NDP Brings White Fest to Halifax

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spatrioter

KenS wrote:

And by the way, if the NDP was "less cliquish"... if it was more open, chances are by far the greatest that it would be MORE likley to be 'cautious' arond Gaza and other popular struggles.

Unless of course it is to bring in different cliques. That would do the trick.

That doesn't make sense.  Anyone who attended the last federal convention in Quebec City saw that the general membership of the party was passing progressive resolutions on foreign policy, criminal justice, and human rights.  Resolutions that the party tried to suppress, and most of which the party never actually implemented even if they were passed.

ottawaobserver

One person it would be good to hear from in some capacity (if not convention speaking then at one of the cultural events) is George Elliot Clarke, the Nova Scotia poet.  He used to work on the Hill ages ago for Howard McCurdy, and has gone on to incredible success.

ETA: I didn't mean to suggest that the last two points were in any way related ;-)

Stockholm

My impression is that the NDP does very well with visible minorities everywhere except in Toronto. In BC, the nDP seems to do very well with first nations and with Indo-Canadians (less so with Chinese- canadians), across the Prairies and Northern Ontario the party does well with First nations - and in places like Windsor and Hamilton we do well in very ethnically diverse areas etc...For some reason Toronto is a world unto itself. 

KenS

M. Spector wrote:

Hey, Corvin, I think we hit a nerve.

You flatter yourself Spector.

While agree that it might be quick to jump given a speaker list that is changing- still, its whiteness left us wide open and fair game for the opening post criticism Corvin made.

But as to the general criticisms of the NDP that both of you made- those are easily sloughed off. Corvin ran them together and I just wanted to differentiate between them.

 

Corvin Russell Corvin Russell's picture

Slough it off easily? Yes, except when the visuals make it impossible to slough off, the party does slough off almost all criticism quite easily. Yet I don't see how anyone can argue that a party with strong anti-racist consciousness, where anti-racism in the party was a priority, would have allowed this to happen. Do you?

 

I don't think I ran anything together. One thing is tied to the other.

 

 

Stockholm

Its interesting that the original posting criticizes the NDP BOTH for having a lineup of speakers that are all white and also for highlighting links to Barack Obama - the first black President of the US!

Stockholm

"Yet I don't see how anyone can argue that a party with strong anti-racist consciousness, where anti-racism in the party was a priority, would have allowed this to happen. Do you?"

Nothing has been "allowed to happen" since the convention is over a month away and we don't yet have a final lineup of speakers.

martin dufresne

See, this why I hate anonymity on this forum. Everyone knows Stockholm is part of the NDP. But, since he refuses to be sign his posts, the discredit for their racism extends to all of party members.

I expect a run on "I am not Stockholm" t-shirts in Halifax (he'll certainly buy a couple).

KenS

KenS wrote:

And by the way, if the NDP was "less cliquish"... if it was more open, chances are by far the greatest that it would be MORE likley to be 'cautious' arond Gaza and other popular struggles.

Unless of course it is to bring in different cliques. That would do the trick.

spatrioter wrote:

That doesn't make sense.  Anyone who attended the last federal convention in Quebec City saw that the general membership of the party was passing progressive resolutions on foreign policy, criminal justice, and human rights.  Resolutions that the party tried to suppress, and most of which the party never actually implemented even if they were passed.

This is probably doomed to get esoteric, but we are both more or less correct.

There is a practical difference between 'the membership'- the real membership that is, not the abstraction people speak to.... and the cadre who attend Council and Conventions.

The cadre is in general more oriented to the more activist/radical issues than are the membership. They are the legitimate representatives of the membership, but they are not 'the membership'.

The membership in general are even somewhat less radical than are the elected politicians- which is why Caucus can get away with ignoring what comes out of Convention when they so choose. The blunt truth is that at least a majority of the membership generally approves of the positions being taken, whether or not they are even aware that Convention passed something quite different.

Just as the membership is content to let the more vocal and generlly more articulate [and more radical] among them be their reprentatives within the party [which few of the members bother voting for], they are also inclined to agree with the pragmatic approach taken by the elected politicians.

 

My point was that if the NDP was 'less cliquish'.. that it took an active participatory approach to getting more people involved... not 'just' more momen and more people of colour, but the tougher nut of more people who leave 'taht kind of stuff' to 'others'... then you would find MORE push to uncomplicated pragmatism within the NDP, not less.

For those of you whose experience with the NDP membership is in big cities [let alone for those of you it is all or mostly second or third hand], you may well have an entirely different perception. But there is a lot more of the NDP membership that is in the East, northern Ontario, the Praries and BC outside of the cities.

genstrike

martin dufresne wrote:

I expect a run on "I am not Stockholm" t-shirts in Halifax (he'll certainly buy a couple).

How about "Nobody knows I'm Stockholm" Laughing

Stockholm

FYI: I hold no position (nor have I ever held any position) in the NDP beyond being a supporter and an occasional donor.

martin dufresne

Ha! That would be a dead giveaway...

ennir

genstrike wrote:

martin dufresne wrote:

I expect a run on "I am not Stockholm" t-shirts in Halifax (he'll certainly buy a couple).

How about "Nobody knows I'm Stockholm" Laughing

LOL

Stockholm

Keep an eye out for someone wearing the Swedish coat of arms!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

martin dufresne wrote:
See, this why I hate anonymity on this forum. Everyone knows Stockholm is part of the NDP. But, since he refuses to be sign his posts, the discredit for their racism extends to all of party members.

I don't think it would make any difference if his "real" name was Joe Schmo and he signed himself as such. His racist views would still reflect badly on the party he supports with such fervour.

Just as your own posts have no greater significance for me by reason of your purporting to be someone of the same name in meatspace than if you chose to post here under another name.  

 

ottawaobserver

Actually, what Ken just wrote about the membership vs. convention and council delegates vs. the caucus makes a lot of intuitive sense to me, and is a useful distinction I hadn't thought to draw out in such clear terms.  Good job and thanks for that.

Do you suppose it's too late to order some "I suffer from Stockholm Syndrome" t-shirts for the convention?  I can't be there, unfortunately but would buy one for sure ;-)

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Its interesting that the original posting criticizes the NDP BOTH for having a lineup of speakers that are all white and also for highlighting links to Barack Obama - the first black President of the US!

...since everyone knows that if you have links to Obama you are entitled to a free pass on all matters regarding racial diversity!

Stockholm

Incindentally, making baseless personal slanders at me is againt the terms of conduct of babble and I have lodged a complaint.

spatrioter

ottawaobserver wrote:
Actually, what Ken just wrote about the membership vs. convention and council delegates vs. the caucus makes a lot of intuitive sense to me, and is a useful distinction I hadn't thought to draw out in such clear terms.  Good job and thanks for that.

It only makes sense if you believe that either (a) the party membership is so disengaged that they have no involvement whatsoever in the election of their convention representatives; or (b) the party membership is too stupid to know the politics of the people they are electing as their representatives.

Neither of which paints the party in a better light.

KenS

Its definitely not the second. And in my opinion, that you read it that way says more about you.

Does weighing the politics and choosing to be as 'pragmatic' as the politicians make you "stupid". I may not agree with the choices, but in my view its not a good starting point to look at people that way.

There is a lot of disengagement, although I would not at all characterise it as "no involvement whatsoever". Thats characteristic of false dichotomies.

But the blunt reality is that there are a lot of members who while they see policy as important- to the degree they are going to put out actual energy its going to be around the gruntwork of trying to elect people. While they would agree the rest of the life of a party is important, they are less motivated to do something about it.

That state of affairs is ultimately the sole responsibility of the NDP, but it would be infantile to not take into account how much of that is a product of the culture, and a lot of the class system, we are all immersed in. Infantile, because you can't just wave a wand and dissapear it.

Unionist

Don't know how I missed this thread till now - but I'll confine myself to saying how nice it is to see and read Corvin's always thoughtful and principled posts and articles. I just recalled (and linked) your 2006 article about how the youth and LGBT caucuses were shafted at that convention in order to allow the caucus to line up behind Harper's omnibus crime bill and age-of-consent. Keep up the great work!

martin dufresne

Incindentally, making baseless personal slanders at me is againt the terms of conduct of babble...

 

I labeled posts, not a person. And given that person's anonymity, how could that be "personal slander"?

spatrioter

I would feel slandered if someone said I was a party staffer, too.

KenS

Did someone say Stockholm was a party staffer?

ottawaobserver

:-( I hope he didn't mean my Stockholm Syndrome t-shirt post, because that was meant to be endearingly funny.

ottawaobserver

spatrioter wrote:

ottawaobserver wrote:
Actually, what Ken just wrote about the membership vs. convention and council delegates vs. the caucus makes a lot of intuitive sense to me, and is a useful distinction I hadn't thought to draw out in such clear terms.  Good job and thanks for that.

It only makes sense if you believe that either (a) the party membership is so disengaged that they have no involvement whatsoever in the election of their convention representatives; or (b) the party membership is too stupid to know the politics of the people they are electing as their representatives.

Neither of which paints the party in a better light.

Good grief, no it doesn't.  It could just as easily mean they're busy with other aspects of their life, like what they see from the caucus, and are content to leave well enough alone.  People go through different phases of involvement at different phases of their life, depending on how much free time they have and what the other demands on their attention are.

martin dufresne

:-( I hope he didn't mean my Stockholm Syndrome t-shirt post, because that was meant to be endearingly funny.

Look no further; you've got it!

 

Fidel

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nsvotes2009/story/2009/06/09/ns-votes-women-ele... Scotia sends record 12 women to Province House in election[/url]

After 160 years of old line party rule, it was an exercise in democracy, really.

And much work needs to be done in Ottawa with cleaning up that [url=http://www.senatehalloffame.ca]old white boyz' over 60's club[/url] known as the senate.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Wow - this is the most offensive thread title I've seen in a while. Frown

Stockholm

I'm glad someone agrees with me on that! I mean, the NDP posts an interim list of speakers that doesn't include any visible minorities and the next thing we know we get a thread with a title that makes it sound like the convention in Halifax is going to consist of people in hoods burning crosses. the OP should really change it.

Unionist

Boom Boom wrote:

Wow - this is the most offensive thread title I've seen in a while. Frown

Boom Boom, with respect, I think you're shooting the messenger.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The thread title is fair comment.

It's certainly milder than a lot of thread titles about other political parties. Nobody complained (and rightly so) when a thread was called Saskatchewan trying to rival Alberta for bigoted intolerance masking as religious rights?

The crap about hoods and burning crosses is all in your alleged mind.

The title also [url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/corvin-russell/2009/07/ndp-brings-white-... to have been approved[/url] by rabble.ca's editors.

Fidel

ennir wrote:

Perhaps it would be easier to understand if they just changed their name to the NLP, as in the New Liberal Party.

Liberal Party's been an old white boys clique for a long time running in this Northern Puerto Rico with a few polar bears. It's time to give someone else a try. NDP has some women in there for a nice change.

 

ennir

That's true and there are some great women and men in the party, unfortunately they don't seem to be running the party.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Instead of attacking the closest thing we have to a progressive party in Canada, why not instead politely ask the organising committee to reflect more diversity in the line-up of speakers, or inquire if their line-up will be more diverse as planning goes on? I find the thread title misleading and possibly slanderous,  and certainly ungenerous towards a party that tries and often succeeds in being more progressive than any other political party in this country. I'm frankly appalled that the thread title hasn't been changed yet.

martin dufresne

One can "politely ask" or angrily confront. The latter is not always inappropriate and helps convince people they've made a grievous mistake.

Unionist

Boom Boom, instead of attacking Corvin, who is the closest thing we have to a progressive young blogger and writer on Rabble, how about [url=http://auto_sol.tao.ca/node/2316]reading his account of a shameful episode at the 2006 convention[/url]?

And how about reading [url=Dana">http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/end-prohibition-ad-blocked-ndp... Larsen's account of the shameful bureaucratic suppression[/url] of free speech at this coming convention?

And how about recognizing the fact that we would never dream of criticizing the Harper Conservatives for having an "all-white" lineup at their convention, precisely because no one has any progressive expectations whatsoever of them? And that's the exact reason we push and prod the NDP???

If anyone changes this thread title, I personally will be gone from here. Censorship of the truth may be ok at NDP conventions, but not in our space.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Point taken. I just think we can push and prod without thread titles that are misleading.

KenS

Well, there isn't even an incentive for censorship of the truth here. IE, no real test of whether principles are being lived up to.

There are at lot more competing demands on an organization- be that a union or a political party- than there are on a discussion space.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

There are at lot more competing demands on an organization- be that a union or a political party- than there are on a discussion space.

Yeah, I'd love to hear your comments about the 2006 convention and the crime and age-of-consent issue. And about squelching discussion of ending the drug war this time round. The "competing demands on an organization" are the demands of progress vs. the demands of power. The NDP will need to make a radical rupture with the pandering of the present if it wants to demarcate itself and inspire the youth of today the way its predecessors did.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I gotta tell you, seeing "NDP" and "white fest" together on the Actve Topics list pisses me off.  "white fest" suggests white supremacy, the KKK, nazis, and skinheads, none of which has anything whatsoever to do with the NDP. Keep your f*cking thread title, I am so out of here.

Slumberjack

Boom Boom wrote:
Instead of attacking the closest thing we have to a progressive party in Canada, why not instead politely ask the organising committee to reflect more diversity in the line-up of speakers, or inquire if their line-up will be more diverse as planning goes on?

When pushing and prodding towards the obvious needs to occur on a continuous basis, when delegates and members are schemed against to avoid having their progressive issues represented on the floor, when individuals bearing sensible  proposals are essentially hung up on, and when a party that claims to espouse non-discriminatory, representational ideals and practices can organize a list of speakers while overlooking the evident contradictions, wouldn't you agree that the time for politeness has past?  The thread title is a legitimate response.

Stockholm

It has been pointed out ad nauseum that the keynote speakers list is not complete and the convention is weeks away. I think that people should give the NDP the benefit of the doubt and make polite inquiries as opposed to instantly posting an incindiary and misleading thread title that implies that the party is made up of white supremacist neo-nazi skinheads.

You know that this remind me of? It reminds me of the CJC and B'nai B'rith overreacting and denouncing the most inncuous things as anti-semitism etc... Corvin Russell = Bernie Farber - who'd a thunk it?

Big Daddy

ennir wrote:

I think the speaker who is "part of Obama's inner circle" is a pathetic marketing strategy and demonstrates a party leadership that is less in touch with the kind of Canada I want than I have ever seen before.  What the fuck is wrong with them?

I agree.  Crazy.  

One of the guys who was in Obama's inner circle (of about 50 people?) is coming to convention to speak.  therefore he's on board.  Therefore, by extension, Barack Obama is on board.  Which means that, by extension, there is virtually no difference between Barack Obama and Jack Layton.  In fact, Jack Layton is like Barack Obama.  Actually, he is Canada's Barack Obama, bald head and moustache notwithstanding.  Wink

I once danced with a girl who danced with a boy who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales...

Seriously, the whiff of desperation is in the air... I take it that there may be a few seats without bums at convention...

Note to Federal  NDP... Jack Layton is not, he's really not, he's definitely really not Barack Obama.  Dennis Kuchinich maybe...

 

BTW, do you have a suggestion of some non-white speakers that could come?  Other than Gary Coleman...

martin dufresne

Especially for an event in Halifax!

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Stockholm, besides all the words you're inferring, is there anything Corvin said that wasn't true?  He didn't call the NDP neo-nazi's.

 

I think some reactions are more telling.  It's long been a frustration that the NDP can't see this after years of quiet criticism.

Fidel

Decade after decade, all theyve known in NS is old line party rule. For 160 years non-stop theyve endured old line party rule by what amounts to the mens auxiliary league old white boys clique. And I must say that babblers are thrilled the NDP has more women in NS government now than at any time in NS history. Where's the clapping hands emoticon?  Woo-woo!

Unionist

Out of seven announced Canadian speakers, one is a woman.

That's better than zero!!!!

NorthReport

That's perfect unionist,. By-the-way, is that you in the first row? Laughing

Stockholm

"Stockholm, besides all the words you're inferring, is there anything Corvin said that wasn't true?"

There is lots that isn't true. First of all he says that 6 out of 7 speakers are male - i count 6 out of 8. He says that there are 18 headshots of men, where??? Also, given that the convention is a month a way and the list of speakers is still changing regularly and is incomplete, it seems like cheap grandstanding that makes me think that he has decided to follow the B'nai B'rish strategy of distorting and attacking EVERYTHING and turning everythng into a straw dog.

Did Corvin actually contact anyone at the NDP to ask if the speakers list was complete? Did anyone in the party respond to the lack of diversity? I assume the answer is no otherwise we would read about it in the OP.

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