The NDP should consider a collective leadership

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Unionist
The NDP should consider a collective leadership

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Unionist

It would allow for more diversity; for combating the "cult"; for ending the de facto dictatorship whereby a "leader" gets to do whatever they want ("de facto" because the leader has no rights under the party constitution); and it might help focus on real issues instead of beauty and charisma.

 

josh

A troika?

Unionist

I don't know. I just want to suggest a discussion that rejects the one-person dictator model. And in my humble opinion, it shouldn't even be a collective "leadership", but rather elected spokespersons (like QS) that are answerable to the membership for policy statements, changes, etc. But just having more than one "leader" would hopefully be a dramatic break with the status quo.

swallow swallow's picture

This would be a risk, but things can hardly get much worse for the NDP, so why not take a risk? 

What I particularly like about the QS model is that the two spokespeople are one elected MNA, and one person without a seat - by implication, a militant from extra-parliamentary social movements. The party has a win inside parliament and a wing outside. It stays connected to grassroots struggles for social justice. 

Potentially, this might permit someone who speaks English and Chinese, for instance, or French and Cree, to be one of the spokespeople. It permits gender parity of the "leadership." It permits a re-imagining of the way politics is done. It permits - insists on, in fact - accountability of the leadership to those who elected them. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

If QS were to win the next Quebec election, would they also have two co-Premiers?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It would have to be a large leadership group given the dynamics of the federation we call Canada. Having only two leaders if one represented a riding in Hull and one in Ottawa might not be seen as an improvement, outside of the Capital Region that is.

I too hate the cult of the leader. I am sympathetic to the idea of more caucus equality and respect for potential divergences of views on specific issues. If an MP can find a convention policy directive then they should be able to openly advocate for it, the Palestian occupation is one issue that immediately jumps to mind.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

If QS were to win the next Quebec election, would they also have two co-Premiers?

Who says they need any "Premiers" at all? Not the constitution of Canada. Same with Prime Ministers. See how we have been brainwashed into dictatorial models?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I don't feel that I/we have been "brainwashed" into that any more than I/we have been brainwashed into thinking of Saturday and Sunday as "the weekend".

But as long as we all seem to believe in weekends and Premiers and such, is there maybe another step in this process that we shouldn't just pretend we can skip?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

If we are going to have two leader/spokes persons with someone from inside the caucus and someone from outside of it then how about the two babble front runners, Ruth Ellen Brosseau and Joe Cressy.They also cover of the bases on language and gender. Maybe they could run a joint campaign and promise that if either is elected the other would also be elected.

Cool

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Before I could support such a thing I would need to see them completing each others' sentences.

Joe: "We're here..."

REB: "To say..."

Together: "We're Kryptonite!!!"

Debater

Mr. Magoo wrote:

If QS were to win the next Quebec election, would they also have two co-Premiers?

I assume that it would be Françoise David, since she is the registered leader, is she not?  (and the one that particpates in the election debates with the other party leaders).

I imagine that David would then need to get consent from the Québec Legislature to change the law to allow dual Premiers.

swallow swallow's picture

No, she is not the registered leader. The registered leader is reportedly Pierre-Paul St-Onge, who has no power whatsoever, but meets the requirement for parties to list a registered leader. 

Françoise David and Andres Fontecilla are the co-spokespeople. This is a different model of how to structure a political party: gender parity among spokespeople, and one spokesperson in parliament, the other outside. Before she won a seat, Françoise David was co-spokesperson with Amir Khadir, who did hold a seat. 

 

Unionist

Debater wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

If QS were to win the next Quebec election, would they also have two co-Premiers?

I assume that it would be Françoise David, since she is the registered leader, is she not?  (and the one that particpates in the election debates with the other party leaders).

I imagine that David would then need to get consent from the Québec Legislature to change the law to allow dual Premiers.

I didn't mean "brainwashed" in a pejorative sense - just being factual. Debater is knowledgeable, yet entertains underlying assumptions about the Canadian constitution (and I guess Québec law) which are entirely baseless. We need to expand our consciousness and our conversation.

jjuares

This country has had dual leadership model for many years with a Quebec lieutenant balancing an English leader.

jjuares

This country has had dual leadership model for many years with a Quebec lieutenant balancing an English leader.

Unionist

jjuares wrote:
This country has had dual leadership model for many years with a Quebec lieutenant balancing an English leader.

I'm struggling to understand that statement - could you elaborate? Did you mean "country" or "party"? In either case, I still don't get it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Do you mean "one of the registered co-leaders"?

Or are you saying that QS actually has one real leader??

 

jjuares

Unionist wrote:

jjuares wrote:
This country has had dual leadership model for many years with a Quebec lieutenant balancing an English leader.

I'm struggling to understand that statement - could you elaborate? Did you mean "country" or "party"? In either case, I still don't get it.


In the past we had Macdonald/ Cartier,:King/, LaPointe and Pearson/ The Three Wisemen. This was for the country under the aegis of the Liberal Party.

Unionist

Ok, thanks for the clarification jjuares. My intent in opening this thread was really to explore the possibility of dispensing with the "LEADER" model in the NDP, and replacing it by collective leadership (doesn't mean 2 or 3 or 4 dictators) who are actually answerable for any policy changes or creations to the membership, to convention decisions, etc.

 

jjuares

Unionist wrote:

Ok, thanks for the clarification jjuares. My intent in opening this thread was really to explore the possibility of dispensing with the "LEADER" model in the NDP, and replacing it by collective leadership (doesn't mean 2 or 3 or 4 dictators) who are actually answerable for any policy changes or creations to the membership, to convention decisions, etc.

 


Okay, so it's not about the number of leaders but accountability. This weekend I had the sense that Mulcair was undermined by the feeling that there was no accountability for the leader.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Okay, so it's not about the number of leaders

It's not about the number, except that the number must be >1.  You can't really have collective leadership when the number of leaders =1.

Nor could we ever imagine only one sole leader being accountable.

swallow swallow's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Do you mean "one of the registered co-leaders"?

Or are you saying that QS actually has one real leader??

Google Quebec Solidaire leader for the answer. Or, stick around here and ask random questions, if you'd rather. 

Unionist

It's about not having a leader - or leaders - who can dictate all aspects of party policy at their absolute whim.

Like, inventing an election platform without anyone having any say. Or, approving or barring candidates at their sole discretion, with no explanation required.

This would involve a drastic culture change. Some of the questions posed above show how difficult it is to even conceive of such a scenario. No single leader? No single Premier? Or Prime Minister? How could that be? Wouldn't civilization as we know it implode instantly?

Let's try to envision collective, collaborative, non-dictatorial, accountable leadership.

jjuares

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Okay, so it's not about the number of leaders

It's not about the number, except that the number must be >1.  You can't really have collective leadership when the number of leaders =1.

Nor could we ever imagine only one sole leader being accountable.


Maybe. The Soviet Union after Brezhnev but before Gorbachev had more or less a collective leadership but it wasn't accountable. I know what accountability in leadership looks like ( I believe I demonstrated that for 15 years). I am not sure though what structures need to be in place to gurantee that other than safe and regular avenues for input from the grassroots. Leadership reviews every few years don't cut it because they are too general and too high stakes.

Cody87

jjuares wrote:

Okay, so it's not about the number of leaders but accountability. This weekend I had the sense that Mulcair was undermined by the feeling that there was no accountability for the leader.

Can you clarify if you mean, he was undermined by his belief that, as the leader, he was not accountable, or do you mean he was undermined by the fact that delegates/members were upset that they felt they could not hold him accountable (without removing him entirely)?

I don't think I'd disagree with either assessment (in fact both may be true), so I won't argue either way, I just am not sure how you meant it.

Thanks in advance.

terrytowel

Cheri DiNovo told CTV it is not about the leader. It is about the policies and content that are moving the party in the wrong direction.

jjuares

Cody87 wrote:

jjuares wrote:

Okay, so it's not about the number of leaders but accountability. This weekend I had the sense that Mulcair was undermined by the feeling that there was no accountability for the leader.

Can you clarify if you mean, he was undermined by his belief that, as the leader, he was not accountable, or do you mean he was undermined by the fact that delegates/members were upset that they felt they could not hold him accountable (without removing him entirely)?

I don't think I'd disagree with either assessment (in fact both may be true), so I won't argue either way, I just am not sure how you meant it.

Thanks in advance.


Yes, I think it was both but especially the feeling from the members that there was no way to be heard. During this weekend I heard a lot of discussions about a lack of dialogue with the centre. As for Mulcair and the group around him, they didn't seemto behave as though accountability was uppermost in their minds. How much of that was Mulcair and how much of that was due to the cohort around him I am not sure. First step in accountability, respond to someone when they askyou a question.

Cody87

jjuares wrote:
Yes, I think it was both but especially the feeling from the members that there was no way to be heard. During this weekend I heard a lot of discussions about a lack of dialogue with the centre. As for Mulcair and the group around him, they didn't seemto behave as though accountability was uppermost in their minds. How much of that was Mulcair and how much of that was due to the cohort around him I am not sure. First step in accountability, respond to someone when they askyou a question.

Okay great thanks, that's extremely consistent with what I've heard since...if I am being frank, I started paying serious attention last July or so. If I recall correctly, even then we were already seeing some odd actions taken against candidates and prospective candidates who took views counter to the leader's version of the "party line," even if the views weren't actually counter to the party line.

ETA: I'm not intending to suggest or imply this was a problem unique to the NDP, by the way. All the major parties had similar stories. As Unionist is so quick to remind us, political leaders have too much power and the grassroots far too little.

Pondering

To be a serious contender you can only have one leader running for PM but that doesn't mean that person has to be a party dictator. The leader can be a "chairman of the board rather than a CEO".

A platform has to be coherent, it can't just be everything the members voted on. At the same time it shouldn't be decided by a handful of people at the top either nor delegates at conventions. The NDP needs to design a sensible pragmatic approach to policy development creating a balance between the two extremes.

quizzical

Unionist wrote:
Mr. Magoo wrote:
If QS were to win the next Quebec election, would they also have two co-Premiers?

Who says they need any "Premiers" at all? Not the constitution of Canada. Same with Prime Ministers. See how we have been brainwashed into dictatorial models?

let's talk about this.

i looked throught the Constitution Act 1867 to 1982. nadda i could see. had no idea. . and nadda from 1982. re political parties and leaders.

not going to read the BNA but i suppose it could be in there.

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

To be a serious contender you can only have one leader running for PM ...

Here in Canada, people don't run for PM, and you can't vote for one. You may be thinking of the U.S. presidential system. There's no need for a PM here. The party that "wins" (gets asked to form the government) can name a spokesperson if they like, or a bunch of them, or just cabinet ministers to speak on topics relevant to their departments, etc. It's wide open.

The only reason you need a "Leader" who will "run for PM" is because of the deep-rooted illness of Hero Worship which plagues our (ought to be) democracy.

Quote:
A platform has to be coherent, it can't just be everything the members voted on. At the same time it shouldn't be decided by a handful of people at the top either nor delegates at conventions. The NDP needs to design a sensible pragmatic approach to policy development creating a balance between the two extremes.

Articles V, VI, VII, and VIII of the party constitution deal in detail with who has the authority to issue election statements, policy statements, etc. Within that regime, the "Leader" is simply one of 6 party officers, who are part of a larger executive, which is part of a larger Council. The Leader has no authority or powers different from any of the other officers, and all of them are ruled by the Council between conventions.

Unfortunately, no one follows the constitution. And no one protests that fact.

I'm not saying that the regime established by the constitution is ideal. It certainly is not. But the real life regime is a de facto dictatorship. There are hopeful signs that the members aren't content to be ruled in violation of the constitution and in violation of the needs of democracy and the popular movements.

But while we're waiting for them to bring about change, I'm hoping we can discuss what some ingredients of those changes might be. I thought a modest proposal would be to look at collective leadership, with defined accountability, to replace individual unaccountable dictatorship.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Unionist wrote:
I'm not saying that the regime established by the constitution is ideal. It certainly is not. But the real life regime is a de facto dictatorship. There are hopeful signs that the members aren't content to be ruled in violation of the constitution and in violation of the needs of democracy and the popular movements.

But while we're waiting for them to bring about change, I'm hoping we can discuss what some ingredients of those changes might be. I thought a modest proposal would be to look at collective leadership, with defined accountability, to replace individual unaccountable dictatorship.

There's a long history of socialist political organizations using collective leadership. The Canadian Communists have been doing it for a very long time. For them, it may have some anti-Stalinist aspects to it (post 1953 or 1956). However, other than a single reference to collective leadership in their political program, there's nothing by way of explanation. I also think there is some (Canadian Federal?) election law relevant here ... so that even those political parties that elect a collective leadership are required to meet arbitrary requirements of a leadership race anyway.

[Edited to add: other than reference to democratic centralism, there's nothing really to learn from the Communists on collective leadership. At least from their materials publicly available. They are so small that even their theoretical contributions are meagre.]

There are other parts of this that I think are noteworthy. I should say upfront that I personally like the idea of collective leadership.

Political repression by the state, or even imprisonment of dissident political leaders, is rendered less effective under collective leadership. And I like the idea of rendering state repression less effective. For the serious left this is no idle concern.

Secondly, I think that lifting the covers on aspects of what is essentially our fake democracy is a great exercise - even if it is unfruitful in terms of making change. People should know these things. There are many aspects like this. Here's a basic one. Without a proper and orderly recall system working and in place, politicians can make all sorts of claims in an election which they do not have to live up to. The voters simply turf them 4 or 5 years later. But that's not really good enough. Any other job and you would be out the door in a much shorter time frame.Yet this is mostly accepted unthinkingly.

I think as well that a certain "flexibility" is in place. It may not be spelled out, but preserving "order" trumps democratic decision making. And flexibility of leadership - as measured by what unionist correctly calls dictatorial aspects of our political system - serves this purpose. Of that I have no doubt.

The more we dig around our democracy, the more flaws we will find. But the digging is still good.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
This would involve a drastic culture change. Some of the questions posed above show how difficult it is to even conceive of such a scenario. No single leader? No single Premier? Or Prime Minister? How could that be? Wouldn't civilization as we know it implode instantly?

I totally agree that it would require a culture change.  For starters, I think, such a change would need to be made to our Parliamentary model, not to one party.  Maybe my imagination is just failing me, but it's hard to imagine any kind of electoral success if voting for every other party would result in Canada having a Prime Minister, and voting for the NDP would get us whoever has possession of the talking stick on any particular day.

Quote:
Let's try to envision collective, collaborative, non-dictatorial, accountable leadership.

We could always practice "collaboration" by collaborating with the electorate to see if this is anything they're remotely interested in.

That said, I'm not at all trying to stomp on this idea.  I think it could fly if the parts that appear to be the important parts are dealt with internally.  So, for example, "externally" the NDP still has a "leader" and if the NDP forms government, that's the person who would be PM.  But internally, the "leader" has zero extra powers, rights, votes or perks. 

Reading the above, it seems like the main complaint with a "leader" is that that person has arbitrary and unnecessary powers that are detached from the will of the party.  To simply abolish the role of Party Leader in order to remedy that would be a very textbook example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Rev Pesky

The Romans at one time elected two 'consuls', and that system worked for them.

Courtesy Wikipedia:

Quote:
Two consuls were elected each year, serving together, each with veto power over the other's actions

Note the veto each had. Maybe not such a bad idea.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The Romans at one time elected two 'consuls', and that system worked for them.

Could work for us too, but I think that first it would need to be "our system".

And ya, I do like that veto thing.

But maybe the NDP should look to actual socialist states, like Cuba or Venezuela, for wisdom.  If they don't need a "leader", why does the NDP?  :)

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Maybe my imagination is just failing me, but it's hard to imagine any kind of electoral success if voting for every other party would result in Canada having a Prime Minister, and voting for the NDP would get us whoever has possession of the talking stick on any particular day.

You're saying that having a Prime Minister is seen as an inherently good thing. I agree with you - that's part of the sickness. I'm suggesting we start treating that sickness, both within the party, and in society as a whole. I don't think it will take generations, as long as people of good will sit down and start discussing how to do it.

Magoo wrote:
So, for example, "externally" the NDP still has a "leader" and if the NDP forms government, that's the person who would be PM.  But internally, the "leader" has zero extra powers, rights, votes or perks.

That would be a perfect start - because my concern in opening this thread was primarily the internal governance and functioning of the party.

Ironically - this is already achieved - because the constitution of the NDP gives the "leader "zero extra powers, rights, votes or perks" - other than being one of several executive officers. Trouble is, no one requires the constitution to be upheld.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Sorry to indulge in "lawyer cosplay", but does the NDP Constitution:

1.  say "... and the Party Leader shall have no extra powers, rights, votes or perks"

2.  simply not explicitly grant the Party leader any extra powers, rights, votes or perks?

Because in terms of upholding that Constitution, I think there's a difference.  If the answer is #1 then the status quo needs to be changed legally or procedurally.  If the answer is #2 then it needs to be changed culturally.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Sorry to indulge in "lawyer cosplay", but does the NDP Constitution:

1.  say "... and the Party Leader shall have no extra powers, rights, votes or perks"

2.  simply not explicitly grant the Party leader any extra powers, rights, votes or perks?

You know the answer. It obviously doesn't say #1. But it explicitly gives (for example) policy-setting power to Convention, and between conventions, to the National Council. That means the leader can no more set policy than any other member.

But I don't blame the leader for "usurping" powers that belong to those bodies. I blame members for allowing that to happen, contrary to the rules.

Ask a member of the NDP who's on the National Council. If you get an answer more intelligent than: "Huhhhh??", let me know.

So yes, you're right. It's not the constitution that needs to be changed. Nor the "leader" for that matter. It's the members. That's right. The members need to change. Or alternatively, stop pretending that they matter.

I made my choice about 40 years ago. When it was obvious that Convention decisions didn't matter, and I couldn't find anyone who cared, I quit the youth wing. Abuse is bad enough without adding self-flagellation.

mmphosis

I think the obsession with leadership could be gamed as we see in politics not just in Canada but around the world:  the 'Justin Trudeau' party that has a majority in Canada at the moment, the leadership races south of the border, the recommended impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, etc...

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  The NDP could select a leader purely with the aim of winning.  Winning, period.  Because as I've read that's all this is about, right?  Rather than this NDP leader having equal power within the party, instead the leader would have no power and would be directed (dictated to) by everyone else, not just by a few people pulling the strings as is all too familiar.  This leader would only be the spokesperson, marketer, the great communicator, and the cute charismatic personality that would win over the vote.  I would propose hiring Justin Bieber, he's young, popular, and he has the same first name as our current Prime Minister.  Clearly, I am way too cynical about politics for this discussion.

Unionist

Has Avi Lewis been reading babble?

Quote:

Q: What do you think the party should be looking for in its next leader?

A: I think Canada deserves a forthrightly left electoral alternative. I don’t see the advantage for our democracy in having a number of parties crowded in the centre. The Liberals are experts at co-opting left language and framings during campaigns, and historically, we know they don’t govern like that.

Notice he didn't answer the question? Bravo!

Of course, the MSM interviewer, like so many other brain-washed dyed-in-the-wool "gimme a hero to follow!" types, persists:

Quote:

Q: In a strictly hypothetical world where you both [Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein] run for leader, who would you vote for?

A: One of the things that could be exciting about this next phase of Canadian politics is if we could maybe have co-leaders.

Q: That sounds like weaselling.

A: No, no, I’m serious. If we could get proportional representation and open up roles for smaller parties in coalition governments, we could start intentionally breaking down the cult of personality that is one of the most distorting things about our electoral system. We had a constellation of social actors behind the Leap Manifesto. And we created something bigger than ourselves.

My hero!

mark_alfred

Unionist wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

If QS were to win the next Quebec election, would they also have two co-Premiers?

Who says they need any "Premiers" at all? Not the constitution of Canada. Same with Prime Ministers. See how we have been brainwashed into dictatorial models?

The phrase "Prime Minister of Canada" appears five times in the Constitution -- generally regarding the necessity for his/her presence at constitutional conferences if a change to the constitution is being pursued.  Also, while the term "premier" isn't there, they are referred to as "the first ministers of the provinces" within the constitution.

mark_alfred

Since we now know that the membership of the NDP are quite willing to drag the leader behind the barn and summarily execute him/her if he/she doesn't win the ribbon in the election beauty contest, it would make sense for safety's sake for the elected NDP MPs to band together in a collective leadership arrangement.

Unionist

mark_alfred wrote:

The phrase "Prime Minister of Canada" appears five times in the Constitution --

Fifteen times, actually, if we're counting...

Quote:
... generally regarding the necessity for his/her presence at constitutional conferences if a change to the constitution is being pursued.  Also, while the term "premier" isn't there, they are referred to as "the first ministers of the provinces" within the constitution.

You're absolutely correct. But as you know, all the references are peripheral, the PM (and Premiers) have no role in either the executive nor the legislative branch, they have no powers at all, they don't even need to be elected... it's ceremonial at best.

In fact, it's almost exactly the same as the role of the Leader in the NDP Constitution.

All the powers that the PM and the NDP Leader exercise in daily life are either not mandated by - or in direct violation of - the provisions of the respective constitutions.

For the purpose of this thread, a review of Canadian law shows that Canada doesn't need a PM. Likewise, the NDP doesn't need a Leader. I'm exploring (not yet suggesting) a collective leadership concept, and I'm actually quite thrilled to see that Avi Lewis did likewise. I'll comment later on your notion of a collective leadership consisting of the elected MPs (even if you raised it in a facetious context).

 

NorthReport

Indeed worth exploring

Pondering

Unionist, I'm here to help you out. This thread was started first:

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-leadership-race-0

To discuss the leadership race. There is no need for this thread as you pointed out about this thread.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-not-just-about-leader

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

Unionist, I'm here to help you out. This thread was started first:

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-leadership-race-0

To discuss the leadership race. There is no need for this thread as you pointed out about this thread.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-not-just-about-leader

The leadership race is a beauty contest to choose a Hero. My thread is designed to open a conversation saying we don't need a Hero. If you don't follow the distinction, please read the thread and my other posts over the years. If you still have questions, feel free to pose them. But stop spamming the board with your duplicate and provocative threads. It's offensive and rather transparent. You're actually better than that. But not this time.

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Unionist, I'm here to help you out. This thread was started first:

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-leadership-race-0

To discuss the leadership race. There is no need for this thread as you pointed out about this thread.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-not-just-about-leader

The leadership race is a beauty contest to choose a Hero. My thread is designed to open a conversation saying we don't need a Hero. If you don't follow the distinction, please read the thread and my other posts over the years. If you still have questions, feel free to pose them. But stop spamming the board with your duplicate and provocative threads. It's offensive and rather transparent. You're actually better than that. But not this time.

My thread wasn't about the leadership at all. The first post was about speech writing. You could have just asked me to post here but don't worry. Now that you have informed me this thread is about the same thing I will stay here to discuss it.

Here is the first post from the thread you killed:

Multiple posters have pointed out that the NDP isn't just all about the leader.

Here's the guy the NDP needs writing speeches:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stephen-lewis-speech-at-ndp-convention-1...

Lewis can tell a truth like an axe splitting firewood....

Lewis brutally undressed the $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia negotiated under Stephen Harper and now protected by Justin Trudeau.

Lewis began by describing Saudi Arabia's current war in Yemen as "the wholesale and indiscriminate slaughter of civilian populations. … It's also a country where beheadings of dissidents rivals the madness of ISIL.… We're talking about a regime whose hands are drenched in blood."

All objectively true.

He then addressed Canadian law:

"We're not supposed to be sending armaments to countries that have a 'persistent record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens.' Saudi Arabia is the embodiment of the meaning of the word 'violations.' And the government of Canada refuses to release its so-called assessment of the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. So much for the newly minted policy of transparency."

Again, all fact, except for the last sentence, which is not an unreasonable conclusion.

As for the Trudeau government's claim (echoed by Mulcair) that such a contract, once signed, cannot be cancelled, Lewis asked:

"What do you mean you can't break the contract? What you mean is that you won't break the contract, and with the greatest respect, that's just nonsensical claptrap. As is the proposition that if we pull out, others will fill the gap.… Well, let them. What kind of twisted logic is it that says we should cozy up to murderers because if we don't, others will?"

He capped it off by pointing out that Justin Trudeau — "it's a huge pleasure to have a prime minister who unselfconsciously calls himself a feminist" — is selling weapons to a regime "steeped in misogyny."

Well. All righty, then.

Unionist

Thank you, Pondering.

Pondering

You're welcome Unionist. You wanted the discussion here so here I am. I'm quoting your last post for continuity.

Unionist wrote:

quizzical

still a nice buffalo

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