NDP Ex-MPs to rock Couillard's world?

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

People who say they want a "left-federalist" option do have to confront this reality, though:

There is actually such a party in Quebec...Le Parti Verte du Quebec. 

If there is a huge potential support base for a left-federalist party, why is it that THAT party(which now describes itself as "ecosocialist", has been totally unable to gain any significant level of support at all?  

Hi Ken!

The Parti Vert (not "Verte") is not federalist. To its credit, it takes no position on the independence of Québec. It welcomes both "federalists" and "sovereignists" to join. In the event of a referendum, it states that elected members (if any), candidates, and members will be free to vote according to their conscience.

I like that position. But calling it "federalist" is false.

Let me know if you need a reference.

Thank you for the information(I'll correct the spelling in my post).  Perhaps that might be a way forward for QS...to take a neutral stance on the constitutional situation in the same way as Les Verts do.

Not sure why some people here are so obsessed treating sovereigntism as if it is something evil.  It's simply a political orientation some people have in Quebec.  No good would come of forcing anyone to renounce it or insisting on formally destroying it. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mulcair's departure might make it easier to form a Quebec NPD...it's possiblel he was blocking the creation of such a party because he didn't want to split the federalist vote in Quebec elections...that is, that he still bought in to the idea that federalism was SO much more important than everything else that the PLQ, no matter how permanentl reactionary it has become, MUST be kept as the only electable federalist option.

People who say they want a "left-federalist" option do have to confront this reality, though:

There is actually such a party in Quebec...Le Parti Vert du Quebec. 

If there is a huge potential support base for a left-federalist party, why is it that THAT party(which now describes itself as "ecosocialist", has been totally unable to gain any significant level of support at all?  

(On edit...it turns out Les Verts are actually neutral on the constitutional question, rather than federalist.  Still they ARE a party left voters in Quebec could vote for without having to worry that they've endorsed that terrible, awful icky baby-eating sovereigntist business).

swallow

If QS would just move to an agnostic stance on sovereignty, then its support could leap. Plus, it would be the right thing to do. I wish the party could catch up with popular sentiment - and even the CAQ - and simply be agnostic between the stale sovereigntist-federalist polarization. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I agree -- as an Anglo, living in Ontario -- that it probably is a bit of a moribund issue, at least right now.

But I would also wonder whether QS might lose some support if they went the "neutral" route.  Presumably their support consists of some federalists, some undecided, and some sovereigntists.  But how many sovereigntists, and how committed?

NorthReport

A good analogy is that for the NPD to run provincially against QS would be about as productive as last weekend's promoting "LEAP" in Edmonton, and QS might be wise to quietly drop the anti-Canada rhetoric.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

Thank you for the information(I'll correct the spelling in my post).  Perhaps that might be a way forward for QS...to take a neutral stance on the constitutional situation in the same way as Les Verts do.

Not sure why some people here are so obsessed treating sovereigntism as if it is something evil.  It's simply a political orientation some people have in Quebec.  No good would come of forcing anyone to renounce it or insisting on formally destroying it. 

I don't see why some people here are so obsessed with treating federalism as thought it's a taboo topic or should be. Trudeau spoke very openly in favor of federalism in Quebec. Canada is greater than the sum of its parts and we are stronger and more resilient together.

swallow

Well, there's a history of leftism being linked to sovereignty - yes to indepdendence, and social justice becomes possible. The history can't be denied. 

But it's time to move beyond the history. And for QS too, I think. 

I'm in "the regions." I always vote QS and try to convince others to do so. Most anglo and allo friends simply say: there's only one party that we can consider, and that's the Liberals, because the others all are too obsessed with separatism (the word most often used). The PQ and the Bloc have successfully made sovereignty toxic with their toxic identity politics, and that has also put QS beyond the pale by association - because it keeps stressing sovereignty. I like the actual way they talk about getting there, it's democratic and does not pre-suppose the outcome. But it makes them simply impossible to consider supporting for people who otherwise support QS ideas and policy approaches. 

As long as QS (unlike the CAQ) continues to stress sovereignty, it leaves the door open for a provincial NDP. 

I continue to oppose a provincial NDP, since the result would be to harm left politics as it already exists in Quebec (and the provincial NDP governments tend to be to the right of ALL Quebec parties on key issues in any case). But I think the QS elders' loyalty to sovereigntist politics, born in Montreal of another time, is also part of the problem. QS does not speak to a lot of people, and it's because it too often presents itself in ways that make it appear as simply a left splinter from the PQ. 

No offence to QS members intended, and I hope frankness is OK here. 

lagatta

I suppose my riding, in the area of East-Central Montréal where we are NDP federally, QS on the Québec level and Projet Montréal on the municipal, may not be representative, but there is a huge overlap in the vote for all three (broadlly defined) left parties. And I know several anglophones and alllophones who vote QS around here.

The anglophones in the Townships who vote PLQ are shooting themselves in the foot. With all their cutbacks to health, education and social services, the Québec Fiberals are doing sweet F-all to ensure access to those services for the historic anglophone minority. That minority tends to be elderly, in general not very well off, and greatly in need of social services. Manon Massé is originally from that region.

Unionist

swallow wrote:
I like the actual way they talk about getting there, it's democratic and does not pre-suppose the outcome. But it makes them simply impossible to consider supporting for people who otherwise support QS ideas and policy approaches.

I don't fully understand why you say that [and I've bolded the words that made me sit up and take notice].

I don't advocate Québec seceding from the Canadian federation. I see no need for it - I don't see which problems it would solve - and I see many problems it would create.

But that didn't stop me voting for the Bloc in my riding when they were best-placed to defeat the long-time Liberal hegemony there (until Mulcair came along and I could vote NDP). And it certainly doesn't stop me being a member of QS.

As long as the question of independence is left to a referendum, what's wrong with supporting a party that takes all the best stands on the other issues of the day?

And as long as federalism vs. independence is a show-stopper for some people, then commitment to social justice will necessarily take second place. That ranking will never work for me, personally.

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I think QS would get a boost as NPDQ....People seem to vote by brand or colour and maybe the paranoids would find a familiar brand more palatable. I don't know. But I DO know that there are FAR TOO MANY right wing parties not only in the Assembly but fringe groups that run in elections..which I think double than the left wing choices we have.

QS platform is very populist. In spite of certain local pundits,QS policies are for the most part agreed with. So I don't understand how they can't break out...At least beat out CAQ. That would be s nice start. Trou-Culiard isn't going to get a second mandate and right now if there was a vote the PQ would give the PLQ a good run..Too close to call.

Sadly,that's not good news either,even with PKP's new , stay close to the centre, demeanor.

Would a rebranding of QS make a difference? It's a good question that I have no answer to.

 

Unionist

alan smithee wrote:

I think QS would get a boost as NPDQ....People seem to vote by brand or colour and maybe the paranoids would find a familiar brand more palatable. I don't know.

Oh alan, that might be true everywhere else in Canada, but surely not Québec:

In 2007, the ADQ rose from nowhere to become official opposition - only to virtually disappear in 2008. And then CAQ - what kind of brand was that?

In 2011 federally - well, you know what happened. People voted NDP in massive numbers who had never voted NDP before. Including countless sovereignists. Then in 2015 - well, you know what happened. People voted Liberal who would have sworn they would never do so. Including sovereignists.

In 2012, we booted the Liberals and ushered in the PQ. And you know what happened in 2014.

So - no, I don't think brands are the issue. But I'm open to other ideas as to why QS is stalling. Probably because of overrepresentation in a few Montréal neighbourhoods, and no profile in the regions yet?

swallow

Unionist and lagatta, what you say is true. 

And yet, despite, it, I am aware of precisely one person who is not francophone who will consider voting QS. 

I agree that the tribal loyalties to the PLQ are irrational and a problem. And yet, people always tell me they would never vote for a party that is committed to working for separation from Canada. This means that the anglo and allo populations of Estrie/Monteregie/Gaspesie (poorer on average than the majority culture here) do, yes, mostly vote against their interests. 

For some, this is tribal loyalties - "A like Francoise David and I like their policies, but I can't vote for them, they are closet separatists." 

For others, it seems to be that, for instance, they don't want to be separated from the Canadian Charter of Rights (see Maria Mourani's comments when leaving the Bloc) and other protections guaranteed to minorities that not everyone feels would be protected under a post-Charter of Values PQ government. 

QS does not have to address this, and yes, there's absolutely nothing wrong with advocating independence if none democratically. It's my personal belief, however, that being caught in the sovereigntist-federalist polarization of a previous generation is one thing that is holding QS back and leaving a perceived space for a new provincial NDP. My impression was that one of the reasons for the creation of QS was to seek to transcend that polarization, to move instead to a  debate about a Quebec solidaire vs a 'Quebec lucide.' I just wish QS would transcend the divide entirely. I completely understand the historical reasons for the choice that was made, but I wonder how long that history will constrain the party.... 

Unionist

So swallow - when hundreds of thousands of voters abandon the Bloc to vote NDP because they hate Harper's ultra-right-wing politics - while Anglos vote PLQ because attachment to Canada is so important it trumps everything else - it tells me that supporters of sovereignist parties are a far more fertile field for progressive politics, and indeed a progressive society, than those who see sovereignty as the kiss of death.

And you seem to be admitting that too, when you say the QS isn't transcending the divide... because it still pushes sovereignty... but how does leave a space for a provincial NDP? Only if a provincial NDP forswore federalism? That actually happened once, and they got booted from the federal NDP.

But again, if federalists will only vote for a federalist party (which I don't really believe), and sovereignists will vote for any old party (which is obvious from years of election results both federal and provincial) based on other considerations, I think I'll proudly plant my flag with the sovereignists - even though I don't support secession.

 

swallow

Sure, me too. I accept all that. As I said, I always vote QS and will continue to do so. I'm trying to think out loud and many of those thoughts will eb wrong, but in any case trying to look at this in a non-adversial way.

But if QS is stalling "[p]robably because of overrepresentation in a few Montréal neighbourhoods, and no profile in the regions yet" then what's to be done to help QS win the support of (for instance) the several ridings outside Montreal that still voted NDP? 

Think I've linked this article before, but maybe not. It's not a magic solution, but it's the same direction I am clumsily thinking along....

Quote:
D’une part, malgré ses positions inclusives, le parti peine à gagner l’appui des communautés issues de l’immigration, d’abord et avant tout parce qu’il n’a pas su y développer un réseau. Alors que l’on considère cet électorat comme « captif » du PLQ, le programme solidaire serait beaucoup plus à l’avantage de ce segment de la population où la pauvreté et l’oppression sont vécues de manière plus aigüe – et ce n’est certainement pas l’austérité libérale qui y changera quoi que ce soit. Il en va de même pour l’électorat anglophone qui, à de rares exceptions près, boude QS à cause de sa position indépendantiste. Si réellement Québec solidaire veut se faire l’agent de promotion de l’idée d’indépendance dans les segments de population laissés pour compte par le PQ – essentiellement, tout ce qui n’est pas francophone « de souche » –, il devra y investir de sérieux efforts.

[url=https://ricochet.media/fr/924/une-marginalite-a-depasser]Ludvic Moquin-Beaudry on the 10th anniversary of QS[/url]

Maybe it's less 'profile' in the regions (I see lots of media coverage in local papers) but 'networks' in the regions, including in minority communities in the regions? Lagatta has posted about solid Liberal blocks in Parc-Extension, and maybe this is the same type of issue? 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Unionist wrote:

 

Oh alan, that might be true everywhere else in Canada, but surely not Québec:

In 2007, the ADQ rose from nowhere to become official opposition - only to virtually disappear in 2008. And then CAQ - what kind of brand was that?

In 2011 federally - well, you know what happened. People voted NDP in massive numbers who had never voted NDP before. Including countless sovereignists. Then in 2015 - well, you know what happened. People voted Liberal who would have sworn they would never do so. Including sovereignists.

In 2012, we booted the Liberals and ushered in the PQ. And you know what happened in 2014.

So - no, I don't think brands are the issue. But I'm open to other ideas as to why QS is stalling. Probably because of overrepresentation in a few Montréal neighbourhoods, and no profile in the regions yet?

Duly noted.

 

Unionist

swallow wrote:

Maybe it's less 'profile' in the regions (I see lots of media coverage in local papers) but 'networks' in the regions, including in minority communities in the regions?

Now that you mention it, I do see "profile" of that kind in various local regional papers - which doesn't end up translating into votes. So maybe "networks" are really the issue. And at least part of building networks has to come from being involved in the community - i.e. the movement.

Pondering

Unionist wrote:
And as long as federalism vs. independence is a show-stopper for some people, then commitment to social justice will necessarily take second place. That ranking will never work for me, personally.

While it may not work for you personally for many people it is a barrier. It is difficult enough to convince people to vote left without having unnecessary barriers.

If the QS were elected and followed through on it's commitments I'd be all for separation because it would mean that Quebec is far more progressive than the rest of the country so it would make sense. They would still have to prove it to me first. Then I would be ready to vote yes. BUT, I am not typical of Quebec voters and neither are you.

I have learned a lot by watching Harper's reign and Trudeau's rise to power. There are marketing lessons to be learned from it. I recently read an article denouncing the marketing over principle path that the NDP has taken in the view of that writer. Principle has to come first, but it has to be marketed. Assuming a party does have the best interests of the people in mind then marketing shouldn't be a problem.

People, particularly swing voters, make up their minds on 1 to 3 top notes. The rest of the platform can't contain dry fire wood although sometimes principle makes it unavoidable.

The majority of Quebecers are federalists even if they don't call themselves that. Status-quoers would probably be a better description. The independence movement is dry fire wood. QS can support the principle of self-determination while remaining agnostic on the issue. Off the top of my head loosely the position could be that Quebec must first prove itself to citizens to use the power it already has free of waste and corruption and in the service of the people. The Quebec government must show itself as being unmistakeably better at governing in the interests of the people. Genuine transparency must exist. For the borders of the province to remain intact the support of First Nations is vital and I don't mean just the leaders. That will take at least a decade to achieve therefore that is what we will focus on. Until we achieve that a referendum would be premature therefore we will focus on good governance so that sometime in future Quebecers will trust us enough to vote yes.

When thinking of our past premiers in Quebec I can't remember a single one in recent times that I would have wanted to give more power to. Federal and provincial government serve as a small check on each other. Those who want us to separate from Canada have never shown how they would improve governance if given the chance. That is why the referendums lost. Who wants to separate just to be exploited by a different bunch of people?

QS has had longer than CAQ to establish a following and been far behind them in gathering support. That means they have failed to sell their vision. New parties rise easily in Quebec. The not having a leader thing comes across as a gimmick and unrealistic. Is that worth not getting elected for? Is it a core tenet to fall on a sword over? QS has made choices that limit their appeal. They have had plenty of solo time to make their case. There should not be any non-competition clauses in politics. It's like QS wants us to be held hostage, it's them or right wing governments. People may not like what Couillard is doing but he is still the only credible option so he will probably win the next election by default. A Quebec NDP could be wildly successful.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Thank you for the information(I'll correct the spelling in my post).  Perhaps that might be a way forward for QS...to take a neutral stance on the constitutional situation in the same way as Les Verts do.

Not sure why some people here are so obsessed treating sovereigntism as if it is something evil.  It's simply a political orientation some people have in Quebec.  No good would come of forcing anyone to renounce it or insisting on formally destroying it. 

I don't see why some people here are so obsessed with treating federalism as thought it's a taboo topic or should be. Trudeau spoke very openly in favor of federalism in Quebec. Canada is greater than the sum of its parts and we are stronger and more resilient together.

But why treat the constitutional question as outweighing everything else?  And why treat sovereigntism as if it is a medieval heresy that MUST be recanted?  I think most people who identify as sovereigntist don't place independence as anywhere near the top item on their personal agenda.  It is simply their orientation, the filter through which they analyze.  It's not really something that has to be vanquished, especially by federalism, an orientation that, in Quebec, will always be basically Anglo-supremacist and economic royalist.  There is no reason to demand that sovereigntists formally renounce sovereigntism.

I think QS will evolve towards an agnostic position, and that that is the only foundation a strong, united Quebec left could ever be built on.

The matter can be left at that.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I think most people who identify as sovereigntist don't place independence as anywhere near the top item on their personal agenda.  It is simply their orientation, the filter through which they analyze.

I think that's a good way to put it.  And reading that I'm reminded of "religion", and how, for a lot of people, it's a quiet thing that sees them head to church (or temple, or mosque) on Sunday (or Saturday, or Friday) and perhaps say a blessing before a meal or whatever.  But nothing that anyone else really needs to worry about.

The world's full of such folk, but it's always the nutjob fundamentalists that get the front-page coverage.

[IMG]http://i68.tinypic.com/2uy10ma.jpg[/IMG]

lombardimax@hot...

I'm paraphrasing Mr. Magoo who said that "Quebec Solidaire believes in sovereigny but it is nothing that anyone else really needs to worry about."

I respectfully disagree.

QS is on the record of willing to prop up a PQ government in exchange for working toward a sovereignty agenda. For most Quebec federalists, even left-wing ones, this is a deal breaker. Federalist lefties absolutely need a Quebec NDP option on the ballot.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

No one is stopping a Quebec NPD from being formed.  It's not as if the idea needs Babble approval.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:

I'm paraphrasing Mr. Magoo who said that "Quebec Solidaire believes in sovereigny but it is nothing that anyone else really needs to worry about."

I respectfully disagree.

Okay.  But I wasn't really talking about QS specifically.  I was just agreeing with Ken's assessment of most sovereigntists, which could include some QS supporters, but likely plenty of PQ supporters as well.

I don't really think the issue is whether QS would ally with PQ to force a "Québexit", it's whether there are really enough folk in QS + PQ + Québec in general who are really gearing up for that any time soon.  Sovereignty isn't boiling -- I don't think it's even simmering.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Sovereignty has gotten passed its best-before-date...The best chance of achieving sovereignty was in 1980...1995,it was close,but judging by the fact that the votes weren't recounted,it was probably not a kosher campaign.

Millenials are not sold on sovereignty and the biggest sovereignists are dead or dying.

I'm not saying there is no place for sovereignty. It will have to be sold and marketed better. A sovereignist stance does not shy me away from voting QS and if the PQ were still lead by René Lévésque,I'd probably vote PQ.

I don't view sovereignty as a threat or an obstacle. In fact,I wish Québec was more like it was in 1976.

 

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Thank you for the information(I'll correct the spelling in my post).  Perhaps that might be a way forward for QS...to take a neutral stance on the constitutional situation in the same way as Les Verts do.

Not sure why some people here are so obsessed treating sovereigntism as if it is something evil.  It's simply a political orientation some people have in Quebec.  No good would come of forcing anyone to renounce it or insisting on formally destroying it. 

I don't see why some people here are so obsessed with treating federalism as thought it's a taboo topic or should be. Trudeau spoke very openly in favor of federalism in Quebec. Canada is greater than the sum of its parts and we are stronger and more resilient together.

But why treat the constitutional question as outweighing everything else?  And why treat sovereigntism as if it is a medieval heresy that MUST be recanted?  I think most people who identify as sovereigntist don't place independence as anywhere near the top item on their personal agenda.  It is simply their orientation, the filter through which they analyze.  It's not really something that has to be vanquished, especially by federalism, an orientation that, in Quebec, will always be basically Anglo-supremacist and economic royalist.  There is no reason to demand that sovereigntists formally renounce sovereigntism.

I think QS will evolve towards an agnostic position, and that that is the only foundation a strong, united Quebec left could ever be built on.

The matter can be left at that.

People vote for parties based on their political positions. Voters have made it very clear they are not interested in whatever it is sovereignists are trying to sell. This is reflected in the popularity of Trudeau, who has loudly proclaimed his federalism, and the election of Couillard who is also a firm federalist.

Given how easily CAQ rose I believe there is potential for a wildly successful NDP party in Quebec that could defeat the Liberals, perhaps the only way the Liberals can be defeated. Without an NDP we are likely to see the Liberal party remain in power for decades with occasional single term PQ or CAQ governments breaking the monotony when the Liberals piss people off so much they have no choice but to elect someone else, anyone else (except QS).

QS can do as it pleases. It doesn't need to recant a thing. Maybe it can become more popular by just keeping quiet about it. So far, that doesn't seem to have worked out for them. QS pretty much has zero hope of governing in the foreseeable future.

We need a political party that will actually represent the 99%. A party like that would have no trouble at all winning an election.

lagatta

Trudeau is a champion of "phrases creuses". His French is pretty shitty, by the way.

I think a lot of people were just glad to see tha back of the Harper régime.

Pondering, I don't really give a shit about what you think of us. QS is fighting for social and environmental justice, not for the powers that be.

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

Pondering, I don't really give a shit about what you think of us. QS is fighting for social and environmental justice, not for the powers that be.

That goes for me too.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

lagatta wrote:

Trudeau is a champion of "phrases creuses".

In that he reminds me of Christy Clark another Liberal leader who speaks photo-op and nothing else.

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:

No one is stopping a Quebec NPD from being formed.  It's not as if the idea needs Babble approval.

Quite right. And now I have to correct my erroneous statement upthread from December. I didn't realize then that the Québec wing of the NDP was still officially registered with the Director General of Elections Québec. I knew Pierre Ducasse had registered it a few years ago, but somehow I had the impression that it had lapsed. Obviously I was wrong.

The practical implications of that are pretty clear. It means that no supporter of QS (let alone a member of QS) can join the federal party - as I was considering doing in 2011 - because to do so, they would have to first abandon any support for QS.

Pretty sad. But there you go.

Pondering

lagatta wrote:

Trudeau is a champion of "phrases creuses". His French is pretty shitty, by the way.

I think a lot of people were just glad to see tha back of the Harper régime.

Pondering, I don't really give a shit about what you think of us. QS is fighting for social and environmental justice, not for the powers that be.

Fortunately you don't speak for the QS either because social justice includes democracy.

QS has had zero competition in Quebec for a decade and still can't make it into double digits.

Your reasoning seems to be that QS suppoerters support NDP federally therefore the NDP owes it to QS not to start a provincial party.  That sounds like we scratch your back so you have to scratch ours political dealing.

Trudeau's French is good enough for him to have gained the support of Quebecers and for him to communicate effectively. That is the purpose of language. In my experience Quebecers, including myself, are respectful of anyone with functional fluency and forgiving of any errors large or small.

Trudeau's support has grown since the election so it is not that people are just glad Harper is gone. You cannot defeat Trudeau if you won't recognize his strengths.

I respect your vision for the future, support it even, but I don't support imposing it on people and I don't support perfection being the enemy of good.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

We already have a federalist party which wants to balance the budget in Quebec. It is the Couillard Liberals. The nationalistic population tends to be Catholic and conservative, which explains the 30 chauvanist right wing parties. They can go ahead and split the right wing vote.

lagatta

I guess thisCool means it is time for me to start the annual May Day thread.

swallow

montrealer58 wrote:

The nationalistic population tends to be Catholic and conservative, which explains the 30 chauvanist right wing parties. They can go ahead and split the right wing vote.

"Catholic and conservative"? Huh? 

Note - the most right-wing Quebec parties preside over social policies that are to the left of any NDP government's record in power. 

swallow

The Quebec NDP will run in the next Quebec elections, says (interim?) leader Pierre Ducasse. Can't find anything in the English media but since it's in La Presse today, it will probably be in The Gazette tomorrow. 

[url=http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/politique-quebecoise/201610/...ès plusieurs mois de consultations, le Nouveau Parti démocratique du Québec «enclenche» le processus qui l'amènera à présenter des candidats aux prochaines élections provinciales, a confirmé à La Presse son chef par intérim.[/url]

Ducasse has just put out an open letter that maps out the outlines of an NPDQ potential platform. [url=https://www.facebook.com/npdq2018/posts/680609272114551]RECHERCHÉ : PROJET DE SOCIÉTÉ. Lettre ouverte par Pierre Ducasse[/url]

lagatta

They don't even mention Québec solidaire. All the priority points discussed (health, education, environment, fighting poverty) have been developed in great detail by QS. And also by the Parti vert du Québec, with whom there isn't even a disagreement about the national question.

Not all "splitters and wreckers" are ultraleftists.

Unionist

What lagatta said.

sherpa-finn

Ditto. This is a "YUGE" political mistep. 

lagatta

All the more so given that NDPers have a hell of a lot of work to do to rebuild their own party which has been battered both by Mulcair's misleadership (not only in terms of policies that at times appeared even to the right of the Libs, but by his muzzling of any critics within the caucus, including some very able and effective MPs) and by the Trudeau.2 mystique. If the NDP were in better shape, they could be slamming Justin now over his stance on free trade agreements, environmental issues, especially pipelines and inaction over Lac-Mégantic, and on Indigenous issues. He even made an embarrassing comment against the fight for 15...

swallow

Agreed, of course. 

So we can follow the developoing crash, however, here's what Ducasse said in response to a recent question on that topic: 

Quote:

Except on the independence issue, your positions seem similar to Quebec Solidaire’s. Are you concerned about splitting the left vote?

I said repeatedly that we can’t steal the votes from other parties for one simple reason: the vote belongs to the citizens; it doesn’t belong to the parties. Some people think that Quebec NDP would divert support from QS mostly, others think that it would be at the liberals’ expense mostly… The only way to know is to do it.

One thing I can say for sure is that I do not consider Québec Solidaire my opponent or my enemy. For me the adversaries are these right-wing policies, whether they’re from the liberals or from any other party: those austerity policies, the lack of focus on education and health and fighting poverty. And right now they are embodied by the Quebec Liberal party – who is ideologically closer to a conservative party.

How many people do you think vote Liberal, not because they necessarily like them, but because they could never vote for a sovereignist party? A lot of people say ‘we hold our nose while voting”. Well, maybe holding our nose is not something we should do while voting,

[url=http://www.forgetthebox.net/quebec-ndp-pierre-ducasse-201610141/]Ducasse interview[/url]

He adds:

Quote:
The Quebec NDP would be independent, there is no automatic affiliation between the two but there is certainly an ideological proximity with the Federal NDP. Many members might be involved in both so, the ideas are similar, but it doesn’t mean they will be exactly the same all the time. If it’s a distinct autonomous party, it means that it may not be always exactly the same.

Does the NDP even allow provincial sections not to be affilaited to the federal party? I thought not, but surely Ducasse is an expert on these things? Or maybe not....

lagatta

All I know is that the provincial wings split twice; first, a long time ago, to form the Parti socialiste du Québec, and later, to form the Parti de la démocratie socialiste (PDS) one of the groups that formed the UFP, which in turn was one of the groups that formed Québec solidaire, along with Action citoyenne.

Nobody "owed" anyone anything in politics, but NDP activists have a priority job in terms of rebuilding the federal party ... there is a headlong fall to a "two-party system", the capitalist monopoly over politics we see and mourn in the country to our south.

cco

swallow wrote:

Does the NDP even allow provincial sections not to be affilaited to the federal party? I thought not, but surely Ducasse is an expert on these things? Or maybe not....

I've been at a few meetings with the people who are setting this up, including Ducasse, and I asked that very question. The short version of the answer I got: Québec electoral law doesn't allow that kind of automatic affiliation, so the NPDQ will be the exception to the rule. (Barely disguised, of course, is that everyone involved is quite aware the NDP federal votership in Québec spreads across many provincial parties. A fair number of the people at the first meeting were QS members or sympathizers, but we also had a quite impassioned speech from an older woman who's been an NDP member since it was the CCF, but is also a die-hard PLQ voter and is terrified the NPDQ will split the federalist vote.)

Unionist

Sadly, Ducasse is mistaken. Like many other NDP members and supporters, he has never read the constitution. I'm being charitable.

sherpa-finn

I  am not aware of any provision in the Quebec Electoral Act  that restricts or addresses in any way affiliation of 'provincial' parties with 'national' (Canadian) parties. It would just be really dumb politics and optics in the Quebec context, opening that party to the accusation that it is taking its marching orders from Ottawa. Or Toronto or Calgary, - even worse!

As regards the federal NDP's own constitution, it provides for members in Quebec to constitute a "section", rather than a provincial party as per elsewhere.  But allows for the establishment of a provincial party. Here is the relevant section: 

ARTICLE XIII QUEBEC

1. There shall be a Quebec section of the Federal Party to be known as the New Democratic Party of Canada (Quebec) to carry out the work of the New Democratic Party in the federal jurisdiction in Quebec.

2. There may also be an autonomous provincial Party working within the provincial electoral jurisdiction known as the Nouveau parti démocratique – Québec. The NPD-Québec will conduct itself in general consistency with the social democratic principles of the New Democratic Party of Canada as outlined in the preamble of this constitution, and will be governed otherwise only by Article XIII.

3.

(a) The NDP Canada (Quebec) will exercise authority on federal matters in Quebec, under a constitution approved by the Federal Council;

(b) Except where a matter of responsibility or authority is specifically addressed in the constitution of NDP Canada (Quebec), the Federal Party Constitution shall apply to the NDP Canada (Quebec) so that where the federal constitution refers to “provincial Party” or “provincial Section” in Quebec this shall be interpreted to mean NDP Canada (Quebec), except for Article XIII, which shall apply to both NDP Canada (Quebec) and NPD-Québec;

(c) Membership: for the purposes of federal individual membership in the province of Quebec, membership shall be open to every resident of Quebec, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex or national origin, who undertakes to accept and abide by the constitution and principles of the Federal Party and who is not a member or supporter of any other federal political party.

lagatta

Well, if she votes for those Knights of Austerity and Corruption, that is her effing problem.

http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/482729/le-depute-gerry-sklavoun...

Pondering

For whatever reason QS has failed to grow. They are in no way competition for the Liberals.

Progressive federalists exist. They should not have to choose between sovereignist progressive and right wing federalists.

If vote splitting is an issue perhaps QS should shut down and allow the NDP a chance to see if it can gather more support.

What's more important, the sovereignty issue or social democracy?

https://www.socialeurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/OccPap11-final.pdf

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Sovereignty.

It's an interesting idea. But I'm not on board for Nationalism,I don't believe in Nationalism,it's too closely tied to fascism.

I've always been open to sovereignty but certain questions need to be answered.

I reached out to JF Lisée. I got no response.

What exactly would a sovereign Québec be? If it's just going to be Canada en francais or USA en francais,I'm not interested. If a sovereign Québec is modeled by Nordic Europe,then I'm on board.

Also,why would a sovereign Québec need an army?

Could a sovereign Québec walk away from federal trade deals?

So sovereignty has never been a threat to me. But it's never been defined. If it doesn't offer any difference besides language from Canada or the States,what's the point?

Too many people with too many different visions of what a sovereign Québec would be. This is why I don't think it's plausible.

lagatta

Pondering, I vote NDP federally, and I don't believe in Canadian federalism. No, I wouldn't call myself a "nationalist" and I doubt most QS members would either. There are also a lot of old-school Québec nationalists (of the Union nationale mould) who vote CAQ. By the way, federalists are every bit as nationalist as sovereignists, and they are defending the nationalism of the more powerful nation.

The PQ wants to shut us down as well.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Indeed,there definitely are Federalist Nationalists. Nationalism in itself is conservative,really.

And CAQ is a despicable party with an idiot leader. Legault will do or say anything he thinks will get him to his personal dream of leading a nation. He's definitely out for himself and the punchline is that they lean further to the right than the PLQ. It's sad.

lagatta

Of course they do - they are basically a rightwing split from the PQ. But they and the Liberals have identical positions on austerity. They are a sort of caricatural echo of the old very-right-wing Union nationale. And Legault is a bully.

Right-wing nationalism can come from the dominant nation too: look at fascist Spain and the continuing refusal of democratic Spain to allow Catalonia and Euskadi (the Basque country) to hold referenda on sovereignty.

The recent Scottish sovereignty campaign was more over social issues than anything else. And now many want sovereignty to REMAIN in the EU!

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

This is probably not a popular view,maybe it is.

I knew the EU would be a complete disaster. I can understand and empathize with those who want their country back in Europe. Can you imagine a similar 'union' happening here? Like the North American Union of Canada,the US and Mexico all controlled by Washington?

You think we're livbing a nightmare of austerity here now,it would be on steroids if there was an EU modeled North American Union.

Bankers in Brussels writing social policies for the rest of Europe. If I was living in Europe,I'd be very,very pissed.

Now that the UK has left,I hope there is a domino effect and all European countries are given their sovereignty back. I'd be a very vocal. I hope the EU is resignated as a failed experiment and no longer exist in 10 years.

But I have to disagree with you when it comes to the PLQ and CAQ. CAQ is FAR more frightening. And that isn't a compliment to Couillard and the Liberals. Legault reminds me of Donald Trump with a sedated disposition.

Legault changes his stance on issues where ever he feels it will help him get elected. He's a charlatan. He also wants to attack the poor in worse ways than the PLQ has so far.

I hate CAQ. I'd vote for virtually any other party before I'd ever consider voting for the far-right CAQ.

swallow

I don't know that QS growth has stalled. It's grown slowly, but it still shows growth 10 years after formation, and has had more success than any party to the left of the NDP anywhere in Canada. It's not nothing, that. 

Quebec Solidaire is the most successful left-wing party in Canada, in fact, and as far as I know the only party left of the federal NDP to elect members anywhere. 

An NDPQ is not I think a real threat to the Liberal stronghold on federalist voters - even progressive PLQ supporters will vote for it come what may, so long as the split is federalism vs. independence. 

Dyed-in-the-wool federalists who are progressive but vote PLQ - well, nothing will change there until QS drops its insistence on being "sovereigntist," I think. But I also think that, after Francoise David steps down (has to happen one day, wonderful as she is) there's a chance that QS can go as far as CAQ in being a bit more agnostic on the issue (as most Quebecoises and Quebecois are, after all) and at least becoming "sovereignist in suspension," as Couillard called the CAQ last election. It would be great if we could move past independence/federalism debates, irrelevant to most people's lives these days, and have the debates over issues like whether we want a "Quebec lucide" or a "Quebec solidaire." 

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