Whoever the leader is, the NDP needs to be authentic, not "respectable".

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
Whoever the leader is, the NDP needs to be authentic, not "respectable".

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Like most socialist parties who switched to calling themselves "social democratic", the NDP became obsessed, long ago, with the concept of "respectability"...that is looking safe, looking "responsible"(whatever that means), looking blander than mush.

The results of the last election(like those of 1988)show that "respectability" is NOT what the voters are looking for from the NDP.  The obsession with looking "respectabile" made it look to the electorate that the NDP was a party that stands for nothing and would change nothing if elected.

What the voters really wanted to see was a party with passion, with commitment, with a visceral sense that there was and is an UR aGENT need to change things.  The Liberals(as has too often been the case)were able to pretend to be that party for a short while(as it was for PET, that can only work once for Lil' Justin).

If there is any chance of the NDP ever to recover at all(and there may not be, frankly, which would be a tragedy...a Canadian spectrum reduced permanently to no options at all but the Liberals and Conservatives can only give the country Nineties politics for the rest of eternity), it has to say, quite frankly "We don't give a flying $%?! about "respectability"!  We want to change this country and we will fight for everybody in Canada who should be heard but cannot be heard as long as 'market economics' calls the tune".

It's not about ideology...it's about getting real and speaking truth in a voice of fire.

If the NDP doesn't admit "respectability" is a waste of time and means standing for nothing, it can only keep slowly dying away as it is in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, B.C. and Ontario.

 

 

Jacob Two-Two

I couldn't agree more. To various degrees, all the failures of the NDP in the past twenty years have come down to this.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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It's not about ideology...it's about getting real and speaking truth in a voice of fire.

Like parties to the left of them?  The CPC-ML, for example?

They don't mince words.  They don't accept corporate endorsement.  They're rock steady in their support of ideas to the left of the NDP.

This is what Canadians want, you say?  Bit of a burn for the earnest supporters of the CPC-ML if the only way their politics can ever succeed is if some centrist party wakes from its sleepwalk and claims them as their own.

Pondering

Magoo, no, it's like he said, non-ideological. The CPC is pretty ideological. He is talking about a party like Syriza who didn't care whether people were on the left or the right. 

I think you are mostly correct Ken but not entirely.  Had Trudeau not won the leadership of the Liberal Party we could be saying Prime Minister Mulcair today. I think there would have been enormous disappointment in his government on mutlple fronts. He would not be nearly progressive enough for many NDPers. Worse, it takes someone with the credibility of Bill Morneau to do the amount of stimulous spending it's going to take to keep the economy going. Mulcair would have been in a no win situation. The NDP would again have the reputation of being poor economic managers. 

I don't believe there is a big split between pragmatists and extremists in the party. I think the division is between the executive and the membership, as it was with the Liberals in 2011. My guess is most NDP members want a Bernie Sanders. Someone willing to point fingers. I do know there are a lot of Canadians who would like a Sanders to vote for.

I really hope we get Dion's P 3 model or if not ranked ballots. Either would make strategic voting unnecessary.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Magoo, no, it's like he said, non-ideological.

I see.

So if the NDP were to say, full-throatedly, that we need a flat tax (so everyone pays exactly the same) and that businesses shouldn't be "punished" for success, and that immigrants to Canada should prove that they really, really want to be like us, that would also be better?

Because I'm also reading things like:

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We want to change this country and we will fight for everybody in Canada who should be heard but cannot be heard as long as 'market economics' calls the tune".

What if the NDP just "authentically" put their full weight behind "market economics"... you're saying that's what the OP is talking about and proposing?  "Authentic" policies, regardless of whether they're left or right?

I'm not even arguing against those politics, but please let's not pretend that we're only talking about "plain speakin'".

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

No, I didn't say the NDP shouldn't have any clear place on the spectrum.

And authenticity would mean policies that have more radical implications. 

But those policies would be expressed in an accessible non-dogmatic vocabulary that people can connect with.

I have no idea why that makes you think I'm calling for the party to go Maoist.

The CPC-ML is NOT my idea of "authenticity"....they are rigid, delusional ideologues who make no effort to connect with real people and their needs. 

 

I'm talking about the values of the global anti-austerity movement and of Occupy, but with a more clearly defined program of change, with policy and proposals made largely from below and with a leadership structure in which those who vote for the party and those who work for it have the means of holding the leadership accountable.

And about a party that connects the values of the labour and social movements to the needs of most people, showing that what the labour and social movements fight for does, in the vast majority of cases, correlate to the needs of people in general.

Given that the 2015 results prove that the NDP status quo you defend can never possibly elect an NDP government, why not try something else, something other than the usual NDP insider notion of having to move further and further right?

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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I have no idea why that makes you think I'm calling for the party to go Maoist.

I didn't say "Maoist".  I just assumed that you meant "left wing authenticity", not just "authenticity".  If I got that wrong, just say.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

You equated "left-wing authenticity" to the CPC-ML, though.

I'm calling for some radical changes in how the NDP does things, but none of them would mean being "left-wing" in the rigid, ultra-ideological,ultra-sectarian sense you are being so alarmist about here.  It would be "left-wing" in the sense of empowering the powerless-in the sense of giving everyone a share and a say.

Not Maoism, but radical democracy...political, social and economic.

Why does the idea of that make you so suspicious?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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You equated "left-wing authenticity" to the CPC-ML, though.

I suppose I equated "more-left-than-the-NDP" authenticity to the CPC-ML, because I think they're the party to the left of the NDP, and while I think they might be k00Ks, I think they're authentic.  I don't, for a moment, think that they're saying what they think Canadians want to hear, nor holding back because they're beholden to the powers that be.

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Not Maoism, but radical democracy...political, social and economic.

Why does the idea of that make you so suspicious?

It doesn't.  I was merely pointing out that if the "Orange" party leaves you unsatisfied, you don't need to change the Orange party when there are other parties who've been waiting and hoping their whole lives for you to call.

quizzical

why all of a sudden would people vote "authentic' after voting for unicorns?

quizzical

and what is "authentic" anyway? i think their platform was pretty damn "authentic"!!!!!

mark_alfred

quizzical wrote:

why all of a sudden would people vote "authentic' after voting for unicorns?

Laughing

Pondering

quizzical wrote:

why all of a sudden would people vote "authentic' after voting for unicorns?

Politicians don't have to be authentic they have to appear as though they are. It isn't the same thing. 

Voting for the NDP would have been voting for unicorns because they could not have met expectations with a balanced budget. 

quizzical

belly laugh......you go girl.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Politicians don't have to be authentic they have to appear as though they are. It isn't the same thing.

Fair enough.  Perhaps the thread title should be changed to "Whoever the leader is, the NDP needs to give the illusion of being  authentic, not 'respectable'".

If you're right, we won't know the difference anyway.

JKR

quizzical wrote:

why all of a sudden would people vote "authentic' after voting for unicorns?

I think blaming the voters for the NDP's election failure will not help the NDP be successful in the future. I think Mulcair and the NDP should be blaming the voters less and looking in the mirror more.

quizzical

i was not blamming voters jkr i was indicating the truth of what happened. lmaooooooooooooooooo

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

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Politicians don't have to be authentic they have to appear as though they are. It isn't the same thing.

Fair enough.  Perhaps the thread title should be changed to "Whoever the leader is, the NDP needs to give the illusion of being  authentic, not 'respectable'".

If you're right, we won't know the difference anyway.

If I'm right? There is no if about it.  People can be authentic and be percieved as such or not and the same goes for inauthentic people. If that were not true pedophiles couldn't become coaches for children's sports. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Ok.  I'm not really disagreeing.  But I don't think the OP was hoping for either an authentic leader, or just one who can pass for  authentic. 

The electorate may or may not see the difference, but I expect the OP was hoping for the real one, not the convincing one.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Ok.  I'm not really disagreeing.  But I don't think the OP was hoping for either an authentic leader, or just one who can pass for  authentic. 

The electorate may or may not see the difference, but I expect the OP was hoping for the real one, not the convincing one.

I should think so. I was responding to Quizzical's suggestion that voters don't care about authenticity because they voted for "unicorns".

I think Trudeau is authentic but many here don't agree. Either way Trudeau has the appearance of authenticity which contributed to his electibility. It is unlikely Mulcair can obtain a reputation for being authentic because he has changed his views too much without explanation. Mulcair is I think a pretty authentic man at heart but that is exactly why he wouldn't come across convincingly as a reformer because on Mulcair it wouldn't come across as authentic, probably because it wouldn't be. 

Maria Mourani went from Bloc, to independent to NDP, but she does have authenticity because she gave clear reasoning for her change in political affiliation. 

 

mark_alfred

Both authentic and respectable is the NDP way.  For instance, when characterizing the three parties, the following was often said:  if you wanna get drunk, go to a Conservative convention; if you wanna get laid, go to a Liberal convention; and if you wanna get a bunch of pamphlets and be home by 9:30 PM, go to an NDP convention.