The NDP not serious about proportional representation - #3

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siamdave wrote:

- and then you can just imagine where we'd be today in terms of, oh, say, medicare, if a certain Sask pol named Tommy Douglas had of had an attitude like this .... guys like he and David Lewis must be flipping in their graves reading stuff like this from the party that is supposed to be fighting for the rights of the little guy .... if you start with the idea that something cannot be done and therefore there is no point in trying - well, that's what you're going to get.

Who said it cannot be done? Or even close?

Are you trying to portray me saying that people underestimate what it takes, as me saying it cant be done?

Least of all when I drop that, agree with the practical end of the assessment of the NDP, and ask now what? Whats next?

Not to mention that I HAVE used the example, more than once, of Tommy Douglas and the CCF bringing medicare to SK, as a template of how to bring a big project along, starting small.

The most fundamental point to that is that there is more to it than 'they did, it you know'.


I think siamdave is trying to say that the NDP alone is incapable of coercing the other two parties and their voters into supporting the right thing to do, which is to support electoral reform. And I couldn't have said it better myself.

I vote we change the misleading thread title to something more in line with the truth:

Neither the Liberal Party of Canada nor the Conservative Party supports electoral reform in Canada

And ER-PR won't happen until they do. That we still have [url=]an unelected and unnecessary senate[/url] is a good indication of where their heads are at WRT democracy in general.


Fidel wrote:

I think siamdave is trying to say that the NDP alone is incapable of coercing the other two parties and their voters into supporting the right thing to do, which is to support electoral reform. And I couldn't have said it better myself.

I vote we change the misleading thread title to something more along the lines of the truth:

Neither the Liberal Party of Canada nor the Conservative Party supports electoral reform in Canada

And ER-PR won't happen until they do.

- of course, neither of the main parties are going to go there until they get a very clear message from 'the people' that it is time for ER-PR - and who is going to get the people to that point if not somebody with a fairly strong national voice like the NDP? Obviously the media, like the two main parties, is doing their best to keep all talk of ER-PR well away from the public attention, so who is going to let people know how badly FPTP screws them around, so they start to understand how much better things could be with PR? If everybody stands around pointing fingers and saying 'Not us! Let them lead the way!' - well, it ain't ever going to happen. Which will certainly make the main parties and the Bay St masters happy - it's a little more difficult to understand why the NDP is as willing as the rest of them to leave this on the back burner, and continue being happy with half the seats and voice they should have.

And just to repeat again - those trying to keep the NDP away from actively pushing PR keep saying this would be a major drain on resources - and again I have to repeat, this seems like nonsense - you can spend as little or as much as you like doing brochures or redesigning websites etc, but it does not have to be a lot - but to make a decision to push PR, and then agree that as often as possible any NDP MP or MLA, when speaking in public or in/on any media, will try to mention FPTP as being related to current problems and that PR would help reduce the power of the current mainstream parties, would require basically zero expenditure of actual money. Leave 95% of the current spending as is - just move PR from the 'inactive file' to somewhere on the first page.

I well understand that people who do not wish to do this, for whatever reason, can find any number of excuses not to do it. You might consider that finding excuses for not doing things like this for the last 30 years may have something to do with not going anywhere useful the last 30 years as well.


- maybe what the NDP needs is a few more people around HQ whose attitude is "Let's do it!' - rather than 'Let's have a few more meetings to talk about why we can't do it ...'  - the first is the Leadership position - the second the follower position ....  Canadians right now desperately need a change in leadership, not people looking for excuses something that is desperately needed cannot be done.


Here is a simple exercise in democracy that is actually being allowed to unfold in Ottawa today even though a political diversion from the real issues:

Q: Why is it that the Harpers will be unable to get rid of the gun registry even though they are the government?

A: Because more than one political party and their voters support the gun registry


jrootham wrote:

Well, because pressuring the provincial governments might be useful.


Might be useful is pretty self evident.


But I'd still like to hear people who repeatedly bring up the provinical NDPs say what their point is.

And while your point taken not to give up on getting something out of the provincials, I did ask why put so much attention on the provincials when we all know they are less likley to be supportive... when there is the federal NDP?


jrootham wrote:

Ken, I agree with you about the tone of a lot of the commentary here.  However, pressuring provincial sections is a good thing.  Note, political pressure and political support are really close together when talking about policy.

So, what would effective pressure on an NDP section look like?  And what would you expect to get out of it?

I would guess media asking pointed questions about support for the idea would be the most effective reasonable pressure mechanism.  Fair Vote Canada could likely bring that about.  

I would expect, as a start, a resolution passed at a convention about PR.  Well, that might be a bit past a start, but it sure isn't the end game.

This is a long haul project, it would be nice to get NDP governments out of the way.  Which is possible precisely because we pretend to be better.


If such pressure can work on provincial parties, what about the same thing with the federal NDP?

Sure looks less like moving a boulder.

And I really dont know about that last sentence. Sure I understand the concept of people pretending to be better, and the fodder that can be, that the shoe fits on the NDP governments, etc. But where, even generally, does that translate into on the path to getting results?


And so let's continue pressuring Liberals at both levels to support democratic reform in Canada. Let's have them support reform toward advanced democracy and to put it right there in Liberal Red Book except not a total lie like everything else they've ever promised voters before.


The point gets made that if one of the NDP provincial governments would support PR, then that would do wonders for advancing PR on the national level.

I couldnt agree more. That would probably seal the deal.

But there is that word "if". As in, if pigs could fly.

Which does NOT mean its not worth trying.

But it is a hell of a lot more likely to get the federal NDP on board. AND, things may open up if the Liberals stay mired after the next election- as I think is the greatest likelihood. I cant see any provincial scene where things look as 'fertile'.

Parallel to the 'ifs' about getting one of the provinical governments on board: if the federal NDP gives real legs to PR, the provincials, including governments will be compelled to eventually fall into line.

Its not as certain to unfold so easily in that direction as in the other scenario of having a provincial government support PR. But the first step is the tricky part. Getting a provincial government on board is certainly worth trying for the people there. [And the rest of us?] But its also incomparably more difficult than getting the federal NDP really moving.


British Columbia's STV failed. And BC is the most NDP province at both levels of government. STV failed. Why did it fail?

STV was popular in B.C. because the Liberals and their supporters were angry about a phony majority NDP government in the late 1990s. Liberals were furious and wanted a fairer election system. And some of that resentment over the NDP's phony majority spilled over into the first referendum on STV when STV had 57% of voter support.

But by 2009. the Liberals were in the driver's seat after winning some of the province's phoniest majorities ever. Support for STV plummeted between 2005 and 2009 with most of the support for STV coming from NDP voters. Same was true in Ontario where MMP was defeated by an under-funded public information campaign for electoral reform. My next door neighbor didn't even know what the letters MMP stood for during the same week of the election.

We need at least three of the four federal parties to support electoral reform and to fund a proper public information campaign. The NDP can't afford to do the government's job of funding a public information campaign. Bay Street parties certainly would like the NDP to take on PR and financing a public info campaign, and thereby dividing the NDP's campaign finances between FPTP drive for election and doing the federal government's job for them at the same time. It makes no sense for the NDP though. We need more NDP MPs in Ottawa not fewer.

With fewer NDP MPs in Ottawa, there will be less and less incentive for the Liberal and Tory Parties to support a fair electoral method if they get their phony majority or perhaps another phony minority with LPC playing second fiddle to the Tories for another four years.

But to suggest that the NDP at either level of government should carry all of the responsibility and finance a public info campaign for electoral reform is not very realistic. And it shows a basic lack of understanding as to how democratic process is supposed to work.

Some people want to blame the NDP for our obsolete electoral system, but I place blame squarely on the shoulders of our two Bay Street parties for backsliding on democracy in this country.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Closing, please see the continuing thread, here.


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