NDP #15

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Coldwell Coldwell's picture

While this is hardly an original idea, I strongly urge all those who believe in democratic socialism to join the NDP and to agitate for the party to live up to its ideals. Socialism is not pie in the sky. It's achievable with sufficient political will and mass support. 

More immediately, NDP members should plan to attend the convention, including lapsed members, who can easily renew. Online registration makes it easy. 

Despite its flaws, the NDP is the best vehicle in Canada for advancing a left programme. Yes, the "iron law of oligarchy" gives the leadership and party bureaucrats considerable sway. But they're not omnipotent. Case in point: the existing preamble, drafted in 1983, went much further than the party leadership at the time wanted. Why? Because they were faced with a more radical document, called the New Regina Manifesto, which was doing the rounds at Convention. Also, it didn't hurt that the 1983 convention was held in Regina on the 50th anniversary of the CCF convention which approved the original Regina Manifesto.  

In short, a mobilized membership can make a difference. The challenge is to remain mobilized and to keep up the pressure.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Coldwell, I honestly wish you good luck in your endeavor. 

For me after years of working to elect an MP to speak for the concerns that I care about I have no energy left.  He was marginalized and eventually quit politics and replaced by a "Stepford" NDP MP.  I will likely still vote NDP because there is no choice but I will not work for a party that eats its most ethical MP's and spits out their bones.  Jack's response to my MP's courageous principled stand cured me of volunteering full time on NDP campaigns and maxing out my donations to the riding association. 

Quote:

I also want to point out that aboriginal people are already overrepresented among those who have been designated as dangerous offenders in Canada. Twenty per cent of the dangerous offenders are aboriginal and this would increase as a result of the bill. Something is seriously wrong with this measure when 20% of those subject to it represent a group that only represents 3% of the total population of Canada. This legislation would only make this problem worse and it would also increase the family dislocation and social costs that aboriginal communities already experience because of incarceration rates.       Bill C-2 also includes measures on the age of consent, and I have already spoken extensively about this. I believe the existing age of consent legislation is excellent and comprehensive legislation. This bill would criminalize sexual activity for young people, especially those 14 or 15 years of age. No matter what we think of young people being sexually active, I do not believe the criminal justice system is the place to deal with that issue when a consensual, non-exploitive relationship is involved.       We must be smart on crime. We know enforcement, parole, community programs, social programs, addressing inequality and a change in our approach to drugs do work. Drugs are a significant factor in both petty crime and serious violent crime. Alcohol prohibition did not work and it caused exactly the same problems that we now face due to drug prohibition. We need more treatment programs for addictions and more harm reduction measures, not more jail time. That does not work.       Bill C-2 goes in exactly the wrong direction. It buys into a model that has been proven to have failed in the United States where many jurisdictions are already seeking to undo the damage done by this exact approach. I have very serious reservations about this legislation.

http://www.billsiksay.ca/default2.asp?active_page_id=882

Coldwell Coldwell's picture

Bill was an outstanding MP and is sorely missed. I wish he'd hung in there. 

As dispiriting as politics can be, the departure of good people only enhances the power of those who are in it for all the wrong reasons.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

(posted elsewhere as well, seems to fit here too)

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

My first federal campaign was the Corporate Bums campaign in 1972 and my last was in 2008. The party no longer speaks to my issues. On the issues like NATO and free trade that made me work for a thankless cause for years they have now reversed their position, just as electoral power comes into sight.  It sure looks like a rigged game to me and I hate being punked.

But I agree that you should gather as many progressive, liberal minded people together as you can find and work to defeat Harper.  That is a noble cause if not necessarily a socialist one. As an old leftie I no longer want to fight inside the party for change.  Been there done that and the party beat me down so I give up.

Coldwell Coldwell's picture

"As an old leftie I no longer want to fight inside the party for change.  Been there done that and the party beat me down so I give up."

I know where you're coming from.  My first campaign was the 1974 federal election. I still remember the powerful oratory of David Lewis, who excoriated corporate capitalism with passion and intelligence.

The reason I don't give up--tempting though it is--is that it's more arduous to re-invent the NDP than to try to change it.  I would qualify that by saying that if and when we get proportional representation, it might be worthwhile for left-wingers in the NDP to form a new, authentically socialist party. Such a party might then play the gadfly role to the NDP which the NDP used to play to the Liberals.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I fought for years because I believed putting a left wing alternative to the people of Canada was a worthwhile enterprise in and of itself.  I worked in '72 but in '74 I was in a small community in BC with a NDP MP so I just voted.  I didn't get fully involved again until the free trade agreement battles.  I believed then and I believe now that NAFTA and its newest hybrid models with Ecuador and Honduras and soon Europe  are the scourge of not only my country but the whole globe.  Some things are deal breakers and Mulcair telling me that free trade agreements just need a little tweaking is one of them.  Now he is promoting a bitumen pipeline to Irving Oil.  I mean WTF

theleftyinvestor

Coldwell wrote:

The reason I don't give up--tempting though it is--is that it's more arduous to re-invent the NDP than to try to change it.  I would qualify that by saying that if and when we get proportional representation, it might be worthwhile for left-wingers in the NDP to form a new, authentically socialist party. Such a party might then play the gadfly role to the NDP which the NDP used to play to the Liberals.

A reasonable stance to justify sticking around in the party for a specific goal. Get them in, press on electoral reform, and then splinter off. :)

JKR

theleftyinvestor wrote:
A reasonable stance to justify sticking around in the party for a specific goal. Get them in, press on electoral reform, and then splinter off. :)

In all likelihood the BC NDP will be forming a government in May so it'll be revealing to see if they go ahead with their pledge to establish proportional representation. The BC NDP has put the establishment of an MMP system in their platform, so it"ll be interesting to see if the party goes ahead and abolishes FPTP. If the party reneges on this promise, a lot of faithful party members will be very disappointed.

theleftyinvestor

JKR wrote:
theleftyinvestor wrote:
A reasonable stance to justify sticking around in the party for a specific goal. Get them in, press on electoral reform, and then splinter off. :)

 

In all likelihood the BC NDP will be forming a government in May so it'll be revealing to see if they go ahead with their pledge to establish proportional representation. The BC NDP has put the establishment of an MMP system in their platform, so it"ll be interesting to see if the party goes ahead and abolishes FPTP. If the party reneges on this promise, a lot of faithful party members will be very disappointed.

Really?

(Goes and researches it.)

I can't find anything resembling that. In fact I can't find a platform for the BCNDP for this election at all - they haven't released it yet. Which is perhaps a shrewd strategic move, riding out the polls but waiting until the actual election before revealing a platform. That way the Liberals can fail at governing without having any ammo to shoot back at the government-in-waiting.

But I have never been aware of the BC NDP promising electoral reform. Please point it out to me if you can find a quote that it's going to be in their 2013 platform.

Coldwell Coldwell's picture

"But I have never been aware of the BC NDP promising electoral reform. Please point it out to me if you can find a quote that it's going to be in their 2013 platform."

The BC NDP formally called for the adoption of proportional representation (specifically, the Mixed Member Proportional system) at its Convention in 2001--6 months after losing office. It reiterated that commitment at a later Convention. In the last two elections (2005 and 2009) the party platform was silent on the subject of electoral reform. Instead the party chose to defer to the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, which had recommended STV. The STV option was put to the voters in two referenda, held in tandem with the provincial elections of 2005 and 2009. In both cases it failed to achieve the requisite level of support (60% of the popular vote). 

The NDP remains formally in favour of electoral reform. It remains to be seen what if anything it has to say about it in its platform (not yet released).

 

JKR

theleftyinvestor wrote:
Really?

(Goes and researches it.)

I can't find anything resembling that. In fact I can't find a platform for the BCNDP for this election at all - they haven't released it yet. Which is perhaps a shrewd strategic move, riding out the polls but waiting until the actual election before revealing a platform. That way the Liberals can fail at governing without having any ammo to shoot back at the government-in-waiting.

But I have never been aware of the BC NDP promising electoral reform. Please point it out to me if you can find a quote that it's going to be in their 2013 platform.

You're right it isn't part of the yet to be announced 2013 election platform.

But If I remember correctly, BC NDP members have voted to add support for electoral reform to their policies.

In any case, NDP leadership are free to ignore NDP policies when writing up their election platforms. And NDP governments are free to ignore parts of their election platform.

So much for democracy.

And why should the federal NDP expect people to support PR when none of their provincial governments support it?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The better the chance that any party has of winning a phoney majority under FPTP the worse the odds are that they will actually change it.  Note  that the convention adopted it in 2001 when the party was in the wilderness and it has gotten more and more silent as they get closer and closer to power.

 

 

theleftyinvestor

Coldwell wrote:

"But I have never been aware of the BC NDP promising electoral reform. Please point it out to me if you can find a quote that it's going to be in their 2013 platform."

The BC NDP formally called for the adoption of proportional representation (specifically, the Mixed Member Proportional system) at its Convention in 2001--6 months after losing office. It reiterated that commitment at a later Convention. In the last two elections (2005 and 2009) the party platform was silent on the subject of electoral reform. Instead the party chose to defer to the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, which had recommended STV. The STV option was put to the voters in two referenda, held in tandem with the provincial elections of 2005 and 2009. In both cases it failed to achieve the requisite level of support (60% of the popular vote). 

The NDP remains formally in favour of electoral reform. It remains to be seen what if anything it has to say about it in its platform (not yet released).

 

Yeah, old policy convention does not equal present policy platform.

Although the party chose to defer to the Citizen's Assembly, Carole James herself was lukewarm about it. The lack of interest on behalf of established political forces was clear. I don't think we will be expecting another conversation on reforming BC's electoral system during this mandate.

However we might see some campaign reform, guidelines around political advertising, new rules for political donations, etc.

NorthReport

Suzuki is turning himself into a bit of an electoral  baffoon

David Suzuki calls on progressives to support Joyce Murray’s federal Liberal leadership bid

Her dark horse campaign appears to have been gaining momentum over the last couple of weeks with support from online and grassroots advocacy groups that favour electoral co-operation.

Murray, a former British Columbia environment minister, is the only one of nine leadership contenders to support that co-operation.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/02/21/david-suzuki-calls-on-progressiv...

NorthReport

Union support, affidavits boost lawsuit's efforts to halt Canada-China investment deal

"Canada's Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China -- the world's second largest economy -- will provide stronger protection for Canadians investing in China, and facilitate the creation of jobs and economic growth here at home."

Susan Lambert, president of the BC Teachers' Federation, said FIPA, like prior free trade agreements, is part of Canada's "history of colonialism" and rides roughshod over First Nations rights. Others echoed that sentiment, praising aboriginal leadership in the anti-FIPA effort.

"All of these agreements are leading to a further entrenchment of the colonial relationship that Canada has with Indigenous communities," said Harjap Grewal, Pacific Regional Organizer with the Council of Canadians. "This may be one of the most important moments for the Council of Canadians -- to be actually standing behind and with Indigenous communities that are taking leadership in raising issues of the relationship the Canadian government has to communities, both in terms of treaty obligations and unceded territories in B.C."

Grewal added that the FIPAs' investor-state dispute processes and 31-year lock-in period will basically make it "harder for communities to make decisions in their own best interests," and that it's no surprise why deals like this are negotiated in secret.

"The reason why these negotiated behind closed doors -- the reason this is not going to Parliament and why it's not being brought in front of the public -- is because, for past trade agreements, the government has realized the public does not support [them]," Grewal said.

For Irene Lanzinger, Secretary-Treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour, the FIPA is essentially a corporate bill of rights.

"These free trade agreements give corporations power over governments, and limit a government's ability to put regulations and laws in place to protect the rights of citizens, the land and natural resources of our country," she said. "If corporations think that rules and regulations to protect our labour rights, human rights or our environment get in their way, they can sue our government.

"With no debate or consultation, the Harper government is prepared to undermine our rights -- labour rights we have fought for as unions, human rights, democratic rights and the right to protect our environment, and most importantly, the rights of First Nations over lands and resources."

With tensions rising in the province over Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, and Kinder Morgan's plans to expand its own pipeline from the Alberta oil sands, some have suggested the real intent of the FIPA may be to lock in oil exports to Asia.

"As an environmentalist, it's hard to look at what's going on right now with the FIPA and not see the names Kinder Morgan and Enbridge written all over it," said Ben West, Tar Sands Campaigner with Forest Ethics Advocacy. "Here we are in a province that's right in the middle of one of the most controversial environmental fights in the history of our country, based around this idea of being a 'gateway' to the Asia-Pacific for some of the most dangerous oil known to man.

"It's hard to look at FIPA and all this negotiation going on behind closed doors and not think that this is very much about the export of oil. It's very much about the protection of the Canadian oil industry's interests."

Sayers denied her band's opposition to the deal is based in anti-development or anti-China sentiments.

"We are not against development," she said. "In recognizing China, we recognize that they are an important trading partner. And we realize the people of China share the same concerns about their children's future that we do."

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2013/02/21/FIPA-Lawsuit/

NorthReport

Wrong. This is a very good time to abolish the Seante. And Canadians have to stop being so chicken-shit about constitutional reform.

Now’s not the time to jump into ‘constitutional upheaval’ over Senate, says Trudeau The crisis now gripping the Senate over allegations of false residency claims and the temporary expulsion of newly-Independent Quebec Senator Patrick Brazeau is no time to jump into radical changes that would spark ‘constitutional upheaval,’ Liberal MP Justin Trudeau says.

http://www.hilltimes.com/news/politics/2013/02/13/now%E2%80%99s-not-the-...

Brachina

Justin just doesn't want to miss out on his future Senate seat.

NorthReport

I actually don't think Justin is such a bad guy. For example he beat the crap out of that criminally charged Con Senator, didn't he? It's just that he is can't relate to the common person, as he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. As well some of his pronouncements appear to come from someone who is a lightweight in any kind of thinking outside the mainstream. We actually do need someone like his Dad around, someone who has some serious intellectual courage, and who could think outside the box. Justin in a lot of ways reminds me of Paul Martin.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Suzuki endorsed part of Joyce Murray's platform - not her candidacy. Suzuki was on P&P tonight and made it clear he is not a Liberal. Suzuki has more credibility with me than a thousand North Reports could ever have.

NorthReport

Chow tries to get Tory MPs on board in push for city infrastructure spending

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/chow-tries-to-get-tory-mps-...

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Yeah, like Paul Martin but more Purtty!

Brachina

NorthReport wrote:

Suzuki is turning himself into a bit of an electoral  baffoon

David Suzuki calls on progressives to support Joyce Murray’s federal Liberal leadership bid

Her dark horse campaign appears to have been gaining momentum over the last couple of weeks with support from online and grassroots advocacy groups that favour electoral co-operation.

Murray, a former British Columbia environment minister, is the only one of nine leadership contenders to support that co-operation.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/02/21/david-suzuki-calls-on-progressiv...

First the Ontario provincial election and now this. Why is David pissing away alife time of building respect and crediblity like this.

Anyways Murray doesn't have a chance in hell of beating Justin, who represents the easy path to power in many liberal minds.

felixr

Justin Trudeau is probably promising senate appointments as we speak. Gotta motivate the true believers!

JKR

Brachina wrote:

NorthReport wrote:

Suzuki is turning himself into a bit of an electoral  baffoon

David Suzuki calls on progressives to support Joyce Murray’s federal Liberal leadership bid

Her dark horse campaign appears to have been gaining momentum over the last couple of weeks with support from online and grassroots advocacy groups that favour electoral co-operation.

Murray, a former British Columbia environment minister, is the only one of nine leadership contenders to support that co-operation.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/02/21/david-suzuki-calls-on-progressiv...

First the Ontario provincial election and now this. Why is David pissing away alife time of building respect and crediblity like this.

Suzuki is one of Canada's greatest advocates for progressive ideals and the environment. He admirably puts the well being of Canadians and the well being of the environment before petty partisan politics.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

"Suzuki is one of Canada's greatest advocates for progressive ideals and the environment. He admirably puts the well being of Canadians and the well being of the environment before petty partisan politics."

JKR, this may be true, but Suzuki is sending a message that it is ok to vote Liberal to save the environment. I am really getting tired of beng told to put petty politics aside for the good of the nation. I know you are a party member, but I have a problem with this.

This sound like the kind of thing Debator wiould say and it enables the meme people should vote Lib to stop Harper. The Libs talk big and do nothing. They'll get the reigns of power and conitnue enabling this kind of behaviour that has so hurt this country. And what's worse, this is happening when the NDP could very much gain the reigns of power. This will hurt the NDP's first real chance at power and for us to have real change that helps and protects Canadians. Tell me how that wouldnt put "the well being of the environemtn before petty partians politics"? What could be more partisan and petty then being told we have to vote Lib to stop Harper?

theleftyinvestor

Suzuki and I had a chat about Ontario Liberals a few years back. He was consulting with McGuinty on their green energy strategy, and believed in good faith that they had reached an understanding on what McGuinty would soon announce. Suzuki felt betrayed when it turned out that McGuinty had included nuclear as a big part of the strategy, contrary to Suzuki's advice.

Nonetheless, I think Suzuki knows that Liberals will engage him in discussions and take some of his ideas into account, whereas Conservatives (notwithstanding Gordon Campbell) won't give him the time of day.

He's not afraid to criticize politicians of any stripe though. This includes the Ontario NDP for advocating lower fuel taxes, the federal and BC NDP for their past anti-carbon tax stances, the Ontario Liberals on nuclear power, BC Liberals on energy policy (including Northern Gateway and Site C Dam), Michael Ignatieff for trying to cozy up with the tar sands, Harper on cozying up with oil companies, Hudak for the "absolute insanity" of cancelling green energy plans...

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Suzuki is not helping the progressive cause by endorsing Libs. He knows how they govern. This insn't helpful and simply confuses people.

theleftyinvestor

Sometimes the NDP isn't helping the progressive cause either. We know how they govern :P

Just saying.

NorthReport

Actually the NDP has not yet been the government in Ottawa - just sayin'

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One would think this would be a given with any government. Guess not, at least with the right-wing parties in Canada. Too bad.

NDP wants mandatory reporting of government data breaches

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2013/02/ndp-wants-m...

josh

The only hope of delivering a fatal blow to the Harper Conservatives is a one-time agreement between the opposition parties focused on a single policy agreement: a coalition to defeat Harper in the House and establish proportional representation.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/01/28/Canada-Democracy-Coalition/

NorthReport

Occasionally it is refreshing to have the political niceties put aside and see things called for what they really are:  

F-R-A-U-D

NDP accuses unelected senators of fraud

The NDP says there's only one word to describe senators who don't know where they live and collect a fat housing allowance - fraud.

With no senators in the unelected upper chamber, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair pounced Monday on allegations senators are collecting tens of thousands of tax dollars on top of their $132,000 annual salaries by fudging details about where they reside.

New Democrats drew a parallel between the Conservative government's zeal to crack down on employment insurance fraudsters while ignoring what they said were fake claims being made by senators.

"Conservatives don't shy away from gratuitously accusing EI claimants of fraud, but they don't prevent their own senators committing fraud. It's a double standard. Why won't Conservatives really investigate fraud in the Senate?" Mulcair said in the Commons.

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan defended his peers, saying they were all qualified to represent their various jurisdictions and accused the NDP of standing in the way of Senate reform.

At least five senators -- Conservatives Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Dennis Patterson and Patrick Brazeau, and Liberal Mac Harb -- are facing scrutiny over housing claims.

After months of denying any wrongdoing, Duffy said Friday he planned to reimburse the money he's collected since Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed him to the post in 2009.

Some reports suggest he has billed upwards of $90,000 in housing subsidies. He did not return an e-mail to confirm the amount.

The opposition mocked his admission the form used to make an expense claim was too complicated and that he only recently understood that he may have checked off the wrong box when he disclosed his primary residence.

Duffy, a former broadcaster, has a cottage and apartment in P.E.I., but mostly resides in Ottawa where he owns a house.

To claim a secondary housing allowance, a senator has to prove his or her primary residence is more than 100 km outside Ottawa and therefore needs to have housing in both locations.

Harb's office did not know his whereabouts Monday to answer charges about improprieties about his allowance. He was appointed in 2003.

Wallin, also a former broadcaster, was the subject of a report Monday that she has a valid Ontario health card, which are only given to those whose primary residence is in the province.

Wallin was appointed to the Senate in 2009 to represent Saskatchewan. She's also facing scrutiny for running up travel expenses in excess of $350,000 over a two-year period.

 


http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/politics/archives/2013/02/20130225-...

NorthReport

I thought she lives in Saskatchewan Maybe they should start measuring her for a prison uniform.

Why does Pamela Wallin have an Ontario Health Care Card?

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/02/25/pamela_wallin_conservative...

Brachina

The NDPs standing in the way of Senate reform? Last time I checked it was Harpers own Senators standing in the way of Senate reform!

Plus at the end of the day the only reform we need is abolishing the Senate.

NorthReport

Probably caught-in-the-act Conservatives on a witch hunt looking for crooked Liberals. Canadians don't want nor deserve either of them.

Senators hauled before committee over residency proof

Senators who can't prove where they live to be questioned

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/02/25/pol-senate-residency-au...

NorthReport

Well done NDP

Government to reject NDP motion, but consider new infrastructure plan

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/government-to-reject-ndp-mo...

NorthReport

NDP to pitch study on independence, accountability of Auditor General

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2013/02/ndp-to-pitc...

NorthReport

Thank goodnessx the NDP wants the Senate abolished. Just imagine having to defernd these pigs at the trough.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/02/26/senate_crisis_prime_minist...

NorthReport

Thank goodness the NDP wants to abolish the Senate. Imagine having to defend these pigs at the trough. Ottawa is going to have to build some new penitentiaries to house all these white collar upper crust folks.

 

Senate crisis: Prime Minister Stephen Harper backs off his defence of Senator Pamela WallinPrime Minister Stephen Harper refuses to answer whether Senator Pamela Wallin repaid some travel expenses before an external audit.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/02/26/senate_crisis_prime_minist...

Brachina

The Senate is a really juicy target for the NDP. False expenses, Senators who don't live in the provinces they they're suppose to, secrets, senate reform appears to be going no where, an abusive Senator, which is not the first Senator charged with something, blocking democracy during the minority years, no accountablity to voters.

And best of all the Tories and Liberals support the Senate whole heartedly, which leaves them in a bad positions.

theleftyinvestor

I don't know, I feel like all along the Conservatives have had abolition as their second choice. They want to make the Senate as unpalatable and unpopular as possible in order to be able to make that happen. Sort of like that show that used to be on the CBC, where a cynical Prime Minister appoints a faded disco singer as Governor General in order to make the public sour against the idea of that office.

JKR

Arthur Cramer wrote:

"Suzuki is one of Canada's greatest advocates for progressive ideals and the environment. He admirably puts the well being of Canadians and the well being of the environment before petty partisan politics."

JKR, this may be true, but Suzuki is sending a message that it is ok to vote Liberal to save the environment. I am really getting tired of beng told to put petty politics aside for the good of the nation. I know you are a party member, but I have a problem with this.

This sound like the kind of thing Debator wiould say and it enables the meme people should vote Lib to stop Harper. The Libs talk big and do nothing. They'll get the reigns of power and conitnue enabling this kind of behaviour that has so hurt this country. And what's worse, this is happening when the NDP could very much gain the reigns of power. This will hurt the NDP's first real chance at power and for us to have real change that helps and protects Canadians. Tell me how that wouldnt put "the well being of the environemtn before petty partians politics"? What could be more partisan and petty then being told we have to vote Lib to stop Harper?

 

I don't see where Suzuki is saying people need to vote Liberal to support the environment. He is a realistic guy who knows that the best case scenerio for environmentalists in Canada is an NDP government in 2015. But he also knows the Liberals are not about to dissapear and that they are still players on the political scene, so it makes sense that he would try to support environmentalism within the Liberal party. Suzuki would probably applaud the Conservatives if they ever implemented environmentally progressive policies.

Suzuki also probably thinks that preventing another phony FPTP Conservative majority might depend on the Liberals beating the Conservatives in a few ridings where the Liberals and Conservatives are the only parties in contention. It may be that the NDP's chances of forming a minority government depend on preventing the Conservetaves from winning another phony FPTP majority. Suzuki rightly sees that if the next election results are:

CPC: 174
NDP: 164
LPC: 0
BQ: 0
GPC: 0 

Canada's policies will remain as they are today.

 

But if the results are:

CPC: 150
NDP: 132
LPC: 50
BQ: 5
GPC: 1

The NDP could form a minority government.

 

If we had proportional representation we would not be in this situation whereby the Conservatives could win a phony FPTP majority and have a total monopoly on Canadian politics.

socialdemocrati...

Senate Reform is more important than people realize. It's a huge part of electoral reform and getting a government that reflects the majority. It's a huge part of making the federal government more effective, so they can't just be stonewalled by regional interests. It's a huge part of getting real change, so we can't just be stonewalled by the dinosaurs from the other major parties.

The fact that it's getting so much negative press lately delights me. It was already a waste of money to begin with, but to actually put names and faces to the expenses helps prove it.

JKR

theleftyinvestor wrote:

I don't know, I feel like all along the Conservatives have had abolition as their second choice. They want to make the Senate as unpalatable and unpopular as possible in order to be able to make that happen. Sort of like that show that used to be on the CBC, where a cynical Prime Minister appoints a faded disco singer as Governor General in order to make the public sour against the idea of that office.

Going back to the days of the Reform Party and the triple-E Senate, Harper and many western conservatives have supported an elected Senate as a way of weakening central Canada, AKA Quebec and Ontario. The Conservative Party's support for an elected senate has a lot to do with maintaining the support of their base, former Reformers in western Canada. 

Aristotleded24

Brachina wrote:
The Senate is a really juicy target for the NDP. False expenses, Senators who don't live in the provinces they they're suppose to, secrets, senate reform appears to be going no where, an abusive Senator, which is not the first Senator charged with something, blocking democracy during the minority years, no accountablity to voters. And best of all the Tories and Liberals support the Senate whole heartedly, which leaves them in a bad positions.

The NDP has actually painted itself into a corner on this issue. As a tactical matter, the NDP will need to get its legislation passed by the Senate, but will need to appoint its own Senators to accomplish this end and get around the Conservatives. The opposition will then capitalize on the previous statements the NDP made against the Senate, people will shrug their shoulders and say, "the NDP are a party like the others," and will lose respect and support.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The NDP would have to be in power for at least a decade before they could appoint enough Senators to have a majority in the Chamber pot.  I don't think they need the Senates permission to abolish the institution and if it came to a showdown it would be interesting to see how the SCC would rule.

Debater

Bruce Anderson: The NDP is getting distracted by constitutional fights it can’t win

 

Abolishing the Senate and re-opening the Clarity Act will do little to attract the broad swath of voters outside Quebec who prefer their politicians to focus on bread and butter issues. With the possibility, indeed the likelihood, that Justin Trudeau will be chosen Liberal leader and will attract a lot of fresh attention for his party, Mr. Mulcair will have his work cut out for him in the run-up to the next election.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/bruce-anderson-the-ndp-is-g...

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Aristotleded24 wrote:

Brachina wrote:
The Senate is a really juicy target for the NDP. False expenses, Senators who don't live in the provinces they they're suppose to, secrets, senate reform appears to be going no where, an abusive Senator, which is not the first Senator charged with something, blocking democracy during the minority years, no accountablity to voters. And best of all the Tories and Liberals support the Senate whole heartedly, which leaves them in a bad positions.

The NDP has actually painted itself into a corner on this issue. As a tactical matter, the NDP will need to get its legislation passed by the Senate, but will need to appoint its own Senators to accomplish this end and get around the Conservatives. The opposition will then capitalize on the previous statements the NDP made against the Senate, people will shrug their shoulders and say, "the NDP are a party like the others," and will lose respect and support.

And if the Senate were dumb enough to block abolition, it would be a minor tactical defeat for the NDP and a greater strategic victory.

Imagine that. A reform that's designed to save money and reduce political bloat is blocked by elites with 6-figure salaries and lifetime income security, representing political parties who were supposedly voted out when the NDP was brought in.

Imagine putting faces and names to that obstruction. If people were angry about the $14 orange juice, you ain't seen nothing til we start scrutinizing the Senators. Their salary, their expenses, their lifestyle, their "accomplishments".

I know it's not a big issue now, but if it does become a big issue, the NDP has the best strategic position to capitalize on it. Better than the parties who want to keep the Senate around. "More politicians!!!" is a hard sell these days.

Slumberjack

There's no intrigue as to what the masterdebaters at the G&M are up to, which is to assist in cleaving through the nominal center.  Although it does appear to be a waste of time already.

NorthReport

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