NDP Montreal Convention 2013

326 posts / 0 new
Last post
wage zombie

Michelle wrote:

You can put forward as many progressive resolutions as you want at Convention - if the brass doesn't find a way to keep them off the floor, they'll find a way to bury the ones that do miraculously pass and make them a low priority in practice.  Their say-nothing, content-free, "new and improved" preamble pretty much says it all, and I agree with Stockholm that it will probably pass with 90% of the vote.

I guess the grassroots is powerless compared to the brass, might as well just give up.

Unionist

Brachina wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

So glad the last election the "strategic vote" went for the NDP. And I wouldn't ever vote Liberal because that would mean I've bought into the "there is no alternative" and Liberals are progressive rhetoric.

And the NDP won once in Ontario in 1990, and it's now 2013. And if the NDP wins under FPTP, I strongly believe they will change the way Canadians select their representatives.

I do too Jan.

You must have some good explanation as to why no NDP government has ever done this - including the two in power right now. I'd be fascinated to hear it.

Brachina

Because Those two Premiers are on maintance duty, while Mulcair is an honest man of huge intergity and vision.

Unionist

... and he ministers to the poor, carries his own luggage, and looks after the hotel bill.

Aristotleded24

Brachina wrote:
Because Those two Premiers are on maintance duty, while Mulcair is an honest man of huge intergity and vision.

I'm so sorry to hear that. So many politicians these days are afflicted by the diseases of "integrity" and "vision." I hope Mulcair gets better soon.

clambake

Isn't the major difference that no provincial NDP premier has ever campaigned on electoral reform?

trotwood73

Jim Flaherty is very disappointed in the NDP

His views on the resolutionS....

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Gee he isn't going to resign and run for them?  That would be news but the fact that he disagrees with the NDP is merely more MSM fluff.  Why even read Macleans?

trotwood73

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Gee he isn't going to resign and run for them?  That would be news but the fact that he disagrees with the NDP is merely more MSM fluff.  Why even read Macleans?

I thought it was very considerate of Mr. Flaherty and the Conservatives to take time from their busy schedule of preparing the upcoming JT attack ads to peruse our resolutions and give their commentary. Goodness knows they can't attack the Anointed One's policies or positions....

NorthReport

This is "Much Ado About Nothing" or, in other words," how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" The naysayers are just jealous! Laughing

Geoff

I agree with Aristotleded24.  Any party could live with the platitudes in the new preamble. There's nothing in it that sets the NDP apart from anyone else. It's as if they're saying, "Please vote for us and we promise to be the same as the rest of them."  The folks who support this kind of rubbish are leading the party into a merger with the Liberals, whether they admit it or not.

 

 

 

Brachina

Because you saying it makes it true right, oh right it doesn't.

knownothing knownothing's picture
Unionist

clambake wrote:

Isn't the major difference that no provincial NDP premier has ever campaigned on electoral reform?

As opposed to the big federal NDP campaigns on electoral reform, you mean?

 

Unionist

Hilarious:

[url=http://riotwire.com/column/immigrants-socialists-and-semantics-oh-my/]Im..., Socialists, and Semantics, Oh My![/url]

Quote:
At the 2011 Convention in Vancouver, delegates argued over whether or not the party should lose the references to “socialism” in its preamble. Winnipeg Centre MP Pat Martin gave a stirring speech from the floor, in which he likened the word to an anchor (but, like, a bad anchor). The three-and-a-half-minute speech will no doubt go down in history as the longest Pat Martin has ever gone without swearing. The discussion was shelved and the following year, the party went on to elect a new leader of a decidedly non-socialist bent, but who, as a sop to the party’s die-hard Marxists, is bearded and not particularly personable. [...]

As Jack Layton told Canadian Dimension magazine back in 2003, “I’m proud to call myself a socialist. I prefer it by far to democratic socialist.” I would submit that that’s because Jack knew a fucking wienie phrase when he saw one. It’s a Cold War anachronism — “My name’s Charlie, and I’m a democratic socialist” is the sort of thing you’d say at a 12-step meeting for Totalitarians Anonymous: “It’d start innocently enough. I’d just paint a little picture of a tractor. Next thing I knew, I was blacked out, collectivizing farms…”

Policywonk

Unionist wrote:

Hilarious:

[url=http://riotwire.com/column/immigrants-socialists-and-semantics-oh-my/]Im..., Socialists, and Semantics, Oh My![/url]

Quote:
At the 2011 Convention in Vancouver, delegates argued over whether or not the party should lose the references to “socialism” in its preamble. Winnipeg Centre MP Pat Martin gave a stirring speech from the floor, in which he likened the word to an anchor (but, like, a bad anchor). The three-and-a-half-minute speech will no doubt go down in history as the longest Pat Martin has ever gone without swearing. The discussion was shelved and the following year, the party went on to elect a new leader of a decidedly non-socialist bent, but who, as a sop to the party’s die-hard Marxists, is bearded and not particularly personable. [...]

As Jack Layton told Canadian Dimension magazine back in 2003, “I’m proud to call myself a socialist. I prefer it by far to democratic socialist.” I would submit that that’s because Jack knew a fucking wienie phrase when he saw one. It’s a Cold War anachronism — “My name’s Charlie, and I’m a democratic socialist” is the sort of thing you’d say at a 12-step meeting for Totalitarians Anonymous: “It’d start innocently enough. I’d just paint a little picture of a tractor. Next thing I knew, I was blacked out, collectivizing farms…”

Obviously Martin had never heard of a sea anchor, which stabilizes a ship in heavy seas, rather than tethers it to the bottom.

DaveW

NDPP wrote:

Dippers Need to Decide if Big Government is Still Essential

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/04/06/robson-dippers-need-to-decide-if-big...

"How can the federal NDP be debating whether to stop calling themselves socialists?

But the NDP were once proud to be socialists. So I insist on asking how they came to be not so much ashamed of the label as indifferent to it.

If it has no content I agree they shouldn't be using it..."

""... the proposed new NDP Constitution preamble circulated to members this week, so long and dull it apparently aims to replace socialism with somnambulism"" Surprised

 

 

Unionist

We are all too aware of Pat Martin's anchor management issues.

Brachina

Is the Preamble resolution amendable?

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

DaveW wrote:

NDPP wrote:

Dippers Need to Decide if Big Government is Still Essential

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/04/06/robson-dippers-need-to-decide-if-big...

"How can the federal NDP be debating whether to stop calling themselves socialists?

But the NDP were once proud to be socialists. So I insist on asking how they came to be not so much ashamed of the label as indifferent to it.

If it has no content I agree they shouldn't be using it..."

""... the proposed new NDP Constitution preamble circulated to members this week, so long and dull it apparently aims to replace socialism with somnambulism"" Surprised

 

 

 

Given who the party leaders are, this is no surprise. It looks Demcoratic Party 3rd Wayism has come North. Ridiculous!

Policywonk

Brachina wrote:
Is the Preamble resolution amendable?

In the panels tomorrow. At least in theory. In practice I doubt any amendments would succeed, even if all they need is 50%. Which doesn't necessarily mean the proposed preamble will get 66.7% when it gets to the floor.

mark_alfred

DaveW wrote:

media presence seemed a bit light; a TV platform for CPAC, no other big networks around

Seems the MSM has relegated the NDP to 3rd party status.

DaveW

Random observations:

convention just opening at 1.30 and I work nearby, and with all the tunnels around here no need to go out in the (!) snowy weather;

so I wandered around Palais des Congrès and the usual variety of pamphlet distributors roamed the halls there, although the Broadbent Institute and Douglas-Caldwell Foundation got pride of place once you exit the escalators;

the Convention centre is large and airy but the hall pretty dark; as I have no status I went to the sign-up and they said an observer pass would cost ... $1200; I said five dollars was more my speed and went on to lunch;

met a guy named Blake from Vancouver, we had quite a discussion over a sandwich about the recent RBC fiasco and corporate planning etc.; he thought even the media storm was foreseen. I dunno.

the first speaker, Joe Stiglitz, starts at 2pm but he is given only half an hour; clearly very few Q&As in half an hour   for a Nobel speaker;

media presence seemed a bit light; a TV platform for CPAC, no other big networks around, but also .... SunTV; the lady onstage was talking very quickly about how Mulcair had to work to seem "less angry" to make any progress... oh well.

Anyway, back to work.

 

 

 

 

Coldwell Coldwell's picture

mark_alfred wrote:

Seems the MSM has relegated the NDP to 3rd party status.

Actually the MSM has been treating the NDP as a third party since the 2011 election. Time and again, Liberal critics are quoted before their NDP counterparts. Often the NDP is ignored altogether.  

Last night the CBC's "At Issue" panel fairly gushed over The Dauphin and appeared to take it for granted that the Liberals will be back in contention in the next election, somehow leapfrogging over the NDP. Chantal Hebert put it all down to Justin's likeability and Mulcair's lack of warmth! So much for rigorous analysis.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

"observer pass would cost ... $1200;"

Seriously, what party genius thought out that? How do you think you get people to look at the NDP if you don't give them a chance to learn in live time what the NDP stands for.

I am convinced the party leadership is truly clueless. Trust me, I have a bit of first hand knowledge of this.

mark_alfred

Coldwell wrote:

mark_alfred wrote:

Seems the MSM has relegated the NDP to 3rd party status.

Actually the MSM has been treating the NDP as a third party since the 2011 election. Time and again, Liberal critics are quoted before their NDP counterparts. Often the NDP is ignored altogether.  

Last night the CBC's "At Issue" panel fairly gushed over The Dauphin and appeared to take it for granted that the Liberals will be back in contention in the next election, somehow leapfrogging over the NDP. Chantal Hebert put it all down to Justin's likeability and Mulcair's lack of warmth! So much for rigorous analysis.

Yeah, I saw that.  The same media predicted the NDP last time would end up fourth.  How wrong they were.

Coldwell Coldwell's picture

Arthur Cramer wrote:

"observer pass would cost ... $1200;"

Seriously, what party genius thought out that? How do you think you get people to look at the NDP if you don't give them a chance to learn in live time what the NDP stands for.

I am convinced the party leadership is truly clueless. Trust me, I have a bit of first hand knowledge of this.

Agreed. They are clueless. But then again, nowadays the party seems to be interested in recruiting donors, not members. 

When I got active in the NDP in the 1970s as a pre-teen--before I was even eligible to take out a membership, as you had to be 14--I attended provincial conventions for free. That's how it still should be.

lagatta

Yeah, that is really stupid. I'm glad I didn't venture down there. Once upon a time I had a press card, but that is no longer the case.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Weisleder tried to amend the agenda to remove the Democratic Party strategist speech in favour of a policy debate.

 

The amendment did not pass

mark_alfred

I remember when Barry Weisleder was on the board of OPSEU.  He advocated similar cuts to the staff that Harris had advocated to the OPS, justifying it with similar libertarian-like talk of how the membership should be empowered themselves.  Talk about misguided.

NDPP

NDP Convention in Montreal: A Party of Capitalist Austerity and Imperialist War

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/12/ndpc-a12.html

"Canada's social-democrats have responded to their unexpected success in the May 2011 federal election by lurching further right on every major political question. The leadership justifies this by claiming that it needs to demonstrate to Canadians that the 'NDP is ready for government.'

In reality, it is seeking to demonstrate to the ruling class that the NDP is a 'progressive' party akin to Barack Obama's Democrats or the British Labour Party - a party of austerity and imperialist war - and thus eminently suitable to supplant the Liberals as the bourgeoisie's 'left' party of government..."

DaveW

.. so I take it you're not renewing your membership?

North Star

Got an update from a friend - the preamble was amended to include references to First Nations and interculturalism. However an attempt to re-insert the line "abolition of poverty" was defeated! An union official from UFCW even spoke against it.... 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

North Star wrote:

Got an update from a friend - the preamble was amended to include references to First Nations and interculturalism. However an attempt to re-insert the line "abolition of poverty" was defeated! An union official from UFCW even spoke against it.... 

This is NOT the party of TC Douglas anymore.

Ippurigakko

Seriously? does it mean ndp wont put abolition of povery ?????????

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

And what about that 1989 resolution Ed Broadbent brought forward regarding poverty eliminatin in 10 years? You know, that Ed Broadbend. The one who used to lead the party. I'm just sayin. Third wayism; this is dangerous, Liberal/Tory, same old story, but the NDP, I'm so sorry?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So is the NDP really going to spend its time trying to define interculturalism to the population. I understand it is a fairly well known if not well understood concept within Quebec but I will hazard a guess that in BC it would only be an academic elite who would have any kind of understanding about the term.  It is now going to form part of the constitution of the party?  Did anyone ask the membership outside of the people on the convention floor.  This is a very big deal that the MSM is going to pick up on and run with as a major story.

Strange battle to be jumping into.  Interculturalism versus multiculturalism seems like a strange thing for the NDP to be fighting the next election on.  Does the party have a death wish when it comes to running against the Liberal's?

janfromthebruce

No party fights an election on their party's preamble. I don't even know what the conservation, liberal, bloc, green parties' preambles are and nor have I ever seen any election fought on this. It's a molehill and not a mountain.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Not usually but I can see the MSM using this to hammer away at the party and contrast it with the Liberals.  It will not pass quietly into the night it will get reported. Trudeau has just been handed a chance to run on his fathers legacy and the foundation of the Canadian Charter.  The pundits on this board may be able to differentiate between the reference in the Canadian Constitution to multicultural heritage but good luck with the general population.

For a party that is trying to pick its battles carefully this is a major blunder especially over a term that I will bet that the vast majority of NDP members would not be able to even define let alone differentiate between it and multiculturalism.

Quote:

27. This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.

knownothing knownothing's picture

 

Hopefully, someone will bring it up at the mic and the resolution will fail

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Here is what one finds on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.  We proudly proclaim to the world that Canada is a multicultural society and that is one our great positives. Fucking with the mythology of Canada as a progressive nation is not going to play well with most people.

Frankly I don't care whether intellectually one is better than the other but Captain Canada has found his flag to wrap himself in if this gets passed at convention. "Canadian multiculturalism is fundamental to our belief that all citizens are equal." That kind of thing has been taught to every student in most provinces for 40 years.  What a dumb, dumb move.

I would presume that saner heads will notice what happened and the Preamble changes will fail and then it can blow over so the party will only be stuck defending having socialism in its Preamble not interculturalism.

Quote:

In 1971, Canada was the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. By so doing, Canada affirmed the value and dignity of all Canadian citizens regardless of their racial or ethnic origins, their language, or their religious affiliation. The 1971 Multiculturalism Policy of Canada also confirmed the rights of Aboriginal peoples and the status of Canada’s two official languages.

Canadian multiculturalism is fundamental to our belief that all citizens are equal. Multiculturalism ensures that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging. Acceptance gives Canadians a feeling of security and self-confidence, making them more open to, and accepting of, diverse cultures. The Canadian experience has shown that multiculturalism encourages racial and ethnic harmony and cross-cultural understanding.

Mutual respect helps develop common attitudes. New Canadians, no less than other Canadians, respect the political and legal process, and want to address issues by legal and constitutional means.

Through multiculturalism, Canada recognizes the potential of all Canadians, encouraging them to integrate into their society and take an active part in its social, cultural, economic and political affairs.

All Canadians are guaranteed equality before the law and equality of opportunity regardless of their origins. Canada’s laws and policies recognize Canada’s diversity by race, cultural heritage, ethnicity, religion, ancestry and place of origin and guarantee to all men and women complete freedom of conscience, of thought, belief, opinion expression, association and peaceful assembly. All of these rights, our freedom and our dignity, are guaranteed through our Canadian citizenship, our Canadian Constitution, and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Multiculturalism has led to higher rates of naturalization than ever before. With no pressure to assimilate and give up their culture, immigrants freely choose their new citizenship because they want to be Canadians. As Canadians, they share the basic values of democracy with all other Canadians who came before them. At the same time, Canadians are free to choose for themselves, without penalty, whether they want to identify with their specific group or not. Their individual rights are fully protected and they need not fear group pressures.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/citizenship.asp

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Can someone please tell me what this is all about? I don't understand at all what this is about.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Can someone please tell me what this is all about? I don't understand at all what this is about.

Nor will the majority of Canadians.  Interculturalism is seen by many in Quebec as a preferred concept to multiculturalism. Interculturalism is about to be added to the Preamble. 

I'm with you since I can't properly define the key differences so I think it is semantic dancing on the head of a pin but I also know that national mythology is not something to mess with.

cco

What with having nothing better to do this weekend, I ended up going anyway, though I ducked out before the Mulcair circle-jerk started. The room was definitely packed for the preamble discussion; an attempt to move it to the bottom of the agenda narrowly failed. I remember the discussion of adding the elimination-of-poverty language, but not how the vote turned out (listening to endless discussion over amendments to amendments to amendments eventually made my brain turn to mush). Oh, and organizers hilariously tried to shut down the Socialist Caucus meeting.

Anyone up to meet up tomorrow? I don't bite, I promise.

NorthReport

Babble always attracts the naysayers, but it sounds like the NPD Convention in Montreal is off to a fantastic start.

NDP convention gets boost from Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz

The NDP convention gets underway in Montreal Friday.

New Democrats received a high-profile endorsement of their way of viewing the world from Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who decried the social inequality he argued is created by focusing too narrowly on economic growth.

“The inequality in Canada is getting out of hand. It is reaching levels that will begin to have serious, complex consequences for the economy and the society. If left unchecked, it will even begin to erode many of the democratic values that Canadians hold so dear,” Stiglitz, who was an economic adviser to former U.S. president Bill Clinton, told nearly 1,600 delegates in his keynote speech to open the NDP policy convention Friday.

“It’s not just economics. It’s how we shape those economic forces. It’s policies. It’s what governments do and that’s why what you are doing here is so important,” said Stiglitz, who had earlier told the crowd, to its obvious delight, he believes the NDP will form the next federal government in two years.

 

The support came as New Democrats came together for what party officials have been referring to as a pre-election convention, which involves training activities for grassroots activists but also ongoing efforts to convince Canadians the left-of-centre party is ready to govern the economy.

“We see ourselves as a government in waiting and part of the path to government for us is building trust with Canadians that progressive governments have a better record of economic management than those who increase inequality and have a more ideological conservative agenda,” Toronto NDP MP and finance critic Peggy Nash said in an interview.

“I think our electoral success provincially and federally is helping us focus more on pragmatic solutions and I think part of that is Jack Layton’s legacy, where, yes, you have principled ideas but you also focus on getting things done for Canadians,” said Nash of an approach that has been continued by Thomas Mulcair, who elected NDP leader just over a year ago.

“It’s really to take a scientific look, rather than an ideological look, at policy and target those areas that we need to improve,” Quebec NDP MP Jamie Nicholls, the deputy critic for energy and natural resources.

 

 

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/04/12/ndp_convention_kicks_off_i...

Unionist

Quote:
...yes, you have principled ideas but you also focus on getting things done for Canadians,” said Nash.

[my emphasis added, in case some people don't read carefully, because they think that all politicians just talk meaningless shit which isn't worth paying close attention to.]

I used to think highly of Sister Nash. If that quote is accurate, then that's over. Let's hope it's not.

 

mark_alfred

For those interested in how the MSM is viewing the convention, the CBC is reporting that the NDP is "resisting a move to the centre".  More details to follow in a few minutes whe the National begins.

Policywonk

cco wrote:
What with having nothing better to do this weekend, I ended up going anyway, though I ducked out before the Mulcair circle-jerk started. The room was definitely packed for the preamble discussion; an attempt to move it to the bottom of the agenda narrowly failed. I remember the discussion of adding the elimination-of-poverty language, but not how the vote turned out (listening to endless discussion over amendments to amendments to amendments eventually made my brain turn to mush). Oh, and organizers hilariously tried to shut down the Socialist Caucus meeting. Anyone up to meet up tomorrow? I don't bite, I promise.

It did not narrowly fail; there was a standing vote and it was almost two to one against moving it to the bottom. I think the UFCW rep should have made his remark earlier when the cultural amendment was discussed, as that definition should be in policy, not the preamble. Not adding the elimination of poverty language was weird considering it is in the old preamble. I don't know whether it will pass tomorrow, or whether it will get referred again. Both the process and the outcome are unworthy of the Party. I agree that it should have been a more collaborative process, starting with a clarification some time ago about what the purpose of the preamble is, and the preamble should have had its own panel so that other resolutions in that section would have a chance of making it to the floor.

mark_alfred

Okay, saw the National, and in fact the actual story differed from how they were promoting it.  Making the NDP more saleable to John Q Public via stuff like removing terms like "socialist" from the preamble seems to be meeting acceptance from most  -- or at least that's the impression I got from the story on the National.

janfromthebruce

hmm, I thought socialist was left in it.

Pages