The NDP in power: Manitoba and Nova Scotia

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Lord Palmerston
The NDP in power: Manitoba and Nova Scotia

[Suggested New Year's Resolution for Babble: allowing editing of opening posts]

Lord Palmerston

Two articles of interest on the Nova Scotia and Manitoba NDP governments.

Quote:
“I’ve waited all my life to see a socialist government in Nova Scotia. I’m still waiting.”

[url=http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/294.php]The Dexter NDP: Old Wine, New Bottle?[/url]

[url=http://www.socialistproject.ca/relay/relay28.pdf#page=10]An Inconvenient Party: The Manitoba NDP, Neoliberalism and Poverty[/url]

genstrike

Man, the title of this thread doesn't look good for my New Year's resolution:  "No more flame wars with people on the internet"

Fidel

We've simply got to stop the bottom-up neoliberal revolution emanating from two prairie NDP provinces since the 1990's!!

It's been all of two or three provincial prairie and West Coast NDP governments who've foisted an unworkable economic model onto the Feds and other larger and less influential provinces ruled by two worn-out old line parties, and who themselves really just want to avoid this provincial NDP-orchestrated race to the bottom across Canada!! Something has to be done about these non-stop provincial NDP diktats to the Feds and eight other neoliberalized provinces with unequal shares of Bananada's natural resource wealth and energy. 

We have to put a stop to Gary Doer and Sask-NDP responsible for the Puerto Ricanization of Canada since Brian Baloney and little Strangler from big Shawinigan changed the political and economic landscape from some unheard of city in neoliberal Ontario goin down the tubes since just Bob Rae's four year stint as premier of Canada - Ottawa. 

As Richard M. Nixon once said about it, we're all neoliberal stooges in North America now thanks to Roy Romanow and Gary Doer!!

remind remind's picture

IKiss love you fidel!

KenS

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Two articles of interest on the Nova Scotia and Manitoba NDP governments.

Quote:
“I’ve waited all my life to see a socialist government in Nova Scotia. I’m still waiting.”

[url=http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/294.php]The Dexter NDP: Old Wine, New Bottle?[/url]

That quote is suppossed to be news: that we don't expect this to be a socialist government.

Fodor makes a number of errors in his historical analysis, presumably from not living in Nova Scotia... or perhaps being too young to know the context of the historical processes he talks about. And therefore tries to draw too much from it.

But its not worth going into because it doesn't take rocket science to 'prove' the socialist hordes have not taken power in Nova Scotia. Was that title "Old Wine in New Bottle" meant to be self descriptive of te piece?

I'm no big fan of Darell Dexter's, but the dichotomy drawn between Broadbent and Dexter is a false one. But again- you don't need the dichotomy to 'prove' the simple point.

KenS

Fodor's repetition of Jim Stanford's "analysis" of the 1999 events is particular crap:

"Jim Stanford observed that "it is strange indeed to see a left party taking the rhetoric of balanced budgets so far as to actually defeat a government on the grounds that it was spending too much on human services.

You should bottle what Fidel has and skip that overwrought pablum.

Fidel

remind wrote:

IKiss love you fidel!

It's not hard to luv me, because as G.Pie said in another thread about moi, I am so original that nobody would want to steal my babble password. It's as if Klein, McQuaig, Cameron, Dobbin, Chossudovsky, Hudson, and even Gnome Chomsky and the rest of those plagiarists are standing on my broad shoulders when telling it the way it is and not the other way around. Sometimes they torture the truth out of us.  Sealed

genstrike

First, Fidel is just pulling out the usual barely coherent strawman he constantly brings up against any critics of any NDP government.

Second, I think the article about Manitoba is mostly dead on in its analysis of the governance of the Manitoba NDP, the recent leadership race, and the CFS Target Poverty campaign (which I participated in).  The campaign was a major step in the right direction, however the student union bureaucracies in this province continue to operate under a liberal/social democratic orthodoxy (albeit one to the left of the NDP on most issues) of appealing to the government through lobbying efforts and trying to convince them of the moral and social benefits of proposed CFS policies instead of calling for and trying to build successful militant resistance.  Although I think a good chunk of individual student union folks want to move in that direction, they feel constrained by right-wing critics, isolation from the bulk of students, and fear of losing the next election to a right-wing slate funded by the Tories.  So no, they aren't going to deliver this systemic critique of capitalism that people like Chris Webb and myself may want, and my experiences have taught me that we also need radical organization at the base and building of political networks on campus outside of the CFS as well - something which I think the Palestinian solidarity movement has some potential to build up on campus.

The NDP isn't particularly helping - the quote by Haiven sums things up quite well.  The party has found itself on the wrong side of social movements in Manitoba as well, and seems to be skilled at dampening spirits and toning down the demands of the left while in power.  The leadership race was an example of that, seeing people I walked picket lines with and fought for lower tuition with support the candidate who wanted to increase tuition fees.  I remember being on the receiving end of a lecture from Rebecca Blaikie on how the student movement is being unreasonable by demanding a tuition freeze and parroting the Rae Report bullshit that lower tuition fees only affects the rich.  Another example would be how well the NDP has managed to avoid implementing anti-scab over 10 years and counting (hey, maybe it's Selinger's new year's resolution, although I'm not holding my breath).  I mean, the disconnect with what people tell me they believe in and what they support in and through the NDP sometimes boggles my mind, but the party seems to have ways of keeping people in line both politically and psychologically.

I think we really do have to look around the world as well.  It's not just two provincial NDP wings which are following in these footsteps, it's every social democratic or labour party I can think of.  That leads me to conclude that it isn't just a matter of personalities (no, it's not all Gary Doer making Tommy Douglas spin in his grave), but that there are some serious mechanisms behind this ever rightward drift of these parties, which goes back to even before Tommy Douglas.  I have a few theories as to why this keeps happening, but I don't know if there's anything concrete that I can point to as the one big thing.

And one anecdote about the changes in the NDP - I was at a conference on the history of the waffle a couple months ago and remember seeing one old veteran of the waffle say to another "Remember when we used to complain about Ed Schreyer?  These days, with people like Doer and Selinger around, I actually miss the guy!"

Lord Palmerston

genstrike wrote:
I think we really do have to look around the world as well.  It's not just two provincial NDP wings which are following in these footsteps, it's every social democratic or labour party I can think of.  That leads me to conclude that it isn't just a matter of personalities (no, it's not all Gary Doer making Tommy Douglas spin in his grave), but that there are some serious mechanisms behind this ever rightward drift of these parties, which goes back to even before Tommy Douglas.  I have a few theories as to why this keeps happening, but I don't know if there's anything concrete that I can point to as the one big thing.

Excellent point, genstrike.  I think that is the point of the articles that some here seem to have missed.

KenS

genstrike wrote:

First, Fidel is just pulling out the usual barely coherent strawman he constantly brings up against any critics of any NDP government.

When I made my comment that you should cut out the tired old pablum and bottle what Fidel has, I honestly thought he was being critical of Prarie NDP governments. I'll have to read again.

Slumberjack

They haven't missed the point at all.  Their role as agents is to flood the threads where reality is being openly voiced with party line propaganda.

Fidel

[url=http://www.rabble.ca/news/left-turn-road-rome]A left turn on the road to Rome[/url] Jim Stanford 2006

[url=http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-social-welfare-stat... Social Welfare State, beyond Ideology[/url] Are higher taxes and strong social "safety nets" antagonistic to a prosperous market economy? The evidence is now in

The five English-speaking countries have followed neoliberal ideology closer than any other countries that matter for the last 30 years. Other countries, like Thailand probably followed neoliberalism and Warshington consensus capitalism more closely than any other country, except for perhaps Chile, which was the genesis fable for the "new" liberal capitalism from 1973 to its spectacular collapse in 1985.

What we need to create a more competitive and fairer economy in Canada is a modern electoral system, like the federal NDP proposes,  to promote competitiveness in Canadian politics and among political parties, like Scandinavia and social democrats there who have led those nations toward social democracy. And they have done so by strong central governance and not the Balkanized situation we have here in Canada since signing the very neoliberal trade deals of 1989 and 1994. Social Democrats need federal power if we are to create a great social democracy in what is one of the richest countries in the world here in Canada and performing far below potential.

KenS

Ewww, I'm an "Agent" now. Thats impressive.

Fidel

Well the premise was that social democrats around the world have been slaves to neoliberal ideology. And we have Jim Stanford and Jeffrey Sachs, Cambridge and Harvard trained economists as well as the OECD,  telling us that it's simply not true. I don't know how else to answer these false claims clearly designed to misinform babblers, thread after thread after t...

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

Well the premise was that social democrats around the world have been slaves to neoliberal ideology. And we have Jim Stanford and Jeffrey Sachs, Cambridge and Harvard trained economists as well as the OECD,  telling us that it's simply not true. I don't know how else to answer these false claims clearly designed to misinform babblers, thread after thread after t...

That's not how I would word the premise that I was trying to get across, and neither of those articles you linked are saying that that premise (any of the premises in this thread, really) are not true.

And these aren't false claims and I'm not trying to misinform babblers.

Slumberjack

genstrike wrote:
The party has found itself on the wrong side of social movements in Manitoba as well, and seems to be skilled at dampening spirits and toning down the demands of the left while in power.

What has been found and proven repeatedly is that the elite wings of this party act remarkably similar towards the electorate once in power as do the neo-liberal elites. Everything false is presented as the pretext for getting warmed up towards social progress, where little of substance occurs afterward once power has been achieved. In the aftermath, we find ourselves demoralized in being had once again, our spent energy providing for no other remaining capacity but to busy ourselves with silently shivering together. They maintain their hold nonetheless through the mere tension of all the social needs straining towards the illusionary cure that they are only too happy to sell. It's another decrepit system as the other mainstream machines, running its turbines on a gigantic reservoir of unwept tears, always on the verge, requiring constant attention and dampening down, lest it spill over and the people take power onto themselves, a worse case scenario for them all to be sure.

Fidel

genstrike wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Well the premise was that social democrats around the world have been slaves to neoliberal ideology. And we have Jim Stanford and Jeffrey Sachs, Cambridge and Harvard trained economists as well as the OECD,  telling us that it's simply not true. I don't know how else to answer these false claims clearly designed to misinform babblers, thread after thread after t...

That's not how I would word the premise that I was trying to get across, and neither of those articles you linked are saying that that premise (any of the premises in this thread, really) are not true.

And these aren't false claims and I'm not trying to misinform babblers.

genstrike wrote:
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-power-manitoba-and-nov..."I think we really[/url] do have to look around the world as well.  It's not just two provincial NDP wings which are following in these footsteps, it's every social democratic or labour party I can think of." 

You contradict yourself all the time when posting what amounts to rabid anti-NDP rhetoric. And you atempt to compare federal social democrat governments abroad with one which we've never had in Ottawa, which is misleading. Comparing provincial government in Canada with federal level government in other countries is like comparing bananas and watermelons. What purpose does it serve?

If this was an "American politics" forum, would we be discussing Alaska or Florida specifically as if federal politics in Washington is irrelelvant? 

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

genstrike wrote:
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-power-manitoba-and-nov..."I think we really[/url] do have to look around the world as well.  It's not just two provincial NDP wings which are following in these footsteps, it's every social democratic or labour party I can think of." 

You contradict yourself all the time when posting what amounts to rabid anti-NDP rhetoric. And you atempt to compare federal social democrat governments abroad with one which we've never had in Ottawa, which is misleading. Comparing provincial government in Canada with federal level government in other countries is like comparing bananas and watermelons. What purpose does it serve?

Actually, nothing in that post is self-contradictory.  I'm just looking at this in a global context, which I think is helpful to identify that it isn't just a local problem and it goes deeper than just bad leadership by a few people.

The NDP in Canada is only unique because they haven't achieved federal power like most of these other parties, however they have governed provincially in this manner, and the federal party has also been perceptibly moving to the right over the years as well.  Most of these parties have similar social bases, similar histories, and fill the same political space as ostensibly the most left of the mainstream parties.

Also, I haven't been bitten by any animals recently, so I'm pretty sure I don't have rabies, but thanks for your concern.

Sunday Hat

This would be the same Jim Stanford who endorsed a union-busting Toyota executive running for the Liberals on a platfrom of corporate tax cuts?

I'll take his sanctimony with a grain of salt.

I think people expecting radical change should stick with more radical formualtions (beware false prophets like Jim though). The NDP is a social democratic party and - where it's succesful - committed to an incrementalist strategy.

Fidel

The Nordic record on social and economic achievements speaks for itself regardless. Smear that.

KenS

Slumberjack wrote:

What has been found and proven repeatedly is that the elite wings of this party act remarkably similar towards the electorate once in power as do the neo-liberal elites. Everything false is presented as the pretext for getting warmed up towards social progress, where little of substance occurs afterward once power has been achieved. In the aftermath, we find ourselves demoralized in being had once again....

The Nova Scotia NDP has never promised much at all, in general or towards 'social progress'. But I like the eloquence, some of which I cut off.

In another blog I was given the title of Guest Liar. While being called an agent is like I said impressive, I had to capitalize that myself. And on reflection, even as Agent it doesn't rival Guest Liar.

Lord Palmerston

Yes, that was shameful.  But that doesn't mean everything Stanford has to say is therefore worthless.

Lord Palmerston

Sunday Hat wrote:
I think people expecting radical change should stick with more radical formualtions (beware false prophets like Jim though). The NDP is a social democratic party and - where it's succesful - committed to an incrementalist strategy.

Again, that was largely my point in posting these articles.  Social democracy has always been about gradualism, but the "centrist" social democrats of today are far less ambitious than in the past.

And as genstrike correctly notes, it's not about personalities.  Ed Broadbent sounds more radical out of power than in power, but if he were the NDP leader today I don't know how much different he would be from Layton.

KenS

The way I would put that is that a difference is created between that same out of power Broadbent, and Dexter, that does not exist.

And I didn't say that evrything Stanford says is wrong. But in just about evrything he says about stands the NSNDP has made, he is just plain wrong. No surprise for someone who neither lives here or corrects for that by following the local media daily. Its the hubris of professional intellectuals to not have the common sense to know when they are making pronouncement over something they have at best second hand heresay about.

which is a segway for...

Slumberjack wrote:

They haven't missed the point at all.  Their role as agents is to flood the threads where reality is being openly voiced with party line propaganda.

"Reality" eh. Tommorow I'll pick apart that pablum in the piece on Nova Scotia linked above. You'll be welcome to contradict me. But here and now- what substantive basis do you have for awarding it the label of "reality," and labelling me a propagandist?

I'm genuinely curious.

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Excellent point, genstrike.  I think that is the point of the articles that some here seem to have missed.

There is a difference between "missing" the point, and disagreeing with the point. And occurs to me that a lot of hubris lies in the manufactured gap.

Get to the specifics of that disagreement tommorow.

Lord Palmerston

KenS wrote:
Its the hubris of professional intellectuals to not have the common sense to know when they are making pronouncement over something they have at best second hand heresay about.

"An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows." - Dwight Eisenhower

Lord Palmerston

[url=http://canadiandimension.com/articles/1785]Cy Gonick on Gary Doer[/url]:

 

Quote:
In general terms the secret of NDP electoral success here has been to do just enough to sustain support from the province’s working class and poor, while avoiding major confrontation with its business class such as would scare off large numbers of middle-class voters.

The dilution of social-democratic principles did not come so easily to Doer’s predecessors, Ed Schreyer and Howard Pawley. Doer, on the other hand, is a quintessential small-“l” liberal. The man doesn’t have a socialist bone in his body, a characterization he would enthusiastically endorse.

Fidel

KenS wrote:

Fodor's repetition of Jim Stanford's "analysis" of the 1999 events is particular crap:

"Jim Stanford observed that "it is strange indeed to see a left party taking the rhetoric of balanced budgets so far as to actually defeat a government on the grounds that it was spending too much on human services.

You should bottle what Fidel has and skip that overwrought pablum.

I think an example of the problem with not balancing prov. budgets when a province, say, like Ontario's spends like drunken sailors with little to show for it, is that they end up with a $25 billion dollar deficit. At which point the neoliberal agenda dictates that our rightwing Liberals shall begin sizing up public assets to pawn off to wealthy friends of the party and further undermining future possibilities to fund social spending, and spiralling into a deregulated race to the bottom with bribery and selloffs etc and tax competition between provinces.

At least with provincial NDP governments you get balanced budgets and fiscal sanity within what is a neoliberalized federal-provincial setup today in Canada with tens of billions of dollars pared from the social transfer since 1993-95. And this gradual paring of money from Ottawa has resulted in a miserable situation for provinces, some of which have the natural resource wealth and tax base to replace social spending pared back from Ottawa since 1995 and yet choose not to. And then there are smaller provincial economies that are forced to compete with those resource-rich provinces for private investment, jobs, and whatever else has been defunded by Ottawa since the Mulroney-Chretien-Martin era.

Workers need a strong central union representation, and federal government's job is to balance the power of organized labour with that of the private sector. What we would get is a competitive social democracy within a mixed market economy and governed by social democrats at the federal level with the political will to make it work. We need advanced democracy in Canada and the NDP in power federally to get it done.

Doug

If the Manitoba and NS governments don't look like socialist governments, what would such a beast look like and how does it manage to get reelected, given that John and Jane Q. Public aren't exactly burning up the phone lines at constituency offices with questions about why their provincial MLA hasn't legislated capitalism out of existence yet.

Fidel

Doug, it's like neoliberal ideology. The doctor and the madman didn't give just one or two Chilean provinces to the Chicago boyz tutored by Milton Friedman. They needed the whole country to prove that their whacky ideas would not work worth a darn. But that didn't matter to crazy Maggie, Reaganauts, Boris who "dared to be a dictator", or lyin Brian at the time.  It was get rich quick time for conservatives then, that's all that mattered. It was play now and pay later. And now it's us who pays not them.

The neoliberal voodoo is dead after 30 years in the laboratories of the world. It will take at least another ten years for the right to come up with something to replace it. Meanwhile Asian countries are still soaring ahead with growth and progress. Our stooges are going to have to crap or get off the pot sooner than later. Neoliberal ideology and democracy are proven to be incompatible since Nixon's time in the sun. The next ten years will see a revolution in economic theorizing. But as Nicholas Sarkozy said in 2008, "Le laissez-faire, c'est fini." 

KenS

The above is a survey of some of the worst errors in fact- people not knowing what they are talking about, and apparently not caring.

Fodor is descibed as a PhD candidate, and the piece is footnoted like an academic piece. Would he even think of submitting to other academics references that are nothing more than Jim Stanford's repitition of hersay? Not that anyone would be expected to know its just heresay. But does one reference work in an academic piece that you know nothing about its substantiation and veracity? Why is it OK to pander that to the rest of us?

Stanford's original pieces presumably don't even make implicit claims of meeting academic norms. But the same question stands about professional intellectuals using their cachet to peddle heresay. 

There is a lot to the piece that I consider seriously distorted, though not generally or primarily factually incorrect. 

I take the most substantive exception with the characterization of how the NDP government has approached the fiscal situation before the election and since. But there is an earlier discussion in the Babble thread referred to above, with someone from CCPPA who does know what they are talking about. And I'm not going to start over here and repeat myself with people who don't want to bother reading up on that. [Nova Scotia Election- the day after.]

The one other theme from the Fodor piece I would like to dive into is the alleged influence of Third Way thinkers. [Already mad one reference to that in the post above.] 

Fodor wrote:

At the August 2009 federal NDP convention in Halifax, the newly-elected Premier Dexter called on the party to reach out to business.

 

First of all, the purpose of this common theme needs to be located. The utilitarian appeal, the audience, is not to "business" per se. Some business people will be attracted to the NDP, more of them with such appeals. But they will never be more than a trickle. The target audience is that good old core of Canadians who aspire to and/or sympathize with social democratic values. Most of those people have to get over their mistrust of the NDP around fiscal issues. That does not have to be deep, or their primary criteria, to keep them from fully supporting the NDP. They also, unlike the political left, have a generalized appreciation for many of the values of "business", especially for small business. As long as the NDP is perceived as being 'anti-business'- as the federal NDP still very much is for example- the NDP cannot break out of the 15%-20% ghetto, let alone win government.

"Reaching out to business" is all about shedding that 'anti-business' image... neutralize it, as I outlined the NS NDP did in the post above, so you can let the 'inner social democrat' of your broader voter universe to emerge.

It can certainly be argued that the effect of this is damaging no matter what the intent of the starategy. But it is not the straight up becoming 'more business like and more right wing" strategy that critics portray it to be. 

Fodor wrote:

It is generally accepted that NDP governments at the provincial level since the 1990s, most notably those of Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert in Saskatchewan and Gary Doer in Manitoba, have adopted the Third Way. This can now also be said to be true of the Dexter government.

It is not at all "generally understood." You'd never know reading Fodor that within the NDP, the same as in the larger left, "Third Way" was a bad word... a good ad hominem label to stick on anything you didn't like going on in the NDP. Nobody talks about it now, but when the term was used, no one really knew anything about the Third Way. And the NS NDP was no different. There were some Third Way types on the outside in the NS NDP, but there was at most one person on the inside who really who MIGHT have understood what it was about and did not subscribe. And a number of people who would use "Third Way" as a carch all epithet.

If you want to say that NDP governments and trying to be governments have become increasing and overly centrist, I'm not going to argue with that. But attempting to attach the Third Way epithet when no connections exist- even indirect ones- is just an exercise in tarring.

 

Fodor wrote:

The Nova Scotia NDP has pursued a Third Way course since at least the late 1990s.

....

Third Way party strategists heralded the Nova Scotia NDP,

Etc.

 

Its all unsubstantiated, and cannot be substantiated.

 

 

KenS

From that piece about the NSNDP linked above, The Dexter NDP: Old Wine, New Bottle?

Fodor wrote:

In their 1999 budget, the Liberals broke their electoral commitment to balanced budgets to make investments in healthcare. The NDP joined the Conservatives in denouncing the Liberals for breaking that promise, resulting in their defeat. Jim Stanford observed that "it is strange indeed to see a left party taking the rhetoric of balanced budgets so far as to actually defeat a government on the grounds that it was spending too much on human services." In the subsequent election, the NDP ran on

"...an extremely moderate...platform, stressing its commitment to fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets, and support for small business. The central goal was to emphasize that voting for the NDP did not mean voting for deficits, inefficiency, and turmoil. Third Way party strategists and even conservative newspaper columnists heralded the Nova Scotia NDP, under popular leader Robert Chisholm, as representing an energetic new wave for the party."

Despite this excitement in conservative quarters, the party lost ground but maintained their Official Opposition status, and the Conservatives swept to power on a right-wing platform.

"In their 1999 budget, the Liberals broke their electoral commitment to balanced budgets to make investments in healthcare." Apparently thats derived form Stanford, and it is entirely off.

The Liberals did NOT make any new commitments to healthcare investments. They simply cooked up a rather bizarre bookeeping dodge to call some of the health care spending an "investment," trying to capitalize it to future budget years so they could claim a bogus budget surplus that they had staked all their slim remaining credibility on achieving. It was weird, and dead on arrival.

And "Third Way strategists heralding the NDPs 1999 election platform"... ? News to me. And extremely unlikely. The reality that anyone who was here is 1999 would remember is that we were red baited. The NDP had a hidden agenda. The hidden agenda was to reward their union buddies big time. Etc. And it stuck. The "excitement in Conservative quarters" for the 1999 NSNDP... LOL.

moving right along... 

Fodor wrote:

Tory cuts to public services were soon met with much public opposition. The NDP was unable to capitalize on this grassroots movement in support of public services, however. As Stanford, writing in 2001, observed: "By bringing down a government on the grounds that it failed to balance the budget, and making 'fiscal prudence' a centerpiece of its own campaign, the NDP clearly contributed to the emergence of the current regressive trend in Nova Scotia."

The Tory cuts did meet with public opposition, but "this grassroots movement in support of public services" is a whole cloth fantasy of someone. And very much on the contrary, the NDP did capitalize on the public opposition to the cuts. It was in fact the beginning of the road that ended with the election of the majority government last summer [and coincided with Dexter becoming Leader].

Then Fodor comes to that 2009 campaign: 

Fodor wrote:

Specifically, the NDP ran on a platform called Better Deal 2009: The NDP plan to make life better for today's families, with seven key commitments:

* create the secure jobs Nova Scotia's economy needs

* keep emergency rooms open and reduce health care wait times

* ensure more young people stay and build a life in Nova Scotia

* take the tax off home energy and make life more affordable

* fix rural roads and keep communities strong

* give seniors the options to stay longer in their homes and communities

* live within our means

Fodor interprets that the promise of taking the provincial tax off heating oil was the real heart of the campaign. It's a rather convoluted argument made by others.

Our own Lord Palmerston presaged [or echoed?] this in an earlier babble thread:

Lord Palmerston wrote:

It's hard to be excited about an NDP govt. whose main campaign promise was a tax cut - an eerily similar gimmick to Harper's GST tax cut.

[From Nova Scotia Election- the day after. The thread has a discussion between myself and a CCPA intern (posts #19-#43). The CCPAs writings on the Dexter government are referenced in the Fodor piece. If anybody wants to discuss those, I'd be happy to do so as follow up to the existing discussion in that thread.]

If you lived here, or daily followed the local media, you would know that the home heating tax cut promise barely registered in last summer's campaign. Which is consistent with the history and political 'placement' of the promise, running back to its origin before the 2003 campaign.

After the NDP made that proposal, there was a discussion of a campaign ad for the run-up to the coming election. It would be a simple graphic that would compare who would get what tax savings from the NDP proposal versus the Tory governments tax cuts. Showing that low income households would get considereably more under the NDP proposal, lower midle income housholds about the same... while not surprisingly hign income earners got the big gains from the Tory tax cuts. And bear in mind that the NDP ptoposal is at a time when the deficit has been well eliminated, and government spending has been going up at a rate well over inflation.

Thats a straight up appeal to social democratic supporters. The policy was done, but the ad idea was scotched: out of the wisdom that you don't open a battle where your opponent is strong and you are weak. Fiscal management being a Tory strength, and a persistent NDP weakness [among NDP supporters and leaners as well].

All of which points to the opposite of what Fodor and Stanford [and now Lord Palmerston] peddled. The NDP short and long term strategy has always been to neutralize the taxes and fiscal management issue, not try to capitalize on it.

After the 2003 election, the Tory government adopted the NDP proposal to eliminate provincial tax on home heating. But the NDP got at least as much credit for the popular govt program. More recently the government removed parts of it, handing the NDP the issue even more. The upshot is that the NDP has essentially owned the popular benefits of this for several years.

So of course voters are going to be reminded of this by putting it in as one of the points in the 2009 platform. But it was any thing but the Mmain point". If you watched the campaign you would know that it was not even A main point. In fact, none of those platform points was the main point of the campaign, nor could you even say were they the main point taken together.

The main role for having that in the platform, aside from capitalizing again on its direct well established benefits with voters, was to provide insulation against the NDP's then still existing relative weakness on fiscal management issues. The Tories had by this time pretty well destroyed their own credibility... but that still hadn't made voters think the NDP might be better. No surprise there.

Fidel

And I've never heard of a "fourth way" alternative provincial strategy to deal with the neoliberalorama emanating from Ottawa at the same time. I vote NDP provincially for the balanced budgets and provincial NDP's commitments not to pawn off valuable crowns and assets to rich friends of the party. Just staying out of debt and not creating an excuse to privatize is a feat in itself. Ontario is $25 billion in deficit mode and already sizing up assets to peddle to their opportunist friends. The Liberals' plan is to try to look better on paper before the next election and to heck with having public revenue streams down the road. It's as if ghosts of Yeltsin, Chubais, and Thatcher are advising them on how to wreck the economy without a sledgehammer. As long as they can win 22 percent of the registered vote and 100 percent of political power, nothing else matters.  

remind remind's picture

Thanks KenS!

 

"agents" eh!

 

LMAO

oldgoat

I guess the trouble with electing the NDP to become the government, is that then they *gasp* become the government.

This thread is pretty representative of an ongoing theme, or maybe just a loop, on babble which has come to sort of define us. Skdadl called it a "mulberry" as in "here we go 'round...."  I'd probably not read them so much if they didn't clog the "flag as offensive" list so damn much. Like remind, I also love fidel, though not having met him I don't know if it would be in any really carnal sense, but in reference to things like post # 19, I'm sort of torn between thinking it's sort of funny and thinking it's one of those things that can start a thread going downhill, but the thread was already on that slope anyway.

Michelle

What oldgoat said...

Can we not call each other's posts "bullshit" please, Fidel?  And genstrike, perhaps it would be a good idea not to anticipate, from the first couple of posts, a flamewar - that just sets the stage and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Slumberjack, no one here is an "agent" of anything - this is just one of those mulberry threads that will most likely end with 20 abuse flags and an online screaming match at 4 a.m. while the mods are nestled, all snug in their beds, while visions of mulberries dance in their heads.

Fidel

I really-really disagree?

KenS

i don't know old goat.

couldn't we at least allow that the piece linked by Lord Palmerston, parts of which I quoted and replied to, at least has the virtue of being a fact based discussion?

Fidel

I removed the bs detector. But the posts above that are still misleading imo. I guess I'll have to refrain from even replying to that poster in pointing out his false and misleading comments.

KenS

Word play dodge.

You know there is a big difference between people 'having agendas' and what you actually said: "Their role as agents is to flood the threads where reality is being openly voiced with party line propaganda."

 

Speaking of which, bypassing the quip/smear, I did address the bit of your comment that might be argued to be substantive, even if not backed up at all:

KenS wrote:

"Reality" eh. Tommorow I'll pick apart that pablum in the piece on Nova Scotia linked above. You'll be welcome to contradict me. But here and now- what substantive basis do you have for awarding it the label of "reality," and labelling me a propagandist?

Care to make a substantive answer?

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

I removed the bs detector. But the posts above that are still misleading imo. I guess I'll have to refrain from even replying to that poster in pointing out his false and misleading comments.

What false and misleading comments?  You say my comments are false and deliberately misleading all the time, but you've never substantiated that claim, just like a lot of other claims about me that you've never substantiated.

Fidel

genstrike wrote:

Fidel wrote:

I removed the bs detector. But the posts above that are still misleading imo. I guess I'll have to refrain from even replying to that poster in pointing out his false and misleading comments.

What false and misleading comments?  You say my comments are false and deliberately misleading all the time, but you've never substantiated that claim, just like a lot of other claims about me that you've never substantiated.

I re-posted your false and misinformed comments above and links to CAW and US economists, with themselves referring to OECD reports of this same decade who also state the exact opposite of what you claim is true and to be egregious error of fact. Do you require detailed directions to that post in general?   

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

genstrike wrote:

What false and misleading comments?  You say my comments are false and deliberately misleading all the time, but you've never substantiated that claim, just like a lot of other claims about me that you've never substantiated.

I re-posted your false and misinformed comments above and links to CAW and US economists, with themselves referring to OECD reports of this same decade who also state the exact opposite of what you claim is true and to be egregious error of fact. Do you require detailed directions to that post in general?   

If you're referring to post ten, neither of those reports contradict anything in anything I've written in this thread.  Essentially, what those reports are saying is that countries with progressive social programs and whatnot.  Which is something I don't disagree with, the only problem is it isn't relevant to anything I've written, yet somehow you keep saying that it proves that I'm wrong.

I feel like there's no point trying to debate or discuss this issue (or any issue, for that matter) on this site if this is the level of discourse which prevails.  What next, are you going to post a link to the water skiing squirrel and say it proves that my views on tuition fees are wrong?

Slumberjack

Substantiating partisan obsequiousness becomes quite a useless waste of time when the practitioners are effusive in continuously furnishing the evidence themselves. Instead of a journey around the mulberry bush, such an effort would more closely resemble riding the mouse wheel, or barrel fishing.

It is enough of a strain to witness the factional clergy's pretence in critiquing the religion of capitalism, a current which straight-facedly refers to itself dissent, while it engages in dismantling legitimate cross examinations of the usurpations, sleights of hand and cooked books of a commonly held system of varying purposefulness, whose only tangible function is to provide what religions have always done, giving popular demands a bit of ceremony, and providing explanations and excuses instead of real solutions for intolerable misery.

On the other hand, any moment spared towards honestly plumbing the depths of ones own soul as it were couldn't help but to understand the inadequacy of the political anachronism of the party right or wrong methodology, a very clear and distinct idea of what it means to maintain faith within an ideological framework that stands ready to assume the mechanisms whereby nationalism, corporate governance, and militarism is exported to the whole world.

The feeling of a hoax being perpetuated is like a wound that becomes increasingly infected, and instead of tending to it, the political bourgeoisie instead are more concerned with denying itself as a class in tandem with the ruling classes, where the combined result is the continuing imposition of a structure that survives through vague concessions to humility, compassion, and privation, while in its death throws, it barely notices when content is sacrificed in order to survive as a shell, or form. Organizations which claim to contest the present order while mimicking in form the language and actions of the order contribute only to its indefinite spread.

As the manoeuvrings and denials are practiced and honed for an eventual turn at the helm, the catastrophe is not coming, we are already situated within its collapse. In their affairs at practically every influential level, concern with self survival as an organization and little else preoccupies the more astute among them. Meanwhile, the repeated betrayals often alienate their own rank and file, as unavoidable awareness results from becoming more immediately affected by the neutralization of inconvenient truths among them.

Slumberjack

Michelle wrote:
 Slumberjack, no one here is an "agent" of anything 

Thanks for clearing that up and for sharing this astounding capacity to see and know all. You can't imagine what a relief this is, at long last to be able to disregard the now completely warrantless sense of agendas continuously being put to work in threads of this nature.

Fidel

genstrike wrote:

Fidel wrote:

genstrike wrote:

What false and misleading comments?  You say my comments are false and deliberately misleading all the time, but you've never substantiated that claim, just like a lot of other claims about me that you've never substantiated.

I re-posted your false and misinformed comments above and links to CAW and US economists, with themselves referring to OECD reports of this same decade who also state the exact opposite of what you claim is true and to be egregious error of fact. Do you require detailed directions to that post in general?   

If you're referring to post ten, neither of those reports contradict anything in anything I've written in this thread. 

Post 10&17. I provided sources to two well-known economists who explain how you're wrong. You replied by appealing to yourself as an authority.

genstrike wrote:
I feel like there's no point trying to debate or discuss this issue (or any issue, for that matter) on this site if this is the level of discourse which prevails.

I honestly don't read all of your posts. And I think you're just disappointed that someone has called on you to provide something to support one single claim you made at the top of a thread that obviously calls out to openly declared social democrats like myself to rubberneck and maybe even reply to. If you have nothing else to add, then we're done. It's painless really.

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

Post 10&17. I provided sources to two well-known economists who explain how you're wrong. You replied by appealing to yourself as an authority.

Except for the fact that they don't explain how I'm wrong because they aren't even talking about the same thing!

Incidentally, Stephen Hawking says that black holes should emit radiation, which proves that I'm right and you're wrong about everything.

 

Fidel wrote:

genstrike wrote:
I feel like there's no point trying to debate or discuss this issue (or any issue, for that matter) on this site if this is the level of discourse which prevails.

I honestly don't read all of your posts. And I think you're just disappointed that someone has called on you to provide something to support one single claim you made at the top of a thread that obviously calls out to openly declared social democrats like myself to rubberneck and maybe even reply to. If you have nothing else to add, then we're done. It's painless really.

You not reading my posts actually explains a lot about why you think two pieces which have pretty much nothing to do with what I'm saying refute them.  If you want to refute something, try actually reading it first so you know what you're trying to refute, otherwise you get the written equivalent of 2+2=dog.

And I'm not disappointed, I'm frustrated.  I'm frustrated because I enjoy discussing issues with more or less like-minded people and at one point thought babble was a good place to do this, but it seems like there are people (mostly you) on this site who would rather trash threads than discuss issues because they don't like what is being talked about.  I know you do this intentionally, you feel it is your duty as an NDPer to derail any thread which is critical of The Party, you also enjoy getting under my skin, and you know that you can do it with impuinity because for some inexplicable reason you are a popular poster here, despite having no more than fleeting moments of coherence in your little mini-rants pieced together mostly from a collection of hyperpartisan canned sound bites and turns of phrase, and this inexplicable popularity with the babble community and the moderators gives you a near-immunity when it comes to moderation which grants you the right to fuck up any discussion you don't like.

The problem isn't that certain issues are "mulberries" and can't be discussed by the 90-something percent of babblers who are rational people, the problem is that whenever these issues come up, some people feel the need to start flame wars about it and trash the thread, and for some inexplicable reason, people like me are stupid enough to oblige by responding to them when they talk shit about us.  Then we sit around wondering why we just can't seem to get along, with the obligatory navel-gazing thread in rabble reactions, always ignoring anything which might stop the favourite son wreckers from trashing any thread they don't like.

This is exactly why I don't post here very often anymore.

KenS

@ Slumberjack:

that soliloquoy could have been directed at anyone or no one.

I guess its supposed to be a reply to me, buried in there somewhere.

Try the simple question again- what basis did you ever have for calling the piece linked by Lord Palmerson "reality", while calling me someone who is avoiding reality? [and its charitable to say you only said that about me]

Unionist

* bump * - to give me some time to read all these posts and not misplace the thread again...

Fidel

So even though Nova Scotia is a net importer of PSE students, the government of Nova Scotia receives funding not on a per-student basis, but a per capita one. Which means that students from other provinces studying in NS are counted by the feds as living and studying in their home provinces when it comes to federal social transfers to provinces. This is another example of how things have been broken in Ottawa since the Mulroney-Chretien-Martin neoliberal era and continuing today under the Harpers.