rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Liberals trot out Paul Martin to decry NDP's 'far-right' swerve

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Image: Flickr/Andrew Reeves

Want to see an election campaign fact rich and spin poor? Chip in to keep our fact check blog up to date.

The claim: Paul Martin says the NDP has moved to the "far right." Is he right?

The basis for his criticism is that Martin is a Liberal and he supports the Liberals. But the claim has gotten some traction online. Who's closer to communism, and who's closer to fascism this race?

Infrastructure spending: the Liberals committed to spending $125 billion over 10 years. This spending would be the cause of the potential deficits that they plan incur in the first three years. They will work through the New Building Canada Fund, a fund that finances public sector infrastructure by using public-private partnerships for the largest projects.

The NDP has committed to fixing roads and public transfer, and paying for some of it through gas tax money, but they have yet to launch a more robust, or detailed infrastructure spending program. Unless they end up announcing an infrastructure program financed through P3s (which the NDP has routinely opposed), it'll be hard for the NDP to out-flank the Liberals to the right for this set of promises.

Social issues: While both parties share in certain progressive politics, the NDP has consistently come out firmly on one side of many issues while the Liberals wobble. For example, Trudeau has taken a hard stance on access to abortion but the issue still divides some Liberals. The NDP is soundly pro-choice. The Liberals have opposed a $15 federal minimum wage by claiming it won't help people the NDP doesn't claim it will help; and their childcare benefit would not fix the high cost and scarcity of spaces, unlike the NDP's promise for $15 per day childcare. Martin is still seen by many as the guy who cut Canada's national housing strategy, a cut that the NDP opposed and references from time to time.

And the Liberals supported Bill C-51. What good is a left-wing policy when the ability to protest is severely threatened?

Policing: The NDP's $250 million promise to hire more police is not a progressive promise. The Liberals haven't made any promises about policing so: point Liberals.

Record: Martin will go down in history for having overseen the first deep cut to the Canada Health and Social Transfer in the post-war period. He pulled $7.6 billion out of the transfer and it sent shockwaves across the provinces. The public service was slashed. NAFTA was never repealed. It makes one wonder: why did they trot out Paul Martin? Was Bob Rae unavailable? The optics would have been better, at least for non-Ontarian Canadians.

What is this actually about then?

During the 2014 Ontario election, the argument that the Liberals had outflanked the ONDP on the left gained huge traction, but it's unlikely to work in this election. The parties are in different places in the polls and the massive infrastructure promise from the Liberals does not hold the same place that an Ontario Pension Plan did. NDP has been much stronger than the ONDP, especially thanks to promising progressive policies, like an increased minimum wage and lower cost daycare. 

 

Verdict:


 

Want to see an election campaign fact rich and spin poor? Chip in to keep our fact check blog up to date.

 

Image: Flickr/Andrew Reeves

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.