Uniting the "Left" Pt II

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janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by melovesproles:
[b]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.[/b]

Actually, I disagree that the statement that the NDP "spent most of their energy trying to embarrass the Liberals." The fact is that the liberals embarrassed themselves with no help from the NDP. It was the liberals who did not show up to vote or voted with the conservatives. Folks are responsible for their "own actions" and that is what I teach my children.

If one remembers correctly, the NDP did reach out to the liberals on occasion, and attempt as you suggested "to make Parliament pass legislation that helped Canadians. " This included cleaning up the unclean air act of the conservatives. Initially, the liberals were reluctant partners and poo-pood it and not all that willing to "take a risk to make Parliament pass [progressive] legislation that helped Canadians." Also, the NDP worked with the Bloc and libs no pass "progressive" anti-scab legislation and it was the libs who ended up voting it down, acting unprogressively, and in ended up embarrassing themselves. The NDP didn't tie their hands behind their backs or set their agenda.
I will remind you that each party steers its own course in parliament. The NDP is not responsible for making or not making the liberals look good or bad, or rescue them or not rescue them from themselves.
Not once did the NDP vote against or for legislation that was for or against their stated principles or party policy.

What I did also see during the last parliament is Liberals focusing on "gotcha politics" (such as trying to make hay out of the in/out scandal, Mulroney/Schriber affair and so on) rather than focusing on programs that would be of interest to most Canadians.I would suggest it was this focus of the libs combined with not showing up that lent to an overall feeling of people not feeling good about Canadian democracy. Libs abandoned any claim that they considered Canadians more important than party politics and their winning.

Using your same analogy that was suggested with this statement:

quote:

the NDP, was rewarded in 2006 with more voters

, it appears that in the 2008 election the NDP was rewarded with more seats in the House and an overall increase in 2nd place finishes, and overall increase in NDP candidates gaining over 10% in individual races. The NDP were rewarded with their 2nd best showing since its formation. I wanted it to be better and plan to ensure that the "base of support widens."

The liberals, in contrast, were rewarded with their worst electorial outcome since 1876. And that my friend, has absolutely nothing to do with me and nor do I care.

janfromthebruce

To follow-up, Rick Mercer often reflects what Canadians are thinking or saying and likes to bring that to the fro. I guess he just wanted to embarrass the liberals and make no mistake, this clip had nothing to do with the NDP. Mercer was only reflecting what Canadians were seeing in real time.

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[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


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.

No one disagrees with that. The question is from where, inside or out, does one get the best traction and leverage?

In Canadian politics, it will and has been argued that only the Liberals can deliver "progressive" change as they are electable. But NDPers will argue, often convincingly, that the Liberals will only introduce progressive change when all other options for retaining power have been eliminated.

And is legislative concessions really always good enough?

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]
No one disagrees with that. The question is from where, inside or out, does one get the best traction and leverage?

In Canadian politics, it will and has been argued that only the Liberals can deliver "progressive" change as they are electable. But NDPers will argue, often convincingly, that the Liberals will only introduce progressive change when all other options for retaining power have been eliminated.

And is legislative concessions really always good enough?[/b]


First, I believe times are a-changing and that myth of liberals can deliver "progressive" change has not happen in eons. As to the rest of the claim re: liberals have to be completing on the ropes and at a point of needing to retain power - well - they are not in power - enough said.

As to your last question what else are you proposing or thinking here that is better? You must have some ideas as you see legislative concessions not good enough?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


First, I believe times are a-changing and that myth of liberals can deliver "progressive" change has not happen in eons.

That doesn't matter. Americans just bought the same repackaged soap. Canadians will too. Politics is not about reality but perception. And as the old ad advise goes, sell the sizzle not the steak.

quote:

As to the rest of the claim re: liberals have to be completing on the ropes and at a point of needing to retain power - well - they are not in power - enough said.

But they will be and they are more likely to be in power that the NDP

quote:

As to your last question what else are you proposing or thinking here that is better? You must have some ideas as you see legislative concessions not good enough?

A legislative concession is where the lawmakers decide to throw you a bone from the table where the meat is consumed. Do you want the bone, or would you rather be at the table?

The question is how do we get to that table. And I will soon be once more under attack, but I think we must join, start, morph a movement founded on a defined set of principles and goals and pour energy into politicians who be represent those goals regardless of political affiliation.

For example, while I have little faith in the US Democratic Party, I do have tremendous respect for the voices of some people within that party. Here is one excellent example:

quote:

If we can commit more than $1 trillion to rescue bankers and insurance companies from their reckless and irresponsible behavior, we certainly should be investing in millions of good-paying jobs that rebuild our nation and improve its economy.

[url=http://www.truthout.org/110808Y]Senator Bernie Sanders[/url]

It shouldn't be necessary that we agree with every position of Sanders, or that he agree with every position advanced by us, but that we agree on the society we want, or at least, the society we don't want.

We have this tradition of creating non-partisan organizations that offer advice and criticism across a spectrum of issues. What we need is an organization that reaches across the spectrum and is boldly partisan but party neutral.

janfromthebruce

Well good luck. I wish you the best. I am not interested in putting energy into starting another movement, but I am sure you have lots of time, energy, resources, and connections to make that happen.

quote:

We have this tradition of creating non-partisan organizations that offer advice and criticism across a spectrum of issues. What we need is an organization that reaches across the spectrum and is boldly partisan but party neutral.

What "we" are you referring to? What kinds of non-partisan orgs are you talking about? Perhaps there is already an org out there that is serving that purpose, say CCPA, that you could funnel your $ and so on into.
Anyway, we don't have a state side system where individual senators and house reps have lots of individual power as we have a party system of govt. Unless you want Canada to go to a republic system of govt, and well, that would be a non-starter. Anyway, good luck, I'm not interested.

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: janfromthebruce ]

pogge

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]while I have little faith in the US Democratic Party, I do have tremendous respect for the voices of some people within that party.[/b]

Bernie Sanders caucuses with the Democrats but he's actually a big 'I' Independent and doesn't belong to the party. (I almost said "like Joe Lieberman" but stopped myself.)

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


Well good luck. I wish you the best. I am not interested in putting energy into starting another movement

I know. Most people aren't. That's why the only true fundamental change we are witnessing is within the biosphere within which we are, figuratively and literally, fish in a fish bowl. Good luck to all of us.

[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]

KenS

quote:


We have this tradition of creating non-partisan organizations that offer advice and criticism across a spectrum of issues. What we need is an organization that reaches across the spectrum and is boldly partisan but party neutral.

I support the sentiment, am also not sure what tradition you are referring to.

And party neutrality is not a necessity. The Labour Party has for many decades had [barely] arms length think tanks that kick up ideas for consderation by activists as to where and how they want to put the rubber to the road.

You'd probably like what came out of a similar small scale shop in the general orbit of the NDP- even if you disagreed with the particulars of what they put out.

The fact that the CCPA never puts itself in the shoes of a party having to figure out HOW to give a program traction may well limit the feasability of what they propose.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

quote:


I support the sentiment, am also not sure what tradition you are referring to.

The Council of Canadians which is officially non-partisan but whose members lean NDP, is but one example. I only throw that out there as an example for clarification. I think I muddied my own waters by even raising it but I was thinking in terms of a vehicle.

What I mean to say, is what is really required is a grassroots, populist movement guided by a set of principles and goals. I should have stopped there.

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
[b]
The Council of Canadians which is officially non-partisan but whose members lean NDP, is but one example. I only throw that out there as an example for clarification. I think I muddied my own waters by even raising it but I was thinking in terms of a vehicle.

What I mean to say, is what is really required is a grassroots, populist movement guided by a set of principles and goals. I should have stopped there.[/b]


Frustrated mess, you were respectful and thoughtful, and therefore your thoughts my me, and I am sure by others are welcome. I have belonged to the council of Canadians (eons ago). When Maude became involved in the think twice coalition, I lost a lot of respect for her and the crew.
This election I didn't see her front and centre in the "strategic voting circuit" and so I've changed my mind a little. A party shouldn't be rewarded for funneling taxpayers money into party politics, because in the end, it just encourages to do more of the same. Beyond that, I just couldn't buy into the voting in liberals who were 13 years in power and never became "progressive" until the dying days of a minority govt, and even then, basically told Layton to show it - wanting to campaign on those progressive programs - childcare, Kelonia accord, and so on. Just couldn't buy it.
Anyway, my suggestion is start a thread to generate interest on rabble to start a movement and see how it goes here.

madmax

More reasons why the left won't unite, or possibly that the GP isn't left or interesting in uniting with anyone.

So while there is some interest with people envisioning 3 parties "uniting" I would suggest a faint hope clause only.

On other forums, the GPs are more vocal about their intent and goals. And there views on Welfare apparently.

From a GP discussion in another forum I am using.

quote:

[b] Welfare is an undeserved handout motivated by guilt [/b]. The sources and uses of cash in politics are of public interest. I am not talking about the equity, or which party gets what. I do not care if you are talking about Canada, or timbuktu, aside from the fact that I am a Canadian, and I want to see Canada, the country where my children live, well served by our Parliamentary democracy. It would be nice if you could come up with a cohesive response to my points about politics being a marketplace for ideas.

As far as your fallacies about the GPC go, please continue to hold them. We started by seperating the real environmentalists from the NDP, and leaving the whack-job's to stew. Then we picked up a chunk of the Progressives from the old PC's. Next we got plenty of 'operators' from the Liberals. Every time you old line parties have a leadership race, or a drawing of knives, we get stronger at the grassroots level that you love so much. We are the only party that is growing, and has not stopped growing our grassroots for 6 years. Your' crowd are next, as we emphasise our fiscal and environmental conservatism and we'll show you what the grassroots can do!


This thread is ending soon. I just thought this milding entertaining (disturbing) for a "progressive party"

KenS

Thats pretty choice, how about a link?

Sean in Ottawa

The idea of a grand coalition proposed by FM was shot down by myself and others as it was proposed during an election.

FM somehow thinks you build coalitions in elections-- I don't agree. My lack of agreement he dismisses as a lack of understanding -- fair enough. I saw no reason to respond at the time.

 However, if the timing of thsoe posts is forgotten then we will lose the meaning of them. At this point I see no reason for the BQ, NDP and Liberals not to try to govern with the seats they have but I also see absolutely no point negotiating with the other parties during an election.

 FM said my attacks on the Liberals are childish-- I guess I need to see what he is referring to since I was only addressing a record of difference.

 One problem may be that there is not enough common ground for a coalition even now-- The Cons are going to do a stimulus package-- perhaps it will be spending in the form of tax cuts with restrictions on government. Perhaps that is what the Liberals would agree with. It may be difficult for the NDP to try to get the Liberals to agree on a progressive response to the current situation if the NDP wants spending in communities and infrastructure and the Liberals agree with the Cons on tax cuts. 

During the last election when FM made his coalition proposal the NDP were talking about directing the Con business tax cut to social programs and the Liberals were sayign that they supported the Con tax gift to big business. Oh, but perhaps I am childishly criticizing the Liberals by exposing real concrete examples of how different their vision of the country and policy agenda is from anything that can call itself progressive.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Okay, this is my first try to close a long thread in the new babble. Let's see how it goes.

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