Broten NDP and Keystone XL "clarification"

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Aristotleded24

KenS wrote:
And provincial NDPs that are governments or governments in waiting have always thrown the federal party and leader under the bus if there is a conflict.

Look at how Harper used the position taken by Manitoba Justice Minister Andrew Swan to attack the federal party as being soft on crime.

cooperativist

I just want to say, as the original poster, that when I posted this I wasn't particularly concerned if there's a legitimate difference of opinion between Mulcair and a provincial wing. Broten just clarified a stance that will have major significance for the whole party, yet the clarification seemed dropped with a tone of "what? why are you looking at me like that?"

The only reason I care about this dimension of difference between wings is that it makes me wonder what actual internal / external pressures exist whereby the Sask NDP feels compelled to ignore their allies in the CEP and support Keystone. (I guess, the one option I haven't considered is that they have been deaf to the criticism all this time, but it seems really unlikely.)

Far more importantly, I just happen to think that it's the WRONG decision. I would be just as annoyed if the whole party supported Keystone and Broten did too.

Also, Fidel, I wasn't talking about "socialism in one province" or lamenting the lack of crown corpration or block transfer income. I classify myself as a syndicalist and the entirety of the NDP, I believe, is very fairly characterized as a left-liberal party these days. I don't expect "liberation" to come from the state, I have fairly low expectations of the NDP, and no longer expect them to behave like a socialist party. I vote strategically (and occasionally even work and volunteer for particular MLAs, strategically) because in the final analysis, the NDP do offer themselves up as flaming logs to throw in the path of the employing / capitalist class' legislative wing. However, I think that even if you're committed to even reasonably fair distribution of wealth under capitalism, and a liveable enough planet in which capitalism can continue, Keystone is just bad business. The NDP should be able to easily articulate that. That's what's puzzling to me.

KenS

cooperativist wrote:

The only reason I care about this dimension of difference between wings is that it makes me wonder what actual internal / external pressures exist whereby the Sask NDP feels compelled to ignore their allies in the CEP and support Keystone.

I don't know that the blunt calculation really matters, but it would go something like this.

As far as workers who have something directly at stake, the CEP just represents refinery workers. That's dwarfed by the number of workers and agggrgated business interests of the petro extraction industry in SK. Governments/parties can't expect to please anyone, they make their choices.

The ANDP faces the same questions. With a more hysterical media thrown in for good measure. Good for them with their position. It doesn't have to be 'do the right thing' versus 'follow the buttered bread'. A political position that starts with minority support, over a high profile issue, does not have to be a political sacrifice. It doesnt take a huge amount of guts and determination to make it pay off politically.

But that always has to bump against the default urge to play it safe.

knownothing knownothing's picture

It is not that I think the provincial wings need to be "ardent supporters of Mulcair in all circumstances",

however, this next two and a half years are the closest the federal NDP have come to forming the govt in Ottawa. The provincial leaders need to be sensitive to his situation and not make it harder than it already is for Mulcair.

Adrian Dix and the BC NDP, for example, will be at midterm when the next federal election happens. They need to try and keep their image clean through that federal election or it will be used against us as a reason to vote Liberal in BC ridings.

6079_Smith_W

Again, things have been pretty sensitive here too since the last provincial election, but I don't think anyone was concerned about the federal party "keeping its image clean", even though some of its policy WAS used against the party here. And again, we are not talking about scandal, but policy, and there is nothing dirty about that.

It is important to remember who is doing that smearing, and point it out for what it is - politicking.

I think we have properly kicked this one to death, no?

As for the actual question of why Broten said what he did and was so unprepared, I am as mystified as everyone else.

 

6079_Smith_W

The unprepared part - specifically regarding approval of the project - I was mostly talking about.

But yes, endorsing Keystone rather than some alternative, like east-west, or better still, more refinery capacity here, is bad policy. Worse - it is conceding the issue to the Sask Party and the Harperites without any discussion.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Politicians on the left running from the debate bugs me. IMO The reason the discourse in Canada does not totally mirror our neighbours to the south is precisely because the NDP in the past has been willing to explain and defend policies that had little support at first and MSM opposition. Without the courage to raise the issues our political spectrum will narrow to a box defined by the corporate media and there will be no future for progressive ideas because they will never be raised directly and forcefully. 

For instance, Tommy didn't introduce medicare out of the blue. He educated and advocated and got the people on board in the face of open hostility by the MSM and its corporate overlords.  I think that Broten lacks any vision and that is why he is doomed to lose.  Waiting for the Sask Party to implode is a fool's game. It may happen but after how many election cycles?

knownothing knownothing's picture

I think his ideology was clear during the leadership race if one looked for it.

Erin Weir was questioning him on corporate tax rates in the debate I witnessed and he avoided saying whether he would raise rates back up. That was a telling sign for me that he had corporate interests behind him.

 

Now to support the status quo raw material exports further confirms that either Broten, the people running Broten, or both believe they need to cave to the business community to gain power.

Many people in the SNDP actually believe they can "out Brad Wall" Brad Wall.

Fidel

kropotkin1951 wrote:

For instance, Tommy didn't introduce medicare out of the blue. He educated and advocated and got the people on board in the face of open hostility by the MSM and its corporate overlords.

Neoliberal ideology wasn't  federal policy in the 1940's to '75, either. There is a long list of real differences between then and now, and you never mention any of those fiscal and monetary realities in Canada since Tommy's time in the sun.

I'm sorry but a lot has changed in Canada (and western world) since the 1950's. I wish it wasn't true, but it is. I think you believe that our two old line parties have not made things more difficult for socialism in the provinces since those glorious CCF days in Saskatchewan. They have.

Would you like to know, or would it not matter for you either way?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Fidel stop writing sentences that begin, "I think you believe". 

You do not have a clue what I believe and it does nothing to further any debate in any thread.

cooperativist

Fidel, the actually existing neoliberalism we get = neoliberal politicians +/- our resistance. Others have resisted neoliberalism in much tougher climates than this. I'm tired of politicians making excuses for themselves along these lines, like "there's no political space to articulate alternatives now." Yes - there's no political space, and there never will be, so long as you never articulate. You make the space to resist by resisting.

I am not saying that the clarification isn't caused by very real pressures; for example, unions and their members who think they may stand to benefit.

I've done some crash coursing in Saskatchewan political economy and history over the past few days, and I'm chalking the clarification up to  desperation a la Calvert. I'm sure that from party office it does look scary having your seats down to single digits, and you start thinking of what other battles you might lose. Then you start to sweat, thinking about what consolidated conservatism looks like in your province. But the NDP is armed with research and smart people and organizers and even economists, and could be persuasive on this issue.

The one thing I can think of is that they're not sincere, and they fully expect Keystone XL to be defeated, and so their support doesn't really cost them anything. I think that's a miscalculation, but if I was told that that was the rationale, then, okay.

6079_Smith_W

Plus, if the NDP isn't smart enough to recognize that there is a core of progressive support, the Sask Party certainly is. They remember what happened to Hermanson. I sudder to think of what they would do if they thought they had a free rein.

I expect they'll try to test that in the next election.

Fidel

cooperativist wrote:

Fidel, the actually existing neoliberalism we get = neoliberal politicians +/- our resistance. Others have resisted neoliberalism in much tougher climates than this.

Name one province that has as many crown corporations as Saskatchewan after 30 years worth of deindustrialization in North America thanx to neoliberal ideology.

Name one SaskaTory gov that has dared to crook and rob the taxpayers like Devine and his jailbirds did during the glory years for neoliberalism in Canada.

In Sask you still have SaskTel  phone, wireless and TV distribution businesses that are publicly owned(socialism); SaskPower generation and distribution; natural gas distrib. from SaskEnergy; SGI insurance company (mandatory monopoly for auto insurance); Sask Transportation Co. 79 liquor stores as well as all wholesaling and distrib'n.

The only thing missing from USSaskatchewanRepublic is Gosbank and maybe a state-owned car company and nationalised space program.  WTF?

I think the political and economic climate will be pretty good for the next NDP government in waiting to carry on with CCF tradition for publicly owned enterprise(read socialism) than the NDP's prospects for buying back that which was pawned off to the four winds in any other province in Camada run like a banana republic from Ottawa.

All is well in Saskatchewan in comparison to Puerto Ontario,  B.C., or oil-rich Tory Alberta where cost of living is among the most expensive places to live in this country.

Saskatchewan's Tories can't swerve so far to the right, like our Liberals have in Ontario and get away with it on election day. That's thanks to the CCF-NDP who have raised the bar and voter expectations in what is probably Canada's most socialist province still today.

Get real.

knownothing knownothing's picture

and SKParty just privatized ISC

Unionist

cooperativist wrote:

I am not saying that the clarification isn't caused by very real pressures; for example, unions and their members who think they may stand to benefit.

Bullshit. Sorry, I don't know you, but I do like to call bullshit on occasion. You're talking about a fucking provincial NDP which has betrayed the unions whenever it suited its purpose, with strike-breaking legislation. How dare you blame unionized workers for this treacherous neoliberal stand of the Saskatchewan NDP? Actually, I'll stop now, because this makes me very sick.

 

Aristotleded24

Unionist wrote:

cooperativist wrote:

I am not saying that the clarification isn't caused by very real pressures; for example, unions and their members who think they may stand to benefit.

Bullshit. Sorry, I don't know you, but I do like to call bullshit on occasion. You're talking about a fucking provincial NDP which has betrayed the unions whenever it suited its purpose, with strike-breaking legislation. How dare you blame unionized workers for this treacherous neoliberal stand of the Saskatchewan NDP? Actually, I'll stop now, because this makes me very sick.

I can't speak for the situation in Saskatchewan, but there were some unions in the US that favoured construction of the Keystone pipeline.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I can't speak for the situation in Saskatchewan, but there were some unions in the US that favoured construction of the Keystone pipeline.

Including the AFL-CIO.

Fidel

knownothing wrote:

and SKParty just privatized ISC

It might have been a partial privatization.

Let them sell SaskTel or SaskPower to rich friends of the SaskaTory party. Let's see Sask drivers gouged for car insurance , like we are in a ideologically-driven Ontariario in hawk up to our eyeballs.

I don't thing it's on, and not while voters are paying attention. Not this term anyway, and they definitely won't br broadcasting any such intentions to the public leading up to the next election.

Neolib privatizers tread lightly in Saskatchewan by the looks of things.

6079_Smith_W

The province is selling ISC shares up to 60 percent of the value of the company.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/11/19/sk-governmen...

Whatever their long-term intentions, the Wall government has used dividends from the crowns to keep their provincial budgets balanced:

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/Crowns+serve+budget+buffer/7988483/st...

And the motorcycle rate hike mentioned in that editorial? Wall stepped in personally to limit the hike, which means motorcycle riders will continue to be subsidized by other drivers.

 

Goggles Pissano

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Whatever their long-term intentions, the Wall government has used dividends from the crowns to keep their provincial budgets balanced: 

There have been many budgets where it has been the Crown dividends which have bailed out the government, so it really makes sense to privatize them so that the government doesn't have that.

Save our Saskatchewan Crowns had a 6 page article on how the Saskatchewan Party has dismantled our crowns so far, and they have them all set up to fail and be privatized in the future.  I cannot find that article now.  According to this article, all Sask Tel profits go directly to the Saskatchewan government, and if Sask Tel needs to invest in new technologies, they have to venture finance it all.  They are no longer able to use their own profits to expand.  Internet service expansion in rural areas is now being done through private ventures.

The Saskatchewan Party sold SCN, with assets worth over $4,000,000.00 for less than $400,000.00 and to a company from northwestern Ontario with no telecommunications experience.

All the wind generators are private investments like the ones around Moosomin, Sk.

Now, the Saskatchean Party is talking about P3 partnerships - private, public partnerships for building new hospitals and schools as the way to go in the future.

All new liquor stores are going to be private.

Anyway, now I am really depressed just thinking about this.  Gotta go to the private store and forget about my worries.

Unionist

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I can't speak for the situation in Saskatchewan, but there were some unions in the US that favoured construction of the Keystone pipeline.

I doubt that U.S. unions are what cooperativist meant by "very real pressures" on the Saskatchewan NDP. From Blakeney on, they have stopped feeling any pressure from their own Saskatchewan workers and unions to respect free collective bargaining, to introduce anti-scab legislation, etc.

ETA: Here's an old thread about how the NDP government used scabs itself, when it suited its purposes:

[url=http://archive.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=7&t=00177... government using scabs against striking workers[/url]

 

Fidel

I wish neoliberals in Toronto were afraid of voters and of running deficits in paving the road to serfdom.

felixr

I've never heard of the NEB ever turning down a major pipeline. They are funded on the basis of approving them and there is a revolving door between the NEB and the private sector. The Sask NDP position is indistinguishable from the Alberta PCs. They should be ashamed of themselves.

KenS

cooperativist wrote:

I am not saying that the clarification isn't caused by very real pressures; for example, unions and their members who think they may stand to benefit.

The reply to this by Unionist was kind of harsh. Though I do agree with the substance at the core.

Translation: yes, there are more unions in SK who have a stake in every pipeline being built. But, as Unionist pointed out- that is not who the SNDP is panering to. They are making a gross count of voters, and [short term] dollars into the economy.

6079_Smith_W

I wouldn't even classify it as pandering, but rather a wrongheaded defensive move made out of fear of losing more support.

 

Goggles Pissano

Unionist wrote:

...

From Blakeney on, they have stopped feeling any pressure from their own Saskatchewan workers and unions to respect free collective bargaining, to introduce anti-scab legislation, etc.

Unionist, where do you get your facts about "from Blakeney on...

When the NDP were in power in the 1970s, Saskatchewan had the best and most extensive labour laws in Canada.  It was Grant Devine and the PC party which dismantled the labour laws throughout the 80s.  In the 90s, when the NDP resumed office, Saskchewan was borderline bankrupt, and reviving the old labour laws was a very low priority.

The SUN in the early 80s bragged about taking down the Blakeney government, but look at what they put into power? They voted in a government which dismantled many of their labour laws. Also, every single one of the public dental health nurses who voted the NDP government out and laughed about it lost their jobs when the public school dental plan program was scrapped.  This public school dental plan was the only one ever in Canada. Blakeney was going to introduce all dental care coverage under the medicare plan, but people voted them out.

Who dismantled the most progressive labour laws in Canada?  It wasn't the NDP government.  Then look at what the NDP took over in 1991, and figure the rest out for yourself.

Unionist

Goggles Pissano wrote:

Unionist wrote:

...

From Blakeney on, they have stopped feeling any pressure from their own Saskatchewan workers and unions to respect free collective bargaining, to introduce anti-scab legislation, etc.

Unionist, where do you get your facts about "from Blakeney on...

Common knowledge in the labour movement.

Or, read this and then we'll continue the conversation:

http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/labour-and-the-ballot-box-in...

Goggles Pissano

Tne NDP under Blakeney had the highest minimum wage in Canada.

Despite what the Saskatchewan Party mentions, Saskatchewan IS a have not province, and Saskatchewan was the only province in Canada, aside from Alberta which had oil surpluses, to have such a well run administration under the Blakeney government.  Saskatchewan had a 2 billion dollar heritage fund.  Alberta, then, had a 5 billion dollar heritage fund.  Saskatchewan was sending equalization payments down east, and it is a have not province.

Saskatchewan went from that to Devine nearly bankrupting the province.  After 16 years, the NDP were only able to get the province 50% out of the hole the PC party dug the province into, and they maintained their crown corporations.  Now, we are losing our crowns, and the economony does not seem to be as bright now for the SP. 

Backing the Saskatchewan Party just to prove a point about the labour laws does not accompish much. In fact, it is a disasterous way of thinking in Saskatchewan. 

Goggles Pissano

Unionist wrote:
Goggles Pissano wrote:

Unionist wrote:

...

From Blakeney on, they have stopped feeling any pressure from their own Saskatchewan workers and unions to respect free collective bargaining, to introduce anti-scab legislation, etc.

Unionist, where do you get your facts about "from Blakeney on...

Common knowledge in the labour movement. Or, read this and then we'll continue the conversation: http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/labour-and-the-ballot-box-in-saskatchewan-learning-or-not-from-historys-les[/quote]

Thank you for that article.  I'm glad that you gave that to me to read. I found it most interesting and inciteful.

The article did mention that Blakeney did return to the CCF labour friendly laws, but the problem was that he did not progress the laws any further like introducing the anti-scab legislation, etc.

For Minimum Wage Rates Across Canada, if you look at the years 1979-1981, you will see that Saskatchewan did have the highest minimum wage in Canada.  That trend ended when the PC party took over.

I think that what happened in Saskatchewan, and remember that Saskatchewan IS a have not province, that if you try to do too much too soon with limited resources, you can easily run into trouble.  His most major undertaking in the 70w was the public investment in the potash industry.  The government had to borrow a lot of money when interest rates were going up, and that severely curtailed a lot of what he might have otherwise tried to do faster in other areas.

I'm not defending or trying to justify anything.  Allan Blakeney was a very successful and shrewd businessman.  He had large scale plans and long term initaitives, and he managed the province very well. 

For instance, Saskatchewan has the largest network of highways and road than anywhere else in North America and a very small population base, and they were all in tip top shape while the NDP was in office.  That all changed when the PC party took over and fired the unionized highway workers and auctioned off all the road equipment for next to nothing.  Only out of province contractors were allowed to bid on the Saskatchewan equipment and Saskatchewan highway projects.  We are still suffering from the fallout of the 80s.

6079_Smith_W

Saskatchewan hasn't been a have-not province in the past four years. Can't say it will stay that way if potash and oil prices continue as they do.

Currently the provinces which do not receive equalization are B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

 

Goggles Pissano

Lorne Calvert tried to sue the Federal government on behalf of the province for ripping Saskatchewan off on the equalization plan.  Brad Wall did not support the NDP on that court challenge and backed the Federal Conservatives.  It was Brad Wall that came up with the terminology that Saskatchewan is a "have" province and that we have just had the wrong attitude in our thinking about ourselves.  He used that approach to get himself elected and to defeat the NDP. Saskatchewan is "positive" thinking now, he claimed.

Oil revenues are now down, and potash sales are declining.  It is very wet now.  Maybe things aren't quite as rosy as they seem. Maybe he has to give away some more crowns to make up for the shortfall.

Saskatchewan gave out equalization payments when Allan Blakeney was in power, but that did not mean that we were a "have" province then either.

Goggles Pissano

SW,

I am sorry.  I was wrong.  I thought there was more to assessing a have vs have not status than whether you give into the plan or you receive from the plan from year to year.  I thought the size of the provincial economy in general and other factors like say five year averages were factored in but I am mistaken.

Unionist

Goggles Pissano wrote:

Thank you for that article.  I'm glad that you gave that to me to read. I found it most interesting and inciteful.

I appreciate your taking the time to read and respond to it.

Quote:
The article did mention that Blakeney did return to the CCF labour friendly laws, but the problem was that he did not progress the laws any further like introducing the anti-scab legislation, etc.

It says he returned to CCF labour friendly laws in 1971, when first elected. It goes on to say that he crushed the hospital workers' strike in 1982, thus losing the election never to (personally) return to government. You'll understand my viewpoint when I say that that goes a bit beyond not progressing fast or far enough. He attacked unionized workers because he thought he had them in his back pocket, so might as well see how a little strike-breaking would go down with the rest of the electorate. It didn't. He did. Good riddance, Allan.

Quote:
I think that what happened in Saskatchewan, and remember that Saskatchewan IS a have not province, that if you try to do too much too soon with limited resources, you can easily run into trouble. 

How many resources does an anti-scab law require?

How much does it cost to enhance workers' ability to organize themselves?

Does free collective bargaining cause budget deficits?

Or let's forget about unions for a moment.

Was Saskatchewan a wealthy "have" province when it introduced Medicare, all on its lonesome?

The Blakeneys, Romanows, and Calverts of this world all bit the dust because they betrayed the social constituency and the fighting traditions that they had inherited. The current crop will follow in their footsteps - into the Dustbowl.

And no, the alternative is not the Saskatchewan Party. But as long as the NDP is functionally indistinguishable from the SP, you'll forgive voters for opting for the real thing instead of the cheap knockoff imitation.

6079_Smith_W

@ Goggles

Yes, it doesn't necessarily mean much. People could be starving to death, and it could still technically be a have province.

(edit)

And speaking of which, Alberta may have just become a have not province (probably the first time since 1947).

 

 

Fidel

cooperativist wrote:
The one thing I can think of is that they're not sincere, and they fully expect Keystone XL to be defeated, and so their support doesn't really cost them anything. I think that's a miscalculation, but if I was told that that was the rationale, then, okay.

Neoliberalism is orchestrated in top-down fashion here in Canada. Saskatchewan is treated as one of the resource-rich provinces by the feds, and so they receive no equalization payments. In other words, they stay afloat as long as they export their resources to corporate America at rock bottom prices and break even in the best case scenarios. Alberta is the worst example of giving away your resources for decades and ending up with nil next to nothing to show for it and running budget deficits in the mean time. Heavily indebted Ontario is a showcase for their neoliberal ideology with the province now being run like a banana republic and experiencing net outmigrations of young people with the loss of good paying unionized jobs, loss of prosperity in general, and cost of living only rising.

And I think their "free market" plan for the future is to produce the kind of fiscal and indebtedness that we're seen in the former Yugoslavia, Iceland, Latvia, Greece etc. Once the provinces are so heavily indebted to their banker friends and foreign creditors, the next move is to pawn-off the family jewels and silverware so to speak. They want to hack off the money makers and pawn them off to multinational corporations and marauding capital in general. Keep in mind that all economies are centrally planned, and this is the future vision, meaning that of a relative handful few ideologically-driven politicians and the corporations and banks that own them,  for the future. There is no such thing as laissez-faire capitalism and never will be.

The only party in government that has resisted pressures to privatize resources and crowns, (i.e the money-makers that pay the bills) is the NDP. Ontario's conservative governments used to stand for public ownership but not anymore since approximately former premier Mike Harris.

The only real power over economies that provincial governments have is to sell resources if they have them. It's either that or go into debt and look bad on papper for the next election. And so selling Saskatchewan's resources in colonial-extractive manner is what the feds have pressured every other province to do. In order order to stave off banana republic style indebtedness, resource-rich provinces are still reliant on resource extraction to feed economic growth in the U.S., the most energy-intensive and most unsustainable economy in the world, and is still in effect and the most difficult part of neoliberal economic reality for provinces to resist yet the NDP has been the most steadfast in resisting the urge to transform provinces into failed model states for neoliberal ideology, like the Thai model, Ontario model, Greek or Icelandic models, or take your pick of heavily indebted right wing experiments in economic ideology that were historically always destined to fail around the world since 14th century Italy.

"There is no such thing as society" - Margaret Thatcher.

cooperativist

Unionist wrote:
Sorry, I don't know you, but I do like to call bullshit on occasion. You're talking about a fucking provincial NDP which has betrayed the unions whenever it suited its purpose, with strike-breaking legislation. How dare you blame unionized workers for this treacherous neoliberal stand of the Saskatchewan NDP?

Hey Unionist, I apologize if this came across as an accusation, which it is definitely not. I should've phrased that last clause as "Are there more conservative unions or union constituencies in the province who have influence within the NDP who think they may stand to benefit from Keystone?" As I think people here have made abundantly clear, the provincial NDP is responding to what it feels is the comfort zone of the broader electorate and/or Canadian neoliberal discourse in 2013.

I think that I explained above that I'm pretty new to Saskatchewan, and I am just trying to figure out the factors that explain Broten's coming down pro-Keystone (and the party's "clarification," which was bizarre to me). Unfortunately, since I didn't get handed a guidebook to Saskatchewan's left and labour scenes when I crossed the border in the U-Haul, I'm turning to Rabble boards (and other reading) for some insight.

I think my question (phrased as it is here) is a reasonable one since unions and their members in Canada are simultaneously pulled in the directions of bread-and-butter issues and deeper political struggles. Some unions and/or their locals are more willing to go out on a limb for political struggles, depending on how they read their situation vis-a-vis their membership or power with respect to the government or corporation(s) they are up against. Also, I think we all know that neoliberal makeovers always include disciplining workers and their organizations, because organized workers present resistance to the agenda. Et cetera, et cetera. So, what workers and their organizations are willing to take up as struggles after withstanding a couple of decades' worth of assaults feels relevant to me, whether they work closely with the provincial NDP or not. That's all I was after with my question.

By the way, thanks for posting this article. It was really helpful. I'm going to try to get through most of the NDP/labour articles of relevance in the magazine over the next little while.

6079_Smith_W

@ cooperativist

I can think of one example that illustrates what you are talking about, having to do with nuclear power. That's not the case here, though, as far as I know. Actually the CEP has taken a critical stance on Keystone:

http://www.cep.ca/en/news/in-the-news/harper-government-frenzy-doubts-gr...

Quote:

Unfortunately, the least principled political leaders will tend to succumb to this type of intimidation. The new head of the Saskatchewan NDP, Cam Broten, caved in the face of Premier Wall's demand to "have the courage to stand up, go against Mr. Mulcair and support the Keystone pipeline." (Real political courage, of course, is to stand with the federal and provincial government, big oil and entire media establishment.)

In a bad omen for his leadership, Broten responded to Premier Wall's pressure by telling reporters: "To clear the record ... I support the Keystone XL pipeline because of a triple bottom line assessment looking at environmental, economic and social reasons."

In the states, union support for the project is split:

http://insideclimatenews.org/print/13467

I checked out one of the sites - the Operating Engineers - and while they support the project, they called Obama's decision last year for what it was - a reasonable response to a pressure tactic by the Rebublicans.

http://local49.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/keystone-xl-pipeline-progress-pl...

 

 

Unionist

Sorry again, cooperativist, for the harsh tone, and thanks Smith for setting the record straight about the CEP, which represents many thousands of workers in the energy and resource sector.

My union, and many others, have a strong record of opposing all kinds of anti-people and anti-environment measures which might actually mean some jobs for us. The NDP, wherever and whenever it has formed the government, has a strong record of pandering opportunistically to big and small business and forgetting whose support and organization and volunteer work and contributions brought it to power.

Essentially, what I'm saying is this: I hope the union movement in Saskatchewan has the strength of character to tell Cam Broten that they will reluctantly endure many more years of straight-up struggle against the Saskatchewan Party in government rather than support a gang of anti-worker anti-environment frauds like himself.

There, I'm back to being harsh. We already have enemies. We don't need friends that act like enemies.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Unionist.

Indeed. Like many situations, supporters of Keystone are happy to use that angle to push their position.

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/12/18/transcanada-seeks-to-shift-...

I found my way to the OE site because TransCanada had quoted one of its members in a press release.

 

Fidel

Unionist wrote:
Essentially, what I'm saying is this: I hope the union movement in Saskatchewan has the strength of character to tell Cam Broten that they will reluctantly endure many more years of straight-up struggle against the Saskatchewan Party ...

What posters like this person might as well be saying is that they, personally, don't care if the SaskaTories pawn-off the family jewels and silverware in the style and manner of a previously corrupt Grant Devine conservative government, or even a Filmon conservative government next door in 1990's Manitoba, once they have full blessing from voters in a second term and will, in all likelihood, proceeed to privatize the public good at firesale prices for a bit of kick-back and graft after having said very little about their privatization agenda to voters in the run to a snap election call.

And then years later when Saskatchewan voters are fed up with skyrocketing provincial debt, soaring unemployment and trade union movement effectively neutered with a handful few U.S.-based multinationals having scooped-up the moneymakers and typically paying far less than the natural resources and publicly-owned corporations' are worth due to crooked Tory governments,  postera like the one above would probably say something along the lines of, Well, then, what progressive maneuver could an NDP government possibly pursue in government now?

And by then those kinds of posters would have nothing positive to add to the consversation because jobs, head offices and raw materials are typically siphoned-off to corporate America to fuel economic growth in that country while the real needs and concerns of Canadian workers are forced to take a back seat to what is the most unsustainable economy in the world south of the border. It is much more difficult to renationalise resources and public enterprises that were pawned-off for a song years in advance than it is to prevent absentee corporate landlords from raiding Canada's valuable raw materials and crown corporations which Saskatchewan is still well endowed with despite weak one-term Tory governments with privatization agendas on the sly.

Unionist

All is lost, Fidel. Potash Corp was sold, the labour laws were weakened. The NDP would need to be in power for at least 100 years to even begin talking about possibly repairing the damage.

You can't build socialism in one province.

All you can build is bootlicking capitulation.

So might as well leave the real capitalists in charge. At least we won't need to listen to them whine.

Of course, it's not my decision. It's up to the voters of Saskatchewan. May the good Lord of pipelines and resource fire sales and exploitation of humanity guide them in their solemn deliberations.

Amen.

 

Fidel

Are you for or against American ownership of the means of production?

Are you for or against absentee corporate landlords running large parts of Canada's economy from Wall Street & Chicago Mercantile Exchange?

Which of your two rotten old line parties sold majority foreign ownership(and control) of 36+ key sectors of Canada's economy to mostly superrich Americans?

How many more good paying union jobs will be sipphoned-off to scabby right-to-work U.S. states with two dirty old line parties running this shit show?

Yeah, we know. You want more of the Liberal, Tory, same old story in this northern colony. That's what your bad advice amounts to.

No

thank

you!

Aristotleded24

Anyone else tried to access the Saskatchewan NDP page and find a security warning in the last little bit? How odd.

janfromthebruce

Perhaps the Sask NDP should just stay in 2nd and keep its purity in order. Once neoliberalism runs its course throughout the ages, it will be NDP times.

Unionist

Nah, they should run from the right and, once all the neoliberal voters install them in power, pull a fast one and govern from the left! Like, support the pipeline now, and then: "Haha, just kidding!"

I like it. Why sit out neoliberalism when you can preside over it?

Fidel

What would Tommy do?

Or even better, what would the Let's pawn-off the family jewels and silverware to absentee corporate landlords what's the big deal side do?

~crickets~ 

It's all fun and games until someone actually plays the neoliberal game - the real one and not the X-Box version.

And, yes, prepare to be thoroughly Fisk'd in reply when jotting down your plan for modern socialism in one prairie province.

felixr

Maybe the Saskatchewan NDP should merge with the Liberals (now that the SK Liberals are to the right of the SaskaTories)?

janfromthebruce

what a good plan felixr - Tommy Douglas was really a fake and joining with the SK Liberals would be perfect. And by geez, unless they are the "real deal" it's just better to roll up and be all smug.

Fidel

Well it says here that one of the first achievements of the CCF in the early years was the Crown Corporations Act. 

It doesn't say anything about pawning-off the family jewels and silverware to American oligarchs or absentee corporate landlords in general.

But if they want an ideologically-driven neoliberal colony for marauding international capital in one province, then they should continue voting SaskaTory - because they will interpret a second term in power as a high sign from voters to proceed wrecking Saskatchewan without using so much as a sledgehammer.

They'll end up another Ontariariario if theyre not careful.

Fidel

felixr wrote:

Maybe the Saskatchewan NDP should merge with the Liberals (now that the SK Liberals are to the right of the SaskaTories)?

The NDP is still to the left of both those parties. Look at each of those parties policies for public ownership of utilities and crowns.

Here in Ontario the Conservative Party was, since the days of Adam Beck anyway, in favour of public ownership. And they were wildly popular with voters for decades even though Tory governments racked-up nearly a billion dollars of public debt for 40 years in a row during some of the best cold war economies this country had ever seen.

The Liberal Party, in Ontario anyway, tended to always be ready to selloff the crowns and public enterprises to private Canadian and American interests. A lot of those privatizations failed in Ontario due to bad management, cost overruns, and general failure to meet contract obligations etc, and especially when it came to electrical power generation and distribution at a time when there was a surplus of cheap electrical power driving industrial expansions. But those days are over in Ontario, and the neoliberal ideology for privatizing electrical power, the backbone driving capitalist-industrial expansions in North America for decades, has proven to be a failure and general all around megafiasco costing taxpayers billions instead of saving any money. Neoliberalism is a failure in various experiments throughout the U.S. and Canada where tried. The only reason we are still seeing the move to privatizations is because the moneymakers are still lucrative for private interests, and that's all. It takes a crooked government to pawn-off the moneymakers to rich friends of the party, and that's where the two oldest political parties have merged on the right wing of ideology since the 1990's.

If you want publicly-owned(read socialist) utilities and corporations, then you can still vote NDP to hold-up that end of the bargain. But we will need control of federal purse strings in order to stem the tide of neoliberal ideology perpetrated at the federal level in Canada since Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien.

Don't listen to the people here insisting that provincial NDP's are capable of creating socialism in one province alone. I don't believe they know what they speak of. They will never produce details as to how to go about it. They have no plan for that themselves only criticisms. Try not to take them very seriously - because they don't have the answers, either.

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