats at one time.

I think it's true that people define socialism and social democracy in different ways. How would you define socialism?

North Star

Policywonk wrote:

North Star wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Didn't see the offensive part. When challenged on whether the party had changed, she even said the party has always been democratic socialist.

she said that no really knows what socialism means.

If you want to talk about words with confused histories social democracy is one. Even Lenin and Rosa Luxembourg claimed to be social democrats at one time.

I think it's true that people define socialism and social democracy in different ways. How would you define socialism?

common ownership of the means of production under democratic control

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Well, I watched the Blakie video, immediately wanted to email her, fought the urge and didn't. Two things that got me. First, no one knows what a Socialist is; nonsense. Secondly, they put together a committee of members with a long history with the party. I notice her dad was on this blue ribbon committee, as was she. I am sure I am not the only one, but, my family's involvement goes back to the pre CCF/Winnipeg General Strike days. Hers doesn't. Is she saying, paraphrasing, that "some New Democrats are more New Democrats then others?". And because that is the case, they know better? I'm hoping the membership kills it.

knownothing knownothing's picture

I think a true Marxian economist, like Richard Wolff, would define socialism as the reorganization of the distribution of the surplus so that it is under the democratic control of the workers

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GniC6SUVUJk

Policywonk

North Star wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

North Star wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Didn't see the offensive part. When challenged on whether the party had changed, she even said the party has always been democratic socialist.

she said that no really knows what socialism means.

If you want to talk about words with confused histories social democracy is one. Even Lenin and Rosa Luxembourg claimed to be social democrats at one time.

I think it's true that people define socialism and social democracy in different ways. How would you define socialism?

common ownership of the means of production under democratic control

You forgot distribution and resources. Economic democracy is good enough for me and it doesn't necessarily require common ownership, depending on scale.

Unionist

Good Lord. Now I remember how relieved I was when I found the EXIT sign in the tent.

In those days, the party was big enough for everyone, except those who believed in: 1. an independent socialist Canada and in 2. Québec's unconditional right to self-determination, and 3. that NDP government's should try to follow policy as set by convention. Sadly, I struck out on all those pitches.

lagatta

Those are pretty much the same reasons I don't belong to the NDP, though I've voted for it in the last few elections.

Since then, we can also add unconditional Zionism imposed from en haut.

Michelle

The new preamble suits the party as it is now almost perfectly.  If they could throw the word "liberal" in there somewhere, it would be absolutely perfect.

Brachina

Anything other policies proposed yet to be look at at the convention yet?

Stockholm

I think the new preamble sounds great and perfectly encapsulates a progressive perspective in 21st century Canada. I predict it will pass with 90% of the vote.

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