No More Tom Foolery?

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I seriously doubt there will be any great call for a leadership review until sometime after the 2015 election, and only if the NDP does not do as well as expected. Or, unless Mulcair does something really, really stupid in the interim - like go against Idle No More.

KenS

And another prediction. [This one is clear cut.]

Calls for a leadership review will be generic / non-formal. Because ther isnt one.

And after you miss having one, is the time to get it in the Consitution. Not when there is a perceived immediate need for one. That is a non-starter.

kropotkin1951

There will be no review until he loses a bunch of his Quebec seats in the next election and fails to gain many in the GTA. When that happens as I predict it will I would suggest he invest in a Kevlar vest to protect his back.

knownothing knownothing's picture

WTF?

We are stilling polling well in both Quebec and Ontario.

kropotkin1951

I gave you my opinion.  Sorry it is not rah rah NDP.  The people of Quebec opened their hearts to Jack and went out and voted for his party. I believe that a large part of that success was his deftly avoiding the constitutional issues and promising not to raise the issue until the "winning conditions " were achieved. That to me was designed to be a very ambiguous statement and allowed him to avoid the issue and allowed people who had previously voted BQ to drink the Orange Crush.

Mulcair on the other hand has been fighting that battle his whole political life and he seems to not be able to resist stepping on the landmines in that particular field. If he continues I think many of the people who disagree with his views on federalism will look for a different MP.  It also depends on the quality of the BQ candidates.  One thing about losing most of your MP's it means that the voters have culled the deadwood for you leaving room for younger and more dynamic candidates. I can't see Tom growing the vote in Quebec but that is only an opinion from afar. After all there are not that many seats he can pick up from the governing Conservatives even if the people wake up and decide to throw the Cons out on their asses.

The NDP must win Quebec and Southern Ontario because that is where the seats are. So far I see no surge of support for Tom in Ontario although yes he is holding his own and not falling.  Holding his own means no significant gains in the GTA. 

I would prefer an NDP government to the other choices but I just don't see it in the works with Tom as the leader. Why would a former Liberal voter who has never voted NDP switch their votes. I also believe that if the Cons start to free fall the main beneficiary of those votes will go to the Liberals even if they are led by a flake.  I made the mistake years ago of thinking that voters would never fall for a "good hair" charmer like the Zalm especially since he kept saying the stupidest things.  Boy was I wrong.

knownothing knownothing's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Why would a former Liberal voter who has never voted NDP switch their votes. I also believe that if the Cons start to free fall the main beneficiary of those votes will go to the Liberals even if they are led by a flake. 

Besides the fact that I think Mulcair has a lot to offer disaffected Liberals and Conservatives, I think there is a shift taking place that is independent of celebrity, the leaders, or the media's coverage of Canadian politics.

Although many of their voters have gone Conservative, Liberal voters have been consistently bleeding to the NDP for the past five elections

2000 NDP  13 - 8.5%     Libs  161 - 40.9%

2004 NDP  18 - 15.7%   Libs  133 - 36.7% 

2006 NDP  29 - 17.5%   Libs  103 - 30.2%

2008 NDP  36 - 18.2%   Libs   77 - 26.2%

2011 NDP 103 - 30.6%  Libs   34 - 18.9%

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'd love to see the NDP form government, but Mulcair is scaring me with his support for tar sands pipelines across Canada, and his provisional support for questionable trade deals. This has all been discussed in other threads so no need to put those links here.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

I'd love to see the NDP form government, but Mulcair is scaring me with his support for tar sands pipelines across Canada, and his provisional support for questionable trade deals. This has all been discussed in other threads so no need to put those links here.

 

Wanting Canada to refine its oil and add value-added jobs is a good thing. Ask any left-wing economist.

As for the trade deals, he is only saying we should look at them before we reject them.

Too many people on both the right and left are being quite reactionary regarding trade deals.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

knownothing wrote:

Wanting Canada to refine its oil and add value-added jobs is a good thing. Ask any left-wing economist.

As for the trade deals, he is only saying we should look at them before we reject them.

Too many people on both the right and left are being quite reactionary regarding trade deals.

Nah, too easy a target. Gonna go for a walk instead. It's a beautiful day. I'll let others demolish this know nothing.  Laughing

ETA: Was just out the door when I remembered this in the G&M:

In a report to be released Thursday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Polaris Institute, the four economists, including Canadian Auto Workers stalwart Jim Stanford, echo one of the country’s great economic historians, Harold Innis, to warn against Canada becoming overly dependent on the extraction and export of raw resources – in this case, oil sands bitumen.

Unionist

knownothing wrote:

Wanting Canada to refine its oil and add value-added jobs is a good thing. Ask any left-wing economist.

What if I asked a left-wing environmentalist?

Quote:
As for the trade deals, he is only saying we should look at them before we reject them.

I'd be ok with looking at them and then rejecting them.

[Have a nice walk, Boom Boom - we actually just got home after some snowshoeing! It's beautiful out, though a bit windy.]

knownothing knownothing's picture

To Boom Boom:

 

Those same economists that you named also argue for value-added jobs. Here is an article by Jim Stanford doing just that:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/canadian-energy-doesnt-need-fo...

He says we need to quit selling off our raw resources and instead use them to make things.

 

To Unionist:

 

I am all for renewables but no one is saying we should stop using non-renewables this moment.

Sure, if Mulcair did get a West-East pipeline going but didn't do anything for renewables I would be pissed too. We have to wean ourselves off of non-renewables but we are in a tough spot to do that considering that is most of our economy. That is why we need to refine, upgrade and manufacture. We need to get past primary sectors of the economy and diversify.

 

kropotkin1951

Its the pipeline that's the problem.  Building more capacity for refining in Alberta and maybe just across the border in Saskatchewan makes economic sense.  Piping this toxic gunk across the country is environmental Russian Roulette.  Tar sands bitumen is not like the crude we have been piping across  the country for decades and Tom's proposal seems to be willfully blind to that reality.

knownothing knownothing's picture

This is true but we already have refineries that are working at under-capacity in the East, right?

kropotkin1951

What price does the environment have to pay to keep the Irving's in Mercedes?  Maybe someone can tell me how much of the off shore oil from the East Coast is now going to Canadian refineries.  If it is not 100% then that is the place to start.

North Star

knownothing wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

I'd love to see the NDP form government, but Mulcair is scaring me with his support for tar sands pipelines across Canada, and his provisional support for questionable trade deals. This has all been discussed in other threads so no need to put those links here.

 

Wanting Canada to refine its oil and add value-added jobs is a good thing. Ask any left-wing economist.

As for the trade deals, he is only saying we should look at them before we reject them.

Too many people on both the right and left are being quite reactionary regarding trade deals.

It's the trade deals that are reactionary. Lots of neoliberals love to paint socialists as being stodgy conservatives who want autarky. This is a gross misrepresentation. Bretton Woods was certainly not perfect but it was designed to promote trade while allowing individual nation-states to pursue domestic policies such as full employment. These deals do not facilitate trade they encourage the erosion of labour standards in the name of competitiveness and give corporations the right to challenge governments in court who pursue certain policies that they feel harm their ability to accumulate capital. 

socialdemocrati...

I have a lot more confidence in the NDP (and social democratic parties in general) on social issues than I do on anything economic. And it has nothing to do with courage, integrity, leadership, messaging, or anything like that. It has to do with hard economic demand.

The part of me that thinks drug prohibition can't work is the same part of me that's deeply skeptical of controlling the tar sands. In both cases, there's a strong moral argument for doing so, and obviously SOME controls are achievable. But demand is a poweful force, and I don't want to make the same mistakes as the "Supply Side" advocates who have failed us over the past 50 to 80 years.

The question isn't whether we can stop the oil supply, but how much gets through. There are three major pipeline proposals on the table: the Northern Gateway to the Pacific, the Keystone to the US, and now a domestic East-West pipeline. I have some hope that we can stop one or two of those projects. But I don't think we can stem the flow of oil.

We have a world that's addicted to oil like junkies on heroin. We can throw up obstacles, but the oil will have no trouble finding a customer.

So when I hear Mulcair talk about the east-west pipeline, I cringe a little. But then I think about other vices like drugs, prostitution, and gambling, and wonder if the supply-side controls are a losing battle. What we need is a demand-based solution. And Mulcair hasn't backed down on the demand side of the argument. Far from it. He's escalated the fight, talking about cap-and-trade and the dutch disease. And he has held his own. (Although, as people have wisely pointed out, the war isn't over.)

Like I said, I would do things differently if I were leader. But I'm not arrogant enough to say that Mulcair's views are unjustified in a social democratic tradition.

Unionist

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
But I'm not arrogant enough to say that Mulcair's views are unjustified in a social democratic tradition.

Questions:

Is helping the French operation in Mali democratic socialist or social democratic?

Is selling oil left wing or right wing?

Does it become left wing if we refine it first?

Does it become more left wing if we then use it to manufacture finished consumer products?

Does it become incredibly left wing if we sell them in the domestic market?

Or was all the above really right wing??

Suggestion:

What if we stopped, just for a moment, using terms like "socialist" and "social democratic" and "democratic socialist" and "left" and "right" (which lead only to semantic disputes of Biblical dimensions) and talked instead about whether particular policies were good or bad for the vast majority of the Canadian people, people around the world, the environment, etc.?

 

 

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Who needs Mulcair, if Redford and Marois can cut a deal?

jerrym

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

We have a world that's addicted to oil like junkies on heroin. We can throw up obstacles, but the oil will have no trouble finding a customer.

So when I hear Mulcair talk about the east-west pipeline, I cringe a little. But then I think about other vices like drugs, prostitution, and gambling, and wonder if the supply-side controls are a losing battle. What we need is a demand-based solution. And Mulcair hasn't backed down on the demand side of the argument. Far from it. He's escalated the fight, talking about cap-and-trade and the dutch disease. And he has held his own. (Although, as people have wisely pointed out, the war isn't over.)

The developed and developing world are addicted to oil and the other fossil fuels that provide 90% of our energy use. What we need is to transition to other forms of energy - something that Canada is currently leading the world in not doing. Whether its Brazil with hydropower and biofuels (which create their own problems by driving up the cost of food by taking agricultural land out of food production), New Zealand's increasing use of geothermal power, China's determination to be number one in solar panel production, Denmark's focus on wind power off its coast, or Germany's hooking up most homes with solar panels so that people can sell excess power to the grid, Canada and its Conservative government are dinosaurs by comparison with 0.1% increase in renewables under the Conservatives. Under Obama, even the US has shift to 5% renewable energy production, although it is still mainlining more and more fossil fuel into its consumer veins.

The world may be moving in the right direction too slowly. However, Canada is not moving at all in this direction. If the world does manage to successfully shift in the next few decades to renewables before climate change devastates the planet, the Cons current approach could leave us with fossil fuels as the largest buggy whip industry in the world. 

Canada needs more than a carbon tax and/or a cap and trade program if it is to ultimately reduce demand greatly. The NDP needs to develop a plan involving a long-term shift toward renewable energy sources because without that all we are doing is at best making more efficient use of fossil fuels indefinitely. Other countries have already begun to implement their plan. Unless there is such a plan with a built-in transition period where we wean ourselves off our fossil fuel addiction, the argument about whether or not to shift the west-east pipeline in the opposite direction during a transition period is academic. Most voters wil not accept a proposal that they should reduce their addiction until it is too late unless they can see a future with viable renewable energy alternatives.  

It is true that Mulcair has not brought forward any significant plan to shift to a renewable future, but neither had Layton or the provincial NDP governments. Frankly, i don't see anyone in the leadership of the party pushing such a shift, so I don't see any orange knights coming to the rescue and am willing to live with Mulcair (who has shown some adherence to environmental principles) through the next election at least. Party activists need to promote a renewable energy plan with greater vigour. 

socialdemocrati...

Unionist is getting my point, which I've tried my best to communicate in too many words. A lot of the debates about whether the NDP is neoliberal or social democratic just lead to a lot of semantic nitpicking, and 1000s of very personal definitions.

The question, first and foremost, has to be which policies (or range of policies) are going to have the biggest positive impact for the country and the world, and which party is closest to having those policies?

And, if at all possible, I'd like to be able to ask that question without people insisting that they have the one true answer. Or insisting that every person who deviates from an answer slightly is somehow a sellout or a conservative in disguise. I think this forum would achieve a lot more if we assumed (a) that we share basically the same goals (until stated or proven otherwise), and (b) there's only incomplete evidence about how to achieve those goals (and we'll do our best to dig it up in our conversations).

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Unionist wrote:

Questions:

Is selling oil left wing or right wing?

It used to be right wing, but I think Chavez changed that.

Unionist wrote:

Does it become left wing if we refine it first?

Does it become incredibly left wing if we sell them in the domestic market?

I think it becomes sensible. So yes?

Unionist wrote:

Suggestion:

What if we stopped, just for a moment, using terms like "socialist" and "social democratic" and "democratic socialist" and "left" and "right" (which lead only to semantic disputes of Biblical dimensions) and talked instead about whether particular policies were good or bad for the vast majority of the Canadian people, people around the world, the environment, etc.?

Amen.

Aristotleded24

jerrym wrote:
It is true that Mulcair has not brought forward any significant plan to shift to a renewable future, but neither had Layton or the provincial NDP governments. Frankly, i don't see anyone in the leadership of the party pushing such a shift, so I don't see any orange knights coming to the rescue and am willing to live with Mulcair (who has shown some adherence to environmental principles) through the next election at least. Party activists need to promote a renewable energy plan with greater vigour.

Much as I disagreed with him, Gary Doer was a huge proponent of an east-west electricity grid for Canada.

ERik Ar

This is a useful thread.  Its probably abit early for a leadership challenge, but it may not be too far off if Mulcair keeps pushing the party to the right of where most Social Democrats (and Canadians) still live.  Theres a number of ways to pressure him within the party but if he keeps ignoring his membership he could find himself in the same position as Carole James did. 

PM Aristotled. 

ERik Ar

jerrym wrote:

The NDP needs to develop a plan involving a long-term shift toward renewable energy sources because without that all we are doing is at best making more efficient use of fossil fuels indefinitely. Other countries have already begun to implement their plan.

That would be an far-thinking yet practical place to start distinguishing themselves from the Liberals.  It was Bob Rae who first floated this West-East pipeline 'alternative' but New Democrats can still do better. 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Unionist wrote:
Is selling oil left wing or right wing?

Selling oil becomes left wing if we nationalize production, and use the profits to fund social and environmental programs. Basically some version of what Chavez did in Venezuela, with more of an emphasis on funding government owned production of clean energy and zero emission transit vehicles, with a view to weaning us off of oil.

Keeping oil production in the hands of private oil companies is inherently right wing, regardless of what gets done with it.

Caissa

When Mulcair drops the NDP to third party status after the next election he can be kicked to the curb where he belongs.

KenS

I find it kind of amusing that some people seem to be pretty sure that Mulcair is going to be a flop, pragmatically speaking.

Since I didn't and don't want him, he can't be succesful.

kropotkin1951

Left Turn wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Is selling oil left wing or right wing?

Selling oil becomes left wing if we nationalize production, and use the profits to fund social and environmental programs. Basically some version of what Chavez did in Venezuela, with more of an emphasis on funding government owned production of clean energy and zero emission transit vehicles, with a view to weaning us off of oil.

Keeping oil production in the hands of private oil companies is inherently right wing, regardless of what gets done with it.

That is well said. What does it have to do with the NDP and Mulcair?  The idea that Tom is going to nationalize anything is absurd as you well know. 

Tom does remind me of Carole James.  I wouldn't go as far as saying he will fall behind the Liberals but that is possible.  I just don't see any wave of support for him growing but I do see more people just ignoring electoral politics altogether. We have seen the movie in BC when all the parties make a point of showing how friendly they are with business.

The silver lining might be that young people will start to take to the streets like they did in Quebec last year given there is no credible progressive alternative on the ballot.

Quote:

Voter turnout in B.C.'s provincial election hit a record low on Tuesday, with only 50 per cent of eligible voters bothering to vote, a full eight percentage points less than the 58 per cent that voted in 2005.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/05/13/bc-low-v...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Left Turn wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Is selling oil left wing or right wing?

Selling oil becomes left wing if we nationalize production, and use the profits to fund social and environmental programs. Basically some version of what Chavez did in Venezuela, with more of an emphasis on funding government owned production of clean energy and zero emission transit vehicles, with a view to weaning us off of oil.

Keeping oil production in the hands of private oil companies is inherently right wing, regardless of what gets done with it.

My favourite post of the day! And I agree 100%.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Is selling oil left wing or right wing?

Selling oil becomes left wing if we nationalize production, and use the profits to fund social and environmental programs. Basically some version of what Chavez did in Venezuela, with more of an emphasis on funding government owned production of clean energy and zero emission transit vehicles, with a view to weaning us off of oil.

Keeping oil production in the hands of private oil companies is inherently right wing, regardless of what gets done with it.

My favourite post of the day! And I agree 100%.

Too bad it is incorrect.

If it is so right-wing to have oil stay in the hands of the private companies but add value-added jobs here in Canada, then why are all the left-wing economists like Armine Yalnizyan and Jim Stanford advocating for it?

 

In today's political environment it is the most left-wing you can get away with and have a hope in hell of winning an election. Mulcair is farther left than the new NDP leader in Saskatchewan who recently came out in support of the pipeline.

 

Why don't you push for a leadership review on him?

 

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/Mulcair+Keystone+Where+Tony+Bl...

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/03/18/tom-mulcairs-enemies-forget-about-tom...

 

Unionist

knownothing wrote:

If it is so right-wing to have oil stay in the hands of the private companies but add value-added jobs here in Canada, then why are all the left-wing economists like Armine Yalnizyan and Jim Stanford advocating for it?

1. Have you asked them whether oil should be nationalized? I didn't think so. The dominant discourse, which the NDP hasn't challenged in decades, prohibits that question.

2. What makes you say they're "left wing"? I judge people by where they stand on questions of importance to humanity. Not by how they're attached to birds.

Quote:
In today's political environment it is the most left-wing you can get away with and have a hope in hell of winning an election.

Well, to have an even better hope in hell of winning an election, we should adopt Harper's policies, as he has won the last three. Or, we could actually make a small feeble effort to CHANGE the so-called "political environment" - an environment which was created in large measure by the successive capitulation of provincial NDP governments to the "political environment" followed by their federal counterparts.

Of course, the NDP will campaign from the right, and once in power... JUST WATCH ME! It'll be "social democracy" (democratic socialism? ouch my head hurts) galore! We'll really trick all those stupid voters who will only vote for centre-right politicians when we give them everything they wouldn't vote for! Or maybe, in our third term. Like Gary Doer.

Quote:
Mulcair is farther left than the new NDP leader in Saskatchewan who recently came out in support of the pipeline.

And both of them are farther left than Gary Doer, who recently came out in support of everything Harper says, because he's paid to do so. Well, there you have it!! Mulcair is farther left than someone!!

Quote:
Why don't you push for a leadership review on him?

Because political environment experts will ensure that all the potential leadership hopefuls look and talk exactly alike on all issues that matter to the people of Saskatchewan. Or perhaps you've forgotten the federal race?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

knownothing wrote:

If it is so right-wing to have oil stay in the hands of the private companies but add value-added jobs here in Canada, then why are all the left-wing economists like Armine Yalnizyan and Jim Stanford advocating for it?

Here is what Jim Stanford and other left leaning economists say:

1. In a report to be released Thursday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Polaris Institute, the four economists, including Canadian Auto Workers stalwart Jim Stanford, echo one of the country’s great economic historians, Harold Innis, to warn against Canada becoming overly dependent on the extraction and export of raw resources – in this case, oil sands bitumen.

2. “As staples are exported in raw form to more industrialized trading partners, Canada is left to buy back processed, value-added products and services at a much higher cost,” the economists write. “The combined outcome is a self-reinforcing staples trap [a phrase borrowed from Prof. Innis], whereby the faster Canada exports its latest staple, the less diversified and capable the economy becomes and hence all the more dependent on finding more staples to export.”

3. On top of that, the current staple, bitumen, causes environmental problems because it is among the most carbon-intensive sources of energy and thus contributes to climate change, the report argues. As a result, Canada is becoming increasingly dependent on an unsustainable source of wealth, with the potential for consumer backlash readily apparent in the protests against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil sands crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

4.Canada’s current bitumen strategy is not only damaging to the environment, but is leaving our economy highly vulnerable to shrinking markets for bitumen as the world moves to less polluting fuels,” Tony Clarke, director at the Polaris Institute and co-author of the report, said in a release.

5. Despite arguments to the contrary offered by other studies, the economists insist the boom in oil sands production has played a major role in the run-up of the Canadian dollar between 2003 and now, when it is close to parity with the U.S. greenback. And that has eroded the competitiveness not only of the manufacturing sector, but of key industries such as tourism and retail.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..while the article below discusses bc i don't think it is far wrong to suggest that similar processes have occured federally. i believe that governments have limited capacity to perform. so why did the social democratic gov in portugal, spain and greece accept the dictates of capital? i gather that the alternative was to radical. that there was no middle ground any more. capital could not be controled and reform was just not possible. to struggle against the corrporate wave would need to look something like latin american countries where mass movements take a leading role on the streets. there is no secret agenda for the ndp even if they wanted one. not without that struggle from the street.

quote:

However, it is not just the financial cupboard a new government will find empty. Cabinet ministers returning to power after being gone for a decade will find that both the powers and the capacity of government have been hollowed out.

The current government is party to a number of trade agreements that will limit a new government's ability to act. The Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) which morphed into the New West Trade Agreement, along with the Agreement on Internal Trade all have provisions that limit what a government can do. Of even more concern is the impending Canada European Union Trade Agreement (CETA) which the current government may sign even before the May 14 election.

Unlike most previous trade agreements CETA directly affects the powers of provinces and local governments. As such the provinces have had a say as to what they were willing to give up. So far the B.C. Liberals have refused to say what they have put on the table.

We do know, however, what they gave up in another trade deal that had provincial participation and that was everything. While other provinces protected their hydro, education systems, crown corporations and smaller communities, the only thing B.C. Liberals held back from foreign interests was the legislature.

A new government may also find itself hamstrung by the lack of qualified people to deliver a more activist agenda. First of all, just in terms of getting things done, there are 22 per cent fewer employees in the Ministries than there were a decade ago. During that period B.C.'s population grew by 12 per cent. No wonder there is no one left to look after our forests and parks. No wonder when an employee gets cheated by the boss there is no one there from the Employment Standards branch to protect their interests.

Some key government functions have been outsourced. In 2004 the government handed administration of Pharmacare and health-care information over to Maximus, a subsidiary of an American company. B.C.'s Auditor General has said that deal, which continues, has not delivered what it promised.

The government's procurement capacity has largely been devolved to a private company owned by the Ministry of Finance, Partnerships BC. Originally set up to deliver public private partnerships PBC has extended its mandate to the point that it now even has the responsibility for buying school portable classrooms.

Even the B.C. Construction Association has raised red flags about this in a January report that called for…

a strong group within government -- independent from asset owners and major capital ministries, with a mandate to advise on and implement government policy, and to coordinate capital planning and project approval. For example, Alberta has a Ministry of Infrastructure with these functions. Of course, that is not the only option for a strong central capital management agency -- BC previously had the Capital Division.

And then there are the multitudes of long-term agreements that will hobble the government's policy capacity. The Liberal government has built seven public private partnership hospitals and has four more on stream. All of these involve contracts of more than 30 years. Years ago I had a conversation with an official from Carillion Canada, an outsourcing firm that manages services in P3 hospitals. I work for CUPE and he said I was crazy to be opposing P3 hospitals. He explained that if policies or technology changed a public hospital could be closed. Not a P3 hospital. They will stay open whether they are needed or not because of the long-term contracts, he explained.

Sometimes hospitals do close. In Regina a hospital was closed and turned into an Institute of Technology. But with P3 hospitals, roads, bridges and sewage plants, governments don't get that choice.

What else is tied up in long-term contracts? How about $53 billion in private power contracts?  These are worse than P3s because at least with P3s the government owns them at the end of the term.

The latest measure that would tie a new government's hands was the attempt to cut a 10-year deal with the B.C. nurses. The CBC reports health authority presidents saying they are concerned an extended agreement of up to 10 years could saddle the system with significant costs, and restrict the ability for health authorities to manage the system, all at a time when government is moving to rein in health care funding. That's an interesting response for people who had 35-year public private partnerships foisted on them that saddled them with costs and restricted ability to manage when governments were moving to reign in health-care spending.

The conservative movement has been trying for 30 years to erode the power and capacity of government. In B.C. that has been accomplished by undermining financial capacity, through trade agreements limiting provincial power, through outsourcing administration and decision making and through long-term agreements tying a new government in knots.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/policynote/2013/03/new-bc-government-its...

knownothing knownothing's picture

Of course I would love to nationalize oil. I would love to nationalize banks as well. 

But it is not in the cards right now. Maybe the next time they go bust we will have a govt that actually has the balls to get something for the money we lend out.

I agree that Stanford and Yalnizyan are not talking radical ideas here. The debate is ridiculously narrow.

But Canada is an important and powerful country in the world right now and small degrees of separation in the management of a powerful and important state can lead to quite different outcomes.

I also cringe at the watering down of the NDP identity over the years from the Regina Manifesto (which totally deserves an 80th anniversary celebration this year) to the Winninpeg Declaration to the Statement of Principles to where we are today with people(who shall remain unnamed) trying to water it down even more. 

But I think many of the people on this thread have it wrong about Mulcair. He has pandered to certain interests for sure like the Israeli lobby, IMF, World Bank, UN, etc...

He has been careful about marijuana and many other issues, too careful in my opinion concerning the Senate

But he has an actual chance at winning. He has courted the main interests of power while trying to hold as many people from the center to the left as he can.

I guess I am just pissed about the leadership review comments...I hope people criticize Mulcair and keep pulling him to the left

But the election is coming and we are going to need all the help we can get to beat the Liberal celebrity machine (barf) and the Tory election engineering. It is going to be a fight to the death and the media is already painting Mulcair as too far left.

 

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:
there is no secret agenda for the ndp even if they wanted one.

Heh, I know - I was being sardonic again. The NDP used to make promises they didn't keep once in power. They don't even do that any more.

Quote:
not without that struggle from the street.

Funny how our ruling elites and their apologists recognize that truth - just not here.

Ex-Finance Minister Raymond Bachand, who just ran 3rd in the Québec Liberal leadership race, said last May (after comparing Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois to a "terrorist") that the battle over tuition fee hikes would be won, not in the streets, but at the polls.

His government lost the battle in the streets.

They were defeated at the polls.

The Liberal fee hike was rolled back (with a small setback now, but life's like that).

And Bachand's political future became his past.

But the NDP still thinks it's about platforms, polish, poise, polls, and plodding.

Stockholm

FYI, at EVERY NDP convention there is an automatic "leadership review" vote where delegates vote on whether they want to keep the current leader or have a new leadership contest. In the June 2011 convention Jack Layton got some thing like a 97% vote of confidence (I wonder who the other 3% were??). There will be a similar vote in Montreal. If any NDP delegates think Mulcair is doing a bad job and want a new leadership contest - all they have to do is vote for it when it automatically comes up at the convention.

6079_Smith_W
socialdemocrati...

A corrolary of people talking about who is a "true social democrat" or a "true progressive" is that they live by a standard set in 1960, if not 1930. Like we all slept under a rock for the past 80 years, woke up, and thankfully learned nothing.

Anything less than nationalization is right-wing? Petro Canada never happened, and if it did, it was nothing but a smashing success?

Nationalization doesn't just nationalize the profits. It also nationalizes the risks. The costs. The responsibility.

It puts the public on the hook for many potential problems. Not the least of which is falling oil prices. In essence, poor citizens own the company, so when things go bad, they're on the hook to bail it out.

(The Dutch Disease is the same problem, but indirectly. The public doesn't own the company. But because the economy is so dependent on oil jobs and taxing oil profits, entire provinces can go from flush to floundering over night.)

We don't want the risk.

We want to take the profits, and eliminate or manage the risk.

Profits are easy. That's taxes. The NDP has promised to end oil subsidies, which is worth $1.6 billion right there. Raise corporate taxes, that's worth a few billion more. But we need more than that. We need to set up a fund where oil profits are used to invest in the manufacturing industry, like Norway. And let's get someone else to pay for the cost of cleaning it up, so that we don't own the mess.

What do you know. The NDP policy on this is pretty good.

I'm not against national ownership. But national ownership is far from necessary. In fact, by itself, national ownership means we own the mess, and we solve none of the problems caused by the oil sector.

6079_Smith_W

Plus a nationally-owned oil company is not the same thing as nationalizing the industry. And that second part might be a bit sticky, with resources a provincial jurisdiction, and the various trade deals we have signed.

My preferred way of having the people own an oil company? Join the Co-op.

 

Aristotleded24

[url=http://murraydobbin.ca/2013/02/05/2013-the-year-of-the-democracy-coaliti... Harper will be re-elected in 2015:[/url]

Quote:

The Nanos poll suggests that the Conservatives have almost no room for growth except in Quebec – where they are actually losing support, not gaining it. In contrast the Liberals and the NDP have plenty of room for growth in virtually all parts of the country with over 50% east of Manitoba saying they would consider voting for either party.

Who will fare better at capturing their potential supporters? The NDP’s strategy does not seem to be focused on this goal. Its recent flip-flop on corporate rights agreements (so-called free trade), its refusal to address the issue of tax cuts and the $50 billion hole in annual revenue, its fear of challenging Harper on law-and-order issues all suggest they are trying to replace the Liberals. Instead of trusting its own supporters and potential supporters by providing a vision of the country that other polling suggests a majority support, the party seems engaged in micro-managing its policies and messages. If Tom Mulcair thinks this is the way to capture a greater percentage of those who would consider voting NDP he is in for a rude awakening.

kropotkin1951

Stockholm wrote:

FYI, at EVERY NDP convention there is an automatic "leadership review" vote where delegates vote on whether they want to keep the current leader or have a new leadership contest.

At $350 a pop for delegates fees I doubt if many dissidents will be lining up to go to Montreal to vote against Tom's leadership.

How about a new guessing game. 

I predict he will get an 89% approval rating in the automatic review.

KenS

Dobbin is so mixed up, it isnt funny.

He makes the leap of faith that the reason that the Conservatives win, and with majorities, despite support levels that don't reach that high, is because they are true to what their base wants. [He actually never makes this article of faith clear. He says that the NDP has similar or better levels of support, but doesn't do better because it is not true to the anti-corporate battle.]

Nobody, the Conservatives included, gets to power by playing to its base. They get to power and stay there because they are good at appealing to swing voters]. The trick is to bridge appealing to swing voters and your base. The NDP hasn't mastered that, and I would agree that part of the problem is the concern with being 'safe'.

But listening to Dobbin will get us further from the solution.

KenS

The NDP automatic leadership votes are not a review. They are a pro forma exercise.

Proof of that is that a real leadership race needs a whole set of rules. Why is that? "In principle" we could use the same every Convention leadership vote. But obviously, those are not substantive votes.

They also are not meaningful leadership reviews. A review that means something is mandated/required to happen at times when there is likely to be a need for it. The rest of the time, like now, you don't have a review. It is far from perfect, but the only way to make a leadership review meaningful is to focus on and plan ahead for specific times to have one. 

socialdemocrati...

I think Mulcair is doing a good job of bolstering the NDP's "professionalism", but in the process he's bought into a false choice between "professionalism" and "inspiration".

Even if your principles are 100% progressive, speaking the language of "professionals" involves a level of policy wonkery that most people don't care about. It also involves a level of nuance that most people don't have the patience for. "On one hand... but on the other hand... even though... but still... thus something neither this nor that." And that's not to say appearing "professional" always means showing your capacity for nuance. Sometimes professionalism requires that you use a certain type of jargon that doesn't make sense to the average person, let alone whether that jargon is accurate.

It's hard to say where inspiration comes from, but usually it involves grand statements of purpose and vision. It's easier to inspire with clarity, let alone statements of absolutes. Nuance is appropriate in a lot of situations, but it is seldom inspiring.

Mulcair's (and Jack's) policy on federalism is a perfect example. It might be the most well-reasoned of the major parties, but it's hardly inspiring. Much easier to say "I'm a federalist, and I will destroy the sovereigntists with every fiber of my being", or even "I believe in a fully independent nation of Quebec". The argument the NDP is making is something I believe in: a united Canada, where Quebec has the inalienable right to decide whether to be a part of Canada, but they choose to stay voluntarily because we have a federal party that speaks to their interests, while at the same time respecting all Canadians. But that argument is more likely to get polite applause than a roaring standing ovation.

Not everything in the platform has to galvanize an entire movement. But I couldn't tell you what argument the NDP is currently making that WOULD galvanize that movement.

"We're the only ones who can stop Stephen Harper" isn't enough. Just ask the Liberals.

There's still time though. I would be saving my best arguments for 2015. I just hope the NDP team is working on that.

NorthReport

It is a total waste of time quoting someone who has a hate on for the NDP.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

[url=http://murraydobbin.ca/2013/02/05/2013-the-year-of-the-democracy-coaliti... Harper will be re-elected in 2015:[/url]

Quote:

The Nanos poll suggests that the Conservatives have almost no room for growth except in Quebec – where they are actually losing support, not gaining it. In contrast the Liberals and the NDP have plenty of room for growth in virtually all parts of the country with over 50% east of Manitoba saying they would consider voting for either party.

Who will fare better at capturing their potential supporters? The NDP’s strategy does not seem to be focused on this goal. Its recent flip-flop on corporate rights agreements (so-called free trade), its refusal to address the issue of tax cuts and the $50 billion hole in annual revenue, its fear of challenging Harper on law-and-order issues all suggest they are trying to replace the Liberals. Instead of trusting its own supporters and potential supporters by providing a vision of the country that other polling suggests a majority support, the party seems engaged in micro-managing its policies and messages. If Tom Mulcair thinks this is the way to capture a greater percentage of those who would consider voting NDP he is in for a rude awakening.

janfromthebruce

NorthReport wrote:

It is a total waste of time quoting someone who has a hate on for the NDP.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

[url=http://murraydobbin.ca/2013/02/05/2013-the-year-of-the-democracy-coaliti... Harper will be re-elected in 2015:[/url]

Quote:

The Nanos poll suggests that the Conservatives have almost no room for growth except in Quebec – where they are actually losing support, not gaining it. In contrast the Liberals and the NDP have plenty of room for growth in virtually all parts of the country with over 50% east of Manitoba saying they would consider voting for either party.

Who will fare better at capturing their potential supporters? The NDP’s strategy does not seem to be focused on this goal. Its recent flip-flop on corporate rights agreements (so-called free trade), its refusal to address the issue of tax cuts and the $50 billion hole in annual revenue, its fear of challenging Harper on law-and-order issues all suggest they are trying to replace the Liberals. Instead of trusting its own supporters and potential supporters by providing a vision of the country that other polling suggests a majority support, the party seems engaged in micro-managing its policies and messages. If Tom Mulcair thinks this is the way to capture a greater percentage of those who would consider voting NDP he is in for a rude awakening.

It was Jack Layton’s NDP whose preoccupation with political advantage handed power to Harper in the first place and facilitated his majority.

Yes, I'm with NR on this one - Dobbin hates the NDP. Take note that what Dobbin is suggesting is for the NDP to rescue and save the Liberal party to save Canada because - why? Why my goodness in the last election Layton's NDP came in 2nd and somehow the NDP is responsible for electing Harper. Wrong, the Libs ran a crap campaign and have been going downhill since after 2000.

It wasn't the Liberals who were preoccupied with pol advantage who handed power to Harper.

Dobbin is so full of it. And Murray, if he bothered to check his bias would see that Joyce is not progressive at all.

Now I would be inclined to give Dobbin some slack if he ever suggested: hey progressive Canadians, get behind the NDP because they are the only party who has a chance to win and actually inact PP, based on having it as a policy, putting it in the last campaign, and actually saying it during the leadership debate. But he didn't.

Although in a past article he praises Layton for his vision and also modelling Canadian values, he now using Liberal talking points. For Dobbin to suggest Murray is progressive is just so hard to grasp that he's lost his way.

janfromthebruce

Dobbin should remember what he wrote on May 4 2011:  Now What for Canada's Left?

Yes, their surge defeated a lot of Liberals and helped give Harper a majority. But before we mourn the Liberal Party remember who they have been and what they have done: the Chretien and Martin governments savaged the Canadian state and the role of government, part of a continuum of Conservative and Liberal governments committed to dismantling what two generations built. The true nature of the Liberal Party was ironically revealed by Ignatieff's decision to run a left-wing campaign (which I thought was actually pretty good). Many simply didn't believe him -- and in effect he helped convince people to vote NDP, the real repository of progressive policies, led by someone they trusted. On voting day, right-wing Liberals abandoned Ignatieff and voted Conservative to stop the NDP surge.

Thus, right-wing Liberals voted Con because I guess there are lots of Liberals who are not progressive which again, remind me, why progressives of the NDP persuasion should become Liberal supporters and vote in their leadership race? Explain that to me again?

janfromthebruce

Finally because I am on a roll, Dobbin should remind himself of his own words and thoughts.

Fresh Issue for Spring Election: Democracy

But it is important to recall just how awful this party was under the regimes of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin. Martin made the largest cuts to social programs of any government in Canadian history -- far out distancing Brian Mulroney in the savagery of the cuts. He also did his best to undermine social program universality by eliminating federal funding tied directly to health, education and social assistance -- giving the provinces instead a lump sum transfer payment which could be used for anything.

Martin then topped it off with the largest package of tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations ever implemented in Canada: $100 billion over five years (compared to Jim Flaherty's cuts of $60 billion over five years). He was also responsible for implementing a ferocious "labour flexibility" program designed -- successfully -- to flatline Canadian wages and salaries through deliberately creating a seven-year recession.

This is the Liberal Party of Canada and it doesn't matter who its leader is.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Dobbin was one of the pepople advocating strategic voting in the last election which may have handed Harper his majority.

http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2011/05/07/strategic-voting-perils/

 

Next election everyone should vote NDP even if the media is telling you the NDP has no chance in your riding.

It will finish the Liberals off.

 

KenS

OK already. The Liberals are scum.

Which doesnt say anything about what the NDP should do.

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