Why isn't the NDP doing better. part 2

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Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Well, George, as I have revealed in other threads, I am not a youngster myself (64 next May). I am also not optimistic about the potential of fixing the Capitalist system by applying numerous band aids. My idea of a healthy society in which I would like to live if had my druthers is anarcho-syndicalism. Given that there is zero chance of that happening in the lifetime of me or my offspring, my view is most closely approximated by the harm reduction approach to drug use. No possibility of really solving the problem, so how can the harm be minimized? In this frame of mind, I am still interested in what concrete steps you would recommend to deal with the many real problems you have pointed out in this thread. You seem very good at locating and describing the problems, but where are your solutions?

 

George Victor

Michael, old boy (just a figure of familiarization, a greeting form out of the U.K.) now that we are out of the "brickbats" stage, let me say that I believe one has to know the enemy to be able to do anything about the bastards. For instance, knowing how they have been able to "suck us all in" , as I believe you described it, is a necessary start if we're to find solutions.  And by the way, talk of violent overthrow of anythiing leaves me cold.  We see dead and dying kids around the world from just such solutions.

 

What if we were able to make the market work for us as a nation. Economics has always been about a nation "winning" on the international stage, and if we on "the left" are to do anything about the dissolution of the social welfare state built up in the halcyon days of the immediate postwar period, when living was becoming easier, it seems to me we have to talk about how to pay for it.  Otherwise, the privatizers are going to win by default.  You see them at work, and you know its only a matter of time until their "economic" arguments (thanks to a public salivating after lower taxes) will triumph.

Why don't we take public funds, make sure they are seen as "sovereign" funds (only Norway's seems to meet that criterion  :) ) and make sure that we invest in our own infrastructure and manufacturing?  USE our pension funds for OUR future....not just pursuing the places of greater return out in the shanty towns of  Timbuktu. 

And we would be breaking away from the now mindless mantra of "tax the corporations"  which all the new coupon-clippers see as ...as mindless.

And with our new nationalism, we would be able to feed everyone at home and maybe even have some left over...like Lester Pearson's old objective of .7 per cent of the GDP as I recall, certainly far more than Steve commits ...for good work in the despairing parts of the world.

And of course, we can do marvelous things to lower our environmental footpriint.  But first, our investments (back in the capitalist world).

Over.

cruisin_turtle

Edited.

cruisin_turtle

Evening Star wrote:
.. with the Liberals moving to where the PCs used to be, ..

That's the whole point.   The fact is, the Ignatief gang do not represent anything about the Liberal Party of Canada.  They are conservatives who have hijacked the Liberal party from within.

The problem now is what can Liberal voters do?

a) They could become card carrying members of the Liberal party so they could oust these conservatives in disguise.

b) They could shift their thinking to the right to match the *new* Liberal party.

c) They could stop voting Liberal in protest of their hijacked party. 

What I was suggesting is for the NDP to work towards (c) which seems to me the more democratic option.  But what is slowly happening is (b), and I really hope that we can stop it for the long term good of the country.

KenS

Time for a new thread. And good riddance to not being able to stop this sucker from assaulting my Inbox. Continue at Why isn't the NDP doing better? part 3

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

George Victor wrote:

And by the way, talk of violent overthrow of anythiing leaves me cold.  We see dead and dying kids around the world from just such solutions.

I agree completely with this. I am a pacifist in principle, although I can imagine making an exception for a true case of self defense.

George Victor wrote:

What if we were able to make the market work for us as a nation. Economics has always been about a nation "winning" on the international stage, and if we on "the left" are to do anything about the dissolution of the social welfare state built up in the halcyon days of the immediate postwar period, when living was becoming easier, it seems to me we have to talk about how to pay for it.  Otherwise, the privatizers are going to win by default.  You see them at work, and you know its only a matter of time until their "economic" arguments (thanks to a public salivating after lower taxes) will triumph.

Why don't we take public funds, make sure they are seen as "sovereign" funds (only Norway's seems to meet that criterion  :) ) and make sure that we invest in our own infrastructure and manufacturing?  USE our pension funds for OUR future....not just pursuing the places of greater return out in the shanty towns of  Timbuktu. 

And we would be breaking away from the now mindless mantra of "tax the corporations"  which all the new coupon-clippers see as ...as mindless.

And with our new nationalism, we would be able to feed everyone at home and maybe even have some left over...like Lester Pearson's old objective of .7 per cent of the GDP as I recall, certainly far more than Steve commits ...for good work in the despairing parts of the world.

And of course, we can do marvelous things to lower our environmental footpriint.  But first, our investments (back in the capitalist world).

Over.

These suggestions sound quite reasonable to me, but I have no confidence in my own ability to evaluate such strategies, either in terms of whether they would work as planned if implemented, or whether they would be popular enough to win votes. That is why I rarely post on threads like this, I simply don't think I have any useful ideas to contribute. However, I do believe this is exactly the sort of contribution which helps a discussion like this one to be useful, and I applaud you for making it. I hope you will make many more comments in the future that are equally constructive. Others more knowledgable than I may criticize them on the merits, but I and other lurkers will learn something from the exchange. Thank you.

 

George Victor

And I just take such ideas from reading.  Robert Reich's After-Shock, for instance, now informs me just "How Concentrated Income at the Top Hurts the Economy.  And partly, that is by investors investing abroad. I doubt that I will find Reich making a case (as I'm trying to do) for public ownership (and as Judt was trying to do). But we'll see.

I think the NDP needs to take this direction, but again, we'll see.  Glad we could find common ground, mate.

Yes Ken, over to #3.

Sean in Ottawa

cruisin_turtle wrote:

Sean, you talk about The NDP Principles as if they were the Holy Scriptures.  NDP is not a religion.  It's just a political party.

Maybe it's late and I'm not fully digesting your post so let me cut ahead and just ask you this.  Would you support the NDP not running candidates in the next election in select ridings to give the Liberals a chance to beat the Tories there, and in exchange the Libs do the same in a few other ridings?

Yes sure, please read again -- don't forget that I advocate change but not towards something we do not believe in just to get votes. The reason is this would mean that what we believe in vanishes for no good reason-- political ideas should be taken off the table when they are no longer relevant not because they lack majority popularity. Not being religious, can't say if that sounds like religion but I think not.

As for the theoretical question-- let me first say I don't think the Liberals would even propose an equal swap and I would not consider anything less. I don't like the idea because it removes from the table democratic choice. There are candidates nominated and it is not fair to them. If there were individual candidates who agreed to stand down then I would consider it but I would not impose that on riding associations who duly chose a candidate. I don't consider Liberals and New Dems to be interchangeable either. The number of ridings required to achieve a difference is far too many. If it appeared that doing this in a couple ridings could make the difference and everyone agreed that might be interesting but this would have to be done in something like a dozen ridings. As well there would have to be agreements about what the candidates would support-- is PR on the table so we don't have to do that again? If so the case is stronger, if not then it sounds like a bad deal. With PR it could be a one-off exceptional arrangement without it, it would be another distortion on top of a grossly distorted system and would be unacceptable.

 

George Victor

Perhaps the scribes in the thread, "Is Social Democracy Dying" could comment on the economic arguments being made in this, now deserted thread?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

By changing your political values like a weathervane in order to attract votes in the end you do the opposite.

 

Perhaps I missed something, but could you point out where anyone here was talking about moving to the centre, abandoning our principles or whatever?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Quote:

 

I've done a quick tally of constituencies where the combined Liberal / NDP / Green vote exceeded the votes of the winner. My tally shows a total of 64 seats.

 

There are:
* 45 of these seats where Conservatives won and the Liberals were the leading "coalition" party,
* 8 seats where the Bloc won and the Liberals were the leading "coalition" party,
* 8 seats where the Conservatives won and the NDP were the leading "coalition" party,
* 2 seats where the Conservatives won and the Greens were the leading "coalition" party,
* 1 seat where the Bloc won and the New Democrats were the leading "coalition" party.

I also calculated what proportion of the other "coalition" parties' votes the leading "coalition" party would need to retain on a net basis in order to win.

For example, in Simcoe North, the Liberals trailed the Conservatives by 22.0% of the vote. The combined New Democrat and Green vote was 22.7%. Therefore, the Liberals would have had to retain (net) 96.92% of New Democrat and Green voters. I say "net," because it is likely that some undetermined number of the other "coalition" party voters would actually vote for the Conservatives or Bloc as their second choice. In Simcoe North, if even 2% of NDP and Green voters were to support the Conservatives, it would be impossible for the Liberals to make up the difference. Similarly, if 4% of NDP and Green voters simply didn't bother to vote, the Liberals would be unable to make up the difference.

...(T)he Canadian Election Study suggests that the proportion of voters who would simply not vote is much higher than 4%, and the percentages of NDP and Green voters who would be inclined to choose the Conservatives over the Liberals is larger than 2%.

I trust, on that basis, that even the most rabidly pro-coalition advocate will concede that there will be some "coalition" party voters who will not conform. The argument is about how many, and whether the coalition is still viable.

 

The reality is that there are three kinds of people who advocate "strategic" voting:
* people who do not understand politics;
* people who do not understand arithmetic;
* people who prefer that Canada be governed by a duopoly of right wing parties.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Oh, and anyone who actually believes the Liberals were opposed to the Free Trade Agreement during the 1988 election is simply delusional and has nothing meaningful to add to any coherent discussion of political policy, strategy or tactics.

George Victor

Cueball wrote:

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.

 

It happened because organized labour rejected any discussion of the environment, considering it all a challenge to the existence of their workplaces...

For those with selective memories, losing sight of the 70s and 80s is easy enough. Particularly if their mandate is simply destruction.

j8487

In regards to Jeff Itcush, he's on Twitter now. I'm sure if you asked him some questions he'd love to answer you. Twitter.com/jeffitcush

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hi "j8487." Welcome to babble. You already posted Jeff's twitter account on another thread. babble isn't here for you to spam us with promotional links and other advertisements for your favourite candidate. Any further links will be deleted.

And, since this trhead is above 100 posts, I'm closing.

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