Polls, and the extention of polls.

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Cueball Cueball's picture

I don't see Jack Layton recommending government investment in "new productive enterprises" here. I see him talking about investing in "infrastructure" to stimulate the economy through the existing construction industry, basically. Certainly, this has merit, but it does not address the issue of creating sustainable and profitable industries that serve Canadian interests.

In anycase, my point is not about the "ideas". It is about how to build effective organizations.

George Victor

Exactly why I phrased it that way: they really, should be wary of being critical of "a social democratic party that cannot command, only condemn, finance capitalist institutions,"

 

Of course it's not just about ideas...it's about the POWER to DO something. And building effective organizations will depend on finding ways to tame finance capital, the wielder of all of our savings, while also causing those savings to increase in value.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Why should I be wary of it? It's the truth. I love social democrats who insist on a policy of Soviet styled "democractic centralism" and party discipline.

The power to do something means building effective organizations. Again, you have it ass backwards. The labour movement didn't build this country by waiting for a "national consensus" to arrive and then wondrously being graced with power through the electoral system. They did it by building effective organization, person by person, community by community, not by wishing on a star and telling people who critique the status quo parties to shut up.

But today, all people can do is complain about how the mass media is biased against them, and forgetting that when the labour movement became an effective tool for changing the way business is done, there was no "mass media", or very little to speak of, and what there was of it was entirely in the control of the business class.

George Victor

I'm afraid that if you believe the same conditions exist for the building of labour as the immediate post-war conditions of the late 1940s, this discussion is just another meaningless ahistorical exercise.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Good thing I didn't say that then. But you will never miss an opportunity to miss the point in the pursuit of defending the moribund status of the NDP: the central point is about building effective organizations, without the support of any kind of mass media, not that we are living in 1900, the real benchmark date for the rise of the international labour movement.

One hopes of course that the labour unions can do their part in the transformative process, given that they are about the only cohesive organizations left, with any power and motivation to counter the neo-liberal agenda, as ideology, but sitting on the sidelines and hoping that the "national consensus" will miraculously change for the better and sunny skies will appear, is not going to get anyone anywhere.

George Victor

Cueball wrote:

Good thing I didn't say that then. But you will never miss an opportunity to miss the point in the pursuit of defending the moribund status of the NDP: the central point is about building effective organizations, without the support of any kind of mass media, not that we are living in 1900, the real benchmark date for the rise of the international labour movement.

One hopes of course that the labour unions can do their part in the transformative process, given that they are about the only cohesive organizations left, with any power and motivation to counter the neo-liberal agenda, as ideology, but sitting on the sidelines and hoping that the "national consensus" will miraculously change for the better and sunny skies will appear, is not going to get anyone anywhere.

Pretending that labour's votes for Tweedledum or Tweedledee while running from the very idea of Climate Change - the experience since the 1970s - is not the basis of a rallying cry that all could follow.  The Georgettis will have to stop fawning over the brilliance of Jimmy Flaherty and increase their concerns beyond those of the membership.  A wonderful start would be an insistence on increasing national pensions for everyone...not just those fortunate enough to have jobs and saving from relatively high wages in the  CPP and with RRSPs.

And I don't see election workers "sitting on the sidelines."  That's the position of critics up in the rarified air of the  bleachers.

 

KenS

Cueball wrote:

Indeed, it seems many NDP'rs, and the party in general does not see itself as a tool through which members can mobilize people outside of the "election" process, and like all "parties" seems more interested in having activists and their organizations serve their specific electoral agenda.

.....

Perhaps it is just that many party members simply have given up on the NDP as a vehicle for organizing beyond the quadra annual ballot box shuffle, but whatever the reasons, these are the facts as I see them, and in my view the result is that the NDP is doing very little to shift the national agenda beyond the narrow confines of the neo-liberal/neo-conservative agenda, at the grass roots.

We havent given up at all. Ideally, NDP ridings and other kinds of club would be 20 times more active in between elections. They arent. The only thing activists can be sure people will be there for is the episodic events- the elections.

Thats not saying that is all that be will be done. But realistically, its all that we can count on being done well.

But social movement groups, each and as an aggregate, are equally episodic.

Nor do I see social movements doing much that results in shifting the national agenda. Same as with the NDP: no points for just trying.

Sean in Ottawa

peterjcassidy wrote:

Cueball wrote:

Is that why hardly any NDP MP's showed up to the G20 in Toronto? Showing up is one thing, taking a leadership position is quite another. I have yet to see any footage or even photos of people with and NDP banner at the G20. Any help with that from anyone?

Presuming to represent "social movements" is not the same as participating in those movements.

Let's talk of  claims that there should have been more NDP MPs, MPPs, riding associations   all proudly marching under  the NDP banner in the G20 protests. Let's call those claims, ciaims the NDP failed to adequately  represent the social movements at the G20 protest. Let's  say I agree  that this is a valid criticism of the NDP.But I ask  how much responsibility do the the social movements carry  to make sure they were adequately represented by the NDP at the G20 protests or any other matter? ..   Did they invite the NDP -collectively or  individual MPs, MPPs  or ridings staff or executive or activists? Have they worked  with these MPs  and MPPs or activists  or any part of the NDP in the past?, Have they seen and been seen by the NDP as a friend and ally in the past and are now disappointed in "their" party and feel their party did not for once adequately represent them?  Are they  going to  their party and demanding better representation in the future?

 

solidarity

Peter

 

 

I think people are forgetting the strategizing that does go on. And the NDP and social movements being related is not past tense entirely. For one, the membership of the NDP and many, many of those organizations overlaps.

Now I know of events where the NDP has been asked to show up without banners -- I also know of events where organized labour has been asked to show up without banners and places where those who did were criticized. These questions are not so simple-- at times people do not go to lead out of respect-- they go and stand in the rain and provide the bodies supporting the organizer not taking over.

You can debate if it was the right strategy but you should be careful about making assumptions about the reasons any particular organization might choose to show up but not be visible in an obvious way.

I don't know the organizers of the G20 protests-- anyone here know what invites, requests were made?

remind remind's picture

Cue, YW and tyvm, ;) and I agree pretty much with your detailed participation by the NDP, or lack thereof from your perspective, based upon my experiences out here.

However, I have never expected the NDP, as a party, to be what you seem to want it to be. I understand they represent(ed) people like my parents and sister/brother in law, who do not believe in radical activism too much on the inside of political party actions. as well as they do represent people like me, who believe there should be more. As such, I recognize that a balance has to be struck. And then maintained.

Even though my mom was heavily into clear cut logging protests, and marched against the first Gulf War, for her, the NDP was not the vehicle to be an radical activist within. She and others like her, who were founding members, or were there at the beginnings, whom I know/knew, believed that type of activism responsibility is for individual members to  undertake on their own time, not 100% party time, as  the people are diverse within the party and not all want to have a "radical activist party", as opposed to a consensus party.

Sean in Ottawa

In I hope the spirit of Remind's last post which makes good points-- I'd like to add that there should be no expectation that all who contribute must do it in the same way or through the same organizations. We don't need to constantly get into debates about the best way to make change slamming the other. I think both the political partisan people and the organizations outside the politics need each other and would both do better to support each other more.

Firewalls do not exist either as some people move in and out of each of them.

I don't think a movement or a party can only be judged by success and change alone-- standing for the right thing will get my vote otherwise we'd all be Conservatives today.

The NDP often has to make that balance as a party between taking a stand that can cost popularity or going for the position that gives votes now. In the end those who compromize may not do it out of belief but legitimate differences of strategy-- better to be stronger for the next fight or take this important stand now.

Often the party in my view gets it wrong. But we can't measure a party by our own standard alone because if I ask someone else here they might agree with me only to find that we entirely disagree as to which times the party got it wrong.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I don't think the issue is one of right or wrong or "strategic" positioning optics. I am quite sure that part of the reason the party doesn't pursue grass roots organizing is because it is afraid of embarrassment. That said, being "connected" and having a pretense in these kind of affairs is the only way to functionally take steps to prevent "embarrassment", and indeed, simply participating in something, and being directly involved in organizing, do not necessarily require total agreement with everything, and every person in an organization.

That is what coalitions are all about, and it is usually not such a big dieal striking a consensus on a generally accepted statement of purpose.

So, in my view, I would have no problem with the NDP becoming so actively involved that it bullied its way into events, demanding a visible presence. That is just politics. But I really don't see that kind of active interest from the NDP these days.

Cueball Cueball's picture

George Victor wrote:

Cueball wrote:

Good thing I didn't say that then. But you will never miss an opportunity to miss the point in the pursuit of defending the moribund status of the NDP: the central point is about building effective organizations, without the support of any kind of mass media, not that we are living in 1900, the real benchmark date for the rise of the international labour movement.

One hopes of course that the labour unions can do their part in the transformative process, given that they are about the only cohesive organizations left, with any power and motivation to counter the neo-liberal agenda, as ideology, but sitting on the sidelines and hoping that the "national consensus" will miraculously change for the better and sunny skies will appear, is not going to get anyone anywhere.

Pretending that labour's votes for Tweedledum or Tweedledee while running from the very idea of Climate Change - the experience since the 1970s - is not the basis of a rallying cry that all could follow.  The Georgettis will have to stop fawning over the brilliance of Jimmy Flaherty and increase their concerns beyond those of the membership.  A wonderful start would be an insistence on increasing national pensions for everyone...not just those fortunate enough to have jobs and saving from relatively high wages in the  CPP and with RRSPs.

And I don't see election workers "sitting on the sidelines."  That's the position of critics up in the rarified air of the  bleachers.

 

George. You shift playing fields like a golfer moving from one green to the next. However, you have to put the ball in before you move to the next hole. Those are the rules, sorry. Pensions, and so on, amount to more "stimulus" not "new productive enterprise" what you were calling for. Not that I object to this idea, because I know this was just your chance to take another shot at selfish unions that don't look out for anyone but the membership, but that neo-liberal talking point is just not going to wash with the great unwashed, such as myself.

Indeed it seems to me that the kind of new and productive and sustainable enterprise that you were talking about is something like this: Good Green Jobs. Now this kind of thing is not really good enough, and might be too little too late, but is far further along the line of toward building a sustainable economy than Layton's proposal for "shovel-ready infrastructure projects just waiting" to be staffed with ten dollar an hour temporary day labourers.

Be that as it may, what is really important here, is not the idea itself, but the fact that this is a project that directly links labour to the needs of our communities, and examples how community organizations and labour can work together to develop new ideas and create organizational links beyond the immediate needs of the membership.

Notably, we see an attempt being made to build bridges by the entrenched labour movement in aid of new immigrant communities as represented by the Canadian Tamil Congress and the Jamaican Canadian Association. I don't think that we will be seeing any "good green jobs" anytime soon, but this is the kind of initiative that builds strong organizational links at the grass roots in the long term, which is what we need if we are going to weather the coming storm, and maintain even a slight smidgen of the values that we share.

Quote:
The following organizations are part of the Good Jobs for All Coalition.

ACORN / Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

Campaign 2000

Canadian Auto Workers

Canadian Federation of Students

Canadian Hispanic Congress

Canadian Labour Congress (Ontario Region)

Canadian Tamil Congress

Canadian Union of Public Employees

Chinese Canadian National Council - Toronto Office

Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change Network

Council of Agencies Serving South Asians

Council of Canadians

CORD / Community Organizing for Responsible Development

Family Service Toronto

Green Enterprise Toronto

Jamaican Canadian Association

Jane/Finch Green Jobs Coalition

Labour Community Services

Labour Education Centre

Metro Toronto Chinese and South East Asian Legal Clinic

Migrante

Miziwe Biik

No One Is Illegal Toronto

Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Scarborough Civic Action Network

Service Employees International Union

Social Planning Council - York Region

Social Planning Network of Ontario

Social Planning Toronto

Toronto & York Region Labour Council

Toronto Coalition for Better Childcare

Toronto Environmental Alliance

Toronto Workforce Innovation Group

Unite Here Local 75

United Food and Commercial Workers

United Steelworkers

Urban Alliance on Race Relations

Workers' Action Centre

Working Women Community Centre

See the NDP there? I don't.

So, keep putting, maybe you'll make it to the next hole, someday.

George Victor

Cue:  "Those are the rules, sorry. Pensions, and so on, amount to more "stimulus" not "new productive enterprise" what you were calling for. Not that I object to this idea, because I know this was just your chance to take another shot at selfish unions that don't look out for anyone but the membership, but that neo-liberal talking point is just not going to wash with the great unwashed, such as myself."

 

Cue, you can look forward to enjoying a pension that will be far and above the pensions of the majority of workers. They would like to have a guaranteed income at the end of their working days (which may be 70 within the next couple of decades). Corporations will no longer set up pension funds with a guaranteed income, they will only guarantee to make payments into a fund, and the rest is up to the MARKET. That is the one institution in the panoply of capitalist institutions that you never mention, as though , unmentioned, it will go away.

In reality, Cue, you are involved in the stock market and international investments, right up to your ying yang.

The 'productive enterprises" should be state-owned, as were so many in the mixed economy at war's end. The accumulated pension funds including our sovereign funds should be employed in the development of Canadian industries...only one living in another world would not consider them our primary hope for the generations to follow.

 

And please, don't suggest that New Democrats do not support a multicultural workforce. That lie could easily be refuted by any active New Democrat on this board.

 

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

George. I notice you spend considerable amount of time talking about shit you know nothing about. In this case the topic is me. I am getting CPP buddy and that is all. The last time I was in a union was the IWA, when I worked in forestry in the 80's.

As usual you have mixed up a lot of preconcieved notions about other peoples self interest (projection?) to fuel your anti-union hobby horse. I am not involved in "stock market" boondoggles, or "international investments". Nor are the unions actually, since they don't control how the pensions funds are used. They are controlled by a committee, in which the union voice is the smallest, as the teachers unions discovered when they tried to get Cadillac Fairview (a company you suggest they "own" and control) to negotiate a fair contract and rehire locked out CEP workers. In fact, the pensions funds are in control of a bunch of venture capitalists who are just as capable of losing all the pension money as they are of making it.

You posited an idea. Something about "new productive enterprises". Were it not for you crass desire to shit on the few working people who make more than minimum wage because they happen to be in a collective bargaining unit, you have chosen to completely ignore the fact the "Good Green Jobs for All Coalition" is an initiative that seeks to direct government investment into government owned businessess to build Canadian manufacturing, Ontario Hydro and Toronto Hydro. That is what you say you want, is it not?

No. Rather that recognize that George has to rant on about "self-interested" unions who only look out for their own membership, and praise the high minded ideals of those who promote "stimulus" funding to hire temporary workers in construction. According to you no one should critique the NDP for its high minded stance on "stimulus", but you feel totally free to shit all over those "selfish unions" who are actively promoting the ideas about government capital investment in government controlled enterprises that you say you support.

But, this is not about "ideas". Ideas are a dime a dozen. This is about effective organizing.

I never said that the NDP does not support theoretically the idea of a "multicultural workforce". It's not about anything like some vaguely aesthetic sounding notion of having a "multicultural workforce", a phrase that belies the fact that you simply do not "get it". It is about giving marginalized people opportunities through directed investment intended to build the Ontario economy. It is not about "supporting" high brow notions of "cultural diversity" or any other such rot. It is about building strong organizational linkages across communities that can leverage community power to make your "multicultural workforce" a reality. That comes from doing something more than showing up at the local community weenie roast for a photo op.

At the end of the day I do not see the NDP directly involving itself in these struggles, as part of its day to day organizing efforts. Indeed, I see no effort to mobilize anything at all. On the other hand, here we see the unions directly confronting neo-liberalism as an ideology at the "grass roots", not just in theory, but by contributing their resources to empowering the voice of marginalized people, and forwarding a progressive agenda of investment in a sustainable economy.

Their activist, and their members go to these meetings as representatives of their unions, and they help co-ordinate and organize with people from marginalized communities, and they give cash to help them promote their cause.

That is how you build organizations, and that is how you build a "national consensus" person by person, and community by community.

KenS

remind wrote:

I have never expected the NDP, as a party, to be what you seem to want it to be. I understand they represent(ed) people like my parents and sister/brother in law, who do not believe in radical activism too much on the inside of political party actions. as well as they do represent people like me, who believe there should be more. As such, I recognize that a balance has to be struck. And then maintained.

Even though my mom was heavily into clear cut logging protests, and marched against the first Gulf War, for her, the NDP was not the vehicle to be an radical activist within. She and others like her, who were founding members, or were there at the beginnings, whom I know/knew, believed that type of activism responsibility is for individual members to  undertake on their own time, not 100% party time, as  the people are diverse within the party and not all want to have a "radical activist party", as opposed to a consensus party.

Cueball wrote:

I don't think the issue is one of right or wrong or "strategic" positioning optics. I am quite sure that part of the reason the party doesn't pursue grass roots organizing is because it is afraid of embarrassment.

You are entitled to your opinion that the real reason the NDP does not participate is mostly because of the embarrasment part. But you could at least acknowledge that you have heard people saying that they dont think the NDP belongs there in the way you think it should.  Why you think your reason it isnt there trumps, and what is the connection to the reason others gave, Remind most recently. 

Cueball wrote:

That said, being "connected" and having a pretense in these kind of affairs is the only way to functionally take steps to prevent "embarrassment"

A pretty complex attribution of motive. Not so much complex, as dependent on a lot of disputable variables. 

Cueball wrote:

But I really don't see that kind of active interest from the NDP these days.

To a degree we all agree on this. Though there is an important divergence in that you see it as a departure from what should be and was once much more. Which 'organically' leads to the different colouring of what is.

KenS

And just to be clear, I dont think its really a matter that the NDP does not 'belong' a lot more in grassroots movements.

Ideally, and more than just ideally, we'd all be involved in everything. But there isnt just the obvious time limits entailed in that.

Some kinds of work just dont fit together as well as do the activists doing them. And harkening back to our difference about the NDP at its origins: that reality goes back to the inception of the CCF, let alone the NDP that is later in time as well as in the evolution of the role of party within a movement of socialists and their allies.

As someone said above, we do different things better. Yes, that can be a copout obscuring how it was 'inprogressively' propelled to be that way. [Emphasis on can be.]

But it can as much be a lazy copout to in practice assume that the seperation is to make sure things stay tame.

George Victor

Always right there with the anal epithets, Cue dissociates himself from the real world of company pensions:

"George. I notice you spend considerable amount of time talking about shit you know nothing about. In this case the topic is me. I am getting CPP buddy and that is all. The last time I was in a union was the IWA, when I worked in forestry in the 80's.

As usual you have mixed up a lot of preconcieved notions about other peoples self interest (projection?) to fuel your anti-union hobby horse. I am not involved in "stock market" boondoggles, or "international investments". Nor are the unions actually, since they don't control how the pensions funds are used. They are controlled by a committee, in which the union voice is the smallest, as the teachers unions discovered when they tried to get Cadillac Fairview (a company you suggest they "own" and control) to negotiate a fair contract and rehire locked out CEP workers. In fact, the pensions funds are in control of a bunch of venture capitalists who are just as capable of losing all the pension money as they are of making it."

 

Then there was Cue, some weeks back, after explaining why he does follow the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan's fortunes rather closely: "I am married to an elementary school teacher you fucking moron."

The teachers suffer along with all dependent on the finance capital industry, as Cue explained:

"Having a successful pension fund speculating on the market that might blow up at any minute, is not "asking for more". Indeed, the value of OTTP has decreased by 30 Billion dollars over the last 3 years, doncha know it.

Quote:After eight straight years in the top quarter of Canadian pension plans, OTPP announced that the pension plan lost $21.1-billion of its asset base, which represents a negative 18% rate-of-return for the year ending Dec. 30, 2008. The fund's total assets have dropped from $108.5-billion to $87.4-billion."

 

 

But of course, Cue, it has always been a matter of whose ox is being gored. In this case, it's a matter of explaining how the majority of workers are to EVER enjoy the old age that you face, if there isn't an acknowledged role for at least a market designed to improve their lot, controlled by a state that reflects social democratic values.

remind remind's picture

Still not feeling well today, but I want to quickly say, if the NDP were the left's version of the Reform, I personally would have gone/go running from them.

Reform = Tea Partiers = no brains or maturity

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

I love live cases Cool. Can we discuss good green jobs and this coalition as part of the discussion about the relations aomongst  political parties and social movementssay with an idea ot ciriqun this coaliton for not doing what it should?

 

[quote

s. =Cueball]

Indeed it seems to me that the kind of new and productive and sustainable enterprise that you were talking about is something like this: Good Green Jobs. Now this kind of thing is not really good enough, and might be too little too late, but is far further along the line of toward building a sustainable economy than Layton's proposal for "shovel-ready infrastructure projects just waiting" to be staffed with ten dollar an hour temporary day labourers.

Be that as it may, what is really important here, is not the idea itself, but the fact that this is a project that directly links labour to the needs of our communities, and examples how community organizations and labour can work together to develop new ideas and create organizational links beyond the immediate needs of the membership.

Notably, we see an attempt being made to build bridges by the entrenched labour movement in aid of new immigrant communities as represented by the Canadian Tamil Congress and the Jamaican Canadian Association. I don't think that we will be seeing any "good green jobs" anytime soon, but this is the kind of initiative that builds strong organizational links at the grass roots in the long term, which is what we need if we are going to weather the coming storm, and maintain even a slight smidgen of the values that we share.

Quote:
The following organizations are part of the Good Jobs for All Coalition.

ACORN / Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

Campaign 2000

Canadian Auto Workers

Canadian Federation of Students

Canadian Hispanic Congress

Canadian Labour Congress (Ontario Region)

Canadian Tamil Congress

Canadian Union of Public Employees

Chinese Canadian National Council - Toronto Office

Colour of Poverty - Colour of Change Network

Council of Agencies Serving South Asians

Council of Canadians

CORD / Community Organizing for Responsible Development

Family Service Toronto

Green Enterprise Toronto

Jamaican Canadian Association

Jane/Finch Green Jobs Coalition

Labour Community Services

Labour Education Centre

Metro Toronto Chinese and South East Asian Legal Clinic

Migrante

Miziwe Biik

No One Is Illegal Toronto

Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Scarborough Civic Action Network

Service Employees International Union

Social Planning Council - York Region

Social Planning Network of Ontario

Social Planning Toronto

Toronto & York Region Labour Council

Toronto Coalition for Better Childcare

Toronto Environmental Alliance

Toronto Workforce Innovation Group

Unite Here Local 75

United Food and Commercial Workers

United Steelworkers

Urban Alliance on Race Relations

Workers' Action Centre

Working Women Community Centre

See the NDP there? I don't.

So, keep putting, maybe you'll make it to the next hole, someday.

Cueball Cueball's picture

peterjcassidy wrote:

I love live cases Cool. Can we discuss good green jobs and this coalition as part of the discussion about the relations aomongst  political parties and social movementssay with an idea ot ciriqun this coaliton for not doing what it should?

You are missing the point. The point is not the central ideas of this initiative, but the method through which it is being used to build organization. Ideas are one thing, but in the coming years what is really needed is strong organization. So, yeah, regardless of the specifics of the initiative, the coalition is doing precisely what is should be doing because it is working to unite disperate communities within what is clearly a positive political mandate, by making direct linkages between people, activists and organizers.

Cueball Cueball's picture

KenS wrote:

Cueball wrote:

That said, being "connected" and having a pretense in these kind of affairs is the only way to functionally take steps to prevent "embarrassment"

A pretty complex attribution of motive. Not so much complex, as dependent on a lot of disputable variables. 

You can't actually have voice in the conclusion of the dispute unless you engage the dispute. If for example, the issue that may cause embarrassment is "direct action" by anarchists at the G20, there is no way that the NDP can be there to have a voice on this issue if it doesn't bother to engage the organizing directly.

Stuart_Parker

remind wrote:

Still not feeling well today, but I want to quickly say, if the NDP were the left's version of the Reform, I personally would have gone/go running from them.

Reform = Tea Partiers = no brains or maturity

Not that we don't love you but I think satisfying your personal tastes with respect to political style should be fairly low on New Democrats' priority list compared to considerations like winning a larger share of the popular vote and mobilizing a larger, more passionate activist base.

Also, I'm kind of baffled that policy concessions to the centre-right would be less offensive to a socialist than speaking a populist language and getting working people active.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Remind has lots of political style. That said, I am in accord with the rest of your post.

Stuart_Parker

Cueball wrote:

You can't actually have voice in the conclusion of the dispute unless you engage the dispute. If for example, the issue that may cause embarrassment is "direct action" by anarchists at the G20, there is no way that the NDP can be there to have a voice on this issue if it doesn't bother to engage the organizing directly.

I really disagree here. The movement (to the extent to whcih such a thing even exists) has a bunch of stuff to do. The NDP is the only entity that can engage in electoral politics and associated activities within the movement. But every group in the movement can organize protests and the like. It makes little sense to me for the NDP to do the work that other groups can, should and do carry out at the expense of work only it can carry out.

Cueball Cueball's picture

George Victor wrote:

Always right there with the anal epithets, Cue dissociates himself from the real world of company pensions:

"George. I notice you spend considerable amount of time talking about shit you know nothing about. In this case the topic is me. I am getting CPP buddy and that is all. The last time I was in a union was the IWA, when I worked in forestry in the 80's.

As usual you have mixed up a lot of preconcieved notions about other peoples self interest (projection?) to fuel your anti-union hobby horse. I am not involved in "stock market" boondoggles, or "international investments". Nor are the unions actually, since they don't control how the pensions funds are used. They are controlled by a committee, in which the union voice is the smallest, as the teachers unions discovered when they tried to get Cadillac Fairview (a company you suggest they "own" and control) to negotiate a fair contract and rehire locked out CEP workers. In fact, the pensions funds are in control of a bunch of venture capitalists who are just as capable of losing all the pension money as they are of making it."

 

Then there was Cue, some weeks back, after explaining why he does follow the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan's fortunes rather closely: "I am married to an elementary school teacher you fucking moron."

The teachers suffer along with all dependent on the finance capital industry, as Cue explained:

"Having a successful pension fund speculating on the market that might blow up at any minute, is not "asking for more". Indeed, the value of OTTP has decreased by 30 Billion dollars over the last 3 years, doncha know it.

Quote:After eight straight years in the top quarter of Canadian pension plans, OTPP announced that the pension plan lost $21.1-billion of its asset base, which represents a negative 18% rate-of-return for the year ending Dec. 30, 2008. The fund's total assets have dropped from $108.5-billion to $87.4-billion."

But of course, Cue, it has always been a matter of whose ox is being gored. In this case, it's a matter of explaining how the majority of workers are to EVER enjoy the old age that you face, if there isn't an acknowledged role for at least a market designed to improve their lot, controlled by a state that reflects social democratic values.

What you don't seem to understand is that personal attacks are not allowed on this board. Indeed, my pension, and my wifes pensions have fuck all to do with anything. Using my personal life as a means personally attacking me, because you have nothing but arguments from authority, just shows what kind of sleezy guy you are. Indeed, your repeated attempts to assert that you knew what you were talking about in regards to the OTPP, ETFO and CUPE, and I didn't, because you had personal experience, led me to make the mistake of revealing personal information which you are now using to make even more personal attacks on me.

I knew I should never have revealed any such information. That was a mistake.

But, in this thread, you were talking about "me" not my wife. I don't receive my wife's pension. She does, when and if she ever gets one. How sexist is that idea? But here you are saying I am getting a special pension. Just plain distortions. What makes you think you have the right, or the authority to speak to my personal motives, connections, affiliations, on this board, when you have no idea who I am?

You simply have no arguments that are not arguments of authority. When those fail, impugn the speaker by making personal attacks. Even if you are the kind of person that only a mother could love, I had thought it might be possible to engage you in an honest dialogue. It seems that is just impossible without you dredging up any personal shit you possibly can to bolster your nastiness, in this case its not just "personal" ad hominem attacks, but my personal life, and not just mine, but the personal life of my family.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

George, stop making insinuations about Cueball's personal life in order to make passive-aggressive, unsubstantiated accusations of hypocrisy et al.

No Yards No Yards's picture

There's a lot of things that are missing from the NDP website

James Laxer has a blog post on rabble, it's specifically about the firearm registry and the NDP, but he makes some points relevant to this thread (or at least where the topic has migrated to) as well.

Quote:
For the past quarter century, those who run the federal NDP have been dedicated to the proposition that the party should position itself close to the centre of the political spectrum, and should advance proposals that are pragmatic and practical. If fully implemented, the current NDP platform might slow the widening of the wealth and income gaps in Canada. That's not a bad thing. But the party has trashed the vision thing. For those who believe that capitalism is a fundamentally flawed system, that Canada is unwise to put all its eggs in the basket of the American Empire, or who think that we have little time to halt the onset of irreversible environmental catastrophe, the NDP offers very little. Today's New Democrats are liberals who are not even in much of a hurry.

Cueball Cueball's picture

No because events like the G20 are not the particular domain of any particular group. They are the domain of a larger national agenda where numerous issues are brought under the umbrella in a single campaign through a coalition. It is precisely these moments where a party that asserts that it is the voice of a larger (composite) ideological view needs to take a direct roll. But, if the NDP does not sit at the table, then it will have no voice in how events will unfold, and likewise be disconnected as events unfold.

Indeed this disconect can be seen in the way that the party was really not prepared for dealing with the PR fallout from the flash point vandalism that occurred, and found itself floating along with the Harper agenda, first at city hall where the city concil voted unanimously to commended Chief Blair and the Toronto PD for a job well done, and even in Jack Layton's initial statement, where he added his voice to the howling chorus condemning the "violence" of the protestors, without any real counter point about the removal of civil liberties or the police violence perpetrated against the peaceful protests that were assaulted by the police.

Quote:
It is appalling to see the violence and vandalism we witnessed today. There are thousands of people in downtown Toronto frightened tonight about what is unfolding on our streets. And this deplorable incident is also driving people away from our city and hurting so many local businesses.

Criminal activity like this must be condemned, it is simply unacceptable.

This statement could easily have been issued by Stephen Harper, as it basically retierates Harper's statements on the day, complete with a nod to the importance of "peaceful protest".

Cueball Cueball's picture

In the broader context, what I am talking about is generating a national consensus (or at least effective resistance) in a hostile environment. It seems to me that any organization that really wants to go against the flow of the mainstream has to seek other means of propogating its message, and it seems to me that relying on the politics of "positioning" in liu of the politics of grass roots organizing, is really to miss one of the few ways that a new "national consensus" can be fashioned, in a hostile media environment.

Organization first, then everything else will fall into place. To me it comes down to what is useful, really, and to me organizing in communities is useful, while the politics of "positioning", either to the center, the right, or the left is not so much.

For me the question is not so about much what should the NDP be doing or what position it should be taking, but if it is relevant or not? I don't think whatever position it takes will be relevant unless it is actively working to cement alliances and build organization at the grass roots.

Stuart_Parker

Cueball, while we likely in accord when it comes to the kinds of positions the NDP should be taking, it seems to me that you are arguing for organizing strategies that seem outdated. When left parties were created in Europe and North America, the kinds of socio-political units into which people configured themselves were very different. Our society had more "organizational thickness" -- a much larger proportion of the population were members of civic organizations of one kind or another and these organizations tended to be much more geographically-bounded. Given that late capitalist society does not look like this, what does a "community" look like? And how does one organize in it?

remind remind's picture

Cueball wrote:
Remind has lots of political style.

Funny you say that,  just had a tie dying spee with the granddaughter a few days back and now have a wonderful 'new' tie dyed Alanah Myles event staff T shirt from her 1993/4 tour.

now I can "dress" for all my 'political styles'. ;)

KenS

Id like you to expand on that Stuart. Or parts of it.

Its pretty dense. I can think it through probably, but not sure how much relationship it would have to what you would say.

KenS

Cueball wrote:

it seems to me that relying on the politics of "positioning" in lieu of the politics of grass roots organizing, is really to miss one of the few ways that a new "national consensus" can be fashioned, in a hostile media environment.

Organization first, then everything else will fall into place. To me it comes down to what is useful, really, and to me organizing in communities is useful, while the politics of "positioning", either to the center, the right, or the left is not so much.

For me the question is not so about much what should the NDP be doing or what position it should be taking, but if it is relevant or not? I don't think whatever position it takes will be relevant unless it is actively working to cement alliances and build organization at the grass roots.

My highlight. I agree, to a point. And even though thats qualified, I think the eagreement is important. Even though the discussion in Educating the Public is about reaching people "en masse," I did also say that people learn, make breakthroughs, en route. In practice.

But it isnt enough. The limit of organizing at the grassroots, in communities, is that it depends on direct contact. That direct contact is the beauty. But its also limiting. In practice, and across numerous decades now, it is the "recruitment" of self-selection. Self-selecting and self-limiting in reach.

Thats the problem with reaching people as you said one at a time. Doesnt matter how hard you work, even how succesful you are. Look at our track record. We're dealing with fewer people than 40 years ago. It may not be a lot less. But we're flat lined at best.

And look at what 'communities' means in practice. Organizing 'the community' in Toronto means you have an enormous pool of people to draw from. So its not so difficult to aggregate like minded people. But how much are they touching their actual located community? Ditto for the big anti-glob marches- had to draw people from everywhere to do that. Were the members of communities they actually spend time with over sustained lengths of time, were those people there with them?

I'm ot saying this make it not really organizing in communities, but it is something that has to be included.

Bottom line: whats the reach of all this?

Not enough. Because mostly people dont come 'in the door' without a previous breakthrough your organizaing had nothing to do with. They self selected themselves to you and your fellow activists.

And where does that happen. In some cases it was some other contact with being actively included in organizing. But not most of the time. Which is where we get back to the self-selecting and self limiting phenomena of organizing we are accustomed to. And why we've been flat lined [if not worse] for over 40 years.

Which brings us back to you saying "it seems to me that relying on the politics of "positioning" in lieu of the politics of grass roots organizing, is really to miss one of the few ways that a new "national consensus" can be fashioned."

What you call "positioning"- what the NDP does most of the time- is a lame attempt at outreach.

Outreach "en masse" needs to happen. We need both en masse outreach and the politics of grassroots organizing- even if the latter is the only place things are solidified.

En masse outreach is the only way we are going to break through the fog to get the attention of enough people. Attempting to a new national consensus by relying on aggregated local organizing is a recipe for repeating our failures.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

Stuart_Parker wrote:

Cueball, while we likely in accord when it comes to the kinds of positions the NDP should be taking, it seems to me that you are arguing for organizing strategies that seem outdated. When left parties were created in Europe and North America, the kinds of socio-political units into which people configured themselves were very different. Our society had more "organizational thickness" -- a much larger proportion of the population were members of civic organizations of one kind or another and these organizations tended to be much more geographically-bounded. Given that late capitalist society does not look like this, what does a "community" look like? And how does one organize in it?

But Cue, you cite  this coalition Good Green Jobs  as a good example of organization, far better than what the NDP comes up with,  a coalition that looks  like it has  some muscle coming together to advance a good issue/set of issues in a good way  As I read their website they have done little in 4 years , covering a federal election,  some provincial elections, a world wide crisis of capitalism,  G28/G20 summit, a war in Afghanistan and a few other things,  except for a bit around EI cuts and a bit around Toronto Hydr., Oh, and they are sponsoring  a debate amongst the Toronto mayoralty candidates, moderated  by John Tory, former leader of the Ontario Conservatives and former candidate for mayor,now a radio talk show host  .Please defend your model.Innocent

"Indeed it seems to me that the kind of new and productive and sustainable enterprise that you were talking about is something like this: Good Green Jobs. Now this kind of thing is not really good enough, and might be too little too late, but is far further along the line of toward building a sustainable economy than Layton's proposal for "shovel-ready infrastructure projects just waiting" to be staffed with ten dollar an hour temporary day labourers."

KenS

And it doesnt have to be either / or.

"Grassroots organizing" or "top down educating the public."

Currently the only tools we have for en masse outreach are institutions that are not primarily commnity based. Like, but not limited to the NDP. So what little is done- or the ready at hand potential that exists for en masse outreach- IS indeed top down. Although I'd gladly take some top down en masse outreach... work on pushing the boundaries.

But it doesnt have to be done in those large insitutions. And communication tools we now have opens the possibilities. 

Upthread [post#46] I mentioned how an NDP riding association could locally do the work on how to push the boundaries of what people will consider- work that can be taken up by all everywhere. No coordination by or with 'the centre' required. You get their blessing without needing their approval of what you do or how you do it.

And it could be done by other localized organizations. An NDP riding association just comes with more of the tools at hand.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Stuart_Parker wrote:

Cueball, while we likely in accord when it comes to the kinds of positions the NDP should be taking, it seems to me that you are arguing for organizing strategies that seem outdated. When left parties were created in Europe and North America, the kinds of socio-political units into which people configured themselves were very different. Our society had more "organizational thickness" -- a much larger proportion of the population were members of civic organizations of one kind or another and these organizations tended to be much more geographically-bounded. Given that late capitalist society does not look like this, what does a "community" look like? And how does one organize in it?

That reflects a pretty traditional Marxist class analysis framing of community, through economy and I agree that the social organizations that took root in European society in the late 19th century and early 20th century were reflections of culturally homogeneous groupings that were usually tied to speciifoc geographic locations through common economic bonds. As such these groupings shared common experience, and culture which can be construed as "class consciousness". Not that I have a problem with Marx or even the idea of class consciousness, however, I personally believe that these tightly knit communities were such for many reasons beyond simple economic relations, including less obvious factors, such as religion, tradition, language and race.

It seemed to be something that could easily be pigeon holed as "class consciousness" within a purely economic assessment of social relations but in truth there were many underlying factors that bound community beyond economics, though "class" was an overt factor that is more obvious in a society which is otherwise pretty homogeneous.

However, in a society which is not overtly homogeneous, definitions of "community" can be seen to take on defining characteristics other than class. Traditional Marxist analysis immediatly runs into problems when it is used to try and stuff community into a traditional leftist economic critique, and ignore factors that were less obvious in a homogeneous society -- factors such as race and ethnicity. So you are right it is wishful thinking simply to try and assert a 19th century political analysis of community in the modern frame.

Looking at the organizations that form the coalition I referenced above, we can see that "community" still exists, even though it does not perform simply on the basis of specific geographic location or class.

Cueball Cueball's picture

peterjcassidy wrote:

Stuart_Parker wrote:

Cueball, while we likely in accord when it comes to the kinds of positions the NDP should be taking, it seems to me that you are arguing for organizing strategies that seem outdated. When left parties were created in Europe and North America, the kinds of socio-political units into which people configured themselves were very different. Our society had more "organizational thickness" -- a much larger proportion of the population were members of civic organizations of one kind or another and these organizations tended to be much more geographically-bounded. Given that late capitalist society does not look like this, what does a "community" look like? And how does one organize in it?

But Cue, you cite  this coalition Good Green Jobs  as a good example of organization, far better than what the NDP comes up with,  a coalition that looks  like it has  some muscle coming together to advance a good issue/set of issues in a good way  As I read their website they have done little in 4 years , covering a federal election,  some provincial elections, a world wide crisis of capitalism,  G28/G20 summit, a war in Afghanistan and a few other things,  except for a bit around EI cuts and a bit around Toronto Hydr., Oh, and they are sponsoring  a debate amongst the Toronto mayoralty candidates, moderated  by John Tory, former leader of the Ontario Conservatives and former candidate for mayor,now a radio talk show host  .Please defend your model.Innocent

"Indeed it seems to me that the kind of new and productive and sustainable enterprise that you were talking about is something like this: Good Green Jobs. Now this kind of thing is not really good enough, and might be too little too late, but is far further along the line of toward building a sustainable economy than Layton's proposal for "shovel-ready infrastructure projects just waiting" to be staffed with ten dollar an hour temporary day labourers."

Are you claiming that the NDP taking "positions" on the "world wide crisis of capitalism, G8/G20 summit and the war in Afghanistan", has produced results, over the last 4 years? Indeed, I challenge you to find me an instance where Jack Layton has ever noted the existence of a "world wide crisis of capitalism" -- any critique of "capitalism" per se, is far beyond anything that can be expected from the NDP in the present era, except perhaps allegorically, or euphemistically, if that.

Again I am not talking about taking positions on this that or the other thing. There is not a day that goes by why there NDP does not issue some statement or other about its position on this that or the other thing. I am talking about forming strong organizational links that mobilize people and build organizational strength through uniting people around a common progressive purpose.

Building alliances between community organizations is far more likely to bear fruit over the next 20 years, than ineffectively taking sometimes confused positions on such things as the war in "Afghanistan" and police repression at the G20 summit.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

Cueball wrote:

peterjcassidy wrote:

Stuart_Parker wrote:

Cueball, while we likely in accord when it comes to the kinds of positions the NDP should be taking, it seems to me that you are arguing for organizing strategies that seem outdated. When left parties were created in Europe and North America, the kinds of socio-political units into which people configured themselves were very different. Our society had more "organizational thickness" -- a much larger proportion of the population were members of civic organizations of one kind or another and these organizations tended to be much more geographically-bounded. Given that late capitalist society does not look like this, what does a "community" look like? And how does one organize in it?

But Cue, you cite  this coalition Good Green Jobs  as a good example of organization, far better than what the NDP comes up with,  a coalition that looks  like it has  some muscle coming together to advance a good issue/set of issues in a good way  As I read their website they have done little in 4 years , covering a federal election,  some provincial elections, a world wide crisis of capitalism,  G28/G20 summit, a war in Afghanistan and a few other things,  except for a bit around EI cuts and a bit around Toronto Hydr., Oh, and they are sponsoring  a debate amongst the Toronto mayoralty candidates, moderated  by John Tory, former leader of the Ontario Conservatives and former candidate for mayor,now a radio talk show host  .Please defend your model.Innocent

"Indeed it seems to me that the kind of new and productive and sustainable enterprise that you were talking about is something like this: Good Green Jobs. Now this kind of thing is not really good enough, and might be too little too late, but is far further along the line of toward building a sustainable economy than Layton's proposal for "shovel-ready infrastructure projects just waiting" to be staffed with ten dollar an hour temporary day labourers."

Are you claiming that the NDP taking "positions" on the "world wide crisis of capitalism, G8/G20 summit and the war in Afghanistan", has produced results, over the last 4 years?

Again I am not talking about taking positions on this that or the other thing. There is not a day that goes by why there NDP does not issue some statement or other about its position on this that or the other thing. I am talking about forming strong organizational links that mobilize people and build organizational strength through uniting people around a common progressive purpose.

 

I dont see this coaliton Good Green Jobs mobilizes people or builds organiztional strength through uniting people on a common progresive .From what little I see,and I may weel be wrong, I suspect a photo op or Liberal prop front group of soem kind/

 

 You ae the one who said it's  far further along the line of toward building a sustainable economy than Layton's proposal for "shovel-ready infrastructure projects just waiting" to be staffed with ten dollar an hour temporary day labourers." 

Just  exactly how is that coaliton far futher along ?

Fidel

If the LPC refuses to oppose the ReformaTories, then they should get out of the road and let the NDP do the job for them.

Cueball Cueball's picture

peterjcassidy wrote:

I dont see this coaliton Good Green Jobs mobilizes people or builds organiztional strength through uniting people on a common progresive .From what little I see,and I may weel be wrong, I suspect a photo op or Liberal prop front group of soem kind/

I am glad you are making it clear that you consider that a coalition containing the bulk of Toronto anti-racism activist organizations, local immigrant community organization of non-white folks, and the bulk of Toronto labour unions is suspect of being a front for "the enemy". 

Its good to know what side of the line you are on. Not that I am surprised to see NDP'rs take that kind of stand. Far be it from me to suggest that the NDP truly supports the labour movement, anti-racism or immigrant communities, in anything but name only, let alone deed. Case in point, really.

George Victor

Thus endeth the lesson.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Not really. I might have added that to truly make it a Liberal photo op, Jack Layton need only show up with a cameraman. But I didn't for fear of setting off a lot of howling and outrage. So you can thank me for not saying that.

Fidel

Liberals are nowhere. They will need the NDP after the next election if Iggy wants to be PM.

George Victor

Whatever gave you the idea that your captive audience is hanging on your own latest howlers?

Fidel

Fuck off?

Cueball Cueball's picture

2 responses in 7 minutes? Anything "constructive" to add, on topic?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Fidel wrote:

Liberals are nowhere. They will need the NDP after the next election if Iggy wants to be PM.

Did you just say Jack was going to make Iggy prime minister?

Fidel

Cueball wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Liberals are nowhere. They will need the NDP after the next election if Iggy wants to be PM.

Did you just say Jack was going to make Iggy prime minister?

Jack would allow Iggy to be a two-bit PM(three-bit PM if we count the Blocquistas in this theoretical partnership) while Jack and the NDP push the social agenda for Canadians. Iggy would still only be another token PM, a mere marionette controlled by Bay Street and corporate America as it usually is with these bought and paid-for colonial administrators in the two oldest political parties.

Lord Palmerston

 

peterjcassidy wrote:
I dont see this coaliton Good Green Jobs mobilizes people or builds organiztional strength through uniting people on a common progresive .From what little I see,and I may weel be wrong, I suspect a photo op or Liberal prop front group of soem kind/

A lot of people involved seem to be NDPers.  Where do you get this idea?

Cueball Cueball's picture

So, you are saying that the NDP would enable Iggy to "be another token PM, a mere marionette controlled by Bay Street and corporate America as it usually is"?

Business (with a capital "B") as usual. Can't say I disagree much with that projection. In the light of that kind of coming sellout (or should that be selloff?) I can't stress enough how important it is to build strong organizational links at the grass roots for the long term, which is what we need if we are going to weather the coming storm, and maintain even a slight smidgen of the values that we share.

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