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Hello there,

My name is Brian and I live in Debert, Nova Scotia. Some of you may know me from Twitter. Basically, my story is that I was a member of the NDP from around 2001 until 2006, then I joined the Liberal Party from 2006 until 2011 when I came back to the NDP.

I guess I'd be on the right of the NDP. I'm a strong defender of Israel and Jewish rights, I believe that the Senate should be reformed not abolished, I don't agree with straight PR, I have an iffy opinion of unions and I tend toward traditional social values. But what brought me to the NDP in the first place, and the reason I returned this past year, is the belief in social justice and equality for all Canadians. When I examine all the parties out there, only the NDP consistently comes up as looking out for working Canadians, families, children and seniors.

I look forward to productive discussion with you all.


Welcome there.

Debert, eh? We don't live any more than about 50km apart.

[And tangent: how did a nice Jewish boy end up in Debert? Not just Jewish, but obvioulsy very Jewish identifying. It's not really a question- so you would only 'answer' if you want to get more into your biography.]

There are lots of different kinds of people on babble. But that said, you are in a few ways 'non-standard' for the joint. Babble is not an NDP board. Obviously there are many NDP members/identifiers here- we are going on 8,000 posts in 4 months about the leadership race, and that is with a lot of Dippers not having the patience or interest to read all of that, let alone post. But we are not representative of the NDP. Not surprisingly, as individuals we are closer to what the hypothetical 'avergae Babbler' is like than the 'average Dipper'.

You will quickly run into a very rough ride here if you ever even implicitly equate 'defender of Israel' with 'defender of Jewish rights'. They are not the same thing, and you'll get nothing but hostility here if you try to argue the point.

In fact, if you are truly interested in having some place to discuss social justice issues and the NDP, you really ought to stay ENTIRELY away from discussions about Israel and Palestine.... and probably any discussion to do with the Middle East.

I dont even read discussions on those topics myself, let alone participate in them. And I am a life long strong defender of Palestinian rights and aspirations, and therefore smack in the mainstream here. But the 'discussions' are just too toxic for my tastes, so I don't go there. [And just in case you are wondering, Babblers who are Jewish are among the most passionate defenders of Palestinian rights and aspirations. Hopefully that is no surprise to you.]

Being skeptical of unions isn't going to win you any friends around here. But that inclination is not unusual here. And questioning and discussions that include those points of view do happen, and are civil.... albeit with some pointy reminders you are in a minority on that. And there are a number of strong trade unionists who like the opportunity to discuss and engage around skepticism that we know is common even among Dippers, let alone among the general population.

If you get some snarls for what you say, take it as tentative. Follow-up comments are not necessarily going to be like the first reaction. Vice versa as well, of course.

I've never really thought about this before- its good advice for myself and all of us-

you will learn more from being here if you dont take it too seriously.


That caveat notwithstanding that we babbler Dippers are not representative of the NDP....

I doubt you will find a more representative discussion anywhere in the NDP.

That is not the reason I came here originaly [I have actually 'only' been around here 4 years], but it is a big reason I have stuck around.

Maybe this is similar to you. [Though Debert is a metropolis compared to Minasville on the Noel Shore.] But my circumstances are too isolated to have 'organic political discussions' as frequently as I was accustomed to before I came here 20 years ago.


Very thoughtful comments, Ken.