A speech Justin Trudeau gave in Vancouver last week was one of the most unusual ever from an elected official. Barack Obama's 2008 speech on racism during his first campaign was also rare, and morally far loftier, but not nearly as quirky. This stands alone for quirk.
"Dream no little dreams," Tommy Douglas was fond of telling us. As premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the federal NDP, Tommy was true to his words -- delivering the first publicly funded health care system in North America while balancing 17 consecutive budgets.
Decades later, New Democrats are still dreaming big.
In his latest piece, "We need a federal politics of Big Ideas" Tyee and rabble columnist Murray Dobbin rightly points out that successive Liberal and Conservative governments have emptied the federal coffers by doling out billions in wasteful corporate tax giveaways while doing nothing to stop the growing income inequality in our country.
Conservatives have been winning -- in Canada and elsewhere -- for the last 30 years. That's because they've been playing to win.
Do progressives want to win? Moreover, do they know how? Observing how conservatives have won for three decades helps to identify three key elements to winning: big ideas; the infrastructure of success; and electoral realpolitik. Of course there are other elements, but omit any of these three critical legs, and the effort will topple.
A big idea is an idea that changes things. It is not an idea that fits in with things as they are.
Join us for a book launch of Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922. The full congress record is now available for the first time in English and in paperback.
Sunday, February 3
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
University of Toronto
252 Bloor St. W. (at St. George subway).
Launch of the Socialist Register 2013: Austerity and the Exits to the Crisis: What Strategy for the Movement?
What: Launch of Socialist Register 2013: Austerity and Exits to the Crisis: What Strategy for the Movement?
When: January 24, 7PM
Where: Octopus Books@UnderOneRoof (251 Bank Street, 2nd Floor)
The resurgence of social movements in recent years has put the question of strategy back on the left's agenda.