Which potential NDP leader is the greatest threat to Blairize the party?

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Ken Burch
Which potential NDP leader is the greatest threat to Blairize the party?

Even though the Third Way has now been cast on history's dustbin, the party establishment of the NDP may still not have given up on it.  And at least someone who stands for the leadership is likely to argue that power-in-name is worth giving up most of what the party has historically stood for, as New Labour did-and is even worth lowering a future NDP government to send Canadian troops off to fight for oil in the Middle East.

Which of the potential leadership candidates, as you see it, poses the greatest danger of leading the party down the Blairite path to austerity and slaughter(to put it mildly...)?

JeffWells

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/f... here[/url]:

Brian Topp wrote:
And the root causes of all of this madness needs to be addressed in the style Prime Minister Papandreou is using to address the crisis here in Greece, against overwhelming odds – calmly, thoughtfully, and with determination.

There's much I like about Topp, but this is Third Way, all the way, and I can't support this in a leader.

 

Sine Ziegler

Really? We are having this discussion?

Aristotleded24

Sine Ziegler wrote:
Really? We are having this discussion?

I agree. The question over which direction the NDP should go is a valid one, but I think making it personal like this is counter-productive.

And once again, need I remind us all that there is no leadership race happening as of right now, there are no officially declared candidates, so focusing too much on who should run, who shouldn't, who is going to Blairize the party, who is going to turn the party left is, at this juncture, a complete waste of time and energy?

Doug

Is anyone even running on Blairizing the party? This discussion seems premature.

JeffWells

Aristotleded24 wrote:

The question over which direction the NDP should go is a valid one, but I think making it personal like this is counter-productive.

But a leadership race makes such a question personal, since we're chosing a person who, in large part, will set the party's direction. The question may be a bit premature, but I don't think it's inappropriate.

klexo

Sine Ziegler wrote:

Really? We are having this discussion?

I am not following. What is wrong with a discussion about the ideological inclinations of potential leadership candidates? Is this ever appropriate?

 

6079_Smith_W

Seems like a bit of a loaded and cynical question. 

But if we're getting speculative, I guess we already know who the worst possible leaders of the Harperites  and the Liberals could be. 

What about the CPC-ML? Which of them do you think is most likely to cause a forced-collectivism famine or blockade Calgary?

 

vermonster

None of them - unless Pat Martin somehow manages to win on a Liberal merger platform.

Whatever strengths and limitations any of the potential candidates have, they all have strong histories of defending socialist, social democratic and/or progressive values.

If our candidates wanted to be opportunistic "third way" folks, they would all have cast their lot with the Liberals years ago (and in the case of converts like Mulcair or Boivin, instead of with a party that was perpetually stuck in 3rd (or 4th) place until April of 2011.

In the UK, Labour was not a 3rd party, it was one of two historic governing parties - so it attracted opportunists like Blair who put power over values. The same cannot be said for folks who chose to run as proud New Democrats.

 

 

eastnoireast

vermonster wrote:

Whatever strengths and limitations any of the potential candidates have, they all have strong histories of defending socialist, social democratic and/or progressive values.

hmmmn, do you mean progressive values such as voting (twice) to bomb libya?

-

The same cannot be said for folks who chose to run as proud New Democrats.

rhetoric alert. Undecided

 

JeffWells

Who wanted to expunge socialism from the preamble? Answering that question could be another way of answering this question.

DaveW

It also depends what the party wants to do: come to power, or remain in opposition forever. In the latter position, much easier to hold this kind of ideological debate.

Getting over 25 per cent of the national vote on a sustained basis -- not at all guaranteed if Quebec 2011 was a bubble -- means reaching out to the great mass of centrist voters, most of whom are not unionized, not politicized and have no history of voting NDP.

 

josh

Mulcair.

Life, the unive...

So already we are personally attacking potential candidates who have not declared they are running, have not set out a platform, and have not given any indication of anything.

To quote Rev. Hawkes- How are we doing Jack?

dacckon dacckon's picture

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

So already we are personally attacking potential candidates who have not declared they are running, have not set out a platform, and have not given any indication of anything.

To quote Rev. Hawkes- How are we doing Jack?

 

This. Let them first announce they are running for the leadership role. Then, let them release their vision for the party. Then give them the rightly deserved criticism.

Krago

By 'Blairize the party', do you mean 'lead the party to three consecutive majority governments'? Wink

DaveW

good point: that candidate has my vote!

josh

Krago wrote:

By 'Blairize the party', do you mean 'lead the party to three consecutive majority governments'? Wink

Yes, because winning is all that matters.  You can stand for anything as long as you win.

 

"It was Tony Blair who pushed hardest for Canada to get involved in the 2003 Iraq invasion, not George W. Bush, former prime minister Jean Chrétien says."

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/09/06/pol-chretien-blair.html

Howard

Bob Rae Wink

 

And really....are we seriously having this conversation? If any leadership candidate came out and said they want to "Blairize" (eww) this party, they would get crushed like a bug.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Gary Doer, and I live in Manitoba. Evidence, look at his pipeline defense. What a dissapointment this guy is; and they love him here.

I don't know enough about any of the others to say otherwise.

Brian Topp Brian Topp's picture

JeffWells wrote:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/f... here[/url]:

Brian Topp wrote:
And the root causes of all of this madness needs to be addressed in the style Prime Minister Papandreou is using to address the crisis here in Greece, against overwhelming odds – calmly, thoughtfully, and with determination.

There's much I like about Topp, but this is Third Way, all the way, and I can't support this in a leader.

 

It remains to be seen if you'll have to confront that decision. But keeping sovereign governments (and provinces) out of debt traps is Tommy Douglas, not Mr. Blair.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

vermonster wrote:

In the UK, Labour was not a 3rd party, it was one of two historic governing parties - so it attracted opportunists like Blair who put power over values. The same cannot be said for folks who chose to run as proud New Democrats.

Provincially Sask., Man. and B.C. have seen the same phenomena.  Gary Doer stands out as someone who would take the NDP to the same place as Tony took UK.  But then he got involved in politics when the NDP provincially was already seen as one of the two "ruling" parties.  Ujjal Dosanjh is another example of an opportunist who chose the NDP to get to political power.  Federally the NDP has not had that kind of history but it does exist within the party.  

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Pat Martin at least waged a long war against the asbestos industry.

6079_Smith_W

Howard wrote:

And really....are we seriously having this conversation? 

I think it's quite serious - a serious way of using any opportunity to smear, even extending it to candidates who haven't declared and things that haven't happened .

Thing is - I'm not even a staunch supporter of the NDP, nor do I think one has to be to support them in the things which they are doing right.

But really, I think this tactic of division above all else is completely fucked, and nothing will ever come from it but destruction.

(edit)

and speaking of speculation, the only government or party which has not made a bad decision is the one which has never held power or done anything. So perhaps we should look at our real-world options instead of imagined ones.

 

 

ocsi

Brian Topp wrote:

JeffWells wrote:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/f... here[/url]:

Brian Topp wrote:
And the root causes of all of this madness needs to be addressed in the style Prime Minister Papandreou is using to address the crisis here in Greece, against overwhelming odds – calmly, thoughtfully, and with determination.

There's much I like about Topp, but this is Third Way, all the way, and I can't support this in a leader.

 

It remains to be seen if you'll have to confront that decision. But keeping sovereign governments (and provinces) out of debt traps is Tommy Douglas, not Mr. Blair.

 

Exactly.  (And you might have to repeat that many times here and elsewhere, Brian.)  Douglas knew all to well that enriching the banks was not the job of democratic socialists.  He knew that every dollar given to the bank in interest payment was a dollar not used to provide social services.

Hunky_Monkey

JeffWells wrote:

Who wanted to expunge socialism from the preamble? Answering that question could be another way of answering this question.

Many on the left consider themselves social democrats in the mold of Sweden's Social Democratic Party for example. That does not make them, nor those who advocated for the change to social democracy in the preamble, "Blarites".

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Gee 6979 if you don't want to talk about it then don't. If you hadn't noticed the person who started this thread, unlike you, is a staunch NDP supporter and has been for decades.  

Quite frankly I come here to discuss politics and politicians.  You may consider that inappropriate but frankly I don't give a sweet flying fuck whether you like it or not. Talking about a politician's place on the political spectrum is not smearing them or divisive it is just political discourse.  

Hunky_Monkey

A lot of this is pure speculation as well. I heard the Mulcair is a "Blarite" line before and that he wants to move the party to the centre. Ask those who state that to list Mulcair's centrist positions or examples of how he wants to move the NDP to the centre... all you get is silence.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

The question of course always comes down to how to raise sufficient government revenue to pay for the services needed.  It is only when the question changes to which programs can we reduce or cut that I have a problem with any government.  Indeed I agree that Tommy waited till he had the money to implement programs but I can't remember him cutting any services only slowing improving them over time.  I hope the NDP chooses a leader who understands the difference.

psmith

JeffWells wrote:

Who wanted to expunge socialism from the preamble? Answering that question could be another way of answering this question.

 

Answer: Jack Layton. His people were all over the effort to change it, though he was smart enough to stay away from the debate himself. You can argue what his reasoning might have been for changing the preamble.

6079_Smith_W

@ NS

Started by an NDP supporter? Well that must make it okay then.

Sorry if I think there is a problem with both the premature and negative theme, and  focusing on who we think people are, rather than what they actually say now.

Or perhaps I am just imagining that this thread seems very heavy on rumour and theory, and  thin on specifics.

"Who's going to drive the broken car over the cliff?" Given the recent pile-on on the official opposition, I think it is fair comment to say I think some of these threads are self-defeating and over the top.

(edit)

and psmith. Sorry, but I don't think he's running for the position. 

See what I mean?

 

 

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Brian Topp wrote:

JeffWells wrote:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/f... here[/url]:

Brian Topp wrote:
And the root causes of all of this madness needs to be addressed in the style Prime Minister Papandreou is using to address the crisis here in Greece, against overwhelming odds – calmly, thoughtfully, and with determination.

There's much I like about Topp, but this is Third Way, all the way, and I can't support this in a leader.

 

It remains to be seen if you'll have to confront that decision. But keeping sovereign governments (and provinces) out of debt traps is Tommy Douglas, not Mr. Blair.

..fuck the debt!

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

6079 

then don't participate and don't read it. Your an adult, make your own choices, don't tell the rest of us what choices we should make. Lots of threads to choose from on this board stay away from the ones you don't like. 

I mean really, a thread that the President of the party wants to engage in and you think it is somehow inappropriate?  LOL

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the debt was once internal meaning we loaned money to ourselves. in order to fleece the population it was privatized. now it is used as a sledge hammer to pummel us into submitting to the ravaging of our country by corporations. if this is how it's going to be used i take no responsibility for it. fuck the debt.

JeffWells

Brian Topp wrote:

JeffWells wrote:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/f... here[/url]:

Brian Topp wrote:
And the root causes of all of this madness needs to be addressed in the style Prime Minister Papandreou is using to address the crisis here in Greece, against overwhelming odds – calmly, thoughtfully, and with determination.

There's much I like about Topp, but this is Third Way, all the way, and I can't support this in a leader.

It remains to be seen if you'll have to confront that decision. But keeping sovereign governments (and provinces) out of debt traps is Tommy Douglas, not Mr. Blair.

 

Agree with that. But the Douglas legacy includes economic justice, and I don't see justice in PASOK's austerity measures. I think socialism should offer a competing paradigm to neoliberalism, especially now that its catastrophic failure is as clear as its ethical bankruptcy.

6079_Smith_W

epaulo13 wrote:

..fuck the debt!

Sorry to disappoint, but in the real world it usually works the other way around.

and @ NS

Nah, I think I'll just continue to comment when I feel it is appropriate, and if that includes pointing out that this thread properly belongs in the babble fiction section so be it.

 

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..fuck the debt!

Sorry to disappoint, but in the real world it usually works the other way around.

and @ NS

Nah, I think I'll just continue to comment when I feel it is appropriate, and if that includes pointing out that this thread properly belongs in the babble fiction section so be it.

..in the real world it's those who use the debt against us that fuck us over. that would be governments in collusion with capital. and if this is how it is used.... 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

..in the real world it's those who use the debt against us that fuck us over. that would be governments in collusion with capital. and if this is how it is used.... 

..and i will admit to being wrong if shown. but if i'm right who's got my back? this issue is humongous and will indenture us for generations. who in the ndp is raising this issue? who in the ndp presents a different position re debt that is not just a transfer of wealth? 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I think this discussio over leadership and who is most "3rd way" actually is very valid.

I mean, I spoke about Doer in respose to the question, and I don't see anyone who replied to it. Instead, we are discussing debt and how the meme is being bought that we need to focus on it without looking at who's holding it and how that came to be; a meme by the way that is very "3rd wayish", and shows how relative this thread actually is. We are buying into classical Lib Canada framing. Not to mention we aren't even really discussing declining government revenues. Its like we are afraid to talk about raising taxes on the wealthy and making an effective case.

Honestly, I have given up on the NPD in many ways ever being a real left wing party anymore. I'll still hold a membership, work at elections, and talk to elected officials who are party members as chance allows, but it does't really matter all that much as they'll do whatever they want, and if it means moving to some kind of imagined "center", then they will do so.

Frankly, that depresses the hell out of me. I think epaulo has made some really good points, and you guys should at least think about what he wrote. As for the rest of it, well, it is what it is.

I am off from work this week and have a lot of time on my hands, and time to think. Maybe that isn't such a good idea. As Harvey Stovel said in 12 O'clock High, "I was thinking, which is something a man shouldn't do". It is a line from what was a truly first rate movie, but even though a work of fiction, it is still a source of insight in many ways.

By the way, even though it has nothing to do with this thread, Happy Labour Day! I hope everyone had a good summer and has a great Fall.

Cheers!

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

LTU:

Sorry to post this here in this thread, but I am trying to send you a message. How do I do that? Maybe you could message me and I could reply. Thanks.

Sine Ziegler

I like the direction the party is going on right now. I think the NDP should continue to move in the direction it is going. Anyone have a problem with how the NDP is doing?

 

Isn't Blairism and Third Way an outdated concept anyways? 

Policywonk

Sine Ziegler wrote:

I like the direction the party is going on right now. I think the NDP should continue to move in the direction it is going. Anyone have a problem with how the NDP is doing?

 

Isn't Blairism and Third Way an outdated concept anyways? 

What do you like about the direction the Party is going?

JeffWells

Sine Ziegler wrote:

Isn't Blairism and Third Way an outdated concept anyways? 

The branding is outdated, but the concept is very much alive, and remains a clear and present danger for the party, IMO.

 

Stockholm

If there is a "Third Way", what is the first way and the second way?

Tommy_Paine

I think you have to come at this from the perspective that as agents of change, political parties are obsolete.

Even if the left of the left at Babble formed a cabinet in a left wing government, we'd be hemmed in by a lot of realities and one of the realities is that governments can't just do what they feel like doing, even if you think they should be able to.

People have to be the agents of change. Different political parties just means how difficult getting the change will be.

We should expect an easier time with an NDP government, naturally.

However, as we have seen with the perfidious British Labour Part, the Irish Labour Party, and the socialist party in Greece, and the fact that someone from the IMf could even be entertained as the leader of the French socialist party, we should be evaluating the NDP regarding how much of a foe it would be to the changes we want now, and in the future.

But don't expect it to be the agent of change. 

dacckon dacckon's picture

Third way IS outdated. It did not save Blair/Brown's govt from losing in the polls. They privatized things that should have never been like the rails, and they followed Bush into a war of stupidity. Britian's labour party has moved beyond it(almost).

 

Third way historically actually meant Democratic Socialism. Which was considered between capitalism and communism.  But this eventually evolved into third way meaning social democracy that was suppose to cling to the centre to regain working class voters from the conservatives. It was suppose to be, when it was considered a compromise position, to be 50% capitalism with 50% socialism. But Blair and others changed it into 90% capitalism with 10% socialism.

 

As for Gary Doer, as ambassador, he is the voice of the goverment, nothing more and nothing less. If he were to say, "fuck harper is wrong", he would get removed from his position in 5 minutes.  Third way was a very dogmatic approach, but it did get results. If I recall, Gary Doer's govt LOWERED child poverty and stopped workers form falling to their deaths because the previous government didn't care. Gary Doer took the party from 3RD PLACE to 1ST PLACE. Blair cut crime dramatically and lowered unemployment from the thatcher age. As much as I despise Blair, it was better than that witch Thatcher. It had to be done after labour tried to commit suicide. But now is the time to move on from blairism and never look back.

In conclusion, third way is dead because it was dogmatic. It was no different than the NDP socialist caucus. Why? Dogma over pragmatism. Third way was privatize, liberalize, free market... the result was a recession in the UK. "conservative socialism" was nationalize nationalize nationalize, and the result is stagnation. Do take the time to read Doer's speech, as much as I disagree with him over economic policies, he makes a very good point.

 

 

josh

Blair was better than Thatcher? Talk about setting the bar low.

And there were two elections after 1983. Labour improved it's performance in each. Had John Smith not died, he likely would have become PM. And Blair would have just been another minister.

Stockholm

Just think if John Smith had lived we'd all be talking derisively about "Smithism" rather than Blairism.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

.

Fidel

JeffWells wrote:

Brian Topp wrote:

JeffWells wrote:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/f... here[/url]:

Brian Topp wrote:
And the root causes of all of this madness needs to be addressed in the style Prime Minister Papandreou is using to address the crisis here in Greece, against overwhelming odds – calmly, thoughtfully, and with determination.

There's much I like about Topp, but this is Third Way, all the way, and I can't support this in a leader.

It remains to be seen if you'll have to confront that decision. But keeping sovereign governments (and provinces) out of debt traps is Tommy Douglas, not Mr. Blair.

 

Agree with that. But the Douglas legacy includes economic justice, and I don't see justice in PASOK's austerity measures. I think socialism should offer a competing paradigm to neoliberalism, especially now that its catastrophic failure is as clear as its ethical bankruptcy.

 

Socialism is still competing with a cold war era lie which provided a glimpse of paradise to billions of people. And it was a mirage.  Soviet communism couldn't compete with those lies, and neither could the federal NDP for the longest time. Socialists simply weren't very good liars and for a long time promised just the basics and essentials of life - not very sexy compared to middle class capitalism based on endless consumption.

And it was a colossal lie because scientists will tell us that globalizing "this" what we thought we had in North America, is simply unsustainable. Even though The Environment and laissez-faire capitalism are incompatible with the other, hundreds of millions of people, and those who vote and still believe in capitalism, still aspire to a way of life that is incompatible with living things in general.

I think it has to collapse further and for more people to realize that the prosperous cold war era economies based on lies are never coming back. And the two old line parties have a lot of disasterous policies for the NDP to cherry pick in the mean time. But it's a matter of time. People have to wakeup, and I think  this and the next generation of North Americans are increasingly disappointed and angered by the legacy of capitalism. There is a specter haunting Europe right now, and it's making appearances here in North America in various places. NDP the official opposition in Ottawa? Something's happening.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Arthur Cramer wrote:

I think this discussio over leadership and who is most "3rd way" actually is very valid.

I mean, I spoke about Doer in respose to the question, and I don't see anyone who replied to it. Instead, we are discussing debt and how the meme is being bought that we need to focus on it without looking at who's holding it and how that came to be; a meme by the way that is very "3rd wayish", and shows how relative this thread actually is. We are buying into classical Lib Canada framing. Not to mention we aren't even really discussing declining government revenues. Its like we are afraid to talk about raising taxes on the wealthy and making an effective case.

Honestly, I have given up on the NPD in many ways ever being a real left wing party anymore. I'll still hold a membership, work at elections, and talk to elected officials who are party members as chance allows, but it does't really matter all that much as they'll do whatever they want, and if it means moving to some kind of imagined "center", then they will do so.

Frankly, that depresses the hell out of me. I think epaulo has made some really good points, and you guys should at least think about what he wrote. As for the rest of it, well, it is what it is.

I am off from work this week and have a lot of time on my hands, and time to think. Maybe that isn't such a good idea. As Harvey Stovel said in 12 O'clock High, "I was thinking, which is something a man shouldn't do". It is a line from what was a truly first rate movie, but even though a work of fiction, it is still a source of insight in many ways.

By the way, even though it has nothing to do with this thread, Happy Labour Day! I hope everyone had a good summer and has a great Fall.

Cheers!

Thank you for this, Arthur. I think you've captured much of what I feel I am grappling with.

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