What'll take to move the NDP from its current 20% in the polls to 25% in the next election, Part 3

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RedRover

For all the snark and *winks* I am not hearing many other ideas that will help the party hit 25%.

RedRover

On a socio-economic level I think unions have had an overwhelmingly positive influence on our society, and I hope they will do so  long into the future.  As they relate to the political system though I feel quite differently.

Is it anti-labour to suggest that the special relationship between the NDP and organized labour end and that the latter lose their special voting rights at conventions and on riding associations?

Unions, for all the good they have done in our society, constitute a special interest in our political system and their ties to the NDP in particular grants them extra access, benefits, and influence within the party and over the objectives and policies that the party chooses to pursue.  It is the essence of such 'special' relationships.

I understand that many people in the party are fine - even thrilled - with that, but they should get used to lingering around 18.5% in the polls.

I think a new way forward for the NDP is needed and part of what is needed in my opinion is for it to become a party of the people, the vast, vast majority of whom are not members of a trade union. 

NorthReport

Organized labour - the people who brought us vacations, statuary holidays, weekends, 40 hour work week, time and a half, double time, safety on the job, minimum wage, all those beasty things - let's trash them for their sins.

Maybe it's time to read and absorb a little bit about Saul Alinsky.

 

 

 

Quote:
saul alinsky, community organizing and rules for radicals
Saul Alinsky's work is an important reference point for thinking about community organizing and community development. His books Reveille for Radicals (1946) and Rules for Radicals (1971) were both classic explorations of organizing and remain popular today. Mike Seal examines Alinsky's continuing relevance to the activities of informal educators, community organizers and animateurs.

 

http://www.infed.org/thinkers/alinsky.htm

NorthReport

Liberals cling to big lie that labour funds NDP

 

A labour movement that is without interest in political matters is a labour movement that is evading one of the most fundamental responsibilities.

-- Claude Jodoin, first president of the Canadian Labour Congress, at the 1961 New Democratic Party founding convention

http://www.straight.com/article/libs-cling-to-big-lie-that-labour-funds-ndp

RedRover

You're an idiot Northreport...look at my most recent posting.  I laud labour's historical contribution, much of which you cite.

They can't fund the part anymore by law...no kidding.

However, the last time I checked they still have special voting rights, delegates, and position on riding association and federal executive.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The link to labour has benefitted the NDP in so many ways. I don't really think that those benefits have flowed in both directions to the same degree, however.

NorthReport

You can always spot the Liberals. When they lose an argument they resort to personal attacks.

 

RedRover wrote:

You're an idiot Northreport...look at my most recent posting.  I laud labour's historical contribution, much of which you cite.

They can't fund the part anymore by law...no kidding.

However, the last time I checked they still have special voting rights, delegates, and position on riding association and federal executive.

Cueball Cueball's picture

RedRover wrote:
I don't dislike Libby Davies or unions.  The thread title (no code needed) asks what it will take to move the party towards 25%.  Fair enough...dump Libby as House Leader (her policies and views on Israel, prostitution, and legalization of drugs are out of step with the general public) and end the special relationship with unions (they are a special interest in the party system) and return the power to the people by rejecting ALL connections to special interests (unions, environmentalist, corporations, religious groups).

Simple enough, or do you need a code breaker Cueball?

My point was that you don't have the guts to take a position. Procedural points and statements authorized by an alleged consesus of "popular" opinion amount to the same thing. You can't even bring yourself to say that you don't like Libby's position on Israel, that you don't like her opinions on the legalization of Marijuana and that you don't like her position on prostitution, instead hiding behind vague statements about what is "in step" with Canadians views, cause you just don't have the huevos to defend your own.

Worse, you are dead wrong: 

Davies is in step with 55% of Canadian who support the legalization of Marijuana, most Canadian support a "balanced" position on Israel, whatever that means, "Canadians sympathize with the Israelis over the Palestinians by only a four-point margin, 34% vs. 30%", polling figures that amount to "no consensus" and that more Canadians (50%) support further decriminalization of prostitution, than further criminalization (25%).

You know what brother? I suggest you get some new tea leaves (or read some polling figures) rather than ranting like Rush Limbaugh about loose women, drug addicts, Palestinian terrarist sympathizers and "Big Labour" on mainstream bulletin boards.

So really, who is out of step with the mainstream? Libby or the right wing Rush Limbaugh wannabe knuckle dragger concern trolls?

Fidel

Vansterdam Kid wrote:
... and it's clear that the NDP's interests on workers issues are more in line with most Unions than they are Corporations, I don't think Unions are always progressive and I don't think they as institutions offer the NDP very much beyond headaches in environments where there are bans on Union and Corporate donations.

Youre a one-man a riot.

[url=http://www.dwatch.ca/camp/RelsMar0110.html]Canadian Federal Government Far From Owning the Podium on Democracy and Government Accountability[/url] (Democracy Watch report)

Quote:
"Canada's federal government has significant loopholes in its democratic process and government accountability systems when compared to other countries, and has a lot of work to do to become the world's leading democracy," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch and Assistant to the Coordinator of the Democracy Education Network. "Government integrity continues to be undermined by loopholes that allow for dishonesty, secret donations to some candidates and to political party trust funds, and other loopholes that allow for excessive government secrecy including secret, unethical lobbying, and also undermined by Cabinet patronage appointments, arbitrary election calls and a flawed voting system, lack of Prime Minister, judicial and Senate accountability and weak government accountability lapdog agencies."

It's the democracy and accountability gaps/canyons in our Northern Puerto Rico. DAY-O!

oldgoat

RedRover wrote:

You're an idiot Northreport...look at my most recent posting.  I laud labour's historical contribution, much of which you cite.

......

 

RedRover, it is for the Mods to say if NorthReport is an idiot, not you.  Please avoid personal attacks.

 

(NR, the consensus among the mods is...  oh never mind)

NorthReport

Laughing

NorthReport

- from the Alinsky website above. I particularly enjoy the first quote.

 

Quote:
Only two kinds of people can afford the luxury of acting on principle, those with absolute power and those with none and no desire to get any...everyone else who wants to be effective in politics has to learn to be 'unprincipled' enough to compromise in order to see their principles succeed. (Rogers 1990: 12)

Liberals in their meetings utter bold words; they strut, grimace belligerently, and then issue a weasel-worded statement 'which has tremendous implications, if read between the lines.' They sit calmly, dispassionately, studying the issue; judging both sides; they sit and still sit. (Alinsky 1971: 4)

The Radical may resort to the sword but when he does he is not filled with hatred against those individuals whom he attacks. He hates these individuals not as persons but as symbols representing ideas or interests which he believes to be inimical to the welfare of the people. (Alinsky 1946: 23)

KenS

oldgoat wrote:
 

RedRover, it is for the Mods to say if NorthReport is an idiot.

methinks you are confusing yourself with GOD.

[and he's probabaly bored]

JKR

NorthReport wrote:

As much as I support a change to a more representative voting system, it is not the kind of issue that is going to win elections. It will be the economy, it has always been the economy, and it always will be the economy, that wins or loses elections.

Most Canadians view the Cons and the Libs as being relatively good stewards of the economy and the NDP as being much less so. So the economy isn't much of a wedge issue to win votes over. And it certaintly isn't a winner for the NDP.

Democracy is the winning issue right now. After 4 years of Harper's authoritarian rule, Canadians are feeling more poweless now then ever.  Most people see Harper as being nothing short of a dictator. And Canadians don't think much of the other parties either. Most Canadians view all the parties as being  self-serving organizations. Layton is the most popular leader now but his approval rating is just 30%. Canadians view all parties as being part of the the problem. Any party that supports democratic renewal will be viewed as being part of the solution. Right now, any party that puts democratic renewal ahead of its own self-interest will be supported by many Canadians. That's how Preston Manning got Reform off the ground. Instead of the "west wants in" the NDP could use the slogan "Canadians want in" to win a lot of support.

The NDP has a lot to gain by putting democracy on top of its political platform. This means supporting:

- The reduction of confidence votes in the H of C otherwise known as MP's voting for their constituents rather then for their party or for their leader.

- Proportional Representation

- Expanding freedom of information laws

- Reduce the influence of money in politics

- Establish a "fairness doctrine" for the media

- Don't allow campaigning between elections

- Abolish the Senate, the House of Prime Ministerial appointments

Putting power back into the hands of the people is a very powerful idea right now.

The strongest component of this is strengthining the power of the individual MP versus the power of the party and the power of the leader, most notably the Prime Minister. Anything that reduces the power of the Prime Minister will find favour with Canadians right now. That's why ending the PM's ability to use confidence votes to shackle MP's is the strongest democratic reform.

So the NDP should support every measure that increases the power of individual MP's and reduces the power of the Prime Minister.

And PR should also be seen as giving power to the people. PR should be understood as "fair voting."

RedRover

Cueball wrote:

My point was that you don't have the guts to take a position. Procedural points and statements "popular" opinion amount to the same thing. You can't even bring yourself to say that you don't like Libby's position on Israel, that you don't like her opinions on the legalization of Marijuana and that you don't like her position on prostitution, instead hiding behind vague statements about what is "in step" with Canadians views, cause you just don't have the huevos to defend your own.

Worse, you are dead wrong: 

Davies is in step with 55% of Canadian who support the legalization of Marijuana, most Canadian support a "balanced" position on Israel, whatever that means, "Canadians sympathize with the Israelis over the Palestinians by only a four-point margin, 34% vs. 30%", polling figures that amount to "no consensus" and that more Canadians (50%) support further decriminalization of prostitution, (25%) further criminalization.

You know what brother? I suggest you get some new tea leaves (or read some polling figures) rather than ranting like Rush Limbaugh about loose women, drug addicts, Palestinian terrarist sympathizers and "Big Labour" on mainstream bulletin boards.

So really, who is out of step with the mainstream? Libby or the right wing Rush Limbaugh wannabe knuckle dragger concern trolls?

You're *unknowledgable* if you think I'm even on the same side of the political spectrum as Rush Limbaugh.  I hope for your sake you were joking...else there is no hope.

Right away...I see that Libby shares the position of just 30% of Canadians on the Israel/Palestine issue, and that she is in the minority of people who actually have an opinion on the issue.  Not the most effective argument, but the other points you make are better.

I'll definitely concede that the numbers are closer on the other two issues than I thought, and that in general terms Libby is marginally in the majority even.  Ekos' latest numbers on pot seem to back up your claim as well - with 50% favouring decriminalizaiton (www.tinyurl.com/Pot-n-Canada). To quibble though - if you take  people who already support the NDP out of the sample, then I think you will see that it is a dead heat or going significantly the other way on pot decriminalization (though not other drugs) and further decriminalizaton/liberalization of prostitution laws. Of the remaining voters on the issue then, she is probably offside with their opinions.

The second point I have to make is that having an opinion and making it your life's work are two very different things.  The very vast majority of people don't vote based on pot decriminalization and further decriminalization/liberalization of prostitution laws, and most that do vote against the people who support those policies.

Perhaps my reading is off then (gasp!) on what is 'popular' or not on those issues, but I do know they are not front and centre on the minds of many when compared to the economy, health care, and taxation/fiscal issues. 

Perhaps then that is what makes cringe - the fact these issues are being introduced into the public discourse at all when Canadians have much different priorities.  Maybe it is the fact that when Libby and others tied to our party try to promote those policies (on Israel, pot, prostitution) they are more likely to end up alienating people without winning over additional supporters. 

Poor judgment then instead being completely offside on the issues.  Either way, she strikes the wrong note with me, and I suspect the same can be said with much of the general public.

PS - my positions on the issues ---->  Israel/Palestine (same as party - support Palestinian state and Israel's right to exist with the people of both being entitled to peace and security), pot (status quo), and prostitution (status quo on decriminalization with more law enforcement to protect sex trade workers - I am also not opposed to further liberalization/decriminalization, but the issue again is not front and centre on my mind).

Fidel

But we don't all vote for Libby. And apparently Libby is good enough to be first past the post in her riding. I like the NDP's overall platform. It puts the forest before individual trees, people, the environment and future economy before deadbeat corporations, banksters, and other wealthy interest groups etc. What we need is to get the message of hope for today and the future out to all those non-voters who've only ever been familiar with well funded Bay Street political campaigns and are yet are still unimpressed with the Liberal-Tory record in power.

leftypopulist

I don't know how anyone (even RedRover) could fail to know that for the last 10 years close to 50% (or more) of Canadians have favored the decriminalization/legalization path WRT cannabis.

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=poll+canadian+pot&meta=

It would be typcal Neo-Liberalism (or possibly a form of social conservatism) to suggest the NDP go AGAINST the popular support and Canadian tolerance for cannabis. Remember, the younger the demographic, the more pro-weed policy support there is.

Also, to not see unionization (and unions) as an important issue which needs *special treatment and accomodation*, is again, a right of center view. Only when unionization gets well above 75% should the NDP even consider cutting special relationships/formal ties with unions.

http://www.irpp.org/ferrabee/archive/0805.htm

It's actually a Liberal AND Conservative viewpoint to see formal embrace of unions and special treatment of them as a liability or a negative. If one sees and identifies the positive socio-economic effect high unionization rates have, then one should simply follow through and compel the party to formally and boldly support them in a transparent manner. The Liberals and Conservatives like to demonize unions and union connections.

leftypopulist

In my opinion, the NDP should have more women and minorites on the frontlines and in the upper party ranks. Also, more young people. Get in touch with the College and University crowds more. I know from experience that the Conservatives and Liberals will definitely woo young minds with their BS if the NDP leaves them a campus vaccum to operate within.

Vansterdam Kid

Fidel, you'll get no argument from me with regards to the loopholes in Canada's election financing laws that Harper has managed to drive a semi-through. So there's no need to be your traditionally automotonesque self when it comes to your pithy comments.

As for those who object to my point about Labour getting a guaranteed 25% of the vote, regardless of whether they provide 25% of the delegates, I must ask you a question. Are you for or against one member one vote? I think it's pretty hard for the NDP to argue, with a straight face, about the democracy deficit when the same thing exists within the party. But go ahead, interpret that point of fact as an attack against the working class or some other stupid thing.

Cheers.

Oh and as for moving the NDP to 25%, frankly, I think more forthright hard working constituency MP's like Libby Davies would be quite helpful in achieving that goal.

West Coast Lefty

A big part of getting to 25% is identifying the next 5% of the voters we are targeting - my suggestion would be to go for soft Green voters, soft Lib women voters and youth, as well as those who don't vote.  The new issues to emphasize (in addition to the  economic focus for our current base) should be the ones that resonate with those voters - climate change/environment, Afghanistan, democratic reform.  There is an anti-establishment vote out there that should be the NDP's for the taking.  A big part of it is resisting the urge to become one of the "old parties" even as we seek to grow our vote and achieve a record number of seats. 

Specifically, I'd recommend the following strategies to help us reach 25% (some of which we are already doing):

- Stay away from the "scandal du jour" approach - let the Libs bash Harper on Guergis/Jaffer/Blackburn and other non-substantive issues.  By contrast, the NDP have real solutions on issues that matter to you.

- Paint the picture of the new clean energy, low-carbon economy and STICK WITH IT.  Don't just bring up climate change around Copenhagen or other media flash points - build a comprehensive economic strategy around green jobs and energy efficiency and keep tying it to specific sectors (autos, forestry, buildings, etc). We are building the jobs of the future and making sure that future financial/real estate meltdowns won't cripple our economy again.

- Be the party of transparency, accountability and democratic reform.  We should be leading the way on aggressive freedom of information legislation, cracking down on partisan government ads, limiting the use of confidence votes to empower MPs to vote against the government more often, etc.

- Oppose all handouts to corporations, including the auto bailout and other labour-supported corporate welfare.  Any $$ given to industry should go exclusively to transforming existing sectors to the new low-carbon clean energy economy referenced above.  If the companies want to keep on polluting, they won't get a dime of taxpayer support.

- Make 1 or 2 compelling and concrete "signature proposals" - universal day care, ending homelessness - and propose a practical, step-by-step strategy to get there within 10 years.  Avoid promising 50 different micro-initiatives to appease various regional and sectoral interests.  An inspiring and unifying initiative can be the "new Medicare" and set the NDP apart as the one party who will transform Canada for the benefit if all of its people. Let the media and opposition scream about the "tax and spend" NDP - we can show that putting such a program in place will save far more money over the long run, in addition to being the right thing to do.

 

JKR

If the Greens and BQ were not on the scene, the NDP would already be flirting with 25%. The popularity of social democracy in Canada is hidden behind the splintering of the left vote between more the one party. In our 5-Party universe, the NDP at 20% is significant.

For better or worse, the BQ and Greens are not about to dissapear. So achieving 25% should not be the be all and end all for the NDP. It's more important to stick with social democratic principles and work with Greens, BQ, and Liberals whenever it furthers social democratic objectives.

The easiest way to get to 25% would be to mimic the Liberals. By becoming LiberalParty 2.0, the NDP might gain the world, but it would lose its soul. (Happy Easter)

The NDP should let democracy take its course. We shouldn't try to trick people who dislike social democracy into voting for the NDP. If someone believes our society needs to be more capitalistic, let them vote for the Cons. And if someone believes that our society is best served by a system that has a socialist component supported by a huge capitalistic base, let them vote Liberal. But if someone believes that Canada needs more socialism and less capitalism, the NDP is the the party for them.

If we had Fair Voting in Canada, the NDP would already have enough allies within the Liberals, BQ, and Greens to easily pass social democratic policies. Policies such as early childhood education,  social housing, expanded medicare, union rights, fair trade, womens' rights, Aboriginal rights, etc... are supported by the majority of people who split their votes between the NDP, Liberals, BQ, and Greens. "Solidarity forever" should mean solidarity beyond people who vote just for the NDP.

 

And Libby Davies is a great NDP representative. Her work for the NDP and Vancouver speaks for itself. If the NDP turns its back on people like Libby Davies, we'll be talking about reaching 15% not 25%.

Cueball Cueball's picture

RedRover wrote:
Right away...I see that Libby shares the position of just 30% of Canadians on the Israel/Palestine issue, and that she is in the minority of people who actually have an opinion on the issue.  Not the most effective argument, but the other points you make are better.

Please. A margin of 4% on polling data hardly indicates that someone is in a minority of opinion. It indicates that opinion on the issue is split. Taking one side or the other, hardly amounts to being out of step with the majorty of Canadians, it just means one has taken one of the popular positions on the subject. Furthermore, the great majority of Canadians prefer a "balanced" position on Israel. Whatever that means is hard to determine precisely, but it is up to you to show how Libby's statements vary from having a "balanced" position.

Condemning acts that are manifestly against international law, does not indicate bias, it indicates awareness of international law.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

JKR wrote:

If the Greens and BQ were not on the scene, the NDP would already be flirting with 25%.

You could make the argument as well that if the Greens and BQ were not on the scene, the Liberals would be close to a majority.

Polunatic2

Quote:
 Democratic reform is a good issue to run with, Electoral Reform (ie PR) is too obscure.

This seems to be a common refrain among some here but I don't agree. Millions of Canadians have already voted in favor of electoral reform. It is not obscure to many voters even if it is obscure on the NDP website. For whatever reason(s), the NDP does not think it's important to educate their activist base, party supporters and voters more generally about fair voting. 

I would agree that there is more to "democratic reform" than voting reform. However, some of those reforms are more like revamping the elevators in a condemned building. 

I pretty much agree with everything Mel said in Part 2, particularly the observation that the NDP could have positioned themselves much better on PR and that not doing so was a serious tactical mistake. "Obscurity" is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

RedRover

leftypopulist wrote:
I don't know how anyone (even RedRover) could fail to know that for the last 10 years close to 50% (or more) of Canadians have favored the decriminalization/legalization path WRT cannabis. It would be typcal Neo-Liberalism (or possibly a form of social conservatism) to suggest the NDP go AGAINST the popular support and Canadian tolerance for cannabis.

I'm not saying go against "close to 50%" (which by definition is still not a majority).  What I am saying is don't make it your life's work as a political party.  In fact, don't even talk about it between elections.  Put it in the platform, bury it, and then move onto the issues that people are really concerned about - the economy, healthcare, pensions, deficits, and the environment.

leftypopulist wrote:
Remember, the younger the demographic, the more pro-weed policy support there is.

They don't vote, so again another reason to avoid the issue in between elections, and possibly even during - at least if you're actually to win and govern versus being able to get high without breaking the law.

leftypopulist wrote:
Also, to not see unionization (and unions) as an important issue which needs *special treatment and accomodation*, is again, a right of center view.

No, it isn't actually.  I don't favour any special interest - business, unions, churches, or others - exerting influence over the democratic process.  I guess that makes me more of a democrat than a socialist, but I'm cool with that and I am still on the left side of the spectrum and in the right political party (social and democratic!).

leftypopulist wrote:
Only when unionization gets well above 75% should the NDP even consider cutting special relationships/formal ties with unions...It's actually a Liberal AND Conservative viewpoint to see formal embrace of unions and special treatment of them as a liability or a negative.

Union membership has dropped by 25% - from about 40%  to about 30% of the paid workforce in the last 20 years. (http://tinyurl.com/cdn-unions) The union movement is retarding and it should  focus and getting new members from the new disenfranchised workers - gas station employees, banks, Tim Hortons, McDonald's, call centres, etc - instead of controlling their political organ, which until very recently was also retarding and is now just stalled.

Gven the current trend...I would think the the Conservatives and Liberals would WANT us to maintain the status quo in our party with the special relationship.  The NDP goes nowhere and unions continue to decline. I'm suggesting changing things up in the interest of both unions and the NDP - I am a paid-up member of both. 

leftypopulist wrote:
 If one sees and identifies the positive socio-economic effect high unionization rates have, then one should simply follow through and compel the party to formally and boldly support them in a transparent manner. The Liberals and Conservatives like to demonize unions and union connections.

Yes...that is their schtick, and ours is granting unions a special relationship in our structure and bashing "big banks and oil companies" Unfortunately, they are winning and we are losing, but at least this thread is aiming at changing that.

It's time for a culture change - at least if people are truly wanting to govern someday.

Cueball Cueball's picture

There are those that want to "govern", then those that want to do the right thing.

NorthReport

Cueball wrote:

There are those that want to "govern", then those that want to do the right thing.

It is never black and white like suggested here.

Actually, anyone, and that is anyone, who wants to govern has to compromise on certain issues, or they will not get elected.

For example does anyone really believe Trudeau did not want a bilingual Canada. Unfortunately he had to compromise on this issue, like many others.

RedRover

Cueball wrote:

There are those that want to "govern", then those that want to do the right thing.

Doing the right thing often means doing something, and sometimes the most effective way of doing something in politics is governing. 

Cueball Cueball's picture

Sorry RR. The only way to effectively do the right thing is to shift the political discourse at its root. The history of the NDP illustrates this point on key issues such as universal health care. It does not matter who pens the legislation. What matters is that the job gets done. Cowtowing to right wing misinformation, and regurgitating it here and elsewhere as if it represents the facts of what is and is not "in step" with Canadian beliefs, only reinforces their grip on the ideological foundations of the discourse.

Now that you have been disabused of the validity of these notions, I will hope you do your civic duty and make sure that everyone knows that you are in the clear minority of Canadian opinion on legalization of Marijuana and deregrulation of prostitution, when and if you come to discuss it, rather than pretending you are representing the consensus.

Suggesting that policies should be tailored to fit your perceptions of what will win popular support, especially those that are essentially regurgitations of right wing memes about loose women, drug addicts and terrarist synpathizers, no matter how much you soft shoe them, has no end. The fact is that win or loose there is always the next election to worry about, so even were electoral victory possible through tailoring a policy platform along populist lines, regardless of there factuality as "popular opinion", there is no end to this process of watering down of the agenda, because once in power one needs to maintain it.

So in fact, you haven't done the right thing at all, all you have done is gain governance, since once you accept that political expedience defines the course of your action, as opposed to principle, you will always be ruled by such expedience.

At what point does one need to stop repeating the addage that the "end does not justify the means"?

Fidel

I think there are certain rightwing forces that aren't worth pushing against in a FPTP election campaign. If Canadians have been brainwashed into thinking Al-CIA'da are hiding around every maple tree and ready to force the koran down their throats or do another 9/11 with or without help from the feds, the effort and resources needed to deprogram them would be too costly for the NDP or any other. If Canadians believe that we need more private funding in health care because things aren't working so well, then there is where the NDP can and should appeal to voters with the truth. Limited resources means we have to pick our battles carefully and wisely. The NDP can't compete with well a funded Bay Street and mainstream newz media propaganda machine. And until we have transparency and accountability and strict laws for political donations,  the NDP has to stick to the issues that matter most to Canadians and are NDP policy strengths at the same time. Health care is right up there on the list. And with the failing neoliberalorama, Canadians are probably increasingly concerned about pensions and income security, unemployment, and all the things that they were told would improve under the neoliberalorama and are instead in states of anywhere from disrepair and stagnation to decline in our Northern Puerto Rico. Canadians were under the impression that the neoliberalorama was finally beginning to work for them at the end of the 1990s and first half of the 2000s. Three recessions in three decades and no plan to deal with it from the two old line parties. Theyre lost right now on the big issues. Iggy and Steve are like helpless children looking for their uncle-mom in Warshington for sound advice that isn't coming and won't be coming anytime soon.  If shoes were clues, our old line party stooges would be barefoot right now. The NDP should pounce on their obvious weaknesses now.

Doug

KenS wrote:

Weak riding associations, yes. Part of the general problem with Canadian politics, but no excuse anyway. Quality of local candidates tends strongly to follow party standing, not other way. Though that can be 'goosed' locally when and where possible.

 

I wonder if in some situations riding associations make sense anymore as the local organizing unit for political parties. Obviously election finance legislation forces them to exist on paper but it would really make more sense for everyone in a set of ridings, particularly urban ones, to work together.

NorthReport

Certainly worth considering Doug

No Yards No Yards's picture

I reject the question.

Who cares whether the NDP have 15% or 25%, it will still be either Libs or Cons as Government.

The NDP need to stop playing to "centrist voters", which by definition, or at least my definition, are mindless drones that are easily swayed by whomever is willing to tell them "the big lie". Anyone willing to use "the big lie" method to win an election belongs in the Lib or Con party. The NDP should stick with telling the people the "big truth" and let control of the levers of power be damned.

The NDP first started to lose me way back during Jack's first election campaign (I was a big fan of his to that point) when he decided that his election promises of loans for energy efficient upgrades being paid back out of the savings from the upgrades, and eliminating the inheritance tax, had to be jettisoned not because they were bad ideas, but because people were having a hard time understanding them and it was just too much trouble to debunk the nonsense "big lies" that the Libs and Cons were spreading about those policies.

Then the NDP totally lost me when they decided to put up with a disruptive bigot, and then toss a disruptive tranny based not on any principles, but on politics ... then to top it off they sided with some bigots in Quebec who wanted to force Muslim women to show their face in order to vote.

Nah, if I wanted to vote for Liberals or Conservatives I'd vote for the real ones.

Unfortunately when it comes to voting I have no alternative but to vote NDP, but I'll be damned if I'm going to support them with any money or energy while they are out there selling out perfectly good principles in exchange for the hope (and that's all it has been) of votes.

The NDP were far more effective when they stuck to their principles and moved the countries politics using force of argument and big ideas to educate the people who then in turn "educated" their Lib and Con politicians.

I could not care less as to the method the NDP use to achieve their "common sense" (true common sense, not the Conservative "common sense" that doesn't look past the tip of their noses as to the potential outcome of their "common sense" ideas) policies ... 100% democratically; 50% input from special interest groups; or 100% dictated from a note in a coke bottle .. as long as the policy makes sense and looks out for the average people, then the NDP should be the party that uses its voice to add these big ideas to the political conversation ... then let the Libs and Cons do what they do best, succumb to the pressure and start promising to implement good ideas when they are finally forced to do so.

NorthReport

We do need a !0% inheritance tax.

It would do absolute wonders towards redistributing the wealth in society, but maybe the NDP will have to get elected government first, before they can move on issues like this.

Fidel

No Yards wrote:
The NDP need to stop playing to "centrist voters", which by definition, or at least my definition, are mindless drones that are easily swayed by whomever is willing to tell them "the big lie". Anyone willing to use "the big lie" method to win an election belongs in the Lib or Con party. The NDP should stick with telling the people the "big truth" and let control of the levers of power be damned.

The truth is that the NDP are social democrats. They are a party for mixed market capitalism, a kind of economy that worked somewhat for a few decades after the war to about 1975 when the project for a "new" liberal capitalism" began in Canada. As we've moved away from mixed market, things have deteriorated in general while other things took longer to destroy. The new liberal capitalism is just discredited 1930's laissez-faire made new again by a powerful rightwing lobby in North America and the UK. Three recessions in three decades. That's the truth.

No Yards wrote:
Nah, if I wanted to vote for Liberals or Conservatives I'd vote for the real ones.

You are lost but not because of anything the NDP has said or done.

RedRover

Cueball...you will always be on the fringes of society and our political system.  You seem to enjoy it, so all the best to you.  

Because I do not share your exact predispositions on Israel/Palestine, pot, and prostitution is of no concern to me.  In fact, the more I read what you type the better I feel about my belief system.

What should be of concern to anyone who tries to take you seriously is that anyone that seems to have different opinions - even those in the other 50 percent who don't favour the outright legalization of pot - have fallen for "right-wing misinformation" and if they dare speak about their personal beliefs, then they are "regurgitating right-wing memes."   You're a crackpot who thinks they are always right, and anyone who disagrees with you is necessarily stupid. 

It's no wonder the public doesn't trust people like you to run things, because you don't trust them enough to tell them the truth in plain language and let your ideas sell themselves.  When you, or the party you support fail you blame others including the media and political system, and fail to accept personal responsibility for your shortcomings and historical irrelevance. 

You are weak and on the fringe, but it's a comfortable place eh?  Never being wrong.  Never feeling the need to win an election.  Never needing to be held accountable in government.

You're awesome Cueball.  Just awesome.

PS - congrats on the linguistic classes, or the Lakoff book you read this weekend...you certainly showed this knuckle dragger.

NorthReport

Well said Cueball, and welcome back.

Cueball Cueball's picture

RedRover wrote:

Cueball...you will always be on the fringes of society and our political system.  You seem to enjoy it, so all the best to you.  

Still trying to assert the validity of your position by appealing to its authority as "mainstream"? This kind of pejorative cheap shot is typical of those who have no basis for their views other than personal prejudice. As I said, this is what happens when someones world view is entirely shaped by abstract nouns, like "radical" and "moderate", now its "fringe". Heh. 

In fact, conclusively the polling shows that myself and Davies, are far closer the mainstream of Canadian views than you are. 

You are a sucker who has pawned his conscience for the sake of a few crumbs from the table of those who shaped the fantasy land that you live in, a world where most Canadian don't support further legalization of prostitution, or the legalization of Marijuana, and most Canadians are resolved to supporting Israelis over Palestinians. None of that is the case.

It is fantasy. I would be better off reading Maurice Sendak than Lakoff (whoever that is) in order to rebut your views.

It is your ideas that represent the fringe, not mine.

Fidel

Ya the Liberals just want to be able to continue campaigning on the left and governing on the right. We know. If their excellent move to the political rightwing is doing so much good for the Libranos, then why were they turfed out on their derrieres after so many phony-baloney majorities? Some party has to fill the political vacuum which the Liberals only falsely claimed to have occupied. Hello NDP!

Sean in Ottawa

In fairness not all of society is moving as quickly and people live in intellectual and value enclaves. There is less and less a collection of "Canadian Values" unless you mean some kind of average of the widening gulf that exists.

I am not convinced that there is even a leading set of values. This in some ways may be a good thing. For now we can do something because it is right and proper not because somebody tells them a majority will back them. In fact we have dueling polls on many issues where with a slight bending of the question you can get any result you want.

I prefer the NDP arguing about what is the right thing to do than trying to come up with what is the most popular thing. That is fine for policies but not so much for values. The purposes of political parties are not to have them all rush to the most popular positions but to advocate, explain and present a diversity of positions that we can choose from in an election. Many of the NDP positions are in fact the most popular but that is not essential for each policy. At times leading may bring you to the most popular position at other times you might spend some goodwill on advocating what is less popular but the right thing to do.

There has been a lot of discussion in this thread about Libby Davies.I work in Ottawa and while I am not a friend of hers I have seen what she does first hand. I have an idea of the breadth of work she does, the quality of her work. She is very impressive and there is a reason she has the position she has and it is not coming from tokenism. I see nothing wrong with Mulcair and Davies both in the same position and at least so far there seems to be no ill effects for the party and the two seem to get on reasonably and cooperatively. I would not expect everyone to share the same opinions and points of view, you would have no diversity in a caucus if they did.

As to the political saleability of Davies, you might not like the answer but I think it is fairly obvious to most of us. Those who like the party, mostly like her. Those who do not like the party probably could not name the deputy leaders and have only their personal 999 reasons why they don't like Jack Layton and if we replaced Layton they would have a new list of why they don't like the new leader. Davies is an asset for those who like the party and likely irrelevant to those who don't.

Slumberjack

We can certainly count on the absence of long term 'solutions' from the NDP, if it can't even bring itself to acknowledge the obscenity of an existing political apparatus that spares no effort on behalf of a corporate power working continuously toward their own ends in tandem with its respective media propaganda outlets.

From its comfortably feathered roost at the centre, the only intensity remaining in the NDP's bankrupt ideology of conformity consists of the pressure to ensure that disruptions within the order of things are lured and extinguished before anyone notices that their aspirations have been rendered impotent by the pretentious fiction. Meanwhile in its sentimental confusion, the sense that it may have once stood for something in what seems like eons ago serves to obscure the vacuous circumstances of the present.

Doug

No Yards wrote:

The NDP first started to lose me way back during Jack's first election campaign (I was a big fan of his to that point) when he decided that his election promises of loans for energy efficient upgrades being paid back out of the savings from the upgrades, and eliminating the inheritance tax, had to be jettisoned not because they were bad ideas, but because people were having a hard time understanding them and it was just too much trouble to debunk the nonsense "big lies" that the Libs and Cons were spreading about those policies.

 

There's a saying about campaigning. "If you're explaining, you're losing." Sadly, it's true - if something takes a big effort to explain, it's not a policy or thing you should be spending much time on.

 

Fidel

It was harder to explain while the voodoo appeared to be working there in spurts and sputters. I think more Canadians than ever realize now that something's broken.

Kloch

Cueball, there are people here who miss you...

 

I'm coming late into this discussion, but I think that from a parliamentary political perspective, the NDP really doesn't have any fixed positions on anything.  Does the Federal or any of the provincial parties have any policies on their website, or just the latest talking points from their leader?  Do they have any kind of economic analysis of any kind of issues?  Do resolutions that get passed at convention get incorporated into policy?  I know of at least one occasion (Afghanistan) where the MP contradicted our policy from convention.  Again, hard to say one way or the other without a living, policy document that existed between elections.

 

Another issue that was pointed out by Ujjal Dosanjh was that in Western Canada (minus Alberta), the NDP is the centrist party there.  As a result, a lot of people that would be Liberals end up in the NDP (some of them end up as Liberals anyways).  As a result, what you have is a Federal NDP, largely anchored by the provincial party in Ontario, that doesn't really have clear positions on any issue - at least not any that are easily accessible - and provincial parties elsewhere that function as the Liberals.

 

For a long time I used to think that the Canadian public had moved to the right.  Now, I'm wondering if it is the NDP that has done that...

Fidel

Kloch wrote:
For a long time I used to think that the Canadian public had moved to the right.  Now, I'm wondering if it is the NDP that has done that...

Well it should be obvious by now with the rightwing NDP gaining support since herr Layton tookover the party while lefty Bay Street type parties continue to lag. Liberals and Tories tried their darndest to sell well funded social programs and competitive modern economies to increasingly rightwing Canadians. This is the real reason why the Harpers were elected to phony-minority power with just 22% of the eligible vote. It's a tough lesson for both old line parties that Canadians won't stand for them transforming bananada's hewer and drawer old world economy into that of a modern Nordic style social democracy. Have Liberals and Tories learnt this lesson? Only time will tell. Meanwhile millions of  rightwing Canadians continue to boycott the ballot box in protest of the communist takeover of our otherwise perfectly good Northern Puerto Rico.

leftypopulist

@RedRover.

50% of Canadians support doing the progressive, tolerant thing WRT cannabis, while you advocate going the Liberal/Conservative policy route. Progressives will disagree with you and the 2 highly destructive political dinosaurs.

You are wrong about the younger demographic. The 18-30 crowd does vote, and they are wise to the fact that the Liberal and Conservative prohibitionist stance is destructive and hypocritical. You, OTOH, are not so wise in the way you are so willing to adopt rightwing policies and party stances.

You can't equate special treatment of business & religious organizations with special treatment of unions. They (unions) are fundamentally different in that when they are empowered to a very high degree, they actually HELP society. And it doesn't matter if you are paid up, if you are willing to embrace Liberal and Conservative anti-union views so easily.

Your advice is for the NDP to swing to the right and adopt the typical Liberal and Conservative approaches WRT Israeli policy, weed policy, union policy, etc.

"Become the monster in order to WIN !"... is your not so sound, ruthless, wreckless, nihilistic advice, which all progressives will reject.

RedRover

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

There has been a lot of discussion in this thread about Libby Davies.I work in Ottawa and while I am not a friend of hers I have seen what she does first hand. I have an idea of the breadth of work she does, the quality of her work. She is very impressive and there is a reason she has the position she has and it is not coming from tokenism. I see nothing wrong with Mulcair and Davies both in the same position and at least so far there seems to be no ill effects for the party and the two seem to get on reasonably and cooperatively. I would not expect everyone to share the same opinions and points of view, you would have no diversity in a caucus if they did.

As to the political saleability of Davies, you might not like the answer but I think it is fairly obvious to most of us. Those who like the party, mostly like her. Those who do not like the party probably could not name the deputy leaders and have only their personal 999 reasons why they don't like Jack Layton and if we replaced Layton they would have a new list of why they don't like the new leader. Davies is an asset for those who like the party and likely irrelevant to those who don't.

All valid points.

I think Cueball and others think I dislike Libby or vehemently disagree with her positions on key issues (the three I cited being Israel/Palestine, pot, and prostitution).  Neither is true.  Libby is an excellent constituent MP and she is a powerful voice in Ottawa for the issues she chooses to pursue - and there are very good local reasons that she pursues those issues.  There is no doubt about that.

I've accepted that she is not as far to margins as it seems on the issues, and could even be in the majority on some, so I think it simply comes down to emphasis and prioritization of those issues then.  On the three issue I cited, my position is really not that far off from Libby's.  The difference then could be that I don't think they should be given a minute of time when we can be talking about the economy, health care, pensions, deficits, and the environment.

I do take issue with her job performance and suitability as House Leader though, and for a few reasons. 

First, the party has capitulated on internal issues of governance, most notably the elimination of the non-incumbent 10%er program.  That program allowed the NDP caucus send out about 250,000 - 500,000 (or so) pieces of mail into key ridings.  Our party raises the least amout of money and the big three, and from all accounts we made excellent use of this essentially free resource - picking up as many 50% of the ridings that were targetted with the mailings.  Libby, or someone she appointed to negotiate on behalf of the party on the Board of Internal Economy, capitulated on the destruction of this useful program.  The other big parties can simply institute a new direct mail system of their own because they have comparatively less trouble fundraising, but the NDP cannot easily replace this very valuable tool.  I think it was a serious blow for the party, and a serious mistake by someone senior in the caucus, and all indicators say it was the House Leader.  If I am wrong about the process, then I would appreciate being enlightened by someone in the know.

My argument that she was on the periphery (or fringe, or margins, or whatever other adjective I used) on three important issues - Israel/Palestine, pot, and prostitution - seems to be less true than I first thought.  Only the question of the Israel/Palestine is Libby not in the majority, or even plurality of the population of Canada.  I then conceded that it could be my own bias on the issues that taints my view of Libby, but  still feel that there is something that rubs me the wrong way.  In the end, I think it the prioritization of those and other polarizing issues.   She is doing so because she is a good constituent MP, but it strikes me that a House Leader should talking and pursuing the economy, health care, pensions, and the deficit.  Perhps she is not radical, but simply out of touch withe the interests and priorities of the masses?

Why is any of this important?  As House Leader, Libby has an elevated and very public profile, speaks authoratatively on behalf of the party, and is in charge of negotiating everything from the order of legislation to internal economic issues.  She probably also has a significant say in the selections of questions for QP if she is like every other House Leader in a Westminster system.  If she does not share the same priorities as the general public, or puts some issues ahead of the ones that the public is most concerned about, then it could mean that she is an ineffective House Leader. 

I'll concede that Libby has good values and is not on the fringe when it comes to many social issues (Cueball), but it seems that she just doesn't share the same priorities as the general public, which likely means that her say in the choice of what legislation to bring forward and  questions to ask in QP is probably also out of step with the priorities of the public, and she has made at least one serious error that has hurt the interests of the party and caucus - agreeing to scrap the 10%er program (assuming that was her decision, but it is a reasonable given the role and general description what duties House Leaders are traditionally responsibile for).

If any of this true, or close to true, then it could help to partially explain why the party continues to stall in the polls despite the fact that it's values are generally consistent with those of the masses and we have arguably the most likeable leader of the major parties.

RedRover

leftypopulist wrote:
@RedRover. 50% of Canadians support doing the progressive, tolerant thing WRT cannabis, while you advocate going the Liberal/Conservative policy route. Progressives will disagree with you and the 2 highly destructive political dinosaurs. You are wrong about the younger demographic. The 18-30 crowd does vote, and they are wise to the fact that the Liberal and Conservative prohibitionist stance is destructive and hypocritical. You, OTOH, are not so wise in the way you are so willing to adopt rightwing policies and party stances. You can't equate special treatment of business & religious organizations with special treatment of unions. They (unions) are fundamentally different in that when they are empowered to a very high degree, they actually HELP society. And it doesn't matter if you are paid up, if you are willing to embrace Liberal and Conservative anti-union views so easily. Your advice is for the NDP to swing to the right and adopt the typical Liberal and Conservative approaches WRT Israeli policy, weed policy, union policy, etc. "Become the monster in order to WIN !"... is your not so sound, ruthless, wreckless, nihilistic advice, which all progressives will reject.

 

Wow.

Volumes of research show that the older the voter, then the more likely they are to vote.  There is neat little graph here (http://tinyurl.com/Young-Cda-Voters) if you don't believe me.  Given my recent musings on polls in this thread, you should probably check that info.

Unions have and will do a lot of good for society.  So do environmentalists (inform the masses, encourage change), churches (food and clothe the poor in many areas - including Canadian cities), business (employee people, and donate to charity).  I obviously concede that unions do more good than the others, but I am not willing to concede that the others are forces of sheer evil or substantially different when it comes to influencing the political process to the detriment of the individual - whom democracy what introduced to empower ahead of vested interests.

Finally, it is not anti-union to say they should lose their special voting rights in a political party that claims to embrace the principle of democracy (rule of the people - not organiations).  If the NDP wants to be a labour party - then say it, don't hide behind the social-democratic facade.  Democracy requires equal voting rigts, and presently the NDP does not have that internally.

Lastly, what right-wing policies have I proposed?

 

Fidel

Since 1982 there have been 170 repressive pieces of anti-labour legislations enacted across Canada.

Next to the US, Canada has the second-largest non-unionized, lowly paid, low skill workforce among richest countries.

I think the idea that unions are too powerful and that they don't need some kind of political representation is ludicrous. And that the NDP's "undemocratic ways" are spoiling their chances to attract more voters keenly aware of the NDPs unholy and antidemocratic alliance with unions is just too far out to be believable. Too many Canadians believe that unions have outlived their purpose as things are now. There are Canadian who actually believe that unions are the cause of any and all economic turmoil. And I think those kinds of voters are lost causes anyway. We'll never be able to get through to those kinds of voters.

Cueball Cueball's picture

RedRover wrote:
Lastly, what right-wing policies have I proposed?

Removing the most left wing member of parliment the NDP has from a position of authority, because she doesn't want the police force running around spending the taxpayers money chasing teenagers around, and clogging up the courts with ridiculous Marijuana charges, or snooping around to see if cash is exchanged at some point before or after people have sex, and because she occassionaly has the temerity to make statements condemning certain states for commiting acts that are manifestly against international law.

You are basically regurgitating the whole right wing line soto voice, and pretending it has something to do with "public opinion". Loose women, drugs and arab terrarists are ruining our society.

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