How the NDP became a financial mess and how to fix it

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How the NDP became a financial mess and how to fix it


Sean in Ottawa

Interesting question. Two avenues for response:

1) public policies that reward wealth in politics are part of the problem and must be part of the solution. The per vote subsidy, the corporate delivery of free promotion for right wing parties, the reliance on donations rewards people who support those with money by definition.

2) The NDP's own financial management is the other area. I think this is complicated for a party that believes in equality and inclusion. It cannot put up economic barriers to inclusion and it cannot change its policies to reflect a pandering to money. I think the NDP should raise the profile of a person other than the leader to be responsible. I do not think the leader has to be a fund-raising guru in order to be leader. There are other things for the leader to do -- but the party does need a fund-raising guru.

The party has many contradictions on the fundraising side other parties have less of a problem with. Parties attract donations by empowering donors. The NDP cannot do this and still must get donors.

The NDP might have to figure out other types of revenue generation than donations -- that is another subject for a post. Still any revenue generation has to be mindful of access. The NDP has, for example, different rates depending on employment and wealth status.


Another alternative is to rely less on money. You don't need as much money if you aren't trying to decieve people and free advertising is available to anyone with a good enough idea. 

I had this exchange with Sean in another thread:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Pondering there are many of us on this board who actually stood up and fought against NAFTA when that great Quebec champion Mulroney introduced it. It was never about tariffs and I have been shouting that since I read the first draft and I have been pushing the NDP every since to continue to advocate for our withdrawal. Canadian buy and large seem to buy the propaganda on every issue. The MSM lies all the time in the detail and spin on history but most Canadians see that some of the MSM story is true so they accept things that are spin as actual fact.

The opposition to NAFTA was based on intelligent people seeing through the corporate media's spin. People like you have bought the corporate line for a generation and now think that this con game can be reformed. Lets see that was the debate in 1997 at the People's Summit on APEC between right wing CLC trade unionist from Canada and left wing, mostly indigenous women, activists from Latin America.  

I thought I might throw some history in to offset the regurgitation of the embedded media lies in our dialogue about "free trade". One of the first steps to regaining some independence from our current place as a vassal state is to withdraw from all the trade agreements except GATT. Who knows it might start a trend among other countries who are willing to try and break out of the US enforced trading blocks and get back to the globalism of the 1970's.

At the time NAFTA was signed I didn't know what to make of it one way or another. I wasn't paying that much attention. My daughter was 4 and I was a single working Mom. Nothing I could do about it so not a priority. 

Since then I have read about us getting sued multiple times for various reasons to compensate American companies for not doing business with them. That is what alerted me to the problems with NAFTA.

When I am reading this board I often think of what would have reached me back then, or what would reach me now if I were currently in that situation. 

I just got through a reminder. I took care of a couple of kids for a few days and I was wiped. I'm older now and not used to it so it hits me harder than it would if I were younger, still, I would not feel like watching the news at the end of the day. I would check in the last couple of weeks before  an election but I would not watch the debates, even if I were younger. Pre-internet pretty much everyone watched the news most nights. Nowadays I wouldn't even do that because if anything big happened I could google it. 

I think this is a very important post. It speaks about where most of the population are and difficulty reaching them about political issues that risk their future. 

The implications include not just political but environmental messages. 

Pondering, perhaps you can move some of this post to a new thread about how to reach non-political people. Rather than have endless discussions about politics in isolation from where people really are we need some more discussion about how to extend the conversation to them or none of the other ideas will matter.

I was on the minimum cable package and I cancelled it a few weeks ago. I don't miss it at all. I have netflix and everything broadcast from the internet. I have an antenna but I forget to watch the news at 6 or 11. It isn't a priority because I can google. When I am really not interested I don't even do that much. Anything really big, like Trump impeachment, will filter through. I am not following that story at all but I will know if Trump is actually impeached. I won't know a thing about what is going on in Bolivia or Europe or Africa unless I read it here. Latest mass shootings always filter through. I see little to no TV advertising. The Conservatives and even Liberals can afford to spend money even to reach a small audience and their audience, old people, watch more TV.  Even people who watch TV mute the commercials or do something else during them or record and fast forward. 

Here are the CTV top stories:


There is no significant news in that list. Nothing that pertains to my life. If I were working the Tesla thing might be water-cooler or party material. There is really no reason for me to read the paper or watch the news. 

CTV headline is that Canadians are more worried about wexit than Quebec separation.  So what are the numbers?

Half of those surveyed said they were concerned (20 per cent) or somewhat concerned (30 per cent) that the so-called Wexit movement could grow. Around a third, or 31 per cent, were not concerned, and around 15 per cent were “somewhat not concerned.”...

Another survey question asked whether residents support or oppose ideas floated in Alberta to set up its own pension plan, establishing its own provincial tax ministry and possibly replacing the RCMP with a provincial police force.

Two thirds of Canadians oppose or somewhat oppose Premier Kenney's ideas, the survey revealed. Opposition in the Prairies itself was the same. 

In other words, outside of Alberta/Saskatchewan no one is afraid either the west or Quebec will actually separate yet headlines suggest Kenny is in the drivers seat for negotiations with Trudeau. Why? Wexiters are mostly sincere but why is the media trying to pump it up as though it is an actual threat? Could it be because the media belongs to the right even though they are constantly denouncing it as left-wing? 

Money is not the NDP's main problem. Reaching the people is the problem. Money is part of the solution but if the message resonates with the people the money will come, or at least enough of it. It's the only way for the NDP to get money because they will not be supported by the establishment. 

The NDP might even reach more people by declaring they will not pay a penny for advertising beyond putting up signs. 


The big thing first is to organize the constituency associations. There is a high degree of skepticism towards the Central Office. When I lived in Brandon, they explicitly told people to donate to the local party rather than the feds because that was the only way they could get any money. Being a (supposedly) grassroots party, it is important to maintain the trust and organization at the local level at all times. Once you accomplish this in enough ridings, that will raise the NDP's profile nationally, and the federal party will be able to benefit from that.