NDP policy not an instructional manual for party

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brookmere

The offical stance of the NDP is that Israel must withdraw from the Palestinian territories. Continuing occupation in the long term must mean either apartheid or ethnic cleansing. So how does it offend the NDP's official stance to say "it can be argued" that Israel's goal is ethnic cleansing?

Pondering

Unionist wrote:
That's why I'm just sort of pleading with you to allow one little conversation carry on without being controlled by Pondering and her chronic disruption.

I just did a post pointing to the disruptions and they were not started by me. The comment above is disruptive because I'm obviously going to disgree with you causing the very disruption you claim to be against. Apparently not being disruptive doesn't apply to you. 

Threads go off a tangent all the time without any attempts from people to try to lay blame for it but seeing as it is so important to you have a look in the mirror. 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
If I ever for a moment thought that your views were intrinsic to the NDP, I would dedicate myself to their destruction.

Well, I'm happy to see you've decided to only half-ass it.

But I don't think my question is an unreasonable one.  IS this really the NDP's official stance?  Or no?

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
If I ever for a moment thought that your views were intrinsic to the NDP, I would dedicate myself to their destruction.

Well, I'm happy to see you've decided to only half-ass it.

But I don't think my question is an unreasonable one.  IS this really the NDP's official stance?  Or no?

That's being discussed [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/election-2015/ndp-candidate-resigns-after-callin..., if you are actually interested in that question. Having posted thirteen (13) times in that thread, I suspect you already know that. But I do appreciate your disingenuous reframing of the question. The issue is whether his comments were CONTRARY to the party's official policy, not whether they were EQUAL to it.

This thread is about a much broader issue, which if I were to repeat it once again, would be insulting to the obvious intelligence of you and other babblers.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The issue is whether his comments were CONTRARY to the party's official policy, not whether they were EQUAL to it.

I was responding to Rev. Pesky, who suggested that those comments REFLECTED the official policy:

Quote:
When the powers that be remove candidates for expressing opinions that reflect the official stance of the party

So... "contrary to", "equal to", "reflected"... maybe you can only split a hair so many times. 

Sean in Ottawa

This Sherbrooke discussion has gone on long enough without reply. Sorry for the length but I'll attempt a reply here. I understand it is off topic but this creeps into so many threads that there is no good place to do it and high time there was a discussion.

The issue of self-determination is part of the Sherbrooke document. To that end rather than have confidence in a democratic result there are many Canadians who find it acceptable that a side of a referendum with the least support be victorious There is simply no basis for this in a democratic process.

The other issue is asymmetrical federation. This is the principle that some opponents have hung their positions. They frame the choice as a desire for the federal government to be able to use the spending power to impose policies across the land against the will of Quebec. These opponents demonize the NDP in spite of the fact that every federal party has accepted the principle of asymmetrical federation in practice (specific policies) and in principle (national agreements).

We have had a movement for many years to asymmetrical federation, one could argue. This was the approach of both Meech and Charlottetown. These two agreements were doomed in part due to the political mood of the country against the government and PM at the time. However, the idea of equality, such as what you might have in a unitary state is a fantasy as this has never existed in Canada. This country was created by bargaining among colonies who demanded asymmetry from the start. Asymmetry is built straight into the Constitution and this is evident when you look at the division of powers and the built-in differences between the positions of the provinces.

This historical fact has taken a number of years to develop. There are four strong trends that would bring this to a head no matter what nationalism you may or may not wish to invoke. First, the trend towards a demand for social activism from government and a modern welfare state which costs the government more than a laissez faire approach but provides citizens more social security and a better share of the wealth. Second there has been a retreat by the Federal government to pay for much of what the population is demanding. The Federal Conservatives and Liberals have presided over a move to cede tax points in exchange for funding less from Ottawa. Third, the discovery and exploitation of natural resources (in provincial jurisdiction according to the Constitution) has meant that the provinces are nowhere near on a level playing field when it comes to their fiscal capacity -- even relative to population size. and lastly as Canada changes demographically, even setting aside culture requirements, the needs of each province is changing. A respect for their different positions means that to some degree provinces have different needs -- some may have more rapidly aging populations, some may have a greater rural and remote population compared to others which may have a problem of rapid unmanaged urbanization.

As well, the Provinces have, since confederation, developed their own social priorities funding many programs within their own jurisdiction, at times copying each other and at times not.

The Federal government is not practically in a position to impose new programs without regard for differences between existing programs, fiscal capacity of the provinces and differences in need.

There has been widespread acceptance of the principle of self-determination of Quebec. Yet, for some reason many who claim to support this principle want to insist on an all-or nothing approach that seeks to force Quebec either into imposed terms on many policies from Ottawa or out altogether. This absolutism is akin to telling Quebec if you do not like it then get out and we'll let you go (provided you vote to go at the secret number that we will decide after the vote). If you genuinely accept Quebec self-determination you should do so based on democratic principle (the winner of a vote -- not some super majority that nobody has the guts to determine now). And if you accept this principle then you should also accept that the terms of staying ought to be more cooperative than imposition.

The principle of Asymmetrical Federation is that if Quebec wants to not participate in some initiative, then the other provinces who feel the same way, can get together with the economies of scale they may put together and proceed.

Trudeau Senior felt this would lead to the end of the country. In fact it allows those provinces who wish to continue to work together to do so, without putting the federation on the line by imposing an unpopular measure on a province that we all agreed has a right to self-determination. Quebec also could be a constructive participant as it would no longer have the ability to politically hold-up or prevent the cooperation other provinces desire.

The major point here is the dishonest framing we are seeing from some critics. They insist that their model of the whole country moving together in lockstep is the only alternative and that it is not a threat to the unity of the country when in fact we have seen that imposed programs do create unity problems. They ignore the reality of self-determination as if it is an option they will concede only if they can make sure this option can never win a democratic vote.

And they pretend that asymmetrical federation somehow prevents innovation and new programs. This is the most disingenuous part of their fiction. In the present political and economic reality, no new programs could be possible if they must be imposed from Ottawa without negotiation, opt out possibilities. First, provincial governments would be loathed to try on something new (like Saskatchewan did with Medicare) if a program from Ottawa would redefine, replace and waste the resources they put it. Secondly, provinces would not be able to spend on social priorities if they did not have assurance that the federal government could suddenly spend a whole whack of their money on some new program that they could not take a pass on. MPs are elected in the Provinces, they are federal but they are also local. They would face pressure from citizens concerned about the ability of Ottawa to leverage the spending of their home provinces without any negotiation or exception. Federal parties would be more reluctant to enter into new programs if, due to provincial opposition, they would have to go it alone.

The alternative is cooperative federalism as the Sherbrooke document lays out -- along with the right to opt out.

This document is based on the fact that Canadian provinces are not on a level field when it comes to needs, demographics, cultures, desires and priorities, fiscal capacity, history, present status of programs. The idea that the federal government could use its spending power as a weapon (as those who opt out without compensation are definitely harmed) to force its way outside its own jurisdiction is a fantasy, unless you either deny the right to self-determination -- or against the evidence -- decide that Quebec would not one day use this right to escape the straight jacket some would impose on its social policy.

The NDP has, in the Sherbrooke document, found a compromise to keep the country together on the basis of respect and honesty rather than brinkmanship, disrespect and dishonesty.

Now I did not come to this early on. In fact, I opposed these principles and came to this position as an observer of the last three decades. As well I took the time to learn more about the bargains and statements that existed at the time of Confederation. The Sherbrooke declaration is more in the spirity of Confederation than is the spending power approach some are presenting. But it is a necessary modernization of the approach to Confederation, without which we face either the continuation of Canadian unity being threatened or the grinding to a halt of innovation, given the present circumstances of the country. We ne longer have the fiscal room for Ottawa to impose without negotiation or opt-out new grand policies. While some may find this negotiation and opt-out potential problematic, there simply is not the room to add more without such cooperative and sometimes asymmetrical federalism. As a social democrat, I want to preserve the ability to add more in a flexible and constructive context.

Lastly, I'll leave you with an analogy: if it is not fair bargaining for a union to be able to negotiate a collective agreement without the ability to strike then it cannot be a real negotiation for a province to discuss a new program if they do not have the right to opt out with their share of compensation. Programs will have to be designed to be so efficient that provinces will want to come in for all the right reasons and not held over a barrel by the federal government. I think it is still possible to design such programs.

 

 

mark_alfred

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I don't have a handy link, sadly, but years ago my wife flipped me a fascinating article by a primatologist who observed that baboons, who tend to hunt in packs, had a curious habit of deciding to "settle old scores" with one another right in the middle of the hunt.  Literally, as a pack of baboons would close in on some prey, one would choose exactly that moment to slash another baboon in the ass.  And the article went on to discuss how humans can be like that too.

So even baboons would agree that now is the perfect time to air any and all grievances against the NDP that come to mind.  Who cares if everyone eats or not?  Make them pay for disappointing you!

"This message brought to you by the Concerned Taxpaying Moral Citizens Committee to Elect Stephen Harper".

Laughing

quizzical

mark_alfred wrote:
Mr. Magoo wrote:

I don't have a handy link, sadly, but years ago my wife flipped me a fascinating article by a primatologist who observed that baboons, who tend to hunt in packs, had a curious habit of deciding to "settle old scores" with one another right in the middle of the hunt.  Literally, as a pack of baboons would close in on some prey, one would choose exactly that moment to slash another baboon in the ass.  And the article went on to discuss how humans can be like that too.

So even baboons would agree that now is the perfect time to air any and all grievances against the NDP that come to mind.  Who cares if everyone eats or not?  Make them pay for disappointing you!

"This message brought to you by the Concerned Taxpaying Moral Citizens Committee to Elect Stephen Harper".

Laughing

i don't get Magoo. sometimes he's brilliant while  other times he's so far off the mark he has to be put on ignore.

 

Rev Pesky

Morgan Wheeldon wrote:
"My position on Israel has always been that they deserve a safe and secure state, one that works with Canada and I also agree personally with the two-state solution in the NDP platform,"

 

Yes, that Morgan Wheeldon. As I see it, the mistake wasn't in what he said, the mistake was that he said anything at all. For a group of people who castigate Harper for his control-freak behaviour, they sure sound different when it's their own party brass doing the same thing.

Rev Pesky

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
The issue is whether his comments were CONTRARY to the party's official policy, not whether they were EQUAL to it.

I was responding to Rev. Pesky, who suggested that those comments REFLECTED the official policy:

Quote:
When the powers that be remove candidates for expressing opinions that reflect the official stance of the party

So... "contrary to", "equal to", "reflected"... maybe you can only split a hair so many times. 

 

I'll just point out that Wheeldon himself said his views reflected the stance of the party.

Then you have the interesting story of the baboons, but somehow you've managed to turn it on it's head. It wasn't the membership of the party, nor any group of disgruntled members, nor one or more baboons that suddenly put the party policy manual front and centre to disrupt the work being done by those campaigning for election. In fact it was the party bureaucrats who removed the policy manual from view, ostensibly to make room for the election platform. I'll just remind you, in case you've forgotten, that the policy manual is a function of the party convention, the only legal entity for formulating policy in the NDP. One might well ask what the "Democratic" in the New Democratic Party stands for. Apparently the apparatchiks are trying, like baboons, to settle old scores with the party membership, those wild-eyed radicals who keep trying to get the leadership to follow the rules of the party.

In any case, believe me, the brass trying to hide party policy from view during an election ain't foolin' anyone. The Cons have their own copies of the manual which they will bring out as needed to try convince voters to avoid the NDP. So really the leadership is only hiding the policies from themselves.

I agree that it would be nice to be rid of the Conservatives...and it would be good to have an NDP government (although not anywhere near as good as some people think...I'm from BC, and here the real differences between the NDP and the Liberal/Social Credit/whoever right wing coalition are tough to spot).

We should also remember that three important social programs in this country, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, and a national public broadcaster all came about without a CCF/NDP federal government. In other words, elections are good, activism is better.  An elected NDP government, should it happen, will try every trick in the book to avoid doing anything. Like bureaucrats everywhere, their only interest is in preserving their positions. It will take concerted action by the citizenry to force the NDP to act on any piece of progressive legislation.

In my own riding, the decision is already made. I've never voted Conservative, and I won't start now. The incumbent is NDP, and has been incumbent since berfore the present leadership of of the party. He's really a nobody, but he's okay, and in this riding no one else has a chance. I'll vote for him because I like to use my right to vote, but I'm under no illusions as to either his ability, or the NDP party's direction.

One final word. it was Kim Campbell who famously said elections were no time to discuss issues (OK, I know she didn't actually say it, so hold your fire). That seems to be the stance now of the NDP campaign. We don't have a foreign policy, we don't have a monetary policy, we don't have a domestic policy except for national child care and a $15 per hour minimum wage, which we can't enforce because minimum wages are a purview of the provinces. But vote for us anyhow, cause the other guys actually have policies, and they're terrible! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

quizzical

rev pesky what a load. BC is way different nowadays than when the NDP were in and not for the better.

Jacob Two-Two

Gotta agree. I was very disenchanted with the BCNDP in the nineties, to the point that I started to look for a better voting alternative, but living through the BCLiberal party and their awful destructive bullshit showed me the error of my ways. Even the worst kind of NDP is a huge improvement over these saboteur scumbags. The party has been mostly useless since that time, but I've only grown stronger in my support. The need for any rational group of people to wrest power from these jokers just gets more desperate by the day. I could go on all day about why the BCNDP sucks, but the fact still remains that as the only viable alternative, the province needs them to win. The differences are stark and clear.

Unionist

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
Sorry Unionist. Forgot what thread I was in. Didn't mean to stink up your discussion with this nonsense.

No problem, Jacob. I was just hoping we could have one thread where Liberal propagandists don't (oh so easily) provoke everyone into another "but but the NDP is better!!" chorus. Having a hard time getting people to read the thread topic before deciding whether or not they wish to post.

 

quizzical

j22 the de-regulation alone of the beauty and cosmetic industry makes me support the NDP.

gov oversights exist in theory only. the health dangers to BCers grows yearly.

support  by gov services to rural BC is non-existent.

they just changed the educational system now geared to usher in a private educational system.

then when you add in most men my age live part time in AB because there's no work here when there used to be it doesn't spell improved living.

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
Sorry Unionist. Forgot what thread I was in. Didn't mean to stink up your discussion with this nonsense.

No problem, Jacob. I was just hoping we could have one thread where Liberal propagandists don't (oh so easily) provoke everyone into another "but but the NDP is better!!" chorus. Having a hard time getting people to read the thread topic before deciding whether or not they wish to post.

I avoided responding to Sean's post on the Sherbrooke Declaration so the thread could get back on track. Nothing in the post quoted has anything to do with the topic of the thread. It's just a cheap shot at those of us who support Trudeau and/or the Liberal party.

I question your sincerity in wanting to keep the thread on topic. If that were your motivation you would keep your own comments on topic. Apparently what you really want is for everyone else to stay on topic while leaving you free to take pot shots at other members of babble. You are the instigator.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Then you have the interesting story of the baboons, but somehow you've managed to turn it on it's head.

I didn't intend it to directly address Wheeldongate, specifically.

It just seems that for four years or so we hear all about Harper's evil policies, the destruction of the environment, loss of jobs, the declining value of the loonie, global warming, health care cuts, tuition costs and so on.

Then the writ gets dropped, the left's chronic autophagia flares up, and the biggest issue facing Canada is that ten years ago Thomas Mulcair had a crush on Margaret Thatcher (pass it on!!).

And if the NDP doesn't form government, we'll hear for the next four years or so that it's because the media was out to get them, or because monied interests wouldn't permit it to happen.  Or it was FPTP, or it was voter apathy, or false consciousness -- anything except the left's compulsion to try to score on its own goal.

sherpa-finn

If there are any Conservatives (or CPC followers) on Babble, I was just wondering if they could point out the place in the CPC policy manual that says a candidate is not allowed to pee in someone else's coffee mug. 'cause while a motion to that effect may have been presented to the Resolutions Committee one year, I am pretty sure that it never actually came to the conference floor for a vote and formal adoption. #MemberDemocracyIsSovereign 

Rev Pesky

quizzical wrote:

rev pesky what a load. BC is way different nowadays than when the NDP were in and not for the better.

I am born and raised in BC, and have lived here all my life. I remember WAC Bennett very well. I voted for the NDP when Dave Barrett was leader and became the premier. I well remember the day the provincial NDP became the first party in BC to institute wage controls, and eliminate the right to strike.

I remember the Solidarity Coalition of 1983, and the complete lack of leadership by either the NDP or labour leadershp. That ended with a handshake agreement between a sodden looking premier and the head of the IWA (Jack Munro) on the front porch of Bennett's home in Kelowna. NDP nowhere in sight.

I poured concrete for the buildings that were to become a rail car manufacturing plant, an NDP plan that never got off the ground, not unlike their disasterous idea of building ferries.

I volunteered for the NDP in the days of Mike Harcourt, and cheered along with the rest when he won. Then watched as the NDP program disappeared into liberal mush. Then there was Glen Clark, who got hired on by Jim Pattison (the wealthiest man in BC)  the minute the voters threw him out of office.

I've been there brother, and I've seen it all. I know whereof I speak. Were any of the NDP governments better than the alternative? Yes, but only marginally. At least with the Socreds, or whatever they chose to call the right-wing coalition, you knew where to focus your fire. With the NDP you were trying to aim at a moving target. And they haven't changed a bit. By all means, an NDP government! But keep yer powder dry.

Rev Pesky

Mr. Magoo wrote:
...And if the NDP doesn't form government, we'll hear for the next four years or so that it's because the media was out to get them, or because monied interests wouldn't permit it to happen.  Or it was FPTP, or it was voter apathy, or false consciousness -- anything except the left's compulsion to try to score on its own goal.

You have an interesting way of looking at the world upside down. When people throw a government out on it's ear, it's usually because there's a general feeling they want a change. If they think all they're going to get from the opposition parties is more of the same, they'll return the devil they know, rather than the one they don't. The strategy of the NDP brass at this stage seems to be 'let's not frighten the voters with any of that wild-eyed lefty shit.' So, no discussion of foreign policy for starters. no discussion of climate change, no discussion of anything but child-care and minimum wage. But believe me, if the voters think all they're getting with the NDP is Conservative Lite, they'll look elsewhere. There's still a lot of campaign left, so anything can happen, but pre-blaming NDP supporters for trying to keep the direction of the party where it is supposed to be is ridiculous. If indeed the leadership didn't want to run on the policy presented to them, they should tell everyone in advance, or find some other party that more suits their views.

As I already pointed out, they're only hiding the policy manual from themselves.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
When people throw a government out on it's ear, it's usually because there's a general feeling they want a change. If they think all they're going to get from the opposition parties is more of the same, they'll return the devil they know, rather than the one they don't.

I really don't think that the majority of electors can't see any difference between Mulcair and Harper.

Surely, though, in a year we'll be hearing all about how there's no meaningful difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  Or between whomever and whomever.

brookmere

Mr. Magoo wrote:
I really don't think that the majority of electors can't see any difference between Mulcair and Harper.

Everyone can see that Mulcair is different from Harper. The threat to the NDP is that voters may perceive Trudeau as being more different. This isn't a two party race.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

I think it's useful and helpful to draw attention to the disconnect between NDP policy and their recent actions in silencing dissenters... but I was already of the opinion that we are pretty well living in a fake democracy anyway.

Any other job, other that politician, in which I promised this or that and failed to deliver would likely result in my immediate dismissal (and not 4 years later). We just don't have a tradition of recall, nor do we treat the subject with the attention that it deserves.

Rather than urinate on the NDP, which richly deserved it I must admit, the way all of them function is a condemnation on the whole system of managed and truncated democracy. I really think the more important issue is listing all the reasons why we live in a kind of fake democracy. And I say that suggesting that voting is still important, and that the Conservatives need to be defeated.

The fake deomocracy is still better than an official dictatorship.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Any other job, other that politician, in which I promised this or that and failed to deliver would likely result in my immediate dismissal (and not 4 years later). We just don't have a tradition of recall, nor do we treat the subject with the attention that it deserves.

I could be wrong about this, but it's my understanding that a referendum in the State of California is legally binding.  So, for example, if someone proposes a referendum on the subject of cutting sales tax by 2%, and that makes it to the ballot and passes, the government of the day must cut sales tax by 2%, come hell or high water.

It surely would be interesting if all party/candidate promises were treated the same way.  Maybe we'd see way more vague, un-enforceable promises like "If elected, I'll fight for the dignity of all Canadians", but if someone were numpty enough to say "I'll withdraw Canada from NAFTA" then it could be kind of interesting to be able to hold their feet to the fire about it.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:
It surely would be interesting if all party/candidate promises were treated the same way.  Maybe we'd see way more vague, un-enforceable promises like "If elected, I'll fight for the dignity of all Canadians", but if someone were numpty enough to say "I'll withdraw Canada from NAFTA" then it could be kind of interesting to be able to hold their feet to the fire about it.

Even the example of California referenda pretty well treats such decisions as exceptional rather than as the normal course of business for a real democracy. In the Marxist left, it was gospel truth that the highest form of democracy up to 1917 was displayed in the practices of the 1871 Paris Commune. The Commune had the right to recall, even, I think, a kind of duty to serve, shared by all, and more advanced democracy generally.

Politics is a specialized occupation in our society, not a social duty shared by all and supported by legislation, making it much easier for ambitious liars to be wildly successful personally and also discredit democracy generally. If we all shared this social duty, the whole society would, of course, be reorganized to make participation in politics easier, less cosmetic and more substantial, and so on.

Cuban poltical life is like this somewhat - with the caveat that "overthrow of socialism" is not on the ballot and never will be (allowed). But that caveat makes perfect sense for a little country that has been the subject of undeclared war by the most powerful and malevolent Empire in human history. The Americans would punish Cuba for the temerity to disobey their Empire the same way Haiti was punished for daring to have the first significant and successful slave revolt in the modern, bourgeois era. They would be impoverished and made an example of, just as they are anyway. 

Slumberjack

ikosmos wrote:
If we all shared this social duty, the whole society would, of course, be reorganized to make participation in politics easier, less cosmetic and more substantial, and so on.

The NDP can't even get democracy up off of the convention floor.  People think they're voting for some 'progressive' resolution or another, only to find that what they voted for doesn't represent an instructional manual for the party elite.  So the notion that systemic change would occur if everyone chipped in to the existing political spectrum with their two cents worth is speculative at best.  Unfortunately we keep bearing witness to the type of characters that are attracted to 'politics' as we've come to know it.  Entire parties are populated with like minded opportunists and scalawags.  If there were something that one might feel a duty toward things might be different than now.

Geoff

It's sad but true, I think, that conventions (and not just NDP conventions) have become empty exercises, designed to allow members to let off steam and wield largely imaginary power for three days.

I understand that there are external forces at work, restricting any party's ability to act on everything in its policy book (capitalism is anything but democratic), so I don't necessarily agree that the appartchiks don't give a fig for the input members provide at convention.

However, there does need to ba a re-balancing of power, so that members don't become cynical about their vaslue to their respective parties beyond their contribution s of labour and donations.

Unionist

Geoff wrote:

It's sad but true, I think, that conventions (and not just NDP conventions) have become empty exercises, designed to allow members to let off steam and wield largely imaginary power for three days.

I understand that there are external forces at work, restricting any party's ability to act on everything in its policy book (capitalism is anything but democratic), so I don't necessarily agree that the appartchiks don't give a fig for the input members provide at convention.

However, there does need to ba a re-balancing of power, so that members don't become cynical about their vaslue to their respective parties beyond their contribution s of labour and donations.

The constitution says that convention is the supreme authority on party policy. It's one thing to see conventions as a gabfest. It's another to not follow one's own constitution. And it's quite another thing not to be seriously challenged on that point.

Do you have any insight on who actually decides party policy? For example - who will approve the final election platform before it's issued? Someone above surmised it might be caucus, notwithstanding that caucus has no such powers under the constitution. I'm seriously wondering who makes that decision, if anyone knows.

ETA: I should repeat, as I've said before, that I don't believe the party has to act on everything in its policy book, all at the same time. Obviously. What bothers me is substantive changes in policy - for example, the party leadership's shameful response to the 2014 invasion and massacre in Gaza. The power to change course, and who exercises it and how, must be set out in the rules.

Rev Pesky

Mr. Magoo wrote:
...Then the writ gets dropped, the left's chronic autophagia flares up, and the biggest issue facing Canada is that ten years ago Thomas Mulcair had a crush on Margaret Thatcher (pass it on!!)...

I don't think it was quite ten years ago, but be that as it may, people are allowed to change their minds, including Mulcair. Even Alan Greenspan admitted being wrong about his estimation of how the market would deal with risk, and Greenspan was a dyed-in-the-wool Randian who described himself as 'libertarian'.

So, contrary to what some have said, I have no problem with Mulcair changing his mind. But a couple of things bother me. One, has he really changed his mind? I've heard nothing that tells me he has. The other thing is, if indeed he has changed his mind, I'd like to hear the reason why. For instance, if he said, "the reason I changed my mind is because I find myself leading a political party that has always been opposed to laissez-faire capitalism'. To me that sounds more like a resignation speech than a change of mind.

How about...'I changed my mind about free markets after seeing the death and destruction that was a direct result of the crash of '08, the overthrow of democratic governments that was also a result of the crash, the speed with which governments banded together to make sure the rich stayed rich by pouring your tax dollars into the market, and the speed with which they tried to blame a handful of bad mortgages in the USA for the whole thing. In fact it was the rise of derivatives and the monetizing of debt that caused the crash, and that was possible because the relevant authorities believed as I, and Alan Greenspan, did that we shouldn't regulate the market. We were wrong.'

Any mea culpa that included all of that, or even parts of it, I would find reasonable and believeable. And in case you think that my little scenario is some wild lefty theory, I reccommend to you an article by Hernando de Soto Polar, the Peruvian economist who gives Milton Friedman as a main influence, and has been given awards by almost every right-wing economics group in existence. 

Who Owns This Mess? - Hernando de Soto, New York Times, Dec. 2, 2011

Finally, even if every member of the NDP kept their lip zipped, kow-towed to the leader, put all their misgivings aside until after the election, that doesn't prevent the Conservatives or Liberals from pointing to Mulcairs prior thinking. Much better just to face it, and give a clear and cogent reason for abandoning previous thoughts.

 

 

 

Rev Pesky

Unionist wrote:
....The power to change course, and who exercises it and how, must be set out in the rules.

 

Hear, hear!

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
The constitution says that convention is the supreme authority on party policy.....

The power to change course, and who exercises it and how, must be set out in the rules.

To me this implies that the rules need to be stamped on people's foreheads.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Well, unionist's claim, which hasn't been r̶e̶b̶u̶t̶t̶e̶d̶ refuted by anyone here near as I can tell, adds to the argument that what we are living under is a kind of fake democracy. I think it's our duty to say so. People are intelligent enough to try to squeeze some lemon juice out of the lemon of a system we have - and fight for what little democracy we can gain - while at the same time understanding that the big picture is changing the system which is absolutely necessary for a real democracy to flourish. 

It's sorta funny to remember the loud, self-righteous blather about the terrible Communistic "democratic centralism" (which had plenty of problems, for sure....) when it's pretty clear these other Parliamentary cretins are no better and, unlike the Commies, have no intention of making fundamental change whatsoever, i.e., they are completely content with our current fake democracy and only desire, at most, a change of management.

 

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