Cameron and Dobbin

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Cameron and Dobbin



In "rabble columns" Duncan Cameron and Murray Dobbin implore us to get involved in this election:

[url=]Turning Back Harper[/url]

[url=]Harper's Majority[/url]

I am not convinced by either view. True, I will likely vote as always do, for the NDP. I believe it is the party that is more likely to represent my interests than the others.

There was a day when I was an ideologue who, with the ferver of an evangelical Christian, attempted to sell political involvement and commitment to the NDP amoung my fellow members of the working class. It used to annoy me to no end when I ran into "it doesn't matter, they are all liars/crooks" kind of thing, or similar expressions. In my arrogance, I chalked it up to them being lazy thinkers.

And, maybe with about five percent of the population, that's true. But, with voter turn out dipping below the 60% area, what about the other 35%? All lazy thinkers? Dullards? Come now.

I have come to realize that isn't the case. The people who are not voting are not voting because there is no point for them to vote. No one represents their interests. So, they shouldn't vote.

And, I probably shouldn't either.

However we want to identify ourselves, "progressive", "left wing", "socialist" "working class", we are kidding ourselves if we think a legislative system invented by 19th Century aristocrats can ever be a vehicle for serving our interests.

We can't win playing thier game, on their ground. You win by changing the game, by making sure the battle is fought on ground of our choosing. That is what corporations did with NAFTA and "globalization". They are beyond our reach, now, fighting us on ground of their own making.

Even if the NDP wins this election, do we really expect much to go our way as a result? Can Layton tame the Senate? Survive R.C.M.P. security or lack of it? Actually legislate for working people within the confines of NAFTA?

What, really, can an NDP government really hope to accomplish on our behalf?

The problem with the left is that we've never understood the nature of political power. It's all prepositional: It's what you can do [i]for[/i] or [i]to[/i] people. And while that power seems to reside in Parliament or in our provincial legislatures, I tell you the pea does not lie under that shell.

Never did, never will.

While we need a few voices in our legislatures and Parliament, the left shouldn't be wasting it's energy on this ultimately futile endeavor.

Instead, we should be engaging ourselves and the growing number of unrepresented population in how to kick over the board, and start a new game.

George Victor


What, really, can an NDP government really hope to accomplish on our behalf?

How about this scenario: It can begin to create a green-based economy and infrastructure as we collectively batten down and prepare for species survival - our own among the many.

Those corporations that now dangle before us visions of a decent life in old age, will have to be reformed to perform both the investment function and production as though in wartime. In fact, a wartime economy with command features has worked well in the past, and will again.

It's too soon to put such a scary scenario before an already frightened electorate. But it must be shown that the NDP does have the economic smarts to help bring this off.

That will replace the greens' with their "let the market do it" through carbon taxes. It's good that Layton didn't go there.

Homo sapiens haven't learned much since your namesake got folks all stirred up, a couple of centuries back. We have to be the ones that recognize what will be required for our species to survive on this planet.

As Duncan Cameron shows us, the top 40 per cent income earners are Harper's targets. We have to ask those folk if their political leader has anything reassuring to say about their kids' futures with his policies.

A sizeable block of younger Liberals chose Dion for exactly this reason, forgetting that they would have to get the message past the knuckle-dragging element across the floor.

The fate of our Earth and ourselves is finally coming to be seen as completely interdependent, creating a new political landscape, and the sooner we get that fact across, the more progressives can do politically. That's the ace in a brand new political game that's coming down the pike.

[ 13 September 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

[ 13 September 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

[ 13 September 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]


I resolutely believe that your thinking, and much of the thinking on this message board-- as much as I respect it, admire it, love it, is predicated on an outdated idea of looking to government first to solve our problems. How many times do we have to be dissapointed, ripped off, violated to understand this model to be wrong? Every social program put in the hands of government is either stolen from, or used as a lever of fear to manipulate us.

Social programs and other initiatives, in order to work, have to be taken out of the hands of politicians.

We are twenty years behind where we should be on green initiatives, and it's not because of lack of public interest, but because of our political system.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Tommy I agree with a lot you have to say. Perhaps though I come at it from a different angle. I tend to agree with your view that government has lost much of its power. I believe that government has significant power, but the room to take on new powers is very limited.

I believe that the place for action is in the community. Of course having supportive politicians is very important, and I continue to work to elect politicians. However where I have seen change and participated in change is by working in the community changing attitudes one person at a time. That for me is the future of change.


Nothing succeeds like success, as they say. I'm on the board of directors of a non profit day care, and I see various forms of non profits as a model for many things.

Similarly, a non profit company that gets ordinary people "off the grid" in terms of household utilities and electric cars would, I think, do more, and more quickly for both consumer protection and planet protection than any government could. For the life of me, I don't understand how no one has connected the dots between the environmental need for clean energy, and the bonus of individual liberty being free from predatory corporations.

Things like this can only be accomplished through what you are talking about, Pogo. Governments will not and can not accomplish these ends, no matter if we all voted, and no matter who we vote for.

But the above is just one example, on one issue. We have a justice system that is little, or no better than the justice systems of the middle ages, or even further. And that won't be fixed by governments, nor will it be fixed by community involvement.