What ever happened to plans for a provincial NDP in Quebec?

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Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

 

There is a federalist left in Quebec. 59 of them are now sitting as NDP MPs. [...] I think many if not most progressives in Quebec would be more than happy to support QS if it stopped being so totally "infatuated with Quebec independence"...

What a laugh. You appear to have forgotten that even your glorious leader Nycole Turmel was simultaneously a member of Québec solidaire. As for the 59 MPs, you think they took an oath to Canada as part of becoming members, let alone candidates, of the NDP?

Don't be surprised how they'll vote in a future referendum.

Stockholm, I wish you many years of accumulating wisdom about the psychology of the Québec nation. There is no doubt that you have many such years ahead of you.

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

 

If only Quebec Solidaire would simply SHELVE all this waste of time talk about more referendums and separation ...

Just in case some newcomer stumbles onto this thread and hasn't met Stock (whom we love and cherish, but don't always read), let it be pointed out that Stock is just making this stuff up out of whole cloth and thin air, which appear to be stockpiled in abundance in southern Ontario since the manufacturing crisis hit bigtime in recent years. That's why he doesn't provide any ... er ... evidence for his outlandish statements.

Stockholm wrote:
Nycole Turmel has also always been a FEDERALIST - its a shame that she had to hold her nose...

You would think that having developed some expertise at holding her nose, she'd now be in a position to transfer her hand to her mouth. No such luck these days, unfortunately - see her comments on Harper's crime bill, the execution of Gaddafi, etc.

 

Unionist

Let me say it more simply: Ask not what the NDP can do for Québec. Ask rather what Québec can do for the NDP.

 

Doug

I don't see how a Quebec NDP is necessary and I also doubt that it's wanted on the Quebec left. There isn't an obvious constituency for it. If you're on the more activist left you're probably quite happy with QS, if you're a trade unionist perhaps your traditional home in the PQ is a bit uncomfortable from time to time but it's hard to justify leaving. 

lagatta

There are members of various left currents, including Trotskyists, in the NDP as well. That does not mean those left currents dominate either party.

Aristotleded24

One thing I think might be considered would be for QS members, particularly Khadir and Gouin, to introduce themselves to the rest of the country. Regardless of whether or not Quebec goes for full sovereignty, Quebec will always be in relationship with the rest of the country, and I think it could be helpful for all around for the rest of Canada to become acquanted with QS on QS' terms, rather than let the English media brand them as "separatists."

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
If only Quebec Solidaire would simply SHELVE all this waste of time talk about more referendums and separation and focus like a laser beam on social inequality - their support could double overnight!

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_Solidaire]From Wikipedia:[/url]

Quote:
QS also holds that its view of an independent Quebec is a completely different project than that of the PQ. Rather than working for independence for its own sake, QS works for an internationalist independence - an independence based on principles of social justice. For QS, independence is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

What's so objectionable about that? Isn't that what we would like for the rest of the country as well?

Unionist

Aristotleded24 wrote:

One thing I think might be considered would be for QS members, particularly Khadir and Gouin, to introduce themselves to the rest of the country.

Not a bad idea. By the way, I think you mean David. Gouin is her riding.

 

Aristotleded24

Unionist wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
One thing I think might be considered would be for QS members, particularly Khadir and Gouin, to introduce themselves to the rest of the country.

Not a bad idea. By the way, I think you mean David. Gouin is her riding.

Shows what happens when people from outside of Quebec go off on things about which they hardly know!Wink

autoworker autoworker's picture

I'm wondering when the bulk of the NDP's Quebec caucus will fracture into 'Bloc Solidaire'. Any thoughts on who might lead their departure?

Stockholm

They won't - not any more than the Newfoundland Liberal MPs will desert to form the NL party. One of the most under-reported stories coming out of Quebec is that the vast majority of Quebec NDP MPs are dyed in the wool federalists - many are non-francophones who come from or have lived in other countries and provinces. They are a totally different breed from the Bloquistes they replaced.

Unionist

So - immigrants are federalists. Non-francophones are federalist. "Dyed in the wool." "Totally different breed."

What an arrogant, ignorant, stereotyping, anti-Québec post.

Once again, I advise the new and innocent to pay no attention to anything Stockholm says about Québec. It's a shame that some of his posts may show up on the rabble.ca domain in Google searches. But we have people working on that.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Stockholm wrote:

They won't - not any more than the Newfoundland Liberal MPs will desert to form the NL party. One of the most under-reported stories coming out of Quebec is that the vast majority of Quebec NDP MPs are dyed in the wool federalists - many are non-francophones who come from or have lived in other countries and provinces. They are a totally different breed from the Bloquistes they replaced.

What gives you grounds for making such a sweeping statement?

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Unionist wrote:

Let me say it more simply: Ask not what the NDP can do for Québec. Ask rather what Québec can do for the NDP.

I keep saying that I am waiting for Quebec supporters to form riding associations. Then I will read with interest the policy resolutions coming from them.  In BC different ridings have different cultures and send quite different resolutions to conventions.  It all depends on who the party activists are in any riding association. That to me should be the focus of the party because that is where grassroots democracy resides and where organizational strength arises from.  

I have for years wished that the provincial wings and the federal wings in BC were separate. In BC the only way to join the federal party is by joining the provincial party.  Sounds to me like that system would be very unhelpful to building a real functioning federal party in Quebec. 

Orangutan

Ken Burch wrote:

The OP and post #25 were, to my reading, advocating the creation of such a party, and advocating it for the explicit purpose of trying to wipe out QS.  Those were the posts I was responding to there.

 

I am not advocating the destruction of QS.  There are many advantages to the QS being independent from the federal NDP, as they can be explicitly far more to the left and alter-globalist than the federal NDP could at this moment in time.  That being said, the fact they are sovereigntists could hurt the federal NDP vote, both in Quebec, and in English Canada if any association to them is alleged by the media.   I do understand that the federal NDP has higher support from French Quebecois than English Quebecers, but this support is not transalating into support for QS, which makes me wonder my Quebecois are more willing to support some unknown entity than a viable alternative in QS?  

 

Another reason I want to see the Quebec NPD back is that we need to ensure our long-term on the ground organization and membership within the province.  I have the sense not as many Quebecois care to join a federal party, than might want to join a provincial party.  We probably need at least 10,000-15,000 annual members in the province to be able to draw on a base of volunteer and riding association support.  We only have about 33-50% of that right now.  Ideally, it should be even higher than that because of the number of seats we have and hope to hold there.

bouchecl

I read this discussion with interest, but as a Quebecer, I do have one question for the proponents of a provincial (latin for "for the vanquished") NDP in Quebec.

What's so great in this Royal Dominion of Canada for me to forego the dream of being "maître chez nous" and the continued existence of my homeland? I imagine a strong federalist party would have a convincing answer to this.

Unionist

Watch out, bouchecl. Some geniuses here will tell you that every vote for the NDP on May 2 was a vote for Canada! Oh, and also every vote for the Liberals and Conservatives and Greens... It's difficult sometimes for a Quebecer's voice to be heard, even on this discussion board.

 

bouchecl

Unionist wrote:

Watch out, bouchecl. Some geniuses here will tell you that every vote for the NDP on May 2 was a vote for Canada! Oh, and also every vote for the Liberals and Conservatives and Greens... It's difficult sometimes for a Quebecer's voice to be heard, even on this discussion board.

I fully expect strong reactions to my previous post :) I thought about posting a couple policy issues ripped from this morning's Le Devoir (like this one, this one and that one) to get a taste of what would a Quebec NDP agenda be, but it would have required a strong grasp of Quebec's political culture, doctrine and history. But that would be unfair for most commenters on this board (you and a few others excepted...). So I ended up posting an "easy" question.

EDIT: Added samples

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

bouchecl wrote:

What's so great in this Royal Dominion of Canada for me to forego the dream of being "maître chez nous" and the continued existence of my homeland? I imagine a strong federalist party would have a convincing answer to this.

A strong federalist party would be capable of talking Quebecers out of their dreams. I believe that as much as I  believe that a strong social democratic party can convince conservatives to vote for them.  Sorry I don't think the NDP is up to either task.  Frankly as far as I am concerned if Quebec voters want to stay in Canada they will if they don't then they won't.  It is really simple to me.  Quebec self determination is a Quebec issue and both you and Unionist are right that any federal party wading in will find themselves in quicksand very quickly.  To me there are two self evident truths about the "Quebec issue".  The first is that every time there is a referendum the voters are nearly evenly divided.  The second is that the divide is not along left/right lines.  So to me the NDP wading in on constitutional issues can only lead to less support because any definitive stand will bother some of the left supporters who are clearly divided on the issue.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

When has Canada (with Quebec) ever elected a left-leaning federal government? As for what is possible in 2015, four years from now - I think the best that can be hoped for is a Conservative minority, unless the country is mobilized somehow to vote massively against Harper - but 60% voted against Harper last May, and he has a majority gov't. Until some form of PR can be enacted, things will remain the same, making Quebec sovereignty even more appealing. Four more years of Harper... I can't see Quebec putting up with this bullshit much longer.

Orangutan

bouchecl wrote:

I read this discussion with interest, but as a Quebecer, I do have one question for the proponents of a provincial (latin for "for the vanquished") NDP in Quebec.

What's so great in this Royal Dominion of Canada for me to forego the dream of being "maître chez nous" and the continued existence of my homeland? I imagine a strong federalist party would have a convincing answer to this.

 

To be blunt: If Quebec left Canada, Canada as a country would likely be politically farther right than the United States.  That would have political repercussions (likely bad, but possibly good) having an isolated left-leaning Quebec in a right-leaning North America.

The election results in Canada (without Quebec) would have been:

2006: 114 (C), 90 (Lib), 29 (NDP) - Conservative Minority

2008: 133 (C), 63 (Lib), 36 (NDP), 1 (Indp) - Conservative Majority

2011: 161 (C), 44 (NDP), 27 (Liberal), 1 (Green) - Conservative Majority

Throw in the new seats for Ontario, BC and Alberta and we'll end up with a situation like Japan - a right-wing government almost continually for 54 years, until 2009.  While Quebec would have an NDP government right now.  I think many of us would move to Quebec if such a situation were to occur, making Canada even more right-leaning.  While this scenario is tempting, I caution those who would lean this way.  At least we have a fighting chance to have a left-leaning government in Canada with Quebec as part of Canada - a fighting chance to stop tar sands development and to stop natural gas fracking.  

 

 

lil.Tommy

The only Left option in Quebec at the provincial level had their conferece last wknd:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Qu%c3%a9bec+solidaire+wants+language/5842616/story.html

 Synopsis of some policy into the next election:
- Creating a State bank for Quebec
- Creating a universal retirement plan and minimum income guarantee for anyone over age 18.
- No support for expanding bill 101 in CEGEPs; But also want to push learning of english in french schools
- Supported a proposal against making the knowledge of English a hiring requirement unless it is shown to be indispensable for a position.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Clearly, there's no reason for the NDP to challenge a party like that in Quebec politics, especially since a Quebec NDP would probably be challenging it from the finicky, tighfisted anglophone social-democratic right.

The focus for the NDP in Quebec should be on maintaining and strenghtening support for its federal MP's there.  It doesn't hurt those MP's for QS to grow(and let's face it, the only reason to found a Quebec NDP would be to try to crush QS-there's no positive, left case for going there for any other reason).

Shoon

The NDP will have way more influence in Quebec politics without a QNDP. Right now the NDP has built a coalition between LPQ, PQ, and QS members, taking side as has been accused in the latest election will just create a wedges between activists in the party. Even the CAQ has NDP voters turning to it, 60 percent of those CAQ is drawing to it.

Instead of taking sides its should be building a unofficial coalition of supporters from all Quebec parties within itself with the goal of insuring bi partisan progressive cooperation. In time the NDP could have unparrelled influence, abit weilded subtly, on all the parties in Quebec, that way no matter who wins, we'll have dippers invovled in the Quebec Government giving us allies always.

 

Also no Quebec wing right now, means more potiential fundraising flowing to the NDP sas we have no need to share it with a provincial wing.

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

dacckon wrote:

But with issues like Greece, let me tell you as a Greek what happened. A large chunk of people in Greece did not pay taxes, ever. If you were to walk into a doctors office, he would not accept credit cards. Why cash? So he could evade taxes. My grandmother, and many people in Greek villages did not ever pay taxes. My father never remembers his family paying taxes in Greece. New Democracy, a conservative party, came into power and spent like crazy on things like the Olympics. But in order to get into the Euro, ND lied to europe about its debt levels. When PASOK came into power, they revealed the debt levels and tried to deal with them. What other choice is there? The Greek people want to stay in the EU, Greece also does not control its currency. The germans will not allow inflation because they are scared of inflation due to a lesson in history. The easiest way to do this is have the crisis resolved is to have Northern Europe leave the Euro, and form their own currency. Would probably be a popular idea amongst Scandinavian countries and a smart idea. Now that being said, I would reject PASOK because of its recent disgusting coalition with the bastards who caused the crisis in the first place and other issues. Anyways, this issue is complicated and it belongs in another thread.

 

Let me add that there was quite a bit of reckless lending in the crisis.

 

Cullen Roche wrote:

One of the persistent refrains we keep hearing during the Euro crisis is how the Germans should not have to accept any sort of negative impact from the Euro crisis because they’ve been so well behaved. The apologists for the north like to ridicule the periphery nations as having been “profligate” and “irresponsible”. And while that’s true to some extent, it’s also true that Germany has been a profligate lender. And not just a small profligate lender, but by far the most reckless lender in all of Europe.

This mess in Europe was caused by an inherent trade imbalance in the region. Since they’re all using the same currency there is no floating exchange rate to serve as a rebalancing mechanism between trade surplus and deficit nations. And unlike the USA, there is no federal government to help the trade deficit nations maintain their private sector surplus due to the trade leakage. So, what happened in Europe is essentially one huge transfer mechanism whereby the “reckless” periphery nations purchased goods and services from the “prudent” core nations and then financed their growing budget deficits by borrowing from the same people they were buying goods and services from. And as this trend became increasingly unsustainable (debt growth has its limits) the sovereigns in the south were forced into an ever increasing debt hole as they financed their “profligate” ways.

The great irony here is that someone had to lend them all of this money. And who was there with open arms to lend them this money so they could continue to boost the booming German trade surplus (which has helped lead to this great German economic boom of the last 10 years)? WHY, THE GERMANS OF COURSE! And at the time this all appeared entirely rational. After all, the yields of the periphery nations had become nearly perfect substitutes for the northern yields giving the appearance of being of equal credit risk. But as Stephanie Kelton so brilliantly wrote almost 10 years ago, this was merely one huge market inefficiency at work that was destined to break. And break it did. And when it broke the Germans suddenly woke up to realize that they were the ones on the hook for much of this profligate lending that they had done. It is eerily reminiscent of the credit crisis. Can you imagine Countrywide Financial coming out in 2009 and saying that they are not to blame for the bad decisions of the homeowners and that they should therefore not have to write down any mortgage losses? That’s essentially what the media is implying here by saying that Germany has been so well behaved in recent years. They have the whole story entirely backwards!

So, just how deep is the German (really the northern) hole? VERY deep. Germany’s banks are on the hook for 22% of the entire EMU’s debts. France is a close second at 16% and the Netherlands is in 4th place at 10%. In all, these three countries, widely viewed as the “prudent” nations in Europe, are on the hook for almost 50% of the EMU’s debts! *

This is why I keep saying these countries are inextricably linked. In fact, you could even make the argument that the periphery nations hold all the cards here because they’re the ones holding the northern banks by the throat via default risk. The periphery nations, ironically, could sink the German economy overnight if they wanted to. But let’s not get off track. The point is, blaming the Greeks and not the Germans is a lot like the husband who gives his wife a new credit card and then gets mad at her for going shopping. And just like any marriage, these countries must understand that their union via single currency makes them inextricably linked. They have two choices now. They can get a divorce (disband the Euro entirely) or recognize that one half’s problems are also the other half’s problems and move along in an effort to rectify the issues (via full fiscal union). But let’s stop pretending that Germany and the other northern nations are without blame in all of this. There is plenty of blame to go around. But bickering isn’t going to help anyone solve this crisis. And in fact, once Germany realizes that they have made enormous mistakes, they might finally come around to the reality that they need to make some concessions in these negotiations.

* German and French banks alone are responsible for 55% of the debts in Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.

http://pragcap.com/germany-is-also-to-blame-in-the-euro-crisis

American Leftis...

Stockholm wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

The NDP should put its resources into fully supporting the only grasroots leftist party in Quebec, Québec Solidaire. Anything else would be cynical and against the interests of progressive politics in Quebec and across the country.

And I would also suggest that unless the NDP comes to terms with Quebec's right to self-determination, their federal success will be short lived.

The NDP will NEVER formally support a party that explicitly wants Quebec to separate from Canada. Period. End of story. If QS were smart they would make themselves into a leftwing version of the new Legault party and declare that sovereignty is a dormant cause that is a low priority and pledge to put it on the back burner for the foreseeable future - then they could be a rallying place for federal and sovereignist progressives in Quebec. The way things are now - its impossible to support them unless you express belief in Quebec independence. So we're back to square one - if you are a Quebecer who is leftwing and who does not support sovereignty - there is NO ONE to vote for - NO ONE!

I agree that now is not the time for a provincial NDP to be created. I'm just lamenting the total lack of options in Quebec provincial politics for people who are progressive federalists.

Why should they have to compete?  As I understand, the CAQ is in the process of merging with the ADQ, in spite of ideological differences.  As part of the agreement, the four MLA's the ADQ has, a long with a few independents, will be the CAQ's inaugural caucus.  It's not official yet, but it seems almost certain.  So a provincial NDP in Quebec could do the same by merging with QS.  Amir Khadir would be the first MLA for the Quebec provincial NDP if it went like this.  And if such were the case, then the federal party wouldn't have to put as many recouces into building it, since it would already have a base to grow from.  The next question is, if such a party were created, who would lead it?  Mulcair would be the obvious front-runner if he looses the federal leadership race.  But his past in the PLQ would probably make many in QS uneasy about serving under him and joining a party led by him.  If he wins the federal leadership of the NDP, or if he looses but decides to stay in federal politics, then who else would be best fit to lead it, in the event of its creation?  Any Quebecers have an opinion for who it should be, or if such a merger would be a good idea?

Unionist

"...serving under him"??

Interesting notion of a political party. Kind of like the military, or a monarchy?

QS doesn't have a leader at all, and you want to have a discussion about who should "lead" an impossible merger between a nonexistent and unnecessary provincial NDP with QS?

I suggest you. After all, it's your idea! Possession is nine points of the law.

 

Gaian

American Leftis..."The next question is, if such a party were created, who would lead it? Mulcair would be the obvious front-runner if he looses the federal leadership race. But his past in the PLQ would probably make many in QS uneasy about serving under him and joining a party led by him. If he wins the federal leadership of the NDP, or if he looses but decides to stay in federal politics, then who else would be best fit to lead it, in the event of its creation? Any Quebecers have an opinion for who it should be, or if such a merger would be a good idea?"

------------------

He can't loose... :)

American Leftis...

Unionist wrote:

"...serving under him"??

Interesting notion of a political party. Kind of like the military, or a monarchy?

QS doesn't have a leader at all, and you want to have a discussion about who should "lead" an impossible merger between a nonexistent and unnecessary provincial NDP with QS?

I suggest you. After all, it's your idea! Possession is nine points of the law.

 

I'm sorry for any lack of knowledge I may have about politics in Canada.  I only became interested in Canadian politics during the last federal election, and I've been following politics up there like crazy ever since, but there's still a lot I don't know.  And why would a provincial NDP in Quebec be unnecessary?  As it's already been pointed out, 34% of Quebecers said, in a poll, that they'd vote for it if it existed; QS is currently polling at around 9%, which is more than twice what they got in 2008, but not nearly as much as a provincial NDP would get.  And by "serving under him," I meant to be in a party led by him.  I do at least know how political parties work in a parliamentary system.  Sorry if my wording implied a military or monarchy.  

toronto_radical

This NDP-Q talk is rather colonialist for the most part don't you think? I've lost count how many times on this thread that a non Quebecer has said something that is either nonsense or something that should be left to the people of Quebec to decide. QS is all Quebec needs for a left party. It's actually got a superior structure than the NDP. No leaders, but spokepersons, the ability to organize platforms within it. It's borrowed from the new generation of (mostly) non-sectarian European parties to the left of social democracy. Instead of enforcing Anglo-Canada's left on Quebec, I'd rather they enforced their left on us. If we ever get PR or the NDP and Libs merge than I think English Canada will have to look to QS for a guide on how to structure a new socialist party.

Aristotleded24

toronto_radical wrote:
This NDP-Q talk is rather colonialist for the most part don't you think? I've lost count how many times on this thread that a non Quebecer has said something that is either nonsense or something that should be left to the people of Quebec to decide.

I'm not from Quebec, and I agree. Why not build the pan-Canadian left by working with the left-wing manifestation that Quebeckers themselves have chosen? If the Conservatives did not need to form a provincail Parti conservateur du Québec but were happy to work with the ADQ, why can't the NDP work with QS?


toronto_radical

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I'm not from Quebec, and I agree. Why not build the pan-Canadian left by working with the left-wing manifestation that Quebeckers themselves have chosen? If the Conservatives did not need to form a provincail Parti conservateur du Québec but were happy to work with the ADQ, why can't the NDP work with QS?

That would be nice but I really can't see say Mulcair if he were to win the leadership align the NDP with a political party that gives an open platform within it to Communists and other radical left currents. Amir Khadir is possibly also the most openly anti-Israel elected politician in the country. Turmel took out a membership to support Francoise David though, and I bet some of the Quebec MPs and their staff are sympathetic if not members of the party. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I'm not holding my breath.

theleftyinvestor

Setting aside briefly questions about whether it should happen in the first place, how about Alexandre Boulerice for leader of a hypothetical NDP-Q? Duceppe teased him on TLMEP for having been a member of Québec Solidaire, but he didn't take the bait.

Unionist

The above two comments highlight an important difference between QS and the NDP.

In the last federal election, QS spokespersons openly encouraged voting for whoever could stop Harper - and they took heat from the Bloc for including the NDP in that. QS never said, "oh, don't vote NDP, they're a bunch of federalist right-wing social democrats".

The NDP, on the other hand, seems incapable of embracing actual differences of opinion on major issues (cf the crushing and public humiliation of Libby Davies for stating the simple truth and for saying she supported BDS) - and they are incapable of leading a united front on key questions facing the people, because they may dirty their hands with separatists or people who favour strategic voting or people who are too left-wing or people who once said the wrong thing about 9/11 or who advocate legalization of cannabis or who stand up in the Holy Senate chamber silently holding a sign saying "STOP HARPER" or ...

So you see, Aristotleded24, it's much too dangerous for the NDP to work with people like QS. Whatever they have could be contagious. Can't be too careful.

 

 

KenS

From another thread:

writer wrote:

Last federal election, I came to the realization that I've been hearing the panicked cries for strategic voting my whole adult life. That's now more than 20 years. I've reached the conclusion that it has been one of the most damaging impulses ceaselessly indulged by leftish pundits, sucking the life and hope out of so much. I'm sick and tired of it. To the bone. To see it dug up time and time again, no matter the dynamics, no matter the realities on the ground, as *the answer* ... it's boring, alarmist, uninspired, distracting and fantastically unsuccessful.

I think it is fair to say that what she calls 'strategic voting' includes what you bestow the more uplifting label of 'united front' onto.

 

KenS

How can you be 'incapable' of what you call a 'united front' when most of us think the whole idea from the ground up is an unfortunate distraction- whoever the putative/imaginary partners in 'unity' might be.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

How can you be 'incapable' of a 'united front' when most of us think the whole idea from the groun up is an unfortunate distraction- whoever the putative/imaginary partners in 'unity' might be.

Let's put it differently, since you think the term "united front" is a "distraction" (I'm sure you don't mean it, but I won't create a straw man out of it).

By the way, please try to grasp that a call for QS and the NDP to work together is hardly a call for "strategic voting". You may have forgotten that QS is a provincial party.

Jack Layton was capable of reaching out - more than once - and looking for a parliamentary coalition to make advances for the Canadian people, even working with separatists to do so.

Jack Layton captured the heart of many Quebecers by always proudly answering "yes" when asked if he would entertain coalitions, accords, agreements to help defeat the forces of Harper conservatism.

Jack Layton even said he disagreed with the expulsion of Buzz Hargrove, in the midst of a blood frenzy, although he didn't need to comment on the issue at all.

Jack Layton, although he stuck with his party's pro-Israel policy and "apologized" to the Israeli ambassador, rejected the lusty calls to publicly denounce Libby Davies and even remove her as deputy leader.

I knew Jack Layton.

You, sir, are no Jack Layton.

 

KenS

Neither of us are.

We are expressing things consistent with different political agendas we have. Which is what politics is about. Which is what all the pluralistic forms of contention in the public space [more or less my idea of 'politics'] is about.

And neither of us do it like Jack Layton would.

Which means what now?

 

KenS

And just to be clear- I think the term 'united front' is a very honourable one that has served us well.

I'm just not going to fall down and worship any time someone waves the words around. You might not like that, but I do not really see how you can have a problem with it.

[And you may have noticed that I am characteristicaly- maybe even chronicaly- unimpressed by the mere fact in itself of people 'saying the right thing' or using the 'right' words.]

Unionist

Ken - rather than talk philosophical generalities, why don't you declare, in 2 words or less, whether you think the NDP should reach out and cooperate with progressive forces in Québec - starting with QS? My answer, in case you missed it, is "YES".

 

KenS

My answer:

I dont think about it.

No doubt I would if I was in Quebec, but that is probably still a reflection that it isnt the sort of concern that gets to top of my list, one way or the other. 

I would see it as an interesting but somewhat distant question. Becasue I'm also characteristicaly disinclined to be interested in what I see as marginal political forces.... which when we are talking Quebec provinical politics, both the NDP and QS are.

Unionist

Sorry, Ken, I forgot you were entirely unlettered in Québec politics, including the fact that the NDP and QS are already cooperating in many non-official ways. I also like your condescending "marginal" term. Dismissive views like yours will one day (very soon) relegate the NDP back to the margins, unless someone decides to light a small candle and try to keep Jack Layton's unifying spirit alive.

 

KenS

Well there is 'marginal' and there is miniscule.

I guess I meant the letter.

When I came back to NS and decided to get involved with the NDP, it was marginal [non-existant where I lived]. But marginal I can handle.

I'm not really dismissive of the miniscule. I appreciate that other people do it. Character flaw that I can't join in.

toronto_radical

Unionist wrote:

The NDP, on the other hand, seems incapable of embracing actual differences of opinion on major issues (cf the crushing and public humiliation of Libby Davies for stating the simple truth and for saying she supported BDS) - and they are incapable of leading a united front on key questions facing the people, because they may dirty their hands with separatists or people who favour strategic voting or people who are too left-wing or people who once said the wrong thing about 9/11 or who advocate legalization of cannabis or who stand up in the Holy Senate chamber silently holding a sign saying "STOP HARPER" or ...

You're right about official united fronts. De facto united fronts where you work alongside rank and file NDP members and even some elected NDP members who are passionate about a particular issue is a totally different story. These de facto united fronts are quite important as a way to introduce new types of organizing and issues into the party.

American Leftis...

toronto_radical wrote:

This NDP-Q talk is rather colonialist for the most part don't you think? I've lost count how many times on this thread that a non Quebecer has said something that is either nonsense or something that should be left to the people of Quebec to decide. QS is all Quebec needs for a left party. It's actually got a superior structure than the NDP. No leaders, but spokepersons, the ability to organize platforms within it. It's borrowed from the new generation of (mostly) non-sectarian European parties to the left of social democracy. Instead of enforcing Anglo-Canada's left on Quebec, I'd rather they enforced their left on us. If we ever get PR or the NDP and Libs merge than I think English Canada will have to look to QS for a guide on how to structure a new socialist party.

Colonialist?  When did I ever say that it shouldn't be the people of Quebec who decide?  After all, in any election, the people of Quebec will decide, as is the democratic process.  But if 34% would vote for a provincial NDP if it existed, than many people must want it, no?  Frankly, why wouldn't it be in the best interests of Quebec if there were a provincial NDP, since at this point, it could be the only thing that could stop the CAQ from winning?  I hope you realize that that's the reason why many non-Quebecer progressives would like to see a provincial NDP in Quebec, because it would be sad to see such a progressive people as the Quebecois embrace a rightist party like CAQ.  And a provincial NDP would also strengthen Quebec's standing within the federal NDP, far from enforcing Anglo-Canada's left on Quebec.

toronto_radical

American Leftist Nerd wrote:

Colonialist?  When did I ever say that it shouldn't be the people of Quebec who decide?  After all, in any election, the people of Quebec will decide, as is the democratic process.  But if 34% would vote for a provincial NDP if it existed, than many people must want it, no?  Frankly, why wouldn't it be in the best interests of Quebec if there were a provincial NDP, since at this point, it could be the only thing that could stop the CAQ from winning?  I hope you realize that that's the reason why many non-Quebecer progressives would like to see a provincial NDP in Quebec, because it would be sad to see such a progressive people as the Quebecois embrace a rightist party like CAQ.  And a provincial NDP would also strengthen Quebec's standing within the federal NDP, far from enforcing Anglo-Canada's left on Quebec.

Despite some of QS limitations, it's still a very different beast than the NDP. I'd hate to see the Quebec left get sucked into a traditional social-democratic model. Though I'd like to see them use the word socialism, QS is quite dependably pro-Palestinian and talks about Alter-Globalization. This is stuff the NDP leadership does not touch. I'm also a huge supporter of the idea of broad parties to the left of social democracy that allows collectives/factions/tendencies (whatever you want to call them) to openly organize within it.

lil.Tommy

Might need a new thread but... Looks like the tories were asking themselves the same thing...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/01/18/quebec-provinical-conservative-party.html

 

OK, that would mean:

PCQ (new one) - Right wing; federalist

CAQ - Centre Right mostly; don't talk about sovereignty

PLQ - Centre Right, Centrist at best; FEDERALIST

PQ - Centre, Centre-Left (maybe, or used to be, i'd say centrist now); sovereigntist

QS - Left wing; mild sovereigntist, self-deterimist

 

Anyone think its getting crowded with so many playing in the same sandbox over there on the right?

 

 

KenS

I can't believe they are serious about a PCQ. It has nowhere to go, at all.

Positioning in hopes of PR in quebec?

theleftyinvestor

Perhaps their hope is to replace the PLQ, just as the BC Cons want to replace the BC Libs.

KenS

I suppose.

And from the same delusional font. Not that they cannot achieve their goal eventually. But willfully blind to the havoc to their substantive goals, and what difference it makes to those goals even if they in the end 'win'?

But what's not to like, eh?

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