Uniting the "Left" Pt II

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Uncle John

Branding is important.

The Liberal brand is popular, even when the Party, the Leader, and the Policy is not. People identify themselves as "Liberal", even if they are not happy with the Liberal Party.

The Conservative brand is similar, in that people can say they are "conservative", despite what the Conservative Party may be doing.

To say you are a "New Democrat" ties you to the NDP. You are not going to call yourself a "New Democrat" if you don't like the Party, Leader, or Policy.

I think, however, the term "Democrat" does speak louder about a self-identification than any particular Party. I could say I was a "Democrat" and support any of the three parties above. Indeed, I have, and I do.

In terms of the US politics, most Canadians would vote Democrat over Republican. For one thing, Canada is not a Republic, so it would be hard to identify with "Republican" without being disloyal to the concept of the Canadian State.

So I think "Democrat" would be the best brand for a new party uniting the anti-Conservative. For one thing, any party opposing the Canadian Democrats would have to explain how they could be democrats without being Democrats.

To win, any party must capture the Canadian centre, which the Conservatives seem to be doing the best at currently.

Until then, I think Jack should stress the Democrat over the New. I also think the NDP should be the lead party in the new coalition, just as the Alliance was the lead party in the coalition on the right.

If they were to call themselves just the Democrats, I would not be surprised if I was joined by Conservatives and Liberals in wishing this new party well.

robbie_dee

Robin Sears, [url=http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/529874]"Power, not policy, stands in the way of uniting the left,"[/url] Toronto Star, November 4, 2008.

quote:

At the time of its founding in Ottawa in the first week of August 1961, the New Democratic Party was seen by many of its protagonists as the inevitable successor to the Liberals and the natural antidote to Diefenbaker conservatism. Liberals, though, derided the effort at unity on the left from the beginning.

It was a small success to have brought together unions, farmers, intellectuals, many Quebec Quiet Revolutionaries, and left factions of a bewildering array of differences. It was a greater success to have held it together during the explosive tensions of the '60s on the left, though the Waffle battles came close to ending the dream.

The lessons of that merger effort – the product of nearly three years of negotiations following the misery of the 1958 defeat of nearly the entire CCF caucus – are at least three: Mergers require leaders who are committed to making them happen; they require a party that will endure disappointment and partisan attack along the way; and they require partners who understand the price of failure is higher than the compromises required for success.

Could the party have been born if, as some had argued, it had attempted to split the Liberal party as well? Probably not: bridging the long and deeply defensive traditions of two political cultures as different as liberalism and social democracy is a far larger task than uniting the disparate and defeated factions of the democratic left.

In light of Stephen Harper's re-election last month and his successful reunification of Canadian conservatism, the plaintive call for unity on the left is once again being heard in more than the usual places. The frustration that two-thirds of the voters elected less than half the MPs has given new life to the unity debate.

Some people look at the Canadian Conservative experience of nasty divorce and successful reconciliation and say, "Why not us?" First of all, there is no comparison between the circumstances of the political families. The Canadian right had more than a century of unity before the usual tensions between Quebec and the West ripped the family into two and then three angry pieces. A marriage reconciliation is a big challenge; a genuine peace between former blood enemies is even more so.

The adroitly manoeuvred, and carefully managed, reconciliation process on the right was a credit to the diplomatic and political skills of David Frum, Belinda Stronach, Brian Mulroney, Peter McKay, Stephen Harper and the many others who played less public roles. It was an achievement, especially at the end game, that overcame considerable odds, deep personal animosities, and real policy and values differences. But it was a political reconciliation not a negotiated end to generations of political conflict.

Mergers create losers as well as winners, but the losers are always louder.

So why bother to make the attempt on the centre-left?

First, because the alternatives are worse. The arrival of the Greens has proved as destabilizing to the major parties as it was in Europe 20 years ago. Although Elizabeth May has bled support from each party, the Tories are the net beneficiary of Green strength. Second, the patterns of partisanship appear to be settling with large chunks of the political terrain relatively fixed in their behaviour. Alberta, Saskatchewan and much of B.C. are solidly Tory. Conservative gains this time in big cities and among new Canadians are deeply worrying to thoughtful Liberals and New Democrats. In Quebec, the Bloc, while weakened, makes the formation of a stable federal government unlikely. Finally, there is the simple reality that four against one in a "first-past-the-post" system of elections favours the one, when it occupies a swathe of ideological territory alone.


[url=http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/529874]The rest[/url].

madmax

Uniting the left?

I don't think we will ever get the CPC (Communist Party of Canada) and the Marxist Lenninists to accept a merger.

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

robbie_dee

No I agree those two groups absolutely hate each other.

That's why I was referring to the "left" in quotes.

Jacob Richter

^^^ I don't know much about the ideology of the "official" CPC. At times, it can be Khrushchevite-collaborationist. At others, it can be original.

Why hasn't the Socialist Project done anything? [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]

Brian White

This is like the talk of one of the smaller christian cults. We are more left than you so you are not good enough.

quote:

Originally posted by Left J.A.B.:
[b]You understand that the Liberals and Greens are not left eh?

If you do repeating the same stuff doesn't make your point, it makes it seem like you just don't get the issues.

What economic issues important to the left would the Liberals endorse? We had 13 years of them pursuing the exact same economic policies Harper has pursued. I would be pretty sceptical of death bed conversions.[/b]


JeffWells

Funny how one-sided this "unite the left" talk is. (Robin Sears, the Mouth of Sauron, included.) It's like being courted by a desperate middle-aged swinger who knows he's running out of time and opportunity.

"I can change, baby - you'd be good for me!" Yeah, who could resist? [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Brian White:
[b]This is like the talk of one of the smaller christian cults. We are more left than you so you are not good enough.
[/b]

Or even larger Christian cults.

robbie_dee

I am not sure NDPers should scoff at these proposals. The Liberals are at an historic point of weakness right now, nearly broke, bereft of leadership and coming off their worst election performance in 140 years. But they still finished with over 1.1 million more votes than the NDP last time, and more than twice as many seats.

I do believe it could be possible for the NDP to one day supplant the Liberals as the dominant "left of center" federal political party, as it has already done in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. But that day still appears to be a long way off.

Another possibility would be electoral reform, so that the NDP's seat count would more accurately correlate with the number of votes it receives. That would eliminate "strategic voting" and guarantee the NDP increased influence in future parliaments even without supplanting one of the major parties. But electoral reform efforts have so far failed to take hold anywhere they've been put on the ballot, and I'm not optimistic about B.C. next year, either.

That leaves us with a Conservative government that won barely more than a third of the vote last time. And as long as the "anti-Conservative" vote remains divided, the Conservatives may well expect a continued reign for the foreseeable future. There has to be a better way.

My thought is that if there ever is going to be a deal between the "left" parties, perhaps the best time for the NDP to strike such a deal is when the Liberals are weak and desperate. It doesn't have to be a full merger, it could be simply a coalition or an electoral non-competition agreement. The parties could even include a commitment to implement electoral reform upon taking power. I thought the Sears article actually did a pretty good job of examining the possibilities and pitfalls of pursuing such an endeavor. IMO, the idea shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

madmax

I took this quote from another forum, quoting a GP activist and organizer. The comments about the GP view of the NDP says it all.

I recall when there was a time, listening to GP policy and NDP policy sounded like an echo, and their was mutual respect and cooperation.

quote:

You're actually approaching the fundamental question of Electoral politics, namely resources. People, and money fight the ground war, Skilled people and money fund the Air war. The GPC is building their base in both these fundamental commodities, people and $$. There have been a plethora of errors, strategic, and tactical, BUT there are a lot of really bright people in the GPC, and they learn from their mistakes. In addition, over the past 4 years increasing number of skilled hacks and flacks have been migrating from the Libs and Cons to where the good policies are, namely the GPC.[b] I ignore the NDP, because there has grown a really visceral hatred of Dippers by Greens [/b]. Besides, the only competent flacks and hacks in the NDP are MP's, and there's no way they'll abandon their cushy jobs for any cause.


Good luck with the Unite the Left.

robbie_dee

Interesting exchange between Leslie Campbell and Brian Topp in today's Globe and Mail:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081107.WNDP1107/BNS... Now for the NDP?[/url]

As for the Greens, madmax, you've highlighted one current of opinion in the party. But EMay is still the leader, and she has already cut one deal with the Liberals. The Greens are currently seatless, and their prospects of gaining a seat any time soon are dim. No seat means likely no spot in the next leaders' debate, which in turn likely means a diminished profile in the next election. Green Party members are really going to have to do some hard thinking about what they is trying to accomplish - do they want to hang around as spoilers, or do they want to make a short-term sacrifice in order to obtain their longer-term policy goals?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Interesting mostly because it is void of any left wing analysis at all.

Yes, I think Topp articulates the imperialism, [i]it feasible[/i], position rather well:

Topp:

quote:

[b]Before committing troops to help continue this conflict,[/b] we have a duty - to those troops, and to our country - to ask precisely how further intervention would or could "finish the job." I suggest (as do many others) that at the current level of intensity, it will not finish the job. And that any conceivable level of escalation will also likely not "finish the job" [b]unless the U.S. is prepared to broaden the conflict into the neighbouring safe haven - with the consequences I outlined.[/b]

It's my understanding that Topp managed Jack's campaign in the last election fiasco. He is also, I see the co-chair of the NDP election committee. Is there no restriction on the right of hired staff in the NDP that requires them to limit statements at variance with the party policy, especially when naming themselves in their official capacity.

My understanding of the NDP's 2006 Afghan resolution was that it was for a withdrawal from Afghanistan, not withdrawal unless the US invades Pakistan, and increases troops strength. Did I miss something in the resolution?

[ 07 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

robbie_dee

Hey Cueball, I think you were right to actually raise this point on the [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=008137]ot... thread, or maybe even consider starting a third thread specifically titled "the NDP and imperialism" or something like that, just so its clear. I reposted Topp's link here mostly for what I thought was its relevance to the "unite the 'left'" debate.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Fair enough.

One really has to ask, given Topp's statement, if he is "left" at all? Is this discussion more appropriatly about uniting the center? I find it kind of strange that the party in that discussion arguing for unity, actually made statements which were marginally more left than Topp on the issue of Afghanistan, while Topp was essentially saying that war was fine, as long as it was winnable, but was opposed to any kind of consolidation.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Is this discussion more appropriatly about uniting the center?

Yes, it is. Someone above noted the NDP supplanted, in some provinces, the Liberals on the center-left. But Liberals never occupied that space. The Liberals have always swung between the center-right and center. Today, and for the last two decades, they've been to the center-right.

The NDP is a party of that swings between the center and center-left.

The Greens claim to be neither left nor right and they actively recruit anyone and everyone.

Essentially, Canada has three liberal parties and no prominent party of the left.

When we talk about uniting the left, what we are really talking about, as you said, is uniting the various liberal parties. And why not?

melovesproles

quote:


I find it kind of strange that the party in that discussion arguing for unity, actually made statements which were marginally more left than Topp on the issue of Afghanistan,

You are right that Topp doesn't make a leftwing argument, he even claims to be a 'Realist', and it is a little disturbing to think about where the argument might have gone if Cambell had answered that he supported invading and occupying Pakistan, as Topp suggested was necessary for 'success', but beyond the philosophy of his argument, he is still calling for pulling out of Afghanistan whereas Cambell is arguing the opposite.

Cambell's criticisms of the NDP is just a regurgitation of what we always hear from mainstream pundits regardless of what the party does. Jettison organized labour, embrace neoliberalism, more support for militarism, because who cares about your base, Liberal voters are just brimming with enthusiasm to vote NDP if only the party's policies were more rightwing.

I don't see any of the parties having the type of vision to unite the left, Duceppe is the only leader I've seen that seems to really know what he stands for, and he doesn't want the job. Hopefully, eventually the fractured "left" figures out that only with Proportional Rep will they form government, it doesn't seem to have sunk in this election but there is always next time.

Cueball Cueball's picture

The issue of Afghanistan is primary to the discussion and Topp's statement above more or less his concluding remark. At least half of the exchange is on this topic.

Topp uses this platform to present a false impression of the NDP position on Afghanistan, taking the liberty of authorizing his statement as the Co-Chair of the election committee, and the campaign manager for the most recent election. This is noteworthy because Topp has made a special point of remarking on the abuse of credentials for giving false authority to personal opinions of persons who challenged the direction of the NDP, in the past.

But I digress Topp's position is merely a call for an expanded war, and a troop increase in order to get "the job done". It is not a call for withdrawal but a demand that our Allies should commit more forcefully and expand the conflict to Pakistan, or we will not participate. No military venture is justified on the basis that the conflict is unwinnable. To say that we should support the war only if it is winnable is merely to make plain the implicit underpinings of the arguement for war. Any war, at any time in history.

The 2006 resolution for withdrawal had no caveats or conditions, upon which withdrawal might be reconsidered.

Topp's statement is militarist in the extreme. And it echos simillar underlying ideas that followed NDP candidates over the last months, notably Dawn Black in August, and Jack Laytons approving comments about statements from a British general who suggested a strategic shift of focus might change the fortunes of the war.

[ 07 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

melovesproles

quote:


But I digress Topp's position is merely a call for an expanded war, and a troop increase. It is not a call for withdrawal but a demand that our Allies should commit more forcefully and expand the conflict to Pakistan, or we will not participate.

Cueball, he says

quote:

I don't think I'll surprise you to say that (speaking strictly personally) I don't favour dispatching more Canadian combat troops to Afghanistan - and I don't think President Obama should, either.

Cueball Cueball's picture

quote:


I suggest (as do many others) that at the current level of intensity, it will not finish the job. And that any conceivable level of escalation will also likely not "finish the job" [b]unless the U.S. is prepared to broaden the conflict into the neighbouring safe haven[/b] - with the consequences I outlined.

He says this because he believes the strategic error that made the US fail in Vietnam was "the strategic mistakes the United States committed in Vietnam - permitting an undefeated enemy to operate out of safe havens".

In other words, lack of resolve, and failure to expand the war. Topp is arguing for full commitment or none.

Is he confused? Yes. And it is precisely this kind of confusion of morality and purpose which has dogged NDP statements on this issue since the 2006 resolution came forward, and was approved.

[ 07 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Fidel

quote:


[b]The United States invaded Afghanistan because that country sponsored the terrorist organization that carried out the 9/11 attacks - not for any of the reasons you set out.[/b]

I think Brian makes some excellent comments wrt the futility of this Crazy George/Paul Martin Liberal government collaboration in Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan as it looks now, but I can't agree with Brian's statement above. There is no proof that this desperately poor thirdworld country had anything to do with 9/11, nor did it warrant carpet bombing by the U.S. military.

We were led to believe that the "Hamburg cell" masterminded 9-11. But German high courts were denied damning evidence which the Pentagon possessed and refused to release for "national security" reasons.

That didn't matter, because they had Khalid Sheikh Mohammed warming up in the bull pen, the latest "mastermind" marketed to Americans and who supposedly outwitted the $40 billion dollar intelligence apparatus of the vicious empire
[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v697/rabblerabble/9997.jpg[/img]
[b]"Confessed"[/b] to the dirty work after being tortured at Gitmo for five years. Empire officials said he actually held out the longest of all "al Qa'eda" terror suspects. This is the legendary evidence used to justify waging a phony war on terror around the world.

Cueball Cueball's picture

The ghost of general Zia is near. I can feel his presence.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]The ghost of general Zia is near. I can feel his presence.[/b]

Whatever Crazy George said is fine with our Liberal stooges in Ottawa. There will be no second-guessing the American inquisition if our phony-baloney opposition party has anything to do with it. Aye-aye!

Cueball Cueball's picture

[img]http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40660000/jpg/_40660417_203zia-ap.j...
BOO!

[ 07 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40660000/jpg/_40660417_203zia-ap.jp
BOO!

[ 07 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ][/b]


the linked to page says:

quote:

[b]404 - Liberal Party Integrity Not Found[/b]

This might be because the Liberals gave you the wrong address. Please check the address and spelling ensuring that it does not contain Liberal red book promises or empty rhetoric.

It is possible that the Liberals you were looking for may have gone in to hiding in Ottawa, changed careers or were deleted.

Please click the back button to try another
party.


Or some such

[ 07 November 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Fidel

[img]http://www.rawa.org/darkdays/masoud-gul.jpg[/img]
Massoud (2nd from left) signing agreement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the most wanted criminal in Afghanistan, in presence of their Pakistani and Arab masters.

quote:

According to the Time (June 11, 1984), one of Masoud's biggest operations against Russians was organized, financed and directed by CIA.
* * *

Milton Bearden, the CIA's station chief in Pakistan during the war: "Masoud spent most of his time preparing for the coming civil war -not fighting the Communists."


Boo!

Cueball Cueball's picture

[img]http://www.rawa.org/darkdays/massoud2.jpg[/img]
Other friends of Massoud in his younger years. Here he is making plans with General Nabi Azimi, Noor-ul-Haq Ulomi, Asif Delawar of the PDPA army.
[img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Fidel

The CIA cut off his funding in 1992 after Massood declared war on the Taliban. They were supposed to have cut all ties with the whackos after the fall of Kabul. Who believes it? The answer apparently is just enough, and it doesnt matter now for them politically.

Republicans have accused Clinton's bunch of aiding and abetting "al Qa'eda" and vice versa, right up to the months and weeks leading to 9/11/01. "Blowback" is baloney just like the phony war on terror.

Cueball Cueball's picture

He made deals with the Soviets so that their armies would not be harrassed by his mercenaries on their way down to Kabul.

Fidel

I think you lost yourself before actually making a point

Cueball Cueball's picture

The point is that I made a post about the views of the co-chair of the NDP election committee, where he discusses the topic of the thread title, which is called "uniting the left" and you showed me a picture of a guy named Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who as far as I can tell has no opinions on the issue Uniting the Left in Canada.

Fidel

I wasn't posting to you specifically in that particular post. I was replying to Brian Topp's comments ... from robbee dee's post above.

And your photo of Zia? [img]confused.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Look way up Fidel. I know its hard for you to keep things straight. But my photo of Zia comes after you started posting prison pictures of people who are completely unrelated to the subject.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]Look way up Fidel. I know its hard for you to keep things straight. But my photo of Zia comes after you started posting prison pictures of people who are completely unrelated to the subject.[/b]

You yourself commented on robby dee's link to "What now for the NDP?" like you usually do when scouring babble for NDP threads. "snap" "snap" HELlo!

Here's an idea, why don't you stop harassing me and shadowing my posts? Because then I wouldn't have to tell you to FUCK OFF every now and then.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I am shadowing you? [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Like in this [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=008137]th... where your first post is a direct response to something I said, including a quote. I post, you "shadow". I think really you just want to be able to talk, but then demand that people either agree, or shut up.

Perhaps you know more about communism than I thought.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]I am shadowing you? [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=007620#00... either enjoy posting annoying little notes to my ass, or you're just a friendly kinda guy, one or the other. That's okay though, because apparently I wasnt so spazzed about it as to completely derail a thread to focus everyone's attention on personal issues I might have with another poster. You need to either grow thicker skin or feathers, one or the other. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Cueball Cueball's picture

It's really so much so what? You post, I post. There is this other thread I linked to where you "shadow" me. Whatever?

I am not the one whose making an issue of harrasment, when I am sure that 99% of the board would not be able to say who started what or where. Nor would most of them care I imagine.

That said, you are perenially throwing cheap shot insults around, and smears. Name calling, slander, personal insults, at a far higher rate thatn I ever do. My quaint little poke at your obssession with General Zia, is nothing.

And who is talking about my personal issues here? Me? Not at all. You brought it "them" up. Whatever you think they are. All I did was post an innocent little picture of your friends in the PDPA hanging out with Massoud.

And you are claiming I am thin skinned. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]Like in this [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=008137]th... where your first post is a direct response to something I said, including a quote. I post, you "shadow".[/b]

And I sometimes respond to your outrageously off the wall attempts to smear the NDP and post unsupported disinformation in general on what is an otherwise fairly serious and progressive leftwing discussion site. So I guess I bring this shit on myself sometimes, too.

Cueball Cueball's picture

No really? You think you bring this stuff on yourself? Amazing. Revelation.

A good look at that thread shows clearly that the bad behaviour starts with your little dig at "General strike". I just stepped in your doo doo, that is all.

You just can't take it that is all. And when it starts coming back atcha, you freak.

Fidel

Anyway enough about you. Let's not make this another thread about Cueball and your beefs with me for exposing disinformation and misleading comments in your personal crusade against the NDP. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Just think, all I said in that other thread was that you were not a communists. And your not. I really believe that. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]Anyway enough about you. Let's not make this another thread about Cueball and your beefs with me for exposing disinformation and misleading comments in your personal crusade against the NDP. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

Exactly, enough about me! Why did you even bring me up? That is my point.

And what beef? I haven't complained about anything, I was just a little confused when you got all hoighty toighty, when I decided to shovel back. The nerve of me, I know. Quote my complaint, if you can find one.

This starts with your complaint, and your telling me to fuck off:

quote:

Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]

Here's an idea, why don't you stop harassing me and shadowing my posts? Because then I wouldn't have to tell you to FUCK OFF every now and then.[/b]


[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
Just think, all I said in that other thread was that you were not a communist[b]s[/b]. And your not. I really believe that. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ][/QB]


aHA! So now youve finally arrived at this latest conclusion that I'm not [i]several[/i] communists but one individual communist in the singular! I knew I was good but not that good. But I must tell that flattery will get you nowhere. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Not even that.

Fidel

No good, you were caught black-handed listing me as a red. Sorry but I'll have to turn you in to the kgb now, you phony comrade commissar you. puh! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Cueball Cueball's picture

I see you are in better humour now. good.

janfromthebruce

I believe that the idea that uniting progressives under a lib banner, and submerging the NDP, Greens into that ship, just went out the window. As Dion said on election night, the liberals were going to work with the conservatives to stabilize the economy.
One could also gleam that the liberal party has much more in common with conservative ideology, program and practice than say on the progress side, beyond their election campaigns.
So for all the yearning, misplaced by different writers and commentators, I believe this speaks for itself. Time to move from the silly position of uniting Big P politics and focusing on progressives uniting.

[url=http://www.ottawasun.com/News/National/2008/11/08/7344116-sun.html]PM, Dion unite to trim costs[/url].

quote:

Fresh from a bruising campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion are joining hands to trim government spending and keep Canada afloat through tough economic times.

quote:

The political rivals met yesterday and agreed to collaborate on ways to help the slumping economy during the upcoming session of Parliament. Described by one senior government official as "cordial and business-like," the two leaders will seek common ground on government spending cuts, accelerating infrastructure investment, strengthening the ban on bulk water exports and [b]keeping corporate taxes intact[/b].

By keeping "promised corporate taxes intact" means that both the liberals and conservatives are remaining beholden to the "board table" and that like in the past of the liberals, will be willing again, to sacrifice social programs in support of corporate Canada.

Now for progressives to move beyond "liberals are progressive" and get over the dog and pony show.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

But this is rhetoric, Jan, and I will remind you that Jack Layton has always indicated he is willing to work with the government to make "parliament work" for Canadians. And the Liberals are, themselves, heading into a leadership review, which could, however unlikely, change the course of the Liberal raft.

The question for "progressives" (I use quotes because it seems everyone these days is a progressive) then, is how does the Left ever win power, or even influence power, if it remains divided, ineffectual, and most irrelevant? How does the Left you recognize unite?

If you only recognize the left in the form of the NDP (in my view a liberal party), then you must also recognize that your left, nor my left, nor the left of most of the people on this board, will never hold elected power.

melovesproles

What I think a lot of the partisans don't understand is that the public is actually quite pragmatic. Thats why, when the NDP demonstrated they were willing to work with the Liberals to pass progressive legislation, the NDP, was rewarded in 2006 with more voters. For all the shrill Liberal screeching about Layton colluding with Harper, it was clear that the NDP was willing to take a risk to make Parliament pass legislation that helped Canadians. In the last Parliament, the NDP abandoned that approach, and instead spent most of their energy trying to embarrass the Liberals, not exactly a difficult task but not one that made people feel good about Canadian democracy. And so even with a slick and expensive campaign, and a charismatic leader, the amount of people who felt motivated to vote NDP went down. They obviously felt their vote was going to accomplish little more than support more games of chicken in the House of Commons.

janfromthebruce

You see frustrated mess, I see progressive politics as both pushing from outside and also pushing inside. I have been involved in both. Pushing from the outside only can move things so far, and it requires also some moving to the inside to ensure that what is being pushed outside happens inside.
Simply put, at the end of a day, there is a vote on something. Having enough folks inside - those elected - ends of up effecting that "vote."
Being a lone voice, for instance, inside, means one is just tilting at windmills, forever.

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