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DEXTER GOVT: Managing Communications with the Base on a Diet of Austerity Budgets and Tax Cuts

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Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

I contend one of two things is at play here.  It is either the case that the grassroots organizers of the party still considers it feasible to keep trying to influence and push forward a progressive agenda from within, hoping against all evidence of the past few years in other words, or they are party to the acquisition of power for its own sake, that being the privileges, perks, personal influence and satisfaction that comes from being loyal grassroots organizers for the winning side.  You see, there are grassroots everyday sympathizers who vote every once and awhile, and then there are certain upstanding individuals within any political organization that do the day in and day out groundwork to mobilize that segment of the electorate.  No revolt from within can occur so long as the select few who do the work of organizing set themselves to the task.  All the higher echelon of the political apparatus has to do in order to maintain course is to ensure that certain key people are looked after.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Except for that last sentence "All the higher echelon of the political apparatus has to do in order to maintain course..." I pretty much agree with what you say is at play, in the NS NDP... and in any left grassroots organization that governs, contends to govern, or otherwise priorizes moving the mainstream.

I actually know the apple cart can be upset, and sometimes is, even with the top layers kept happy. But that is cart before horse. The horse is mostly what you were talking about, and I'll add to that.

Grassroots organizers ALWAYS believe it feasible to influence in the direction of a progressive agenda. Or they are content with whatever they get. The latter is not necessarily the manifestation of a solitary focus on power for powers sake. In the NDP at least, it is more often a boundless capacity to rationalize..... which turns back to the first thing: the activists who know this isnt going in the direction for which they do this work, but think its feasible to influence things in that direction. The 'rationalizers' tell themselves the direction being taken is already sufficient.

Practically speaking, I would characterize that as two basic types of grassroots activists. There are the ones who will rationalize just about everything. Then there are the others who are more realistic, but think it is reasonable to expect a change... no matter how difficult they realize that may be.

The latter group, as a change begins to look less possible, they leave. The rationalizers stay. But even they are not to be taken for granted. They may evaluate less rigorously, but there are still tipping points for everyone.

It is actually BOTH kinds of grassroots organizers who keep the party in the shape it can win elections. The NS NDP can remain far ahead as the most popular with the general public, but if the footsoldiers walk away, it is sunk. First stiff wind that comes along, it is out of power.

And while you might think that the footsoldiers leaving can be replaced by people attracted to the situation as is [winning does have that charm].... it does not work that way. Historically, governing NDPs have a hard time maintaining the strength of the organization even when their governing is not particularly straining the trust of the base.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

"What do you want? ... The PCs and Liberals to come back to government instead? Is that supposed to be better?"

Liberals and Tories, same old story. Now in Nova Scotia, the NDP too.

No, that's not fair. The Dexter government has competency over the boobsey twins.

Which is why they are so popular with the local mainstream media: same old agenda, applied with competence.

What's not to like, eh?

That's fine if it is what you want, or if you are Dipper willing to sheepishly take whatever is dished up. ["At least we're doing it. They would do it worse."]

I was never looking for pie in the sky. Ironicallly, I've always been pegged more or less on the right of the party. But I do expect social democracy. Maybe it has to be diluted... fine, I'll wait.

But that same pragmatism that gets to me to wait, also gets applied to the bigger picture: if we are not getting anything different from the NDP, then it's not social democracy... even [necessarily] watered down social democracy.



Night Of The Governing Dead

Zombies Took the NS NDP !

 


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001
KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Dexter says no way to republicizing NSPower- CBC audio clip of Labour Council arguing for it.

And apparently the Liberals have an ad in the Coast calling for re-publicising.


disenchanted
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Joined: Mar 26 2011

A perfect photo in this article, which conveys all we need to know about the nature of "social democracy" under Darryl Dexter.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/96469-armour-group-lands-rbc-as-an...

Better to hang out with RBC than with the labour council.

 

 


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

KenS wrote:

Dexter says no way to republicizing NSPower- CBC audio clip of Labour Council arguing for it.

And apparently the Liberals have an ad in the Coast calling for re-publicising.

Nor did the Saskatchewan NDP take back Potash Corp.

Nor did the Manitoba NDP take back Manitoba Telephone System.

But oh, did they righteously beat their breasts in opposition while these public goods were stolen and given away cheap.

 


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

The Dexter Diet.  Taking food from the tables of hard pressed education and health care sector workers and their families, and wrapping it to go for the Irvings.  A sure way to slim down to the bone.


Hunky_Monkey
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Joined: Jun 11 2004
Quote:
Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald has released Nova Scotia's first ever government-wide strategy for mental health and addictions care called Together We Can: The Plan to Improve Mental Health and Addictions Care for Nova Scotians. The five-year plan outlines 33 actions to provide better care sooner for Nova Scotians living with mental illness and addictions and their families. Some of the key actions include: •Placing mental health clinicians in SchoolsPlus family of schools in all school boards in Nova Scotia to identify and treat mental health problems of children and youth earlier •Funding projects of community agencies to help Nova Scotians of all ages living with mental illness and addictions •Expanding opioid replacement treatment to areas of the province with the greatest need •Expanding the successful Strongest Families program, which provides telephone coaching to families that have children with behavioral or anxiety difficulties, across the province •Expanding peer support to help people with mental illness transition successfully from the hospital to the community •Expanding the toll-free crisis line across the province to make sure that people with mental health and addictions concerns are able to talk to someone immediately
http://www.gov.ns.ca/health/mhs/mental-health-addiction-strategy.asp

Hunky_Monkey
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Joined: Jun 11 2004
Quote:
Ambulance fees are dropping for some Nova Scotia residents. “We are making these changes to protect Nova Scotia’s most vulnerable, so an emergency situation does not become a financial burden,” Health Minister Maureen MacDonald said Monday. “For some Nova Scotians, the cost associated with using this service has caused them to second-guess themselves in an emergency.” As of July 1, residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and residential care facilities, who need an ambulance will pay $50 instead of the current $134.52, MacDonald said during an announcement at an Emergency Health Services paramedic base in Burnside. As well, Nova Scotia residents unable to travel by conventional vehicle for health reasons and who need an ambulance to get to medically necessary appointments will see the cost drop to $100 from $168.14 People with lower incomes will also be eligible for a break on ambulance fees beginning Sept. 1 through a “financial hardship appeal process.” The reduction in ambulance fees is one of a number of initiatives to improve access to health care as outlined in the government’s December 2010 Better Care Sooner plan, MacDonald said. “A few Nova Scotians have shared their stories with me and we have discussed the costs associated with an ambulance ride,” she said. “I firmly believe that during a medical emergency our most vulnerable citizens should be able to call on our ground ambulance service without worrying about how they are going to pay that bill.” MacDonald said she believes this is the first time ambulance fees have been reduced in the province. The details of changes to ambulance fees for low-income Nova Scotians will be announced during the summer, she said. There will be “a finanical hardship appeals process for Nova Scotians with low incomes. Nova Scotians who qualify for the financial hardship appeal process will not have to pay an ambulance fee.” Bill VanGorder said many seniors are worried about the costs associated with an ambulance. Some wrongly believe it can cost as much as $700. The “announcement of these reductions will give Nova Scotia seniors the peace of mind to call 911 when they are experiencing an emergency,” said VanGorder, past-president of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, Nova Scotia chapter, and chairman of the Group of IX Seniors’ Advisory Council.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/96113-ambulance-fees-cut-for-mos...

KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

When I heard Maureen talking about the mental health initiatives yesterday, I thought this is good.

Credit given where credit due: STEPHENSON: Kudos to N.S. for mental health moves

So its business as usual in Nova Scotia, we have got some good initiatives from the NDP as well as from all of the same old story Liberals and Tories.

 


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

1springgarden
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Joined: Sep 2 2008

Good article KenS, thank you for writing it.  The NS NDP had options other than the present tax-cut induced austerity, as the case has never been made that the tax cuts are affordable and do not lead right back to structural deficit (see http://rabble.ca/comment/1345853 ).

An NDP in opposition would have no doubt vociferously opposed the tax cuts and austerity to pay for them.  As it is, with the NDP in government, there is very little opposition in the legislature to the program of rush back-to-balance, tax cutting, austerity for public services and prioritizing a competitive business environment.  If anything, the NDP's program has encouraged the PCs and Liberals to position themselves further to the right to differentiate themselves from the NDP.  The result has been that the whole political discourse in Nova Scotia has tacked to the right.  It's arguable the NDP was more useful to Nova Scotians in opposition where they had previously acted as a useful left opposition.

Your article together with Christine Saulnier's article HST cut in Nova Scotia: Detracting from real debate about our future details the full story of the Dexter NDP's failure of social democratic vision.  It will be difficult to mount much enthusiasm for a second NDP term in government.


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

Total secrecy is also an effective way to manage communications.

Loan Details Withheld

Quote:
Nova Scotia is investing $304 million in Irving Shipyard as part of a federal shipbuilding procurement, but the government refuses to release more information about the deal. 

The NDP government said that might harm the province's economy and releasing information would violate the privacy of a third party. The loan is the biggest single financial investment in the history of the Nova Scotia government. A total of $260 million is a forgivable loan and the remaining $44 million is repayable.


Arthur Cramer
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Joined: Nov 30 2010

1springgarden wrote:

Good article KenS, thank you for writing it.  The NS NDP had options other than the present tax-cut induced austerity, as the case has never been made that the tax cuts are affordable and do not lead right back to structural deficit (see http://rabble.ca/comment/1345853 ).

An NDP in opposition would have no doubt vociferously opposed the tax cuts and austerity to pay for them.  As it is, with the NDP in government, there is very little opposition in the legislature to the program of rush back-to-balance, tax cutting, austerity for public services and prioritizing a competitive business environment.  If anything, the NDP's program has encouraged the PCs and Liberals to position themselves further to the right to differentiate themselves from the NDP.  The result has been that the whole political discourse in Nova Scotia has tacked to the right.  It's arguable the NDP was more useful to Nova Scotians in opposition where they had previously acted as a useful left opposition.

Your article together with Christine Saulnier's article HST cut in Nova Scotia: Detracting from real debate about our future details the full story of the Dexter NDP's failure of social democratic vision.  It will be difficult to mount much enthusiasm for a second NDP term in government.

Yeah, they are Libs, just like they are here in Manitoba. If Mulcair turns out to be a Lib as well, I am done with politics.


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

Anti-politics is still politics, except that it seeks to unplug as many people as possible from what passes for politics. What we actually have is a continuous snow job across the length and breadth of this frozen popsicle stand.


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

Arthur Cramer wrote:

1springgarden wrote:

Good article KenS, thank you for writing it.  The NS NDP had options other than the present tax-cut induced austerity, as the case has never been made that the tax cuts are affordable and do not lead right back to structural deficit (see http://rabble.ca/comment/1345853 ).

An NDP in opposition would have no doubt vociferously opposed the tax cuts and austerity to pay for them.  As it is, with the NDP in government, there is very little opposition in the legislature to the program of rush back-to-balance, tax cutting, austerity for public services and prioritizing a competitive business environment.  If anything, the NDP's program has encouraged the PCs and Liberals to position themselves further to the right to differentiate themselves from the NDP.  The result has been that the whole political discourse in Nova Scotia has tacked to the right.  It's arguable the NDP was more useful to Nova Scotians in opposition where they had previously acted as a useful left opposition.

Your article together with Christine Saulnier's article HST cut in Nova Scotia: Detracting from real debate about our future details the full story of the Dexter NDP's failure of social democratic vision.  It will be difficult to mount much enthusiasm for a second NDP term in government.

Yeah, they are Libs, just like they are here in Manitoba. If Mulcair turns out to be a Lib as well, I am done with politics.

Dexter sounds much worse than Doer was.


madmax
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Joined: Apr 15 2008
Why has this thread not been moved to the Provincial Section???

kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

With policies like the above Dexter has managed to become the most hated Premier in the country.  Mind you he is basically in a statistical tie with Christy Clark and Jean Charest. The NDP talks the talk while in opposition.  It is their follow through that remains lacking. 

Quote:

The approval rating for New Brunswick’s David Alward is 36 per cent, slightly ahead of Quebec Premier Jean Charest (32%), Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty (31%), and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark (30%). The lowest ranked premier this quarter is Darrel Dexter in Nova Scotia at 27 per cent.

This month, four provincial heads of government are disapproved by three-in-five of their constituents: McGuinty (60%), Clark (63%), Charest (64%) and Dexter (65%).

The Opposition

The survey also asked respondents to provide an approval rating for all of the opposition party leaders in their respective province. The list is headed once again by New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Lorraine Michael in Newfoundland and Labrador (57%). British Columbia NDP leader Adrian Dix gained six points this quarter to reach second place (53%), followed by Nova Scotia Liberal leader Stephen McNeil (52%), and Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath (51%).

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/45141/wall-best-dexter-worst-as-canadian...


Arthur Cramer
Online
Joined: Nov 30 2010

kropotkin1951 wrote:

With policies like the above Dexter has managed to become the most hated Premier in the country.  Mind you he is basically in a statistical tie with Christy Clark and Jean Charest. The NDP talks the talk while in opposition.  It is their follow through that remains lacking. 

Quote:

The approval rating for New Brunswick’s David Alward is 36 per cent, slightly ahead of Quebec Premier Jean Charest (32%), Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty (31%), and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark (30%). The lowest ranked premier this quarter is Darrel Dexter in Nova Scotia at 27 per cent.

This month, four provincial heads of government are disapproved by three-in-five of their constituents: McGuinty (60%), Clark (63%), Charest (64%) and Dexter (65%).

The Opposition

The survey also asked respondents to provide an approval rating for all of the opposition party leaders in their respective province. The list is headed once again by New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Lorraine Michael in Newfoundland and Labrador (57%). British Columbia NDP leader Adrian Dix gained six points this quarter to reach second place (53%), followed by Nova Scotia Liberal leader Stephen McNeil (52%), and Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath (51%).

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/45141/wall-best-dexter-worst-as-canadian...

Its because they act like Liberals.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Its because they act like Liberals.

So do you think that Dexter will make the big leap to federal politics.  He could follow in the footsteps of Dosanjh and Rae and run for the Liberals. I hear they have an opening for a faux progressive.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

There's no longer any incentive for a right-leaning Dipper to cross over to the Libs.  Dosanjh and Rae did that, as much as anything else, because at the time that was the only chance they had to be in power at the federal level.

 


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Ken Burch wrote:

There's no longer any incentive for a right-leaning Dipper to cross over to the Libs.  Dosanjh and Rae did that, as much as anything else, because at the time that was the only chance they had to be in power at the federal level.

 

Sorry Ken I don't have a tongue in cheek smilie.

Wink


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

This is all fine but it feeds the illusion that says the Feds in Ottawa appear to have been doing their jobs all along. It's an overall political narrative that says the feds are not to blame for the top-down neoliberalorama. The implication is that the blame for a lack of money for programs spending in general falls on each and every province and territory for allowing themselves to be divided and conquered and pitted one against the other in Darwinian economic competition aka the race to the bottom. I can't buy into this weak conspiracy theory. The wheels fell off that one some time ago. In a comparison of 30 state capitalist country economies over the last 30 years, our boys in Ottawa are near the front of the class for having implemented the full neoliberal Monty. Top marks.


clambake
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Joined: Apr 21 2011

Depressing thread. So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?


knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

clambake wrote:

Depressing thread. So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?

All governments lose their direction and principles over time. Get the young people making decisions and get the old people to give advice on how the system works.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

clambake wrote:
 So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?
 

No they are all bad. And the feds never cut tens of billions of dollars in social transfers to the provinces, so our neoliberal stooges in Ottawa are only a positive force for good in the deal. If only NDP provincial governments would raise corporate tax rates to match what the feds demand from profitable corporatinos  when fully funding the social lien, more people might vote NDP. What the NDP does with all the bags of money the feds hand to them no one really knows for sure. But we can still offer our creative crticisms on the NDP hoping that they will change political tack some day. 


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

clambake wrote:

Depressing thread. So has there ever been an NDP government that didn't piss off their base and end up being a disappointment? Other than Tommy Douglas?

Dave Barrett's and Mike Harcourt's governments but not Glen Clark's. 

I thank Dave for the agricultural land reserve all the time.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

knownothing wrote:

All governments lose their direction and principles over time.

And then there are some that are that way from the beginning... although then you wouldnt really call it losing direction.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Glen Clark? Was he the guy made premier of B.C. one year after an infamous federal budget was handed down from Ottawa? Uncanny coincidence perhaps. And that patio deck for a liquor licence affair was absolutely scandalous. 


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