This Should Be the NDP's Moment to Shine

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R.E.Wood
This Should Be the NDP's Moment to Shine

Fairly in-depth cover-story article in Macleans about "This Should Be the NDP's Moment to Shine - So Why Isn't It?" which also lays out what it sees as the three paths forward for the party, what Singh should do, and considers whether party members will give him the grace period that was allowed to Layton.

https://www.macleans.ca/politics/this-should-be-the-ndps-moment-to-shine...

Aristotleded24

This article has aged very well, especially given the failure of the Corbyn and Sanders movements to gain real political power for the people they represent. Regardless of what happens with the NDP, if it is even worth attempting to salvage at this point, one thing is clear to me: Singh needs to be shown the door ASAP, and the federal party needs to keep him at a distance. The last election was essentially handed to him on a silver platter, and he still managed to lose seats. This election will not be so kind. The one thing he can point to that he accomplished is the CERB. Maybe that would have been enough last year, but people have moved on. They are tired of covid, they want to get back to normal, and they want a plan to do that. I'm not seeing anything coherent from Singh or the federal NDP on that front. (A basic income scheme that doesn't provide people enough money to live off of and possibly attached to a government surveillance and social credit score is not a plan. This is probably the kind of plan we will end up with, as opposed to a basic income that truly addresses poverty as people in poverty have been demanding.) What have they actually accomplished in this last Parliament? I didn't see any meaningful horse trading or negotiations with the Liberals on the budget. Singh claimed that voting for the budget was to prevent an election, but that is completely outside of Singh's control. Harper set the precedent of pulling the plug on a minority Parliament in 2008, and I expect Trudeau to do the same thing some time this year. The Liberals will probably come out with a tax-the-rich plan that looks like the NDP's plan, and only hard-core NDP partisans will be able to tell the 2 parties apart. (Remember that Singh was part of the same Ontario NDP caucus which, in 2014, pulled the plug on the Liberals, could not explain to the voters why after propping them up for 3 years, and handed the Liberals a majority in that election.) I expect the election to be favourable to Trudeau. Every Premier leading a minority government since the pandemic started has been able to secure a majority. Rallies and large gatherings will still not be a thing, so there will be few opportunities to challenge Trudeau or for him to gaffe out. Voter turn-out and overall interest in the election will be low. I also wouldn't put it past the government to arrange "targeted lockdowns" in certain regions in order to suppress the vote in certain close races, especially if the Liberals are organized enough to get their own supporters to the polls early in these places. The only thing standing in the way of a Trudeau majority at this point is a failure of the vaccine rollout.

As for Singh? He alienated many NDPers by twice throwing Niki Ashton under the bus this year. Under his watch, the NDP has largely stood by and watched as we endure the largest scale attack on human rights and civil liberties in the country's history. This is both from the lockdowns and the coming Internet censorship legislation. The Conservatives actually did a better job calling out the internment hotels fiasco  than the NDP. The straw that breaks the camel's back for me was Singh calling for invoking the Emergencies Act. Does he think anything good will come from allowing what is effectively a military dictatorship? It's mostly his support base that will bear the brunt of such civil liberties violations. I hated Mulcair, but at least when he was leader, I could honestly defend the NDP for its principled stance in opposition to C-51 when the issue was current. There's no defense for using a pandemic to usher in totalitarian rule.

So disappointing. I worked very hard to elect an NDP MP because I wanted a check on Trudeau's power. Now it seems like it doesn't really make any difference, with nothing to show, which is sad because I do believe Leah Gazan's heart is in the right place. So, is there any option worth voting for? Would we lose anything if the NDP were to be obliterated in the next federal election?

cco

Aristotleded24 wrote:

As for Singh? He alienated many NDPers by twice throwing Niki Ashton under the bus this year. Under his watch, the NDP has largely stood by and watched as we endure the largest scale attack on human rights and civil liberties in the country's history. This is both from the lockdowns and the coming Internet censorship legislation. The Conservatives actually did a better job calling out the internment hotels fiasco  than the NDP. The straw that breaks the camel's back for me was Singh calling for invoking the Emergencies Act. Does he think anything good will come from allowing what is effectively a military dictatorship? It's mostly his support base that will bear the brunt of such civil liberties violations. I hated Mulcair, but at least when he was leader, I could honestly defend the NDP for its principled stance in opposition to C-51 when the issue was current. There's no defense for using a pandemic to usher in totalitarian rule.

While, as you know, I disagree with you on a lot of the lockdown measures (though not curfews, "quarantine hotels", or the disgraceful call for the Emergencies Act), I agree completely on the forthcoming censorship legislation. There appears to be an emerging cross-partisan authoritarian consensus that the government should ban evil foreign thinking, lest Canadians be led astray, with no awareness whatsoever of either the history of that argument in Canada or the fact that Jason Kenney, who will likely be either a federal cabinet minister again or prime minister down the line, has already declared environmentalism to be the kind of evil foreign thinking that should be banned. NDP leadership is taking the path of least resistance to the right, chasing the endorsement of the National Post at the same time its former leader prepares his bid to lead the Tories.

No, Singh has already lost the forthcoming election. I stay in the party because of the people in the grassroots and the handful of MPs that still inspire me, not the leadership. The next leadership race will tell whether Canada has a left-wing party or whether everyone on the ballot has sworn allegiance to neoliberalism.

Aristotleded24

I think I will engage this directly:

cco wrote:
While, as you know, I disagree with you on a lot of the lockdown measures (though not curfews, "quarantine hotels", or the disgraceful call for the Emergencies Act), I agree completely on the forthcoming censorship legislation. There appears to be an emerging cross-partisan authoritarian consensus that the government should ban evil foreign thinking, lest Canadians be led astray, with no awareness whatsoever of either the history of that argument in Canada or the fact that Jason Kenney, who will likely be either a federal cabinet minister again or prime minister down the line, has already declared environmentalism to be the kind of evil foreign thinking that should be banned.

On the issue of Canadian content, as we saw in the 1970s and 1980s, there are ways of addressing that challenge without overtly controlling what people can watch. Having things like the Junos, Gemini Awards, and the Canadian Country Music Association have done wonders to promote and encourage Canadian content that is popular and that people actually want to consume. Of course the irony is that with live performances shut down it's very difficult to generate more Canadian content, but that is a whole other discussion.

On the issue of dangerous foreign thinking, you seem open-minded enough for me to encourage you and every fair-minded person reading this for me to emphasize this one very important thing: these calls to cancel "covidiots" and "anti-maskers" who post on social media or attend rallies will not stop with the covid issue. It will continue and be directed towards anyone or anything the government or society deems a threat. I've repeatedly pointed out that when the issue was current, most Canadians would have supported police action to end the rail blockades, and those only caused inconvenience. What happnes if there is more social unrest that actually becomes violent? I'm sure you've seen all those tip lines the governments are using to get us to report on people violating covid restrictions? How hard do you think it is to tweak that in order to encourage people to report "dangerous extremists?" Also, when it comes to censorship, once that Pandora's box opens, there is no stopping it. Remember when Harper went after left-wing charities when he was Prime Minister? If C-10 passes and the government can censor "online hate," do you think a Conservative government will hesiate to censor sites like rabble.ca, Pressprogress, etc?

cco wrote:
No, Singh has already lost the forthcoming election. I stay in the party because of the people in the grassroots and the handful of MPs that still inspire me, not the leadership. The next leadership race will tell whether Canada has a left-wing party or whether everyone on the ballot has sworn allegiance to neoliberalism.

In terms of the NDP, I'm starting to wonder if these individuals mention serve the same funtion as The Squad in the Democratic Party: mouth progressive rhetoric in order to keep a certain segment of the population in the party while doing nothing to fundamentally take on the ruling class. Yes, having the NDP in government or even a minority situation may gain some extra program spending and a few tweaks in terms of higher corporate tax rates. On the fundamentals, as I've already said, the Sanders and Corbyn movements flamed out badly. Since the passage of the free trade agreements, 3 provinces elected NDP governments for the first time. They were all one-term governments. Dave Barret in BC didn't even last a full term, but he accomplished so many things in that time that no government ever touched. It's hard to see if Darrel Dexter, Bob Rae, and Rachel Notley made any such impact in their time in government. Globally, the picture is even bleaker. Francois Hollande became the French President on a promise to tax the rich, only to flame out and cave to neoliberalism. In Greece, Syriza ended up enacting the EU reforms that their voting base elected them to specifically stop. Roman Baber, who spoke up against Ontario's lockdowns and was kicked out of Doug Ford's Caucus for it (with Andrea Horwath essentially advocating another party expell members for thought crimes) has shown more courage, integrity, determination, principle, and independent thinking than every elected NDP politician in Canada combined.

I think this goes beyond the NDP, and the foundation of the left-wing project. Let's face the facts: the jig is up. More and more people are coming to understand that covid, while a serious health risk, is not an invisible monster hiding around the corner that can kill anyone anytime if they go out and do things. The Diamond Princess outbreak, which left most passengers usncathed in one of the worst possible environments for infectious disease control (remember that curise ships had a repuation as being floating petri dishes before the pandemic) proves that. Yet I still see articles on left-wing sites talking about risk, or how schools need to be made safe otherwise the poor children who go there are risking the lives of themselves and their families, and just basically taking the "OH-MY-GOD-WE'RE-ALL-GOING-TO-DIE!" tone that has largely been discredited. Whatever structrual issues these articles accuratley point out, such as issues of affordable housing, paid sick days, or changing our elder care models, when I see that kind of thing, I just roll my eyes and stop taking it seriously. Other people are noticing too. As the truth comes out, I think the left is going to wear this debacle the same way the right in the United States ended up wearing the debacle on the Iraq war. I actually think it will be worse for the left. While the Iraq war was a major news story and certainly affected those who joined the military and their families and friends, the covid restrictions have affected everyone. People don't react too kindly when they find out that the sacrifices they have made were wasted, and they will turn very angrily on those who insisted on their necessity.

I don't even know if the left can be slavaged at this point, and it may be time to start seriously talking about other formations. It seems to me that there has been an infiltration of the left into economically marginalized communities. Rather than actual community empowerment, it seems as if the left wants to lead people into a statist Big Government-type society where the government controls everything and is responsible for all aspects of well-being. To give a few examples, we hear calls for "more government support for mental health," never mind that people who are free to interact with family, friends, and do fun things are able to improve their mental health without assistance from the government. Or take the issue of addiction. We are told that we need to provide more services, and even the pipe dream of a "safe supply" is brought up, and yet we ignore the role that the lockdowns played in pushing people into addiction, causing relapse, and disrupting access to vital services. I've also described upthread the problem with shutting down businesses and eliminating jobs in order to provide a "basic income." To me, it is just as duplicitious and ill-intentioned as the Christian fundamentalists who would prey on the despair of economically disadvantaged, (mostly) white workers in the wake of the collapse of industrialization. The left these days is clearly advocating an agenda that benefits Big Tech and Big Pharma at the expense of the average, every-day people they claim to represent. As far as politics goes, Max Bernier is in many ways a contemptible human being, but he is absolutley right about the lockdown measures. Take a look at this list of elected politicians. Can you find a known left-winger on that list? I can't either. The danger is, as more people want to express their opposition to lockdown measures politically and at the ballot box, that the left's miscalculation on the lockdowns is going to set back other causes they have traditionally championed, such as environmental protection, strong public services, and income inequality. While I agree with Max on the lockdowns, I'm well-aware that there are other aspects of his program that I do not wish to sign up for at all. I feel it's time to start talking about new political formations for people like me who believe in collective action to address problems and encourage true community resilience, while at the same time vigourously defending  human rights and civil liberties.

melovesproles

To give a few examples, we hear calls for "more government support for mental health," never mind that people who are free to interact with family, friends, and do fun things are able to improve their mental health without assistance from the government.

[snip]

I've also described upthread the problem with shutting down businesses and eliminating jobs in order to provide a "basic income."

If you think "the left's" support for mental health funding and a basic income have appeared out of thin air and as a reaction to the pandemic (and not longstanding economic and social problems caused by neoliberalism), then I don't know how closely you have ever followed "the left" politics. It's nice to see you back on babble but I'm sorry to hear you are still spending too much time listening to shitty podcasts about how "the left" is after your freedoms. I hope you find more interesting things to obsess about post-pandemic and maybe change up your playlist.

Aristotleded24

melovesproles wrote:
If you think "the left's" support for mental health funding and a basic income have appeared out of thin air and as a reaction to the pandemic (and not longstanding economic and social problems caused by neoliberalism), then I don't know how closely you have ever followed "the left" politics.

How would you feel about a window repair company smashing every window in your house and then offering to repair your windows for free? That is exactly what has happened with the lockdowns. The government imposing lockdowns, not to mention the needless fear campaign with daily press releases about cases and deaths, has itself done a great deal of damage to mental health in this country. They can improve mental health by not terrorizing the public, and that wouldn't cost anything.

melovesproles wrote:
If you think "the left's" support for mental health funding and a basic income have appeared out of thin air and as a reaction to the pandemic (and not longstanding economic and social problems caused by neoliberalism), then I don't know how closely you have ever followed "the left" politics. It's nice to see you back on babble but I'm sorry to hear you are still spending too much time listening to shitty podcasts about how "the left" is after your freedoms. I hope you find more interesting things to obsess about post-pandemic and maybe change up your playlist.

I don't have to listen to any podcasts to know that the left is, by and large, anti-freedom. I can see that with endless articles in left-wing sources talking about how Christians practcing their fatih in person are superspreader murderers, or how visiting family is spreading disease that is going to kill them. One of the things I feel very strongly about is that my relationship with my family is my business, and that nobody, not on babble, not in the government, not a medical officer of health, has any right to impose any restrictions on when I can and cannot see them, and that we have every right to decide amongst ourselves how we will handle the covid risk. Very early on, I felt like my back was against a wall trying to even suggest that maybe we were over-reacting to the covid pandemic, and eventually I felt like I was going to hit a brick wall, that no matter what I said it would be taken in a certain way. Basically, you have to believe everything the government says about covid, and if you disagree with lockdowns, mask mandates, business closures, you're just a selfish person who doesn't care about old people. So yeah, since I was very unhappy with how the left responded to covid, I sought out other sources. (I highly recommend the Post Millenial's coverage on this topic.) I get to do that in a free society. I'm sure it's pretty much the same reason you come to sites like rabble.ca, since you may be unsatisfied with some of what you see in the corporate media. Also, most of the people I know, if I were to share with them what I read on rabble.ca, would roll their eyes at me and tell me to change up the playlist as well. So it really depends on your point of view. If you don't like some of the other sources of information that I turn to, that is your problem, not mine.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

If I wanted to converse with lunatics like A24, I would go to right wing sites like Gateway Pundit and Breitbart. But I don't want to read such tripe, therefore I come to babble. I agree that A24 should do what "most of the people he knows" suggest: roll his eyes and go somewhere else.

eastnoireast

roving bands of "everybody knows" enforcement rove patrol the threads.   occasionally, rebellious wide-open-throttle rhetorical incursions are attempted, which invariably fall into the entrenchments.

anyone with any sense has already left town.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

eastnoireast wrote:

roving bands of "everybody knows" enforcement rove the threads.   occasionally, rebellious wide-open-throttle rhetorical incursions are attempted, which invariably fall into the entrenchments.

anyone with any sense has already left town.

I honestly do not understand what you mean by this metaphorical message. Please be more explicit.

josh

the left wants to lead people into a statist Big Government-type society where the government controls everything and is responsible for all aspects of well-being.

Doesn't sound too bad to me.  Also sounds like socialism.  And this is something of which you just became aware?

melovesproles

Aristotleded24 wrote:

They can improve mental health by not terrorizing the public, and that wouldn't cost anything.

That ignores the fact that in repeated elections the public has rewarded governments that took these measures and punished parties that downplayed Covid. I remember you in the past hectoring Proportional Rep advocates for needing to step back and accept the "democratic" referendums that showed the public wasn't on board. Suddenly you seem to think your opinion which has had no traction with the public in any election here should be elevated above all that. And everyone who doesn't agree with you is a 'sheeple'.

If you think the need for a UBI or more mental health support has been caused by "lockdowns" then you haven't been paying attention to decades of rising rents and costs, stagnant wages, cuts to social services and mental health support and housing. I could see why someone who only listened to rightwing podcasts would not know this but I am surprised you think this is a compelling argument.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I don't have to listen to any podcasts to know that the left is, by and large, anti-freedom.

If “the left” are the ones attacking your freedoms then why have rightwing and conservative provincial governments in Canada had a lot more lockdowns than BC with an NDP government? “The Left” must surely be powerful and all-pervasive with their ability to control Conservative governments.

Or maybe governments both left and right are responding to public pressure for restrictions which have support on both the left and the right. Again I am extremely surprised that for someone like yourself who has experience on the left you find it convincing that a) “the left” is all-powerful and everything is going their way b) “the left” is a monolithic block.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

So yeah, since I was very unhappy with how the left responded to covid, I sought out other sources.  

Yeah, it is obvious what kind of sources you are consuming with your talk of “the left” “the great reset” and Big Statist plans to enslave everyone and make them reliant on government. This isn’t a new argument, you could read almost exactly the same tropes coming out of the John Birch Society in the 1960s.

eastnoireast

Michael Moriarity wrote:

eastnoireast wrote:

roving bands of "everybody knows" enforcement rove the threads.   occasionally, rebellious wide-open-throttle rhetorical incursions are attempted, which invariably fall into the entrenchments.

anyone with any sense has already left town.

I honestly do not understand what you mean by this metaphorical message. Please be more explicit.

yeah, i guess it's hard to see the water when you're in it.  here goes:

everybody knows that the vaccines are the only way out.

everybody knows that those who do not have the faith are confused, "hesitant" or, in your words "lunatics like a24"

pretty well the only person on rabble currently challenging this pervasive cloying group-think stillness is a24.  in my opinion he comes at it kinda wide and strident, thus the full-throttle analogy. 

things with throttles often have wheels, and wheels don't perform well when encountering trenches.  trenches, entrenched political positions...

the posters i most look forward to reading on rabble aren't around much.   i'm not around much because there's not much here for me.   if i want everybody knows i'll just listen to cbc (handwashing is critical!!).  not.

if i want clear thinking on covid, i talk to the old people, and the small farmers, and poor people; people who actually have experience with living processes in the real world. 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

@eastnoireast, thank you for the explanation. I disagree with you, but I now understand your position. BTW, I will be 74 tomorrow, if that makes you think I may have more of a clue.

melovesproles

eastnoireast wrote:

yeah, i guess it's hard to see the water when you're in it.  here goes:

everybody knows that the vaccines are the only way out.

everybody knows that those who do not have the faith are confused, "hesitant" or, in your words "lunatics like a24"

pretty well the only person on rabble currently challenging this pervasive cloying group-think stillness is a24.  in my opinion he comes at it kinda wide and strident, thus the full-throttle analogy. 

things with throttles often have wheels, and wheels don't perform well when encountering trenches.  trenches, entrenched political positions...

the posters i most look forward to reading on rabble aren't around much.   i'm not around much because there's not much here for me.   if i want everybody knows i'll just listen to cbc (handwashing is critical!!).  not.

I haven’t challenged A24 on that basis at all.  Originally my pushback at A24 was against the promotion of the idea that Covid restrictions have been purely part of a top-down agenda and not also driven by public opinion in the wake of a global pandemic for a disease that we knew very little about. In my opinion this undermined what I thought were legitimate concerns that A24 was bringing up including the following:

  • The mental health consequences of our policies towards Covid.
  • The structural economic implications of a post-Covid world with even more inequality.
  • The increased power granted to large tech companies including but not limited to surveillance and speech moderation.
  • The consequences of a cultural shift towards vilifying ‘rules-breakers’ while the application of those rules are extremely unequally applied usually depending on one’s class position.

I think these were all very perceptive points, worth discussing and far more important and potentially fruitful than arguing about why the public is wrong to be worried about Covid. But increasingly A24’s critique seems to just be a regurgitation of the tropes you hear on right wing podcasts echoing tropes that the John Birch Society has been promoting since the late-1950s. It’s getting a lot harder to find any common ground.

eastnoireast wrote:

if i want clear thinking on covid, i talk to the old people, and the small farmers, and poor people; people who actually have experience with living processes in the real world. 

I know “old people” “poor people” and “small farmers” who were happy to get vaccinated and have followed public health guidelines so I haven't seen a lot of evidence this is a unified block either.

Pondering
  • The mental health consequences of our policies towards Covid.
  • The structural economic implications of a post-Covid world with even more inequality.
  • The increased power granted to large tech companies including but not limited to surveillance and speech moderation.
  • The consequences of a cultural shift towards vilifying ‘rules-breakers’ while the application of those rules are extremely unequally applied usually depending on one’s class position.

These are the kinds of discussions we can't have here because of A24. It would immediately turn into an argument for lifting all restrictions and rightwing conspiracy theories. 

NorthReport
NorthReport

Jim Hanson wins nomination to become NDP candidate in Burnaby-North Seymour and stands a decent chance of knocking off the Liberal incumbent.

https://www.straight.com/news/district-of-north-vancouver-councillor-jim...

Aristotleded24

Moving back into the original direction of this thread, Jagmeet Singh has embarrassed himself yet again:

Quote:
New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh called on the Trudeau Liberals to send "everything and anything possible" to support Alberta through its third wave.

"Alberta is in a really though situation. Things are getting very desperate, the ICU units in hospitals in Alberta are being overrun. Case counts are now the worst in North America. And so I want the federal government to provide support," said Singh.

"Whether it's bringing military support in place, health care workers, federal resources, we need to help out Alberta. Things are really bad there right now."

How tone deaf do you have to be to understand that "offering federal assistance" is a very tough sell in Alberta, which is very independently-minded from the rest of Canada, at the best of times? To do so even in these circumstances, where to the extent that there is organized opposition to lockdowns in Canada it is strongest in Alberta? Not to mention that people are tiring of lockdowns throughout the rest of the country?

I wonder if Trudeau plans to reward Singh with a Senate seat for effectively neutralizing the NDP as a viable oppoisiton to the autocratic rule of the Liberal Party.

Pondering

Quebec is way more independently minded than Alberta. We had no problem at all accepting Canadian military aid and anything else offered. 

NDPP

Happy Birthday Michael and many happy returns!

jerrym

Pondering wrote:

  • The mental health consequences of our policies towards Covid.
  • The structural economic implications of a post-Covid world with even more inequality.
  • The increased power granted to large tech companies including but not limited to surveillance and speech moderation.
  • The consequences of a cultural shift towards vilifying ‘rules-breakers’ while the application of those rules are extremely unequally applied usually depending on one’s class position.

These are the kinds of discussions we can't have here because of A24. It would immediately turn into an argument for lifting all restrictions and rightwing conspiracy theories. 

That's why I generally avoid threads that go in circles repeating the same arguments back and forth ad nauseum without going anywhere. 

JKR

NDPP wrote:

Happy Birthday Michael and many happy returns!

Ditto!

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:
I will be 74 tomorrow

Happy birthday to you. I hope you have a good day and that you are able to celebrate with your family, friends, and loved ones in the manner that feels right for you.

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

Quebec is way more independently minded than Alberta. We had no problem at all accepting Canadian military aid and anything else offered. 

Also, I don't think there would be that much objection in Alberta to accepting federal aid. Even among the more "independently minded", the main objection would be that the province wasn't getting ENOUGH aid, because too much was going to Ontario and Quebec.

And that's to the extent that it became an issue at all.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Happy Early Birthday, Michael! I hope you get to enjoy your day with loved ones, whether in person or through calls and video.

NorthReport

Best wishes Michael on your B'Day.

voice of the damned

Oh yes. Happy birthday, Michael.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Well, I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the good wishes. I normally try to ignore my birthday, but it seemed appropriate to mention it in this context. Thank you all for putting up with me.

Ken Burch

Happy birthday, Michael!

Pondering

Happy Birthday, and isn't it odd how much younger we are at our ages than we thought we would be when we were teens?

NorthReport
eastnoireast

Michael Moriarity wrote:

@eastnoireast, thank you for the explanation. I disagree with you, but I now understand your position. BTW, I will be 74 tomorrow, if that makes you think I may have more of a clue.

taurus, eh?  i could see that ... : )   happy birthday mr moriarity, i hope you are having a good one!  

eastnoireast

melovesproles wrote:

eastnoireast wrote:

yeah, i guess it's hard to see the water when you're in it.  here goes:

everybody knows that the vaccines are the only way out.

everybody knows that those who do not have the faith are confused, "hesitant" or, in your words "lunatics like a24"

pretty well the only person on rabble currently challenging this pervasive cloying group-think stillness is a24.  in my opinion he comes at it kinda wide and strident, thus the full-throttle analogy. 

things with throttles often have wheels, and wheels don't perform well when encountering trenches.  trenches, entrenched political positions...

the posters i most look forward to reading on rabble aren't around much.   i'm not around much because there's not much here for me.   if i want everybody knows i'll just listen to cbc (handwashing is critical!!).  not.

I haven’t challenged A24 on that basis at all.  Originally my pushback at A24 was against the promotion of the idea that Covid restrictions have been purely part of a top-down agenda and not also driven by public opinion in the wake of a global pandemic for a disease that we knew very little about. In my opinion this undermined what I thought were legitimate concerns that A24 was bringing up including the following:

  • The mental health consequences of our policies towards Covid.
  • The structural economic implications of a post-Covid world with even more inequality.
  • The increased power granted to large tech companies including but not limited to surveillance and speech moderation.
  • The consequences of a cultural shift towards vilifying ‘rules-breakers’ while the application of those rules are extremely unequally applied usually depending on one’s class position.

I think these were all very perceptive points, worth discussing and far more important and potentially fruitful than arguing about why the public is wrong to be worried about Covid. But increasingly A24’s critique seems to just be a regurgitation of the tropes you hear on right wing podcasts echoing tropes that the John Birch Society has been promoting since the late-1950s. It’s getting a lot harder to find any common ground.

eastnoireast wrote:

if i want clear thinking on covid, i talk to the old people, and the small farmers, and poor people; people who actually have experience with living processes in the real world. 

I know “old people” “poor people” and “small farmers” who were happy to get vaccinated and have followed public health guidelines so I haven't seen a lot of evidence this is a unified block either.

i basically agree with what you've said here.  

people generally aren't unified blocks, i'm talking tendencies.  i was thinking about this yesterday, offline, that i should have qualified it more, along the lines of "old people without computers" , or "non-woke small farmers".   and the organic part should go without saying, i'm not going to trust someone who thinks it's ok to spray, and dose up the herd. 

-

i'm disappointed nobody got the dylan quote.

-

end thread drift, back to my lair/

 

NorthReport

What if the NDP were to become the main opposition to Trudeau?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_44th_Canadian_fede...

Aristotleded24

NorthReport wrote:
What if the NDP were to become the main opposition to Trudeau?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_44th_Canadian_fede...

If the NDP were to become an effective opposition to the Trudeau government, that would be a welcome improvement.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I agree Eastnoireast that the following concerns raised by A24 are issues that should be being pursued by the NDP, whether federally or provincially:

  • The mental health consequences of our policies towards Covid.
  • The structural economic implications of a post-Covid world with even more inequality.
  • The increased power granted to large tech companies including but not limited to surveillance and speech moderation.
  • The consequences of a cultural shift towards vilifying ‘rules-breakers’ while the application of those rules are extremely unequally applied usually depending on one’s class position.
Pondering

NorthReport wrote:

What if the NDP were to become the main opposition to Trudeau?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_44th_Canadian_fede...

I'm betting on it. Once everyone accepts the Conservatives can't win people will look to the NDP as the natural alternative.

Debater

I don't see the Conservatives in any danger of dropping below the NDP.  Even in a bad year they have dozens and dozens of safe seats in Western Canada and rural Ontario alone.  I can't envision a scenario in which they finish below the NDP unless there is a major split on the right again some day.

voice of the damned

Debater wrote:

I don't see the Conservatives in any danger of dropping below the NDP.  Even in a bad year they have dozens and dozens of safe seats in Western Canada and rural Ontario alone.  I can't envision a scenario in which they finish below the NDP unless there is a major split on the right again some day.

Plus, in the event of a Conservative collapse, there won't be THAT many of their supporters who will do an ideological leapfrog over the Liberals to support the NDP. At least not enough to make the NDP the default government-in-waiting.

The CPC is now pretty much Harperite to the bone, and the majority of people voting for the party LIKE that aspect of it.

Pondering

The NDP will be the official opposition if not forming government within 10 to 15 years. The Conservatives have a rock solid base of white nationalists and social conservatives they have encouraged for years with a wink wink. Chickens are coming home to roost. They are no longer satisfied with a wink wink. Doesn't matter if the party has double the money. They don't have anything Canadians want. Canadians may never realize they are looking at the Reform pary in sheeps clothing but it doesn't matter because the rot is being revealed anyway.

O'Toole has dropped the culture war angle because it doesn't resonate  anywhere other than Alberta but having spent years promoting the notion of western alienation followers are not about to drop it. Social conservatives may be willing to drop the LBGTQ+ hostility but then won't let go of abortion. O'Toole can only maintain power by allowing social conservative mps to sound off. 

Conservatives lost any hope of winning when they refused to acknowledge climate change. It won't matter that O'Toole says he's a believer.  He has to run on the promise of cancelling the Carbon tax and it still won't satisfy his base because they aren't happy with his suggested replacement. 

They might as well change their name to the dinosaur party. 

https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/elections/poll-tracker/canada/

The Liberals have a 50% chance of winning a majority and a 41% chance of winning a minority. Conservatives have an 8% chance. 

This is with constant stories of Liberal corruption and ineptitude. The Liberals win because the Conservatives can't win anymore but Canadians aren't quite ready to trust the NDP but the Liberals will not govern forever. Eventually it will be accepted that the Conservatives are no competition and the Liberals have fully embraced fiscal Conservatism.

Trudeau said he rejects the suggestion that they are socially progressive but fiscally conservative. It doesn't matter because it's true and that will become more and more apparent as there are fewer and fewer social issues to mask themselves with as progressive. Soon all that will be left is the neoliberalism. 

Some posters here have promoted the notion that it is the Liberal party that must die, or at least weaken dramatically, for the NDP to succeed. The Liberals are becoming, or have already become the PCs of yesteryear. They are the CP party without the social conservatism. 

My fear is that we are going to end up with a Progressive Conservative Party called the Liberals and a Liberal Party called the NDP.

Aristotleded24

In any case, if the Liberals win a majority in the next election, pretty much every election at every level will be irrelevant after that. The austerity and gutting of program spending for the federal government will be so great that there won't be much available for any other level of government to work with. Trade agreements already constrain the kinds of government policies that can be enacted (see why Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Alberta don't have public auto insurance despite each province having elected NDP governments). Who knows what kind of trade agreements will be entered into, or if the IMF becomes involved in providing "financial assistance" for the high level of debt we are facing? There are the elections themselves. If we move away from paper balloting and permit electronic voting, there is no real way to verify or have trust in the election outcomes. Finally, there is the censorship. We all know that the Liberals are pushing Bill C-10 to be able to moderate Internet content. If the Liberals win a majority, they will be able to pass that legislation. That will essentially enable the government to remove any content it deems problematic, and yes, eventually rabble.ca will be caught in that net. We can also expect eco-fascist restrictions on daily life to "stop climate change" as called for by almost every sell-out "environmentalist" group in the industrialized world, while the billionaire class continues to greenwash its lavish lifestyles, and with no discernable drop in greenhouse gas emissions will result. In other words, aided and abetted by lockdown policy, the segment of the population least responsible for the global warming crisis will pay the biggest costs.

Democracy in Canada: July 1, 1867-March 11, 2020. It was nice while it lasted.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Democracy in Canada: July 1, 1867-March 11, 2020. It was nice while it lasted.

I would say that Canada did not achieve democracy until 1931 with the the Statute of Westminster and we lost it sometime ago when we agreed to be an integrated part of a US dominated NATO led military. A country that does not control its foreign policy constitutionally is merely a commonwealth or vassal state not a democratic representation of its people.

JKR

voice of the damned wrote:
Debater wrote:

I don't see the Conservatives in any danger of dropping below the NDP.  Even in a bad year they have dozens and dozens of safe seats in Western Canada and rural Ontario alone.  I can't envision a scenario in which they finish below the NDP unless there is a major split on the right again some day.

Plus, in the event of a Conservative collapse, there won't be THAT many of their supporters who will do an ideological leapfrog over the Liberals to support the NDP. At least not enough to make the NDP the default government-in-waiting. The CPC is now pretty much Harperite to the bone, and the majority of people voting for the party LIKE that aspect of it.

I agree. I think there is currently no reason to think Canada's long-standing Liberal dominated federal political  duopoly with the Conservatives is going to end any time soon.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Conservatives lost any hope of winning when they refused to acknowledge climate change.

Climate change is so 2019. As a public policy concern, it has fallen very far off the radar for the public, as the lockdowns have pushed people into such dire situations and they are so preoccupied with what is happening on a month-to-month basis that concern for what might happen in 2030 is far to remote to contemplate. As Bill Maher once said, "Bangladesh under water in 20 years? I'm underwater today."

JKR

People who oppose social distancing to deal with Covid are the same people who believe people should be free to spew as much CO2 as they want. They feel governments have no right putting the common good and social solidarity ahead of individual freedom.

NorthReport
Pondering

As Red tories realize the tories have no hope they will shift to the Liberals. As the Liberals become more conservative, "progressive" voters will shift towards the NDP when the Liberal stench becomes too much to bear. 

The Conservatives will not win another election federally in Canada for at the very least the next 10 to 15 years if ever. The knives are already out for O-Toole. He will be gone after the next election. Social conservatives will again agitate for someone more to their likely. The Conservatives will be hard put to find another O'Toole willing to try to keep the social conservatives in line. 

Aristotleded24

Singh links anti-maskers to white supremacy:

Quote:
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh spoke out against recent anti-lockdown protests, claiming a link between them and far-right extremist points of view.

These comments come as anti-lockdown protests are becoming more and more frequent across Canada and are purported to be drawing larger and larger crowds each time.

According to City News, Singh said:

"To brazenly not follow public-health guidelines puts people at risk and that is something that we’ve seen with extreme right-wing ideology. There is a connection, certainly."

The worst of it is if you watch the video embedded into the article, he seems to agree with "taking federal action" against the anti-maskers. His statement is problematic for several reasons:

In any democracy, there are always groups that disagree with the government. It's ture that there are some that will never vote for the NDP (0r any other party) but there are better ways to handle it that attacking and smearing individuals within such groups as ill-intentioned. That is exactly what politicians like Harper and Kenney to with anti-pipeline protesters. Now that this kind of talk is being normalized in Canada, do you think these groups will not be singled out for mistreatment?

He is also wrong on the basic facts. Remember the pearl-clutching and panic among the chattering classes when Florida had a normal-ish Super Bowl? Well, nothing happened. That set off a domino effect of states opening up one after another, and no disaster has happened. In fact, the United States is posting its best trends ever, and the numbers are dropping fastest in the states that opened up. People there have, by and large, moved on from covid.

Singh's timing is also off. People in Canada are becoming more frustrated with lockdowns, and it is showing. More people in Manitoba and Alberta think the restrictions go too far than don't go far enough. The balance of public opinion is only going to tilt further in that direction. Remember what I said about the United States in that last paragraph? Many of us have friends and family in the United States. They are essentially saying to us, "life is pretty good down here and people aren't scared, what's wrong on your side of the border?" So not only is this going to entrench opposition to the NDP, but it will not win over anyone who is on the fence. This is also on top of Charlie Angus' offensive tweet backing up Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi when he said the same thing.

So after working as hard as I did to elect an NDP MP to take on Trudeau, it now turns out that the NDP is now a de facto appendage of the Liberal Party. Guess which party I won't vote for in the next election?

The intentions of individual NDP MPs do not matter at this point. To have any hope of being slavagable over the long term (and given the state of the NDP in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario I'm not sure it is in any case) the federal NDP needs to be driven from office. The NDP's cozying up to the Democrats in the recent decade is very troubling. Hopefully the next mid-term elections end up obliterating the Democratic party nationwide (even better if every member of the Fraud Squad is defeated) and then We the People can come up with some political formation or action that truly reflects our interests.

Aristotleded24

melovesproles wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

So yeah, since I was very unhappy with how the left responded to covid, I sought out other sources.  

Yeah, it is obvious what kind of sources you are consuming with your talk of “the left” “the great reset” and Big Statist plans to enslave everyone and make them reliant on government. This isn’t a new argument, you could read almost exactly the same tropes coming out of the John Birch Society in the 1960s.

Have you noticed the level of "we're-all-going-to-die-lockdown-is-the-only-hope" groupthink that has entered into MSM discourse, and by and large endorsed by nearly every left-wing publication in the industralized world? Suppose you have an infectious disease or public health expert who has looked at the data. The only pushback against this groupthink has come from right-wing media sources. Suppose this expert has good, solid reasons to believe that social distancing, masks, and lockdowns don't work and that we don't need a vaccine to go back to normal. Do you really think these media outlets are going to allow said expert to express this view? It's true that news outlets like the Post Millenial, Rebel News, Fox News, Talk Radio (UK) and Sky News are generally trash outlets. But if they are the only ones willing to give a fair hearing to this expert, is that my fault? Is this expert supposed to say, "well, I have information I think the public needs to hear, most media outlets are ignoring me, but I'm not going to go on the few media platforms willing to hear me out fairly because their politics are bad?"

Debater

Pondering wrote:

The Conservatives will not win another election federally in Canada for at the very least the next 10 to 15 years if ever. The knives are already out for O-Toole. He will be gone after the next election. Social conservatives will again agitate for someone more to their likely. The Conservatives will be hard put to find another O'Toole willing to try to keep the social conservatives in line. 

Sorry, but I can't agree with this analysis.  It's unlikely the Conservatives will be out of power for that long.  That is at odds with Canada's political history of recent decades.  This isn't like the days of Laurier and King where the Liberals were in power for decades at a time.  The Conservatives are a formidable force and even in a bad year like 2015 with all the anger against Harper and the Trudeau wave, the CPC still won nearly 100 seats (99).

I don't see Trudeau winning a majority in the next election unless the BQ collapses and the Liberals can pick up more seats in Quebec.  I think the best the Liberals can do right now is another Minority.

Pondering

Debater wrote:

Pondering wrote:

The Conservatives will not win another election federally in Canada for at the very least the next 10 to 15 years if ever. The knives are already out for O-Toole. He will be gone after the next election. Social conservatives will again agitate for someone more to their likely. The Conservatives will be hard put to find another O'Toole willing to try to keep the social conservatives in line. 

Sorry, but I can't agree with this analysis.  It's unlikely the Conservatives will be out of power for that long.  That is at odds with Canada's political history of recent decades.  This isn't like the days of Laurier and King where the Liberals were in power for decades at a time.  The Conservatives are a formidable force and even in a bad year like 2015 with all the anger against Harper and the Trudeau wave, the CPC still won nearly 100 seats (99).

I don't see Trudeau winning a majority in the next election unless the BQ collapses and the Liberals can pick up more seats in Quebec.  I think the best the Liberals can do right now is another Minority.

Times change. Have you seen what is happening to the Republican party? It is destroyed at the federal level. Their base is strong and powerful but soon enough not all the gerrymandering in the world will save them. The US is becoming progressively less white and less rural. 

The Conservative Party of Canada was only established in 2003 so that is a pretty short history to bank on. The devolution into the Reform Party and then the Canadian Alliance by the PCs was not reversed by the reunification. The name was changed for a reason. It is not the same party. The PCs capitulated. They were conquered and the conquerers are not giving it back. 

Even though Canadians still perceive it as the same ol Conservative party the policies are not PC and when push comes to shove at the ballot box Canadians will vote for the package they see as most beneficial.  The reformers just aren't capable of presenting that. For the grand majority of canadians the existence of climate change isn't debateable. A party that refuses to acknowledge that is out of touch with reality. It doesn't matter what they say about anything else at that point. That isn't just arguing that economically change has to come slowly. It's outright denial of reality. It's flat earth stuff. 

The Quebec situation does make it much tougher for the Liberals to get a majority but Grenier still gives him a 50/50 chance of a majority and 41% minority. Now Trudeau has been cleared of the WE thing. By the time there is an election most if not all people who want a vaccine will have one and likely their second dose. 

I hope the NDP can take seats from the Liberals but I think it will be tough. I think people will think sticking with the Liberals is their safest bet. If the Liberals think they could lose support on the left they will put out some bait but right now they are looking pretty confident from their brazen behavior and disregard for optics.

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