Why isn't the NDP doing better when we have such dullards as the last three LPC leaders?

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KenS

Thats not tactics.

Main point: we in practice confuse pointing out what is wrong with message for outreach.

To a degree we can, at least when reminded, speak beyond that to goals.

Message- we act is if we hardly know what it is about.

Caissa

I'm confused with what you are saying.

I listed some goals. Goals require actions to reach them. Actions are tactics. If a political party doesn't know what its goals are how can it determine the means to implement them?

ottawaobserver

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Caissa wrote:

- Food for all

-Housing for all

- Meaningful employment for all.

-Education for all.

Are these goals getting specific enough, KenS?

Those goals work for me.  Smile

Me too.  Just don't start going on and on about the capitalist system from 2nd year poli sci, or you'll lose everyone.

Ken's point is that if you're going to support "housing for all", how would you START?  You know, if you had to run a government, and develop a program to do that.  And you had to get support from a minority parliament to do so.

KenS

And just so people factor in how much room that leaves:

"And you had to get support from a minority parliament to do so" doesnt mean you have to be able to walk into the House with legislation that will get majority support. You might know almost for certain that in the short term it will not. But that from the inception your 'majority coalition' of the people is at least warm to the idea and will listen. Then as support grows, you bully other parties if you have to.

But that is still in general terms an agenda that can get majority support in a minority parliamnet.

ottawaobserver

Just to clarify, the "going on and on" remark wasn't addressed at anyone in particular.  Sorry if I may have left the opposite impression.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

One of the problems is inertia.  The Liberal Party has always been one of the dominant parties in Canada, therefore inertia inclines it to stay there.  That inertia can be overcome, but not easily.  A dud leader in an emerging party can kill it stone dead pretty fast.  A series of dud leaders in a well-entrenched party, not so much.

Another problem is a tendency of so many on the left to undermine the NDP at every opportunity.  Sometimes this is based on a bullshit analysis (O! The Cons are so awful my hair is on fire! Must vote Liberal!).  Sometimes, frankly, it's based on a kind of cowardice that finds comfort in the relative safety of losing - because then you don't have to make choices.  Both act as a drag on the NDP in the struggle to displace one of the duopolist parties.

Finally, we need to look at what the right did strategically and tactically.  They have effectively moved the political discourse to the right over the past 30 years.  Some of their tactics (demonizing minorities, for example) are obviously beyond the pale.  But other tactics (ie, establishing a stronger radio presence - if necessary by creating their own mass media outlets like Fox or the National Post) should be emulated or adapted.

George Victor

Fifty-four postings  and not one word on how to build the revenue to pay for those long lists of needs of a welfare state...a kind of Christmas wish list.

And you wonder why the conservatives are taking power everywhere.

Evening Star

I did mention raising taxes.:P

Evening Star

Our highest marginal income tax rate is under 30% right now.  That's very low.  It seems that we should be able to add two or three more brackets above that.  Is there any economic reason why we shouldn't?

Evening Star

(It is conservatives in both Canada and the US who have created huge deficits after liberal governments balanced the books btw.)

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Its a great one two punch from our rulers.  First the Cons give the store away to their business buddies in tax breaks and more importantly tax loopholes and then the Libs got elected and they slashed all the provincial money for social programs to balance the budget. And also balanced the books by stealing the workers UI fund.  

The federal NDP could have a separate membership not a sub unit of a provincial one.  In BC the provincial wing is not able to attract members and this hinders growing the federal party since you have to ask people attracted to a federal candidate to sign a provincial application.  None of the other parties have those kinds of restrictions on their federal party.

Aristotleded24

I think recent municipal elections in Manitoba's 2 largest cities provide a clue for strategy:

Winnipeg and Brandon have many things in common. Both cities have a habit of electing right-wing mayors, and rarely are any incumbents tossed out. The incumbent mayors of both cities ran for re-election this time around. In both cities, there was a pent-up desire for change and a wish to end the domination of "the old boy's club." In both cities, a woman with significant backing from the NDP stood up to challenge the incumbent mayors, hoping to ride the desire for change to victory.

That's where the similarities end. Winnipeg has a strong social-democratic tradition, providing several seats not only to the provincial NDP but also a federal NDP seat even during the party's low point in 1993. Brandon is a dyed-in-the-wool Tory town. The only time they've not elected a right-winger to Parliament was when the right-wing vote was split between PC and Reform and the Liberals won. Even then, that was only once, as the right-wing support quickly coalesced behind the PCs.

The campaigns were different too. In Winnipeg, we hoped that Judy's name recognition and popularity would help. Rarely were any controversial issues touched, and even though she had several good ideas for how to move Winnipeg forward, her platform was not assembled in a clear, coherent way. Those in charge of her campaign tried to be as non-offensive as possible (she tried to play down her ties to CUPE, which everybody knows that CUPE will support the NDP anyways). For a long time, it wasn't even clear who would carry the progressive banner for mayor. She declared less than 6 months before election, even though there were rumours that she was interested in running.

In Brandon, Shari Decter Hirst had announced almost a year ahead of time that she was interested. She had clear ideas on issues facing Brandon, and even made controversial remarks ([url=http://www.brandonsun.com/opinion/blogs/So-how-racist-is-Brandon-1031333... example, calling Brandon a racist town[/url]). Some people said she was over the top.

One of these candidates accomplished the impossible and knocked off the right-wing incumbent. Can you guess which one?

ottawaobserver

Now, if you're telling the whole story, Aristotleded24, what other factors might have been involved there?  For example, was Sam Katz in Winnipeg subject to the same dissatisfaction with his performance amongst Conservatives that Dave Burgess was in Brandon?

Oh, and what about Shari Decter-Hirst's last-minute ads showing her posing with prominent local business people?

http://endlessspin.blogspot.com/2010/10/change-in-brandon.html

I happen to have been following that race, so let's not try and draw the wrong lessons out of it.  I do agree with you that deciding to run a year ahead of time is often important to unseating an incumbent.  Could a sitting MP resign that far ahead of time to do so, credibly?  It would have been hard.

Fidel

Why isn't the NDP doing better when we have such dullards as the last three LPC leaders?

Take away their Bay Street funding, and a lot fewer Canadians who do bother to vote nowadays would vote for the dullards. Because let's face it, the Harpers and Liberal Party big whigs all have personalities similar to boiled kleenex. They'd have to kiss a lot more babies in public  just to get noticed.

nussy

What do you have against babies? 

Doug

i am homosexual wrote:

If a guy is hot, I'm going to pull down his pants and grab his buns. Anybody who has a problem with this is homophobic!

 

Works for me - though what this has to do with Canadian politics, I don't know.

Doug

Evening Star wrote:

That's true.  I just think that "We'll raise taxes a little, especially for those who can afford it, but you'll be able to afford dental care and prescription drugs and you can send your kids to university without going into debt" might resonate with a wider segment of the population than some of those other issues.  I don't have a solution to this though, esp as I actually agree with the NDP's current policies in all these areas.

 

The popular response here would probably be something like, "Oh, that all sounds nice but we get okay benefits at work as it is and besides, the government will probably just waste that money on something stupid." There isn't much trust left in the ability of government to use public resources wisely and productively and that's a big barrier for social democratic politics.

Evening Star

Yeah, I think that's basically the answer to the thread question. 

melovesproles

Quote:
There isn't much trust left in the ability of government to use public resources wisely and productively and that's a big barrier for social democratic politics.

 

That's absolutely true and the reason why it was so important for the NDP to build credibility as a party dedicated to reforming government. Layton started off strong on this front during his first election(strong positions on electoral reform, marijuana legalization, affordable housing and inheritance taxes) but since then the party has increasingly moved away from this and towards gimmicks that'are non-threatening towards the status quo.

I remember trying to convince my friends who voted Green to support Layton when he first appeared on the scene to switch their vote and they all agreed he was saying all the right things but they expressed doubt that the NDP was really sincere on these issues. I've since had to concede that they were correct on this. There was a foundation for the NDP to build on but whether they simply got impatient or never really cared is up for debate.

Aristotleded24

Thanks for your post, ottawaobserver. In terms of popular perceptions in Winnipeg and Brandon, while there was a general sense of malaise in Brandon, Katz has been an awful mayor for Winnipeg. There were [url=http://www.ourwinnipeg.org/2010/09/questions-remain-for-mayor-over-23300... around a tax giveaway to a business connected to the Winnipeg Goldeyes, of which Sam still chairs.[/url] His other major decision was to cancel rapid transit when he was first elected. Four years later, he announces that he is going to build a BRT corridor from downtown to the U of M. Unfortunately, these corridors can only be built halfway at a time, so before the first half of the corridor is complete, he says, "no more BRT, everything is going to be LRT from now on." Winnipeg has done several feasibility studies on rapid transit, and each one said to go with BRT. Forget all the left-wing reasons why rapid transit should be built, isn't waffling on that kind of decision bad business? Speaking of business, Judy received a score of 73% from the local Chamber of Commerce. Last go around, the progressive mayoral candidate Marianne Cerilli came in last. Judy was also endorsed by former mayor Bill Norrie. Norrie is a PC. I don't possibly see how you can more effectively run Winnipeg into the ground than what Sam Katz is doing.

You're right about drawing the wrong lessons. Judy or Shari declaring ahead of time their intentions to run is important on the municipal scene, while on the federal scene, we "know" that Jack Layton is running against Stephen Harper. The central point I wanted to draw out of my example was:

If you want to win, hit hard, give people a reason to vote for you, be specific, and don't be afraid of defending your ideas.

ottawaobserver

I'd agree with that.  And discipline, and organization.

David Young

ottawaobserver wrote:

I'd agree with that.  And discipline, and organization.

I agree, O.O.!

Here in South Shore-St. Margaret's, Gordon Earle was nominated more than a year ago and is becoming more and more familiar to the voters, plus a series of fund-raising events has put more than $10,000.00 into the riding association's election bank account; we'll be starting the next election campaign with financial resources that the NDP has never had before going into an election.

And having all 5 provincial constituencies elect New Democrats in the 2009 provincial election doesn't hurt either!

Election 2011?  Bring it on!

 

NorthReport

A24

Precisely my dear Watson.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

If you want to win, hit hard, give people a reason to vote for you, be specific, and don't be afraid of defending your ideas.

outwest

I'm in total agreement with This_Guy about the absolute need to work with Liberals.... at this time. The NDP could run the most charismatic, intelligent leader in the western world and it wouldn't make a shred of tangible difference to the final tally. The media, in favour of corporate business. will continue to sling its mud against the left, branding it "socialist" and "pinko communist" until we're all in the grave. The logical conclusion is that with such media bias, there's simply no way out of this mire but for the NDP to act far more strategically in the same the way European political parties do when backed into an impossible corner.   

Having said that, I believe Proportional Representation would have to be made the bottom-line, non=negotiable issue in exchange for such cooperation.

Pope Teddywang Pope Teddywang's picture

Too bad the party hasn't the nerve to call the establishment on the 9-11 thing.

 As long as you keep knuckling under and going along with it, they set the agenda and you are irrelevant.

NorthReport

Maybe unemployed Canadians, or Canadians in general are numbed out on drugs. Otherwise how can one explain why there isn't the rage here in Canada with comparable unemployment stats as the US. It is obvious the high unemployment rate was responsible for Obama's crash in the mid-term elections. The NDP if they are actually serious about doing well in the next election, needs to dump all the other crap, and I mean crap, and focus on jobs, and the economy. 

George Victor

The economy?Surprised

Please, let's hear some ideas.

NorthReport

Why does Germany have such a strong economy?

I know at least a few reasons:

One, and a very big one, is that are not a bunch of whiners like most Canadians. They roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

And they treat blue collar workers with respect that's spelt.........  R-E-S-P-E-C-T

They have a fabulous apprentice program, which leads to good paying jobs, and a strong economy, because they make things for export, wheras we just shovel our natural resources away to the higgest bidder. Unfortunately most Canadians just don't get it.

Look at Norway and how they have handled their oil & gas heritage fund compared to our dumb fuck Alberta governments.

99% of the world would give away their left arm for our Canadian resources and we just merrily piss them away.

NorthReport

What a golden opportunity here for the NDP.

 

 

http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20101103/deficit-page-10...

siamdave

George Victor wrote:

The economy?Surprised

Please, let's hear some ideas.

- I seem to be invisible to GV, but for anyone interested in ideas on the economy, and why we are in the mess we are in, and what needs to be done - lots here - What Happened? http://www.rudemacedon.ca/what-happened.html - I'd be interested in any thoughts as to any of the ideas herein are faulty ....

George Victor

Sounds like we should provide the education that would build a technically competent workforce, and demand that our offshore owners restore the apprenticeship programs that were found in all Canadian industry at war's end. (agreed)

Looks like we have to raise a ruckus, like the folks of Saskatchewan, when faced with the threat of resource sellout (a national responsibility...and we'll hear from Steve's industrial bat boy on the potash question today).

And how do we get industry to locate here and prosper?   Replicate the low corporate tax structure of the Scandinavian countries and train Canadian citizenry to bite the personal income tax bullet?

Get what's left of the organized workforce here to sit down with industry and government to PLAN together...like over there?

 

And there must be more, "whine-free" ideas...

 

George Victor

siamdave wrote:

George Victor wrote:

The economy?Surprised

Please, let's hear some ideas.

- I seem to be invisible to GV, but for anyone interested in ideas on the economy, and why we are in the mess we are in, and what needs to be done - lots here - What Happened? http://www.rudemacedon.ca/what-happened.html - I'd be interested in any thoughts as to any of the ideas herein are faulty ....

 

Please extract a few pertinent paragraphs for me, sd, and explain how they could be somehow slipped into the everyday life of  Canada's banking community, or otherwise made a part of the solution to our investment needs by the ordinary political processes...

George Victor

NorthReport wrote:

What a golden opportunity here for the NDP.

 

 

http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20101103/deficit-page-10...

 

And just how would the NDP do better than Jimmy Flaherty on the debt reduction schedule???????

NorthReport

What's with the left and deficit financing?

It's creates a friggin' nitemare and needs to be put to rest.

Rich people lend money, and poor people borrow money. Which side of the fence do you want to be on?

 

ygtbk

Evening Star wrote:

Our highest marginal income tax rate is under 30% right now.  That's very low.  It seems that we should be able to add two or three more brackets above that.  Is there any economic reason why we shouldn't?

If you roll in provincial taxes, the top marginal rate is mid-40's in most provinces:

http://www.moneysoftware.ca/Link_Exchange/PDF/CanadianRatesMTR.pdf

You're likely right that you could fit in another couple of brackets, but it becomes a tougher sell once the combined rate passes 50%.

George Victor

NorthReport wrote:

What's with the left and deficit financing?

It's creates a friggin' nitemare and needs to be put to rest.

Rich people lend money, and poor people borrow money. Which side of the fence do you want to be on?

 

 

If you study money flows...investments...you find it tends to follow the course of highest returns.  Even social democratic governments have discovered this.

siamdave

NorthReport wrote:

What's with the left and deficit financing?

It's creates a friggin' nitemare and needs to be put to rest.

Rich people lend money, and poor people borrow money. Which side of the fence do you want to be on?

- "the left" ???? Which government in Canada of the last 25 years would you be referring to? The Chretien-Martin team undertook the biggest spending cuts in Cdn history, bragging about rolling back social spending (as a % of gov spending) to levels not seen since the 50s .....

My question in response would be - why have so many people bought the rightwing garbage/fantasy that 'the left' are the 'tax and spend - deficit-debt creating monsters" - when any sane appraisal of what has been going on here the last 25 years shows exactly the opposite?

(I'm not indoctrinated, oh no, not me mama .... can't talk anymore right now, gotta go and see what's on tv ... )

siamdave

George Victor wrote:

siamdave wrote:

George Victor wrote:

The economy?Surprised

Please, let's hear some ideas.

- I seem to be invisible to GV, but for anyone interested in ideas on the economy, and why we are in the mess we are in, and what needs to be done - lots here - What Happened? http://www.rudemacedon.ca/what-happened.html - I'd be interested in any thoughts as to any of the ideas herein are faulty ....

Please extract a few pertinent paragraphs for me, sd, and explain how they could be somehow slipped into the everyday life of  Canada's banking community, or otherwise made a part of the solution to our investment needs by the ordinary political processes...

- please read the essay. If you think taking our country back from the capitalist overlords is going to be as simple as 'slipping' some magic bullet policy into the existing system, you're dreaming in spades. As, apparently, are most here who maintain a kind of intenional 'head in the sand' attitude when it comes to confronting the beast in our midst.

 

 

Evening Star

Yeah, Bob Rae aside, it's mostly Liberal and NDP governments (and Clinton in the US) who have managed, or at least come close to, balancing budgets while Conservatives and Republicans have been running ridiculous deficits.  Lastman vs Miller is another good example.

ottawaobserver

Brian Topp has addressed the general point in a blogpost today at the Globe Online:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/why-progressives-need-guns-in-populist-knife-fight/article1784064/

Brian Topp at the Globe online 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, rich tax cheats, speculators, and all the other geniuses who wrecked the world economy and put millions out of work, while pocketing the bailout money.

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.

There's more.  It's good.  He's obviously been thinking about it for awhile.

George Victor

All we have to do is advise those people who want exhorbitant returns on their recent capital investments in  Greece and Portugal, et. al. to ease up, have a heart, etc.,  and citizens of those countries can relax...again.

Brian Topp is morally heads and shoulders above those he reproaches...we just have to get to our pension fund managers and convince them that their investors don't  really want the best returns. The investment banks would be a harder sell, much like our Conservative-voting fellow citizen taxpayers.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Why does Germany have such a strong economy?

I know at least a few reasons:

One, and a very big one, is that are not a bunch of whiners like most Canadians. They roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

And they treat blue collar workers with respect that's spelt.........  R-E-S-P-E-C-T

They have a fabulous apprentice program, which leads to good paying jobs, and a strong economy, because they make things for export, wheras we just shovel our natural resources away to the higgest bidder. Unfortunately most Canadians just don't get it.

Look at Norway and how they have handled their oil & gas heritage fund compared to our dumb fuck Alberta governments.

99% of the world would give away their left arm for our Canadian resources and we just merrily piss them away.

You forgot positive involvement in the economy by the government.  The BC Ferries are a prime example. The government of Germany subsidized the contracts for the new ships as did the German unions.  Canadian firms were not even considered because the head of the Ferry Corp from NY doesn't think Canada has the workforce capable of building them.  The Cons are now waiving the tax on imports that used to at least make some things competitive.  Our economy is being run by Wall Street hedge funds and they are known world wide for asset stripping and environmental degradation.

JKR

Many people feel that they have no power to influence the political system. They see the parties as self-serving distant institutions. That's why incumbants are losing election after election. The voters have a lot that they dislike but not much that they like.

There are many progressives out there who want change but they don't see the NDP as a viable vehicle for change. If the NDP wants to really succeed it should become the kind of organization that draws progressives to their ranks, something like the Labour Party was like in the UK during their heyday.The NDP itself should be a microcosm of the society it wants to create. But the NDP is basically a top-down institution that progressives don't feel they have a voice in.

In this day of amazing interactive mass communication, the NDP could create a party that empowers the voices of progressive people within their organization.

If the NDP organizationally better reflected the progressive and democratic society it espouses, maybe an enthusiastic wave of support by progressive would follow?

ottawaobserver

I guess I'd be a little more sympathetic to that position, JKR (and it's not that I'm totally unsympathetic either), but I'd be more sympathetic if NDP members and supporters didn't demonstrate every single time that they'd rather shoot first and ask questions later.  Remember the discipline and organization part of the formula?

Not directed at you, I hasten to add.

George Victor

quote:

"In this day of amazing interactive mass communication, the NDP could create a party that empowers the voices of progressive people within their organization."

 

 

And, of course, the NDP is without progressive people at the moment, so, open up the ITT lines of communication and....

 

Brilliant thought. Guarantees chaos, but brilliant..

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

ottawaobserver wrote:

I guess I'd be a little more sympathetic to that position, JKR (and it's not that I'm totally unsympathetic either), but I'd be more sympathetic if NDP members and supporters didn't demonstrate that they'd rather shoot first and ask questions later.  Remember the discipline and organization part of the formula?

Not directed at you, I hasten to add.

You obviously spent too much time where back biting comments that can't quite be nailed down are a way of life.  You sir are really lousy at coalition building because of your insidious little slights. It really makes no difference who it is directed at it is that attitude that turns potential NDP supporters off. 

I thought it was you that keeps insisting that going over board with language just hurts the message. I'll remember that Ottawa should be in charge of discipline and organization especially discipline of any loudmouths who disagree with the "proper" party thought.  Geez go back to bragging about your paid employment on election campaigns.

ottawaobserver

Not a sir, sir.

KenS

Geez, I dont know where you dragged that out of what she said.

'Sirs' comments were directed at JKR. And I'll bet you an awful lot, he didnt read her reply the way you did.

JKR

George Victor wrote:

Brilliant thought. Guarantees chaos, but brilliant..

The organizational structure of the NDP is one of the few areas where the party has a lot of control over the outcome of its efforts. This is especially true since the party has never held power in Ottawa.

As the "ruler of their domain" the NDP has the power of a majority government when it comes to changing its own internal organization. The best advertising for the party might be showing the public how its own organization is an exempelary institution. By leading by example, the NDP could get a more traction with the voters. They'd be seen as walking the walk, as much as talking the talk that politicians are so known for.

Being a third party since its inception has probably led to feelings of incapacity to affect change, but the party does have the ability to re-envent itself even if it has only 37 seats in the H of C.

Maybe there has been too much focus externally and not enough internally? This is especially true during the last 6 years of minority governments where the party has to always be prepared for a snap election.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

KenS wrote:

Geez, I dont know where you dragged that out of what she said.

'Sirs' comments were directed at JKR. And I'll bet you an awful lot, he didnt read her reply the way you did.

I'd be more sympathetic if NDP members and supporters didn't demonstrate that they'd rather shoot first and ask questions later.

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