NDP Convention This Weekend!

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edmundoconnor

bagkitty wrote:

Thanks for the clarification. Being a bit of a curmudgeon, I still would have voted "no" Wink I think the provincial party and/or whatever the Ontario equivalent of the Council of Federal Ridings is should have been tapped for the funding rather than the federal caucus. Given relative party strength in various regions and the ability of caucuses within those regions to raise funds I think this is a poor allocation of resources. (Damn, I have spent way too much time at ANDP budget committee meetings, haven't I?)

In your role as provincial caucus rep, did you request the federal caucus to press the leader's handlers to make room on the schedule to ensure the leader would be present at these events? That would be something I would have voted for.

The provincial party has contributed substantially to the NDP's Toronto pride presence through various means. The Ontario LGBT caucus made the request of the federal LGBT caucus as Ontario was looking to expand its presence beyond Toronto (the caucus not being active outside of Toronto has been a long-standing complaint from non-GTA members).

Elections and reports from Randall and Dany gobbled up most of the time at the caucus meeting, and so we didn't have much time to discuss anything else. I know from Jack's office that he is definitely going to be at Toronto Pride, and I will press his office for him to be present at London and Ottawa, also.

edmundoconnor

Boom Boom wrote:

Interesting that the NDP rank and file at the convention shot down an anti-merger resolution with the Liberals. That's something that  can't be blamed on Jack Layton or Brad Lavigne, for once. Laughing

The Kirsty Duncan that Peter Stoffer said that he could work with was clearly not the same Kirsty Duncan I campaigned against in Etobicoke North in 2008.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

To be honest, I'm not familiar with the name Kirsty Duncan at all - that threw me off a bit.

janfromthebruce

thanks Jeff. Who knows but maybe when more eyes look at the amended preamble it may inspire very inclusive social democratic/socialist language/meaning that many within the NDP could embrace, or moreover it evokes NDP riding associations across Canada to engage in debate/conversation in what is a social democrat/socialist, is it inclusive, does it reflect us in all its stances.

 

JeffWells wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

That it was important that NDP left the convention united. So I didn't find what he said weasily or anything but honest and reflective.

After further reflection I believe you're right. I do still wish it had come to a vote, but "weasily" was uncharitable.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

janfromthebruce

I wonder who the 2.1% who did not approve - hmm. And no I am asking a rhetorical question and don't want to start a whole topic in this - oh please, no.

p.s. I would have given Jack a thumbs up! Kiss

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The NDP celebrates By Gerry Caplan  (Rabble.ca article)

melikesocialism

I am a little confused as to why the motion on a possible merger with the Liberal Party was even put to the convention. Even though there was a concerted effort to change the wording of the pre-amble to the Constitution to make it sound more palatable to liberals and others, it did not happen. So, the NDP is still a party based on the principles of democratic socialism.

Why would we want to merge with the Liberals? A merger implies that both sides would get something. I can see what the liberals might think they are getting - the possibility of being part of a governing party. But what would we get from them? Get Bob Rae back, after he repeatedly accused those of us who believe in democratic socialism and the need to get rid of capitalism as being misguided and out of touch? What does he have to contribute to the NDP?

I would appreciate it if someone could explain why this question was even put forward for consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

takeitslowly

I dont think I would approve Layton, but that explains why I am no longer member of the NDP. I would still vote for them, but I cant really feel excited about them.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I presume Layton got a 97.9% approval rating because of  the party's success May 2nd - and his 'missteps' since then were ignored or forgiven.

The party appears to becoming awfully leader-centric by emphasizing Layton over and above the party itself. Are they copying Harper's strategy of plastering the leader's name everywhere?

Todrick of Chat...

janfromthebruce wrote:

I wonder who the 2.1% who did not approve - hmm. And no I am asking a rhetorical question and don't want to start a whole topic in this - oh please, no.

p.s. I would have given Jack a thumbs up! Kiss

Likely the ones that are not impress with the NDP's support of Canada's illegal war in Libya.

JeffWells

Just a couple of months ago Pauline Marois won 93% support. There's a lesson there, even for Jack at 97.9%. The PQ and the NDP are both movement parties. Electoral success is going to mean betrayal to a good portion of the memberships if the leaderships appear to stray too far from their movements' principles. Even in the run-up to an election they're positioned to win.

Libya isn't sitting well. A few more like that, and there will be rumblings. Don't take your left wing for granted.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

JeffWells wrote:

 Don't take your left wing for granted.

Sage advice, but where else can they go?

JeffWells

Boom Boom wrote:

JeffWells wrote:

 Don't take your left wing for granted.

Sage advice, but where else can they go?

 

Well, I'm no May fan, but her Libya vote is surely going to help the Greens appear as an alternative for disillusioned New Dems.

If the rightward-ho! folks in the NDP think their left will just grumble and take it, they may be surprised. The threat of losing electorally won't mean much. The left is used to losing. Losing is no biggie, if "winning" means not much more than a new boss.

melikesocialism

Boom Boom wrote:

JeffWells wrote:

 Don't take your left wing for granted.

Sage advice, but where else can they go?

 

They can continue to be involved in social activism at the local, provincial and federal level; pursue the establishment of a socialist political party; write on Babble and elsewhwere; try to develop local workers assemblies; restart local alternative newspapers as some of us are attempting to do here in Kingston;  find a socialist candidate to vote for if possible or make sure your ballot is rejected to challenge the legitimacy of the electoral process; and use the words socialist, democratic socialism, capitalism, class and imperialism whenever possible.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I guess I'm not the one to talk, because I voted BQ last time, but I'd be careful if I were an NDP member - if I take my vote away from the NDP to the Greens (or didn't vote at all) I might accidentally usher in another Conservative majority next time.

Policywonk

JeffWells wrote:

FWIW, I see Part Martin's clunker of a speech has been posted on youtube for posterity's sake:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7OO-mUh3W8

 

He really milked that metaphor: "Our anchor is fouled up on the rusted hull of some old ship that sank in the last century." Deservedly booed.

I agree it was quite the clunker.

Policywonk

melikesocialism wrote:

I am a little confused as to why the motion on a possible merger with the Liberal Party was even put to the convention. Even though there was a concerted effort to change the wording of the pre-amble to the Constitution to make it sound more palatable to liberals and others, it did not happen. So, the NDP is still a party based on the principles of democratic socialism.

Why would we want to merge with the Liberals? A merger implies that both sides would get something. I can see what the liberals might think they are getting - the possibility of being part of a governing party. But what would we get from them? Get Bob Rae back, after he repeatedly accused those of us who believe in democratic socialism and the need to get rid of capitalism as being misguided and out of touch? What does he have to contribute to the NDP?

I would appreciate it if someone could explain why this question was even put forward for consideration.

I don't think the sponsors, resolutions committee or the panel expected it to be defeated (and it wasn't close). It and the organization resolution were moved ahead of the preamble change to ensure they got to the floor. As I said, I don't expect there to be talks any time soon, and the Liberals seem to have ruled it out for the time being. If merger were to become an issue in their permanent leadership race (if they can afford to have one), it might become more than a theoretical possibility. I would agree they don't have much to offer us beyond a few mildly progressive MPs.

Stockholm

JeffWells wrote:

And frankly stunned that the resolution rejecting outright merger talks with the Liberals was defeated.

I think that the resolution failed because the speakers in favour of it were so awful. I inititially thought I would support the "anti-merger" resolution. Then three people in row who were shrill, abrasive, crackpots spoke in favour of the resolution shooting their mouths off with ad hominem attacks on all Liberals as being "evil" and they so overstated their case that it made the whole resolution look embarrassing and provocative. I changed my mind and voted against the resolution and so did everyone at my table.

Passing an anti-merger resolution would be gratuitous and unnecessary. The NDP has TRIPLE the number of seats that the Liberals have. Who cares about the Liberals - they are DEAD. To even discuss them in the context of a non-merger resolution is a sign of weakness and insecurity. I am not at all in favor of a "merger", but I am against explicitly ruling it out. Why not say nothing and leave the ball in the Liberal's court. Let them be the ones who have to answer the question "do you want to merge with the NDP?"

melikesocialism

Stockholm wrote:

JeffWells wrote:

And frankly stunned that the resolution rejecting outright merger talks with the Liberals was defeated.

I think that the resolution failed because the speakers in favour of it were so awful. I inititially thought I would support the "anti-merger" resolution. Then three people in row who were shrill, abrasive, crackpots spoke in favour of the resolution shooting their mouths off with ad hominem attacks on all Liberals as being "evil" and they so overstated their case that it made the whole resolution look embarrassing and provocative. I changed my mind and voted against the resolution and so did everyone at my table.

Passing an anti-merger resolution would be gratuitous and unnecessary. The NDP has TRIPLE the number of seats that the Liberals have. Who cares about the Liberals - they are DEAD. To even discuss them in the context of a non-merger resolution is a sign of weakness and insecurity. I am not at all in favor of a "merger", but I am against explicitly ruling it out. Why not say nothing and leave the ball in the Liberal's court. Let them be the ones who have to answer the question "do you want to merge with the NDP?"

 

Who were the sponsors and why do you think it was defeated?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Stockholm wrote:
Then three people in row who were shrill, abrasive, crackpots...

Way to describe fellow NDPers you disagree with.

melikesocialism

Policywonk wrote:

melikesocialism wrote:

I am a little confused as to why the motion on a possible merger with the Liberal Party was even put to the convention. Even though there was a concerted effort to change the wording of the pre-amble to the Constitution to make it sound more palatable to liberals and others, it did not happen. So, the NDP is still a party based on the principles of democratic socialism.

Why would we want to merge with the Liberals? A merger implies that both sides would get something. I can see what the liberals might think they are getting - the possibility of being part of a governing party. But what would we get from them? Get Bob Rae back, after he repeatedly accused those of us who believe in democratic socialism and the need to get rid of capitalism as being misguided and out of touch? What does he have to contribute to the NDP?

I would appreciate it if someone could explain why this question was even put forward for consideration.

I don't think the sponsors, resolutions committee or the panel expected it to be defeated (and it wasn't close). It and the organization resolution were moved ahead of the preamble change to ensure they got to the floor. As I said, I don't expect there to be talks any time soon, and the Liberals seem to have ruled it out for the time being. If merger were to become an issue in their permanent leadership race (if they can afford to have one), it might become more than a theoretical possibility. I would agree they don't have much to offer us beyond a few mildly progressive MPs.

Who were the sponsors and why do you think it was defeated?

Stockholm

Boom Boom wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
Then three people in row who were shrill, abrasive, crackpots...

Way to describe fellow NDPers you disagree with.

There are lots of people in the NDP I can respectfully disagree with who are decent, well-spoken people. Here were people speaking for a resolution I was in favour of - who turned me off so much, i changed my mind.

al-Qa'bong

I believe it.  A few years ago Stockholm's shrill, abusive, partisan antics hereabouts convinced me to vote Green.

Policywonk

melikesocialism wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

melikesocialism wrote:

I am a little confused as to why the motion on a possible merger with the Liberal Party was even put to the convention. Even though there was a concerted effort to change the wording of the pre-amble to the Constitution to make it sound more palatable to liberals and others, it did not happen. So, the NDP is still a party based on the principles of democratic socialism.

Why would we want to merge with the Liberals? A merger implies that both sides would get something. I can see what the liberals might think they are getting - the possibility of being part of a governing party. But what would we get from them? Get Bob Rae back, after he repeatedly accused those of us who believe in democratic socialism and the need to get rid of capitalism as being misguided and out of touch? What does he have to contribute to the NDP?

I would appreciate it if someone could explain why this question was even put forward for consideration.

I don't think the sponsors, resolutions committee or the panel expected it to be defeated (and it wasn't close). It and the organization resolution were moved ahead of the preamble change to ensure they got to the floor. As I said, I don't expect there to be talks any time soon, and the Liberals seem to have ruled it out for the time being. If merger were to become an issue in their permanent leadership race (if they can afford to have one), it might become more than a theoretical possibility. I would agree they don't have much to offer us beyond a few mildly progressive MPs.

Who were the sponsors and why do you think it was defeated?

It was a merge of two resolutions from Toronto Centre (I think we all know who the MP is) and Edmonton East (the non-compete agreement portion). I think the opposition was quite unexpected. Peter Stoffer spoke well on it even though his main argument was that he respected and could work with an number of Liberal MPs. I think some of the pro speakers wasted the opportunity to make reasoned arguments by speaking more to the proposed preamble than against a merger. The best argument for the resolution (and also for ranking it lower as well), which wasn't made in the panel or on the floor that I recall, is that the Liberals aren't interested.

Stockholm

If anyone from the Socialist Caucus (all three of you) are reading this - take my advice. The NDP is way too big for you to have any influence. The party just voted 98% to confidence in Layton's approach so the extreme left is totally diluted and represents a maximum 2% of the party. Give up!

A far better strategidy would be to join the Green party and try to stage a sort of "hostile takeover". The Green party has so few members and is so disorganized that the 20 or 30 people who make up the Socialist Caucus of the NDP could easily take control of the Green party in a snap. Then stage a coup against Elizabeth May and install Barry Weisleder as the new leader of the Green party of Canada. Think about it.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Polunatic2 wrote:

If the NDP & Libs had a limited non-compete agreement in the past election, Harper could have likely been defeated and Layton would be Prime Minister today. 

 

There is exactly zero evidence to support this thesis.  It is based on a series of false assumptions about voter behaviour.  Advocates of this position either do not understand politics or do not understand arithmetic.  (Of course, one must allow for the possibility that they understand neither.)

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

I wonder who the 2.1% who did not approve - hmm. And no I am asking a rhetorical question and don't want to start a whole topic in this - oh please, no.

p.s. I would have given Jack a thumbs up! Kiss

 

A tweet offered the thesis that some of the 2.1% would be people who misread the resolution, since voting confidence in Layton meant voting no on the resolution - which may have been counterintuitive to some.  I think, though, that wouldn't explain more than a couple of decimals.

Uncle John

oooh my goodness. This is delicious.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I'm all in favour of merging with the Liberals in groups of two or three at a time.  I have no interest in merginng with the rotting hulk of frustrated entitlement which is the institutional Liberal Party of Canada.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

ScotianGuy1981 wrote:

 a rift in the party between those that identify with the democratic Socialist Caucus and those that are within the "establishment" or the social democrats.

 

I can accept your thesis that there is a division between those who identify as socialists and those who identify as social democrats.  I can also agree with your assertion that "the establishment" are in the latter group.

I cannot agree with your assertion that those who identify as socialist therefore identify with the so-called Socialist Caucus.  Indeed, I'd suggest that the vast majority of New Democrats who identify as socialists do NOT identify with the small but noisy sectarian group led by Barry Weisleder.  Indeed, I know many people who identify as being on the left of the NDP and who prefer socialist to social democrat who want nowt to do with the Socialist Caucus.  The surest way to undermine a left initiative in the NDP is to have Barry Weisleder and the Socialist Caucus endorse it.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Stockholm wrote:

If anyone from the Socialist Caucus (all three of you) are reading this - take my advice. The NDP is way too big for you to have any influence. The party just voted 98% to confidence in Layton's approach so the extreme left is totally diluted and represents a maximum 2% of the party. Give up!

A far better strategidy would be to join the Green party and try to stage a sort of "hostile takeover". The Green party has so few members and is so disorganized that the 20 or 30 people who make up the Socialist Caucus of the NDP could easily take control of the Green party in a snap. Then stage a coup against Elizabeth May and install Barry Weisleder as the new leader of the Green party of Canada. Think about it.

I'm not one of the few members of the Socialist Caucus but great advice. Obviously, the majority of NDP members are not as quick to jettison the socialist principles of the party as you thought so I might not lead any exodus at the moment. But, we will see what happens in the next year or two. If Layton continues to fail to represent progressive values (e.g., support of Libyan assualt, lack of support for Palestinian emergency aid), your suggestion will be seriously considered by many. Jim Harris hijacked the Green party but it can be hijacked back.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Stockholm wrote:
If anyone from the Socialist Caucus (all three of you) are reading this - take my advice. The NDP is way too big for you to have any influence.

Hmmmm..... if I recall correctly, the convention failed to remove the word 'socialist' from their constitution - right?

Policywonk

That wasn't merely because people wanted to retain the word 'socialist'. It was obvious that it wasn't the time or the place for a discussion of wording that hadn't been subjected to wide consultation beforehand. There were other problems with the language, and I don't think that minor changes to the content and more poetic and inclusive language will be enough to achieve overwhelming support. We do a lot of talking about our core values, vision, and principles but agreement on what exactly they are let alone how to express them in accessible language may be difficult if not impossible to agree on. I think the Socialist Caucus would have difficulty talking to the Greens because they speak different languages. It doesn't matter so much what the label is so much as how we define what the label means (assuming we actually need to label ourselves rather than just clearly state what we stand for and who we stand with).

dacckon dacckon's picture

Regarding the socialist caucus, well I wish there was another socialist caucus. Something evolutionary and pragmatic, something where we could discuss what to do after a social corporatist model is established as a way of moving forward and putting the final nail in the coffin of class conflict. Someone should make a progressive social democrat caucus thats logicially and scientifically revisionary.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
If anyone from the Socialist Caucus (all three of you) are reading this - take my advice. The NDP is way too big for you to have any influence.

Hmmmm..... if I recall correctly, the convention failed to remove the word 'socialist' from their constitution - right?

 

Right.  It would be pure fantasy to spin this as any sort of victory for the so-called Socialist Caucus.  It would be like attributing to the outcome of WWII to the fact that Argentina had declared war on Germany on March 27, 1945.

Sometimes the so-called Socialist Caucus ends up on the winning side of a vote.  This is usually despite themselves.

And in any event, an establishment motion to refer the matter to the executive for a rewrite hardly constitutes a victory for anyone, really.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

JeffWells wrote:
They knew they didn't have the two thirds to change the preamble, so Brian Topp moved that the language be referred back to the executive to avoid a vote, and that carried on simple majority.

I'm curious about one thing - if 50% plus one vote is good enough for the Sherbrooke Declaration, then why isn't isn't 50% plus one vote enough to change the NDP constitution?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Malcolm wrote:
Right.  It would be pure fantasy to spin this as any sort of victory for the so-called Socialist Caucus. 

Actually, I had something else in mind when I wrote what I did - that "socialism" is so near and dear to the majority of the NDP that it will be difficult to remove the wording from their constitution.

Fidel

Does any conservative party for the corportate welfare state use the word capitalism in their constitution? Not even the most capitalist country in the world has that word anywhere in its federal constitution. Apparently laissez-faire capitalism are dirty words in U.S. government and electoral politics ever since actual capitalism collapsed in 1929. And the more they try it on for size since 1980, the more it tends toward the big swan dive all over again. And it would collapse but good if it wasn't for thjeir policies of socialism for rich people floating the whole mess today.

nicky

Malcolm has observed:

Polunatic2 wrote:

If the NDP & Libs had a limited non-compete agreement in the past election, Harper could have likely been defeated and Layton would be Prime Minister today.

There is exactly zero evidence to support this thesis. It is based on a series of false assumptions about voter behaviour. Advocates of this position either do not understand politics or do not understand arithmetic. (Of course, one must allow for the possibility that they understand neither.)

 

I think there is lots of evidence that Liberal voters favour the NDP as their second choice. There has been plenty of debate on this point in various Babble threads. Calgary Grit has examined the recent polls on second preferences and concludes that a preferaetial ballott would have deprived the Conservatives of twenty seats and, quite likely, government.

JeffWells

Fidel wrote:

Does any conservative party for the corportate welfare state use the word capitalism in their constitution? Not even the most capitalist country in the world has that word anywhere in its federal constitution.

They don't need to mention it because, to them, a world without capitalism is like a day without privilege. It's unimaginable. It's their assumed Ground of Being. That's why, IMO, I like a constitution that challenges that assumption.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Long thread!

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