Ousting quasi-dictator Harper means putting country ahead of party: Dobbin

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Unionist
Ousting quasi-dictator Harper means putting country ahead of party: Dobbin

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Unionist

[url=http://rabble.ca/columnists/2012/01/ousting-quasi-dictator-harper-means-... Dobbin's column[/url]:

Quote:
The NDP and the Liberals are still playing the game whose rules allowed Harper to gain the power he has. Blind to the deadly threat to the civilized nation built by several generations of Canadians, these two parties still behave and plan as if they are in a simple competition for seats in a normally functioning Parliament.  [...]

Canadians, whether they are party members or not, must force these two myopic political parties, both trapped in an old paradigm, to recognize the new reality and put the country ahead of their own narrow interests. They must find a way of co-operating in the next election -- along with the Green Party which is already on side -- to rid the country of this quasi-dictator. But they won't do it on their own. Ordinary citizens will have to convince them.

Needless to say, Dobbin support's Cullen's plan (such as it is). And like Cullen, he seems to think Québec doesn't exist - or that it will succumb favourably to appeals to put "country ahead of party".

I'm quite certain that given the degree of sectarianism and petty partisanship afflicting all federal political parties, without exception, Harper will have a free ride for as long as he wants - or until the popular movements get their act together and force him out.

writer writer's picture

I can only repeat what I posted here:

Quote:

“But I want to really leave it to the members. I really need to have a mandate given to me by New Democrats to say that they're willing to get out of the bunkers, shake hands on some agreements together and make sure that we don't have a Conservative government again ... It would have to be driven from the grassroots. If they're into it, then I'm into it. If they're not, then we'll do it the old traditional way ... The real sticking point with the Bloc is that their fundamental purpose is to destroy the country. So to work with them in such an intimate way would be harmful to my view of Canada. I mean, they individually and many of their voters are progressive . Many of their voters came to us in the last election. But if the primary reason that the party exists is to dissolve Canada, then I can't count on sitting down with them for something like this."

— Nathan Cullen

If I understand this correctly, Cullen is saying that his idea for cross-party cooperation is dependent on the desires of specific ridings and what they want to do. That it will be defined and "driven" by the grassroots. Except in Québec. Suddenly there, the we becomes the I. Becomes "my view" becomes "I can't count on sitting down with them ..."

So basically he's saying Quebecers can't be trusted. The province that honoured us with support to such a degree that we are now the Official Opposition? The province we're trying to gain membership from to mirror more closely what our standing is in the House of Commons? Those new grassroots, representing a potential new vision for what this project called Canada is all about, shaking all the old fights, all the old dynamics?

Can't. Be. Trusted.

At this point, unless he's able to backtrack big time, I am hoping he has a very, very poor showing come the convention. Because I really do not want Quebecers to get even a whiff that such a poison pill will be indulged by the rest of the country. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I prefer the link to Dobbin's article in The Tyee which someone posted in the NDP leadership thread, for the comments that follow - there's quite a discussion going there (52 comments to date).

Gaian

quote: "I'm quite certain that given the degree of sectarianism and petty partisanship afflicting all federal political parties, without exception, Harper will have a free ride for as long as he wants - or until the popular movements get their act together and force him out."

Those "popular movements" seem to be getting less popular all the time, numberically in serious decline. They are all just racing for the lifeboats.

Perhaps the barriers are not so much a case of "partisanship" as sectarian and ideological nitpicking, reliance on moral suasion? If Harper can continue to devastate the welfare state, using the same arguments from mainstream economics that his counterparts are using around the world, perhaps it's time to change the drummer who gives us the beat? But it's not likely to start hereabouts, where any mention of economics brings out the shouts of "centrism", whatever that might mean in their world, so free of economic and historical change.

KenS

If only petty partsanship was the main problem. [Or as U. seems to thing, the obstacle that removes possibilities.]

I'm not willing to go to the same doctor so I can have the lobotomy that allows me to see straight like Murray.

 

And Unionist:

Cullen's inability to bury what you call petty partisanship and include the BQ in his plan, is not the problem.

It is symptomatic of the political diletantism turned Cullen's whole edifice is built on.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

 

Cullen's inability to bury what you call petty partisanship and include the BQ in his plan, is not the problem.

 

It's got nothing to do with the BQ. He has refused any agreements with separatists - or in his words, those who want to "destroy the country". Attitudes like his will certainly "destroy the country".

And failure of people to unite against Harper - no matter what their political stripe (even conservatives) - will do likewise.

As for Gaian's plaint that the popular movements are losing strength: If they do, this country is finished. Progressive people can't sit around "observing" that the movement is weak, while enthusiastically filling thread after thread about a foolish leadership contest. If they do, this country (and their party in the first place) is finished.

 

Gaian

Unionist wrote:

KenS wrote:

 

Cullen's inability to bury what you call petty partisanship and include the BQ in his plan, is not the problem.

 

It's got nothing to do with the BQ. He has refused any agreements with separatists - or in his words, those who want to "destroy the country". Attitudes like his will certainly "destroy the country".

And failure of people to unite against Harper - no matter what their political stripe (even conservatives) - will do likewise.

As for Gaian's plaint that the popular movements are losing strength: If they do, this country is finished. Progressive people can't sit around "observing" that the movement is weak, while enthusiastically filling thread after thread about a foolish leadership contest. If they do, this country (and their party in the first place) is finished.

 

But if committed folks like those all around here are not ready to discuss the issues that have put finance capital in the driver's seat - just make jokes about it, as some are given to doing - then where would you expect it to come from. As for "enthusiastically filling thread after thread about a foolish leadership contest," I would suggest that only some of it is foolishness,baseless speculation, using the same criteria for evaluation as their MSM anchor.

writer writer's picture

 

Quote:
 You just do not give a shit about the actual realities of electoral politics. You do not really want to engage in that.

Wow. KenS. Please stop speaking for other people, and framing massive sweeping assumptions as facts. It's really, really toxic.

Gaian, anyone claiming that popular movements are losing strength wasn't paying attention over the last year. Changing, maybe, but not dying. Far from it. In Toronto, there's a budget process underway that is bent on gutting our public sector, and cleaving the city into haves and havenots. Many unions are acutely aware that this effort has broad implications outside the city. We're not waiting for the NDP leadership results and the cooperation of various political parties federally to get out there and fight for the people of this city. Nor are we waiting for some leader to give us the proper formula for success. We are the formula for success.

As for Dobbin: with a few word substitutes, did he not more or less write the same column in 1988? How's that working?

Let's talk about uninspired, repetitive messaging that is doomed to fail in motivating the populace – let alone alienating our brothers and sisters in Quebec – shall we?

Dobbin's last point seems to be encouraging people to join the Liberal Party or the NDP to make needed changes, and push the parties in desirable directions. Okay, but you can't join both. You have to choose. So wouldn't it make sense to be strategic and pick one party for this particular project? Say, one that is vulnerable and weak and in the midst of an identity crisis? One that has experienced a series of setbacks and is looking for a way out of the wilderness? Seems to me that's the party to target, if you are into such things.

 

KenS

Clarification:

I dont think that the appeal of Cullen's plan to others is necessarily a product or sign of ditetante politics. 

For example, in your case Unionist, it isnt just 'petty partisanship' that bugs you. You just do not give a shit about the actual realities of electoral politics. You do not really want to engage in that.

Mind you, in that particular case it might be splitting hairs to not call that an expression of dilletante politics. Because there is something out of synch in the picture of someone who devotes so much attention to what comes out of electoral politics, but is absolutely unwilling to engage with 'the details' of what exists.

But I think I'm digressing here.

On second thought, after reading the previous post, apparently it is not a digression.

Gaian

Who is this "you" and "your" in your post, Ken. Ah, I see it's writer. Whew

KenS

@ writer #8:

 

I stand by saying that Uniosist does not give a shit about 'the details' of electoral politics; while having a great deal to say about what comes out the pipe.

I'm not sure why you think that is directed at anyone else, or an assessment of social movements.

To make the difference explicit: we are pretty far apart for what we [apparently] think needs to be done in electoral politics, not withstanding a lot of overlap. And until your participation in the running threads, I would not know that you gave the NDP and electoral politics more than fleeting attention.

But even before your participation in the threads, I would not make any assessments about you like I just made about Unionist.

And for what its worth, here is what I would say now: I cannot buy into what I would call the crusaders approach to change within the NDP and going out to the country with that. Which is one way/reason people support Romeo. But based on what I see, I am confident that you make your choices while attending to the 'messy details' of electoral politics as it is.

KenS

Previously George, when I ignored your snide comments, you get progressively more abusive in following comments.

I started ignoring those comments when returning the compliment obviously did not work. Who could imagine that you would be even worse when I did not engage.

So obviously I cannot just trust that if I ignore, you will stop.

Since it is still early stages here, do you have another strategy that you can suggest to me?

writer writer's picture

KenS, you might want to go back and reread my post. You seem very confused. Some revisions I made (likely at the time you were writing your response) might help. And yes, I did know you were addressing Unionist. No matter. Mindreading is toxic, wherever it is applied. I wish it was less of a culture here on babble. It's a strange form of bullying and negation, whoever uses it.

Quote:
 And for what its worth, here is what I would say now: I cannot buy into what I would call the crusaders approach to change within the NDP and going out to the country with that. Which is one way/reason people support Romeo. But based on what I see, I am confident that you make your choices while attending to the 'messy details' of electoral politics as it is.

I don't understand most of this.

Slumberjack

KenS wrote:
I stand by saying that Uniosist does not give a shit about 'the details' of electoral politics.... 

Why does he get all the credit?

KenS

I think we will have to agree to disagree writer. Your edited change is noted.

I can accept that it is unlikely productive to go there, but I do not think my observation about Unionist is a sweeping generalization or mind reading. 

Gaian

KenS wrote:

Previously George, when I ignored your snide comments, you get progressively more abusive in following comments.

I started ignoring those comments when returning the compliment obviously did not work. Who could imagine that you would be even worse when I did not engage.

So obviously I cannot just trust that if I ignore, you will stop.

Since it is still early stages here, do you have another strategy that you can suggest to me?

I've no idea where your're at, Ken.

I really seriously fear your ability to call forth condemnation, that experience a couple of days ago was just too much, and I'm going to continue to STUDIOUSLY avoid direct comment on your posts.

Please do the same.

Unionist

Thanks for turning the thread into industrial waste, folks. Much appreciated.

writer wrote:
And yes, I did know you were addressing Unionist. No matter. Mindreading is toxic, wherever it is applied.

Thanks, writer. That's the nicest thing anyone has said about me in this thread!

 

KenS

A lot of misunderstanding going on here. Some of it based on changing itterations/clarifications of what people said.

But the comment writer about you and your support of Romeo was rooted in having mistakenly understood that you thought I was making a comment about people in general.

I was not. But I thought I would illustrate the difference: seeing you as someone who approaches electoral politics in a different way than I do and with different expectations.... but that I explicitly see you doing that as someone who attends to the 'messy details' of electoral politics as it is, just as much as I do.

writer writer's picture

KenS, seeing as Unionist has actively supported and volunteered for candidates during elections, I do. Anyway, I guess he's the judge of that one. And I still don't really get what you are saying about Romeo, etc., but this doesn't really matter to me, to be honest. It seems to be a tangent unrelated to the topic at hand, borne out of a misunderstanding on your part.

I've just reread the end of Dobbin's article. Sorry, but I just don't get this:

Quote:
... if enough Canadians concerned about the rapid devolution of their country and its democracy pressure both these parties -- or join them to do so -- anything is possible. A movement to demand such co-operation and a commitment to proportional representation as part of it, may be the only thing that can save the country. The time for that movement is upon us. If we wait till 2014 it will be too late.
 

If enough of the population living in Canada (I wouldn't limit it to "Canadians") is actively concerned about the rapid devolution of the country, our force could lead to interesting changes. Changes that can't really be choreographed. I do agree that we shouldn't wait until 2014. I disagree that the main issue is with Harper. The shift has been upon us for decades, was hastened with the end of the Cold War, and is being experienced globally. To pin it all on Harper is to miss the forest for one tree.

Slumberjack

writer wrote:
If enough of the population living in Canada (I wouldn't limit it to "Canadians") is actively concerned about the rapid devolution of the country, our force could lead to interesting changes.

?

knownothing knownothing's picture

Maybe Dobbin should quit telling people to vote Liberal like he did in the last election and then we can get rid of Harper!

Gaian

Gaian wrote:
Unionist wrote:

KenS wrote:

 

Cullen's inability to bury what you call petty partisanship and include the BQ in his plan, is not the problem.

 

It's got nothing to do with the BQ. He has refused any agreements with separatists - or in his words, those who want to "destroy the country". Attitudes like his will certainly "destroy the country".

And failure of people to unite against Harper - no matter what their political stripe (even conservatives) - will do likewise.

As for Gaian's plaint that the popular movements are losing strength: If they do, this country is finished. Progressive people can't sit around "observing" that the movement is weak, while enthusiastically filling thread after thread about a foolish leadership contest. If they do, this country (and their party in the first place) is finished.

 

But if committed folks like those all around here are not ready to discuss the issues that have put finance capital in the driver's seat - just make jokes about it, as some are given to doing - then where would you expect it to come from. As for "enthusiastically filling thread after thread about a foolish leadership contest," I would suggest that only some of it is foolishness,baseless speculation, using the same criteria for evaluation as their MSM anchor.

I'll repeat this one, U, as an example of how the call for discussion of specific concern goes down the pipe. Is this post worth responding to? Do you think that people here are ready to discuss recent economic history,say what Robert Reich says in AfterShock, without dismissing it out of hand. Bageant explains the destruction of organized labour in the U.S. in similar fashion. Are none of these people good enoughto provide a springboard for discussion?

Avoiding using witticisms like this :"
Gaian wrote:
No, social democrats have to make use of saved capital to save the welfare state.

U: "Haven't they saved capital for long enough? [ducking...]"

To kill or distort threads.

Anything but serious discussion.

Gaian

What is more, Jack set out to end the need for New Democrats to contemplate strategic voting with Liberals.

Or was that Jack's mistake? (gasp)

writer writer's picture

Slumberjack, if you spell out your question, I will happily attempt a response. In the meantime, here's some helpful bolding of some definitions as provided by a random online dictionary.

Quote:
 1. The capacity to do work or cause physical change; energy, strength, or active power: the force of an explosion.

2. a. Power made operative against resistance; exertion: use force in driving a nail.

b. The use of physical power or violence to compel or restrain: a confession obtained by force.

3. a. Intellectual power or vigor, especially as conveyed in writing or speech.

b. Moral strength.

c. A capacity for affecting the mind or behavior; efficacy: the force of logical argumentation.

d. One that possesses such capacity: the forces of evil.

4. a. A body of persons or other resources organized or available for a certain purpose: a large labor force.

b. A person or group capable of influential action: a retired senator who is still a force in national politics.

5. a. Military strength.

b. The entire military strength, as of a nation. Often used in the plural.

c. A unit of a nation's military personnel, especially one deployed into combat: Our forces have at last engaged the enemy.

6. Law Legal validity.

7. Physics A vector quantity that tends to produce an acceleration of a body in the direction of its application.

8. Baseball A force play. 

knownothing: Last federal election, I came to the realization that I've been hearing the panicked cries for strategic voting my whole adult life. That's now more than 20 years. I've reached the conclusion that it has been one of the most damaging impulses ceaselessly indulged by leftish pundits, sucking the life and hope out of so much. I'm sick and tired of it. To the bone. To see it dug up time and time again, no matter the dynamics, no matter the realities on the ground, as *the answer* ... it's boring, alarmist, uninspired, distracting and fantastically unsuccessful.

knownothing knownothing's picture

We need to build oil refineries if we want to win. The NDP should just come out and say it.

KenS

At least from within the organization in his own riding and the surronding region, Cullen's campaign is shot through with that millennialist sensibility.

I dont quibble with the sharing of the 'its us or them' approach to Harper and his crew. But this is not the sort of thing that drives most people. So it SHOULD be ruled out as the basis for a movement.

KenS

Thats certainly a more useful way to put it writer.

And I can regret my 'contribution' even while being unapologetic for the analysis/opnion behind it.

 

Even if not anywhere near as frequent, I think the attirbution of so much to the limits of partisanship is in the same league as the distracting calls for strategic voting.

It is not partisanship that stands in the way of ridding us of Harper. It is the lack of success in presenting an inspiring alternative to Canadians. And quasi-millennialist alarmism feeds that.

 

 

 

Slumberjack

writer wrote:
Slumberjack, if you spell out your question, I will happily attempt a response. In the meantime, here's some helpful bolding of some definitions as provided by a random online dictionary.

It was a simple question about what you meant by the term 'our force.'  I thought for a moment you were being specific, and I got all flush...but I'm ok now...thanks anyway.

Aristotleded24

writer wrote:

I can only repeat what I posted here:

Quote:

“But I want to really leave it to the members. I really need to have a mandate given to me by New Democrats to say that they're willing to get out of the bunkers, shake hands on some agreements together and make sure that we don't have a Conservative government again ... It would have to be driven from the grassroots. If they're into it, then I'm into it. If they're not, then we'll do it the old traditional way ... The real sticking point with the Bloc is that their fundamental purpose is to destroy the country. So to work with them in such an intimate way would be harmful to my view of Canada. I mean, they individually and many of their voters are progressive . Many of their voters came to us in the last election. But if the primary reason that the party exists is to dissolve Canada, then I can't count on sitting down with them for something like this."

— Nathan Cullen

If I understand this correctly, Cullen is saying that his idea for cross-party cooperation is dependent on the desires of specific ridings and what they want to do. That it will be defined and "driven" by the grassroots. Except in Québec. Suddenly there, the we becomes the I. Becomes "my view" becomes "I can't count on sitting down with them ..."

So basically he's saying Quebecers can't be trusted. The province that honoured us with support to such a degree that we are now the Official Opposition? The province we're trying to gain membership from to mirror more closely what our standing is in the House of Commons? Those new grassroots, representing a potential new vision for what this project called Canada is all about, shaking all the old fights, all the old dynamics?

Can't. Be. Trusted.

At this point, unless he's able to backtrack big time, I am hoping he has a very, very poor showing come the convention. Because I really do not want Quebecers to get even a whiff that such a poison pill will be indulged by the rest of the country.

Writer, thank you for adding another important perspective on what is wrong with Cullen's proposal, especially in terms of treating Quebeckers with respect. Such rhetoric can only be divisive and help the Bloc, which would only bring about the result we are trying to avoid.

Brian Topp said it best when he said that removing Harper will take work and that there is no shortcut to this end. It seems Dobbin doesn't realize that he and his ilk have been trying to "Stop Harper" since 2004 (even further back, when you look at the Reform and Canadian Alliance) without any success. The irony is his insistence that the NDP needs to "learn important lessons" even though Jack came close to defeating Harper, while Dobbin himself can't seem to learn any lessons of his own.

Brian White

Clearly Cullen cannot be trusted with leadership. And he should quit with the name calling.  If you cannot bring yourself to sit down with the separatists, (a fellow canadian with a passport just as good as yours),  really you are a separatist yourself.

Just an english speaking one. Or an imperialist. I tend to go with the second one.

Why not just change your name to Ignatief? He is the first idiot who chose harper as PM over himself.

Because he was too high and mighty and IGNORANT to talk to the "lower class" canadians. Or to keep his word to them.

(As a new canadian, that's how it looks to me). By the way, where I grew up, if you write something down, it is binding, even for politicians. But in Canada, the politicians seem to be above all that. It is kinda screwey.

I mean, the idiot ignatief had a signed agreement with the "separatists" (as did Jack).

Perhaps the reason the ndp did well in Quebec is because Layton DIDN"T break his word to them, unlike every other party.

Don't waste Layton's legacy on people like Cullen. He belongs in the trash with Ignatief.

I wonder what he thinks of first nations? Similar views to Harper?

writer wrote:

I can only repeat what I posted here:

Quote:

“But I want to really leave it to the members. I really need to have a mandate given to me by New Democrats to say that they're willing to get out of the bunkers, shake hands on some agreements together and make sure that we don't have a Conservative government again ... It would have to be driven from the grassroots. If they're into it, then I'm into it. If they're not, then we'll do it the old traditional way ... The real sticking point with the Bloc is that their fundamental purpose is to destroy the country. So to work with them in such an intimate way would be harmful to my view of Canada. I mean, they individually and many of their voters are progressive . Many of their voters came to us in the last election. But if the primary reason that the party exists is to dissolve Canada, then I can't count on sitting down with them for something like this."

— Nathan Cullen

If I understand this correctly, Cullen is saying that his idea for cross-party cooperation is dependent on the desires of specific ridings and what they want to do. That it will be defined and "driven" by the grassroots. Except in Québec. Suddenly there, the we becomes the I. Becomes "my view" becomes "I can't count on sitting down with them ..."

So basically he's saying Quebecers can't be trusted. The province that honoured us with support to such a degree that we are now the Official Opposition? The province we're trying to gain membership from to mirror more closely what our standing is in the House of Commons? Those new grassroots, representing a potential new vision for what this project called Canada is all about, shaking all the old fights, all the old dynamics?

Can't. Be. Trusted.

At this point, unless he's able to backtrack big time, I am hoping he has a very, very poor showing come the convention. Because I really do not want Quebecers to get even a whiff that such a poison pill will be indulged by the rest of the country. 

 

Brian White

The NDP came nowhere near defeating Harper.  And next time round, without a man of integrity, and after pissing off Quebec,  they will be distant second or close 3rd again.

The problem in Canada is that apart from the brief period of Dion, Layton and "the separatists" with the accord, all the Canadian party leaders and members are happier to be the biggest fish in their pond (and eat Harpers shit) than to be loyal patriotic Canadians,  put Canada first  and gang up on the bully.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Brian Topp said it best when he said that removing Harper will take work and that there is no shortcut to this end. It seems Dobbin doesn't realize that he and his ilk have been trying to "Stop Harper" since 2004 (even further back, when you look at the Reform and Canadian Alliance) without any success. The irony is his insistence that the NDP needs to "learn important lessons" even though Jack came close to defeating Harper, while Dobbin himself can't seem to learn any lessons of his own.

NorthReport

Dobbin is basically fronting for the LPC.

He is boring and passe and its time for some fresh faces around here. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Harper will remain in power as long as he wants to be in office, because the opposition to him is so split. I predict the NDP will remain Official Opposition probably for the next few elections at least. This country is so screwed.

KenS

Message to you and Unionist, and many others:

Each political party is itself the expression of a big tent coalition of real people. And in none of each of those coalitions is there unity in overiding opposition to Stephen Harper- to many or most he is just another Prime Minister they did not vote for and would prefer be replaced.... they do not revile him. That is even true of the de facto coalition of voters and supporters the NDP bodies- the unity in despising Harper is a projected myth. And it is true big time for the Liberal Party.

There is NO basis for a majoritarian coalition united around despising Harper Crew as a disease we must be rid of.

There is a basis for a majoritarian coalition that includes us 'despisers'- but whose aspirational unity is framed around wanting something else we are not getting.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

You're entitled to your opinion, as am I. I believe there is in fact overriding revulsion of Harper's policies and his governing style - but we're (sadly) not interested in joining together to overthrow his government by means of a coalition. That means we're stuck with Harper in power for as long as he cares to remain in office.

KenS

I'm not sure I would call it 'overiding'- but there is in the many circles I am part of a pretty strong anipathy to Harper and what he is doing to the country, that in principle at least would consider an awful lot of options for disposing of him.

But there is a GREAT deal of self selection in terms of who among the many people who are in our lives we have extended enough discussions with to gauge such opinions- to say nothing of our limited powers as individuals for reading what in addition plays into those expressions, which in turn we without thinking about it have a strong tendency to fill in assumptions of what lies behind those expressions.

Just do some basic notional math.

Dont take the May election as the last word. Take it as a basis for enquiry.

There is a simplistic view that everyone who did not vote for Harper- or at least most of them- is opposed to him.

We know that there is a huge block of people who wonder whether they will vote for Harper Crew or the Liberals. Do you really think that most of the people who voted Liberal place the highest priority on being rid of Harper?

All survey data that asks beyond who peole intend to vote for tell us that most of those people are looking at the pros and cons of voting for or against Harper. If they might go one way or the other, where is the basis for this revulsion you see?

And what about the great number of swing voters who are choosing between the Cons and the NDP. In the hinterlands of BC and many places across the country they are the biggest bloc of voters in play. If everyone is so revolted by Harper, how can there be so many people trying to decide whether they will vote for the NDP or Harper?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

In other news, theologians still debate about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

6079_Smith_W

Boom Boom wrote:

You're entitled to your opinion, as am I. I believe there is in fact overriding revulsion of Harper's policies and his governing style - but we're (sadly) not interested in joining together to overthrow his government by means of a coalition. That means we're stuck with Harper in power for as long as he cares to remain in office.

I expect there are Liberal supporters (and Bloc, Green, and other parties) who are saying the same thing and blaming us for not putting politics aside to join them to defeat Harper. 

Plus, coalitions don't get made before elections unless you do something like what is mentioned in Dobbin's article, and pick and choose ridings  or regions - something which does exist in some countries. 

Problem is that is kind of anti-democratic if parties just decide they can make that decision for the electorate, and doing it from the grassroots? Possible, but look at the difference of opinion there is on it here. 

And there are a whole bunch of other things which affect this question - electoral boundaries, population, and the prospect of proportional representation. It is far from simple - certainly not as simple as saying let's just put everything aside and get rid of Harper.

So I don't think that it is that people aren't interested - it is just that there is no consensus on how to do that. No one is to blame for that. 

If there were consensus enough to cooperate and divvy up ridings,. there would probably also be enough agreement that Harper's opponents would all be in one big party, and whether you think that is a good idea or a bad idea, clearly those conditions do not exist.

(edit)

Plus, if parties or riding associations did decide to cooperate, all it would take is one rogue who doesn't want to play ball and throw his or her hat in the ring as an independent alternative representing the "real" party members, and the whole plan would be screwed up.

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Unionist wrote:

KenS wrote:

 

Cullen's inability to bury what you call petty partisanship and include the BQ in his plan, is not the problem.

 

It's got nothing to do with the BQ. He has refused any agreements with separatists - or in his words, those who want to "destroy the country". Attitudes like his will certainly "destroy the country".

And failure of people to unite against Harper - no matter what their political stripe (even conservatives) - will do likewise.

As for Gaian's plaint that the popular movements are losing strength: If they do, this country is finished. Progressive people can't sit around "observing" that the movement is weak, while enthusiastically filling thread after thread about a foolish leadership contest. If they do, this country (and their party in the first place) is finished.

 

It's interesting that Harper eschews separatists and enjoys a majority, while some progressives seem to believe that embracing them will bring them to power. Should they succeed, then what?

Unionist

If power is what you're after, by all means, follow Harper.

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Unionist wrote:

If power is what you're after, by all means, follow Harper.

 

How does that follow?

autoworker autoworker's picture

Unionist wrote:

If power is what you're after, by all means, follow Harper.

 

How does that follow?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Harper's going to be PM for as long as he wants the job, barring a miracle (unlikely), so if you want political power, he's the one to follow.

However, I haven't completely lost hope, there's still a slim possibility the NDP might win in 2015.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

Harper's going to be PM for as long as he wants the job, barring a miracle (unlikely), so if you want political power, he's the one to follow.

However, I haven't completely lost hope, there's still a slim possibility the NDP might win in 2015.

So, the NDP eschews political power??? I'm missing something.

Fidel

KenS wrote:

Message to you and Unionist, and many others:

Each political party is itself the expression of a big tent coalition of real people. And in none of each of those coalitions is there unity in overiding opposition to Stephen Harper- to many or most he is just another Prime Minister they did not vote for and would prefer be replaced.... they do not revile him. That is even true of the de facto coalition of voters and supporters the NDP bodies- the unity in despising Harper is a projected myth. And it is true big time for the Liberal Party.

There is NO basis for a majoritarian coalition united around despising Harper Crew as a disease we must be rid of.

There is a basis for a majoritarian coalition that includes us 'despisers'- but whose aspirational unity is framed around wanting something else we are not getting.

Okay, this is KenS' most lucid post in a long time, and I agree. If anyone is familiar with talk surrounding how to build a Stanley Cup winning hockey team, I think similar strategies apply to politics in Canada. We need to project all the little things that might appeal to the casual voter. I think the NDP has done a pretty good job of it so far. But we need to capitalize on the mistakes and political turnovers handed off by the Harpers over the next four years. We need to pounce and play a great transition game.

FPTP is not rocket science. It's not like we are having to try to appeal to every voter in the country just those Canadians doing the choosing in elections. And I believe they are not complicated voters looking for the perfect party. I think we have to give and take a little on policies if we want to win this absurd game of FPTP for the first time in Canadian history.

But we can't continue holding out for the perfect party campaigning within a far from perfect electoral system. The two themes are incompatible and likely to result in one election victory for us in a blue moon over Ottawa on Guy Fawkes night, or something pretty close to it. FPTP is all about electing a worst past the post party and even the most well funded by Bay St party. Not everyone, as Ken says, is as politicxally fickle as your average babbler is.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I am 100% certain that the NDP is hungry for government power, but the hard part is making that happen.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Meanwhile... Sorry, World. We fucked up. A website to apologize to the rest of the world for the Stephen Harper Government.

Aristotleded24

Brian White wrote:
The NDP came nowhere near defeating Harper.  And next time round, without a man of integrity, and after pissing off Quebec,  they will be distant second or close 3rd again.

Only the NDP and Elizabeth May defeated sitting Conservative MPs. The Liberals bled seats to the Conservatives. There were also polls coming out towards the end of the election that had the Conservatives and the NDP in a statistical tie.

Fidel

That's right, Jack and the NDP were fighting two wolves not one in the last election. The zinger during the debate occurred when Jack turned to Iggy and blurted out,

                          "And you've been his best friend!"

Iggy never recovered from that one. And so now we have a real opposition party in Ottawa.

bekayne

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Only the NDP and Elizabeth May defeated sitting Conservative MPs. 

How many sitting Conservative MPs were defeated outside of Quebec (other than Gary Lunn)?

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