Why isn't the NDP doing better. part 2

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KenS
Why isn't the NDP doing better. part 2

continuing this thread

KenS

Cueball wrote:

[Speaking of Brian Topp's] Turning the "Stop the Gravy Train" line on its head.... pretty obvious really. Topp seems to have a basic understanding of pitch, in a marketing sense, but doesn't understand ideological hegemony.

For example, a simple line in an ad for a dieting system depends on an underlying hegemonic construct: women should be skinny. Without this underlying construct the simple sales pitch would have no meaning. So, in our example: "Stop the Gravy Train", the public interprets this idea in the context of the existing ideological hegemony, and applys the intended meaning to it. The Pantalone campaign was filled with such simple pitch lines, but they were burried by the media, or lost in translation.

Here is how Brian Topp actually wrote about it in his column, and exactly as it was already quoted just upthread:

Brian Topp wrote:

They say government is too big. We should say poverty, unemployment, and injustice are too big.

They say taxes are too high. We should say there are more important things to tackle right now than reducing taxes for rich people.

They say they'll give everyone some of their money back. We should say paying for tax cuts by running deficits is theft from our children.

They say it's time to sell off and privatize schools, hospitals and public services. We should say there are some important things best done together - like good public education for our kids and good health care no matter how big your wallet is.

They say it's "time to stop the gravy train." We should say good idea! Let's stop the gravy train - starting with the insiders

There are several conter-hegomonic ideas and principles put out there before Topps uses flipping the Stop the Gravy Train line.

You are just assuming Topp understands 'pitch,' but not ideological hegemony. And simply reading in the lack of understanding when it is not there.

Brian Topp wrote:

Progressive people sometimes seem bored by their basic values, and take them for granted as givens. But the bad guys run on simple messages about their very different view of what the "givens" are.

While we've been promising lists of programs, they've had that hockey rink to themselves for too long. It's time for the home team - the one that speaks for most Canadians - to show up and start playing the real game.

In plain language, thats a straight up call for getting serious about dealing with ideological hegemony.

Cueball wrote:
People are not as stupid as Topp likes to believe, and dumbing down our message is unlikely to have the intended impact.

People are not as stupid as Cueball likes to treat them.

And where is this dumbing down of the message in Topp's column?

KenS

Cueball wrote:
 

I think [Topp] has just been reading Babble. Turning the "Stop the Gravy Train" line on its head, came up here several times before Topp came up with it. 

Yes indeed, subverting and flipping  "Stop the Gravy Train" is pretty basic. But as noted, that wasnt the focal point in his column you made it into.

For what its worth, when reading the column it also occured to me that we might be seeing reflections of discussions here. Not that this is the only place he would bump into that kind of discussion, or that its not relatively basic stuff.

But rather than thinking people are clueless- or too stuck on whatever to look at the clues- I'm inclined to see the use of people looking in at different discussions. Even what you already know, we all need to look at it in a different light.

ottawaobserver

I actually read Topp's column as his contribution to the debate already started here, amongst other places, and I'm reasonably certain he was up to speed with what we'd all written here, given that he pops in from time to time to make a comment.

Sean in Ottawa

I wrote a response here but just as I was posting it the Rabble site seemed to go down (yesterday).

In any case the gist is as follows:

I am not convinced that the NDP is failing since I am not convinced that there is a large pool of like-minded people who are not already supporting the NDP. The real issue, I think is that Canadians simply do not agree with us. You need political options and I do not support the idea of changing or watering down NDP principles and positions to make the party attractive to a plurality of Canadians. I want to see the NDP continue to provide an option based on what we believe. Now this may mean accepting that the party is not a contender as long as Canadians remain as right wing as they are but at least it is an option and an influence which is more than it would be if it shifted its principles or policies to gain popularity.

It is also possible since 1 in 5 almost supports the NDP that the media is not the major problem since a large number of people can look through the media. We might not like to consider it but the problem may be the views of Canadians themselves.

Sean in Ottawa

Of course that means a long term effort to try to increase the base-- to bring Canadians to us rather than trying to bring the party to wherever the polls are (we already have a Liberal party).

Evening Star

From today's Globe fwiw:  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/spector-visi...

I suspect that Sean may be right.  I personally also feel, btw, that sometimes, esp in the 2008 leaders' debate, Layton comes off a bit like he's trying too hard to pander by throwing around outdated rhetoric about "banks and oil companies" or namedropping Tommy Douglas or throwing cheap shots at Harper.  He's a smart guy with well-thought-out ideas so he doesn't need to do these things.  Gilles Duceppe's ability to frankly and eloquently articulate his positions, which are quite similar in many areas, without underestimating his audience, might be useful to consider.

Buddy Kat

Well years ago when there was no green party the NDP used to do pretty good hovering @ 30…usually huge enough to hold the balance of power. This was without the greens around. Now after years of the greens around the NDP hovers under @20 …the greens hover @10…do the math and weep.

 

Instead of flirting with Lib/Ndp/bloc(separatist) coalitions maybe the NDP should be entertaining the idea of a Green/Ndp one. The greens seem to be the single biggest factor.

 

Perhaps educating people on this fact might help and with the baby boomers coming in to ripe voting age while simultaneously the cold old conservative geezers are dieing off..

 

 Whether the NDP like it or not those geezers >65 besides milking Tommy D’s medical system like it’s never been milked before are keeping the conservatives in power.

KenS

Your math is not related to anything that is happening.

The NDP was down to single digits long before the Greens were around, and until the last election at least were still increasing with the Greens parked where they are.

The NDP's apparent glass ceiling has nothing to do with the GPC.

And your political analysis of the geezer role is worse, hard as that is.

Brian Topp Brian Topp's picture

I confess I hadn't seen the posts here flipping "stop the gravy train" but I congratulate all my fellow flippers for synchronous wit. I think it is respectful of voters to observe that they are looking for more from the left than lists of programs. And I find hope in that thought -- it is a challenge we can rise to.

gadar

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Of course that means a long term effort to try to increase the base-- to bring Canadians to us rather than trying to bring the party to wherever the polls are (we already have a Liberal party).

This. Instead of shifting with the spectrum try to shift the spectrum. If NDP keeps on trying to go where the polls are the spectrum looks like

Extreme right wing nuts - Cons

Right - Liberals

Center - NDP

Not a very desirable situation from the progressive point of view. Thats where we are headed IMV.

Now on the other hand if NDP can start bringing people to them with progressive ideas

Right - Cons

Center - Libs

Left - NDP

Thats way better for the political discourse than the earlier scenario. The smart ones can now figure out how to make it happen.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Brian Topp wrote:
I confess I hadn't seen the posts here flipping "stop the gravy train" but I congratulate all my fellow flippers for synchronous wit. I think it is respectful of voters to observe that they are looking for more from the left than lists of programs. And I find hope in that thought -- it is a challenge we can rise to.

A good sound byte will get you no where, unless the media decides it has traction.

Buddy Kat

KenS wrote:

Your math is not related to anything that is happening.

The NDP was down to single digits long before the Greens were around, and until the last election at least were still increasing with the Greens parked where they are.

The NDP's apparent glass ceiling has nothing to do with the GPC.

And your political analysis of the geezer role is worse, hard as that is.

Well I disagree with some of that…sure the NDP were at one time in the single digits but that support went elsewhere….and was /is not typical of stats for the NDP. What was typical was before the Greeens the NDP were @20-30% …with Greens they are now @10-20% …and if the Greens ever achieve 20% you can bet that that the NDP will be at 10%…

 

You are right tho on a GPC as it’s based on seat power not voting power.

 

The analysis on geezers is right on the mark no questions about that presently. Just look at stats and decipher the numbers ..the greater than 65 yearolds far outweigh anyone else in conservative support ..a number that cannot be ignored especially around the male geezer.. while the NDP enjoy a cross board support like the Liberals (greens mostly young) the numbers are pathetic when compared to conservative support among that age group. All other age groups are playing a minor role…unfortunaltely…and don’t vote as consistently as the geezer..talk about geezer power.

 

That will change in the future as that crowd dies off and is replaced with now upper middle age people..”The Baby Boom” …the factor to worry about is going to be how strong the Greens get. I would also look for ways the Liberals and conservatives are going to sabotage that situation in the future…perhaps bringing in a law preventing people with alzhiemrs or dementia from voting …you get the idea.

 

If that was law now the conservatives would be squashed beyond recognition. Don’t even bring education into the picture…. This is a very real danger and threat for libs/cons as it will be the first time that the power will be with a very strong and vocal generation that aren’t as easily conned like our present old people are. I think everyone can agree on that

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkM5eyN8ytI&feature=user

Doug

Buddy Kat wrote:

Well years ago when there was no green party the NDP used to do pretty good hovering @ 30…usually huge enough to hold the balance of power. This was without the greens around. Now after years of the greens around the NDP hovers under @20 …the greens hover @10…do the math and weep.

 

The best the NDP ever did in a federal election was in 1988 with 20.4% of the vote.

Buddy Kat

I'm sure I've seen polls where they were much higher than that in the past ..but yeah in an election you may be right. I can see the NDP being a major contender in the future, if it wasn't for them damn greens. What do those greens hope to accomplish besides fragmenting the NDP?

 

It would be somwwhat more acceptable if the conservatives were fragmented by a reform party or another..but the present right fragment of lib/con isn't working..and the left center fragment of NDP/Green is even worse, but I'll bet the cons/libs just love it.

Buddy Kat

gadar wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Of course that means a long term effort to try to increase the base-- to bring Canadians to us rather than trying to bring the party to wherever the polls are (we already have a Liberal party).

This. Instead of shifting with the spectrum try to shift the spectrum. If NDP keeps on trying to go where the polls are the spectrum looks like

Extreme right wing nuts - Cons

Right - Liberals

Center - NDP

Not a very desirable situation from the progressive point of view. Thats where we are headed IMV.

Now on the other hand if NDP can start bringing people to them with progressive ideas

Right - Cons

Center - Libs

Left - NDP

Thats way better for the political discourse than the earlier scenario. The smart ones can now figure out how to make it happen.

 

The Romanow model worked well in Saskatchewan. They took a bankrupt province inherited from the conservatives and repaired it to one of the best economy’s in the world. It was fun watching their credit rating go up, up and up.

 

They did adopt right wing strategies and that actually turned plenty of people away from the NDP..Some still harbour that as a betrayal., but it worked.

 

Then along came Lorne Calvert and with that came right wing media along with the Sask party …that did the NDP in despite continuing on a right wing type of agenda. At one point they had an action plan that sounded just like the present day conservatives environmental one…but they could not compete with rawlco radio.

 

So it can work on a national scale if and only if the media is on side or right wing media is muzzled. Again a nation wide NDP friendly media outlet would be key. Rabble is great internet wise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkM5eyN8ytI&feature=user

Evening Star

I don't really see why you're so sure that the Greens are splitting the NDP vote.  Not only are the numbers you cite dubious, as was pointed out, but the Greens have never even pretended to be a social democratic/labour party on any level at all.  If anything, they have more ties to the old PCs than to anyone.  They did share some common ground with Dion's Liberals.  Layton has taken the NDP in a very small-'g' green direction but I still think the two parties are coming from different places.

If you are right that the GPC are mostly drawing votes from NDP supporters, then that's actually a sign of a real ideological shift in the population.  And maybe there is something to that:  It does seem that since the end of the Cold War, there has been a sense amongst much of the population that 'socialism' has failed and that marketplace solutions are the only reasonable ones.  Look at the reaction in the US when Obama has attempted reforms that even Nixon would have probably found modest.

And so, as George Victor rightly pointed out, it really does need to be clear what alternative the NDP offers.  Layton's writings do provide a vision but provincial NDP governments, afaict, have not governed extremely differently from some Liberal governments.  (Have the NDP governments in MB/SK/NS done a great deal that was much more progressive than things Dalton McGuinty has done?  Perhaps they have... I actually want to know.)

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

I think the point is that prior to the Green Party the NDP was perceived as the party of the environment. The Green Party took away that monopoly. There are many people, in particular certain activist types, for whom the environment is the number one issue. In that light it is easy to see how the NDP was damaged by the creation of the Greens.

On the other issues, you are absolutely right.

Doug

The point is that the NDP isn't down from how it usually does in elections (excepting the nasty nineties!) and not far off at all from its best performance despite the mainstreaming of the Green Party. It's improving on that - breaking the 20% barrier - that is the issue.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Anyway, its not the Green Party that is causing parliamentary gridlock, and suborning the NDP, its the Parti Quebecois... eh! Good luck with that. Heh.

Stockholm

The NDP never had the environment to itself even before the Green party was on the map at all. Back in the 90s and early 00s, most of the ENGOs were staffed with Liberal party hacks and a lot of speudo-environmentalists were busy being apologists for Paul martin.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Well, no actually. I am talking about the 70's and 80's where the NDP was the only game in town. How you lost that monopoly is beyond me.

David Young

One reason I think the NDP's isn't doing as well as it could is the fact that they haven't nominated enough candidates for the voters to decide if they are worth supporting in the next election.

With 132 of 308 candidates nominated (according to the Pundit's Guide Web-Site), they're lagging behind the Conservatives, Liberals and (so-called) Greens, who have approximately 190+ candidates nominated for each party.

In Quebec, there is only 11 nominated candidates (I've included Jeff Itcush in Mount Royal even though he's not yet listed at Pundit's Guide).

If there are a large number of nominations later this year and/or early next year in the run-up to an expected spring election, the publicity generated should bring the NDP numbers up  just prior to the federal budget in March.  I.M.H.O.

 

Fidel

Well the country and the environment were sold off from under our feet in 1989 and 1994. Now they want the NDP to promise to buy it all back off the Americans at inflated prices. How they expect the NDP to fix Humpty is beyond me. They never mention any of the details as to the how or even what time frame. They want Jack to suggest that he can snap his fingers and make it happen. The NDP is supposed to promise to fix in four years what took the two stoogeaucratic parties 35 years to fuck up real good. Kids these days want instant gratification, or they lose all interest. I call it the Disney World generation. The lost generation. The what in the hell happened while we weren't paying attention generation.

cruisin_turtle

We can keep discussing why the NDP is not doing better every election until the cows come home but the answer is really simple and does not need to be explained.  Simply put, the NDP doesn't have a media outlet to air its views.  It relies on the "fairness" of the corporate media to give it coverage.

The media today does not value concepts such as fairness or professional ethics highly.

The NDP will never do well until the above changes, or until it changes.

autoworker autoworker's picture

The NDP lost its historic, populist roots long ago, and with it, its bearing.  Now its everything and nothing, as it puts its finger to the wind and panders for votes:  whether it be by joining with the BQ in applying Quebec's language law to the federal public service (in order to gain favour in Gatineau), or triangulating over the gun registry (so as not to lose votes in Northern Ontario and parts of rural Canada).  As for the environment, they're all for it, provided that it doesn't cost jobs within their constituencies.  The erstwhile party of principle is principally concerned with increasing its parliamentary presence in the House-- to what end, is an open question to anyone outside the echo chamber that seems mostly concerned with the mercenary pursuit of power. 

In another thread, a discussion focused on how Ford won Toronto because he had dedicated people on the ground, and prevailed despite the media having written him off as a joke.  So who's having the last laugh?  Blaming the media and corporate money is a cop out.  The time to build momentum is between elections, not after the writ is dropped, and the predictable lament (with its usual scapegoats) that follows the inevitible disappointment.  So why is the NDP unpopular, and what is to be done about it?  Perhaps Dippers should revisit their high school sensibilities, because most voters have yet to to relinquished theirs.  Its the 'cool kids' who rule the corridors of adolescence; general elections aren't much different.  Don't believe me? Take a poll.

Iwant Liberty

The Disney World Generation, I like that!  But it's the first generation in history that will use the Internet to get its information.  They are the first, in the history of mankind, to be able to connect with those that see through the corporate and statist media because of their new broadband connections.  They will be the first to see the fraud that our political class has perpetrated upon us for decades:  the political class that has failed to deliver in their promises because they can't deliver.  The political class that launch wars in the name of freedom.  The political class that doesn't have the skills, or the knowledge or the desire to help 30 million Canadians.  We're on our own, and finally I belive the kids will start to realize that!  This is dangeorus knoweldge.  Indiference to politics is not laziness.... it is the gravest threat to statistism that the country has known in is entire existence!  They are paying attention, and they are voting "NONE OF THE ABOVE" when it comes election time!!

Fidel

At least Jack isn't a corporate stooge like the other two bought and paid-for Bay Street lap poodles. That's enough for me to vote NDP and throw a wrench into the phony majority machine at the same time. We will hear a lot of negative advertising against the NDP over the next two years. Just remember it's Bay Street and the stoogeorama trying to convince you not to vote for the effective opposition NDP in Ottawa. As a wise man once said, choose wisely. They know that one NDP opposition MP is worth one-hundred from either of the two colonial administrative parties.

KenS

...speaking of reminiscent of high school....

cruisin_turtle

Fidel wrote:
At least Jack isn't a corporate stooge like the other two bought and paid-for Bay Street lap poodles.

You and I know that but the majority of the populous are mainly influenced by the messages beamed into their living rooms. And if Jack wants to reach some of those people he has to compromise with the media bosses. 

It's a lose-lose game.  Either lose some of your principles so the rest of your message can get a chance of reaching the public or hold on to your principles and good luck screaming it really loud because no air waves will carry anything positive about it or you. 

When the prov NDP won in Ontario, we had media that was running shows like Street Legal.  A show about a legal team that includes amongst its membership people with a range of different ideologies including pure capitalist and socially consience lawyers.  That small fair chance of coverage was enough to elect an NDP government in the country's biggest province. We are not asking for a dedicated news network to present all programming from a progressive vantage point, like Fox does on the other end of the spectrum.  All we're asking is for some programming to present some progressive views fairly. Because without it there is no hope for any real democracy in this country.

KenS

False dichotomy.

And begging for scraps is a guaranteed loser.

Sean in Ottawa

I'll raise it again -- do you all think the NDP is failing to attract other people who thik  like we do? How many progressive people are actually out there not supporting the NDP?

 

If the answer is there are many progressives voting for other parties then we need to look at how to sell the NDP to the progressive people of Canada who do not support the NDP.

If the answer is no, then we have a longer term project to educate and move Canadians to be more progressive.

This second is what I thin and the reason I do not lable the NDP as an abject failure.

I see the value of a left media to reinforce progressive ideas rather than to move people to the NDP--- if people are progressive they can find the party on their own as the party does not do that bad of a job at communicaitons.

We seriously have to ask ourselveshow right wing is Canada and how open to nonright wing ideas are Canadians -- really.

I think many like to sound left but when you scratch the surface they are not and when they vote in that private booth, they are not. I find that the proportion of NDP supporters and the proportion of progressive suporters is close. We lose some to the BQ in Quebec and very few outside Quebec to any of the other parties.

takeitslowly

Maybe it has to do with people not wanting to vote for a party they know will not get more than 20 percent of the votes.

Canadians know Jack Layton and have come to decide this party has limited electoral success.

Personally , I feel tired from politics and especially federal politics, I believe a great deal of optimism and an enthusiastic belief in the positive role of the government is needed to give NDP an electoral boost.

I am less emotionally passionate about progressive values as before the recession, nothing in my daily life suggest anything is fair or just or equal.  I have less trust for so many things, and nice ideals being one of them. All my emotional investment and feeling of hopes and efforts go into finding a job to pay my bills, not on a viable third party..but thats just me.

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I'll raise it again -- do you all think the NDP is failing to attract other people who thik  like we do? How many progressive people are actually out there not supporting the NDP?

I think most progressive already vote NDP or BQ. But a lot of people who you would think should support the NDP, don't

A year ago I was helping a friend move. She had hired a moving company to help her move across town. During the move I decided to join the truck drivers as they drove my friends stuff to her new home. As it turns out these guys were getting paid $9 an hour for backbreaking work. We were all hungry from the move so we stopped off at McDonalds to grab a snack. This was the only place they could afford as they each had less then $5 on them. These guys each ordered two of their cheapest burgers on the menu, a McDouble and a Junior Chicken and water. When it came time to pay, they had to count their dimes and quarters in order to pay.

During the meal I mentioned how crazy it is that minimum wages haven't been raised in BC for almost a decade. (BC's minimum wage is $8) I said that I hoped the NDP gets in so we can see minimum wages go up. Both of these guys then told me they don't care for politics and that all politicians are the same greedy bastards. They both never vote.

Fifty percent of the voting popualtion doesn't vote anymore. A lot of these people are being oppressed by our system. How can the NDP get their vote?

These guys aren't "progressives" but they sure would benefit from having the NDP in government.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I think you are correct, Sean. The NDP is currently getting the votes of most of the progressive minded people in Canada. Without any data to support me, I would make a wild ass guess that no more than 5% of the Liberal voters agree with NDP policies in general. And you are correct also that the only remedy is to show more people why left wing policies would be better for them than the status quo. I try to influence all the people that I interact with in my day to day life to move in this direction, but it will inevitably be a slow process. All we can do is to keep on trying, and accept the results we get with grace and patience.

 

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

The Romanow model worked well in Saskatchewan. They took a bankrupt province inherited from the conservatives and repaired it to one of the best economy's in the world. It was fun watching their credit rating go up, up and up.

 

They did adopt right wing strategies and that actually turned plenty of people away from the NDP..Some still harbour that as a betrayal., but it worked.

 

I voted for the Romaniks...once, then voted Green for a while until the last election.

 

autoworker is correct; the Nude Ems are everywhere and nowhere. They have to stop creating policy by polling, and instead become a truly socialist alternative.

cruisin_turtle

takeitslowly wrote:
Canadians know Jack Layton and have come to decide this party has limited electoral success.

It's not that Canadians don't know Jack Layton or the NDP.  It's that people in general when wanting to decide who to vote for, will only consider one of those they see and hear from most often.  How much are you seeing of anything NDP on TV lately?  Not much at all.  Voting NDP is not even an option most people would consider simply because they don't hear from them.  "If NDP was a viable option, we would be seeing more of them" : that's how most people think and perceive things.

That's why publicity is the life blood of a politician.  Harper is shown on tv a lot, even though 90% of it is about things of little importance.  But that way they keep him relevant in people's mind.  If today a financial crisis in Greece is headline news here, let's put Harper on tv to comment.  Harper has little to shed on it and not much to do with any of it but it keeps him relevant in people's minds.

KenS

When the NDP was at its lowest during the early Nineties, according to the Canadian Election Studies more people who identified themselves as closts to the NDO voted for the Liberals than the NDP. And it never was just what we call "strategic voting" reasons [NDP wont win in my riding]. Nor is it determined by how 'left' prople are.

Those people are now more frequently voting for the NDP. In fact, they and the BC NDP-identifiers who voted Reform are probably the bulk of the NDPs growth during Layton's tenure. I dont remember how much so.

My hunch is that for all the NDP-identifiers who still generally vote Liberal, that this is a diminishing returns group: focusing on them isnt going to get much more. For one thing there are the actual 'strategc voters'- voters where the NDP is never in contention. Then there is that strange but not at all uncommon species that wants the NDP to be the 'conscience', but actually wants the Liberals to win. [Public figures like Buzz Hargrove who lecture the NDP on not being left or socialist enough but work for the Liberals are just the tip of the iceberg.]

cruisin_turtle

Buzz Hargrove is a good guy.  I don't vote NDP for any special attachment or blind loyalty that I have to the party. I do because usually their candidate most closely represents my ideas and values.  If Hargrove had a disagreement with the NDP on an issue I'll more likely side with Hargrove, knowing what I know about him.

KenS

HELP!

I'm getting my email Inbox flooded with notifiction for every single post in this thread- only this thread.

The box for that below: Email me about all replies to this article is checked.

But when I unchecked, it just goes back to being checked... even when i reboot the computer immediately after.

I dont want to delete all cookies and internet files... and have to redo all passwords and backup for secured sites.

What to do?

Buddy Kat

cruisin_turtle wrote:

takeitslowly wrote:
Canadians know Jack Layton and have come to decide this party has limited electoral success.

It's not that Canadians don't know Jack Layton or the NDP.  It's that people in general when wanting to decide who to vote for, will only consider one of those they see and hear from most often.  How much are you seeing of anything NDP on TV lately?  Not much at all.  Voting NDP is not even an option most people would consider simply because they don't hear from them.  "If NDP was a viable option, we would be seeing more of them" : that's how most people think and perceive things.

That's why publicity is the life blood of a politician.  Harper is shown on tv a lot, even though 90% of it is about things of little importance.  But that way they keep him relevant in people's mind.  If today a financial crisis in Greece is headline news here, let's put Harper on tv to comment.  Harper has little to shed on it and not much to do with any of it but it keeps him relevant in people's minds.

 

I couldn’t agree more. Here is a great example……When The NDP bloc and conservatives joined together to oust the Liberals ..the bloc weren’t separatists…BUT when the liberals and NDP and bloc joined together the media came down like a sledge hammer and Duffy got his reward…How can that be. All of a sudden it was a BAD THING. The country swallowed it up like fruit juice ..led along the path like sheeple and no less. It was actually quite sickening  to see Canadians treated like complete morons but face it they swallow everything the media dictated to them.

 

We have the CBC representing the Libs We have CTV and Global representing the Cons and when you look at the stats you know damn well what will happen should a major network be created representing the NDP… That the NDP can maintain a 20% or close share of voter confidence under these circumstances is pretty darn amazing.

 

When you consider that the big networks spin their stories to fit one side …can you imagine a network that spun its stories to the left? I site CBC as an example ..The closest they get to the left is 22 minutes and Mercers show…but it’s depicted as comedy ..the only way to get the message out in a right dominated network. It’s comedy ..Don’t take it seriously.

 

However picture a left network running 24/7 pounding the message seriously that Harper and his conservatives are a real joke and the people who vote for them are clowns.

 

Sucking your life out of you via tax and media control…conning you like crooked telemarketers …and that the libs are the good cop in this good cop/bad cop relationship…all the news programming surrounding that one fact.every move by the government based on that one fact. I would give them 2 months and they’d be totally washed up.

 

 Much less the stuff they hide or don’t report on that could disseminate them. Like government sponsored torture or cop gangs murdering innocent people who were armed with lawn chairs and stubby screw drivers…denying these innocent murdered people the right to live over such frivolous reasons.can you imagine a real news service exposing that atrocity 10 times a day. Rammed down their throat like there stinking commercials.

 

It wouldn’t take long and virtually every Canadian would be demanding justice and retribution…and voting NDP to do it, but it can only happen if 1) the CBC is axed and 2) It’s a real community funded NDP network as there would be no advertising revenue because the company’s that advertise are mostly right wing conners and the they would want protection from you the receiver of the advertising money.like it works presntly.

 

Imagine not just Tommy D being promoted as the greatest Canadian but his VALUES also. And all those things that Canada loves being NDP ideas. Think about that one for a while. 

 

Can you imagine a history show where they expose how the Libs in the good cop relationship will steal and ndp idea and with there media support and brainwash Canadians into believing it was really theirs but they just did it so they could get elected and tax the daylights out of you. Then the bad cop conservative comes to power to remove the idea that you have grown accustomed too using the media to make it a necessary thing to do, what a scam. Man we could have such great history shows. We could call it merry go round…and there would be no shortage of material.

 

I’m telling you the material that is out there that can be scooped up by the left and spun is mesmerizing and the shows that could be created would put fox toooo shame.  

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkM5eyN8ytI&feature=user

cruisin_turtle

Buddy Kat wrote:
We have the CBC representing the Libs We have CTV and Global representing the Cons and when you look at the stats you know damn well what will happen should a major network be created representing the NDP… That the NDP can maintain a 20% or close share of voter confidence under these circumstances is pretty darn amazing.

Buddy, very good post but a ridiculous video :)

However there was one funny clip from the video: "The only good Tory is a supposiTory"

takeitslowly

 

In the past, I have engaged in phone fundraising campaign for the NDP during elections, and we all got paid during those time. It was attractive because people with minimum "offical" political experience get to be involved in party politics and the NDP can engage with young people in a real way (by paying them).

 

But what happen when its not election season? NDP needs to engage with young people and other supporters during non election time. Maybe they can offer free yoga classes? Or hire people with no or little political experience. I am assuming that its always the same people who actively engage with the NDP because they can afford to or because they have always been there and have the experience and connection.

You can't create viable support if you are only around during election time. 

 

Instead of only playing the Ottawa gig, the NDP needs to offer something real and significant to the life of everyday ordinary people. It doesn't have to be money, it could be hiring them through a casual internship with flexible schedule or tips or resources to help those who have been psychologically affected by job losses, bullying etc.

 

The NDP need to think outside of the box if they want to be relevant. And they need new people who are living the reality of the working class Ccanadians to be in the decision making process, not middle class university educated with a master degree or years of experience in election campaigns.

Aristotleded24

We all want to see the NDP do better, but I think it's important to note how far the party's come. The NDP is not that far off its highwater mark of 44 seats. Additionally, for the first time it its history, it is close to becoming a true national party. The only places it has failed to elect an MP thus far are the Yukon, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and PEI. Just a few short years ago, if you predicted that the NDP would win in places like Edmonton and Montreal, nobody would have believed you. So yes, we all want the NDP to do better, and there has been a great discussion about how the NDP could improve its approach, but it's not all doom and gloom.

adma

Aristotleded24 wrote:
. The only places it has failed to elect an MP thus far are the Yukon, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and PEI.

So far in Layton's term, of course.  Yet the irony is that two of those places were the strongest spots for the NDP in 1993...

George Victor

The NDP isn't "doing better" than it is for reasons tied to expectations and the historic role of social democracy, according to the late Tony Judt, in his Ill Fares the Land: "However perverted the Muscovite variation, its sudden and complete disappearance could not but have a disruptive impact on any party or movement calling itself 'social democratic'.

"This was a peculiarity of left-wing politics. Even if every conservative and reactionary regime around the globe were to implode tomorrow, its public image hopelessly tarnished by corruption and invompetence, the politics of conservatism would survive intact...But for the Left, the absence of a historically-buttressed narrative leaves an empty space. All that remains is politics: the politics of interest, the politics of envy, the politics of reo-election. Without idealism, politics is reduced to a form of social accounting, the day-to-day administration of men and things. This too is something that a conservative can survive well enough. But for the Left it is a catastrophe."

This purely political perspective, of course, is only a partial explanation. The  "idealism" was in fact lost when it became clear that the welfare state conceived in the early 1940s, would have to be paid for. Pulling back the curtain on what was left of the USSRs economy, underlined that, for people of the left AND right. And with the corporation given the plane ticket of Globalization, beginning in the 1970s, that became rather difficult. That, combined with the Conservative discovery of the lower taxes mantra from the time of Reagan and Thatcher - which Bush was able to maintain even while U.S.debt mounted - and is still popular today among the electorate, for some reason Undecided has made the task of New Democrats everywhere, one of treadmill progress. 

I'm betting that the environmental chickens will come home to roost, and that that is where NDP money should be placed.  It's time to forget labour's antipathy to the environmental message.  That sector is a self-absorbed, broken reed.

Evening Star

George, what you're saying seems interesting but I'm not sure I follow all of it.

George Victor wrote:

The NDP isn't "doing better" than it is for reasons tied to expectations and the historic role of social democracy, according to the late Tony Judt, in his Ill Fares the Land: "However perverted the Muscovite variation, its sudden and complete disappearance could not but have a disruptive impact on any party or movement calling itself 'social democratic'.

I think this is essentially what I was getting at upthread, that somehow, since the fall of the USSR, 'socialism' in any form has been seen as a failure?

Quote:

"This was a peculiarity of left-wing politics. Even if every conservative and reactionary regime around the globe were to implode tomorrow, its public image hopelessly tarnished by corruption and invompetence, the politics of conservatism would survive intact...But for the Left, the absence of a historically-buttressed narrative leaves an empty space. All that remains is politics: the politics of interest, the politics of envy, the politics of reo-election. Without idealism, politics is reduced to a form of social accounting, the day-to-day administration of men and things. This too is something that a conservative can survive well enough. But for the Left it is a catastrophe."

Could you (or Judt) explain this a little?  Why would/should it be easier for a conservative or conservatism to survive these things?  It does seem that that is the case, esp looking at the US.  While it should be obvious to everyone that Bush and his policies were a failure in every way and that Obama has only improved things a little, even if only very modestly, and has been more moderate than even his campaign platform, still there has been a triumphant resurgence of uber-conservatism that is perhaps more extreme than Bush's.  Even when all statistics seem to indicate that Nordic social democracies and even Canada are more prosperous and stable, we see the mad ideological reaction.  When it is obvious that David Miller balanced Toronto's budget and made Toronto politics cleaner, compared to his conservative predecessor, his agenda was attacked for its wasteful spending!  When the economic crisis should have exposed the failings of capitalism, it was progressives and the welfare state who were attacked.

Quote:

This purely political perspective, of course, is only a partial explanation. The  "idealism" was in fact lost when it became clear that the welfare state conceived in the early 1940s, would have to be paid for. Pulling back the curtain on what was left of the USSRs economy, underlined that, for people of the left AND right. And with the corporation given the plane ticket of Globalization, beginning in the 1970s, that became rather difficult. That, combined with the Conservative discovery of the lower taxes mantra from the time of Reagan and Thatcher - which Bush was able to maintain even while U.S.debt mounted - and is still popular today among the electorate, for some reason Undecided has made the task of New Democrats everywhere, one of treadmill progress.

These points all make sense.  So... can we pay for the welfare state?  Is there room for higher income taxes in our economy?  Luxury taxes?  Inheritance taxes? Would these be enough?  Might we need to embrace consumption taxes?  Or should we renationalize old Crown corporations and hope that they run profitably?  Is there anything we can cut?

Quote:

I'm betting that the environmental chickens will come home to roost, and that that is where NDP money should be placed.  It's time to forget labour's antipathy to the environmental message.  That sector is a self-absorbed, broken reed.

This would lead to a fundamental change in what the party stands for, though.

Lastly, why have NDP governments governed so much like Liberals?  Are the neoliberals right about something?  Is the NDP just playing to a conservative mood amongst the electorate?  Is there just less of a sense of what the party stands for anymore?

Evening Star

And if the NDP is taking this direction, maybe they should just embrace it and start promoting themselves as the real heirs of King, Pearson, and Trudeau unlike the pathetic current Liberal Party just as Liberals now seem to embrace Davis and Mulroney?

Evening Star

Btw, I do intend to read the Reich book once I finish my dissertation!

Evening Star

I mean, when I was a teenager in the 90s, it did sometimes seem like America had all the answers, that things were better where the market was freer.  But that seems blatantly wrong to me now, just from lived experience and the events of the past years.  Why is it not obvious to more people?

Also, for serious, someone explain Quebec?  Social democracy seems to have its strongest bastion there so are all the social democrats also separatists?  And if so, why?  I grew up in Ottawa and lived in Montreal for a little while but I still don't really 'get' QC politics.

Fidel

Here's a big reason US conservatives are running the show in that country: [url=http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html]Voter turnouts in federal elections: 1960 - 2008[/url]

Of all those eligible to vote in America, about 36% are die hard elephant party supporters. If they can get the vote out, they win. Most well financed war chest buys expensive newspaper, radio. and broadcast TV time time. IOWs, those who can afford to pay for the most effective means of propagandizing the public ever conceived, win elections. FPTP elections are games of chance that rich people play.

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