Where Does the NDP Go Now ?

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KenS
Where Does the NDP Go Now ?

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KenS

Time for your basic idenity crisis.

To me, the big first question is not the typical jump to "What Direction(s) Should the NDP Go." Among the predictable way stations on that one is what the one true way has always been, it has been proven that not going there [as if we all agreed where there is] is a failure, etc.

The prior big question is whare do we have this discussion? Wnat conditions do we need to create for this be both deep and productive?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

The NDP needs to distance itself from the Liberal playbook. Go back to their roots,sound more like Bernie Sanders than Hilary Clinton and find a smart,charismatic leader that can connect with the electorate.

There's a lot of time and another majority government to keep their election promises. 2011 and the last Alberta election proved that people are not afraid of the NDP and will vote that way in the future.

I see some hope in the future.

KenS

The "natural place" for these discussions is in practice the episodic leadership races. On paper, that is part of what they are about.

In practice, leadership races trample, subjugate, and marginal these discussions.

And they do that LONG before the race officially happens. It has de facto begun here on babble: Next Federal NDP Leader .

The good questions about direction of the party do come up in that discussion. And its too early to see any evidence of how the positioning of leadership races colonizes and then completely diverts that question.

But it will come as surely as the sun rises.

For having a discussion it is not required that Tom Mulcair leave as leader. In some ways it would be nice if we were spared the distraction.

Because it is a majority government, we have time.... and the consensus is that if Mulcair does resign, the replacement process should be given considerable time.

 

 

One way or another we have time for a discussion for the future of social democracy. There is no reason to let that be baudlerized by the soon to come de facto leadership campaigns and their collective narrative.

To put that more generally: the party structure is utterly incompenet for developing the thoroughness of discussion required. Don't wait. Dont leave it to them to "lead".

Brachina

 I don't think it has to de facto trample a policy discussion, all the leadership candiates will be putting forth a variety of ideas to explore.

 I personally would like to see the BoC vs debt issue visited, a more clear policy for our military, bill C-36 killed and prostitution legalized, a more gender neutral approach to murdered and missing FNs, free university education, higher taxes on the rich and corporations, a better expressed approach to fair trade, gun control devolved to the provinces, a more ambitious cap and trade proposal, bill C-54 killed, some to find a solution to the Niqba situation that does fuck an innocent person over, but allows us to rebuild in Quebec and the roc, a pharmacare program that is off the ground quicker, a national childcare program, a national dentistry program, a fight against international austerity, stronger links to Corbyn and Sanders, a universal basic gareenteed income, more resources for addiction treatment instead prisons and other stuff I haven't thought of yet.

Brachina

 Oh and a more pro GMO approach.

josh

Back to the Future. To the left. Stop trying to be a kindler, gentler Liberal party. People will choose the original over an imitation.

SeekingAPolitic...

My two cents worth on Mulcair. If the NDP wants run a centrist campaign again then he is not a bad choice. The campaign was designed to highlight Mulcair strengths and his beliefs. Personally I believe that he was honest with what he wanted to accomplish with the exception of the TPP. I think he would have caved on the TPP if he got into office, maybe a few superficial changes to so the public can see how effective he was and the thing would have gone through.

If the NDP wanted a more left of center campaign then Mulcair is a bad choice. Economic left wing populism is something that is not in his wheel house. I think that forcing Mulcair into something he is not only spells trouble for the NDP. So I think if Mulcair sticks around then by default its going to be another centrist platform.

I truly believe that future will see a rise of both the populist political parties of the right and the left. Look at Europe its politics is polarizing at a frightening pace. Europe is being squeezed economically and its been turned in the biggest political experiment of modern democracy ever seen. Europe is politically where North America will be in a decade. And we are not immune, look at Trump and Sanders people are rallying to both there populist messages in the US. If people were truly content with the usual politics then Trump and Sanders would be political nobodies. I will give Harper his due, the worst job growth and worst economic record in decades and he was still in the hunt for a minority. With some deficits and some tax cuts he has been able to keep 40 – 30 percent of the voting public in his camp. And keep polarizing politics in check, reminds me of that frog story about being boiled. The heat is slowly boiling the frog and it does not sense danger until it’s too late. We are being slowly squeezed economically but things are just not bad enough to have a political reaction.

Pondering

Brachina wrote:

 I don't think it has to de facto trample a policy discussion, all the leadership candiates will be putting forth a variety of ideas to explore.

 I personally would like to see the BoC vs debt issue visited, a more clear policy for our military, bill C-36 killed and prostitution legalized, a more gender neutral approach to murdered and missing FNs, free university education, higher taxes on the rich and corporations, a better expressed approach to fair trade, gun control devolved to the provinces, a more ambitious cap and trade proposal, bill C-54 killed, some to find a solution to the Niqba situation that does fuck an innocent person over, but allows us to rebuild in Quebec and the roc, a pharmacare program that is off the ground quicker, a national childcare program, a national dentistry program, a fight against international austerity, stronger links to Corbyn and Sanders, a universal basic gareenteed income, more resources for addiction treatment instead prisons and other stuff I haven't thought of yet.

You are choosing divisive issues like Harper did in the hopes of appealing to the left's special interest groups want rather than what would benefit the majority of Canadians and be supported by them.

Trudeau won Quebec and yet he defended the right to wear a niqab and the Clarity Act. The Sherbrooke Declaration is not a winning strategy. It is not what the majority of Quebecers or Canadians want. It is a focus on the negative. Prostitution is divisive. People who are against legalizing brothels feel strongly about it, the grand majority of those in favor of legalization still find it distasteful and harmful and don't want brothels in their neighbourhoods. They see it as a red light district sort of thing not in the apartment next door. It won't sway moderate votes in favor of the NDP.

It seems bizarre to me that progressives are willing to fall on their swords over prostitution and the Clarity Act both of which stand to lose voters but were willing to be timid on trade deals and basic income and marijuana and taxes to get elected.

The NDP needs to strike at the heart of neoliberalism without using the word neoliberalism. For the environmental movement one of the major keys has been exposing the truth, highlighting the direct damage of oil spills while continuing climate change education has been bolstered by increasingly erratic weather and eroding coastlines. Truth will out.

I think trade deals are the oil of neoliberalism. The part that reveals direct damage. Trade deals are sold on the notion that they create more and better jobs than they cost. Access to cheaper goods manufactured elsewhere means we can spend our money on more things. It is a boon to consumers.

Overblown rhetoric isn't necessary and it is counter-productive at this stage. People just need the facts. With the facts they can come to their own conclusions. That is always more powerful than having someone sell you their conclusion.

 

 

wage zombie

SeekingAPoliticalHome wrote:

And keep polarizing politics in check, reminds me of that frog story about being boiled. The heat is slowly boiling the frog and it does not sense danger until it’s too late. We are being slowly squeezed economically but things are just not bad enough to have a political reaction.

I agree with your post, but it turns out that frog story is a myth.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I want safe injection sites in Montréal,I want brothels and I want legal weed. I sincerely hope that at least ONE of these things is accomplished in the next 4 years.

My riding's new MP has been pushing for more social housing. Again,if accomplished,I'm happy.

The Liberals have ran a campaign with big promises. I'd be happy if they kept half of them. BUT Liberals and promises............

Sorry for the double post, but now with three dozen or so NDP ex-MPs from Quebec, that is a tremendous base from which to start up the provincial NPD and rattle Couillard and his austerity agenda.

KenS

injection sites, brothels, weed, rattling Couillard.

Usual shopping list. Its not the items that are in the list that are a problem- it is the shopping list habit.

What you like, and everybody else likes and does not like, does not aggregate into discussing the future direction of the party.

 

But we can see if we can agree on some things to salute. Did someone say something about shopping lists?

quizzical

Brachina wrote:

 Oh and a more pro GMO approach.

 

what do you mean?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

imho...a push from the grassroots demanding more democracy would be a good place to start. something that would lead to new internal structures being created that guarantee voices from below are not only listened to but acted upon.

NDPP

No more support for Israeli terrorism and Nazis in Ukraine!

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

NDPP wrote:

No more support for Israeli terrorism and Nazis in Ukraine!

Out of all the possibilities, promise wise or other, I can safely bet the house that it will not include changing policies concerning Israel or the Ukraine. I'm very sad to say.

NDPP

None expected. Stupid is as stupid does.

Bill Dare Bill Dare's picture

KenS wrote:

Time for your basic idenity crisis.

To me, the big first question is not the typical jump to "What Direction(s) Should the NDP Go." Among the predictable way stations on that one is what the one true way has always been, it has been proven that not going there [as if we all agreed where there is] is a failure, etc.

The prior big question is whare do we have this discussion? Wnat conditions do we need to create for this be both deep and productive?

I'm not sure were the debrief is going on in Babble, but I found this article useful along with comments.  http://theleftchapter.blogspot.ca/2015/10/delusion-continues-to-rule-day...

 

lagatta

Unlike Israel, I think a withdrawal of Canadian military "adviser" presence in Ukraine is possible, but it should be framed in anti-interventionist terms, not in terms of the parties involved. But a seriously left NDP must be able to at the least speak out against Israeli aggression, and eventually develop a policy that is not fawning towards Zionism. And stand up to the crap about critics of Israeli policy being "antisemites". 

I don't support C-36, but think anyone saying "I want brothels" should expect scathing looks at least. There are other ways of eradicating sexual exploitation than the C-36 approach which is all repression - in certain cases still even against prostituted people - and a ludicrous pittance in terms of funding for alternatives. Such social, educational and healthcare alternatives are far more important in ending sexual exploitation than any law can be.

I think Trudeau said very little about the damned Clarity Act. Some people here just like to beat up on Québec, but that angryphone crap is best ignored. Some people read the Gazette and the Suburban too much. The right to national self-determination is a principle - but not only for Québec; the burning issues nowadays involve self-determination and empowerment of Indigenous nations.

Left parties have to develop a relationship with social movements; not the "party of labour" in the sense of social democracies 100 years ago, but to develop dialogue with labour and other social movements. Yes, I know Québec solidaire is still small, but one area where we have developed is in listening to and working with social movements without attempting to dominate them or channel their work into "the party". Of course some NDP activists have done the same, but in general the NDP takes little part in social struggles in the streets.

Slumberjack

It's actually any leftist persuasions that remain in the NDP, if any still exist, that should go elsewhere.  The party itself can go to blazes.

terrytowel

Since the NDP is no longer the Official Opposition they have decided to rename themselves as the Progressive Opposition.

Unionist

Bill Dare wrote:

I'm not sure were the debrief is going on in Babble, but I found this article useful along with comments.  http://theleftchapter.blogspot.ca/2015/10/delusion-continues-to-rule-day...

Thanks! Actually the debrief is going on all over the place, and that very article has been posted in [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/election-2015/ndp-can-only-recover-if-it-remembe... thread[/url] and [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/election-2015/national-campaign-director-anne-mc... thread[/url] and perhaps others... So pick your conversation! We really should try to be more organized, but I think a linear discussion model doesn't really permit that.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Good bye Mulcair. Too bad your elected MPs don't have the collective guts to give you one good push.

If you wanted to be of service you would lay out a play to rebuild, set up and get the hell out of the way. The latest comments about running in the next election are very poor leadership. You really want to be the only elderly person in the next election and redo your catastrophic road show? Get real. And get it fast.

And while Mulcair says he is responsible in theory he has not allowed any suggestion in practice as to what specifically he did wrong. He has had over a month to have something to say -- it was clear he was blowing it a month ago. Now we will have Mulcair the lawyer prove to us why he was not wrong for the next few years. No thanks.

Someone quick --  tell the man he lost, lost badly and he can do something to help the party prepare for the next election and then he has to get out of the way. If he wants to insist that he can run in the next election as leader, he has to be taken out now. Right now. These musings about running in the next election are harmful to the party and damaging to the credibility he has left.

Mulcair gambled on the wrong style and direction. Perhaps this is the only style he has to offer but there is no point waiting for him to find a new inner self. Don't like the fake smiley version. Don't like the petty nit-picky version. Don't think the lawyer prosecutor is going to connect to the public. He missed the right tone and never found it. The election campaign had plenty of time to get that right and perfect it: it seems he just does not have that in him. Let's be fair he has his moments, but he also has tendencies that comeletely wreck those. I do not want to see Mulcair lead the party in the next election trying to fine-tune an approach that already has been proven to be a failure.

Give him no sympathy or support until he states clearly that he will not run in the next election.

Stick around and I'll tell you how I really feel.