So why DO so many 'progressives' remain with the Liberals anyhow?

215 posts / 0 new
Last post

Yeah but then you would see a lot of NDP supporters leave. Unless you take away all rights the corporations have as individuals, in which case I would consider it. Closing the loopholes is the biggest issue. I know people who earn in the 150,000 range and payed less than me in taxes. The have a lot of write downs. Certain "charities" that promote their causes is a real concern.
I will agree with michelle in certain respect. When I joined the Ontario Energy Coalition The first thing was an older guy went apeshit on me and was suspicious of me because I didn't belong to a union "why are you here then!" Maybe because I am a concerned citizen and not a spy. But at the NDP election HQ they are always happy to see anyone to do some calling or leaflets. The libs actually called me to work for them this last election. I went down to visit my friend from gradeschool/highschool. She had no idea I was a socialist. Which is strange because I had both economics and law with her. Our economics class broke to 3 conservative 2/3 dippers and 3/4 libs.
I could not understand the con viewpoint.

Lost in Bruce County


Originally posted by unionist:

but surely business will have much more resources available to grow and create jobs. Every penny reinvested in the business would be tax free.

[ 28 October 2008: Message edited by: unionist ][/b]

Uggg.... you bought straight into Wall Street's propaganda. Corporations - they're not like you and me because they're corporations. That means they don't give a monkey's bum about the betterment of communities or the progress of society because they only care about profit. So what do corporations do - convince people like you and me that not only should they not pay taxes, but get this... we should give them money and free resources. And how do they do this? They promise us job creation which they say magically produces better communities and a progressive society. And we get so giddy from all the helium in the corporate dream bubble that we forget to ask questions. Like, has trickle down theory (developed by corporate sponsored research institutes) ever worked? NO - and when it has the returns have been very marginal compared to the investment. Does corporate tax breaks act as incentives to create jobs? NO. We end up setting a lower industry standard so that other provinces and countries have to lower their taxes just to keep the jobs they have. So really it's not creating jobs but stealing them from others - but at a lower rate. In some situations these people get called scabs.

So should we get NDP on board with corporate tax cuts that don't work and steal other people's jobs? I say no. Coodos to the NDP for not kissing corporate ass for no good reason. And coodos to the NDP for being a strong leader and realizing that the best way to create jobs and to build solid communities is to directly invest in communities. Believe it or not, investing in social services and infrastructure actually creates good paying jobs enabling Canadians to go out and purchase meaningless crap so that big corporations can prevail. Corporations don't need tax breaks - they need us to invest in the public sector so that we can afford their crap - that's the only way they can grow and actually create more jobs.

Unionist you did prove one thing. If lefties like you can buy into corporate b.s. then we're all vulnerable. Linking back to the initial discussion - why do lefties vote liberal - because they have brought into corporate propaganda just like unionist. I would like to see NDP produce better ad campaigns not only to counter right-wing messaging, but to educate and offer up our alternative and effective solutions. I would like to see NDP reinforce its community allies so they can deliver this messaging. For starters, unions and NDP should be working together to offer education campaigns so that membership doesn't have the wool pulled over their eyes anymore.

Max Bialystock

Perhaps it's American influence - where the term "liberal" means progressive - i.e. Ted Kennedy is "liberal" but those Marxist-Leninists are "ultra-liberals."


Lost in Bruce County:

Hear hear!!!!!! Exactly dead spot on. Well said sir/madam! (p.s jump over to the other thread for a continued discussion)

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Left J.A.B.

The Liberals do a much better job of identifying potential local leaders, recruiting them and then supporting them.

The NDP gets these diamonds in the rough come out of the blue all of a sudden and then leaves them to languish because no one has ever won there before. That doesn't stop Liberals, they build that person to become a winner and local people come to identify with them.

End result Liberals look like potential winners (or used to) and so people stick with them. A great many want to vote for that great NDP candidate, but don't feel they can risk it, so they vote for the less progressive, alternative to Conservatives and then feel bad about it the next day. They tell themselves they won't do it the next election, but presented with the same situation they invariably do.


I think Left JAB's post above post is spot on. And there's something to be said for the whole"Liberals welcoming, NDP clannish" argument. I've been a party member for 21 years with a couple of refreshing breaks and I still feel the cool breeze. As a young Liberal for two years in the 80s I was plugged in a lot. I was asked to play a role in the 1986 provincial leadership convention, I was always made to feel part of the bigger Lib picture and always made to feel welcome. As a Young New Dem I had to force my way into the corners of the party I occupied and I remember well running unsuccessfully for city council in Halifax in the mid-90s; afterwards the Liberal godfather for NS David Dingwall, a first class tool in almost every respect, send me a handwritten note, and otherwise contacted me with best wishes for the future. I had other similar contacts from local Libs who wanted me to know they were always looking for new blood (self serving, sure, but still meaningful in a business where interpersonal relationships are so key); I didn't a single word from anyone affiliated with my party (it's non partisan at the local level here). It's a small thing but it illustrates the premium the Liberals place on relationship building compared to the standoffishness of the NDP.

It's easier for a party that doesn't believe anything or have any values or principles to be such a welcoming, open tent, and maybe that's part of why progressives easily find themselves able to justify their politics fitting into said tent. It's harder when ideology and core beliefs are at play so much; it makes for more peevish encounters and a tribal, "I'm more pure than thee" quality that can be a turn off.

Plus there's the fact that progressives, like everyone else, can be seduced by the lure of power and the Libs are better able to offer it.

No shortage of reasons why a progressive might be so ready to drop trou and make a deal with the devil...


Charles and others I think I have some understanding of what you are talking about. When I was elected a school trustee, I heard from nobody. The next municipal election, I won again, and I heard from nobody. The last municipal election, I heard from the NDP, in asking about what NDP affiliated candidates won. I sent to provincial office that I won. It would have been a good thing to send me a congrats note but alas nothing.

I think a good thing for provincial offices to do is send congrats notes. At least they know you exist beyond asking you for money. Another thing is that the local riding association can send out notes to folks, no matter their affiliation and in respect to municipal elections. That's a good way to build the base.

Now I have been elected as vice chair for region for the public school board association. The party should send me a congrats!

Just to let you know, last year I did receive a congrats note from a Hamilton NDP MPP, about an elected position is a progressive trustees network. I received it at the board office - that was pure class. Has he guaranteed that I will work on his campaign in the next prov election - damn tooting!

[ 28 October 2008: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

The Liberal party of Canada fulfills many of the roles of a small "l" "liberal' party in appealing to "progressives". Historically there are roots in the Whigs of the UK. les "rouges" of Quebec and the Clear Grits of Ontario in opposition to the Conservative (not Progressive Conservative, Conservative )coalition of the "Bleus" and Family Compact. Add the Conservatives hanging of Riel. Laurier's opposition to conscription, the sucking in of much of the Progressive Party, Mackenzie King's shaping to the post WWII boom, immigrant waves and you have a party that replaces the old representatives of Orange order, WASP Conservative dying ruling class and cowboy fragment of the ruling class in favour of lawyers and teachers and small business and upwardly mobile and the new capitalist classes of the 20th century that excels at managing and has no ideology, only change and progress. What's not to like?

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

William Lyon Mackenzie King.

F.R. Scott, “W.L.M.K.”

How shall we speak of Canada,
Mackenzie King dead?
The Mother's boy in the lonely room
With his dog, his medium and his ruins?

He blunted us.

We had no shape
Because he never took sides,
And no sides
Because he never allowed them to take shape.

He skilfully avoided what was wrong
Without saying what was right,
And never let his on the one hand
Know what his on the other hand was doing.

The height of his ambition
Was to pile a Parliamentary Committee on a Royal Commission,
To have "conscription if necessary
But not necessarily conscription,"
To let Parliament decide--

Postpone, postpone, abstain.
Only one thread was certain:
After World War I
Business as usual,
After World War II
Oderly decontrol.
Always he led us back to where we were before.

He seemed to be in the centre
Because we had no centre,
No vision
To pierce the smoke-screen of his politics.

Truly he will be remembered
Wherever men honour ingenuity,
Ambiguity, inactivity, and political longevity.

Let us raise up a temple
To the cult of mediocrity,
Do nothing by halves
Which can be done by quarters.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture


Originally posted by Adam T:

the NDP has also come around to favoring balanced budgets.


Which is, of course, a nice Liberal way of suggesting the NDP have a history of fiscal profligacy.

In other words, utter bullshit.

The only profligate NDP premier is now on your party's front bench.



[b]The Liberal party of Canada fulfills many of the roles of a small "l" "liberal' party in appealing to "progressives".[/b]

Sure, the appeal is there, as [url=]this blog post[/url] shows, but what is the record?

Should progressives find the appeal persuasive?

Let's review the recent past.

Writes the blogger,

[i]However, Bob Rae yesterday used the far better term “progressive centre”; methinks we should use that term in future for the LPC.[/i]

To which I respond,


The last federal Liberal budget dedicated more than twice as many dollars to a 5-year boost in [url=]mi... spending[/url] as it did to a belated [url=]5-year plan[/url] to fix broken Liberal promises to improve child care.

This warped Liberal choice was made at a time when Canada faced a last-place showing among OECD nations in terms of the proportion of national wealth dedicated to early childhood education and child care.

Is this the record of a progressive party?

And what of the record over the most recent parliament?

Under Stephane Dion's direction, Liberals voted [url=]with Harper[/url] to defeat pro-labour anti-scab legislation.

They voted [url=]with Harper[/url] to extend and escalate the war in Afghanistan.

They signed off on Conservative fiscal and economic policies that weakened the federal government's ability to intervene positively in the economy, calling them [url='watered down'[/url] Liberal policies.

And near the end of the last election campaign, when their leader was asked which priorities might have to go on the back burner, given the economic turmoil, 'progressive' Liberals effectively gave the answer we've come to expect from this party of the 'centre': "Child care and health care might have to wait."

No such delay was contemplated for the next round of Liberal-Conservative corporate tax cuts, of course.

And the mere suggestion by the NDP of a shift toward more progressive fiscal priorities was enough to elicit the cry of 'socialist job-killer' from the throat of Stephane Dion, the alleged progressive who shamed himself by echoing Stephen Harper's denunciation of Kyoto as a 'socialist scheme.'

No part of this Liberal record remotely approaches a progressive agenda.

People who think the federal Liberals are progressive are either ignoring history or kidding themselves.

[ 02 November 2008: Message edited by: sgm ]


sgm, I saw your posted response to "progressive liberals" and thought it was excellent.

I added a one liner - Nay, the liberals are just hoping that Canadians believe rhetoric over substance - again. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]



Originally posted by Left J.A.B.:
[b]The NDP gets these diamonds in the rough come out of the blue all of a sudden and then leaves them to languish because no one has ever won there before. That doesn't stop Liberals, they build that person to become a winner and local people come to identify with them.

End result Liberals look like potential winners (or used to) and so people stick with them.[/b]

Can you provide some evidence of this? I think the opposite is largely true.

The NDP has developed a bit of a reputation for candidate building and most of the current MPs are people who ran twice or more before winning: Olivia Chow, Chris Charlton, John Rafferty, Bruce Heyer, Carol Hughes, Claude Gravelle, Linda Duncan, Alex Atamanenko, Denis Bevington, Joe Comartin, Irene Matthysen. All ran, lost and ran again with increased support.

The Liberals, by contrast, have developed a rep for parachuting in "star" candidates over the wishes of the local teams. Witness Ignatieff in Etobicoke Lakeshore, or the professor who lost to Mulcair in Outrement.

Here's an interesting study in contrasts. In [url= North[/url] the Liberals parachuted in a UofT prof with no experience and no links to the community. The NDP ran hard with Ali Naqvi, again. He recieved a lot of support. Layton even went to the riding. He came third. The Lib won big.

So, please, explain how the NDP leaves candidates to languish while the Liberals build people up?

Lost in Bruce County


Originally posted by sgm:
[b]People who think the federal Liberals are progressive are either ignoring history or kidding themselves.[ 02 November 2008: Message edited by: sgm ][/b]

After the election I heard many people express similar opinions of the electorate. It's true - most voters are not thinking about the political past of parties, in fact I'm not sure if they even remember it. And many people falsely believe that Lib.s are an alternative to the scary-hairy Con.s - a myth that Lib.s started. There's no doubt in my mind that Con.s are not good for Canadians.... but even NDPers has fallen pray to the Lib. spin because the Lib. record proves that they have been far worse for Canada!

Con.s are not to be feared - it's the Liberal fear factory that needs to be feared.

Fear is a huge motivator and Lib.s have successfully capitalized on it by claiming the Con.s are a scary-hairy-beast.

It's time to stop blaming the electorate (for being a product of their media environment re: Chomsky). It's time that we start investing in targeted awareness and education drives. Because as it stands, the Toronto Star and Glob and Mail just aren't our best publicity sources.