NDP leadership 63

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Wilf Day
NDP leadership 63

Because it's my turn.

Issues Pages: 
Wilf Day

Niki Ashton in Trois-Rivières:
http://www.lhebdojournal.com/Actualites/Politique/2011-12-30/article-2850968/Le-NPD-veut-%26laquoengager-les-jeunes%26raquo/1

Quote:
. . . she grew up in politics and claims to be ready to succeed Jack Layton. In the province for three days, she is touched by the warm welcome of Quebecers. "Visually, I'm distinct from the other candidates, not only because I am a woman, but I'm also the youngest," said Niki in impeccable French.

At the beginning of her thirties, the young woman does not see her age as a handicap, but as a force and believes this will help young Canadians to rally the NDP. Robert Aubin who publicly supports the candidacy of Thomas Mulcair since the start of the race for the leadership of NDP welcomed his colleague with great enthusiasm.

Citizens who have purchased their membership card before February 18, 2012 can vote in elections next March. You can purchase the cards via the Internet at www.npd.ca through the riding association or the NDP MPs.

"To the MPs March is coming quickly, there is so much to do," says Robert Aubin, confident that his party is heading in the right direction. In 2012, he wants to broaden the base of the NDP and raise awareness of the program offered by his party. "Last May, the citizens voted for Jack Layton. While he is gone, there is a whole team that is activating and who are there to build a future," says he.

 

Wilf Day

The Student News/ L'Express Etudiant:

Quote:
Niki Ashton - A Voice for Equality

. . . Niki fights against inequality and the terrible conditions of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. She is also well known as an activist for gay rights.

Niki Ashton was educated at the Universities of Manitoba and Carleton, where she studied four of the eight languages ​​she knows. Ashton believes that languages ​​allow better communication and more empathy and add much to her vision of diversity celebrated in Canada. According to Ashton, diversity is a fundamental factor in the "new politics", which ensures fair treatment without discrimination throughout Canada. "It is essential to value diversity in Canada and to ensure that this diversity is fully reflected in all spheres of society, from our economy to our power structures [...]," said she.

Ashton also fighting for greater equality which is, for her, needed to renew politics in Canada. Ashton said: "Greater equality is key to strengthening our ability to grow and prosper as a nation. "

http://www.etudiant-ontario.ca/Actualites/Politique/2011-12-21/article-2844298/Niki-Ashton-%26ndash-Une-voix-pour-l%26rsquoegalite/1

Gaian

Niki Ashton will shape the party in coming years, Wilf, and has begun on the very best platform available to her. We must also get feedback from older folks as well, however, and not just we pre-boomers. Does she strike a chord with boomers, or are they all tied up with their current worth on The Market? What does she say to them - how does New Politics appeal, outside of rising expectations ?

Wilf Day

Howard wrote:
I will repeat that I don't think candidates should stay in the race unless they think they can finish top 3 at convention. This next debate will be an important test and then I hope some candidates will drop (I also wouldn't be averse if some candidates dropped earlier than later, just to give the eventual winner some more media exposure). On an apolitical note...
Happy New Year's everyone!

I agree with most of what you said in the last thread, but not this last point. We need to get the diverse voters out in full force on the first ballot, including fans of Ashton, Saganash and Singh.

ottawaobserver

I agree with Wilf. I don't see what the rush is to push candidates out. Everyone needs to be selling memberships and keeping the new folks involved. The more organizational teams out on the ground the better.

No-one has ever fully explained to me the rationale for wanting people to leave now, except that it would make some peoples' campaigns presumably easier (but maybe not), or that it would help the media narrative (who gives a fig about pampering those spoiled lazy children, when we have to get the choice right for ourselves first).

What the heck is the problem with having more than 3 candidates?

algomafalcon

ottawaobserver wrote:

I agree with Wilf. I don't see what the rush is to push candidates out. Everyone needs to be selling memberships and keeping the new folks involved. The more organizational teams out on the ground the better.

No-one has ever fully explained to me the rationale for wanting people to leave now, except that it would make some peoples' campaigns presumably easier (but maybe not), or that it would help the media narrative (who gives a fig about pampering those spoiled lazy children, when we have to get the choice right for ourselves first).

What the heck is the problem with having more than 3 candidates?

 

I think the only rationale for having any candidates drop off is to make it easier to have more thorough comparison between "serious contenders" (whoever they are) in the leadership debates. Beyond that, who cares.

A notice that a lot of people were commenting on Ian Capstick's opinionating on the campaign. I recall when he appeared on Power and Politics that he suggested that Ashton and Saganash "had no realistic hope" and should drop off. I thought that was a bit harsh, even if it were true that they realistically "have no realistic chance", since I think they both bring unique perspectives to the race (and I find them to be likeable people).

The only candidate who I think really is completely devoid of any reason for consideration is Singh, because I really can't support anyone who has never even run for the party or has enough of a political background to merit some pssible consideration (a la Brian Topp). But really, its up to Martin Singh to make that determination, not myself or Ian Capstick.

I did think it weird that Ian DIDN'T mention Singh, but perhaps Ian just thinks its pointless to mention the obvious.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I wish Capstick would drop out of political commentary.

algomafalcon

Boom Boom wrote:

I wish Capstick would drop out of political commentary.

 

Well I sort of agree, but on the other hand, he is such a "loose cannon" and so unpredictable that he is at least entertaining. I don't take him seriously as an "NDP commentator". On the other hand, that other guy who sometimes serves on the Power and Politics panel as an "NDP Spokesman" doesn't impress me much either.

 

ottawaobserver

I think Martin Singh has something very specific that he wants to say, and that alone is a very good reason to enter the race. Not to mention the fact of his experience as the riding president in Peter Stoffer's riding, and as the chair of the Faith and Justice Commission of the party. And the fact that he is signing up a lot of new members in to-this-point non-traditional communities for the NDP.

All are excellent reasons for running, and his campaign appears to be meeting all its goals so far. Good for him.

Also, his campaign isn't over-hyping his chances or his performance, but is sticking to what they wanted to say to begin with. I think it's a very well run effort and quite commendable.

Ashton personally was being hurt by the way her campaign was over-hyping itself and then under-delivering. They seem to have rectified that now, and all systems seem to be go for the new year.

Saganash's campaign has to move beyond his having the life experience to do the job, and start saying a bit more what he would do with it if he got it, and he has to use the month off to travel where he can inspire new folks to join the party and support him.

All that said, I think there is far more to be lost to the party if they drop out than gained. And I've still yet to hear any satisfying argument to the contrary.

I do think the debate formats could be worked on a bit more. Fewer questions and longer answers and debate time would start to be called for, I think.

Winston

algomafalcon wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

I wish Capstick would drop out of political commentary.

Well I sort of agree, but on the other hand, he is such a "loose cannon" and so unpredictable that he is at least entertaining. I don't take him seriously as an "NDP commentator". On the other hand, that other guy who sometimes serves on the Power and Politics panel as an "NDP Spokesman" doesn't impress me much either.

Yeah...but he's pretty to look at!

Robin MacLachlan

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

 

ottawaobserver wrote:

And what was this business of her bragging to Barbara Yaffe that unlike Brian she wouldn't raise taxes, Duncan? It just sounds like the lefties get a bit of mainstream media attention for their preferred candidate and go all soft all of a sudden.

She wasn't "bragging" to Barbara Yaffe about anything, let alone not raising taxes on the top earners. Yaffe simply made this presumption, when in fact Nash does support progressive taxation:

Quote:

Despite not issuing proposals so far for higher taxes on higher-income Canadians in the campaign, Nash emphasized that she strongly favours a progressive tax strategy. "It's only fair that people who make the most are paying their fair share," she said.

http://www.straight.com/article-570731/vancouver/peggy-nash-hopes-win-nd...

 

Regardless of who the next leader is, I can't see how Topp's proposal for a new 35% marginal federal tax rate on incomes higher than $250,000 won't be in the 2015 federal platform. This policy seems to be very popular among the rank and file, even with those like myself and others who aren't supporting the ol' Toppster.

 

 

flight from kamakura wrote:

the masterful mulcair and car salesman-like nash.

topp's minions

noone is talking about mulcair as inevitable, not least myself

 

Wow.

 

Nonetheless, I'd say they are talking about him that way and everyone else is simply unworthy to be mentioned in the same sentence.

 

 

AnonymousMouse wrote:

 

And, boy, is it ever flat. I can't believe anyone would point to those clips as an example of why she should be leader. Great MP. Not great in those Question Period exchanges.

No, I did not "point" to those clips as an example of why she should be leader. I provided much more substance that that, specifically citing her background and policy proposals (which were ignored). Those were only two clips I quickly grabbed from youtube which I thought were decent. I also couldn't help but notice too that those clips were criticized because Nash was using notes.

Well, so did Jack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGkmZWknn0Q

And so does Tom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BQIBZT6UfQ

 

 

jerrym wrote:

I asked several threads ago if we could get back to being positive in our statements. It seems we are drifting (no diving) back into the negative. For those who keep repeating the same negative ideas in different phrasing through innuendo and with little or no evidence, this is driving me away from considering your candidate since you are mainly providing evidence to not vote for someone, not evidence why we should support someone. This is hardly likely to lead to an enthusiastic endorsement of your candidate and much more likely to achieve the opposite. I will vote for someone based on what they offer the party and my second and third choices will be made in the same manner.

Spot on. I've noticed this too, that a certain candidate or candidates aren't worthy of support, but as opposed to evidence or a reasoned argument, it's due to phrasing, spin, innuendo, speculation and total condescension.

 

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

 

Gaian wrote:

 

The economic position of those two "far lefts" you mention is dated and vulnerable to attack from the right. Nice people but not in a position to do battle with the finance capitalistsw who run the place from their office towers. The "twenty somethings in red suspenders on the trading floor", who Chretien said ran the show. With globalism, social democrats can no longer just bargain for a better contract, and that's why Nash and Topp are behind the times. Investment capital just walks away from the threat of higher production costs that they pose. The Oshawa assembly line workers learned that long ago.

If you don't believe that, look at the European political scene. Miliband in London. Spain, Wherever. Forget "centrist", think "relevant."

It doesn't matter what position one takes, as any position is going to be attacked by the right. Take for instance the Democratic Party, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The Democrats, along with Clinton and Obama, are now moderate conservatives or centrist Republicans who are more than happy to cooperate, adopt and implement Republican policies, ie tax cuts for the rich, financial deregulation and weak/watered down financial regulation, abandoning and cutting Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security while Obama's health care insurance reform legislation didn't involve Medicare for all but rather forces Americans to purchase private insurance, expanding the Afghan conflict et al. Despite all of the Democrats' best efforts to shake off what's left of their previous and proud left-wing populist glory days, the Republican and conservative media attacks on them are more inflamed and insane than ever before. 

How are these "nice people not in a position to do battle with the finance capitalistsw who run the place from their office towers"? I suppose then that the long, rich and vibrant history of modern protest movements, with promenant or public figures sometimes engaging in them (including Nash and other leadership candidates who are engaged in social and political activism), hasn't accomplished anything? The very best way to challenge the powers that be, the elites etc is through direct social and political activism, to engage in non-violent protest. Republican spin master Frank Luntz is scared of the Occupy movement! Just look at how much the political conservation has changed since the Occupy movement began. We no longer are seeing a fixation in the media on austerity, but rather on unemployment, jobs and income inequality.

It's not just Nash and Topp who want to renegotiate "a better bargain" or NAFTA for that matter, it's the position of the entire party which Jack emphasized. In fact, if it is possible, I wish the party would advocate for pulling Canada out of NAFTA.

And much of the European political scene isn't very credible, as is trying to be centrist or "relevant" - enter the UK Labour Party's Third Way, the selling out of socialist principles and social democrat ideals, and the embracement of neo-liberalism.

 

toronto_radical wrote:

 

The more I thought about things the more I realize that any election is still 4 years away. I see a lot of people talking about how whoever the next leader is having to build the NDP as a government waiting using the assumptions of today. I expect the CPC to continue to screw things up. I expect Europe to pull the rest of the developed world into a another recession and for Ontario to implement austerity. There's also the fact that eyes are now on China arguing that its growth is threatened by a property bubble and the fact that in 2011 there were 280 000 incidents of unrest and the Communist Party is slowly beginning to clamp down on things more than they have since 1989. So I was initially paranoid about Topp & Mulcair, but maybe just maybe regardless of who the leader is things may be messed up so bad that the mass movement of people and the many middle class people the NDP needs to win over (and by 2015 perhaps they will be ex-middle class) will be clamouring for significant change and the NDP can't ignore who regardless of who the leader is. Is that putting to much faith in social-democracy, in a party where many of its leadership and backroom types have tried to remove the word socialism (including Topp)? Perhaps, but the crisis of social democracy in the West today is a result of the breakdown of the post-war consensus. Now the neoliberal consensus is breaking down. The challenges we face now are different.

I couldn't agree more and who knows what will happen between now and the next election in 2015, which is still a long way off. Who knows if Harper will be around in 2015. After nine years, would he still want to be in politics? Would he want to move into the private sector and make more money? Will there be grumblings in the party from those who want to lead the Conservatives in 2015? There could also be a few scandals, more screw ups and massive incompetence, and general fatigue with the Conservatives and the desire for change.

And indeed you are right, that with the breaking down of neo-liberalism, there is no point in providing a softer, ligther version of neo-liberalism or centrism for that matter. People will be looking for a strong alternative, and there's no point in trying to moderate our views to appear more acceptable or comforting to the mainstream media, the pundits and talking heads who ultimately serve the neo-liberal agenda.

AnonymousMouse

OnTheLeft wrote:

 

ottawaobserver wrote:

And what was this business of her bragging to Barbara Yaffe that unlike Brian she wouldn't raise taxes, Duncan? It just sounds like the lefties get a bit of mainstream media attention for their preferred candidate and go all soft all of a sudden.

She wasn't "bragging" to Barbara Yaffe about anything, let alone not raising taxes on the top earners. Yaffe simply made this presumption...

Yaffe didn't make a presumption, she made a factual assertion--that Nash isn't advocating raising anyone's taxes. Whether that's just based on the fact that Nash has not advocated a specific proposal to that effect, or because they discussed it in their interview, we don't know.

If Yaffe is just referring to the former, then that only tells us Nash has the same position as 7 of 8 candidates. But Nash has not given any indication thus far that the latter interpretation of Yaffe's statement is incorrect. I wouldn't expect Nash to respond to Yaffe's statment per se, but knowing it is making the rounds out there you might expect her to say something on the topic unrelated to Yaffe's story, but making her position clear.

I should note this is very different than the common journalistic convention in which a journalist characterizes a subject's words and then provides the direct quote. In that case you can judge the words for yourself. Yaffe doesn't give us any specific quote--which may indicate Yaffe is just referring to the policies Nash has released publicly thus far or simply that the quote was boring "Are you going to raise taxes? No." We just don't know.

OnTheLeft wrote:

, when in fact Nash does support progressive taxation:

Quote:

Despite not issuing proposals so far for higher taxes on higher-income Canadians in the campaign, Nash emphasized that she strongly favours a progressive tax strategy. "It's only fair that people who make the most are paying their fair share," she said.

http://www.straight.com/article-570731/vancouver/peggy-nash-hopes-win-nd...

 

Well that's meaningless. Stephen Harper supports progressive taxation at least in so far as the largest tax in Canada is a progressive income tax and he hasn't proposed that ir should be otherwise.

It is true by definition to say that "It's only fair that people who make the most are paying their fair share". No one could disagree with that because if paying a certain amount weren't "fair", then that amount would not be their "fair share". This tells usa nothing.

So far Topp has proposed a fairly detailed plan to raise tax on the rich. Mulcair has vaguely/generally said he wants to make the tax code "more progressive". The other candidates have told us little or nothing on the subject.

I don't actually think that's a bad thing. I think the way Topp rolled out his plan--after first mentioning it off handed, with no details, in a way that drew immediate attack--was disasterous in my opinion. Obama proposed a modest tax cut for middle and low income families paired with a repeal of the Bush tax cuts (Bush being very unpopular at the time). That was something extremely progressive that you could sell (even if Obama didn't get it done because of the US legislative system which, at least in this case, has nothing to do with whether he's real progressive--it is a progressive policy). But the way Topp's plan is structured it's just an invitation for the media to dismiss the NDP as "irrelevant"--stuck on the same old "tax the rich" policies. And I don't buy the argument that "whatever we do we'll be treated that way"--that's just not how the world works.

Whatever candidates do they should do it better than Topp did and it just isn't smart to be too specific too early.

OnTheLeft wrote:

AnonymousMouse wrote:

And, boy, is it ever flat. I can't believe anyone would point to those clips as an example of why she should be leader. Great MP. Not great in those Question Period exchanges.

No, I did not "point" to those clips as an example of why she should be leader. I provided much more substance that that, specifically citing her background and policy proposals (which were ignored). Those were only two clips I quickly grabbed from youtube which I thought were decent. I also couldn't help but notice too that those clips were criticized because Nash was using notes.

I wasn't referring to you specifically. If I were, I would have written as much. Several Peggy Nash supports have to pointed to Nash's time as Finance Critic and her performance in the House in September and October specifically as a positive example of why they support her.

As for policy proposals, I haven't seen any proposals from Nash that are not basically a repetition of exitsing party positions. That's fine, but hardly a positive reason to support a candidate.

I didn't criticize the notes, but that is one factor taken as part of a whole. Taken as a whole, Jack Layton was a very good communicator. Peggy Nash is not terrible, but she's not as good as Layton.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I can only conclude that Ian Capstick thinks the campaign should be more male and more white. 

The argument that people should drop out because (according to some pundit listening to spin) "they have no chance" is utterly moronic - particularly 12 or more weeks out from the vote.

Anybody who tells you that they know with certainty that x, y or z candidate "has no hope" based on the limited datapoints available is properly described as a complete idiot.  They MIGHT have a reasonable sense of where the candidates stand TODAY, but even that is dicey, frankly.

Again, twelve weeks out from the SNDP leadership in 2009, it was widely assumed (and I expect correctly) that Ryan Meili was running a distant fourth - maybe within striking distance of third, but certainly no higher.  Clearly his was a candiday that "had no hope."  Dwain Lingenfelter was on track for a crushing first ballot win.  Deb Higgins was going to get a respectable second.  Meili and Yens Pedersen were fighting it out for the bottom - with Yens in a far stronger position than Meili.

Oddly, that ain't the way it turned out.

There was an argument for Chisholm to drop out (whether one buys that argument or not) - that having a candidate who was completely incapable of discussing anything in French was an embarrassment in a party where 59/102 seats are in Quebec was an emabarrassment.  And while the argument was perhaps unkind to Chisholm (who was otherwise a top tier candidate), there it was.

The argument that other candidates should drop out instead of selling membership up to and past the membership deadline is too stupid for words.

flight from kamakura

since we're kind of off the rails on this one, i'd like to just throw this out there.  i'm an economist, in san francisco for a bit here doing work with the world tariffs division of a major us corporation.  anyway, looking at the numbers, one of the things that has become more and more clear to me over the past several weeks, thinking it through, is that there's virtually no way for canada to extricate itself from the current trade regime.  on the legislative side, we can do a lot to encourage the development of industries and value-added, but there's no way it would be economically advantageous for us to go and retrench on fta/nafta.  you know, i spent all my college years doubting the orthodoxy on this stuff and then, BOOM, when i started looking at the numbers as a (sort of) professional, i realized that the theories were mostly right on this and that the left populist line needs to become much more nuanced and clear-eyed.

going back to a conversation in the last thread, there are some lefty dead-enders who really would like to see a major economic crisis to bring about the winning conditions for a more radical left victory, think a reverse shock doctrine.  i distinctly remember this contingent from college and in certain corners of the ndp.   i mean, i bleed ndp, i'm 3rd generation, but it's too much even for me.  obviously, none of the candidates have anything even remotely like that position, but one does hear strains of that thinking in some of the fear of a "centrist" ndp (whatever that is).

if we do end up with nash as the leader, i doubt we'll ever form government, but at least we'll probably keep opposition, and i think that if she can overcome the car-salesmen insincere-seeming thing, she'd do a pretty good job presenting a reasoned, credible, informed vision of a progressive canada that keeps in mind that we do have to compete with every other country in the world, sell our goods in markets that require that ours be open, etc.  though, again, to me, mulcair is so obviously the guy that i'm not even sure how i'll vote the rest of my ballot.

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Yaffe didn't make a presumption, she made a factual assertion--that Nash isn't advocating raising anyone's taxes. Whether that's just based on the fact that Nash has not advocated a specific proposal to that effect, or because they discussed it in their interview, we don't know.

No we do know because Nash supports progressive taxation.  

AnonymousMouse wrote:
If Yaffe is just referring to the former, then that only tells us Nash has the same position as 7 of 8 candidates. But Nash has not given any indication thus far that the latter interpretation of Yaffe's statement is incorrect. I wouldn't expect Nash to respond to Yaffe's statment per se, but knowing it is making the rounds out there you might expect her to say something on the topic unrelated to Yaffe's story, but making her position clear. I should note this is very different than the common journalistic convention in which a journalist characterizes a subject's words and then provides the direct quote. In that case you can judge the words for yourself.

Yes, one certainly can judge the words for themselves, just like the article I linked to in which Nash touched on progressive taxation.  

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Well that's meaningless. Stephen Harper supports progressive taxation at least in so far as the largest tax in Canada is a progressive income tax and he hasn't proposed that ir should be otherwise.

Oh please. Now you're comparing Nash to Harper?

AnonymousMouse wrote:
It is true by definition to say that "It's only fair that people who make the most are paying their fair share". No one could disagree with that because if paying a certain amount weren't "fair", then that amount would not be their "fair share". This tells usa nothing.

Whatever. 

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Obama proposed a modest tax cut for middle and low income families paired with a repeal of the Bush tax cuts (Bush being very unpopular at the time). That was something extremely progressive that you could sell (even if Obama didn't get it done because of the US legislative system which, at least in this case, has nothing to do with whether he's real progressive--it is a progressive policy).

Obama caved in once again to Teabagger John Birch Society demands to extend Bush's disastrous tax cuts for the rich, which are one of the biggest factors in contributing to America's massive debt. There was nothing progressive about it. The guy is moderate Republican

AnonymousMouse wrote:
But the way Topp's plan is structured it's just an invitation for the media to dismiss the NDP as "irrelevant"--stuck on the same old "tax the rich" policies. And I don't buy the argument that "whatever we do we'll be treated that way"--that's just not how the world works.

Whatever.

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Whatever candidates do they should do it better than Topp did and it just isn't smart to be too specific too early.

First you were griping that Nash wasn't specific enough in her policy proposals (which I posted some but were ignored), but now you think that it "it isn't smart to be too specific too early."

AnonymousMouse wrote:
As for policy proposals, I haven't seen any proposals from Nash that are not basically a repetition of exitsing party positions. That's fine, but hardly a positive reason to support a candidate.

Well, I'll share what you previously ignored, which is not "basically a repetition of existing party positions":

Quote:

CBC Funding-Government has been underfunding the CBC. Nash wants to see funding at BBC levels.

http://howcanadaworks.blogspot.com/2011/12/peggy-nash-whatdaya-think.html

Funding the CBC at BBC levels is something which wasn't in the 2011 NDP federal platform, nor did I hear Jack or anyone else cite BBC levels. Regardless, I'm sure you'll find some way to negatively spin this to further dismiss Nash.

 

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

flight from kamakura wrote:

if we do end up with nash as the leader, i doubt we'll ever form government, but at least we'll probably keep opposition, and i think that if she can overcome the car-salesmen insincere-seeming thing, she'd do a pretty good job presenting a reasoned, credible, informed vision of a progressive canada that keeps in mind that we do have to compete with every other country in the world, sell our goods in markets that require that ours be open, etc.  though, again, to me, mulcair is so obviously the guy that i'm not even sure how i'll vote the rest of my ballot.

You could vote Mulcair, and then vote NAFTA for all of the other spots.

Brian Glennie

flight from kamakura wrote:
 

i'm an economist, in san francisco for a bit here doing work with the world tariffs division of a major us corporation... to me, mulcair is so obviously the guy that i'm not even sure how i'll vote the rest of my ballot.

I don't know if its you or me, but one of us has a serious misunderstanding of what the NDP is all about.

Policywonk

flight from kamakura wrote:

since we're kind of off the rails on this one, i'd like to just throw this out there.  i'm an economist, in san francisco for a bit here doing work with the world tariffs division of a major us corporation.  anyway, looking at the numbers, one of the things that has become more and more clear to me over the past several weeks, thinking it through, is that there's virtually no way for canada to extricate itself from the current trade regime.  on the legislative side, we can do a lot to encourage the development of industries and value-added, but there's no way it would be economically advantageous for us to go and retrench on fta/nafta.  you know, i spent all my college years doubting the orthodoxy on this stuff and then, BOOM, when i started looking at the numbers as a (sort of) professional, i realized that the theories were mostly right on this and that the left populist line needs to become much more nuanced and clear-eyed.

going back to a conversation in the last thread, there are some lefty dead-enders who really would like to see a major economic crisis to bring about the winning conditions for a more radical left victory, think a reverse shock doctrine.  i distinctly remember this contingent from college and in certain corners of the ndp.   i mean, i bleed ndp, i'm 3rd generation, but it's too much even for me.  obviously, none of the candidates have anything even remotely like that position, but one does hear strains of that thinking in some of the fear of a "centrist" ndp (whatever that is).

Spoken like a true capitalist/globalist dead-ender. It's not a question of a major economic crisis bringing about winning conditions for a radical left victory, so much as the sustainability of the current economic paradigm and the loss of democracy that increasing inequality represents. Nor is it a question of retrenchment so much as restoring the ability to promote local economies and particularly food security, energy security, and environmental security.

Hunky_Monkey

OnTheLeft wrote:

You could vote Mulcair, and then vote NAFTA for all of the other spots.

BTW... could you give us Nash's policy on NAFTA and what changes she would *try* to negotiate. Thanks.

Wilf Day

Well worth reading: NDP Leadership: For Once Let's Act Like the Party of Winners.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/david-berlin/ndp-leader_b_960269.html?just_reloaded=1&ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

AnonymousMouse

OnTheLeft wrote:

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Yaffe didn't make a presumption, she made a factual assertion--that Nash isn't advocating raising anyone's taxes. Whether that's just based on the fact that Nash has not advocated a specific proposal to that effect, or because they discussed it in their interview, we don't know.

No we do know because Nash supports progressive taxation.  

Please read what I've written more carefully if you intend to respond. What I very clearly wrote above is that because Yaffe doesn't provide us with a quote or refer to policy proposals thus far in the campaign, we don't know whether Yaffe is basing her assertion that Nash isn't proposing raising anyone's taxes on (a) the mere fact that Nash has not specifically proposed that yet or (b) on her interview with Nash.

But, either way, that is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT QUESTION than whether Nash "supports progressive taxation".

Do you acknowledge that those are two completely different questions?

OnTheLeft wrote:

Yes, one certainly can judge the words for themselves just like the article I linked to in which Nash touched on progressive taxation.

But the words from the article you cite don't tell us ANYTHING about the point OO was making.

Again, all Nash said was that "it’s only fair that people who make the most are paying their fair share".

That statement is a meaningless tautology. Rhetorically I think it IS fair to take it as evidence that Nash supports progressive taxation, but since we already HAVE a system of progressive taxation that tells us nothing about whether Nash intends to make it more progressive or raise taxes.

I don't have any problem with that. I don't think "here's how I'm going to raise taxes" is the most effective way to talk about this issue. But saying "I support progressive taxation" (if we assume that's what Nash meant) HAS SIMPLY NOTHING TO DO WITH whether she intends to raise taxes on high income earners.

OnTheLeft wrote:

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Well that's meaningless. Stephen Harper supports progressive taxation at least in so far as the largest tax in Canada is a progressive income tax and he hasn't proposed that ir should be otherwise.

Oh please. Now you're comparing Nash to Harper?

Are you just trying to be difficult?

I'm making the point that "supporting progressive taxation" is a meaningless phrase because every candidate in this race and every major political party in Canada (even the Conservatives) are officially on record as supporting progressive taxation.

OnTheLeft wrote:
AnonymousMouse wrote:
Obama proposed a modest tax cut for middle and low income families paired with a repeal of the Bush tax cuts (Bush being very unpopular at the time). That was something extremely progressive that you could sell (even if Obama didn't get it done because of the US legislative system which, at least in this case, has nothing to do with whether he's real progressive--it is a progressive policy).

Obama caved in once again...

Yes, he did. And I'm very critical of Obama. None of that in any way effects the two points I was making--which were that (a) I DON'T have a problem with candidates not making specific proposals on these issues and that (b) unlike Obama's plan (regardless of whether he carried it out) Topp's plan was poorly crafted and poorly communicated.

OnTheLeft wrote:

First you were griping that Nash wasn't specific enough in her policy proposals (which I posted some but were ignored), but now you think that it "it isn't smart to be too specific too early."

No. That's just not true. Again, read what I've actually written.

First of all, I didn't ignore your links. Writing that I did doesn't make it so. Claiming that I did doesn't actually make a point of any kind either. I read/watched several of them and had already read/watched several of them.

More importantly, I have never 'complained' that Nash "wasn't specific enough in her policy proposals". I don't think I even CLAIMED that she wasn't specific enough in her policy proposals, but if I did it wasn't a complaint.

What I did claim is that I haven't heard Nash say or propose anything particularly interesting or anything that varied in any meaningful way from existing party policy. That's not a complaint. I don't think leadership candidates need to run on the idea that they'd change existing party policy in any significant way. But you've repeatedly posted links about Peggy Nash while (a) complaining that commenters aren't discuss her or her proposals and/or (b) implying that there's something new or interesting there. The fact Nash seems to just be tilling well trode territory for the NDP (territory none of the candidates seem to take issue with) is relevant insofar as it means those links don't give anyone a positive reason to support Peggy Nash as opposed to the other leadership candidates (or even, frankly, much material for conversation).

OnTheLeft wrote:
AnonymousMouse wrote:
As for policy proposals, I haven't seen any proposals from Nash that are not basically a repetition of exitsing party positions. That's fine, but hardly a positive reason to support a candidate.

Well, I'll share what you previously ignored, which is not "basically a repetition of existing party positions":

Quote:

CBC Funding-Government has been underfunding the CBC. Nash wants to see funding at BBC levels.

http://howcanadaworks.blogspot.com/2011/12/peggy-nash-whatdaya-think.html

Funding the CBC at BBC levels is something which wasn't in the 2011 NDP federal platform, nor did I hear Jack or anyone else cite BBC levels. Regardless, I'm sure you'll find some way to negatively spin this to further dismiss Nash.

 

Support for the CBC this long standing NDP territory.

If Peggy Nash made a CLEAR proposal to LITERALLY increase CBC funding to BBC levels that would be something new, but the link you provided doesn't give us a clear quote from Nash (much less a clear proposal), it's just a blog post about someone who saw her speak at an event writing in point form that Nash said "Government has been underfunding the CBC. Nash wants to see funding at BBC levels."

Here's the problem with that. The CBC receives about $1 billion in government funding. The BBC receives about $6 billion in government funding. The cost of producing radio and television programming doesn't actually vary on a per capita basis compared to the size of the audience, but even if we're generous by adjusting for population size an "equivalent" level of funding would still be $3 billion--a tripling of the CBC's government funding.

I will bet you $3 billion that if Peggy Nash were to become leader the party's platform under her leadership would not propose a tripling of the CBC's funding. Even if Nash does make such a proposal, I see no evidence that she has done so yet.

Rather, it is very common for supporters of the CBC to make the rhetorical point that instead of talking about maintaining the CBC's funding or cutting it, why shouldn't we be ambitious and strive to match the BBC rather than accepting second rate status?

That has been a rhetorical point made by many NDP leaders over the years. This would be one example where specifics (whether Nash is literally seeking to increase the CBC's funding by 3 to 6 times) would make a difference. I see no evidence that she has expressed anything more than normal NDP support for the CBC at this point. If she did, that would be something new, but hardly earth shattering stuff.

mtm

Love that article, Wilf! Thanks.

 

Btw, to "Brian Glennie" - your statement made me shake my head.  That's the exact kind of NDP-elitism I was talking about in the last thread.  Just because someone has a different interpretation of an issue than you, or even than the prevailing consensus of the NDP doesn't mean that they "have a serious misunderstanding" of what the party is about.  Especially when they are particularly skilled or knowledgeable or work in that area.

We are an inclusive bunch.  We may just learn things from each other if we listen.

Its like how a close relative of mine was driven to hate the NDP, even though he'd normally support us, just because he worked in the nuclear power industry.  The way in which people in the party who were behind the anti-nuke campaigning treated him led him to not only no longer wish to be involved, but resent the Party he'd be most closely aligned with in so many ways.

Gaian

I hope everyone reads that Berlin piece carefully, Wilf. Somehow, Jack's accomplishments in Quebec WERE being lost in the "return to virtue" on so many fronts that had always left us simply the party of conscience.

But we should also not see the appeal of a rationale from pure economics,an argument only from globalism and the necessity of trade, put forward by flight from kamakura, as the only alternative. There is no sovereignty in globalization, and to bring forward the idea of sustainability that is Mulcair's central position, we must have an industrial base. The "specialization" of nations into their own production niches, does not mean selling out eastern Canada's industrial base in the drive for Canada to achieve the status of "energy superpower, " Harper's goal.

Workers at the Caterpillar plant in London, Ontario, have voted to strike. Their situation puts in bold relief the positions being argued here on the eve of a new year, and the need to get it right.

The CAW situation at the London Cagterpillar plant as explained in the Canadian Press story:

"Members of the Canadian Auto Workers union say theyhave voted in favour of a strike at Canada's only locomotive manufacturing plant, owned by U.S.-based Caterpillar Inc.

"About 98 per cent of CAW Local 27 members voted to strike if necessary, at a meeting held Friday morning.

"The union, which represents some 650 production and skilled trades workers at the plant in London, Ont., has been negotiating with the heavy equipment giant since November in an effort to reach a new collective agreement that would replace a current six-month extension. The contract deadline is set for just before 12 a.m.Sunday.

"Caterpillar bought the London plant in June 2010, but within a year of the purchase three other locations in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil were slated to build locomotives.

"The CAW says the company's final offer would slash wages in half, result in drastic cuts to benefits and eliminate the pension plan - at a time when sales, profits and executive pay have soared to record highs.

"It has accused the company of purposely trying to put workers out of jobs in order to shift production to the U.S. or Mexico. The company could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

"The union is concerned that Caterpillar may try to change the terms and conditions of employment once the collective agreement expires, but CAW national president Ken Lewenza said that if the terms and conditions remain, the employees will not strike. The CAW called on the federal government last week to review Cater;pillar's purchase of the plant back in 2010, saying the future of the plant and 800 jobs are in peril."

A political party is not likely to turn this situation around based on its virtue, but it can get damned smart and learn to play the game winningly. Before our manufacturing capacity is completely gutted, and while any sovereignty exists.

KenS

Gaian wrote:
 A political party is not likely to turn this situation around based on its virtue, but it can get damned smart and learn to play the game winningly. Before our manufacturing capacity is completely gutted, and while any sovereignty exists.

There is the part before the meat that I highlighted. Have been hearing a lot about what playine smart is not... especially playing to our own ideological orientations. Fine. I buy that as a principle... setting aside questions of how it is expressed, exactly where lines are drawn, etc.

And we have been hearing a lot about what comes after the highlighted part: what is going to happen if we do not do something about the hollowing out of manufacturing jobs, etc.

But politics is about the bolded part: getting smart and playing the game winningly. Which is not about erudition in economic matters, or even about economics in itself. Its about what a political party says it is going to DO. Or in common parlance "managing the economy". Thats a ridiculously fuzzy term... but it is adequate for describing the generalized expecations the voting public has for governments, and alternative visons of governing.

So what has Mulcair proposed we do?

Granted, he has promised policy that is not out yet. Actually, supporters have said he is promising it. I expect that must be true, but it hasnt been public enough that I get it without going and searching. At any rate, there is still plenty of time for policy to be released.

But a great deal of praise has been heaped on Mulcair and his prowess in economics. So is that based on any concrete expectations of what Mulciair is going to do?

Most of the things commending Mulcair would go into the category of reasons to like the idea of him in the 'economic management seat' if he comes Prime Minister.

But as Mulcair supporters of fond of reminding the rest of us- first we have to win.

 

KenS

Consider the context of public opinion on "economic management" that the NDP and its new leader must address- that Jack Layton would have had to begin addressing more if he was still Leader.

Stephen Harper and his government have solid marks in this. And this is the 'tipping point reason' that a lot of people vote for them who do not preferrr and/or appove of a great deal of what the government does. Who are the people we have to win over.

You dont win them over by giving them a bunch of bla-blah about the NDP Leader's economic erudition, better grasp of what we need, etc.

 

Agreed that you certainly dont move people by going back to the future and fulminating against NAFTA. [Which is why for examplw, we'll just see Peggy saying vague things about getting a better deal. Doesnt mean anything, so not a threat to the hers' or the party's credibility.] So fine, we do NOT do that. But that does not say what we DO.

Gaian

KenS wrote:

Gaian wrote:
 A political party is not likely to turn this situation around based on its virtue, but it can get damned smart and learn to play the game winningly. Before our manufacturing capacity is completely gutted, and while any sovereignty exists.

There is the part before the meat that I highlighted. Have been hearing a lot about what playine smart is not... especially playing to our own ideological orientations. Fine. I buy that as a principle... setting aside questions of how it is expressed, exactly where lines are drawn, etc.

And we have been hearing a lot about what comes after the highlighted part: what is going to happen if we do not do something about the hollowing out of manufacturing jobs, etc.

But politics is about the bolded part: getting smart and playing the game winningly. Which is not about erudition in economic matters, or even about economics in itself. Its about what a political party says it is going to DO. Or in common parlance "managing the economy". Thats a ridiculously fuzzy term... but it is adequate for describing the generalized expecations the voting public has for governments, and alternative visons of governing.

So what has Mulcair proposed we do?

Granted, he has promised policy that is not out yet. Actually, supporters have said he is promising it. I expect that must be true, but it hasnt been public enough that I get it without going and searching. At any rate, there is still plenty of time for policy to be released.

But a great deal of praise has been heaped on Mulcair and his prowess in economics. So is that based on any concrete expectations of what Mulciair is going to do?

Most of the things commending Mulcair would go into the category of reasons to like the idea of him in the 'economic management seat' if he comes Prime Minister.

But as Mulcair supporters of fond of reminding the rest of us- first we have to win.

 

Ken, you have seen how Mulcair intends to deal with the hollowing out of eastern manufacturing. You have seen how your bogeyman "centrism" has been slain - and of course you are right there to invent new ones.

You see the whole scenario presented in the case of the Caterpillar workers in London. What would YOU PROPOSE TO DO in their case, and in the future? It does not have to be a sellout to globalization, as I've argued here: "But we should also not see the appeal of a rationale from pure economics,an argument only from globalism and the necessity of trade, put forward by flight from kamakura, as the only alternative. There is no sovereignty in globalization, and to bring forward the idea of sustainability that is Mulcair's central position, we must have an industrial base. The "specialization" of nations into their own production niches, does not mean selling out eastern Canada's industrial base in the drive for Canada to achieve the status of "energy superpower, " Harper's goal."

You continue to say: "But a great deal of praise has been heaped on Mulcair and his prowess in economics. So is that based on any concrete expectations of what Mulcair is going to do?"

And for the thousandth bloody time the reply is yes.

And if you don't like the thinking behind that position from economics, please, please, tell us WTF you find wrong with the economics, NOT the state of the friggin' cosmos.

KenS

Gaian wrote:

 Ken, you have seen how Mulcair intends to deal with the hollowing out of eastern manufacturing. You have seen how your bogeyman "centrism" has been slain - and of course you are right there to invent new ones. .

We have seen this?

We have seen you say he has.

We have seen Mulcair talk about the issue.

When is it he has said what he would do about it? Recount or summarize it for us please.

 

You'll probably go off the deep end with abuse , since you've already started So if someone else has seen this, or even an approximation, or an outline Mulcair has offered.... Whatever, we're all ears.

 

KenS

I'm flagging you George for personal abuse.

And the pattern has been noted by mods without flagging you.

You have every right to answer me as trenchantly as you like. But every time you do it with a large dose of personal ridicule, which I just ignore. But with ignoring it, you just go anyway.

So I've had enough of your vile.

Gaian

To repeat, Ken, "You see the whole scenario presented in the case of the Caterpillar workers in London. What would YOU PROPOSE TO DO in their case, and in the future? It does not have to be a sellout to globalization, as I've argued..."

If someone has put forward a better proposal than sustainability, please let us know. If not, please cut the innuendo of attack. It grows awfully hard to stomach. Remember, "hope is better than fear, optimism is better than despair." And while one could not expect "love" to appear in these threads, an end to the despair, pessimism and other-worldly perspective would be appreciated on Jan. 1,2012.

One should be able to advance Jack's values with some hope of success.

KenS

Mulcair has said he is going to feature sustainability. Thats a good fremework principle.

And now you are presenting that as backing up this claim of yours

Gaian wrote:

Ken, you have seen how Mulcair intends to deal with the hollowing out of eastern manufacturing.

Where has Mulcair connected the dots?

That you know they are connected somewhere means nothing in poitics. Or whether Mulcair knows  how even intimatelythey are connected.

It's what you present on the public stage.

Howard

KenS wrote:

Mulcair has said he is going to feature sustainability. Thats a good fremework principle.

And now you are presenting that as backing up this claim of yours

Gaian wrote:

Ken, you have seen how Mulcair intends to deal with the hollowing out of eastern manufacturing.

Where has Mulcair connected the dots?

That you know they are connected somewhere means nothing in poitics. Or whether Mulcair knows  how even intimatelythey are connected.

It's what you present on the public stage.

Mulcair has talked about removing all the subsidies to the energy sector and getting them to internalise the cost of their environmental damage through cap and trade. He has also opened the door to carbon taxation at the provincial level. All of these things would increase the cost of energy development and serve as a damper on this sector, allowing other sectors to compete for capital and labour.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Wilf Day wrote:

Well worth reading: NDP Leadership: For Once Let's Act Like the Party of Winners.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/david-berlin/ndp-leader_b_960269.html?just_reloaded=1&ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

 excerpt:

"This is what Jack did... He killed the separatist urge and we now need to hammer into its coffin as many nails as we can. That would free Jack's spirit and would not sugarcoat his legacy unto death."

 

I think that's being overly optimistic and naive. I think four more years of Harper eviscerating this country will ignite the separatist urge like nothing else. From post #1 in the Neoliberal Rampage thread:

"...A cover story in the Globe and Mail of December 22, 2011 announces that federal public pension programs are being targeted for cuts to reduce the federal deficit.1  The previous day the Globe and Mail ran a cover story announcing that the federal government will be reducing funding for health care programs and eliminating national standards for health care.2  In essence, this will gut the Canadian Medicare system."

Unless and if the NDP can get into power (and that's a big "if") and reverse the Harper government's agenda, this situation will get continue to get worse, until we no longer recognise the Canada that was = resulting almost certainly in  a resurgence of the movement to sovereignty. Why would Quebec want to remain part of a sinking ship?

Unionist

Boom Boom wrote:

Wilf Day wrote:

Well worth reading: NDP Leadership: For Once Let's Act Like the Party of Winners.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/david-berlin/ndp-leader_b_960269.html?just_reloaded=1&ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

 excerpt:

"This is what Jack did... He killed the separatist urge and we now need to hammer into its coffin as many nails as we can. That would free Jack's spirit and would not sugarcoat his legacy unto death."

 

I think that's being overly optimistic and naive.

Right on, Boom Boom. And you might have excerpted the entire article, and used words like "name-dropping" (the author just can't help bragging that Robarts and McDonough were personal friends, as if that gives this unknown character some legitimacy), "arrogant", "ignorant", and hmmm... let's see... what do you call it when he forgets mid-way through his rant that the Bloc québécois is not also called the "Separatist Partie [sic] Quebecois"? Oh yeah... "asinine".

Ontario nitwit wrote:
... make sure Quebecers understand that we think of this victory not as a victory over Quebec but over Separatism.

No problem, General Wolfe. Thanks for the profound advice.

Wilf, I'm not entirely sure what you saw as "worth reading" in this screed, but it was certainly a sobering way to start the New Year.

ETA: Aha! Further digging reveals interesting details about the author and his triumphalist world outlook:

Quote:
David Berlin is an Israeli-born journalist and editor, who grew up in Canada but returned for a brief time to live in Israel. He served his military duty in Ariel Sharon’s reconnaissance unit, Sayeret Shaked, and took part in Sharon’s Suez campaign.

We shall crush the terrorists Separatists!!!!! No statehood for Palestine Quebec!!!!!

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Unionist wrote:

Right on, Boom Boom....

Thanks. I think Wilf was asleep at the wheel when he posted that bullshit article.

Oh, and by the way, below the article: Comments are closed for this entry No fucking kidding! The asshole who wrote the article doesn't want a rebuttal. Well, fuck him.

Howard

As for candidates dropping out, when I said that you should not be in the race if you don't think you can finish top 3, I imagined 5 candidates with each one thinking they had a chance of finishing top 3 and a couple coming up short. The fact of the matter is you are not a serious candidate if you cannot finish top 3. Furthermore, if you are not a serious contender, you start to look suspiciously like a vanity candidate.

What does the party gain from a narrowing of the field? Simple: the eventual leader gets more public (e.g. media, debate) exposure before their election as leader which means they get a chance to define themselves in the public mind (more) before Harper gets to define them with the instant attacks ads that will be released the moment the last convention ballot has been counted.

That is why I am not happy to hold hands and sing kumbaya on 8 candidates. We are in a different game now, a game in which the NDP doesn't get a free pass when it elects its leader, because we are the official opposition now.

writer writer's picture

NDP leadership contender Nathan Cullen calls for united front against Conservatives ... but emphatically not with the BQ. Unionist, Boom Boom, how would you say these kinds of statements play in Quebec?

David Berlin. There's a name I haven't heard in a while. Certainly not someone I'd associate with useful advice about how to do ... well, anything.

Quote:

"You were always wondering," says Martha MacLachlan, his campaign manager from the 2000 election, "how the hell did David get there?"
The Walrus Loses Its Carpenter(2)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If the BQ somehow bounces back, I think Cullen might regret his words. Does he really want to isolate a good part of the Quebec voting public?

writer writer's picture

Boom Boom, would a Quebecer who can see arguments for both self-determination and for staying in Canada (at least for the immediate future) feel that this is a false note? I'm thinking about the history of the federal Liberal Party in that province. The non-history of Greens in that province. I am wondering what is being communicated to *the people* of Quebec with this stance.

In Quebec, doesn't this statement scan as, "We'll negotiate with a corrupt, opportunitist party that has used you, and with a meaningless party that plays no significant role here, but not with a party that you thought was close to us in many ways, with one philosophical difference that I can respect, even while it is not my own. We are friendlier and more comfortable with the trounced, craven federalist Liberals than with the progressive separatist BQ."

Am I wrong to think that this framing is massive, massive in Quebec?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think *the people* of Quebec (although it's way to early for an analysis based on polls dealing with Cullen's remarks) are being communicated in an adverse way by Cullen. In other words, if you support sovereignty as a possibility for Quebec, Cullen does not want to work with you to defeat Harper. I'm tempted to say the same thing to Cullen that I said about the Berlin article: fuck you, but I'll wait until I see him flesh out his comments a bit. I'm too pissed off right now to comment further, so I'll let Unionist carry the ball.

KenS

I think that is just one of the many elements that Cullen and his campaign have not thought through on 'the Cullen plan'.

They may have thought it through as far as "we cannot include the Bloc [because it would not look good (in the ROC)]."

But they have never worked through MANY of the implications.

I dont think its fair to say that it is really just meant as a gesture [gimmick to cynics].

But it is explicitly being put out there in the spirit of "its the idea that counts" [We'll work out the 'details' later. Or, implictly: maybe the proposal will lead to something else.]

writer writer's picture

Quote:
 In other words, if you support sovereignty as a possibility for Quebec, Cullen does not want to work with you to defeat Harper.

... But if you treat governing in a democracy as your natural right, yeah, we want you! Please!

Unionist

writer wrote:

NDP leadership contender Nathan Cullen calls for united front against Conservatives ... but emphatically not with the BQ. Unionist, Boom Boom, how would you say these kinds of statements play in Quebec?

They play about as well as his support for abolishing the long-gun registry.

No one in Québec knows who Nathan Cullen is. But his foolish exclusion of the Bloc (or, more generally, those who want in his words to "destroy the country") shows that he, like the NDP generally, has learned little from what happened on May 2, and/or drawn the wrong conclusions.

One hallmark of Jack's political genius was his unwavering response to the "would you do a coalition?" question. While Ignatieff idiotically swore off cooperation right from the start of the campaign, Jack always strongly upheld the possibility of accords, coalitions, etc. This approach struck a big chord with Quebecers, who are not sectarian and partisan in spirit (as witnessed by their seemingly chronic fickleness in both federal and provincial voting choices), but had very much bought into the "Stop Harper" theme and were looking for a vehicle - any vehicle - to bring them to that destination.

Cullen deserves credit for daring to talk about innovative ways to reach necessary goals. But by putting "the country" ahead of social and economic justice and equality, he shows that he's unduly afraid of Harper's eventual attack ads. He forgets that it wasn't Harper's braying about "separatists and socialists" that killed the coalition in December 2008. It was Harper's dogged tactical mastery, Michaëlle Jean's capitulation to the executive branch as opposed to letting Parliament express its will, and the treachery of Ignatieff and the Liberal Party.

Québec solidaire has provided what could be a model of non-partisan cooperation that the NDP could usefully examine. They are avowedly "sovereignist"; they welcome the cooperation of all sovereignists; and they welcome "federalists" as well, in that they do not make loyalty to Québec or Canada a touchstone for unity or division. If Cullen, or the NDP generally, assesses that it can't take that approach because they think it will spell disaster in the rest of Canada, then they may have to resign themselves to Quebecers feeling that the NDP's first commitment is not to the kinds of values that spurred the Orange Wave.

KenS

Howard wrote:

Mulcair has talked about removing all the subsidies to the energy sector and getting them to internalise the cost of their environmental damage through cap and trade. He has also opened the door to carbon taxation at the provincial level. All of these things would increase the cost of energy development and serve as a damper on this sector, allowing other sectors to compete for capital and labour.

 

There is the question of how much of a commitment has been made to all of these energy sector items. But I dont want to go incircles about that anymore, so lets just set aside the question of whether Mulcair would put all thses out there as Leader, and lets assume that they our out there with sufficient prominence to be major elements of what the broad public identifies with the NDP.

An end to oil sands subsidies in the tax structure. Cap and trade being applied to the sector [unlike Hareper govt excepting it] moving from the background of 'motherhood' slogan waving to the foreground of NDP policy, where it has to be if we are to put wheels on our cap and trade policy, five years and counting since we put it out.

On that much, all the policy pillars are out there already, even though the NDP has been silent on the parts about how it all fits into an overall economic policy. So maybe Mulcair is going to change all that. [Though it is a good question- since all the policy already exists: what needs to change is talking it up. Is Mulcair promising a change on that? No. Which I allow does not mean he will not. But it is no answer to the doubters. Anticpating the bait: if Mulcair says he is going to make the policy more prominent, I'll salute that.]

So assuming either that Mulcair is going to give this existing NDP policies the legs of more prominence, there is a fleshed out economic policy that goes with the 'banner policies' of ending oil industry subsidies and cap and trade. It is no slam dunk sell to swing voters, but the elements of the policy all exist.

That is not true for the argument- what we hope would be a 'hook'- that making the oil and gas industry absorb more of their real costs, will free up capital and labour and therefore help with the hollowing out of Canadian manufacturing. True that this would be a minimum necessay condidtion, but with golabalized investment finance choices, there is no reason to see making oil and gas pay its way as any more than something that cannot hurt the manufacturing sector investment climate.

But those questions of economics aside, there is nothing that the NDP or Tom Mulcair has out in the public domain that is ready for the road policy... or even an outline of it.

Mulcair's backgrounder [news release] on cap and trade was a few substantive paragrpahs. That may not be ideal for having something to talk about, but at least WE in the party can know what it is about, because there is a large body of existing policy which he is drawing on, even though he never says that is where it comes from

When it comes to policy, or even a more general 'agenda' [which is what Nash has], on what to do about loss of manufacturing jobs, a few general paragraphs in a news release is not going to cut it.

 

 

Howard

-

KenS

Realpolitik: Cullen cannot amend this to include the BQ. Political suicide.

Either he stays with the plan and thinks he has some way to spin it in Quebec, which I cannot imagine is feasible; or he just ditches the whole thing. [As stated, for more reasons than this. But maybe this is the single most compelling one.]

KenS

Unionist wrote:

[Cullen], like the NDP generally, has learned little from what happened on May 2, and/or drawn the wrong conclusions.

I agree with the larger point about Cullen.

But I think there is something else going on about this.

We differ about the conclusions the NDP has drawn, but lets not re-run that. And while I do not know, I suspect even Cullen has got all the lessons of May.

The NDP is steeped in the pathology that you can say anything under the sun without necessarily having to square it with othe things you have said.

Is it contradictory to absorb the lessons of May, but say you will single out the BQ from your plan because they are bad soverignists? 

Absolutely.

Is it typical for the NDP?

Absolutely.

 

We're getting better about this. And I cannot think of other things as obviously glaring as this in the leadership race. So that's progress.

I suspect Cullen doing it has a lot to do with his "plan" reaaly being a gesture. Not that they do not mean it as a sincerely offered plan, ready to go with amendments as needed. But it is not a plan that the homework was done on.

So its ripe for all sorts of faux pas.

Maybe this will be put to Cullen in the Quebec debates. Maybe he'll see the freight train coming, and this will be another reason to find a way to back away while affirming the spirit of [whatever].

ETA. Howard had a post similar to mine. Presumably cross-posted. I didnt think they said exactly the same thing, if you want to put it back in.... unless you think its enough jumping on Cullen ??

oldgoat

Gaian, ... you appear to be relentlessly pursuing KenS to grapple with him on the points he makes, and every time you do it you get a bit more personal, and dial up the vitriol a bit more. Looking back through old threads looking into this is a half hour of my life I'll never get back. Cut it out.  Disengage for a while.

 

I should add, that as a returned PBB (previously banned babbler) you have absolutely no slack whatsoever.

KenS

You can safely assume that everyone stands with the Sherbrooke Declaration.

And if they have private resevations about any aspects of it, much less the whole thing, the blowback from Romeo wandering off script will remind them to keep it to themselves.

 

And in case anybody wants a replay for some reason- I think Romeo handled that well, and put it to bed. Enough said.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think Harper will break up the country long before the BQ and PQ could ever get close to doing so. Gutting medicare and the CPP, giving the oil and gas sector and major corporations massive tax breaks, massive military spending while gutting the social safety net  - this is all insane, and much more harmful to all of Canada that the separation of Quebec could ever be. I repeat, with Harper at the helm, why should Quebec want to be part of that sinking ship? Cullen should reach out to the BQ (and the people of Quebec who support that party) for help in resisting Harper instead of demonizing them. United front, and all that. By the way, does anyone know where Cullen stands on the Sherbrooke Declaration?

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