The NDP - where to from here?

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Pondering
The NDP - where to from here?

Singh made climate change and income inequality central to his campaign. I think that did resonate with people but that the message needs to be delivered more strongly and consistently. 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/21/labour-manifesto-election-corbyn

If Jeremy Corbyn’s attacks on the billionaires, bankers and out-of-control multinationals are called the politics of envy, he’s not out of step with voters. The Hansard survey finds 63% think Britain’s system of government is “rigged to advantage the rich and powerful” – and they’re right. 

I think the situation in Canada is similar. The NDP is still too timid. We need to say "hell yes there is a class war and we intend on fighting back!"

Conservatives get the populists because they actually do rabble rouse. They are not afraid to point fingers and denounce people. They don't try to prove their points overmuch they mostly just repeat them really a lot. 

I loved Singh's response to where money would come from for clean water for all communities. He looked incredulous and said something to the effect "Canada is a wealthy country we can afford clean water." That response was pitch perfect. Short and to the point. Canadians take pride in our country's wealth. 

People don't know the ins and outs of big finance and what the rules should be but they do know what makes sense and that the system is rigged on behalf of the mega rich,  That's the term we have to use. Not just wealthy, billionaires. Jobs are not a favor, a gift. Jobs are what generate wealth for employers. Without labor they wouldn't have a business. As for automation, paying higher wages is not the cause. Any wage is too high if a job can be automated.  

JKR

Maybe it's time for the NDP and Greens to merge especially now that May is stepping down as leader of the Greens?

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering was all giggly-goo about Justin Trudeau in 2015. This is what she had to say about the NDP in 2019 just a few weeks ago in the Decline of the Conservstives thread that she started.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/decline-conservatives

In Post 8:

"...Had Mulcair still been running the NDP he may well have won but then the NDP would have been stuck with the Liberal Lite approach. That was one of the reasons I didn't want the NDP to win. It would have cemented that approach. They would not have been more left-wing once elected. They would have failed to balance the budget or create national daycare. The relationship with indigenous peoples would have deteriorated. Longterm it is a good thing the NDP didn't win in 2015 and maybe even a good thing Singh didn't win either."

Now you want us all to join hands with you so you cant lead us in a sing along about how  to fix the NDP.

brookmere

JKR wrote:
Maybe it's time for the NDP and Greens to merge especially now that May is stepping down as leader of the Greens?

It took three consecutive Liberal majorities to get the  federal PCs and Alliance(Reform) to merge. And they didn't have to deal with the complication of what to do with  provincial parties, which in the case of the NDP are organically bound to the federal party. I doubt that those at the top of the NDP will have much motivation to merge with the Greens until the latter get a lot closer to the former in seat count.

lagatta4

I certainly wouldn't be opposed to such a merger, but the Greens would have to become clearer about a Green New Deal or Leap (it has many names), that would protect workers in old industries and support paid retraining as they adapt to Green jobs, as well as other issues involving social and economic equality. One positive thing the NDP has done in this past campaign was present a far more diverse slate of candidates, including many racialised people and Indigenous people. The Greens are far more lily-white than the NDP  has been for quite a while. Like gender equality, this is important, and not a gimmick.

Pondering

Misfit wrote:

Pondering was all giggly-goo about Justin Trudeau in 2015. This is what she had to say about the NDP in 2019 just a few weeks ago in the Decline of the Conservstives thread that she started.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/decline-conservatives

In Post 8:

"...Had Mulcair still been running the NDP he may well have won but then the NDP would have been stuck with the Liberal Lite approach. That was one of the reasons I didn't want the NDP to win. It would have cemented that approach. They would not have been more left-wing once elected. They would have failed to balance the budget or create national daycare. The relationship with indigenous peoples would have deteriorated. Longterm it is a good thing the NDP didn't win in 2015 and maybe even a good thing Singh didn't win either."

Now you want us all to join hands with you so you cant lead us in a sing along about how  to fix the NDP.

I was never "giggly-goo" over Trudeau. That was part of the self-deception being practiced here and by the NDP that Trudeau was a light-weight who could never win and women only supported him because he looked like a disney prince as if women can't put aside appearances like men do. Your comment is sexist and weak. If the things that I am saying would be harmful to the NDP then argue against me. 

From your comments I take it you want the NDP to be more rightwing. Are you upset that Singh is against TMX? Are you disappointed that Mulcair isn't leading the NDP cheering for TMX?  Are you upset that Mulcair didn't succeed in destroying the NDP as a progressive party?

This thread is a thought exercise about the direction of the NDP. Singh has highlighted income inequality and climate change as the top two issues which I think is spot on. That would suggest a merger with the Greens might not be a bad idea but that doesn't make it a good one. Aside from climate change the Greens haven't been a particularly leftist party.  With a good climate change plan the NDP could take back leftist votes from the Greens. Opposing TMX is a good start. Merging does not mean the GreenNDP would get the sum of those votes. The NDP has to win based on a strong vision for the future and a solid economic plan. 

In my opinion the NDP needs to focus on building the party back up. I don't think the NDP should be as closely bound to social movements as Ken does, but the party has to start paying attention to members and being authentic with them. If the party doesn't want to take a position on something because they think it would be electorally damaging that is what they should say. One good thing about the Conservatives is that they do allow candidates and backbenchers to express their odious socially conservative views. The NDP should do the same and allow candidates and backbenchers to express their views on Israel and Palestine and prostitution etc. as long as they make it clear they are not speaking for the party but as individual MPs/candidates. 

Voters are very drawn to authenticity to the point where it doesn't seem to make sense. In some cases people are so disillusioned by politicians that someone like Ford comes across as authentic in the sense that at least he won't stab you in the back he will come straight at you. No need to read between the lines with a Ford, or a Trump. Some voters want to say 'bullshit' to the political class and that is what Trump and Ford do. 

JKR

brookmere wrote:

I doubt that those at the top of the NDP will have much motivation to merge with the Greens until the latter get a lot closer to the former in seat count.

I agree. I think the NDP's big wigs will not consider a merger until the NDP and Green's seat count is close. It might even have to wait until the Greens go ahead of the NDP but if the Greens went ahead by too much the Greens might then be the ones rejecting cooperation.

Ken Burch

I think a better approach would be to look at the matter not as a merger, but as a refounding...as the creation of an entirely new entity, in which those who were in leadership positions in both the NDP and the GPC in the past would be kept outside of positions of influence in the new entity, in which the bad choices made by both of the old parties would simply not be repeated in what is created next, in which decision-making power will be held by the voices from below.

It's not about merger...it's about creating something entirely new and learning from all that failed in the past.

Misfit Misfit's picture

In Post #6, Pondering wrote:

"...One good thing about the Conservatives is that they do allow candidates and backbenchers to express their odious socially conservative views..."

From the Toronto Star...

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper richly deserves the pushback he is getting from Conservative backbenchers at his obsession with controlling the Tory message and preventing them from airing their views on controversial issues."

From The Tyee...

"Harper’s Own MPs Protest Muzzling

In a caucus known for his tight discipline, in 2014 some members finally rose up to contest being censored at question period by the Prime Minister’s Office. Former Conservative backbencher Brent Rathgeber turned independent and published a book, Irresponsible Government, decrying anti-democratic practices."

Harper was notorious for muzzling Conservative backbenchers in Parliament. He was also notorious for muzzling Conservative MPs during elections. They were not allowed to participate in any all candidates debates.

From the National Onserver... in 2015:

"As Conservative MP skips debates, London West becomes Liberal swing riding"

From the CTV... in 2011;

"Missing: another Conservative candidate in B.C."

From the Saskatoon Star Phoenix... in 2019;

"Liberal, NDP candidates unhappy about Conservative skipping debates"

From the CBC...

"Tories deny organizer's claim candidates declined on orders from national HQ

Louise Elliott - CBC News

Posted: April 19, 2011 
Last Updated: April 19, 2011

A teacher who organized an all-candidates debate for two Toronto-area ridings says the Conservative Party's national campaign headquarters told its local candidates not to show up.

James Blair said he spoke to the campaign manager for Corneliu Chisu, the Conservative candidate for Pickering-Scarborough East, and was told officials in the national campaign war room instructed Chisu not to attend..."

These cover three separate elections. These cover different regions of Canada. The pattern is the same. Conservative headquarters tells their candidates to say away from local all party debates. Conservative headquarters denies muzzling their candidates.

JKR

The Conservatives are the masters of controlling their message. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

From Post 8:

Misfit wrote:

 

Pondering was all giggly-goo about Justin Trudeau in 2015. This is what she had to say about the NDP in 2019 just a few weeks ago in the Decline of the Conservstives thread that she started.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/decline-conservatives

In Post 8:

"...Had Mulcair still been running the NDP he may well have won but then the NDP would have been stuck with the Liberal Lite approach. That was one of the reasons I didn't want the NDP to win. It would have cemented that approach. They would not have been more left-wing once elected. They would have failed to balance the budget or create national daycare. The relationship with indigenous peoples would have deteriorated. Longterm it is a good thing the NDP didn't win in 2015 and maybe even a good thing Singh didn't win either."

Now you want us all to join hands with you so you cant lead us in a sing along about how  to fix the NDP.

 

 

Pondering wrote:

"...From your comments I take it you want the NDP to be more rightwing. Are you upset that Singh is against TMX? Are you disappointed that Mulcair isn't leading the NDP cheering for TMX?  Are you upset that Mulcair didn't succeed in destroying the NDP as a progressive party?"

From my comments you can infer no such thing.

Pondering

Misfit wrote:
Now you want us all to join hands with you so you cant lead us in a sing along about how  to fix the NDP. 

I’m here to have political discussions with other people. No hand-holding please. (Flu season)

Misfit wrote: Pondering was all giggly-goo about Justin Trudeau in 2015.

Pondering wrote: "...From your comments I take it you want the NDP to be more rightwing. Are you upset that Singh is against TMX? Are you disappointed that Mulcair isn't leading the NDP cheering for TMX?  Are you upset that Mulcair didn't succeed in destroying the NDP as a progressive party?"

Misfit wrote: From my comments you can infer no such thing.

LOL. I can infer whatever the hell I want from your comments given their nature. You can’t deal with my arguments so you infer that I have some nefarious motive for making them. Do you think I am subversively trying to influence the NDP to self-destruct? Mwahaha…if that is my intent I am doing a piss poor job of it.

Seriously. This has happened several times now. What is your problem? It is no secret that I supported Trudeau in 2015. So what? I support Singh now. Okay wait, I think I get it. You want pipelines. Mulcair wanted pipelines. Singh is against TMX. You are for TMX.

My motivation is very clear. I consider climate change and inequality to be the two overriding issues of the century. I have been saying so for years. The NDP is our best hope for addressing those issues if it can find the right balance between progressiveness and pragmatism.

The Conservatives do allow their MPs to express socially conservative viewpoints without ejecting them from the party.

One way the NDP could balance progressiveness and pragmatism is to allow MPs and candidates to express their own views as long as they are to the left and the candidate makes it clear it is not the party’s position.

This would show social movements that they have a voice within the party even if the party is not adopting it as their official position. It would show diversity within the party. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering,

1. Someone who supports Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party, and who says that it is a good thing that the NDP didn't win and that it is a good thing that Singh didn't win either should not be the one to take the initiative to lead a discussion on how to fix the NDP. It is inappropriate and offensive.

2. Someone who claims that it is a good thing that Singh did not win the election is being disingenuous by saying that they support Singh.

This is the only thing that one can take from my comments. Anything else is utter trash.

 There are posters on Babble who take the NDP very seriously and consider it the best shot at promoting a left wing voice in Ottawa. Your input on this subject is tactless.

Pondering

Misfit wrote:

Pondering,

1. Someone who supports Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party, and who says that it is a good thing that the NDP didn't win and that it is a good thing that Singh didn't win either should not be the one to take the initiative to lead a discussion on how to fix the NDP. It is inappropriate and offensive.

2. Someone who claims that it is a good thing that Singh did not win the election is being disingenuous by saying that they support Singh.

This is the only thing that one can take from my comments. Anything else is utter trash.

 There are posters on Babble who take the NDP very seriously and consider it the best shot at promoting a left wing voice in Ottawa.

And you are full of shit. I did not want Mulcair to win because it would have locked the NDP into the centrist approach.  I did want Singh to win because he focused on climate change and inequality. 

Stick to expressing your own views. Your primary concern is pipelines. Mine is the environment. 

It isn't up to you to decide who should and shouldn't participate in a conversation. You search my posts to find something to be offended by. Your repeated attacks are inappropriate. If you want to discuss politics fine. If you want drama go elsewhere. 

Ken Burch

Pondering, you would at least agree that it's nothing but tragic that the NDP had huge losses and was nearly wiped out in Quebec, though, wouldn't you?

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering wrote:

Misfit wrote:

Pondering,

1. Someone who supports Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party, and who says that it is a good thing that the NDP didn't win and that it is a good thing that Singh didn't win either should not be the one to take the initiative to lead a discussion on how to fix the NDP. It is inappropriate and offensive.

2. Someone who claims that it is a good thing that Singh did not win the election is being disingenuous by saying that they support Singh.

This is the only thing that one can take from my comments. Anything else is utter trash.

 There are posters on Babble who take the NDP very seriously and consider it the best shot at promoting a left wing voice in Ottawa.

And you are full of shit. I did not want Mulcair to win because it would have locked the NDP into the centrist approach.  I did want Singh to win because he focused on climate change and inequality. 

Stick to expressing your own views. Your primary concern is pipelines. Mine is the environment. 

It isn't up to you to decide who should and shouldn't participate in a conversation. You search my posts to find something to be offended by. Your repeated attacks are inappropriate. If you want to discuss politics fine. If you want drama go elsewhere. 

I never said that you cannot post here. I said that your posts in support of the NDP are disingenuous and tactless.

I am telling you that you cannot say that it is good that Singh didn't win the election in one breath and then say that you support Singh in the other breath and be expected to be taken seriously.

And don't make proclamations that my primary concern is pipelines. I never said that. So you are not welcome to tell me what my primary concerns are because you don't know. And yes, I do have a major problem with that. Stop it!

Pondering

Misfit wrote:

I am telling you that you cannot say that it is good that Singh didn't win the election in one breath and then say that you support Singh in the other breath and be expected to be taken seriously.

And don't make proclamations that my primary concern is pipelines. I never said that. So you are not welcome to tell me what my primary concerns are because you don't know. And yes, I do have a major problem with that. Stop it!

I WANTED SINGH TO WIN THE ELECTION. I VOTED NDP. I PLAN ON VOTING NDP AGAIN.

Did you hear me yet? 

Given that you have decided to bully me I am fully within my rights to speculate as to your motivation for doing so. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Stick to expressing your own views. Your primary concern is pipelines. Mine is the environment. 

Maybe you should also stick to expressing your own views without telling others what they are "really" saying? I think your interpretation of what Misfit says is slanted. I think it's obvious that Misfit puts a higher priority on "the environment" over "pipelines" as concern over the pipelines is based on an overriding concern for the environment.

Ken Burch

Pondering if you liked what Singh's approach, why did you say just above that it might be a good thing for the NDP long-term that the NDP didn't win in Singh's first go-round?

I have to say that, if that's how you feel, it puts your repeated arguments, in the run-up to the 2019 election, that Singh couldn't talk about what the NDP supported until the election started and that he couldn't really be expected to do anything to try to prepare the party for the 2019 election in a somewhat uncomfortable light-it creates the impression that you actually wanted the NDP to not only not win in 2019 but to actually do badly.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

Pondering if you liked what Singh's approach, why did you say just above that it might be a good thing for the NDP long-term that the NDP didn't win in Singh's first go-round?

I have to say that, if that's how you feel, it puts your repeated arguments, in the run-up to the 2019 election, that Singh couldn't talk about what the NDP supported until the election started and that he couldn't really be expected to do anything to try to prepare the party for the 2019 election in a somewhat uncomfortable light-it creates the impression that you actually wanted the NDP to not only not win in 2019 but to actually do badly.

I said it was a good thing MULCAIR didn't win. I said MAYBE it was a good thing Singh didn't win because he would have to wear whatever happens with TMX whereas this way Trudeau has to wear it and it will hurt Trudeau no matter which way it goes. Taking a partial quote out of context from a different thread to attack someone is being a jerk. 

Furthermore, it doesn't matter whom an argument comes from. If you disagree with it say so. 

Ken, I thought we had worked this shit out. Any interest in talking about politics or is the topic of me just too riveting for you?  You can take the tin foil hat off any time. 

I do not have a simplistic view of politics. I mix idealism with pragmatism. I am looking at the big picture both in the other thread and this one. I am thinking in terms of 15 years not the next election. I am thinking in the context of world events, particularly the impacts of climate change which are going to grow exponentially as our use of fossil fuels has. Wealth inequality is also rising as a mainstream issue. I have always talked about aiming at the 99% to win. I am not a Liberal. I am not an NDPer. I am not American. I don't have to register with or affiliate with a party. In Canada it is not considered subversive to be a swing voter. It isn't even suspicious behavior. It doesn't negate one's views. 

You don't think my desire for the NDP to succeed is sincere. So fucking what? It makes no difference to the quality of my arguments. This isn't highschool where I have to belong to the club to have an opinion.

Address the topic. My suggestion is that the NDP allow individual MPs and candidates more scope to speak on topics as long as they make it clear they are not expressing party policy. Maybe the party would still have to have some control so no candidate starts spouting flat earth theory. 

Now I suppose it is possible that I really think that would hurt the NDP and I am just being sneaky. Are NDP supporters too stupid to evaluate the idea on its own merit and discard it if it is bad?

PS Ken. Misfit attacked me and I am done with being attacked. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. I am suspicious of Misfit's motivation for repeatedly going after me. This is at least the 3rd or 4th time. You are right. I don't know if Misfit has a pipeline stuck up you know what but Misfit is looking for a personal fight. Are you?

Pondering

I've been here for six years and five months. I have been entirely candid about my views and why I hold them. I constantly explain myself. I am fed-up with having my integrity questioned. 

Given that you  repeatedly destroy threads by questioning my motivation I have every right to question your integrity and motivation. In case there is any confusion I am referring to detectives Ken Burch and Misfit.

Misfit Misfit's picture

I used the term giggly goo to refer to Pondering's support for Justin Trudeau in 2015. That remark was inappropriate and I do apologize for what I wrote.

Pondering

I appreciate that Misfit but I am really tired of having my integrity repeatedly questioned. My logic may not always be the best, I may make mistakes, but I have always been honest. 

Ken Burch

Pondering wrote:

I appreciate that Misfit but I am really tired of having my integrity repeatedly questioned. My logic may not always be the best, I may make mistakes, but I have always been honest. 

You have also acted as if you are entitled to talk down to everyone else here and dismiss everything any of the rest of us have to say, and as though all of us should simply take it on faith that you know what the people want and what the NDP should do in a way that no one else on this board has any right to question or challenge.  When you post like that and then you say things, as you did just above, which makes it look as though you might actually be glad that the party is now for all practical purposes dead in Quebec and reduced to so few seats overall that it is now doomed to be pathetically irrelevant in a parliament where it would have been able to make a huge positive difference if it at least had held its ground in the seat count, exactly how do you expect people to react?  How would you LIKE us all to take that? I truly didn't want to hurt your feelings there, but can you honestly not understand why you got that reaction?

 

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
 You have also acted as if you are entitled to talk down to everyone else here and dismiss everything any of the rest of us have to say, and as though all of us should simply take it on faith that you know what the people want and what the NDP should do in a way that no one else on this board has any right to question or challenge.  When you post like that and then you say things, as you did just above, which makes it look as though you might actually be glad that the party is now for all practical purposes dead in Quebec and reduced to so few seats overall that it is now doomed to be pathetically irrelevant in a parliament where it would have been able to make a huge positive difference if it at least had held its ground in the seat count, exactly how do you expect people to react?  How would you LIKE us all to take that? I truly didn't want to hurt your feelings there, but can you honestly not understand why you got that reaction?

Hurt my feelings? Why would I respect the opinion of an arrogant ill-informed mansplainer? 

I have said multiple times how ashamed I am of my province and stated that I don't hold Singh responsible for the loss of those seats because he lost them due to bigotry. 

You should be ashamed of yourself for repeatedly going personal instead of simply talking politics. You destroy threads with your suspicious attitude and sanctimoneous preaching. 

Most of the time I don't even know who wrote a post because I don't care who wrote it. The ideas in the post stand or fall on their own merit regardless of who wrote the post.

Even if I didn't support Singh not all NDP supporters do. That isn't a reason to accuse me of subterfuge. 

I will admit that in the past someone like you could have hurt my feelings or upset me. Questioning whether or not it was worth it to continue posting here helped me clarify my purpose and evaluate what I get from the experience. 

My primary purpose is to explore Canadian politics. I develop my political thinking through discussion including learning where the holes are. I get to express my frustration or pleasure in response to current events. Kropotkin, Lagatta, Sean, epaulo (among many others) have contributed to my education. 

I would rather that this thread had stayed true to its purpose as a place to discuss the future of the NDP but I take what pleasure I can from any discussion. In this case, returning as good as I get coupled with a delightful sense of superiority.

So, uhhh, don't worry about hurting my feelings. 

Signed, uppidy woman who doesn't need her attitude checked. 

Ken Burch

My responses to you have nothing to do with gender.  The way I respond to you is exactly the way I would respond to a cis-man posting in the way you post.  And since nothing we're talking about in this thread has anything to do with gender, why are you bringing gender into this at all?  

All I expect from people here is for nobody to talk down to anyone else, for everyone to be addressed on a level of intellectual and personal.   You absolutely have the right to express your views, and I defend your right to express them-but they are simply one set of views among many, and nobody here has done anything remotely like oppressing you or trying to suppress your opinion.  It's no harder for you to post here than anybody else and as far as I can see you are at no disadvantage in posting here compared to anyone else.   It's just that sometimes, people will disagree with what other people will say and question where they are coming from when they say it.  I've been on the receiving end of that reaction probably as often as you have.

I accept that you didn't want the NDP to do badly, fine- It's just that it was only natural to read what you wrote and have questions come up about where you were coming from there.  That reaction had nothing to do with your gender.

 

 

 

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
 My responses to you have nothing to do with gender. 

You don't know what mansplaining means. I don't need direction from you on how I should express myself.  

Ken Burch wrote:
  All I expect from people here is for nobody to talk down to anyone else, for everyone to be addressed on a level of intellectual and personal. 

That would be nice so why don't you try it? Hint: calling my integrity into question is not respectful. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 You absolutely have the right to express your views, and I defend your right to express them-but they are simply one set of views among many, and nobody here has done anything remotely like oppressing you or trying to suppress your opinion. 

Post 3 Misfit does the giggle thing which has been apologized for. Post 13  "Your input on this subject is tactless." suggests I shouldn't be participating in the topic.

Yet oddly you felt no need to inform Misfit on how people should be addressed with intellectual and personal. (Did you mean intellectual and personal courtesy?) 

I didn't see you jumping in to tell Misfit not to talk down to me or to keep it on an intellectual level, or not to take quotes from different threads out of context. Apparently it is just me that you feel the need to school on how to post, and yet you are the one in here posting completely off topic and not even about politics. 

Your focus on discussing me instead of the ideas presented derails the thread which interferes with my ability to have a conversation with other people about the actual topic.

Ken Burch wrote:
I accept that you didn't want the NDP to do badly, fine- It's just that it was only natural to read what you wrote and have questions come up about where you were coming from there.    

I have actively supported and defended Singh on this board since he became leader. You didn't ask me where I was coming from. You said this:

I have to say that, if that's how you feel, it puts your repeated arguments, in the run-up to the 2019 election, that Singh couldn't talk about what the NDP supported until the election started and that he couldn't really be expected to do anything to try to prepare the party for the 2019 election in a somewhat uncomfortable light-it creates the impression that you actually wanted the NDP to not only not win in 2019 but to actually do badly.

You suggest that I might have had an ulterior motive for defending Singh waiting until closer to the election before laying his cards out.

You were attacking Singh before the election. I was defending him. It is more logical to conclude that you didn't want Singh to win. In 2015 you wanted Mulcair the liberal to win which would have solidified the move to the right. 

You've been critical of Singh from the beginning. You derail threads through pompous posts politely accusing me of duplicity. You want the party to speak out more on topics that are likely to be vote losers. 

 If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.....

I really don't care whether or not you believe I am sincere in my support of Singh and the NDP. You want to make the conversation about me; I'll make it about you every time. Stick to political argument and so will I. 

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Unless Ken Burch has stated publicly that he supported Mulcair or that he wanted the party to veer to the right, it is not anyone's place to redefine what his positions are. Personally, I don't believe that Ken Burch was ever  a strong supporter of Mulcair, nor would I ever even think that he would want the party to veer to the right. The issue isn't whether you are right or not, the issue that it is very dangerous to state what other people's positions on matters are. You are assuming that he holds these positions but you state your assumptions as direct fact. They are not statements of fact, they are merely assumptions on your part.

From here on, you need to phrase your assumptions appropriately like saying such as, "I gather from your posts that you were a strong supporter of Mulcair", or "I assume from your remarks that you really wanted the NDP to veer to the right". You simply cannot impose political positions on others without them stating it clearly themselves. If you don't, then you could be seriously misrepresenting what their positions are.

Pondering

Misfit wrote:
Unless Ken Burch has stated publicly that he supported Mulcair or that he wanted the party to veer to the right,...blah blah blah... The issue isn't whether you are right or not, the issue that it is very dangerous to state what other people's positions on matters are. ...

You took a quote from a different thread to misrepresent my views in order to try to prove I'm not really an NDP supporter so I shouldn't even be in this discussion because you don't think I'm sincere. You used a sexist put down. 

Ken then quoted you and questioned the sincerity of my defence of Singh before the election, over a year ago.  

Neither of you is in any position to school anyone on message board etiquette.

"The issue isn't whether you are right or not, the issue that it is very dangerous to" attack people personally on a political message board.

From here on, you need to stick to discussing politics and let Meg decide who should and shouldn't participate in a discussion.  You attacked me so I am free to say whatever I think about your views and motivations. I have never taken the first shot but when you take a shot at me I suggest you duck. 

Ken Burch

 

Fair enough:  If you wish to argue that my support of the NDP is not to be trusted, I may have given you grounds to think that and I'm open to any personal critique you wish to offer.

It is true that I was deeply critical of Mulcair and especially of his still indefensible insistence in hanging on as leader for years after the election and for an additional year after being voted out of the leadership, a year in which Mulcair -he had to have known that losing more than half his party's seats in 2015 was a guarantee that the party could never make any sort of electoral comeback on his watch, and knowing that, Mulcair should have offered his immediate resignation as leader on election night so that a new leader could be elected with enough time to prepare the party for the next election, or, if nothing else, he should have stood down as leader immediately after losing the leadership vote at the party convention.

That said, I also saw no good that could come of the NDP losing seats and being knocked back, in the end, to the irrelevant third place position from which it might never recover.  And I was never under the delusion that the Liberals under Justin T. were actually more progressive than the NDP.  I didn't want Mulcair to stand down during the election campaign.

To relate this to the other party leadership dispute I've also discussed on Babble, while I have frequently defended Jeremy Corbyn from the unjust and vicious attacks he has constantly been subjected to as leader of the British Labour Party, had he led that party, in the 2017 elections, to a showing comparable to the showing Mulcair lead the NDP to in 2015-that is, had he driven the Labour vote down from 30% to 20% and the seat count down from, say, the 232 seats it had held before the election to 107, I'd have been among the first calling on him to stand down immediately-and in all liklihood, I would not have had to call on him to do that because he'd have already stood down on his own.  In real life, he led the party to a massive gain in the popular vote, increased the seat count by over 30, and knocked the Tories into a minority in an election where Theresa May expected to win in a landslide and even though that would have settled the leadership election once and for all, Corbyn was put under even more barbaric attacks, including the despicable slander in which it was repeatedly claimed that there'd been a massive increase in antisemitism within the party under his leadership.

It's true that, once Mulcair did finally let go of the leadership after hanging on to the job until there was almost no time left for a new leader to make any effective case with the voters, I did not want Singh to win the leadership.  He is a decent enough man, but I always distrusted the heavy-handed effort made by the party insiders to essentially coerce the party into choosing Singh-on this very message board, we saw the hard-sell effort made by the insiders, the repeated insistence that Singh simply HAD to be made leader, simply because the insiders wanted him to have the job-those who supported other candidates, including you, Pondering, were incessantly talked down to by the "it HAS to be Singh" claque, we were repeatedly told that it didn't matter what he stood for or what he proposed, because he supposedly had this magically transcendant personal charisma which outweighed any other possible consideration.  

When Singh won, I was, in fact, often critical.  It was criticism born out of great fear for what would happen to the party and out of concern for whether he himself would face the personal electoral humiliation of failing to lose a seat

It was out of that fear that I repeatedly argued that Singh should to something, ANYTHING, to get the attention of the voters and, having gained that attention, to start giving people some idea of what an NDP government would do if elected, what NDP MPs would do if elected in numbers large enough to once again be the Official Opposition OR even enough to hold the balance of power in a minority parliament.  It was out of that fear that I did, occasionally, raise questions about whether he was up to the job or really cared about doing the job.  It was out of that fear that I pleaded for the party to make at least some active connection with the social movements-which was not the same thing as saying that the NDP had to do every single thing each of those movements wanted-though few of the things they want are actually unpopular-it simply meant broadly telling those activists that they are welcome in the party and that it's a place where their ideas will get a real hearing.  

I recognize that my tone towards Singh has often been harsh.  I could see where things were headed and, like a lot of other people out there, I was trying to point out the dangers.  Those of us who warned that time was being wasted and opportunities to educate and persuade were being squandered did not do so out of malice-none of us WANTED the NDP to have the kind of showing it had.  It was just about trying to prevent that kind of a disaster.

I called for Singh to stand down on election night this year and I apologize for that.

I caused you, Pondering, to feel personally attacked.  That's on me and I apologize for that.  That was emotion talking and I should have been better than that. 

I do not apologize for speaking out about what I felt was needed to save the NDP from electoral disaster.  That's been my objective in those discussions and nothing else.

And I maintain that the NDP would have a much stronger base of support if it were running as an antiwar/antiimperialist party-not all out pacifist, since no governing party can do that, but clearly for a break in the perpetual war status quo and especially the perpetual war against the Arab/Muslim world and with the notion that Canada has to back everything the US does to the world, such as what it just did to Bolivia-and an antigreed party.  Those issues aren't random and they affect us all, and the NDP isn't ever going to get votes from people who support military coups or the idea that the economic decisions which affect us all should be made solely for the self-interest of the few.

None of what I called for is distant from the people, none of it is irrelevant to the many, all of it affects us all.

I don't post with the intent of personally attacking people.  I will speak bluntly at times.  This can read as pomposity and that is something I need to work on.  

And if people have questions about my intent, if what I post here makes others wonder where I'm coming from, it is only fair that I be open to being held accountable on that.

And I'm truly sorry, Pondering, if what I said about you somehow managed to come across, do to whatever phraseology I used, as an implication that your views were less worthy of respect due to your gender-something that has never actually crossed my mind in reading anything you have written-than I need to work on how I say things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pondering

Forgive me for taking so long to respond. I appreciate your words. I was caring for a sick (nothing serious) 4 year old and 5 year old. They are exhausting. They never stop talking. 

I don't doubt you Ken. My point is that there is no way for you to prove your sincerity. I could continuously voice doubts forcing you to spend time defending yourself as opposed to defending your ideas.

The quality of our ideas is not at all dependent on our sincerity. Maybe we think we are giving an argument that would undermine X but in actual fact it's a good idea and would add to X's success. There is no need to know if someone is sincere to judge their arguments. Casting suspicion on someone avoids the argument they are presenting while underming the individual by questioning their character. Even if it isn't intended as such, the doubt is sincere, it is a dirty tactic. It's unfair to accuse someone without proof when they have no means of proving their innocence.

It's true that someone could be taking a position to "yank your chain" so to speak but accusing them of it is unhelpful. They are unlikely to confess if they are guilty and will be offended if they are not so what's the point? What can be achieved?

Whether or not someone is "yanking my chain" doesn't really matter. If a conversation gets circular usually everything has been expressed so time for me to summerize and give the other person the last word. Either that or I just catch on, 

I believe every single regular poster here is sincere in their views and is a good person of good character regardless of their political persuasion. People who come here are people who care.

Next post on topic. I think we may now be closer in our views than you might think.

Pondering

I was about to post this in a different thread when I realized it belonged here. 

When Trudeau first declared that he would legalize cannabis the majority of Canadians were against it. They favored decriminalization not legalization. The Liberal party took a good guess that they could get away with it based on the trend and opposition not being strong. The upside for the Liberals was positioning themselves as irrevocably on the left, progressive. You can't accuse a party of being right wing that legalized cannabis. This was important. It is Mulcair Trudeau had to beat in 2015 not just Harper. 

The point of this is that the Liberals, (not Trudeau), looked to the future and took a tactical not ideological approach to the decision. 

There are two possibilities going forwards. Politics will continue to roll along as usual in which case the Liberals will be in power for a very long time or we will occasionally get a Conservative minority and the NDP will continue to usually inhabit 3rd place, 4th when the Bloc pops up. The other possibility is that the impacts of climate change will cause voters to turn against the traditional parties for having failed to do anything significant over decades of warnings. 

The biggest responsibility people see for government is to do that which we cannot do individually. We "trust" government to protect us from the large threats. In exchange they get to be the boss for X years with all the perks, honors and business opportunities. 

I think Greta Thunberg is right when she says they will not be forgiven and not just by her generation but by everyone who expects governments to protect us from the big threats. Every election the door will open a little wider because catastrophe is upon us now. No more pretending that weather events can't be blamed on climate change. 

The question becomes should the NDP be positioning themselves as "business as usual" or should they be preparing for a dramatic change in public sentiment?

In my opinion they should be preparing themselves for dramatic change. 

This is why I say Ken, we are closer than you might think. I do think it is time for the NDP to present a vision for change which they can point to when the shit hits the fan. Even if that doesn't mean winning the next election or even the one after that the moment public fury turns against traditional parties that did nothing the NDP needs to be able to point and say you can trust us to act now rather than being another traditional do-nothing party. The NDP needs to be able to point to a roadmap that existed before the shit hit the fan to show that the change is not opportunistic but rather foresight. 

One aspect that I think is neglected is the many ways in which green living will benefit us economically and how our quality of life will improve not decline. 

For example. Free public transport enhances everyone's lives not just those using the system. People using cars have more space. Air quality improves for everyone. Health care costs drop. Buildings and roads don't get as dirty. 

I like the way Singh changes the conversation and does it in few words. When asked where the money would come from for clean water he answered that Canada can afford clean water for everyone, it is a matter of priorities. 

That shuts down the debate. Who is going to argue that Canada can't afford to provide clean water for everyone? 

More recently...

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh acknowledged some elements of the throne speech that he found encouraging _ such as the invitation to Parliament to explore a national dental care program, which the NDP has advocated. But he expressed doubt that the Liberals will follow through, noting that “there is a difference between saying the right things and actually doing them.”

Short and says it all. He doesn't get bogged down in the details.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Jack Layton is the NDP’s third rail

Critically assessing Layton’s legacy may be the only way the party has a future​

quote:

This is not a hit piece

It’s worth getting some things out of the way before I continue: Jack Layton was by all accounts an effective politician and a principled individual who earned respect from all sides of the political spectrum. This is not designed to be a hit piece. Yet, the fact that this has to be prefaced is a telling indication of where timidity in the NDP begins: it simply feels impossible to separate Layton the person from Layton the policymaker.

The NDP’s election platform in 1997 would be considered revolutionary even today, and it brought the party back from the brink following a blowout loss in 1993. The platform included goals for full employment, a federal ban on scabs, support for credit unions, progressive tax reform, community-based approaches to crime reduction, and a renegotiation of Canada’s membership in NATO.

The NDP’s ensuing failure in the 2000 election was partly the result of a rebrand that shifted it toward a “third-way” model based on Tony Blair’s Labour Party in the United Kingdom. This was in direct conflict with the Canadian labour movement, which had already asserted that even the 1997 platform wasn’t progressive enough. Combined with poor election messaging, the party lost half its gains from 1993. It’s worth noting that the rhetoric had shifted, but not the policies.

Jack Layton was elected leader in 2003 under the premise that the party was shifting too much to the centre. As a Toronto city councillor, he was a firmly left-of-centre progressive and a principled advocate for the marginalized. However, the NDP platforms between 2004 and 2011 demonstrate a decline in radical, social democratic policy: NATO was out in 2006. Pharmacare was gone by 2011, replaced with a promise to have more cops. Layton’s camp firmly cemented a policy shift that was introduced in 2000.

quote:

Nominally socialist, big picture ideas such as the Leap Manifesto were considered taboo by party hawks who took the wrong lessons from 2011: not as an engineered fluke by which to assume future power through meaningful policy alternatives, but as a platform that’s worth staking a campaign on.

Under Jagmeet Singh, who secured the position of NDP leader in 2017 after a first-ballot victory, Canadians have witnessed further political confusion as the party both tries to honour the conditions of Layton’s success while getting with the times. The NDP labeled its stripped down Green New Deal package as a “New Deal for People” and juggled technocratic, inadequate housing policies and calls for hiring more RCMP officers with reintroducing pharmacare and calling for a total ban on fossil fuels.

It’s clear that Layton’s legacy looms large over the federal NDP, but his political savvy—that was both adaptable and capable of manipulating his environment to achieve the best result—does not. The discomfort and loss still felt about Jack Layton, nine years on, marks every conversation about him in NDP circles. Very few in the party are willing to say Layton was the root of Mulcair’s austerity and Singh’s timorous relationship to genuine left policy.

Even the NDP Socialist Caucus magazine, Turn Left, is rich in criticism of Mulcair and Singh, but makes no mention of Layton since 2012. What’s more, the Courage Coalition, which largely works within the NDP to push for left wing policy, has a name that is certainly evocative of one of Layton’s favourite quotes by Tommy Douglas: “Courage my friends, ‘tis never too late to build a better world.” Layton reportedly included the passage in every email he sent.

All of this political disorientation and disassociation from electoral failure points to the NDP as a party confused about itself—a third option that thinks it’s a first option—and this leads to a single, tacit conclusion: to abandon the policies of Layton and his cadre, and to critically reassess them, is equivalent to speaking ill of the dead.....

Pondering

I read the article and I think it is correct in that the party is having an identity crisis but I don't think it has much to do with Layton. Layton reacted to the times. Mulcair did not. Singh's heart is in the right place but he doesn't have enough control over the party. It is not his fault the NDP lost so many seats in Quebec. It is the fault of Bill 21. The Bloc is going to keep a lot of support for awhile. Sad to say the turban doesn't help him.

The NDP needs something singular that is easy to communicate, impacts the 99%, and is difficult for the Conservatives and Liberals to muddy the waters on.

In my opinion that issue is taxation. Who is going to pay for everything is central to wealth re-distribution. For decades wealth has been shifting upwards primarily through taxes or lack thereof. If that wealth transfer were not happening we would have plenty of money for social programs and greening the economy. It would completely change the debate.

The transfer of wealth is easy to communicate through graphs rather than constructing arguments.

Otherwise the NDP are sidelined. If the NDP were in power today and proposed whatever the Liberals are going to propose on the 23rd the NDP would be attacked by both the Conservatives and Liberals as spendthrifts who will claim the NDP would destroy the middle class with high taxes to pay for everything and you can't tax rich people or businesses because they will leave.

The only way to fight that is to show how the burden has been shifted to the middle class from the wealthy over time.

 

 

The NDP is a divided party in a rut.

Aristotleded24

The article also omits that Layton's finest hour as Opposition Leader was leading a defense of the postal workers union when they were under assault from the Harper government.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..layton came out of the npi. once elected he moved right..better known as the third way. not left as purported by the npi. 

The history of the New Politics Initiative: Movement and party, then and now

I. A short history of the NPI

The New Politics Initiative was formed in the spring of 2001. At that point in time, new forms of grassroots progressive organization were on the rise -- represented most energetically by the anti-globalization movement (which, in retrospect, reached its apex in Canada at the Quebec City protests that April). But that energy and hope was not reflected in the left's electoral fortunes, which at the time were depressed. For example, the NDP had endured three consecutive poor showings in federal elections. The movements and the party seemed headed in different directions.

Outgoing NDP Leader Alexa McDonough launched a party renewal exercise in 2001 (echoing a similar review that took place in 1994). It seemed to many of us that the left needed an electoral party with closer links to the new energy in the grassroots social movements, to better unify our efforts, push our demands, win converts, and fight for change -- both inside parliament, and outside. The NPI thus launched a proposal that the NDP reconstitute itself (in active cooperation with other organizations and progressive parties) as a broader, inclusive, more movement-connected party.

The NPI's work was organized around a resolution submitted to a special NDP convention on party renewal that was held in Winnipeg in Nov. 2001 (culminating McDonough's renewal exercise). In the lead-up to that convention, NPI supporters had argued -- both within the NDP, and outside of it -- for a "new politics," linked more organically to social movements, and reflective of a more participatory, dynamic democratic process. Our thinking was that social change does not come solely, or even primarily, from electoral campaigns. It comes, rather, from deeper shifts in popular consciousness, ideology, and organization. That's why progressives must be campaigning on progressive issues, and working to build progressive structures of engagement and democracy, all the time, not just during elections.

Indeed, we argued, the success of progressive political parties ultimately depends on whether we are winning that day-to-day battle of ideas in society, and on our success in building alternative structures and capacities among the whole spectrum of communities fighting for social change. Without social movements, trade unions, environmentalists, feminists, queer activists, anti-racist organizations, civil libertarians, and all the rest striving to raise issues and win converts, progressive politicians don't stand a chance come election day. And even if, by fluke, they did happen to win (perhaps because of how the votes for other parties broke down), their power to implement progressive promises is utterly compromised without an aware, mobilized, demanding population behind them. We've learned that painful lesson many times.

The NPI was endorsed by close to 2,000 individuals and organizations, many of whom were NDP members, but many of whom were not. In addition to progressive NDPers, NPI support came from a wide range of other grassroots organizations, other movements, and even other political parties -- including Greens, revolutionary groups, and the Canadian Action Party. The NPI organized meetings and consultations in cities across Canada. At the NDP convention, it organized an NPI caucus. It also sponsored an electrifying town-hall meeting and rally the night before the NPI resolution was debated -- which still ranks in my mind as one of the most hopeful and thrilling political events I have ever attended.

However, the NPI's resolution was defeated the next day by delegates to the NDP's special convention, by a margin of 63 per cent to 37 per cent. Coincidentally, that was exactly the same margin of defeat when Jim Laxer, on behalf of the Waffle movement, challenged for the leadership of the federal NDP 30 years earlier, in 1971. Indeed, the Waffle and the NPI reflected many similar themes and concerns (although the language, constituency, and style of work of the two movements differed considerably, given the changing times); several former leaders from the Waffle were among those who endorsed the NPI....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the npi was my 1st online discussion board that i participated in on a regular basis. it was exciting at a time when there was a whole lot of frustration and disillusionment with the ndp. the npi represent a coming together of activists that would attempt to make change within the ndp.   

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

The article also omits that Layton's finest hour as Opposition Leader was leading a defense of the postal workers union when they were under assault from the Harper government.

..the election was his finest hr..not this. the legislation was not withdrawn in spite of all the ndp rhetoric. nor was this rhetoric ever transformed into party policy or real positions. those remained timid. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the question has never been "does the ndp understand class struggle" but "where does it position itself within that struggle" 

..we can see from the alta and bc ndp it places itself on the side of big oil and gas vs the environment, working people and indigenous folk. we see the mb ndp with a law and order colonizer positions that filled jails with indigenous folk  and poor people. we saw the fed ndp vote for the bombing of libya. remove it's opposition to nato. support tarsands pipelines under mulcair and lng pipeline under singh. both colonizer positions. 

..and then act like people don't see this. 

Pondering

Yes, epaulo, and it comes from seeing Canadians as sub-groups that must be added together to win. The union vote is bigger so they got the support.

NDPP

"The NDP has become a party of the center, a guardian of an unjust and unsustainable status quo. We can do better. Much better. As leader of Canadian greens I will give voice to the millions of Canadian progressives who demand transformational change."

https://twitter.com/dimitrilascaris/status/1305480446457806852

NDP = No Difference Party. Time for change.

lagatta4

Change to what? I agree with all the criticisms, but new parties don't spring out of thin air. I was involved in the Québec solidaire process for many years. It took a long time to make a breakthrough. And now a cabal of reactionary carheads want to block and even roll back (à la Rob Ford) Projet Montréal's admirable moves towards a greener and more inclusive city.

lagatta4

Change to what? I agree with all the criticisms, but new parties don't spring out of thin air. I was involved in the Québec solidaire process for many years. It took a long time to make a breakthrough. And now a cabal of reactionary carheads want to block and even roll back (à la Rob Ford) Projet Montréal's admirable moves towards a greener and more inclusive city.

Pondering

The Squad has been making progress in the Democrats The NDP is much more progressive than that. The social conservatives have gotten their MPs elected. In both cases it has been grassroots that pushed their agenda on the party. The left has been failing at the grassroots level. "Populism" should belong to the left not the right.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

..the question has never been "does the ndp understand class struggle" but "where does it position itself within that struggle" 

..we can see from the alta and bc ndp it places itself on the side of big oil and gas vs the environment, working people and indigenous folk. we see the mb ndp with a law and order colonizer positions that filled jails with indigenous folk  and poor people. we saw the fed ndp vote for the bombing of libya. remove it's opposition to nato. support tarsands pipelines under mulcair and lng pipeline under singh. both colonizer positions. 

..and then act like people don't see this. 

In all fairness, many people who are clearly aware of all this nonetheless pretend come election time that they haven't seen it.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Left Turn wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..the question has never been "does the ndp understand class struggle" but "where does it position itself within that struggle" 

..we can see from the alta and bc ndp it places itself on the side of big oil and gas vs the environment, working people and indigenous folk. we see the mb ndp with a law and order colonizer positions that filled jails with indigenous folk  and poor people. we saw the fed ndp vote for the bombing of libya. remove it's opposition to nato. support tarsands pipelines under mulcair and lng pipeline under singh. both colonizer positions. 

..and then act like people don't see this. 

In all fairness, many people who are clearly aware of all this nonetheless pretend come election time that they haven't seen it.

..i don't doubt there are some. i'm more familiar with the nose holders. my voting is always strategic. but never lib or con so far although that is possible.

Pondering

The NDP will change based on it helping their electoral chances. Convince enough people to demand something and a political party will step forward to fulfil the desire.