NDP Montreal Convention 2013

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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Here is a paper I found that is interesting. It seems like a very Quebec centric approach that is similar to multiculturalism. What relevance it has for overall national policy is the big question.  That it is now something that all New Democrats believe in is just an absurd lie. 

Quote:

The complementary and sometimes contradictory policies of diversity management can play significant role in addressing the concerns of non dominant national minorities.  Quebec exemplifies such a case. Over the last thirty years, Quebec has developed its own model relating to the matters of immigration, integration and interculturalrelations. The analysis of public policy and of opinion polls clearly shows that this has been a success. It has probably contributed to the feeling of cultural security. There is now a sense among Quebecers that they own the diversity management policy. Quebec has been relatively successful in integrating newcomers to a common Francophone but pluralistic culture.

http://www.chereum.umontreal.ca/publications_pdf/Publications%20de%20la%...

North Star

So glad the NDP brought over Bill Shorten to smarten up New Democrats urging them to put water in their wine. Here's an example of what the government he is a minister in is doing: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/betrayed-single-parents-will-not-...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Great article North Star. Here is the link. Of course the NDP supporters will tell you that the "real" neocons would be even worse.  So go ahead voters take your pick the fire or the frying pan.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/betrayed-single-parents-will-not-...

socialdemocrati...

You can't use Bill Shorten as evidence of what the NDP is going to do, and then ignore that they brought in Joe Stiglitz to tell them to avoid the mistakes of other rightward moving social democratic parties.

That's the state of "evidence" on this forum. Third parties are always right about the NDP going right, and always wrong when saying the NDP might change anything, even when quoting the NDP platform.

I wouldn't even put ANY stock in what third parties say about the NDP's agenda. But the double-standard and willful ignorance among the anti-NDP critics is flagrant.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

But the double-standard and willful ignorance among the anti-NDP critics is flagrant.

Is that a 4 inch flat brush your using today?

Laughing

felixr

Kropotkin, you bore me.

Brachina

kropotkin1951 wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

But the double-standard and willful ignorance among the anti-NDP critics is flagrant.

Is that a 4 inch flat brush your using today?

Laughing

 

I don't understand your comment, please explain what a brush has to do with this topic?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

felixr wrote:

Kropotkin, you bore me.

Cry

North Star

Cause you need to put water in your wine apparently: 

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/gillard-abbott-unmoved-by-n...

Geoff

As soon as Bill Shorten started speaking, it was clear that the party brought him to convention to soften up the crowd in preparation for the preamble non-debate.  "Compromise" was the theme of his speech.

While I have no objection to updating the language we use to convey our message to the electorate, I was appalled by the party's appetite for 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'.  Not only did they jettison the references to socialism, the party apparatchiks also deleted references to alternative means of achieving our goals (i.e. social ownership) and put their faith in the market.

Further, they wrote this preamble without even pretending to consult with the riding associations.  It was a top-down decision that was rammed through with no debate, apart from a handful of prepared speeches (on both sides).  The resolution should have been referred with instructions to talk to members across the country about what changes were really needed to the preamble. 

Instead, the pablum that passes for principle in the new Constitution is little different, in general terms, from what you'll find on the Liberal website (I had a look at several documents to see how they compared).  We've removed a significant obstacle to "cooperation" or even a "merger" with our fellow liberals, and that's not where the party should be headed.  We no longer have a meaningful counter-argument to those who advocate strategic voting.  What does it matter?

Finally, it is embarrassing to see the democratic process high-jacked by our party poobahs.  How can we rail against the anti-democratic practices of the Harper government, while our own internal practices are not much different?  Talk about sucking and blowing at the same time.  Sadly, I left the Convention feeling much less like a New Democrat than I did when I arrived.

 

janfromthebruce

"Further, they wrote this preamble without even pretending to consult with the riding associations.  It was a top-down decision that was rammed through with no debate, apart from a handful of prepared speeches (on both sides).  The resolution should have been referred with instructions to talk to members across the country about what changes were really needed to the preamble."

A delegate on the floor, "called the question", Under Robert's Rules of Order, when a call for the question is made, a two-thirds vote is required to end debate. The motion for the previous question itself is not debatable.

I watched it on CPAC. It wasn't top down at all because more than 2/3 of the members voted to "end debate". If a member calls the question, the chair must do so. I noted that the chair stated he would prefer more debate but he is bound by the duty of parliamentary democracy, to call the question when a member requests this.

The will of the members (delegates) voted to "end debate" by 2/3s, and than it went straight to the original question of adopting the new preambe.

The new preamble was discussed by our executive council, and also placed on their facebook page for comment from members.

 

Geoff

Indeed, the "rules of order" were used effectively to end the debate, even though the line-up at the mikes clearly indicated that delegates wanted to continue the discussion of the resolution.  As for the opportunities for member input, Facebook is a poor substitute for real face to face discussion, which is probably why the resolution on electoral reform calls for consultation "in communities across Canada", not just some kind of online survey.  Our party's principles deserve at least as thorough a discussion.

Nevertheless, whatever one's view of the process, we ended up with a preamble that Justin T could live with, and that should make New Democrats nervous.

socialdemocrati...

I can't believe people are wasting so much breath on this preamble. It's not even about whether or not socialism is in there. It's to what degree and how forceful. The word socialism is still in the preamble. I'd be surprised if you could find 1000 Canadians angry about it. The preamble isn't going to make a difference.

If you want to know what the 2015 platform is going to look like, you can largely look at the 2011 platform.

Geoff

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I can't believe people are wasting so much breath on this preamble. It's not even about whether or not socialism is in there. It's to what degree and how forceful. The word socialism is still in the preamble. I'd be surprised if you could find 1000 Canadians angry about it. The preamble isn't going to make a difference.

If you want to know what the 2015 platform is going to look like, you can largely look at the 2011 platform.

I agree most folks don't give a hoot about the preamble of the constitution.  After all, we went from 4th party status to official opposition with the old preamble in place.  However, if it's as unimportant as you claim, then why did the party "waste" so much effort to change it?  They obviously see it as a more important 'problem' than you believe it is.

My concern is the deletion to alternative methods of ownership that I believe set us apart from the other mainstream parties and prevented us from being boxed in by liberal market economics.  Also, I'm concerned about the lack of consultation while the constitution was being re-written, which, alone, is worth "wasting our breath" on, I think.

 

janfromthebruce

It was up to each riding association to bring to the attention of the members the motions for consideration before the policy convention. Sometimes, face to face meetings are much difficult in geographically dispursed ridings. eg. rural and northern

So social media is used, by local riding associations to engage their members, and other means such as newsletters and so on.

I know there were many delegates at the mikes but sadly the delegates decided they were "ready for the question".

socialdemocrati...

Geoff wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I can't believe people are wasting so much breath on this preamble. It's not even about whether or not socialism is in there. It's to what degree and how forceful. The word socialism is still in the preamble. I'd be surprised if you could find 1000 Canadians angry about it. The preamble isn't going to make a difference.

If you want to know what the 2015 platform is going to look like, you can largely look at the 2011 platform.

I agree most folks don't give a hoot about the preamble of the constitution.  After all, we went from 4th party status to official opposition with the old preamble in place.  However, if it's as unimportant as you claim, then why did the party "waste" so much effort to change it?  They obviously see it as a more important 'problem' than you believe it is.

No matter how inane the whole preamble debate is, the party updated it because almost any language or ideas from more than 30 years ago looks bad. That's not just true for the NDP. It's true for every political party.

It's also true for every political PERSON. Show me an MP who has been around for 30 years, and I'll show you a ton of quotes that people can make hay out of. The Conservatives have it easy -- they got a fresh start only 10 years ago. Everyone wants to claim they're the Reform Party in disguise, but the attacks kind of bounce off, because they effectively erased that link in all but the minds of their supporters.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..not a bad analysis

The NDP Convention:The Decline and Fall of an Old Preamble
(or A Social Democratic Party Becalmed)

http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/807.php

socialdemocrati...

Yeah, I'd say that's pretty good.

Coldwell Coldwell's picture

Murray Cooke's article is very good. But I think it underestimates the significance of the new preamble. Briefly stated, the NDP used to believe in what once was called a mixed economy, but I'm not sure it does any more.  The non-capitalist part of that economy includes universal social programmes (i.e., decommodified social services and benefits), crown corporations, non-profits, co-ops, credit unions, etc.  To my way of thinking, this concept was captured by the phrase "social ownership" in the old preamble and by the idea of "economic democracy" in other documents. By deleting those terms and failing to replace them with anything comparable, what is left? A "rules-based" capitalist economy, whatever that means. This seems to me to be an abject capitulation to the right. 

It's astonishing to me that at the very time when the failure of the neo-liberal project is manifest, and the consequences of that failure are destroying the remnants of the welfare state, the NDP shows no apparent interest in exploring or aspiring for viable alternatives. "Modernization" indeed!

 

North Star

Coldwell wrote:

Murray Cooke's article is very good. But I think it underestimates the significance of the new preamble. Briefly stated, the NDP used to believe in what once was called a mixed economy, but I'm not sure it does any more.  The non-capitalist part of that economy includes universal social programmes (i.e., decommodified social services and benefits), crown corporations, non-profits, co-ops, credit unions, etc.  To my way of thinking, this concept was captured by the phrase "social ownership" in the old preamble and by the idea of "economic democracy" in other documents. By deleting those terms and failing to replace them with anything comparable, what is left? A "rules-based" capitalist economy, whatever that means. This seems to me to be an abject capitulation to the right. 

It's astonishing to me that at the very time when the failure of the neo-liberal project is manifest, and the consequences of that failure are destroying the remnants of the welfare state, the NDP shows no apparent interest in exploring or aspiring for viable alternatives. "Modernization" indeed!

 

At best they stand for a social market economy like in Germany. Germany never had as much industry nationalized as France or the UK even in the 1960's, but they still had a decent welfare state, better than Canada's ever was. 

Of course even those who support the social market economy like the SPD in Germany or the right wing of the Socialist Party in France are not against attacking the welfare state to "make it sustainable" or to "keep our competitiveness" or any of these other buzz words that left neoliberals use to justify cuts on social spending. The further you drift away from even a mixed economy, the more you find social democrats willing to carry out austerity when shit hits the fan like PSOE in Spain or PASOK in Greece.

socialdemocrati...

You'd have a mince a lot of words to call this is a capitulation to the free market.

We believe in a rules based economy, nationally and globally, in which governments have the power to address the limitations of the market in addressing the common good, by having the power to act in the public interest, for social and economic justice, and for the integrity of the environment.

The new preamble is new window dressing on where the party has been for 30 years (if not longer).

North Star

To put things in perspective:

Here is the German Social Democratic Party's Erfurt Program of 1891:

http://www.marxists.org/history/international/social-democracy/1891/erfurt-program.htm

Here is their Bad Godesburg Program of 1959:

http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/pdf/eng/Parties%20WZ%203%20ENG%20FINAL.pdf

And here is what they did the last time they were in power:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_2010

 

social democracy is historically outmoded

nicky

One of the highlights of this convention was the speech of Australian Labor cabinet minister Bill Shorten.

He is now the leader of the Labor Party and Leader of the Opoosition.

Here is a red-meat speech he recently gave in Parliament in response to a right-wing budget:

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/may/15/bill-shortens-2014-bu...

 

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Geoff wrote:

As soon as Bill Shorten started speaking, it was clear that the party brought him to convention to soften up the crowd in preparation for the preamble non-debate.  "Compromise" was the theme of his speech.

While I have no objection to updating the language we use to convey our message to the electorate, I was appalled by the party's appetite for 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater'.  Not only did they jettison the references to socialism, the party apparatchiks also deleted references to alternative means of achieving our goals (i.e. social ownership) and put their faith in the market.

Further, they wrote this preamble without even pretending to consult with the riding associations.  It was a top-down decision that was rammed through with no debate, apart from a handful of prepared speeches (on both sides).  The resolution should have been referred with instructions to talk to members across the country about what changes were really needed to the preamble. 

Instead, the pablum that passes for principle in the new Constitution is little different, in general terms, from what you'll find on the Liberal website (I had a look at several documents to see how they compared).  We've removed a significant obstacle to "cooperation" or even a "merger" with our fellow liberals, and that's not where the party should be headed.  We no longer have a meaningful counter-argument to those who advocate strategic voting.  What does it matter?

Finally, it is embarrassing to see the democratic process high-jacked by our party poobahs.  How can we rail against the anti-democratic practices of the Harper government, while our own internal practices are not much different?  Talk about sucking and blowing at the same time.  Sadly, I left the Convention feeling much less like a New Democrat than I did when I arrived.

 

It was a total farce. Embraced revolutionary politics after this shit show.

Pondering

I don't expect to agree with everything Trudeau says or does. I don't even expect to agree with a quarter of it. No party or politician reflects my views. I visualize parties as roads that intersect every four years so you can change direction. I think marijuana legalization is long over due and can transform Canada and do wonders for our economy. I think it's important for us to get out in front and not waste all the expertise we have in B.C.  The plant doesn't just produce marijuana. It has a gazillion uses we could be developing and medical testing would explode. Aside from that it going to take a long time just to reverse all the crap Harper did. Even if the NDP won power they couldn't do much more than the Liberals in the first four years. Harper is leaving a huge mess behind. 

Having said that, I will vote strategically. If the NDP and the Liberals are both contenders in my riding, then I will vote Liberal. If the Liberal isn't a contender and the NDP can defeat the Cons I will vote NDP. I don't believe everyone should vote strategically as I do. It's just the right choice for me because I would much rather have an NDP representative than a Conservative one. 

Regardless of the preamble the NDP and the Liberals are two distinct parties and the notion that they should merge is appalling. We absolutely need both these parties. The Cons must be driven into third place or better yet into oblivion. The two main parties used to be described as center right and center left but they were not. The Cons have always been fully right-wing. They have only ever been held back by the knowledge that Canadians would riot if they were as extreme as they want to be. The Liberals have always been center. They have created some great social programs but that is a moderate stance. All the developed countries with the exception of the United States have the same social programs or better. Having average social programs is not leftist. Being socially liberal on gay marriage and women's rights etc. is a center position not leftist. The Liberals are only leftist in comparison to the States. 

The NDP may be stuck in opposition for awhile longer but if they stay reasonably moderate they will continue gaining ground. Even shoving the Cons into permanent 3rd place is a significant accomplishment. Merging with the Liberals would strengthen the Cons as the Liberals would be percieved as being more left-wing without actually being left-wing. Stable countries rarely if ever change direction dramatically. It happens over decades. It's difficult to be patient but the NDP has never been stronger. Even if they drop back a bit this cycle they will remain serious contenders because voters are considering them a viable alternative. Like the Liberals they won't lose that over a couple of elections.

Looking at the long arc the future of the NDP is bright. Climate change is happening rather dramatically. People are less and less tolerant of chemical pollutants. Eating organic is mainstream even on the right. Pipelines are being blocked. Young people's values are changing. They refuse to live to work. They work to live. They want iphones and tablets but fewer of them drive and they aren't buying TVs and apparently more of them don't want to live in the suburbs. More of them are vegetarians and believe in cycling as a transport system. The NDP's popularity with youth is not shallow or Trudeau would have won them over easily with his youthful presentation and forward marijuana policy. Canada is not shifting right, it's shifting left. That has caused this vote splitting that allowed the Conservatives to seize power but that is temporary and it is probably increasing the speed of the shift. I was convinced that Mulcair made a bad blunder on Keystone XL, and I think I am right for this election cycle, but it may also be key to NDP popularity with youth. It's not because you have a hip leader. It could be short term pain for longterm gain. 

I agree the NDP needs more democracy. It is absolutely ridiculous that the Liberals are so openly promoting legalization of marijuana and the NDP are not. On the other hand, if the rank and file demands too much militancy it could sink the electoral hopes of a lot of contenders and push the NDP far back into 3rd place for another decade. The NDP can steer further left once they solidify their position as a "ready to govern" party. If you want to make change happen you can't be ideologically pure. The NDP has to maintain it's older voter base while growing support from generations coming up. Patience, and perish the thought of merging with the Liberals. 

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