If Jack Layton walked on water, Chantal Hébert would say he can't swim

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Malcolm Malcolm's picture
If Jack Layton walked on water, Chantal Hébert would say he can't swim

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/881493--hebert-tea-leaves-of-public-opinion-a-tough-read

 

"For Layton, this is just the latest setback in what can only be described as his "autumnus horribilis" - a bad political season that could still have unpleasant surprises in store for the NDP."

 

I mean, really. The Liberal Party throws all it's got into getting a prominent former provincial minister elected and gets thumped by a right wing blowhard and it's the NDP that are dead?

remind remind's picture

Guess she shoulda waited for the new Angus Reid poll to come out before spouting her nonsense, eh!

And as I said elsewhere, she is just being a useful shill for the Liberals and The Star, to deflect away from the Star's and Liberal's huge failure. And to pretend that the Liberal strategic voting promotion was not a flop too.

Fidel

Hebert wrote:
A stronger Liberal performance across the board in the next election might not propel Ignatieff to the prime minister’s office but it could wipe out Layton’s hard-earned footholds in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Alberta.

And this is all that the banks controlling Ignatieff and his party are concerned about, which is to bring down the fourth party in Ottawa and effective opposition NDP. The Liberal Party of Bananada know full well that they play a subservient, supportive role in Harper's de facto right wing majority government. It's the Liberals Party's sole purpose to be place holders for the Bay Street coalition in this Northern Puerto Rico and nothing more for the time being. Charade they are.

Geoff OB

Chantel writes, "the left has decisively lost its lock on the Toronto mayor’s office. It could take some time for the pendulum to swing back its way."  Are you kidding?  I predict that one term of a Ford administration will have anyone vaguely progressive rallying around a 'leftish' candidate to run that knuckle-dragger out of town. 

On the other hand, if slippery George had won, the door would have been left open for an even more right winger than Smitherman to challenge him in 2014.  Ford's failure leaves room only on the left - small comfort for those living in the Big Smoke.

I agree with one thing Chantel said: the NDP's numbers in Ontario are abysmal, which indeed spell trouble for the NDP in the next federal election.  Any ideas why we can't find traction in a province devastated by the collapse of its manufacturing sector, the heart of Ontario's economy?

Doug

It's a natural result of the failure of the NDP to connect with voters in the fast-growing parts of the province.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Liberal numbers are abysmal across the board, have been for some time, and show no sign of moving.

NDP numbers have taken a dip in the midst of a media full court press claiming that Jack and only Jack would be responsible for rampant gunfire in the streets unless he started playing wedge politics like Harper and Ignatieff.  (The one poll taken as the media narrative began to turn actually suggests a recovery of NDP numbers.)

Yes, the NDP has problems, God knows.  But isn't it interesting that Chantal Hébert assumes that anything that ever happens is a sure sign of an imminent NDP collapse and good prospects for the Liberals?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Chantal Hebert aside, her counterpart political analyst from the NDP Brian Topp seems even more at sea about what lessons can be learned from Ford's victory in Toronto over the left. Both camps, the NDP and the Liberals, seem infected with the malaise caused by too much focus on the media paradigm of "optics" and polling to really understand what is going on.

Indeed, there was no magic to Ford's victory, and nothing surprising about Joe's loss, and this had little to do with platform, or messaging, in Toronto with Ford and in Calgary with Nenshi, who both catalyzed the same dynamic to fashion victory.

Topp is correct that the "progressives" must internalize the lesson of the Ford and Nenshi victories, but Topp, for one is so stuck in the media paragidm that they can not articulate what that lesson is.

remind remind's picture

really Cue, what same dynamic?

 

Geoff OB

The NDP's numbers were poor long before the gun registry debate.  I'd like to know what they're doing wrong in Ontario that they're doing right in some other parts of the country.  Whatever it is, the party doesn't have long to figure it out.

Bookish Agrarian

One significant problem is that there are an awful lot of Ontarians who should know better that still live under the illusion that Liberals are progressive.

Fidel

Ontario was conservative for 50 years before the NDP won by mistake in 1990, and now we're dabbling in Pinocchio McGuilty's bunch with 22% of the registered vote under them since last election. Those who do vote in Ontario look high and low for reasons to vote Toriberal and Libtory, and sometimes vice versa federally-provincially. By and large the phony majority of them aren't willing to admit that the two old line parties stink to high heaven.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

One significant problem is that there are an awful lot of Ontarians who should know better that still live under the illusion that Liberals are progressive.

 

Bingo!  And people find ways to believe the slop about wasteful spending, ignoring that those who promote it always give more away to business.  Whenever I think the world is getting somewhere, you always get a sharp reminder.  I will continue taking derision from colleagues and friends and try to get them left.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

On that note BA, it's not that they think the Lib's are progressive, they've swallowed the hook that the NDP are communists because their only political research is mainstream media.  And that's like 80% of the people I know. 

Fidel

I wonder how many naive leftists and anarchists are under the illusion that if they vote Liberal, they will be spiting Bay Street capitalists and their conservative party hirelings?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Fidel wrote:

I wonder how many naive leftists and anarchists are under the illusion that if they vote Liberal, they will be spiting Bay Street capitalists and their conservative party hirelings?

 

Too many my friend but we need to refine our message.  That Lib cabinet minister that tweeted some thing was right on but it all got lost to my colleagues in the delivery.  People don't want to be treated like they're stupid it just makes them vote stupider.

Bookish Agrarian

RevolutionPlease wrote:

On that note BA, it's not that they think the Lib's are progressive, they've swallowed the hook that the NDP are communists because their only political research is mainstream media.  And that's like 80% of the people I know. 

I expect it is a mixture of both based on the area and the individual.

siamdave

Geoff OB wrote:

.......

Any ideas why we can't find traction in a province devastated by the collapse of its manufacturing sector, the heart of Ontario's economy?

 

I won't vote for Libs or Cons, as the 'official' parties of Bay St - I would vote for NDP as lesser of two evils at times, but as they currently stand, I wouldn't go out of my way - they're not going to win anything, and even if they did, currently all they appear to want to do is replace the Libs as the 'capitalist-light' party, which doesn't interest me. I suspect a lot of other voters have similar ideas - the last election 40% of Cdns did not vote - but at least as significantly, for those pissed off with corporate government, they did not see any reason to switch to NDP. Sure they talk a good show right now - but so do the other parties, and there's not a lot to choose between them currently.

An NDP 'platform' that would make me a bit more inclined to increase my level of support would be something like this:

1. We recoginze that the political-economic system known as Capitalism has taken over the western world. We also recognize that unbridled Capitalism, which they strive for and get closer to every passing year, is very good for the wealthy who control the capitalist assets, and very bad for the many workers who rely on these 'owners of production' for work. If elected, we will do our best to fight against this capitalist ascendency, and control the worst excesses of those who want unbridled freedom to run amok in our society under the guise of 'market freedom'. Two of the central ways we will combat this capitalist beast are:

2. We also recognize that in recent years our 'democracy' has become very much less democratic, due to the corruption of politics by 'big money'. If elected, or having enough members to be influential in a supportive role for either major party, we will demand a full and open discussion of a more fair electoral process, in which Canadians will be represented in Parliament according to the percent of voters supporting each party, which will go a long ways to reducing the power of the two mainstream capitalist parties and their continual false majority governments through which they initiate policies opposed by most Canadians. Some will call this self-serving, but it is not so - we speak for the many Liberals in western Canada who are vastly under-represented, and the many Conservatives in Toronto and other parts of the country who are under-represented. We speak for the approximately one million people who voted Green in the last election - and currently have no members in our Parliament.

3. Our third major platform will be to educate Canadians concerning our money supply, and why allowing capitalist bankers to control our money is a very, very bad policy for most Canadians. We will talk about how our money *should* be created and controlled, through the Bank of Canada. We will talk about how un-necessary and destructive it is to allow private banks to create most of our money as interest-bearing debt. We will talk about the national debt in Canada, and the provincial debts, on which we have paid some two trillion dollars in interest over the last 30-40 years - every penny of which need not have been paid if we had used the Bank of Canada for the purpose for which it was created in 1938 - the benefit of all Canadians.

Now that kind of honesty would get me fighting for the NDP. Of course, it would probably get them shut out of the mainstream media, and various visits from MIBs - but confronting power has ever been dangerous.

Fidel

SiamDave, have you ever considered why a left wing party doesn't appeal to the phony-baloney majority of voters doing the choosing in this country? It's got something to do with our obsolete electoral system invented before electricity and some old guys in the red chamber who have nothing to do with modern democracy.

We can begin to have social democracy in Canada the same way Nordic countries have achieved it and without scaring hell out of foreign investment now a large part of our neoliberalized economy in Bananada, I mean Canada:

1. raise overall federal tax revenues to just the OECD capitalist countries average as a percentage of GDP($35 billion more every year for Ottawa to spend on health care, fixing the $120 billion dollar infrastructure deficit, and education) And never mind raising it to EU-15 avg, because those are real countries with real economies.

2. stop the tens of billions of dollars in corporate welfare handouts to profitable fossil fuel and other mostly US-based corporations controlling more than 30 key sectors of the Canadian economy.

 There's more than one way to skin a cat, SiamDave. IMHO, the NDP has thought things through since Jack said there are better uses for the Bank of Canada in 2005 or so. Jack's not stupid like a lot of Liberal and Tory yes-men are when it comes to the country's finances. Jack did a PhD thesis on international capital flows. Trust me, Jack knows what he's talking about unlike the two Bay Street duds leading the Liberal and ReformaTory parties. Follow the Bay Street money creation all the way to those two parties lead by empty headed yes-men.

Don't get me wrong, because I think GCM is a darned good idea. But I implore you to strive to see the bigger picture in this northern Puerto Rico and get with the First past the post Bay Street program for one minute of your time each day for a week, and consider what your chances would be as leader of a party with government created money as the main plank in its campaign platform. Bay Street would propagandize the hell out of you and your party's efforts if it even looked like there was any wind in your sails. YOU-WOULD-LOSE and lose big time. The propaganda machine would be out in full force, and the war chest would be cleaned out in order to smear you as some kind of GOSBANK leftover from the Soviet era. It makes no difference that the feds created one-quarter of the money from 1938 to 1974. That's been stricken from the record on the quiet as William Krehm has described the Stalinization of finance and economic theory in North America over the last 35 years.

What we need is a left wing party to win a FPTP FEDERAL election for the first time in this country's history. We can't do that without our eyes on the FPTP prize. I'm sorry, but we have to win it according to their obsolete rules and mathematical absurdity of an electoral system that should have been scrapped over a hundred years ago. Dem's da breaks, and to think that we can ignore these electoral realities in this country would be so very naive of us.

siamdave

Fidel wrote:

SiamDave, have you ever considered why a left wing party doesn't appeal to the phony-baloney majority of voters doing the choosing in this country? It's got something to do with our obsolete electoral system invented before electricity and some old guys in the red chamber who have nothing to do with modern democracy.

- I suspect the answer to the question had nothing to do with FPTP - that only affects the number of seats, and you know as well as I the NDP has been mired under 20% for decades - a better voting system would get them a few more seats, but not put them in any danger of actually winning an election. I suspect the answer to why they don't appeal to more people has various related causes, but probably most importantly the ongoing demonisation of "socialism" in the mainstream media, and the quite successful linking of the NDP with socialism in the same media.

Quote:

We can begin to have social democracy in Canada the same way Nordic countries have achieved it and without scaring hell out of foreign investment now a large part of our neoliberalized economy in Bananada, I mean Canada:

1. raise overall federal tax revenues to just the OECD capitalist countries average as a percentage of GDP($35 billion more every year for Ottawa to spend on health care, fixing the $120 billion dollar infrastructure deficit, and education) And never mind raising it to EU-15 avg, because those are real countries with real economies.

2. stop the tens of billions of dollars in corporate welfare handouts to profitable fossil fuel and other mostly US-based corporations controlling more than 30 key sectors of the Canadian economy.

- but you can't do these things until you win an election .... (I don't agree with them, but that's a different story ...)

Quote:

 There's more than one way to skin a cat, SiamDave. IMHO, the NDP has thought things through since Jack said there are better uses for the Bank of Canada in 2005 or so. Jack's not stupid like a lot of Liberal and Tory yes-men are when it comes to the country's finances. Jack did a PhD thesis on international capital flows. Trust me, Jack knows what he's talking about unlike the two Bay Street duds leading the Liberal and ReformaTory parties. Follow the Bay Street money creation all the way to those two parties lead by empty headed yes-men.

Don't get me wrong, because I think GCM is a darned good idea. But I implore you to strive to see the bigger picture in this northern Puerto Rico and get with the First past the post Bay Street program for one minute of your time each day for a week, and consider what your chances would be as leader of a party with government created money as the main plank in its campaign platform. Bay Street would propagandize the hell out of you and your party's efforts if it even looked like there was any wind in your sails. YOU-WOULD-LOSE and lose big time. The propaganda machine would be out in full force, and the war chest would be cleaned out in order to smear you as some kind of GOSBANK leftover from the Soviet era. It makes no difference that the feds created one-quarter of the money from 1938 to 1974. That's been stricken from the record on the quiet as William Krehm has described the Stalinization of finance and economic theory in North America over the last 35 years.

What we need is a left wing party to win a FPTP FEDERAL election for the first time in this country's history. We can't do that without our eyes on the FPTP prize. I'm sorry, but we have to win it according to their obsolete rules and mathematical absurdity of an electoral system that should have been scrapped over a hundred years ago. Dem's da breaks, and to think that we can ignore these electoral realities in this country would be so very naive of us.

- my point was that what you are talking about is basically the same old stuff you've been doing for 30 years, and you have not made any headway at all during that time - why should another 30 years of same old same old have any better results? What I was saying was that if you want to do any better, you better change something, and do something to really distinguish yourselves from the capitalist parties - and the most obvious thing is the money stuff - it's not just a 'nice idea', as a lot of people seem to be misunderstandings, this is the root cause of all of our economic problems today - they are taking the country apart in the name of a completely false debt. If you really want to put some space between you and the mainstream capitalist parties, you have to talk about things they are NOT talking about - and make Cdns believe you actually have some *really* better ideas - Cdns are waiting for someone to stand up and take the capitalist beast on - and everywhere they look they just see capitalist light - so they stay home. Like me.

Fidel

siamdave wrote:
- I suspect the answer to the question had nothing to do with FPTP - that only affects the number of seats, and you know as well as I the NDP has been mired under 20% for decades - a better voting system would get them a few more seats, but not put them in any danger of actually winning an election.

True. But then there are other factors that have to do with electoral dynamics and voter participation rates. It would take some time before a federal NDP government is elected. We're really only demanding the same modern electoral system in use in dozens of other rich capitalist nations for a long time. But your centre election piece doesn't stand a snowball's chance. You know it, and so does Bay Street. You would need to appeal to a much broader percentage of the phony majority who still vote in elections. And as for bringing those other millions of non-voting Canadians out of their slumber, you would need a megaphone the size of a planet to get to them. They are just too jaded by the phony majority machine and paternal Bay Street financed dictatorship in Ottawa to pay attention. CAP advocates for GCM, and look where they are as a party. You need resources, and those with money aren't going to want to finance your election campaign or the NDPs. So you're reduced to trying to appeal to as many as do vote for the left as possible. IOW's, you have to play the game. And the name of this game is FPTP and using the existing financial environment and state of fiscal madness as a reference point when you make election promises over four years. And if you don't get it done inside one single four-year term in the face of capital flight and high likelihood of a Bay Street smear campaign over that time, you're toast. you would become the Bob Rae of government created money policies. You would then be considered a pariah n the eyes of of economic and monetary reformists around the world I'm  sorry to say.

SiamDave wrote:
- but you can't do these things until you win an election .... (I don't agree with them, but that's a different story ...)

Exactly. And the NDP isn't even promising to seize powers of money creation from the banks and other creditors. Imagine if they did.

There is a way to slide around the neoliberal financial regime, though. We could have the kind of populist policies for fuller employment and well funded social programs without even touching the Bank of Canada. Other countries have done it - and not only that, it's been done before. The new liberal financial regime since the 1970s gave our elected stooges a new set of policy options while, admittedly, removing previous controls for capital under the Bretton Woods monetary agreement.  The policy options are there on the menu and waiting to be used by a democratically elected NDP government. There is so much potential for this country,  it's not even funny anymore.