What's the role of the federal NDP in Quebec if sovereignty remains a hot issue?

117 posts / 0 new
Last post
DaveW
What's the role of the federal NDP in Quebec if sovereignty remains a hot issue?

a pretty good discussion saying federal NDP appears sort of agnostic on the federalism/unity issue, one of its advantages in 2011 -- making it a big tent party for both ex-Bloc and ex-Liberal voters

however, in the unfortunate even the sovereignty-referendum issues heat up, NDP is poorly placed to take a stand and retain its new 2011 voters:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/globe-politics-insider/how-...

Issues Pages: 
Regions: 
David Young

As if Globe writer would ever say anything positive about the N.D.P.?

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Funny enough..The official government has been mute.

The media should be all over them but unsurprisingly,they're not.

DaveW

 NDP must  take a stand but somehow retain its new 2011 voters, argues Globe writer :

The NDP is sitting on the sidelines of Quebec’s election, but the race could hold the key to their fortunes. If Quebec politics becomes polarized around the prospect of another referendum on sovereignty, the New Democrats will be threatened.

After almost three years as the Biggest Federal Party in Quebec, the NDP still has relatively weak roots. And when it comes to the old battles between separatists and federalists, it’s a pale presence. That’s why the NDP’s Quebec breakthrough will be in deeper danger if Pauline Marois’s Parti Québécois wins a majority government.

DaveW

Weak response: the NDP is now official Opposition, it gets serious questions from journalists, not puff pieces

Q.: what is NDP position in the event of a 3rd referendum and debate leading up to that?

will Mulcair risk alienating soft-nationalist and sovereignist voters from 2011?

that is a serious question, I don't know the answer

DaveW

I agree with the feds being mute right now:

shut up! during a QC provincial campaign, worst possible reaction to get involved

the issue is: following a PQ majority on April 7th (unlikely now, but possible) would NDP be loudly federalist?

 the writer above is quite right to say NDP is seen by voters as being "outside" that Yes/Non paradigm, where the players are the Libs and the Bloc, who have clear histories and identities in that area

Pogo Pogo's picture

On the other hand suppose the PQ loses.

DaveW

then spring comes early,

and we all forget about it, there will be no ongoing, wrenching referendum debate again soon...

that is quite possible now, given the best polls suggest a 1 in 3 chance of a Liberal majority and 2/3 chance of that and/or a PQ minority, meaning no referendum

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I hope the PQ loses...But sadly the alternatives aren't any better...Save for CAQ who IMO,are much worse than the PQ.

Pogo Pogo's picture

But if the PQ loses isn't there more room for the NDP to be a 'big tent' party?  If so doesn't it make sense to hold off taking strong stances until the election is a certainty?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

The NDP should have organized a QNDP right after th last federal election.

Now,no matter who wins,we're looking at a right wing government that will dismantle the social safety net and begin to impose a form of privatizing health care.

It's kind of late.

janfromthebruce

Right, but one forgets that they became the official opposition with over 50 new and many young MPs. The focus did need to ensure they were well prepared for the their roles, setup offices. And let us not forget that Jack died, and there had to be a leadership race. There was a set of priorities and they were the right ones.

 

Brachina

 As Jan pointed out the NDP had a ton on its plate and with a minority situtation it had no time to build a QNDP that could contest a provincial election.

 

 I know another rightwing government will suck, but hopefully in four years there will be a new QNDP governement.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Brachina wrote:

 As Jan pointed out the NDP had a ton on its plate and with a minority situtation it had no time to build a QNDP that could contest a provincial election.

 

 I know another rightwing government will suck, but hopefully in four years there will be a new QNDP governement.

The problem with optimism is that it usually leads to disappointment.

Brachina

 Look its not my fault that the choices during this Quebec election suck, none of the current Parties were my idea, but either way thier simlly wasn't time to create a fully functioning party, that was competitive, and trying to do so before the Federal NDP was ready would have damaged the Federal NDP far too much. Look honestly by national standards the LPQ isn't that far to the right, as someone who has lived through the Mike Harris years you can do far worse, and its only temperary. This bump or whatever isn't about love of the Liberals its about the Majority of Quebecers not wanting another referundum. And yes contrairy to the media the majority of Quebecers aren't seperatists.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Well,I wasn't implying that our pitiful political landscape was your fault...That's ridiculous.

I'd say that the PLQ are the lesser of the 3 evils but any time someone says anything favourable about the Liberals on babble,federal or provincial,you get attacked which is evidenced on some comments I've made in other threads.

Fact is,even if the PQ wins a minority,they have all but adopted the entire CAQ platform and even with 10 - 12 seats,la CAQ wields power.

Sorry if I come across as a pessimist but I'm not...I'm a realist.

lagatta

The QNDP stuff is an attack on Québec solidaire, a much more progressive party.

Brachina

 One whose seperatism means it will never appeal to a majority of Quebecers. Truthfully a QNDP that desided to being in PR would do more for QS then anything QS could achieve on its own, a victory for the QNDP would make things better for QS over the long term. QS will be lucky to crack 10% this elction and that's with PKP damaging the PQs lettwing rep. Its not far to condemn Quebecers to corrupt liberals and PQ to protect QS petty fiefdom in Montreal. 

 

 Back on a more federalism perpective if the PQ fails to win this will create even greater rifts and soul searching, and importantly pressure on the bloc to dissolve so it won't be a drain on the PQs resources.

Aristotleded24

lagatta wrote:
The QNDP stuff is an attack on Québec solidaire, a much more progressive party.

While I can see a QNDP drawing support from QS, I would think that the party to suffer the most would be the Liberals. The main thing that keeps the Liberals in power is that you know referendums won't be an issue under their watch. So how is a left-wing federalist supposed to vote?

Besides, I really don't understand why there is such antagonism to the idea of a QNDP. Even should a QNDP form, Quebeckers may very well shun the party at the polls, and that would be their choice to make. Why is choice a bad thing?

Winston

I tend to think that QS should be involved in whatever comes to pass. I think the ideal solution would be a new party that brings in NDP supporters as well as QS, but is not exactly either party. This new party should be neither explicitly federalist nor sovereigntist, much like CAQ was trying to do, and should welcome lefties from both sides of the national question.

The truth of the matter is that most NDPers naturally gravitate to QS, as they should, but that becomes difficult to maintain when right-wing English-Canadian morons (mostly Liebrals) with little respect for nuance on the national question attack people like Boulerice for supporting them. If the QS was less stridently or vocally sovereigntist, this would not be a concern.

A right-wing CAQ-style party against a left-wing QS-style party, with no formal ties to any federal party and welcoming people on both sides of the national question, would allow real policy to be debated. Moreover, it would prevent the corrupt PLQ and the tired, rudderless PQ from polarizing things to their own advantage and against the interests of all Quebeckers.

Aristotleded24

Winston wrote:
I tend to think that QS should be involved in whatever comes to pass. I think the ideal solution would be a new party that brings in NDP supporters as well as QS, but is not exactly either party. This new party should be neither explicitly federalist nor sovereigntist, much like CAQ was trying to do, and should welcome lefties from both sides of the national question.

The truth of the matter is that most NDPers naturally gravitate to QS, as they should, but that becomes difficult to maintain when right-wing English-Canadian morons (mostly Liebrals) with little respect for nuance on the national question attack people like Boulerice for supporting them. If the QS was less stridently or vocally sovereigntist, this would not be a concern.

A right-wing CAQ-style party against a left-wing QS-style party, with no formal ties to any federal party and welcoming people on both sides of the national question, would allow real policy to be debated. Moreover, it would prevent the corrupt PLQ and the tired, rudderless PQ from polarizing things to their own advantage and against the interests of all Quebeckers.

This better expresses my thinking than what I wrote. And Winston, I think all of us English Canadians would be in full agreement that if Quebeckers did reject the QNDP at the polls, that's their right as well and we just have to chalk it up to c'est la vie.

lagatta

Not any more strident then Brachina's stuff about "seperatists"... I agree that there are many possible solutions to the national question and the historical oppression of the Québécois people other than the current Federal state or outright independence, but I caught more than a hint of contempt in her post. Petty fiefdom? The PQ also started out in a handful of ridings, mostly in central-eastern Montréal.

Alexandre Boulerice and Françoise David work together openly on issues that have both a Federal and Quebec dimension, such as the question of so-called "self-employed" workers, transport etc. No problem here in the petty fiefdom where I'm proud to live. (We also have a 100% Projet Montréal council).

Brachina

 I didn't mean to insult anybody, just Quebec needs someone who can win next time for the left and QS is  going to be able to do that. Maybe if it was willing spend the 50 odd years the NDP did to get where it is now, but Quebec doesn't have that kind of time. 

 As long as the QNDP offers PR QS stands to benifit over the long term, so if you want what's best for QS you should support a QNDP and put pressure on it to support PR.

 Honestly I don't believe QS would lose any of its seats to the QNDP anyways, only votes where QS doesn't stand a chance.

Winston

I don't think splitting the left-wing vote between the PQ, QS, PVQ *and* a putative QNDP is any solution at all. Far better to adapt QS or create a new vehicle IN CONJUNCTION WITH QS ACTIVISTS that can convince people on the Left that the PQ has abandoned their values and provide a vehicle that sovereigntists, federalists and those in between can feel comfortable supporting.

Brachina wrote:

 I didn't mean to insult anybody, just Quebec needs someone who can win next time for the left and QS is  going to be able to do that. Maybe if it was willing spend the 50 odd years the NDP did to get where it is now, but Quebec doesn't have that kind of time. 

 As long as the QNDP offers PR QS stands to benifit over the long term, so if you want what's best for QS you should support a QNDP and put pressure on it to support PR.

 Honestly I don't believe QS would lose any of its seats to the QNDP anyways, only votes where QS doesn't stand a chance.

Stockholm

Winston wrote:

I don't think splitting the left-wing vote between the PQ, QS, PVQ *and* a putative QNDP is any solution at all.

Now that the PQ is being taken over by a rightwing fanatic like Peladeau - in what way, shape or form is there any "leftwing vote" going to the PQ? The message from the PQ is very loud and clear - they are now a rightwing ethnic nationalist party that has nothing to offer anyone even remotely left of centre.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

You're correct.

The PQ has become Le Front National.

The current party has much more in common with Jean-Marie Le Pen than René Levésque.

KenS

There are people who are both left and die hard sovereignists.

A great many of them will vote for the PQ no matter what.

It has long been getting to be more like "different compartments". [That are different for different people.]

KenS

Sovereignty is back on the table again.

That doesn't make it a hot issue.

In fact, it may drop back to the background in a heartbeat.

Is there a problem with the NDP playing wait and see?

[Especially since so many voters new to the NDP voted for it a lot as an expression of wanting to address other things.]

wage zombie

Brachina wrote:

 I didn't mean to insult anybody,

Then don't talk about separatism and separatists. Talk about sovereignty and sovereigntists.

lagatta

Yes, it is only the hard right and anglo nostalgics for the good old days when francophones had to "Speak White" who use the term "separatists" here. If you find the term sovereignist euphemistic, then indépendantiste, or pro-independence.

People here who are pro-independence aren't set on "breaking up Canada" as outsiders put it - they want their own country, for a variety of reasons. Harpercanada, with its Toronto-Calgary axis of money and oil, excludes Québec - it also excludes Atlantic Canada, and has been every bit as punishing to the Atlantic provinces.

The mentality of people on the left who continue to support the PQ is hard to understand if you haven't been living here for decades. Obviously I don't agree with them (I've never voted PQ) but for many, it is a party linked to the labour movement that has marked many important emancipatory moments - I think Karl Nerenberg touched on this in his rabble article about the elections. However, I think this is on the decline, in the sense that all the people I know who think like that are at least a few years older than I am, and most are technically seniors now.

Brachina

 I use Seperatist because its easier to spell. That being said, it completely accurate, lets not play games here, they want seperate from Canada, I understand the fairy tale of what a Seperate Quebec would be like, and its just that a feel good Fairy Tale that levels out any pains, challenges, difficulties, emotional termoil, suffering, and Chaos that would result.

Brachina

 I wonder if PKP loses his attempt at winning a seat if he's run to become Bloc leader?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Violence?

I can't see that.

People usually riot and commit acts of civil disobedience exclusively when the Habs win a Cup.

We live in a very complacent society.

DaveW

Blunt language is always respected; Parizeau used to say quite candidly: You bet I 'm a separatist! As did Gerald Godin, too, if I recall. And regular, non-semiotic people, ha, like to call a spade a shovel.

This is not some cosmetic legal change being proposed, but a radical reconfiguration that would definitely hurt some people.

It is disingenuous to think creating  a new country out of one that is nearly 150 years old would definitely be painless, non-traumatic or even violence free. That is one big reason that mainstream QC voters back off quickly. They realize it would be, well, separation.

iyraste1313

re violence...hmm!

the police riots at UBC?

The take down of Occupy Toronto?

The Quebec Summit riots?

How about Gustafsen Lake where 77,000 rounds of ammunition at a sundance ceremony. where warriors were called in with their hunting rifles to protect the ceremonies from violations of the ranchers?

Too bad I have such a short memory to make an endless list....how about the 50,000 plus native children who somehow were documented to have died of mysterious purposes in the residential schools...

our complacent society is about to be turned on its head

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

You're bringing up police brutality...I was talking about civil unrest and violence.

When was the last time we had a politically charged riot?...1955?..And even that was perpetrated by hockey.

The populace is indifferent,usually limiting their political dissatifaction to compalining at the kitchen table....Or crying into their beer.

If you look at what the Tories have been doing to this country for the past 5 years,you'd figure there'd be people screaming bloody murder.

Instead *crickets chirping*

Brachina

 I wasn't talking about violence, but I guess its not outside the realm of possiblity, with those feeling riding high roits are a possiblity, but like I said this was not what I was referinv too, much economic fallout, political instability, and a long protracted divorce, parts of Quebec voting to stay in Canada, and who knows what else.

 Hopefully we never have to find out, and honestly if the PQ loses this elwction its doubtful, barring some act of extreme insanity on the part of ROC, we will not find out.

lagatta

Sorry, you spelled separatist wrong.

And yes, I know spelling flaming is lame, but couldn't be resisted after your justification, and your old school Colonel Blimp arrogance.

 

swallow swallow's picture

Aw, I wanted to do the spelling flame. 

Really, agree or not with the sovereignty movement (and I don't), using the word "separatist" simply shows tone-deafness to Quebec politics and pisses off most Quebec people. So why insist on the word? 

Alan -- with CAQ and QS at 13% and 10% (within the margin of error) in the latest poll, can you really speak of 3 options? Maybe there's 4. Or 2, if you prefer to consider only parties that can form government. 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

You're right,I shouldn't be talking about 3 parties,only 2 of them have a chance of forming the next government.

The only bright side is the possibility of QS winning as much or more seats than CAQ and actually having a bit of power in the National Assembly.

I'm just somewhat pissed that the PQ and the PLQ are basically campaigning on CAQ's platform.

lagatta

Interview with Louise Mailloux in my neighbourhood shopping paper:

"Je sais cependant que la bataille contre Françoise David va être rude. Nous faisons toutes deux partie de la gauche, mais pas tout à fait la même. J'appartiens à celle qui n'a pas abandonné le combat laïc et qui n'a pas trahi le féminisme".

swallow swallow's picture

The nuance she must bring to a classroom!

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

lagatta wrote:

Interview with Louise Mailloux in my neighbourhood shopping paper:

"Je sais cependant que la bataille contre Françoise David va être rude. Nous faisons toutes deux partie de la gauche, mais pas tout à fait la même. J'appartiens à celle qui n'a pas abandonné le combat laïc et qui n'a pas trahi le féminisme".

I can't decide whether to laugh or cry at this comment.

Stockholm

I'd love to know how Mailloux can keep a straight face and call the PQ "un partie de la gauche" as its being handed over to a rightwing extremist like Pierre Karl Peladeau

sherpa-finn

IMHO, there is just no viable political space and no particular need for a QNDP. The QS is the most progressive elected political party anywhere in Canada and so attracts the support and enages the energies of most  leftist Quebecois. "Left-leaning" federalist Quebecois can certainly find a political home of sorts in the Liberal Party - as did Mr Mulcair for many years.  Just as "left-leaning" sovereignists can find their political home of sorts in the PQ.

Launching a provincial wing of the NDP would be hugely problematic and not very productive. And could do irrevocable damage to the federal NDP brand in Quebec, with no upside whatsoever.

I suspect that most progressive federalists in Qc do as I do on election day, -  vote QS with pride and pleasure, knowing full well that this is not a referendum.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I think QS as well as CAQ cannot get passed 15% of voter intention because of their brand.

Voters will always vote for traditional brands,brands they recognize.

I'd wager quite a bit that QS would have more support with the NDP brand,which is not a knock on QS but a knock on the public which is afraid of the unknown and QS,without the media coverage PQ and PLQ receive,is off most people's radar.

Brachina

 Fin your condemning Quebec to be torn apart by the right, between Liberals and PQ, because your worried a QNDP would ruin your gra d experiment aka QS. Polls have shown the Quebecers are open to a QNDP government and they've shown they are not open to a QS Government, and yes I know polls can change and but the QNDP is further along then QS and it doesn't even exist yet. And yes it could go flat like fhe CAQ, but its Quebecs only shot at getting the right out, QS can't do that, at least not anytime soon. 

 As for left leaning Quebecers like Mulcair, he left the Quebec Liberal party in disgust, and joined the NDP, how can you ask anyone to join that disgusting cesspool that is the Quebec Liberal Party.

 

Anyway this thread is sopposed to be about the effects on the Federal scene. 

 If the Quebec Liberal win,  most pundits will say things go back to normal. They would be wrong, for all his faults Coulliard wants to sign the constitution in exchange for stuff like distinct society in the constitution and Mulcair will agree to that no doubt. As I've said before Mulcair as Prime Minister could do that without getting the other provinces involved, no problem.

Unionist

Ah, that's better.

 

Pogo Pogo's picture

Some important signs will come out of the election.

Can the QS build a solid base?

Can QS show potential in areas that are attractive to a progressive federalists?

If QS can make gains and show potential, it will go a long way to shutting the door to competitors.

lagatta

On the ground, as they say, I know tonnes of lefties, some more sovereignist (but not blueshirts) some more federalist (but not angryphones) who vote QS in Québec elections and NDP in Federal ones.

By the way, the Greens here don't really show up in the polls, but I will note that they have moved far to the left from their former bizarre green but not really progressive or concerned about the average Joe or Josephine (or Giuseppe, José or Youssef, all them Joes and Josies...). Now they proclaim themselves ecosocialist and have some progressive planks on their poster.

I believe it was the last time they stood in the elections here that they wanted people to receive social assistance in kind rather than money so they would have to consume "healthy foods". I'm all for healthy foods, but not for such a return to the meddling contempt of yore.

CanadaOrangeCat

QS is attractive to the politically ambiguous, so it may be attractive to progressive federalists. I don't see why people think QS is scary.

Pages