Campaign from the Centre, Govern from the Left - The ONDP's Brilliant New Strategy

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Unionist

Debater wrote:

Unionist wrote:

The NDP has no "platform". They deleted their policy book overnight last week and replaced it with something else. As they may do tomorrow. Without talking to their members. Their current "platform" appears to be to replicate what Layton did in 2011 - demolish the Liberals, regardless if it helps the Conservatives. Unfortunately, Québecers don't vote in Ontario. So that won't happen.

This is a refreshingly frank & open exposure of the NDP's tactics over the past several years.

When I hear the NDP boasting about their 'Orange Wave' in 2011 (particularly Brad Lavigne when he tries to hock his book), they frequently forget to mention that their objective was not to beat the Conservatives, but to beat the Liberals.  All they did was give Harper a Majority - something he had never been able to get until the 'Orange Wave'! Yell

Utter distortion and nonsense, Debator, thanks to my not being perfectly clear.

Jack Layton did not target the Liberals. He targeted Harper and his destructive policies - being prepared even to enter a coalition with the Liberals to accomplish that aim.

Jack Layton did not "demolish the Liberals, even if it helps the Conservatives". That's what I attribute to Horwath. Jack Layton demolished the Bloc Québécois, thus displacing the Liberals as official opposition. Horwath's current effort is a farcical caricature of Layton's brilliant campaign, with entirely different means and ends.

Sorry for allowing you to create confusion about my post.

 

Unionist

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Debater, you and Unionist should get together for a beer. I'm sure you'd get along famously.

Your reading skills are on a par with Debater's. Thanks for your misguided comment, based on reading my post through Debater's lens, and ignoring everything I've posted here for years.

If you want to be forgiven, though, I'll take you up on that beer. I like your posts, and I think we'd get on famously.

Jacob Two-Two

" Harper has been able to do whatever he wants because the Orange Wave gave him the Majority that the Liberals had prevented him from getting."

Exactly wrong, as usual. It was the Liberal collapse that gave him his majority. Lots of voters did turn to the NDP when your party had disrespected them once too often, but loads of other voters went straight from Liberal to Conservative having nothing to do with the NDP at all. Y'know why (I mean, obviously you don't but I'm just being rhetorical)? Because your party was dumb enough to choose a leader that was elitist, out-of-touch, and hadn't lived in Canada for decades. Can you imagine? How stupid would you have to be? Oh right. We don't have to imagine because we saw it with our own eyes, and we also saw the result: The worst electoral defeat in the party's history. But you just keep clinging to the notion that it was all the NDP's fault. That will ensure that you never deal directly with the arrogance and idiocy that sank your party and thus, confine it to third party status forever.

"The NDP, never having formed a government, or having been the Official Opposition in a Minority Parliament, don't know what it's like to balance those difficult tasks."

You mean, how the Liberals balanced the way they voted with the Conservatives in almost every vote with the way they backed away from bringing Harper's minority down every chance they got? Yeah that must have been difficult. And the way they hardly ever show up for work in the house. That looks tough too.

You're right that the NDP would never do those things. I'll give you that.

Rokossovsky

Debater wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

And fascinatingly enough, Mulcair and the NDP have been more effective at getting substantive changes to legislation despite the Tory majority, than the Liberals did when the Tories were the minority, and the Liberals the official opposition, who consitently showed their rudderless nature, by failing to reject Conservative legislation by not showing up in Parliament to vote against it, and thus, the Tories were more able to act as a majority prior to 2011, than they are now.

When faced with a Tory minority, the Liberals did nothing to flex the muscles of the balance of power, except of course when their per vote payments were on the line in 2008. After that matter was cleared up and the Liberals got their cash, they fucked off to do whatever it is that they do when they are not in parliament, a habit that Justin continues.

You are fooling yourself.  The NDP has less power in this Parliament than it had in the previous one.  Harper has been able to do whatever he wants because the Orange Wave gave him the Majority that the Liberals had prevented him from getting.  Harper was able to do all the things he had been prevented from doing in the past - starting with eliminating the per-vote-subsidy (which the BQ needed the most, not the Liberals).  He then was also able to abolish the Gun Registry.  And the only reason he made changes to the Elections Legislation recently was because of all the criticism he received from influential figures like Sheila Fraser.

The NDP, never having formed a government, or having been the Official Opposition in a Minority Parliament, don't know what it's like to balance those difficult tasks.  As Tasha Kherriden correctly said about the NDP last year, it's very easy to criticize and be sanctimonious when you've never had to be the one in the chair making the difficult decisions.

No. The point is that the Liberals had far more power in the previous parliament, and did nothing with it, leaving the rump NDP voting against the Conservatives who effectively had a majority because the Liberals were consistently absent, voting with the Conservatives, or abstaing on almost every occassion: Literally hundreds of times.

In the entire time, the NDP only voted once to support heavily amended EI legislation.

In this parliament, even though they do not have the balance of power the NDP have been more effective than the Liberals were when they had the balance of power in the previous parliament, because they did not use it.

The Liberals let the Conservatives rule as a majority. What good is voting for an opposition that doesn't "oppose"?

CanadaOrangeCat

Aristotle, I tried for many years to understand the solipsistic mentality of the average Torontonian. I gave my best shot for three decades. Of course, I came from somewhere else, as I have always done. No kids I grew up with there. Maybe you grew up with kids there, and you have a good circle of friends. God bless you if you do. Alienation is the standard state of mind of the immigrant to Toronto. I have spoken to many, and they are making sure their kids learn French. They have said that Canada is shit because of the low wages they pay in Toronto. I am more like them than I am like the native Torontonian.

 After a while, you have to cash in your chips and walk away from the table. The subway system in Toronto is a joke, they tolerate mining fraud (which is assisted by known ex-politicians), and the jobs suck. Not only that, but they tolerate known organized crime figures building ridiculous mansions outside the city limits. They come from all over the world. This is one of the main reasons Quebec must vet their immigrants.

Vast neighborhoods have nothing at all to offer culturally, because they were built wrong. In the middle of my residential neighborhood here, there are all kinds of restaurants and bars dotted around the place I can walk to and home safely. Try and do that in Leaside. They tried to make a rock bar work out up there off of O'Connor, but the owner never made any money. Too far and inconvenient to go on the Subway, and of course you can't drive to a bar if you want to keep your licence. Better to sit in your basement and play with your Grand Theft Auto or watch movies full of violence. You might as well be in Ohio.

The attitude is imperious, and I have had enough. I am going to live the rest of my life happy, and Toronto is going to have nothing to do with it.I am no threat to anyone and never have been. Toronto People have had a chance for 35 years. Bye!

Orangutan

shartal@rogers.com wrote:
As to the TTC the quality of the service; defined by breakdowns, times and crowding is abysmal. NYC, Paris, and Edinburgh; cities I have visited within the last 5 years, have fabulous public transit. Everyone uses them. In Toronto the majority of TTC users are young, old,and / or poor. The quality of the service appears to reflect the political importance of who uses them. If government wants people to use the TTC and not cars the service has to be good enough to entice car owners to switch.

Yet those of lower income in Toronto continue to vote Liberal.  If those of lower income voted NDP, we'd naturally have ridings like Etobicoke North, York West, York South-Weston, Toronto Centre, Don Valley East, Scarborough Rogue River, Scarborough Centre, Scarborough Guildwood and Scarborough Southwest.  

Why do they vote Liberal?  Like you said Shartal, it is because the NDP offers nothing to improve their lives.  According to their line of thinking (including my parents): The Liberals at least are responsible for their immigration to this country (via Trudeau) and they have more faces representing our ethnic community and other ethnic communities.  Even if all they do is preserve the status quo, they are steps ahead of the NDP in their minds.  Jack finally broke through in some of these areas in the 2011 federal election - something we had not seen in Ontario since the 1990 provincial election.  

PrairieDemocrat15

wage zombie wrote:

I think she is offering policies for workers.  I think the corporate tax increase is one, and I think it's not hard to find more things that would be an improvement for workers.  It's one thing to talk about workers, it's another thing to have policies that would help them.  You're implying that one equates to the other.

Making it easier for workers to organize would be good in terms of policy, but I don't think there's much political advantage.  It's just not how people under 40 view the workplace or unions.  The last time I heard about workers in Ontario trying and failing to organize was at Carleton University, and it's still not clear to me who's at fault there.

For most under 40, I'd say tenants' unions would be more relevant than workers' unions.

I know that most of the rights that we have as workers come from union organizing.  I wish more people understood this.  But even that is an appeal rooted in the past.  For people to viewunions as relevant, they need to be relevant today.

I don't agree with the claim that young people are not intrested in unions. I think unions and the desire to organize workplaces are sectorally based. I know for a fact that pleanty of twentysomthing men working in the oil patch are unionized, as many trades and labour jobs are. The same goes for young people in the public service, teaching, and health and social services - all heavily unionized sectors. Its not that young people are ambevalient to organizing, its that the retail and food-service industry, which have grown rapidly in the last 40 years, have successfully resited unionization.

CanadaOrangeCat

When unionization increases, wages go up all around. All the fatcats do is hoard their money and buy themselves nice things. It is now at a point where they don't even need the money. On AM radio every day they beat this peurile quasi-libertarian ideology into the heads of the poor drivers, so they can rage at "the socialists" and "the unions" and "Quebec".

"Labour market reforms" is a euphamism for indentured servitude, and a return to the master-servant employment policies of the Victorian days. Read about it consistently in the Guardian. Much of the time people wind up with no paycheque at all. Canada used to have strong provincial labour offices to make sure people got their money. Under Harris, they were gutted and they would tell people to take their employers to court.

With no real knowledge of investments, working class people can "buy into capitalism" by getting their own little stock market portfolio connected to their bank account. They think that because their boss is rich this is the way they will become so. They are inundated with e-mails about fraudulent investments. A stock which is consistently down is generally a fraud. A real stock is based on profits and dividends and an understanding that to do well, 4% dividends and a generally rising stock is a sign of prudent management.

Unfettered greed, which is the emotional profile of the Toronto lifestyle leads to all kinds of crime. Official corruption. Organized Crime. Stock fraud. Something like 40% of the global GDP goes to these causes. For the 15% of the organized crime, read Misha Glenny's McMafia. For the other 25%, look at the difference between PPP and currency GDP for every country in the world on the CIA world facts book. For investment fraud, look at the salaries they pay management these days and the above.

For municipal fraud, look at 'studies' for things the people obviously need. A politically-connected 'engineering' or 'environmental' research company gets cash from the taxpayers which is then slid back to the politicians. In the West we have enough of this kind of official corruption and stock fraud the PPP- currency GDP differential looks fine.

Add up the wealth of billionaires from known companies, and it comes to less than a trillion. There is a $100 trillion bond market, as I read in Bloomberg today. Given the known wealth distribution, the billionaires actually come off as relatively benign, and a sliver of the total wealth out there.

Trillions flow across the world financial markets every day. It is mostly dirty money. They need to deliver, so our governments can pay off debt, and we can redistribute wealth.

 

 

shartal@rogers.com

Young people are less interested in unions because most work in unorganized or unorganizable jobs; ie short term art time, temp and contract work. Why would I want to pay union dues if my work is term limited. Why would I join an organizing drive if I expect to leave the employment soon? In fact in some unionized retail workplaces some unionized part time end up earning less than minimum wage after union dues are deducted.

shartal@rogers.com

Young people are less interested in unions because most work in unorganized or unorganizable jobs; ie short term art time, temp and contract work. Why would I want to pay union dues if my work is term limited. Why would I join an organizing drive if I expect to leave the employment soon? In fact in some unionized retail workplaces some unionized part time end up earning less than minimum wage after union dues are deducted.

Aristotleded24

shartal@rogers.com wrote:
Young people are less interested in unions because most work in unorganized or unorganizable jobs; ie short term art time, temp and contract work. Why would I want to pay union dues if my work is term limited. Why would I join an organizing drive if I expect to leave the employment soon? In fact in some unionized retail workplaces some unionized part time end up earning less than minimum wage after union dues are deducted.

I would also add that this is often a more transient work force that has other long term goals in mind. For example, yeah I hate the call centre I'm working in, but I'm studying to be an engineer so I'll only be here a short time. Often, they don't feel they have the same stake in their jobs as a regular worker, so why bother? You'll move on to something else anyways. Not that that's how it works out in real life, but that's the theory behind it.

Wilf Day

Ken Burch wrote:
Howard Hampton, was  . . . a centrist-to-the-point-of-catatonia "mainstream respectable" figure who inspired passionate indifference in the hearts of the voters.  And he made sure the ONDP fought elections under his leadership on the blandest, most watered-down programs possible.  There were no possible "safer" or less-radical positions the ONDP could have taken during the Hampton era, because they took no liberal positions, let alone radical ones.

I wish Horwath and the ONDP well in the election, but the narrative for her approach is based on a totally bogus reading of the last twenty-five years of Ontario politics.  She did not take over a party that stood for street-fighting radical socialism before she came along.

I was there, at the 2009 convention that chose her, and in the race leading up to it. Andrea had the support of Peter Kormos and other left-wingers. The establishment (including Michele Landsberg) were behind Tabuns, except that most of Steel (other than the Toronto Steel Workers Council) went with Horwath. Many Northerners are on the left, and followed Bisson to Horwath when he dropped. Andrea was the closest to a street-fighter on offer.   

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Unionist wrote:
So where's her plan to make it easier for workers to get organized, fight their battles and win?

Whatever her plan is, based on [url=https://twitter.com/reggcohn/status/472432138294263808]what she told the Star editorial board[/url], it no longer includes anti-scab legislation.

Are you serious? I thought I was beyond being rattled by these people. Ontario had anti-scab legislation - introduced by the NDP government - and Mike Harris repealed it. Horwath has decided that Mike Harris got it right?

We've had anti-scab legislation here for almost 40 years, and no party has dared to even campaign against it, let alone touch it.

Ontario also had card-check union certification since about the 1950s - it was repealed by Mike Harris. Has Horwath also decided he was right on that?

Fuck this.

Unionist, you believe Martin Regg Conn? Don't.

Rokossovsky wrote:

We are now giving random unreferenced decontextualized twitter "summaries" by partisan hacks an automatic pass for veracity, why? Surprisingly, this alleged comment by Horwath did not even make it to the print version of the star.

Unionist

Wilf Day wrote:

 

Unionist, you believe Martin Regg Conn? Don't.

Ok, I won't. I'll believe you, because you're knowledgeable and have integrity and aren't a cheerleader that waves with the wind.

So tell me:

Will Horwath restore anti-scab legislation?

Will she restore card-check certification?

If yes, why would she keep this secret, or have I just missed the obscure reference?

If no, why not?

genstrike

shartal@rogers.com wrote:
Young people are less interested in unions because most work in unorganized or unorganizable jobs; ie short term art time, temp and contract work. Why would I want to pay union dues if my work is term limited. Why would I join an organizing drive if I expect to leave the employment soon? In fact in some unionized retail workplaces some unionized part time end up earning less than minimum wage after union dues are deducted.

 

Certain jobs are only "unorganizable" because the mainstream unions don't want to put in the time and effort to organize them

If short term, part time, temp and contract work is unorganizable, how do you explain the building trades unions?  Most of their members go from project to project, getting laid off when the job is done.  Or student academic worker unions -- which have greatly improved the condition of student academic workers?

As for young people in unionized retail workplaces earning less than minimum wage, that's not a problem with young people not being interested in unions, but with a certain union not adequately representing the young people working there, negotiating two-tier wages, etc.

Seriously, as a young person and a former local executive, this whole "young people aren't interested in unions" crap gets kind of tiring.  More often than not, it's unions which aren't interested in young people.

CanadaOrangeCat

You do not think unorganizable or unorganized jobs are not part of their agenda? In business schools these days fighting unions and rendering them impotent is part of the curriculum. It is called "Labour Relations".

There are all kinds of not-9-to-5 jobs for which there is unionization in Britain and Europe. They are allowed to strike in sympathy, which we are not. We need changes in the law if workers are going to be successful on this continent.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Unionist wrote:

So... all my independentist sisters and brothers and friends and neighbours who voted NDP in 2011 because they hate Harper, should have voted for the Bloc (as they did in previous elections), because of their "hearts"?

Basically yes.  If they believed that the Bloc was the best way to build the country they want then they should vote Bloc.  Assuming only for the point of discussion that the only major difference between the NDP and the Bloc was regarding their attitude towards federalism.  Then if you believe that achieving this is important and achievable, why would you vote NDP.

Unionist

Pogo wrote:

Unionist wrote:

So... all my independentist sisters and brothers and friends and neighbours who voted NDP in 2011 because they hate Harper, should have voted for the Bloc (as they did in previous elections), because of their "hearts"?

Basically yes.  If they believed that the Bloc was the best way to build the country they want then they should vote Bloc.  Assuming only for the point of discussion that the only major difference between the NDP and the Bloc was regarding their attitude towards federalism. 

Very poor assumption. The only difference between the NDP and the Bloc that mattered to my many friends and colleagues was that the Bloc wasn't running candidates outside Québec, therefore it couldn't form the government and crush Harper.

Quote:
Then if you believe that achieving this is important and achievable, why would you vote NDP.

Just answered your question. Many that I know didn't care whether the NDP was federalist, sovereignist, or spaghetti-ist. They wanted to defeat the government that is alien to their culture, their values, their way of life. They didn't see an individual vote as a statement of philosophical belief (nor do I, or I'd never vote). They saw it as an exercise of power. Power of the people. A decent definition of "democracy".

 

Unionist

genstrike wrote:

shartal@rogers.com wrote:
Young people are less interested in unions because most work in unorganized or unorganizable jobs; ie short term art time, temp and contract work. Why would I want to pay union dues if my work is term limited. Why would I join an organizing drive if I expect to leave the employment soon? In fact in some unionized retail workplaces some unionized part time end up earning less than minimum wage after union dues are deducted.

 

Certain jobs are only "unorganizable" because the mainstream unions don't want to put in the time and effort to organize them

If short term, part time, temp and contract work is unorganizable, how do you explain the building trades unions?  Most of their members go from project to project, getting laid off when the job is done.  Or student academic worker unions -- which have greatly improved the condition of student academic workers?

As for young people in unionized retail workplaces earning less than minimum wage, that's not a problem with young people not being interested in unions, but with a certain union not adequately representing the young people working there, negotiating two-tier wages, etc.

Seriously, as a young person and a former local executive, this whole "young people aren't interested in unions" crap gets kind of tiring.  More often than not, it's unions which aren't interested in young people.

Seriously, as an older person and having served in many union functions, I agree 100% with genstrike's post.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Very poor assumption. The only difference between the NDP and the Bloc that mattered to my many friends and colleagues was that the Bloc wasn't running candidates outside Québec, therefore it couldn't form the government and crush Harper.

Quote:

I would hope you would tell your friends that voting to avoid a future they don't want is not the way to achieve the future they want.  As Aristotle has said over and over here every election there is going to be an evil bogeyman, at some point you have to realize that to build something else you have to committ to what you want.  No wonder the NDP has issues with its platform when people basically only care about what it is not.

shartal@rogers.com

The problem is not that simple. Traditional unions function on the idea of one voice for everyone in the workplace. Members pay dues in exchange for a collective agreement within which members see a long term interest. Building trades organize both by skill and by site. When it is by site everyone on site is union. If it is by trade, the union, through the apprentice programs, tries to control access by the employer to the skilled labour. Accademic TA's are still all the workers in a category on one very big site and of a defined skill set. Long term retail workers still have one employer. Canada's existing unions have structural difficulty organizin contract workers and workers who cannot get stable part time employment and end up working for many different employers in many different kinds of service jobs. In Canada the current Unifor organizing model offers associate membership to contract workers etc who pay dues in exchange for access to pension plans, life insurance and/or medical benefits. In the US the free lancers union offers the same things but also became a strong voice in legislating the working conditions of contrct workers. In the UK Unite offers membership to both employed and unemployed workers who do not have unions. These members pay a set amount in dues and receive help with resumes, legal advice and access to benefits and insurance. However all the more successful organizing models in Europe or else where rest upon the fundamental recognition that the majority employment of the 20th century in which workers are employed by one employer for a long time has fundamentally changed in 21st century capitalism. IMHO I see no evidence that Canadian unions, central labour organizations or the NDP have "seriously turned their minds" to the massive structural shift in employment relationships in the 21st century. The fact that only about 17% of private sector workers are unionized speaks volumes. It isn't because of not wanting unions. At the same time ONDP rejected the $14 minimum wage and I have not read about the Federal NDP demanding Any form of national legislation that would get any closer to making emploers either pay the same hourly rate for all hours worked or incentivize the creation of full time jobs.

shartal@rogers.com

www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-006-x/2013001/article/11878-eng.pdf
by D Galarneau - ‎2013 - ‎Related articles
long‑standing partnership between Statistics Canada, the ... Statistics Canada — November 2013 ... of CANSIM tables on union membership and coverage.

Winston

genstrike wrote:

[Certain jobs are only "unorganizable" because the mainstream unions don't want to put in the time and effort to organize them

...

Seriously, as a young person and a former local executive, this whole "young people aren't interested in unions" crap gets kind of tiring.  More often than not, it's unions which aren't interested in young people.

Bang on! It's truly unfortunate that exactly the people who most need to be organized are the least likely to be organized. At a time when labour is under siege, it is avoiding precisely the things that would keep it relevant.

CanadaOrangeCat

In an ideal situation for example, musicians would get union scale or the beer delivery workers would not deliver the beer. Here, I think sympathy strikes are not allowed. The situation for musicians in Toronto is pathetic, with 4 people sharing "10% of the beer" which can be a whole $20.

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