NDP platform for the next election, whenever it will be

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Doug
NDP platform for the next election, whenever it will be

Along with a campaign strategy, there has to be a policy platform for the next election. It'll be trickier this time than last. The economy may have started growing again by next election, but it's unlikely that this will have had much impact on employment or the federal deficit yet. It's reasonable to conclude then that the economy will be an issue of great importance this time and also that what all parties choose to offer will be constrained by the federal government's so-so finances. Regional issues will continue to both be important as federal elections in Canada really amount to a series of parallel regional elections and are always bit of a minefield, since giving too much away to one part of the country is resented by others. That's the situation in short, get wonking! Laughing

MUN Prof. MUN Prof.'s picture

I'll bite.

Economy. THIS is it. What of the state of NAFTA, Nortel, or the [select one] industry?

Health Care. Own this from day one. Dust off Tommy D's notes and tell Canadians how the NDP will lead on 21st century public health care policy.

Environment. Based on these comments from the three little Iggys last fall, it's doubtful that Canadians will be seeing any green shit from the Liberals in the next election. So, substantively build on environment policy. How about conservation incentives for starters? Want to build a sustainable source of energy for future generations? Detail how this would work for/benefit all regardless of locale.

Military. Out. Of. Af-Pac.

Foreign Policy. Earn a bit of respect in the world anyone? G8 photo gaffs aside, the antics of the reform-a-tories have surely made the fair-minded shudder: Obama-leak, Af-Pac, Kahdr, Abdelrazik, Czech and Mexican visas, complicity with capital punishment abroad, and so on.

I didn't include Homeland Security, but that's a sketch. 

Machjo

I don't care what the NDP platform will be, but any candidate in my own riding who shupports a federal (or provincial if it's an Ontario election) official aboriginal languages act for the country (or province, depending on the election) or some other legislation to promote more language justice for Canada's Aboriginal peoples will certainly boost his chances of getting my vote:

http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=art...

NorthReport

Byers is kicking ass. If this keeps up he may well pick up Vancouver Centre in the next election.
Finally a new vision for Canada and his book "Who owns the Arctic" will be out in October

 

 

Re-packaging Arctic sovereignty

 

Canada's new Northern Strategy is mostly made up of old ideas that have gone nowhere

 

This June, the navy's project management office told potential contractors that the "letter of intent" phase for the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships had been postponed indefinitely. In July 2009, CBC News reported that the Northern Watch Technology Demonstration Project, which involves trials of underwater and land-based sensors along the Northwest Passage, had also been suspended. And a full year after Mr. Harper's announcement that NORDREG would become mandatory, the necessary regulatory amendment has not yet been made.

Although the Northern Strategy does not mention these delays, it makes assertions that -- if credible -- would render them less important. The document states the Northwest Passage is "not expected to become a safe or reliable transportation route in the near future" and that the disputes with the United States are "well-managed and pose no sovereignty or defence challenges for Canada."

However, recent satellite imagery indicates that the Northwest Passage will be open again this September, the fourth time in four years. It offers a route between East Asia and the Atlantic Seaboard that is 7,000 kilometres shorter than the current one through the Panama Canal, saving time, fuel and transit fees.

Three or four foreign cruise ships already traverse the Passage each summer, as do half a dozen private yachts. In 2008, a Danish cable-laying ship, the MV Peter Faber, needed to move from a project near Taiwan to another project between Newfoundland and Greenland. The captain chose the Northwest Passage, sailing through without incident or fanfare.

Nor is there much evidence of the dispute being managed, with the United States very publicly re-asserting its position in a presidential directive in January of this year.

The Northern Strategy is a poor substitute for proactively engaging the United States in a negotiated resolution of the Northwest Passage dispute. As former U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci has argued, it would actually be in the interests of the United States to recognize Canada's claim -- in return for Canada protecting the interests of both countries within the waterway.

But for such an initiative to succeed, Harper must establish a record of delivering on his Arctic promises. New ships, underwater sensors, a mandatory NORDREG -- these projects are no longer just a question of domestic politics; they matter in terms of Canada's credibility as a negotiating partner in the North.

 

 

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/packaging+Arctic+sovereignty/1860219/s...

nicky

How about a referendum on whether Canada should be a republic?

NorthReport

Seniors vote

Harper Government Ignoring Needs of Seniors: Layton

 

http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?mn=2&id=773&latest=1

NorthReport

NDP needs more than name change

 

Risk-averse party will be relevant again when it dumps pragmatism and embraces controversy

 

 

All of this should constitute a major vindication for the NDP.

Instead, the party's sense of "pragmatism" has dictated that it avoid upholding its own position, even as Canadian voters, key allies, and experts in the field come to agree with most of it.

Another example is trade policy. This, too, should be fertile ground for the NDP, as the free-trade orthodoxies still revered by most Canadian politicians and pundits have steadily lost credibility in much of the rest of the world.

Protectionism has been rising gradually in the U.S. for years, as witnessed by the softwood lumber dispute.

Many Latin American governments openly reject free-market nostrums. Last year, the refusal of rich Western nations to actually practice free trade caused developing nations to walk out of negotiations on farm subsidies at a World Trade Organization meeting. .

Even if it is too much to ask for the NDP to challenge free-trade theology head on, at least it could have insisted that in an era of globalization, Canadian leaders need to recognize major shifts in attitudes outside our borders. It could have emerged as the main voice warning Canadians about the most recent wave of protectionism, including the "Buy American" policy, and demanding that Canada stop acting as the world's naïve little cub scout about trade matters.

In short, the NDP is not stuck far behind the other parties because it has lacked opportunities to offer distinct policies that would have, with time, proven to be both prescient and popular. What has been missing is the basic will to take the heat that comes with going against the grain.

Whatever the party wants to call itself, the biggest priority at this convention should be shaking out of the fundamental culture of risk-aversion, of venturing nothing but still hoping to make gains, that has taken over the NDP in recent years.

 

 

 

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/680336

Caissa

Political scientists on the CBC Radio morning news were suggesting that the NDP should be trying to shake loose Green votes not Liberal votes. They argued that an NDP move to the Centre was doomed to failure.

I know the "Greens aren't Left" argument. One of the political scientsists point out however, that Green supporters are more likely to vote NDP than Liberal supporters are.

NorthReport

It's a given that the CBC pimps for the Liberals so which political scientists would that be.

josh

"They argued that an NDP move to the Centre was doomed to failure."

 

They seem determined anyway:

 

"Oh yeah," the NDP Leader said when asked if his party will make a pitch for the centre.

The plan, he said, is to portray New Democrats as being "reasonable and competent."

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/layton-positions-himself-as-the-man-in-the-middle/article1251300/

 

 

 

Caissa

I can't remember the names. The point was in response to Lavigne taking shots at Iggy trying to shake votes free when the Greens are the most likely party to get fruit from. Actually, I think Harper is the one the NDP should attack relentlessly. 

Caissa

We'll have to disagree on this one, NR.  The question is where can the NDP secure votes. Presumably from two sources; individuals who list the NDP as their second choice party and from individuals not currently partaking in the electoral system. You really think Iggy should be the primary target of the NDP?

NorthReport

This is right out of the Liberal playbook, talking points, whatever you wish to call it. Gotta give those Libs points for effective timing though. The first day of the NDP convention, the NDP is on a high, and all of a suden  supposed neutral political scientists are the NDP should be going after the Greens. Yea right. The Greens are concerned about the environment, so in that aspect they are the allies of the NDP. It's a given that NDPers don't support Harper, but Lavigne is dead on with his assessment. 

NorthReport

I wouldn't expect you to say otherwise Caissa. Laughing

genstrike

Quote:
NDP Leader Jack Layton will contrast his "new thinking" with the "old thinking" of Liberals and Conservatives when he takes the floor Sunday at the end of his party's three-day policy convention.

Now, where have we seen this before?  New ____ versus Old ____ in a supposedly social democratic party?

Caissa

But I wanted to be polite about it NorthReport. Wink

jJenny G

This is about more than a name change.  This is about the dumping of social democratic principals to appeal to the right of centre masses out there by a right of centre current in the Party.  If people are annoyed over this and there appears to be quite a current out there who are, then, let them know that you will abandon this Party.  What this current is doing in the Party is not new.  It has various names, including new-liberalism and new labour.

josh

. . . and perhaps "reasonable and competent."

KenS

It seems to make not the slightest impression on what people ascribe to the name change thing, the numerous comments that the inititiative does not likely come from 'the top', and that it is highly unlikley to pass.

Much more likely to pass: a competing resolution, which is much more likely to have been encouraged from 'the top', which mandates a thorough discussion of changing the name. You know, where all options are on the table, and people get to discuss the whys and wherefores of all the choices- that sort of thing.

As we speak, by now both those competing resolutions will have been discussed in panel. So we'll see what actually comes to the floor for a vote. But if the resolution for DP comes to a vote- I guarantee you it hasn't a chance.

NorthReport

I think Layton, considering what he is up against, is doing a remarkable job bringing the NDP closer to contention. And of course there will always be some people, including some on the left that will never be satisfied, no matter what. I suppose this is the price Jack and the NDP pay for success.  Wink 

Michelle

What do you think of Caplan's comments in the article right afterwards?  He says that it's clear that Canadians aren't interested in having the NDP form power, and that the NDP should concentrate on influencing the government of the day on policy rather than focusing on prime ministerial aspirations.

josh

"Contention"?  How about "relevance"?  "Success"?  Possibly the greatest crisis in capitalism since the depression and the party appears to have hit its ceiling.

 

""If the NDP was ever going to make a breakthrough toward government, it was in the last election. And they didn't. They just inched ahead a little bit, in the popular vote hardly at all,

Judy Rebick, longtime NDP activist and author of Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political, told CBC Radio's The Current."

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/08/10/f-ndp-name-change.html

 

But these concerns can easily be dismissed with the hoary "never be satisfied" strawman.

 

 

josh

There's some truth to that.  But they'll never take power trying to out-Liberal the Liberals.

KenS

Michelle wrote:
What do you think of Caplan's comments in the article right afterwards?  He says that it's clear that Canadians aren't interested in having the NDP form power, and that the NDP should concentrate on influencing the government of the day on policy rather than focusing on prime ministerial aspirations.

That prescription is in line with what social movement activists want to see, and its traditional convergence with long time NDP activists who want to stick with 'what works'.

Leaving aside the substantive objections to those limitations... its a recipe for disaster in the middle to long term: just waiting for the NDP to be absolutely clobbered by the next juggernaut coming down the tracks. We've already been through about 3 iterations of that, why walk into another one?

And its dualistic strawman to act as if its either [modest] attempts to influence policy, or prime ministerial pretensions.

Doug

The NDP doesn't influence policy when it's not in contention for power. See the 1990s.

NorthReport

josh wrote:

"Contention"?  How about "relevance"?  "Success"?  Possibly the greatest crisis in capitalism since the depression and the party appears to have hit its ceiling.

 

""If the NDP was ever going to make a breakthrough toward government, it was in the last election. And they didn't. They just inched ahead a little bit, in the popular vote hardly at all"

 

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/08/10/f-ndp-name-change.html

 

But these concerns can easily be dismissed with the hoary "never be satisfied" strawman.

 

 

Why does it appear to have hit a ceiling. Because the Liberal CBC says so? Laughing

Considering the entire mainstream press is against the NDP, and how many NDP candidates had to step down in the last election? In some ways, it is remarkable the NDP is doing as well as they are. But of course there are changes needed, there always will be, and sure a lot more work has to be done

Fidel

jJenny G wrote:

This is about more than a name change.  This is about the dumping of social democratic principals to appeal to the right of centre masses out there by a right of centre current in the Party.

This is totally untrue. The NDP is still centre-left politically. I think some Canadians are confused as to just what has caused this ideologically induced recession and meltdown of financial capitalism around the western world. NDP was the effective opposition throughout the 1980's and 1990's and warning Tories and Liberals in government then of the second-hand neoliberal policies they were implementing then.

The awful truth is that it's our two old line Liberal and Tory parties that have swung to the far right politically and economically over the last 30 years. And now they have no direction and nothing new in their bag of tricks to fix what's broken. They ran out of new ideas a long time ago. It's why the two Bay Street parties are desperate for a phony majority electoral win right now. It is their second-hand policies for neoliberal "laissez-faire reborn" capitalism that are failing Canadians today. The NDP is on record as having opposed those neoliberal policies, time and time again and continuing to do so today.

Patrick W. Walker

Caissa wrote:

We'll have to disagree on this one, NR.  The question is where can the NDP secure votes. Presumably from two sources; individuals who list the NDP as their second choice party and from individuals not currently partaking in the electoral system. You really think Iggy should be the primary target of the NDP?

Going after Harper and Ignatieff isn't an either-or situation.  Both need to be exposed for sharing the same vision and who bicker only on the size of the corporate tax cut...

Fidel

Patrick's right! They are two wings of the exact same private property representing interests of big biz and the banks. Our two stooge parties hamstrung their own ability to inject real Keynesian stimulus when they both voted for and committed Ottawa to multi-billion dollar corporate tax cuts, and one taxpayer funded bailout/giveaway to Canadian banksters to the tune of $75 BILLION just two weeks after the last election. And Canada's Libranos supported them, too. The jokers are laughing all the way to the bank today as a result.

Frmrsldr

MUN Prof. wrote:

I'll bite.

Economy. THIS is it. What of the state of NAFTA, Nortel, or the [select one] industry?

Health Care. Own this from day one. Dust off Tommy D's notes and tell Canadians how the NDP will lead on 21st century public health care policy.

Environment. Based on these comments from the three little Iggys last fall, it's doubtful that Canadians will be seeing any green shit from the Liberals in the next election. So, substantively build on environment policy. How about conservation incentives for starters? Want to build a sustainable source of energy for future generations? Detail how this would work for/benefit all regardless of locale.

Military. Out. Of. Af-Pac.

Foreign Policy. Earn a bit of respect in the world anyone? G8 photo gaffs aside, the antics of the reform-a-tories have surely made the fair-minded shudder: Obama-leak, Af-Pac, Kahdr, Abdelrazik, Czech and Mexican visas, complicity with capital punishment abroad, and so on.

I didn't include Homeland Security, but that's a sketch. 

Pretty damn good for a sketch. I think you are right on track.

Frmrsldr

nicky wrote:

How about a referendum on whether Canada should be a republic?

Sounds good to me. I'll go for that.