The So Called "Progressive" Liberals

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jerrym
The So Called "Progressive" Liberals

I recently started a thread in the BC section on the BC Liberal government's machinations with regard to removing government support for youth who have lost or been abandoned by their parents. 

When alan Smithee replied

Quote:

I must point out that the BC Liberals have nothing to do with the federal Liberals.

They are a right wing conservative party that is essentially an arm of the CPC.

I decided I must set the record straight on the long, deep, ongoing and even family connections between the BC Liberals and the federal Liberals. It is very illuminating. Upon completing the writeup of the connections, I realized that it would help inform those not only interested in BC politics, but in federal politics as well. 

Perhaps others can connect the dots between the federal Liberals and their provincial counterparts and their policies in office, such as the Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia Liberals, to see whether what they do in office matches what they say in a campaign. I find this particularly relevant in view of the classic Liberal approach: run to the left and rule to the right. 

 

Unionist

jerrym wrote:

Perhaps others can connect the dots between the federal Liberals and their provincial counterparts and their policies in office, such as the Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia Liberals, to see whether what they do in office matches what they say in a campaign.

 

Great! I'll kick it off for Québec:

Jean Charest: Provincial Liberal premier. Federal Conservative leader.

Thomas Mulcair: Provincial Liberal minister. Federal NDP leader.

Jean Lapierre: Federal Liberal transportation minister. Co-founder of Bloc Québécois. [Whoops, sorry, both federal.] Provincial hot-line radio host.

 

 

jerrym

As I mentioned above, the ties between the federal and provincial Liberals run long and, even today, deep. In fact, while the provincial Liberals ended their formal affiiation with the federal Liberals in 1987, both Christy Clark and Justin Trudeau have strong philosophical and family ties to the other branch of the Liberal family. This gives us some idea of where the so-called "progressive" federal Liberals are going. "Since the mid-1970s, most federal Liberals in BC had chosen to support the British Columbia Social Credit party at the provincial level".   Nowadays "Polls often show BC Liberal voters to be fairly evenly split between British Columbians who vote Conservative and Liberal in federal elections. The party is commonly described as a 'free enterprise coalition' ". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Columbia_Liberal_Party)

 

jerrym

BC had no party system until 1903. However, since 1916, the provincial Liberals have been in power alone, in formal coalitions with the Conservatives, or informal coalitions as party of the right-wing Social Credit party, with the exception of the 1928-1933 period when a majority Conserative government ruled. When the NDP did extemely well in the 1941 election, the Liberals formed a coalition with the Conservatives so that a right-wing free enterprise coalition could stop the CCF "socialist hordes at the gate" from taking power and continued to rule until it lost the 1952 election to the right-wing Social Credit. They continued to rule with the typical Liberal refrain of 'run to the left and rule to the right', which meant the Conservatives were quite willing to go along with this as this meant they stayed in power and followed right wing policies they could easily support.

In fact, as WAC Bennett biographer and provincial Liberal MLA David Mitchell documents in his biography of the Social Credit Premier, W.A.C. Bennett and the rise of British Columbia, WAC Bennett who was previously a Conservative MLA in the Liberal-Conservative Coalition, only made it to power because of the federal Liberals. The Conservatives, as sometimes happens in messy divorces were extremely bitter over Bennett's abandoning of their party, and agreed to support a minority NDP government following the 1952 election. The federal Liberal St. Laurent government, alarmed at the thought of the socialist hordes breaking through the gates, sent word to the Liberal-appointed BC lieutenant governor to quickly swear in a Social Credit government to prevent this. Many Liberals soon joined Social Credit, quite happy to maintain right wing policies if they could stay in power. In education, for example, BC was the last province to establish a community college system even with its history of low postsecondary education rates and only did so when the federal money for establishing such a system was on the verge of running out. 

When the NDP won the 1972 election, four of the five rump Liberal party MLAs, quickly joined Social Credit, reinvigorating it and bringing it back to power in 1975 with the four Liberal MLAs all occupying major cabinet positions. As Social Credit Minister of Education, Pat McGeer, former Liberal leader, quickly established funding for private schools and religious schools, helping to lead to a decreasing enrolment in the public school system and subsidizing the private education of the province's elite. The Liberals in the new informal coalition went along with the first major restraint program in the 1983, while still affiliated with the federal Liberal government. 

How right-wing were the Liberals? Education provides a good example of their policy approach. 

BC was historically viewed by BC governments since Confederation as a beautiful province with a mild climate and a high wage scale that attracted people from other provinces and other countries. Since they came here as adults and with many of them having already obtained their education, these governments felt that they didn't need to train our own BCers and could therefore save tax dollars for the wealthy. Because there were many jobs that had very high pay levels in mining, forestry, and fishing (in the 1970s fishermen could make as much as $50,000 in two weeks of fishing for herring roe), there was very little pressure for funding postsecondary or even secondary education. The provincial Liberals in whether in power alone or formal or informal coalition followed this approach.

The UBC campus only came inot existence in 1925 (decades after the much more sparsely populated provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan had established universitiy campuses) after students staged an enormous march, thereby embarrassing the provincial Liberal government into fulfulling a provincial government decades old promise. It of course was set up in the wealthiest neighbourhood of Vancouver to make it as easy and cheap as possible for the wealthy to attend university.  

Only one university (UBC) existed in the province until 1965 (somethig not found anywhere else in the country) during the rule of Liberals alone or in formal or informal coalitons, as this meant they saved money. But the Liberals had a university in the best location fort the wealthy and saved tax dollars by not building more. The one trades school in the province was built in the working class eastside of the city, not an accident, of course. Tradespeople were brought from Europe after the Second World War so the Liberals once again saved tax dollars for the wealthy. As a result most professionals and tradespeople of any type were from other provinces or countries. Even in the early 1990s, 95% of MBAs, for example, were trained elsewhere. There were no postsecondary schools outside the Lower Mainland and Victoria until the 1970s, making it harder for Interior residents, including many First Nations, to attend postsecondary institutions. The sense of alienation that this and other Liberal west-side Vancouver oriented policies generated was what fueled the Social Credit victory in 1952. Social Credit at least built a strong highway system in the Interior that served business but also residents interests, whereas roads were previously terrible thanks to Liberal inaction. It is thus not an accident that the strongest Liberal support, whether federal and provincial, was and is the wealthy westside of Vancouver. 

The 1970s Barrett NDP government greatly expanded secondary and postsecondary education. All the earlier BC governments since 1916 were Liberals, or Social Credit or coalitions of these parties with Conservatives thrown in. 

What this historic underfunding has meant is that BC born  (I'm not one of them which is a major part of why I was able to get a postsecondary education) became second-class citizens in their own province. The professions and trades have historically been dominated by people from other provinces and countries. It was only when the high paying jobs associated with the forestry, mining, and fishing jobs disappeared because of the 1980s recession, overfishing, and overcutting in the forests (followed later by the destruction of much of the forests by the pine beetle due to global warming) that the old model of bringing the educated from elsewhere was seen to be no longer working. Even with that history the current Liberal government has closed over 100 elementary and secondary schools during the last decade, while increasing funding to private and religious schools as it also continues to trim postsecondary education funding.

When elected in 2001, 

Quote:

Campbell, who had been Vancouver Mayor and Liberal MP Art Phillips "friend, protege and executive assistant", introduced a 25% cut in all provincial income taxes (after promising to do it during the election for the two lowest income tax brackets) on the first day he was installed to office. To improve BC's investment climate, the BC Liberals also reduced the corporate income tax and abolished the corporate capital tax for most businesses (a tax on investment and employment that had been introduced by the New Democrats).

Campbell's first term was also noted for fiscal austerity, including reductions in welfare rolls and some social servicesderegulation, the sale of some government assets (in particular the "Fast ferries" built by the previous government, which were sold off for a fraction of their price). Campbell also initiated the privatization of BC Rail, which the Liberals had promised not to sell in order to win northern ridings which had rejected the party in 1996 but reversed this promise after election, with criminal investigations connected with the bidding process resulting in the BC Legislature Raids of 2003 and the ensuing and still-pending court case. There were several significant labour disputes, some of which were settled through government legislation but which included confrontations with the province's doctors. Campbell also downsized the civil service, with staff cutbacks of more than fifty percent in some government departments. ...

After the 2009 election, the introduction of the HST was announced, contrary to promises made during the election campaign, (leading to his downfall). ...

Under Clark the party charted a more centrist outlook while continuing its recent tradition of being a coalition of federal Liberal and federal Conservative supporters.

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

 

 

jerrym

Premier Christy Clark comes from a Liberal family. Her father ran three times for the provincial Liberals in the 1960s while it was still affiliated with the federal Liberals. Her sister was a top Paul Martin fundraiser, and her ex-husband, Mark Marissen, was national youth director of the federal Liberals, Jean Chretien organizer, and campaign manager of both Paul Martin and Stephane Dion's federal Liberal leadership campaigns. He was questioned by the RCMP during the 2003 investigation into the provincial Liberal government sale of BC Rail while Christy Clark was in cabinet, was described this year as a senior strategist for the Liberal Party of Canada by the CBC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Marissen). During the recent federal leadership campaign, Marrisen was part of lawyer George Takach's campaign team. Takach withdrew to support Justin Trudeau's leadership bid. He George has announced that he will be seeking the Liberal nomination in the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding for 2015 (http://www.vote4george.ca/).

Clark has faced conflict of interest accusations (because she shares custody of their child with Marrisen)  over her ex-husband's new job as vice president of the one of the corporations attempting to compete for a LNG plant approval and had to recuse herself from the process.  (http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Vaughn+Palmer+Premier+steps+back+af...).

The father of Justin Trudeau's mother was Jim Sinclair, a businessman and right-wing BC federal Liberal while the provincial Liberals were still affiliated with the federal Liberals, who was elected MP five times. Historically, the prairie (such as Saskatchewan's Thatcher Liberal government of the 1960s) and BC Liberals at both the federal and provincial levels have been pretty right-wing, promoting natural resource exploitation, free trade, business-oreinted policies, and limited social policies. Sounds a lot like Justin Trudeau has inherited a significant part of his maternal grandfather's heritage. 

Another canddate for the federal Liberal leadership was Joyce Murray, former BC Liberal MLA for New Westminster (my riding and historically a working class riding shifting toward middle class that was NDP for 48 years previously but went Liberal in the NDP 2001 wipeout election)  and Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection. She fully supported Campbell's (another BC Liberal with strong federal Liberal connections - see below) restraint program despite extremely loud protests within her riding over the closing of St Mary's hospital, contributing to her defeat in the next election: "The majority of those in New West want St. Mary’s saved and want a politicians who is a representative of their views…. Unfortunately they have a Liberal lapdog who just says the obvious like a poorly written television character." (http://delirious.ca/230/). She reemerged in the wealthy federal riding of Quadra, where Liberal support is much stronger (why is also discussed subsequently). She finished second to Trudeau in the leadership vote. Yes, she proposed an alliance with the NDP to win the 2015 election, but her track record as a BC LIberal MLA and cabinet minister, fully supportive of the Campbell restraint program, strongly suggests one should beware of Liberals bearing gifts. 

 

 

jerrym

I've also decided to post the original issue that triggered my response about "progressive" Liberals. The BC Liberal introduced a new policy on funding youth who have lost their parents or been abandoned. As often is the case with the Liberals, federal or provincial, the policy sounded innocuous when introduced and therefore took a while for people to see its full ramifications. Its net effect was to reduce to one tenth the number of youth provided with support under the above circumstances, thereby helping the BC Liberals to achieve their holy grail: a so-called balanced budget (so-called because the provincial budget only deals with operational expenditures - the Liberals have increased the capital spending enormously during their time in office in support of business interests, thereby raising the provincial debt "by a factor of five" when all contractual obligations are included [http://commonsensecanadian.ca/bc-liberal-legacy-a-huge-debt-burden/])

Last December, 17 year old Noelle Wheeler was abandoned by her mother (she never knew her father). But even after six months the BC Liberal government refuses to offer any financial support to her or her grandparents, or a foster home to her. As the following article describes, this is an all too common occurrence in BC. 

The only person going to bat for her against the government is the BC's Representative for Children and Youth, Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond. She point out that the BC Liberals terminated a social program for 4,000 children,  "a program where relatives got financial support to look after children without parents." The Liberals then replaced this program with a new "extended family program, but ... [it funded only] one-tenth the number of kids. ... She suspects that means the rest of them are living with extended family, but not receiving any financial support."

So much for "progressive" Liberals, Debater. However, unlike Debater and other Liberal lovers who never diss their party, I won't let the BC NDP off the hook on this. This is the kind of social issue the NDP should be shouting from the rooftops on. The silence is deafening. 

 

 

Quote:

When a parent gives up responsibility, whose responsibility is it to look after a child? According to provincial law, “if a child has no guardian or if the guardian appointed is dead, refuses or is incompetent at law to act, … a director under the Child, Family and Community Service Act is the personal guardian of the child, (and) … the Public Guardian and Trustee is the property guardian of the child.”

Wheeler has been trying to get placed into government care since her only guardian, her mother, abandoned her and left the country, but she says she is not getting any response.

“The ministry has been contacted several times by myself, and by staff members at my high school who advocated for me, and yet six months later, they have yet to provide any support,” Wheeler said.

The ministry would not comment on this specific case, but said “generally speaking, young people age 16 to 18 who cannot return to their family for safety reasons may be eligible for out-of-care options through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, such as placement with extended family or Youth Agreements. Typically, in-care options would not be considered unless there is a child protection concern and other alternatives have been exhausted.”

Youth agreements are for people aged 16 to 18 who have no parent or other person willing to take care of them and who cannot return to their family home. They provide about $1,000 a month for rent, food and other expenses.

About five per cent of calls to the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth are inquiries about youth agreements, and most often, the inquiries are made by young people who want to be on a youth agreement, but who are hitting stumbling blocks with the ministry. Fifty-six such calls were received in the first six months of this year. ...

But because Wheeler is able to temporarily live with her grandparents, she hasn’t been given a youth agreement.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s representative for children and youth, said Wheeler’s situation is indicative of a larger trend. “She’s basically been abandoned and the degree of action by the ministry just isn’t adequate,” Turpel-Lafond said. “These young people are not getting youth agreements and they’re being basically foisted off onto relatives — relatives who I am sure love them and want to support them, but they are in very senior years and they are in no condition to do this type of thing.”

Wheeler said she had no choice but to live with her grandparents, with whom she has a tenuous relationship. “I really had nowhere else to go,” Wheeler said. “They can’t really afford another mouth to feed. My grandparents have recently asked me to find a new place to stay, and I have no other family, friends or any other type of support out there that would be able to help me.”

Since she moved in with her grandparents, Wheeler says, contact with the social worker has been sporadic at best. ...

“I’m concerned that we’re washing our hands of these young people that need support. The only wedge is my office waging a campaign with them — I’m fine to do it, but that’s not a youth policy,” Turpel-Lafond said. “We’ve got to be smart with this — it is a smart investment and our really lowball youth programs in this province, where we really haven’t funded it or done the active work, will catch up with us.”

Although ministry information on the extended family program shows that extended family can receive $625 per month per child older than 12, Wheeler said her grandparents have never received any financial support from the government, even when at other times they had looked after all three children.

“As soon as money is brought up, it is hard to get a phone call back,” Wheeler said. ...

Earlier this year, The Vancouver Sun reported on a similar case in which a girl aged 17 wanted to be taken into government care, but her mother refused to give up custody. The girl was a straight-A student who said her home life was chaotic and unsafe. She was living in a shelter, terrified she might end up on the street. But her teachers and Vancouver Sun readers stepped up to get her housed, form a trust fund, buy a prom dress and help her find a summer job.

Also earlier this year, The Vancouver Sun wrote a series of stories called From Care to Where, about the plight of foster children who turn 19 and abruptly lose all government support. The series was triggered by the decision of two universities to waive tuition for former foster children, a move that has since spread to at least five post-secondary institutions in B.C. But if young people are not taken into care, they won’t be eligible for these or other support programs, making it even harder to reach their goals. ...

All Wheeler wants is to follow her carefully laid plans and start her university education in September. But so far, she says, she is getting no help from the government.

“Ever since I came to my grandparents, (the ministry) has not called or checked to see if I am all right, they have not offered support and they rarely return phone calls. So I’m reaching out for help. I am desperate,” she said. “All I want is to be able to go to school next year and move on with my life but it is now mid-July and without any support, I fear that I will not only not be able to go to university but also, that I will end up on the streets again.”

http://www.vancouversun.com/student+abandoned+government/10067294/story....

 

gadar

Mark Marissen: Federal Liberal

Moe Sihota: NDP, Former BC NDP president

Dimitry Pantazopoulos: Federal Conservative

All three working together on campaign team of  Barinder Rasode for Mayor of Surrey (BC)

Barinder Rasode:Ran as a candiadte for council under Surrey Civic Coalition (who had NDP support) didnt win. Then she ran with Surrey First and got elecetd to council.

The leader of Surrey First and sitting Mayor, who is not seeking re elction is Dianne Watts.

Dianne Watts was considered a strong candidate to lead BC Libs but she didnt run.

Dianne Watts is rumoured to be a candiadte for Conservatives in White Rock in the upcoming federal election.

Therefore, it is proven that Moe Sihota is not a progressive since he is working with all these other people.

The party that made Moe Sihota its president cant be progressive either.

So BC NDP is not progressive.

BC NDP and federal NDP have the same membership lists, therefore, fedral NDP is not progressive.

OR

Dimitry Pantazoupolous is progressive since he is working with Moe Sihota and Barinder Rasode.

Since he is a federal conservative, therefore, the federal Cons must be progressive too.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Moe Sihota has been in key positions for the last four BC NDP losses.  Even the 1996 "miracle" win that he and others have been riding on was actually a loss in that the NDP got less popular vote than the Liberals but more seats.

There are no progressive partys in BC provincial politics only political operatives running electoral machines.  I say that with regret since I know many NDP members who care deeply about progressive politics and support the party for that reason. Unfortunately all they are to the leadership is a fundraising list to be tapped over and over again.

Pondering

You really think that would make a difference to anyone? People know that politicans break campaign "promises" once in office. Not a big revelation.

It's just common knowledge that the BC Liberals are more Conservative than Liberal but it really doesn't matter. People are not going to reject Trudeau Liberals on the basis of what the BC or any other provincial government did locally.

This is partly how the left loses people. Harper has been in power for eight years during which he has done dozens of outrageous things yet still got re-elected. Drawing connections between the provincial and federal Liberals and listing their sins to prove how nefarious they are is a waste of time.

I don't know anyone who refers to the Liberal party as progressive. All parties have a mix of progressive and non-progressive policies depending on the individual's point of view.

The real question is, "why don't people vote NDP?" Is the answer to that question "because they think the Liberals are progressive"?  I don't think so. I think it is because people believe that anything other than a balanced budget is irresponsible and are convinced that running deficits threatens the economy and that taxation motivates companies to leave or to not hire workers. The NDP is in a constant battle to prove they are financially responsible and won't take from the rich to give to the poor.

I think I get it. NDP supporters believe liberals voters form the largest pool of pontential voters. So, convincing voters that the Liberals are untrustworthy right wingers no different than the Conservatives will drive "progressive" liberals to the NDP.That is a terrible strategy that back-fires. People who swing between the Liberals and the NDP are insulted at being treated as misguided or uninformed and being lectured to on the evils of the Liberal Party as an entity. Then there is the approach that anyone who still supports the Liberals after having been lectured is just as corrupt as they are and probably a Liberal plant. It is repelling.

jerrym

gadar wrote:

Mark Marissen: Federal Liberal

Moe Sihota: NDP, Former BC NDP president

Dimitry Pantazopoulos: Federal Conservative

All three working together on campaign team of  Barinder Rasode for Mayor of Surrey (BC)

Barinder Rasode:Ran as a candiadte for council under Surrey Civic Coalition (who had NDP support) didnt win. Then she ran with Surrey First and got elecetd to council.

The leader of Surrey First and sitting Mayor, who is not seeking re elction is Dianne Watts.

Dianne Watts was considered a strong candidate to lead BC Libs but she didnt run.

Dianne Watts is rumoured to be a candiadte for Conservatives in White Rock in the upcoming federal election.

Therefore, it is proven that Moe Sihota is not a progressive since he is working with all these other people.

The party that made Moe Sihota its president cant be progressive either.

So BC NDP is not progressive.

BC NDP and federal NDP have the same membership lists, therefore, fedral NDP is not progressive.

OR

Dimitry Pantazoupolous is progressive since he is working with Moe Sihota and Barinder Rasode.

Since he is a federal conservative, therefore, the federal Cons must be progressive too.

Nice sophistry. All political parties are coalitions. You essentially attacked individuals within parties without ever discussing how the parties perform in office and how those are related to these ties, which is the real test. My response to Alan Smithee's claim that their is no connection between the BC Liberals and federal Liberals is to document the historic and current deep connections, and the ramifications of this on the polidies they implement. After running to the left to get elected, it is not surprising that Chretien, with the help of Martin, set in motion an extreme restraint program of Bill Bennett in 1983, having seen how Liberals who occupied many important posts in the BC Social Credit government did it. Garde Gardom, Pat McGeer, and Alan Williams were all elected as provincial Liberals while the party was still affiliated with the federal Liberals but joined the Socreds and were central players in implementing restraint. Gardom served as Attorney General, Minister of Intergovernmental Relations, and was the longest-serving Government House Leader (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garde_Gardom). Former provincial Liberal leader Pat McGeer served as Education, Science and Technology Minister and numerous other posts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_McGeer). Allan Williams was Attorney General, labour minister and minister responsible for native affairs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Williams_(politician).  IMO the above posts show not only close connections between these parties but suggest that Trudeau will follow the classic Liberal campaign: campaign progressive and rule to the right. Since all political parties are internal coalitions of some kind and therefore compromise to some extent to reach consensus, there will be differences in opinion on what the agenda should be and how to implement it. At extremes of the party there will even be overlap to some extent with neighbouring parties on the political spectrum. This does not mean all parties are the same. If you truly beliee that the solution is simple: don't vote.

I am not defending Moe Sihota nor did I defend the relative inaction of the NDP on the support of abandoned youth. However, this is quite different from the large revolving door relationship between the federal and provincial Liberals and it gives one a fairly good idea of how a Trudeau government would rule. 

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

I think I get it. NDP supporters believe liberals voters form the largest pool of pontential voters. So, convincing voters that the Liberals are untrustworthy right wingers no different than the Conservatives will drive "progressive" liberals to the NDP.That is a terrible strategy that back-fires. People who swing between the Liberals and the NDP are insulted at being treated as misguided or uninformed and being lectured to on the evils of the Liberal Party as an entity. Then there is the approach that anyone who still supports the Liberals after having been lectured is just as corrupt as they are and probably a Liberal plant. It is repelling.

Yup.

And you can add to the insult to intelligence the insult of turning it into a numbers game, and the low nature of this kind of political reasoning.

This whole exercise is nothing bullshit team sports, and very little to do with actually changing things for the better. Fact is, if you look at progressive change at the federal level a lot of it would not have happened without multi-party support, and even less without the votes of Liberal members of parliament.

I may not vote or support the Liberal Party, but I certainly know some advocates of progressive causes who are.

And considering we could just as easily play this leap of logic connect the dots game with any one of our political parties, what's the point?

Unionist

Unionist wrote:

jerrym wrote:

Jean Charest: Provincial Liberal premier. Federal Conservative leader.

Thomas Mulcair: Provincial Liberal minister. Federal NDP leader.

Jean Lapierre: Federal Liberal transportation minister. Co-founder of Bloc Québécois. [Whoops, sorry, both federal.] Provincial hot-line radio host.

Just continuing the list:

Ujjal Dosanjh: Provincial NDP premier. Federal Liberal MP.

Bob Rae: Provincial NDP premier. Federal Liberal MP and Leader.

Gary Doer: Provincial NDP premier. Federal Conservative-appointed ambassador.

Ed Schreyer: Provincial NDP premier. Federal Liberal-appointed Governor-General.

 

Slumberjack

jerrym wrote:
 All political parties are coalitions.

Coalitions of the willing indeed.  The disagreements between them are like well rehearsed burlesque, where the real comedy is in realizing that they intend to be taken seriously.

gadar

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Yup.

And you can add to the insult to intelligence the insult of turning it into a numbers game, and the low nature of this kind of political reasoning.

This whole exercise is nothing bullshit team sports, and very little to do with actually changing things for the better. Fact is, if you look at progressive change at the federal level a lot of it would not have happened without multi-party support, and even less without the votes of Liberal members of parliament.

I may not vote or support the Liberal Party, but I certainly know some advocates of progressive causes who are.

And considering we could just as easily play this leap of logic connect the dots game with any one of our political parties, what's the point?

Thank you.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And considering we could just as easily play this finger pointing game with any one of our political parties, what's the point?

I think given that conclusion babble should shut down all its political threads. 

I am glad to see that you agree fundamentally with NDPP's view of federal politics; they are all the same anyways, No Difference Party.

Unionist

Hazen Argue. National CCF leader. Liberal MP. Liberal Senator.

 

Slumberjack

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I think given that conclusion babble should shut down all its political threads. 

The ones dealing with party 'politics' for sure.  Politics resides outside of those sink holes.  They're like dungeons of old where they keep fools chained to the walls.

gadar

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Moe Sihota has been in key positions for the last four BC NDP losses.  Even the 1996 "miracle" win that he and others have been riding on was actually a loss in that the NDP got less popular vote than the Liberals but more seats.

There are no progressive partys in BC provincial politics only political operatives running electoral machines.  I say that with regret since I know many NDP members who care deeply about progressive politics and support the party for that reason. Unfortunately all they are to the leadership is a fundraising list to be tapped over and over again.

I agree, and that was the point I was tryiing to make in my post. How does that reflect on at least the BC part of federal NDP since they are affiliated unlike other parties.

 

6079_Smith_W

Not exactly, but yeah I was thinking of NDPP, among others. So what? I think he makes good points some times, don't you?

The NDP certainly aren't above criticism, and if you look at things like the fate of the Waffle, and many non-progressive actions and policies (federal and provincial) there is plenty to criticize.

Feel free to follow this kind of reasoning if you want; I'll feel free to compare it to Hockey Night in Canada. What is really dumb about this isn't just the self-serving nature, it is the dumb assumption that any one of these organizations is a monolitic pile of glop. Meg B made a very good comment in the thread about Libby Davies about people who take their jobs seriously and those who do not. Those who do are in every party, and tend to stand out from those content to be cattle.

(edit)

cross posted.

And I guess you could put me down as not believing in it all being operatives running machines. If I did I'd probably be more content watching the Matrix than trying to deal with real-world politics.

 

 

Slumberjack

Everyone seems to have their political 'baby,' which makes them more hesitant than they need to be when it comes time to throw out the bath water.  It's like people saying they are going to vote for Trudeau because of some vague notions about decriminalizing pot.

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And I guess you could put me down as not believing in it all being operatives running machines. If I did I'd probably be more content watching the Matrix than trying to deal with real-world politics. 

The so called 'real world politics' are dealing with us, not the other way around, and from here it looks like we're taking a shit kicking.

6079_Smith_W

And another dumb thing: The assumption that it is a zero-sum game.

People are bent out of shape because Marc Emery is backing Justin Trudeau? In the first place, what was stopping the NDP from coming up with that policy first? And in the second place, even if the Liberals are doing this for mercenary reasons (and I wouldn't assume they are), so what, if it moves public understanding in the right direction?

Treating the people as stupid and easily manipulated, even if it is in part true, is never a good strategy. Why? because what does that say about you if you ever manage to get power?

(edit)

@ SJ

I'd say it is moving in both directions on different fronts. Or perhaps you'd be happier living in 1950.  And the fact that opposition is more concentrated now? In the case of some of them, I'd say it speaks to the fact they are scared because they see their power threatened.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The last major progressive changes in this country were done when the Red Tories like Dief the Chief were in office followed by the Pearson Liberals. There was a consensus from the war veterns in every party that we needed real UI and pensions and other social safety nets.  Under Trudeau we see the beginnings of the neo-con revolution with Mulroney selling us all out with his corporate rights agreements.

I must say that every MP or MLA I have helped elect has always provided excellent constituency office support to the commuity.  In the years I worked to send voices of conscience to Ottawa to sit in the NDP caucus it was the local connections to grassroots organizations that came from outstanding servce that kept us winning.

I do not think Libby is being muzzled. She has agreed to the rule that only the party spokesperson or the Leader may speak on issues. That rule predates Mulcair and I am sure was included in the party vetting papers that caucus member must sign.

I liked her way better as a voice of conscience and thought that having some MP's speaking against the MSM's non stop propoganda was a very, very important role for our body politic.

6079_Smith_W

The same Pearson who opened the door to the Bomarc missiles? Kind of writes him off, no?

Geez, ask any supporters of marriage equality or freedom of abortion choice if they would set the end of progressive change there.

The Mulroney who did more for environmental issues than any other PM? The Trudeau who brought in the charter which, although it cuts both ways, has caused a sea change in progressive legislation?

Of course I agree with you that there is plenty both leaders did which took us in the wrong direction. Thing is, what world are you imagining where things would be different and people are somehow painted in black and white? And how does pining for the good old days accomplish anything when we have a great many problems to deal with here and now?

 

 

Pondering

Wow, to the other historical stuff, you just proved to me that politics runs in families just like other professions, and that is what it is to them, a profession. Politics is something people do for a living. Different parties like different companies have different personalities but working for one is much like working for another.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Whatever 6079.  All our PM's have been progressive.

You are hilarious some days.

Abortion was actually leaglized by Morgentaler and our justice system not politicians of any stripe.

I will agree that the courts have sometimes made decisions with progressive ramifications based on Charter rights. Of course you know but have just forgotten that Dief passed the first Bill of Rights but the courts decided that since it was not in the constitution any subsequent legislation was deemed to override it.  The Charter did not appear out of thin air it was part of the same era only the implementation of the Dief/Pearson/Douglas Bill of Rights was ineffective.

6079_Smith_W

No, k. But if you have proclaimed some sort of post-progressive age then what is the point to any of this?

Sorry, but I do not agree.

 

Pondering

jerrym wrote:
IMO the above posts show not only close connections between these parties but suggest that Trudeau will follow the classic Liberal campaign: campaign progressive and rule to the right.

Trudeau has supported Keystone, said he won't raise taxes and refused to vote with the NDP to symbolically reject FIPA. The Martin cuts are well-known. The theory that voters are tricked into voting Liberal is false. The NDP are trying to prove they are as moderate as the Liberals. Canadians (in my opinion) are moderately progressive at best.

 

jerrym wrote:
At extremes of the party there will even be overlap to some extent with neighbouring parties on the political spectrum. This does not mean all parties are the same. If you truly beliee that the solution is simple: don't vote.

Overlap at the extremes?  I would say it's the opposite. There is so much overlap it's difficult to find the extremes. The Conservatives won by proving they could be as moderate as the Liberals and would be good fiscal managers. That is exactly what the NDP is trying to prove, that they can be as moderate and fiscally responsible as the Liberals.

The Liberals are not trying to prove they are as progressive as the NDP. That would be electoral suicide. Infuriating I'm sure but the truth nevertheless.

Pondering

Slumberjack wrote:

Everyone seems to have their political 'baby,' which makes them more hesitant than they need to be when it comes time to throw out the bath water.  It's like people saying they are going to vote for Trudeau because of some vague notions about decriminalizing pot.

There is nothing vague about it. He was crystal clear that he is AGAINST decriminalization and FOR legalization. That is unequivacal not vague. Some believe he won't go through with it but it isn't vague.

Slumberjack

Pondering wrote:
There is nothing vague about it.

Its just that for many of us, the vagueness and ensuing distrust has to be ascribed to Liberaldom in general, and because he is the current leader, to Trudeau in particular.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Pondering wrote:
There is nothing vague about it.

Its just that for many of us, the vagueness and ensuing distrust has to be ascribed to Liberaldom in general, and because he is the current leader, to Trudeau in particular.

PrairieDemocrat15

Pondering wrote:

The real question is, "why don't people vote NDP?" Is the answer to that question "because they think the Liberals are progressive"?  I don't think so. I think it is because people believe that anything other than a balanced budget is irresponsible and are convinced that running deficits threatens the economy and that taxation motivates companies to leave or to not hire workers. The NDP is in a constant battle to prove they are financially responsible and won't take from the rich to give to the poor.

Except the NDP has balanced budgets much more often than the Liberals.

Debater

Slumberjack wrote:

Pondering wrote:
There is nothing vague about it.

Its just that for many of us, the vagueness and ensuing distrust has to be ascribed to Liberaldom in general, and because he is the current leader, to Trudeau in particular.

It's Tom Mulcair whose motives are unclear.  As I mentioned on another thread last month, Tom Mulcair is not a true NDPer.  He came to the NDP only late in life, 7 years ago when he was over 50 years of age.

Justin Trudeau hasn't switched parties like Mulcair has and has grown up in the Liberal Party with a much clearer sense of where he stands on various issues.  Mulcair is the one who isn't sure whether he's a Liberal or an NDPer.

jjuares

Debater wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

Pondering wrote:
There is nothing vague about it.

Its just that for many of us, the vagueness and ensuing distrust has to be ascribed to Liberaldom in general, and because he is the current leader, to Trudeau in particular.

It's Tom Mulcair whose motives are unclear.  As I mentioned on another thread last month, Tom Mulcair is not a true NDPer.  He came to the NDP only late in life, 7 years ago when he was over 50 years of age.

p>

Again this is at best a half-truth. Mulcair first joined the NDP in 1974. He wasn't 50 but in his early 20's. He then switched to the Liberals because he was a federalist interested in provincial politics and they were the only viable federalist option. Please show some respect for accuracy. It helps to prevent your posts from descending into partisan drivel.

adma

Food for thought: in terms of 2014, Dief might be a more likely NDPer than PET.

Debater

jjuares wrote:
Debater wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

Pondering wrote:
There is nothing vague about it.

Its just that for many of us, the vagueness and ensuing distrust has to be ascribed to Liberaldom in general, and because he is the current leader, to Trudeau in particular.

It's Tom Mulcair whose motives are unclear.  As I mentioned on another thread last month, Tom Mulcair is not a true NDPer.  He came to the NDP only late in life, 7 years ago when he was over 50 years of age.

p>

Again this is at best a half-truth. Mulcair first joined the NDP in 1974. He wasn't 50 but in his early 20's. He then switched to the Liberals because he was a federalist interested in provincial politics and they were the only viable federalist option. Please show some respect for accuracy. It helps to prevent your posts from descending into partisan drivel.

Oh, please.  This is the way everyone in the press describes Mulcair's political career - not just me.  Briefly joining a party back in one's youth for 2 minutes does not really count.  Pierre Trudeau was once an NDPer, too.  Harper was once a Liberal.

The bottom line is that Mulcair has been a Liberal for longer than he has been an NDPer.  But what's interesting about your post is you kind of acknowledge that Mulcair is a political opportunist - he switches parties for political gain.

Aristotleded24

jjuares wrote:
Debater wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

Pondering wrote:
There is nothing vague about it.

Its just that for many of us, the vagueness and ensuing distrust has to be ascribed to Liberaldom in general, and because he is the current leader, to Trudeau in particular.

It's Tom Mulcair whose motives are unclear.  As I mentioned on another thread last month, Tom Mulcair is not a true NDPer.  He came to the NDP only late in life, 7 years ago when he was over 50 years of age.

p>

Again this is at best a half-truth. Mulcair first joined the NDP in 1974. He wasn't 50 but in his early 20's. He then switched to the Liberals because he was a federalist interested in provincial politics and they were the only viable federalist option. Please show some respect for accuracy. It helps to prevent your posts from descending into partisan drivel.

Agreed, jjuares. We pretty much know what we're dealing with in terms of Mulcair, and I would suggest that even his supporters on these boards have (for the most part) been completely honest about that. The Liberal supporters, OTOH, seem to have bought into the Saviour mentality that the Liberals typically rely on, and Trudeau is just the latest. They project these wonderful fantasies about what Trudeau is like or what he will do in office, based on...? I'm almost expecting Liberal supporters to be telling stories about Justin walking on water or divinding a fish and a loaf of bread to feed his thousands of adoring fans any day now.

Debater

Aristotle, the Liberals do not believe Justin is a Saviour or a Messiah - that's NDP spin.  They know he is imperfect and has strengths AND weaknesses like all leaders.

But on this board what is apparent is that Justin gets attacked as right-wing whereas NDP partisans try to portray Mulcair as some kind of left-wing progressive who has been fighting in the NDP trenches all his life whereas in reality he was a provincial Liberal who served under a former Mulroney Tory.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

One of the big things which keeps me away from being actively involved in politics is that I am not a die-hard 'life-long' supporter of whatever party you think you belong to.

Because somebody used to be in one party and has now decided to be in an other party is about as important as what pair of shoes they are wearing today. Mulcair is going to be hated by Liberals for leaving them, and hated by NDP for once having been a Liberal. Nonetheless, the NDP have voted for him as leader, and what some people have to do now is get over it.

Thinking about people in terms of what party they belong to or what class they belong to is a surely a sign of a severe lack of an education. An educated person evaluates each person and situation they arrive upon, with fairness in each case. Even in the Bible it says that equity is a virtue.

What a person does or believes is ultimately up to them. If person X went from party A to party B, 7 years ago, it is of no consequence. Neither is it of consequence what "Liberals" did in B.C., some time around the age of the dinosaur. I fail to understand why all this has been posted about nothing in particular.

What you say what you think you are 'seeing' on this 'board' says a hell of a lot more about you than anything else.

Geoff

While it's interesting to speculate about the "progressive credentials" of either Mulcair or Trudeau, I think it's worth evaluating the performance of the last Liberal government under Chretien/Martin.  When the rubber hit the road, how progressive were they? 

I recall they scrapped affordable housing, leaving Canada the only western developed country without an affordable housing strategy.  Also, they made cuts to post-secondary education that led to sugnificant increases in tuition rates. 

Chretien did refuse to support the US invasion of Iraq, but more than made up for it by giving Uncle Sam our full support Afghanistan.

Maybe other folks can stir up more memories of Liberal governments past.  From where I stand, however, the Charlie Brown football cartoon seems appropriate.   

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

jjuares wrote:
Debater wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

Pondering wrote:
There is nothing vague about it.

Its just that for many of us, the vagueness and ensuing distrust has to be ascribed to Liberaldom in general, and because he is the current leader, to Trudeau in particular.

It's Tom Mulcair whose motives are unclear.  As I mentioned on another thread last month, Tom Mulcair is not a true NDPer.  He came to the NDP only late in life, 7 years ago when he was over 50 years of age.

p>

Again this is at best a half-truth. Mulcair first joined the NDP in 1974. He wasn't 50 but in his early 20's. He then switched to the Liberals because he was a federalist interested in provincial politics and they were the only viable federalist option. Please show some respect for accuracy. It helps to prevent your posts from descending into partisan drivel.

He could have remained a member of the federal NDP and still joined the provincial Liberals since there was no provincial NDP party. It was his choice not a choice imposed upon him by any rules. He was a Liberal Cabinet Minister in a government that was neo-con in ideology.

 

nicky

I have never seen any evidence that Mulcair was ever a member of the FEDERAL Liberal Party. The Provincial Quebec Liberal Party is an entirely differnt entity.

Do you have such evidence Debater? Not that you need it to spin your falsehoods.

jjuares

kropotkin1951 wrote:

jjuares wrote:
Debater wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

Pondering wrote:
There is nothing vague about it.

Its just that for many of us, the vagueness and ensuing distrust has to be ascribed to Liberaldom in general, and because he is the current leader, to Trudeau in particular.

It's Tom Mulcair whose motives are unclear.  As I mentioned on another thread last month, Tom Mulcair is not a true NDPer.  He came to the NDP only late in life, 7 years ago when he was over 50 years of age.

p>

Again this is at best a half-truth. Mulcair first joined the NDP in 1974. He wasn't 50 but in his early 20's. He then switched to the Liberals because he was a federalist interested in provincial politics and they were the only viable federalist option. Please show some respect for accuracy. It helps to prevent your posts from descending into partisan drivel.

He could have remained a member of the federal NDP and still joined the provincial Liberals since there was no provincial NDP party. It was his choice not a choice imposed upon him by any rules. He was a Liberal Cabinet Minister in a government that was neo-con in ideology.

 


Actually there was a provincial NDP in the seventies even contesting the 76 election and NDP membership prohibits supporting other parties when there is a provincial wing.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

He took out a membership in 1974 but I don't believe for a minute that he kept it up for 20 years because if he had that is what the story would be.  Do you know how long he held a membership, after all he didn't run for the Liberals until 1994. If it was for most of that time then I will admit he has some NDP roots however if he signed on and then lapsed almost immediately I think I would be inclined to dismiss his NDP past as being as meaningful as Trudeau the First's NDP background.

Tom has an impressive resume for a left liberal but to try and spin him as a social democrat is a stretch.  The party membership knew what he was when they elected him to lead from the centre so the next election will tell how good a decision it was.  If he beats the odds and becomes PM then we will see how progressive his government will be. In BC it is my sense that Tom is doing an alright job but no one pays much attention to federal politicians. If Trudeau leads a resurgence in BC it will yield the Liberals only a few seats but could help the NDP win a whole lot more. In BC the NDP needs the Conservatives to bleed the support they picked up from the Liberals in the 2006 election. In BC those voters know that there is little in a name and a Liberal government can be just as neo-con as a Conservative one.

Quote:

The couple moved to Quebec City in 1978, and Mulcair was called to the Bar of Quebec in 1979.[12] He worked in the Legislative Affairs branch in Quebec's Ministry of Justice and later in the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Superior Council of the French Language.[13]

In 1983 Mulcair became Director of Legal Affairs at Alliance Quebec. In 1985 he began a private law practice, and was named the reviser of the statutes of Manitoba following the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the Reference re Manitoba Language Rights case. Mulcair also taught law courses to non-law students at Concordia University (1984), at the Saint Lawrence Campus of Champlain Regional College in Sainte-Foy, and at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. He served as Commissioner of the Appeals Committee on the Language of Instruction (1986).

Mulcair was President of the Office des professions du Québec (1987 to 1993), where he introduced reforms to make disciplinary hearings more transparent and successfully led a major effort to have cases of alleged sexual abuse of patients decisively dealt with.[14][15] Mulcair was also a board member of the group Conseil de la langue française, and at the time of his appointment to the Office des Professions he had been serving as President of the English speaking Catholic Council.[16]

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

 

 

Centrist

kropotkin1951 wrote:
If Trudeau leads a resurgence in BC it will yield the Liberals only a few seats but could help the NDP win a whole lot more. In BC the NDP needs the Conservatives to bleed the support they picked up from the Liberals in the 2006 election.

Your hypothesis fails though when we look at the BC results for the previous 2004 fed election:

1. Con - 36% - 22 seats

2. Lib - 29% - 8 seats

3. NDP - 27% - 5 seats

During the last 2011 fed election the Cons popular vote was 46% in BC - yet they won 21 seats - one less seat than in 2004. And the Green Party will be the major elephant in the room during the next fed election in BC, esp. in the Greater Victoria area, northward through the Cowichan Valley toward Nanaimo.

addictedtomyipod

I'm sure I recall reading that Mulcair joined the NDP because he had his arm seriously twisted.  He called out 'Uncle' over and over again but the twisting just wouldn't stop and he had no choice whatsoever.  Joining the NDP was the only way to avoid a visit to emergency to mend a broken arm.  Now it all makes sense that he is in the NDP, while not being a true NDP'er.

 

jjuares

addictedtomyipod wrote:

I'm sure I recall reading that Mulcair joined the NDP because he had his arm seriously twisted.  He called out 'Uncle' over and over again but the twisting just wouldn't stop and he had no choice whatsoever.  Joining the NDP was the only way to avoid a visit to emergency to mend a broken arm.  Now it all makes sense that he is in the NDP, while not being a true NDP'er.

 

The litmus test for being a "true NDPer" is to never have supported another party or candidate from another party. I must confess now I once supported the Liberals although I now belong to the NDP. I know that makes me something other than a true NDPer. I guess it's a cross I need to bear. Somehow I will find the strength to carry on.though.

Debater

nicky wrote:

I have never seen any evidence that Mulcair was ever a member of the FEDERAL Liberal Party. The Provincial Quebec Liberal Party is an entirely differnt entity.

Do you have such evidence Debater? Not that you need it to spin your falsehoods.

Where did I say that Mulcair was a member of the Federal Liberals?  Show me.

And stop accusing me of lying and making up falsehoods when I haven't done so, or I will report it.

Debater

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Tom has an impressive resume for a left liberal but to try and spin him as a social democrat is a stretch.  The party membership knew what he was when they elected him to lead from the centre so the next election will tell how good a decision it was.  If he beats the odds and becomes PM then we will see how progressive his government will be. In BC it is my sense that Tom is doing an alright job but no one pays much attention to federal politicians. If Trudeau leads a resurgence in BC it will yield the Liberals only a few seats but could help the NDP win a whole lot more. In BC the NDP needs the Conservatives to bleed the support they picked up from the Liberals in the 2006 election. In BC those voters know that there is little in a name and a Liberal government can be just as neo-con as a Conservative one.

Tom Mulcair is very unlikely to become Prime Minister.  He has been 3rd in the polls for almost 2 years now, and has performed very poorly in most of the by-elections during that time as well.

The emerging consensus in the press is that Mulcair's chances of becoming Prime Minister are decreasing with each passing month.  The highest he can likely finish in 2015 is 2nd, and he is increasingly at risk of finishing 3rd.

As for B.C., it's hard to know how Tom will do there because he has thus far not performed well in any of the by-elections in Western Canada:

Victoria (nearly lost to the Greens)

Calgary Centre (finished 4th)

Brandon-Souris (distant 3rd)

Provencher (distant 3rd)

Fort McMurray (distant 3rd)

Macleod (finished 5th)

Maybe the by-election in Victoria was a fluke and was as a result of the Greens concentrating their resources there (presumably that's where Liz May will go for a 2nd Green seat in 2015).  Because there's only been one by-election in BC since 2011 we can't see any definitive patterns in that province yet, but if the other results in the Western provinces above are any indication, Mulcair is not resonating with Western voters.  I'm not predicting Justin Trudeau is going to sweep the West or anything, but thus far he has done a better job of performing in that region than Mulcair has and he does have genuine connections to British Columbia that his recent Liberal predecessors did not.

jjuares

Debater wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

Pondering wrote:
There is nothing vague about it.

Its just that for many of us, the vagueness and ensuing distrust has to be ascribed to Liberaldom in general, and because he is the current leader, to Trudeau in particular.

It's Tom Mulcair whose motives are unclear.  As I mentioned on another thread last month, Tom Mulcair is not a true NDPer.  He came to the NDP only late in life, 7 years ago when he was over 50 years of age.

Justin Trudeau hasn't switched parties like Mulcair has and has grown up in the Liberal Party with a much clearer sense of where he stands on various issues.  Mulcair is the one who isn't sure whether he's a Liberal or an NDPer.

Hey you wanted an example of where you have vomited forth a falsehood. Now it is true you have tried to rationalize and spin it. But the simple fact remains is that Mulcair did not simply come to the NDP at age 50. Now his earlier sojourn might be totally meaningless in terms of his career. However, your careless disregard for inconvenient facts and your refusal to simply acknowledge your mistakes effectively shreds your credibility for any fair minded reader.

Debater

Oh, please.  No one in the press considers Mulcair to have been a real NDPer until he ran for the NDP in Outremont in 2007.

You're the one that is trying to claim that Mulcair has a long history with the NDP which isn't really true.  His only career as an *elected* politician prior to running for the NDP in 2007 in Outremont was as a provincial Liberal MNA.  From 1994 to 2005.  It's misleading to claim he was an NDPer before that because he briefly may have had an NDP membership a couple of decades earlier.  He never had a major role within the party or an elected position until 2007.

And all you're doing by arguing the contrary is making Mulcair look like even more of a party switcher and back & forth opportunist who changes sides with the winds.

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