NDP #15

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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I am making the point that as the NDP gets closer to power it is sucking up to the same type of people in the US that those of us, who actually have campaigned for nearly 40 years, have opposed in Canadian politics.  Its your party now and if you want to remake it in the image of the Democrats or Liberals that is your choice.  That however was not my rationale for actually helping keep it alive for decades. Please though, stop lying by claiming to be anything but a small "l" liberal party.

NorthReport

Mulcair tells Washington Harper has failed to protect environment

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has failed massively in its handling of Alberta’s oil sands.

After a speech in Washington, he lambasted the Conservatives. “I don’t think we are applying the basic rules of sustainable development in Canada right now, we’ve been clear about that,” he said.

The Conservative government “is not enforcing our own federal legislation, we’re not protecting the groundwater, we not protecting the eco-systems, we’re not protecting First Nations’ health,” he added.

But the opposition leader won’t publicly utter either “yes” or “no” to Keystone XL, at least not on his current trip to Washington and New York where the controversial pipeline to ship carbon-heavy Alberta oil sands crude to refineries on the Texas Gulf coast is the hottest topic of most Canada-U.S. conversations.

Challenged that his stock response was not a direct answer about Keystone, Mr. Mulcair said: “It is an answer because the NDP would have had as a priority a Canadian solution to bring that product (Alberta oil sands crude) from west to east, that was what we would want … the project that is there is the result of the activities of a federal government that doesn’t respect the basic rules of sustainable development.”

Despite his public reticence, there are hints Mr. Mulcair is being more direct in face-to-face talks.

For instance, he discussed Keystone Tuesday with Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat leader in the House of Representatives and – by far – the most powerful political player that agreed to see the NDP leader.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mulcair-tells-washington-ha...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Tom wrote:

 It is an answer because the NDP would have had as a priority a Canadian solution to bring that product (Alberta oil sands crude) from west to east, that was what we would want

"Oil sands crude" indeed.  So are environmentalists from Alberta to NB not going to fight this new direction.  Kalamazoo looks a lot like most of Northern Ontario and Quebec. Am I to presume that no one will complain about this idea or has Tom just put his foot into a large pool of sticky gunk?

janfromthebruce

Thanks NR for posting excerpts from Mulcair's speech in Washington. He made me proud today.

Lord Palmerston

Stiglitz is way to the left of the NDP leadership.  

NorthReport

Don't worry about the NDP naysayers. Wth their approach the Cons will be in power forever.

 

 

NorthReport

I respect right-wing politicians. When the right take power they deliver for their supporters. 

The NDP needs to be much more forceful in attacking this kind of greed. 

 

Harper government’s $60B business tax breaks spark questions and criticism

It’s a $60-billion venture for the federal Conservative government.

That’s the estimated amount of tax relief Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has offered up to businesses in Canada since taking power in 2006 — reducing the country’s corporate tax rates to some of the lowest in the world.

The government maintains the widespread corporate tax relief has been an answer for the sluggish Canadian economy — spurring investment and job creation, while putting tax dollars back into the pockets of business owners, taxpayers and shareholders.

But with a federal budget coming soon, the $60 billion in business tax breaks are also sparking questions and criticism for a government trying to rein in a deficit estimated at $26 billion and balance the books within two years.

“They’ve reduced (corporate) taxes but there has been really not adequate major investment in capital expenditures or job creation,” argues NDP finance critic Peggy Nash.

“We haven’t got much bang for the buck.”

 

 

http://www.canada.com/business/Harper+government+business+breaks+spark+q...

North Star

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Stiglitz is way to the left of the NDP leadership.  

There are Democrats to the left of the NDP leadership: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/14

They're even pricing carbon instead of using that neoliberal chimera cap & trade.

Aristotleded24

Lord Palmerston wrote:
Stiglitz is way to the left of the NDP leadership.

All the more reason to have him address the convention, maybe if enough delegates hear him, they will force the party's hand.

mark_alfred

North Star wrote:

They're even pricing carbon instead of using that neoliberal chimera cap & trade.

Applying consumer flat taxes on items is not to the left of applying a polluter pay system like cap and trade.

NorthReport

Keystone XL pipeline not good for Canada, opposition leader suggests

Thomas Mulcair criticises Canada's Conservative government and says pipeline is exacting heavy environmental cost

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/13/keystone-xl-pipeline-c...

sherpa-finn

I'm getting a fair bit of e-mail traffic these days about the upcoming NDP Convention in Montreal. Anyone have any insights as to any substantive policy or strategy issues on the agenda? Or will it be pretty much a PR exercise? Trying to decide whether to invest the time and $ to attend.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The riding associations submit resolutions and often there are many good ones. The real battle is in the Resolutions Committee since there is never enough time to debate them all.  The order of precedence of what gets debated means a lot at the convention.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Who is sitting on the Resolutions Committee?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Brachina wrote:

Because the quality of new treaties will be better, they'll be fair trade.

So where are the drafts for such treaties.  There are none on the table now but you think that an NDP government will be able to out negotiate the EU and the US and get a Bolivarian style of trade agreement. Sorry I am not that optimistic since this is about the real world of global finances and he is not going to change the direction of the IMF or World bank and to me thinking he can is delusional. I can't imagine the German bankers and Wall Street financiers changing their views on these corporate rights agreements because Canada says they should.  The people of Europe are in the streets by the millions and those groups are not backing down but you believe Tom will change their minds. Whatever.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

knownothing wrote:

Who is sitting on the Resolutions Committee?

Normally they are appointed people and they meet prior to the convention starting.  You should ask your rep on the Federal Council.

North Star

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Brachina wrote:

Because the quality of new treaties will be better, they'll be fair trade.

So where are the drafts for such treaties.  There are none on the table now but you think that an NDP government will be able to out negotiate the EU and the US and get a Bolivarian style of trade agreement. Sorry I am not that optimistic since this is about the real world of global finances and he is not going to change the direction of the IMF or World bank and to me thinking he can is delusional. I can't imagine the German bankers and Wall Street financiers changing their views on these corporate rights agreements because Canada says they should.  The people of Europe are in the streets by the millions and those groups are not backing down but you believe Tom will change their minds. Whatever.

Exactly. While the NDP may be able to negotiate some better bilateral trade agreements if they win power, by 2015 the damage will have been done with FIPA, CETA & the TPP.  It should also be noted that we had the Socialist French PM encouraging CETA just this past week and as well a Labour government in Australia negotiating TPP, so I'm not particularly hopeful on the NDP's prospects on this one.

theleftyinvestor

This is going to elicit a lot of reactions:

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/Tandt+Where+Tony+Blair/8111721...

Den Tandt: Where is the NDP’s Tony Blair?

A right-wing editorial complaining that Mulcair is not enough like Tony Blair contrary to what he was accused of during the leadership race :P

NeedToVote101

Am I the only one that thinks the NDP needs to come out now with an economic plan and budget everything now. I mean, there will be an election in 2015, two years from now. If the NDP are to make a slip up, wouldn't now be the best time to do this? Release some budgetary planning, policies. Canadians want to see how the NDP would run the show fiscally if given the opportunity to govern.  Now is the time to iron these policies out. At this convention will there be an opportunity to set out a fiscal layout of an NDP government that the Canadian public can review or disapprove? That htye can give feedback on!?

Brachina

I find it funny that a couple of people on rabble complain that Tom is Tony Blair and yet other people appear to be complaining he's not Tony Blair.

I would like to point out to Dan that Mulcair never said he was a centralist, he said he was going to bring the centre to him, very big difference.

Man if Keystone doesn't go through Harper and his media lackies are going to be shitting bricks and they are going to blame Mulcair.

Which in one way it might be fair, I have a feeling that Mulcair's visit tilted the balance against Keystone, at least that's the impression I got from watching Nacy Polosi speaking on the meeting. It helps that the Americans are gaining new sources of oil as well.

I really hope the Americans kill this pipeline if only to see the Tories foam at the mouth enraged at Mulcair for once again derailing the Harper Adgenda.

socialdemocrati...

As much as I'd like to see concrete policies, it's always politically smart to hedge your bets. There could be a double dip recession. A fall in oil prices. A climate crisis. Not to mention, you don't know if the other parties are going to lurch left, lurch right, open up a weakness, or find a new strength. We're unlikely to see a new set of policies until the election is near.

And yeah, I think it's silly that Mulcair can be the second coming of Tony Blair and not Tony Blair enough. The media has never been able to peg him.

Brachina

Personally Mulcair is a one of a kind and they broke the mold when they made him. In other news the Senates Hall of Shame. My personal favourite was the Senator who read his entire book into the record for a free french translation. LMFAO at that one. I hope it was a good book, I'd hate to be a Senator who has to sit through that if its aweful.:-D

http://senatehallofshame.ca/

Aristotleded24

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
And yeah, I think it's silly that Mulcair can be the second coming of Tony Blair and not Tony Blair enough. The media has never been able to peg him.

The Romanow/Calvert administration in Saskatchewan bent over backwards to appeal to centrists and shed the "scary socialist" images that people have of the NDP, and yet the media still made it sound like the Bolsheviks were about to take over Douglas Park any day. So yes, you can be Tony Blair and the media will still complain that you're not enough like Tony Blair.

janfromthebruce

I also think that lifting leaders out of the context of times and political situations and dynamics loses sight of what was happening. This happens all the time with the "Rae years". Somehow the Rae NDP govt in Ontario is bashed because it created debt but eventually balanced the budget in its last term in office, although every govt of every political strip, both fed and prov was in debt due to the economic global and local economies, related to neoliberalism and economic restructuring.

So Romanow was a leader of his time, in which he led a NDP govt which took over from a corrupt PC govt which went heavily into debt. Remember, bankers and financers don't give a care to debt (they make money on that) but about deficits. When you owe the banks, they control you which Tommy Douglas rightly understood.

mark_alfred

Agreed.

socialdemocrati...

Yep. "Fiscally conservative" is a joke and needs to be called out every time. Conservatives don't balance budgets. New Democrats do.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

It seems to me regarding fiscal conservative, that we can use this against the Libs too; they cut programs and balance budgets by stealing from social safety net programs, while giving tax breaks to the wealthy. I tell you the next time some lib tells me he/she's a pragmatic fiscal conservative, but socially progressive, I'll scream!

theleftyinvestor

The federal Liberals tended to under-forecast revenues, such that their budgets would not only be balanced but also generate continued "surprise" surpluses, which looked good in their public image. The Conservatives didn't like this and would have rather accounted for that money in advance.

In retrospect though, maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to under-forecast. Nowadays we have federal and provincial finance ministers pulling mysterious fake future revenues out of a hat in order to label budgets as balanced, and then they turn out not to be.

theleftyinvestor

Bill C-279 (Trans rights), Randall Garrison's successor to Bill Siksay's act that died on the order paper, has just passed the house with the support of more than a dozen CPC MPs, plus most Liberals (Trudeau was absent, a few abstained), all present NDP MPs and of course the entire Green caucus.

Now onto the Senate...

knownothing knownothing's picture

great news

Brachina

theleftyinvestor wrote:

Bill C-279 (Trans rights), Randall Garrison's successor to Bill Siksay's act that died on the order paper, has just passed the house with the support of more than a dozen CPC MPs, plus most Liberals (Trudeau was absent, a few abstained), all present NDP MPs and of course the entire Green caucus.

Now onto the Senate...

Showing once again that dispite being up against a Tory Majority the NDP official opposition can still make a positive difference in the lives of ordinary Canadians.

I look forward to 2015.

mark_alfred

There's apparently some procedural war going on in the HofC between the Cons and NDP.  link

NorthReport

Why'd the Feds Push to Ratify Four Treaties Without Debate?

Government makes up support for provisions found in two major proposed trade deals

The NDP picked up on the inclusion of the recommendations without any debate, discussion or actual study, noting in its minority report that: "As the Committee heard no testimony on the Patent Law Treaty, the Madrid Protocol and Singapore Treaty for trade-marks, and Hague Agreement for Industrial Designs, New Democrat committee members are surprised by the inclusion of a recommendation regarding these treaties in the majority report. The Committee should seek more information before pronouncing on such treaties."

 

http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2013/03/26/Trade-Deals-Without-Debate/

NorthReport

Testing the Right to Frack

NAFTA investor lawsuit against shale gas moratorium adds reason to fear FIPA.

 

 

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/03/28/Right-to-Frack/

NorthReport

"a society that shares its benefits more fairly"

 

That's good enough for me


http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/04/03/what-does-the-ndp-stand-for/

NorthReport

Mulcair blasts Tories in Timmins 

Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair was in Timmins at the Dante Club on Wednesday. He answered questions regarding the overall state of Canada, as well as issues directly affecting Northern Ontario.

Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair was in Timmins at the Dante Club on Wednesday. He answered questions regarding the overall state of Canada, as well as issues directly affecting Northern Ontario.

 

 

http://www.timminspress.com/2013/04/03/mulcair-blasts-tories-in-timmins

felixr

I'm glad to see Mulcair on the road a lot more. It makes him seem more connected to the people.

Wilf Day

Wonderful timing: a week before the NDP Convention, an Environics poll shows a record level of support for proportional representation:

Quote:
"Would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose moving towards a system of proportional representation in Canadian elections?" Support: 70%. Oppose: 18%. Depends on type of PR: 6%. Don't know: 6%.

That amounts to 79% of decided voters. Previous polls have been around 70% of decided voters. This is a new high.

Why so high? Was it contamination from the previous question "(Some/Other) people think that Canada’s current democratic system does not adequately represent the interests and values of most Canadians, and that our political system is broken and needs to be fixed. (Some/Other) people think that Canada’s current democratic system is effective and works well to balance the needs of the many with the needs of the few. Which of these statements is closest to your own viewpoint?"

I don't see that. Only 45% said "Broken and needs to be fixed." But 70% supported proportional representation.

The other amazing thing is the party breakdown: while 93% of Green voters and 82% of NDP voters support PR (and another 5% said "depends on the type of PR"), 77% of Liberal voters also support it, and even 62% of Conservative voters. We keep saying PR is not a partisan issue: and it's really true!

felixr

Cool. I think Brian Topp was headed in a interesting direction in his attempts to develop a pro rep plank for the last federal NDP leadership campaign.

theleftyinvestor

Surveying on proportional representation is very dependent on the question for sure. I think a lot more people are into the idea of proportionality as long as they don't have to care about the details. Once it becomes a matter of seeing what it involves to hold elections under STV, MMP or various other systems, they start getting more hesitant about the complications. That was the angle the anti-reform forces took in Ontario and BC... sowing the seeds of doubt.

Ippurigakko

ppl dont understand electoral system because they dont educated at all! it is NEED teaching in school about different electoral system!! like middle or high school, not college or university.

our school system is suck.... need change.... like canadian should know our indigenous land, treaty, that why we have Idle No More.... no racism, or any discrimination etc....

JKR

Electoral systems are complicated and since most voters don''t have the time, energy, or inclination to study electoral systems, they are not in an informed position to vote in a referendum. Because most voters don't understand electoral systems, it is very easy to confuse people into being against any new system. The only thing most people know is that our current system has been used since Confederation. Because people are generally unwilling to understand unfamiliar complicated electoral systems,  any new unfamiliar system can easily be made out to be flawed. In referendums on electoral reform in BC, Ontario, and the UK , most voters had little idea of what they were.voting on. The reasons they gave for voting a certain way often made no sense and were often self-contradictory. When people are confused about the question being asked in a referendum, they will tend to stick by the devil they know, the status quo. So changing electoral systems should not be decided by referendum.  This is especially true of establishing proportional representation, as this involves supporting minority voting rights. Electoral reform should be decided by the House of Commons with extensive input from the public and experts on  electoral systems. Experts in Canada seem to favour MMP, Open-List Mixed Member Proportional, which is also known as the additional member system.

FPTP is actually misnamed. There is no "post" that candidates have to pass in order to get elected. The winner of an FPTP election does not need to have to pass the "majority post" to win an election as the word "post" in FPTP implies. A candidate only needs two or more votes to win a FPTP election as long as all the other candidates win fewer votes. The accurate name for FPTP is "single-member plurality (SMP). In  horse racing, "first passed the post" is the perfect way to decide a race as the fastest horse wins a FPTP race. But without a"post" SMP electoral races are completely unfair if their is more than 2 political horses in the race.

There's actually a very strong case to be made for SMP as long as one believes that politics is best served by being limited to two-choices. SMP is based on the idea that politics should be made up of only two  big-tent parties, the government and the opposition. Having just two parties has advantages such as:

- People with different viewpoints have to work together and compromise with each other within two very big tent political parties.This creates social cohesion.

- Two party races always produce a clear winner.

- Two-party races always produce a majority government that can easily implement their agenda.

- Majority governments don't have to worry about short-term popularity and can administer the bitter medicine required.

- Within two-party systems, the party that forms the government can easily be held accountable and turfed out of power by the other party.

- A limit of two choices allows the public to easily choose between two simple and distinct options. 

Brachina
socialdemocrati...

Unfortunately, I do think we have to interpret some amount of polling bias in the PR survey. After asking numerous questions about how broken the electoral system is, I'd bet you could propose "fewer MPs" or "poll tests" and they would still be quite popular with the survey.

But what it does show is that there IS an appetite for reform. And there IS an appetite for PR, *if* you make the case to Canadians that the electoral system is broken. And they are very receptive to that message.

theleftyinvestor

The pro-PR forces must be ever-vigilant, though, to avoid ever sounding anything like: "If you're against us, it's only because you don't understand electoral systems." That's a sure way to lose public support.

janfromthebruce

A small at the MacLean's site, in which leader should would you pick

http://www2.macleans.ca/

I just voted for Thomas Mulcair!

mark_alfred

janfromthebruce wrote:

A small at the MacLean's site, in which leader should would you pick

http://www2.macleans.ca/

I just voted for Thomas Mulcair!

Thanks.  I put my vote in.  It's almost a three-way tie.

Ippurigakko

maybe 2015 looks like this macleans polls..

Justin T - LIB 31.2% (+12.3)
Tom M - NDP 29.7% (-0.9)
Stephen H - CON 26.6% (-13.0)
Daniel P - BQ 6.2% (+0.2)
Elizabeth M - GRN 6.2% (+2.3)

both Daniel and Elizabeth are include 3 choice (12.44%)

theleftyinvestor

Although Maclean's isn't exactly Lefty Paradise Magazine, I think it's reasonable to assume that they undersample Conservative votes.

socialdemocrati...

I'm always surprised when the NDP gets positive responses on the message board of ANY mainstream media publication. It bodes well for the party's grassroots, being out there and fighting. I gave up on those message boards a long time ago.

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