Forming a new party on the left - how to do it not whether to do it

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Sean in Ottawa
Forming a new party on the left - how to do it not whether to do it

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Aristotleded24

What are your thoughts about provincial sections for this party as well? Currently the NDP is a formation of provincial parties. Do we export the Quebec Solidaire model to the rest of the country? What about Alberta? Do we want to build a provincial presence in Alberta as well or leave Alberta to Notley for the time being?

Sean in Ottawa

It is a new year and we will have to move forward.

Clearly there are a lot of people in the NDP who are quite comfortable both with Mulcair and what the NDP now represents.

The NDP may have a purpose as a party slightly more activist in the role of government from a "middle class" perspective. It is pragmatic and so while it may be close to where I stand in some ways, we are now obviously far apart on values, principles and a perspective of the country.

As one New Democrat after another endorses Mulcair to stay on, I find that it makes less sense for me to consider myself within the NDP to challenge this direction and more sense to consider what kind of party would be a good fit. As I consider this, I cannot conclude that a party that embraces a "middle class" tax cut by voting for it in the House or one whose leader claimed to be there for the Middle class as his reason for being. This middle class tax cut that the NDP has now voted for has the middle class defined as around double the median income all the way up to the one percent when it comes to who gets the most. (Those at the median income get nothing and those between 110% and 200% of the median income get less than the max. Only those double the median income to 5 times the median income get the maximum amount.

Now I am not far left so the Communists etc. so they do not offer me what I would like to see.

I want to support a party that stands for social justice and equality. A party that is pro environment but understands that sustainability also means social sustainability. One that will propose solutions more wide-ranging and immediate than the NDP with more progressive tax policies and clear stances on the need for key social programs. This includes an expansion of medicare to eye-care, dental, pharmacare, homecare and long term care. It includes connecting tax rates to employment costs for business.

Now we may move to a PR system and I support that. If we don't we will be stuck with Liberal and Conservatives anyway with the Odd liberal dressed in Orange.

However, if we move to PR, there is no need to focus just on an NDP that is not connecting and, from a point of view of progress, barely committed and hardly effective.

We can produce a new party that represents something else. We should not make this a far left dogmatic party (those exist) but one of principle and close enough to the mainstream to be attractive without selling out.

We can work with the NDP if they want to work with us -- or the Lieberals for that matter -- should we ever elect anyone. Otherwise then let us propose and advocate and participate on the ground where we should and where the NDP no longer seems willing to tread.

So why not start with a statement of principle on what this party can stand for and follow that up with a plan to launch it by the next election?

I have no interest in a war with the NDP  -- they want to define themselves as happy with Mulcair or happy with his message to the middle class and only unhappy with the result. Fine. Let them be. They have a few things right but they don't represent what I do and I want to find out if others agree with me. So starting a party from a kitchen table -- who wants to participate?

This is a good alternative to a civil war within the NDP that may never be resolved or won. Let the NDP choose its direction. If the NDP does ever change direction and represent these things we can conser working more closely or even joining them. Otherwise they are a rival we can respect, even perhaps more than some of the others, but they are different.

And if you believe in PR, there is no reason a party like this would fragment any movement -- it would just provide another way to express it.

Sean in Ottawa

Aristotleded24 wrote:

What are your thoughts about provincial sections for this party as well? Currently the NDP is a formation of provincial parties. Do we export the Quebec Solidaire model to the rest of the country? What about Alberta? Do we want to build a provincial presence in Alberta as well or leave Alberta to Notley for the time being?

For now I would focus on a federal alternative. I don't think we need to either endorse or adopt the QS model but we can learn from it. I don't see the need for provincial parties at the moment and dividing the attention to multiple jurisdictions seems not productive. It is also possible that in some cases either a provincial NDP or QS may already serve what is needed or possible. However, at the national level I think a new voice is needed.

I would like to build an open membership -- no fees (although no other party members). And an open governance with a more modern use of technology to ensure that the platform and messages reflect members.

To that end, I do want a core set of principles that would be taken as essential foundations that people would have to agree to. Like a constitution. The constitution defines what the party is in broad terms -- after that the membership directs the specific policies.

The goal would be to run people in the next federal election with a platform for government.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Many of the political positions of this party would be in provincial jurisdiction. However, the approach would be as a federal party.

Extensions to medicare would be a proposal to expand the federal umbrella although it would encourage endorsement of the provincial parties and governments. Similarly, proposals on childcare, minimum wages would also be subject to jurisdiction.

A policy of increasing the focus on labour and environmental considerations and standards to international trade would also be central.

 

Geoff

I think it's premature to try to read the minds of the membership, the caucus, or even Mulcair, himself, whatever anyone is saying at the moment. For now, I'd like to see what transpires during the period leading up to convention and during convention, itself, then make up my mind about next steps.

All the policy suggestions, above, could be advanced at convention. If there's an appetite to take the party in a new direction, even with a new name, then great. If the message coming out of convention is 'more of the same, please', then we'll all decide either to continue the fight within the party or take the advice of some babblers and move on to 'greener' pastures.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I think this is a frighening thought. All that will happen is further fracturing of the left and entrechment of LPC dominance. The party will move back towards its roots; it may not have hit rock bottom yet. But the last thing I want is for the Libs too say, look at how fractured and extreme the left are. We are the only alternative.

This is where this kind of a movment would move things, and with it, the impositon of a two party system. Terrible idea! Sorry. But that is what this is. Terrible.

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

..the ccf grew out of struggle and via a coalition. podemos is a result the indignados as was syriza in greece. where is your connection to the community? 

eta..the focus now could be building up the movements. focus our resources and organizational skills towards them. from there just might come a party if that is what is needed.

I'm listening, epaulo... but those who see politics only in terms of partisan electoral politics - who see the need to form government and nothing more nor less than that - will not listen. Therefore, they will fail.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the ccf grew out of struggle and via a coalition. podemos is a result the indignados as was syriza in greece. where is your connection to the community? 

eta..the focus now could be building up the movements. focus our time, resources and organizational skills towards them. from there just might come a party if that is what is needed.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Unionist wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..the ccf grew out of struggle and via a coalition. podemos is a result the indignados as was syriza in greece. where is your connection to the community? 

eta..the focus now could be building up the movements. focus our resources and organizational skills towards them. from there just might come a party if that is what is needed.

I'm listening, epaulo... but those who see politics only in terms of partisan electoral politics - who see the need to form government and nothing more nor less than that - will not listen. Therefore, they will fail.

..this is a leap year, some will do that but some might change. i'm interested how creative babble can be in forming a party based on/from community. especially community struggles.

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

..this is a leap year, some will do that but some might change. i'm interested how creative babble can be in forming a party based on/from community. especially community struggles.

Agreed. I didn't mean to be universally pessimistic. But just look at how the conversation develops. You start with "let's form a party". Next question: "What should the platform items be?" Automatically, the party unity will be based on some abstract agreement or disagreement with some statement of principles, utterly divorced from real movement, which is where both the principles and the party (if that's where it ends up) need to emerge from.

Cart - meet horse - behind you.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..that's what i read as well. that's not going to fly.

 

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

..the ccf grew out of struggle and via a coalition. podemos is a result the indignados as was syriza in greece. where is your connection to the community? 

eta..the focus now could be building up the movements. focus our time, resources and organizational skills towards them. from there just might come a party if that is what is needed.

I am not sure I understand your question. Which community do you mean?

I feel that there should be a political expression for what many in these movements aspire to and if the NDP does not want to be that then we need an alternate.

These movements are already existing. Neither they nor a start-up politcal party leave much spare time for the other. I have at various times been involved with both non-partisan and partisan movements I could not imagine doing a lot of both at the same time.

I also disagree that a party will just happen naturally. At some point someone has to say let's go.

A political party comes form people saying the present options are not enough and reaching out to gather others to create something. They each can be formed based on local triggers.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..the ccf grew out of struggle and via a coalition. podemos is a result the indignados as was syriza in greece. where is your connection to the community? 

eta..the focus now could be building up the movements. focus our time, resources and organizational skills towards them. from there just might come a party if that is what is needed.

I am not sure I understand your question. Which community do you mean?

I feel that there should be a political expression for what many in these movements aspire to and if the NDP does not want to be that then we need an alternate.

These movements are already existing. Neither they nor a start-up politcal party leave much spare time for the other. I have at various times been involved with both non-partisan and partisan movements I could not imagine doing a lot of both at the same time.

I also disagree that a party will just happen naturally. At some point someone has to say let's go.

A political party comes form people saying the present options are not enough and reaching out to gather others to create something. They each can be formed based on local triggers.

 

sean

..at the time of the ccf it was a coalition of unions, farmers, women, left parties. those communities provided leadership in the struggles at the time. their decision to form the ccf was a tool used to further their interests. today it's quebec students, que struggle against austerity, first nation struggles, climate and anti pipeline struggles. a systems change. this is some of the struggles that are playing a leadership role in how this will play out. 

..i did not say a party will happen happen eventually i said if it is needed. meaning it is not written in stone that the governing structures that are in place today will follow us into the future. so now we make the movements strong so they are able to make healthy decisions on what our future needs.

Aristotleded24

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I don't see the need for provincial parties at the moment and dividing the attention to multiple jurisdictions seems not productive. It is also possible that in some cases either a provincial NDP or QS may already serve what is needed or possible. However, at the national level I think a new voice is needed.

That's a logistical issue right there. Who do you imagine will form the bulk of this new party? Is it not current NDP supporters who are frustrated with the way things are going? Remember that the provincial sections ban their members from membership or supporting another party, and convincing people to dump their provincial NDP membership cards to build up a new federal party from scratch will not be an easy sell.

Sean in Ottawa

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I don't see the need for provincial parties at the moment and dividing the attention to multiple jurisdictions seems not productive. It is also possible that in some cases either a provincial NDP or QS may already serve what is needed or possible. However, at the national level I think a new voice is needed.

That's a logistical issue right there. Who do you imagine will form the bulk of this new party? Is it not current NDP supporters who are frustrated with the way things are going? Remember that the provincial sections ban their members from membership or supporting another party, and convincing people to dump their provincial NDP membership cards to build up a new federal party from scratch will not be an easy sell.

Interesting point. I don't have an imediate answer. What do NDP members involved nationally with the Liberal party do?

Perhaps this is being over thought. Many of these may be NDP supporters who are not members or people willing to let NDP membership go provincially knowing they can still donate or support them but still be part of something new. I am not sure that this needs to have a huge membership at the start as that can come. Provincial ND parties may find that this is another reason to break the connection with the Federal party if they are losing members to a party that does nto exist provincially.

I do suspect there are a lot of people who want to make a change and I think it would be interesting to offer them that and see just how interested they are.

What is the minimum financing to start?

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..the ccf grew out of struggle and via a coalition. podemos is a result the indignados as was syriza in greece. where is your connection to the community? 

eta..the focus now could be building up the movements. focus our time, resources and organizational skills towards them. from there just might come a party if that is what is needed.

I am not sure I understand your question. Which community do you mean?

I feel that there should be a political expression for what many in these movements aspire to and if the NDP does not want to be that then we need an alternate.

These movements are already existing. Neither they nor a start-up politcal party leave much spare time for the other. I have at various times been involved with both non-partisan and partisan movements I could not imagine doing a lot of both at the same time.

I also disagree that a party will just happen naturally. At some point someone has to say let's go.

A political party comes form people saying the present options are not enough and reaching out to gather others to create something. They each can be formed based on local triggers.

 

sean

..at the time of the ccf it was a coalition of unions, farmers, women, left parties. those communities provided leadership in the struggles at the time. their decision to form the ccf was a tool used to further their interests. today it's quebec students, que struggle against austerity, first nation struggles, climate and anti pipeline struggles. a systems change. this is some of the struggles that are playing a leadership role in how this will play out. 

..i did not say a party will happen happen eventually i said if it is needed. meaning it is not written in stone that the governing structures that are in place today will follow us into the future. so now we make the movements strong so they are able to make healthy decisions on what our future needs.

Like I say, I do not think that this will happen even if it is needed as an outgrowth of other movements. I think it gets created and then relates to those movements. I see no reason why it has to come form them or even can be counted on to come from them if needed.

MegB

Excellent thread. What form of PR would this party endorse?

lagatta

Québec solidaire certainly endorses PR, but I forget the form.

R.E.Wood

If Mulcair is entrenched, then the NDP is redundant: just another Liberal party. If that's the case, and a revolt from within is not forthcoming, then I agree with Sean that a new party of the left is required. My vote already left the NDP in the last election, and will not return while Mulciar is there.

 

terrytowel

Arthur Cramer wrote:

The party will move back towards its roots; it may not have hit rock bottom yet. But the last thing I want is for the Libs too say, look at how fractured and extreme the left are. We are the only alternative.

On the Sunday Talk panel show last night one of  the panelists said a story to watch for in 2016 is the increase in poverty. With Trudeau focusing on the middle class, there is space to focus on people living in poverty. The increase in food bank use, seniors on fixed incomes, people living under the poverty line, lack of affordable housing.

For all the talk of income inequality, no one was talking about poverty issues and hunger in Canada,

Though Justin Trudeau campaign pledged families with children an enhamced tax-free, monthly Canada Child Benefit worth up to $533 a month per child. Which he says would lift millions of kids out of child poverty in Canada.

But we could do ALOT more. This is where the NDP could shine by focusing on poverty issues. Which the NDP has always done, but they could redouble their efforts of speaking to the working class, Contrasting themselves with the Liberals who have only spoken about the middle class.

terrytowel

The whole basis of the NPI was to put the Environment front and center and moblize a rainbow coalition.

Minorities, lgbtq community, single mothers, students, seniors, the disabled, the marginalized, the homeless, the lower income, union groups. IN addition to activists from environmental, peace, feminist groups, anti-poverty and anti-globalization movements.

That might be the way for the NDP to move towards. Going back to the NPI.

Northern PoV

Let's see how the battle against FPTP goes before starting yet another potential vote splitter. 

imho, a much better strategy can be found here:

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2016/01/04/New-Dems-Outsmart-Liberals/

And this bit in particular:

"Getting to such a position will require patience and honesty. The NDP should stand for solutions, not just for election. If voters reject you, study your electorate and sell your solution better. Change your policies when the facts change, not just to sound more like the other guys, as you've been doing since the 1970s. That's playing the right wing's game, on their turf, and accepting their limits of acceptable debate."

The Overton Window aurgument.

swallow

The UFP, one of the forerunenrs to Quebec Solidaire, merged several left parties (the Greens stayed out). Would a new party include the Communist party, for instance, or start from scratch? 

QS also drew on a new party, Option Cotiyenne, formed on feminist principles. An ecofeminist party for Canada could be an interesting experiment. 

Could the Green movement be a basis for a party of this nature? 

Slumberjack

How does a new party of the left avoid becoming entirely useless to the causes of the left, just like the NDP?

lagatta

Slumberjack, I'm very critical of the NDP and especially of the path it has taken in recent years, but it certainly hasn't been entirely useless. There wouldn't be a Canada-wide public healthcare plan without the efforts of the CCF in Saskatchewan, and I'm sure we can think of other times the CCF and later the NDP have successfully pushed for social progress.

terrytowel: growing poverty and growing precarity. A growing number of households (families, couples, friends/roommates and single people) where people are working but still increasingly poor. Lots of such people in Papineau riding.

swallow, the Greens remained outside, but at the time the Québec Greens weren't especially progressive and had some dubious policies, such as social assistance "in kind". There is a new team at the helm and they declare themselves ecosocialist. The only real difference remaining between the Greens and QS is the national queston; the Greens are neutral on it or don't mention it. What remains of the Communist Party (not much, I believe) is in QS because they had been one of the groups that merged to found the PDS and later, the UFP. Yes, Option citoyenne has had an important feminist impact on the party. I think the fusion of the two sensibilities has prevented QS from being simply "old left".

Debater

I don't think the Greens are neutral on the National Question.

They are obviously in favour of a united Canada and are federalists.

As for Québec Solidaire, if they want to be a mainstream socialist party that expands their reach to other progressive voices, it would be wise for them to also move towards a Québec which remains part of Canada.

Sean in Ottawa

Strange that people who claim to endorse PR argue against this as a vote splitter.

With any of the electoral reform a new party is not a problem. Even the runoff -- this would not make the present situation any worse. With PR there is no issue at all.

This is only a vote splitter if you presume no electoral reform of any kind. Is that your position?

As for Meg's question -- I am proposing somethign that does not exist. I would want to define it with a number of values including respect for all votes but when it comes to specifics like which form of PR, this would be up to a membership that does not yet exist.

lagatta

The Parti vert du Québec says nothing publicly about the national question. I have no idea what they think in private.

Why are you trying to tell QS what view to take on an issue when the stance taken was debated at length and adopted democraticlaly by the membership? It is none of your business.

Sean in Ottawa

Arthur Cramer wrote:

I think this is a frighening thought. All that will happen is further fracturing of the left and entrechment of LPC dominance. The party will move back towards its roots; it may not have hit rock bottom yet. But the last thing I want is for the Libs too say, look at how fractured and extreme the left are. We are the only alternative.

This is where this kind of a movment would move things, and with it, the impositon of a two party system. Terrible idea! Sorry. But that is what this is. Terrible.

The NDP does not deserve space on the electoral map if it does not apporach that space with principles. The recent behaviour of the party suggests that it is not a reliable vehicle for the aspirations of people who want change and it cannot be relied on to be effective. If anything the birth of a new party will either make the NDP collapse to give way to something better or for it to wake up and stop taking its members and supporters for granted. Either is an improvment.

What is terrible is the current betrayal that is taking up space on the political  spectrum.

When I hear more and more NDP members, MPs and supporters endorse Mulcair and his direction, there is no reason to be sentimental about what the NDP was or pretends to be. It is about what it is and what it promotes which is not even left enough to be considered left Liberal. Voting Liberal might work for some people but it does not work for me. Voting for an orange-coloured Liberal is not enough of an improvement.

Mulcair stated he was here for the Middle class. Bully for him but that is not a vision I will support again. I have been proud to vote NDP many times. I voted NDP in October but there was no pride due to what Mulcair said he stood for. Now he votes for the Liberal "middle class" tax cut that goes mostly to the top 10% of earners.The NDP caucus has proven itself to be spineless and is supporting Mulcair in this.

I am not leaving the NDP -- it left the building already and is as dead as Elvis.

MegB

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am not leaving the NDP -- it left the building already and is as dead as Elvis.

That pretty much echoes how I'm feeling about the party. I held my nose and voted for them last fall but I feel too disenfranchised to do so again. I'd welcome the creation of a new left party that better represented my values and opinions.

Geoff

MegB wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am not leaving the NDP -- it left the building already and is as dead as Elvis.

That pretty much echoes how I'm feeling about the party. I held my nose and voted for them last fall but I feel too disenfranchised to do so again. I'd welcome the creation of a new left party that better represented my values and opinions.

I think there are a lot of leftist voters who feel the same way. However, I'm going to withold judgement until the convention in April. If things turn out as you fear, we'll all have choices to make. 

Sean in Ottawa

Geoff wrote:

MegB wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am not leaving the NDP -- it left the building already and is as dead as Elvis.

That pretty much echoes how I'm feeling about the party. I held my nose and voted for them last fall but I feel too disenfranchised to do so again. I'd welcome the creation of a new left party that better represented my values and opinions.

I think there are a lot of leftist voters who feel the same way. However, I'm going to withold judgement until the convention in April. If things turn out as you fear, we'll all have choices to make. 

I feel that by showing an intention to do this now -- and even discuss the preliminary set up for it -- this will serve notice on the NDP that they cannot take former supporters who would never go Liberal for granted. Then, if they keep Mulcair and this direction anyway -- pull the plug the next day and launch.

The "one more chance"  -- they got it already -- it was the general election and a lot of people without another option voted for them while others abandonned them.  If the election result did not make it clear that this was likely to come then what will?

I would certainly hold off preparation if the NDP caucus would revolt and refuse to vote along the lines of Mulcair's neo-Liberal agenda or even if the party would make sure all members got a vote electronically rather than a convention floor show.

Without any MPs standing up to say this is the wrong direction, what exactly are we waiting for?

Perhpas these MPs are waiting to see something from the grass roots to indicate that there is opposition to Mulcair. Let's show them that we walk if he stays.

Otherwise we can discuss chicken and egg scenarios for the next decade.

Start the party and let them come to us and say they want the NDP to head in a new direction. All I hear so far is how the powers in the party think they are on the right track. Delusional the bunch of them.

eastnoireast

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

 

Like I say, I do not think that this will happen even if it is needed as an outgrowth of other movements. I think it gets created and then relates to those movements. I see no reason why it has to come form them or even can be counted on to come from them if needed.

well, because those movements are the new party's supposed constituents; the implicit suggestion is that the new party would take up their cause/s within the electoral politics arena.  it's kinda a basic premise of democracy, no?  that elected representative flow from/are connected to/ are of the communities they represent?

plus, you need them.

 

Sean in Ottawa

eastnoireast wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

 

Like I say, I do not think that this will happen even if it is needed as an outgrowth of other movements. I think it gets created and then relates to those movements. I see no reason why it has to come form them or even can be counted on to come from them if needed.

well, because those movements are the new party's supposed constituents; the implicit suggestion is that the new party would take up their cause/s within the electoral politics arena.  it's kinda a basic premise of democracy, no?  that elected representative flow from/are connected to/ are of the communities they represent?

plus, you need them.

I have no interest in chicken or egg arguments. The NDP is supposed to be the vehicle for all these people but it is betraying them. There is no need to wait for some organic creation -- there is a need for people who desire this political option to create it. Those relationships get earned as you take positions and follow through on them over time.

There is nothing wrong about having a vision and creating a party to reflect that. There is no need to wait for people who are activists in individual issues to produce a party in their spare time or to wait until everyone all together decides it is time. You create it and you build from it. It does not have to be huge at the start. It just has to start with principles and a structure that is both democratic and in keeping with the values of those whose support you want.

The argument you are putting forward is an argument to do nothing. I am not a Liberal and the most basic democratic function is to vote and if you ahve nothing to vote for create soemthing with other people.

Most modern parties started at kitchen tables and among friends. If you want to wait for some organic outgrowth of some particular activist organization as your endorsement then you can sit it out. That is your right of course.

NDPP

There will never be an active and dynamic Canadian 'left' with a putrefying NDP included.

Unionist

eastnoireast wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

 

Like I say, I do not think that this will happen even if it is needed as an outgrowth of other movements. I think it gets created and then relates to those movements. I see no reason why it has to come form them or even can be counted on to come from them if needed.

well, because those movements are the new party's supposed constituents; the implicit suggestion is that the new party would take up their cause/s within the electoral politics arena.  it's kinda a basic premise of democracy, no?  that elected representative flow from/are connected to/ are of the communities they represent?

plus, you need them.

 Agreed. Democracy is about much more than casting a secret ballot every few years.

Maybe we need a thread - or a forum - that looks at the current state of various mass movements; discusses how they can be strengthened and broadened; how they can cooperate; and how they can influence electoral politics. All these things are happening right now, to a greater or lesser extent. And in my opinion, they matter much more in the making of history than a group of individuals getting together in a (real or virtual) room and agreeing on a statement of principles and a constitution.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..fantastic idea unionist. we could explore participitory democracy. how we can build new democratic structures at a grass roots level.

jjuares

MegB wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am not leaving the NDP -- it left the building already and is as dead as Elvis.

That pretty much echoes how I'm feeling about the party. I held my nose and voted for them last fall but I feel too disenfranchised to do so again. I'd welcome the creation of a new left party that better represented my values and opinions.


I worked in two campaigns this election. Both the candidates I worked for were fine individuals who were in politics for the right reasons. One was an aboriginal activist and the other an environmental activist. I was thoroughly disgusted with the leadership of the party on both matters of principle as well as tactics. I always keep in mind that once you get beyond the leadership there are many fine people in this party. However, if there aren't wholsale changes including the leadership but not simply restricted to that area, I will probably sit out the next few years. As a socialist I believe the other parties are beyond redemption or consideration so I will be stuck voting for them unless we have PR and a viable left option.

Sean in Ottawa

jjuares wrote:
MegB wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am not leaving the NDP -- it left the building already and is as dead as Elvis.

That pretty much echoes how I'm feeling about the party. I held my nose and voted for them last fall but I feel too disenfranchised to do so again. I'd welcome the creation of a new left party that better represented my values and opinions.

I worked in two campaigns this election. Both the candidates I worked for were fine individuals who were in politics for the right reasons. One was an aboriginal activist and the other an environmental activist. I was thoroughly disgusted with the leadership of the party on both matters of principle as well as tactics. I always keep in mind that once you get beyond the leadership there are many fine people in this party. However, if there aren't wholsale changes including the leadership but not simply restricted to that area, I will probably sit out the next few years. As a socialist I believe the other parties are beyond redemption or consideration so I will be stuck voting for them unless we have PR and a viable left option.

The responsibility of those fine people is to take a stand now.

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

eastnoireast wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

 

Like I say, I do not think that this will happen even if it is needed as an outgrowth of other movements. I think it gets created and then relates to those movements. I see no reason why it has to come form them or even can be counted on to come from them if needed.

well, because those movements are the new party's supposed constituents; the implicit suggestion is that the new party would take up their cause/s within the electoral politics arena.  it's kinda a basic premise of democracy, no?  that elected representative flow from/are connected to/ are of the communities they represent?

plus, you need them.

 Agreed. Democracy is about much more than casting a secret ballot every few years.

Maybe we need a thread - or a forum - that looks at the current state of various mass movements; discusses how they can be strengthened and broadened; how they can cooperate; and how they can influence electoral politics. All these things are happening right now, to a greater or lesser extent. And in my opinion, they matter much more in the making of history than a group of individuals getting together in a (real or virtual) room and agreeing on a statement of principles and a constitution.

Perhaps we differ on how tightly connected these movements must be to each other and/or to a political party. I think they serve best when the alliances are loosely based on strategic agreements on individual issues. I do not see a need for these movements to necessarily associate to any particular party nor a party to them. There is value in the independence of these movements in part this allows cross party participation in movements as well as the ability for those movements to provide specific oversight of the policies of parties from an arms-length position.

I think people in politics should relate to these movements on an ongoing basis but I do not think that the movements should or need to create the political options.

That said a political party must, within its political perspective andprinciples, adapt to the movements as well as public voices so I do not suggest a party be tone deaf to what is happenign on the ground but that it establish its own membership rather than a forced marraige of memberships of other movements as the democratic basis. As such I do not think that a splinter from one party trying to form a new party must be an outgrowth of any particular movement. Rather it should instead be aware of them, welcome their ideas as much as possible and provide a political option that they may or may not (as each chooses) want to associate with either individually as people, as groups or more broadly as coalitions. I see none of that as essential to the initial formation. Trying to find agreement in advance of a party being established to me would present an obstacle as organization will presently have immediate concerns and interests that make such changes of loyalties problematic and unrealistic. As well ther eis no need to exclude those movements that may want to promote those ideas to parties without being tied to them directly.

These movements are essential but the direct connections to parties, in my view, are not essential. Each party has to have a fundamental transparency and direct connection to its members and that is more important than anything else and it is also what is presently missing in my point of view. I also believe that the relationship between movements and parties would be stronger with this greater connection between the parties and their own members who will often participate in organizations. You let the individuals be the bridges.

So I do not see either a need or benefit in having a new political party grow out of popular movements in the manner being proposed here.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..here are 2 examples of participitory democracy. if it was electoral democracy the decision would have been made elsewhere for very different reasons.

Tsawwassen becomes latest First Nation to reject LNG

Members of the Tsawwassen First Nation rejected plans for an LNG terminal on their lands near the ferry terminal 74-65 yesterday. “As a consequence of this result, TFN will not be moving forward with any additional discussion regarding this proposed LNG concept,” notes a media advisory issued by the band.

The plan in question was for an LNG plant, situated on an 80-acre waterfront plot designated for industrial use, that would have produced 3-5 million tonnes a year for export.

The vote saw just shy of a 50% turnout from TFN members, including some from off-reserve. Said Chief Bryce Williams on the result:

"With today’s vote, TFN Members have made the decision that the proposed LNG concept on Tsawwassen Lands is not one they support, and therefore we will not be pursuing it any further."

In his comments on CBC radio this morning, Chief Williams acknowledged that concerns over where the gas for LNG would come from and its impacts on northeast BC through the fracking process were a key factor in the community’s decision to turn down the plant....

....

B.C. First Nation Rejects $1-Billion LNG Deal In 3rd And Final Vote

Members of a First Nation in northwestern British Columbia have rejected a $1.15-billion deal that would have paved the way for a liquefied natural gas terminal to be built in their traditional territory.

The Lax Kw'alaams say their stance is about more than just money.

Members voted against the Pacific NorthWest LNG project during three separate community meetings, the last of which was held Tuesday evening in Vancouver.

"Hopefully the public will recognize that unanimous consensus ... sends an unequivocal message," said the band's Mayor Garry Reece in a statement issued Wednesday. "This is not a money issue: this is environmental and cultural."

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

..here are 2 examples of participitory democracy. if it was electoral democracy the decision would have been made elsewhere for very different reasons.

Tsawwassen becomes latest First Nation to reject LNG

Members of the Tsawwassen First Nation rejected plans for an LNG terminal on their lands near the ferry terminal 74-65 yesterday. “As a consequence of this result, TFN will not be moving forward with any additional discussion regarding this proposed LNG concept,” notes a media advisory issued by the band.

The plan in question was for an LNG plant, situated on an 80-acre waterfront plot designated for industrial use, that would have produced 3-5 million tonnes a year for export.

The vote saw just shy of a 50% turnout from TFN members, including some from off-reserve. Said Chief Bryce Williams on the result:

"With today’s vote, TFN Members have made the decision that the proposed LNG concept on Tsawwassen Lands is not one they support, and therefore we will not be pursuing it any further."

In his comments on CBC radio this morning, Chief Williams acknowledged that concerns over where the gas for LNG would come from and its impacts on northeast BC through the fracking process were a key factor in the community’s decision to turn down the plant....

....

B.C. First Nation Rejects $1-Billion LNG Deal In 3rd And Final Vote

Members of a First Nation in northwestern British Columbia have rejected a $1.15-billion deal that would have paved the way for a liquefied natural gas terminal to be built in their traditional territory.

The Lax Kw'alaams say their stance is about more than just money.

Members voted against the Pacific NorthWest LNG project during three separate community meetings, the last of which was held Tuesday evening in Vancouver.

"Hopefully the public will recognize that unanimous consensus ... sends an unequivocal message," said the band's Mayor Garry Reece in a statement issued Wednesday. "This is not a money issue: this is environmental and cultural."

And this was not embedded in a national party -- right?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..not sure what you mean sean

..what i'm trying to say it is possible to change the way decisions are made. current structures make decisions on an every decreasing number of people. at the end of that is a totally corrupted system that can be easily controlled externally. it is possible to create a new world inside the old. but we need different structures becuase the ones we have are oppresssing us.

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

..not sure what you mean sean

..what i'm trying to say it is possible to change the way decisions are made. current structures make decisions on an every decreasing number of people. at the end of that is a totally corrupted system that can be easily controlled externally. it is possible to create a new world inside the old. but we need different structures becuase the ones we have are oppresssing us.

I am not disagreeing with working out of the political system -- in fact I am arguing that a prospective political party does not need to and should not attempt to co-op individual non-partisan movements. I think the attempt would fail and it would do dmage both to the project of a new party and to the movements themselves. As well the idea of broad-based cooperation and unity is not a good one. Individual efforts must be independent and draw what they can from everywhere. Requiring some kind of over-arching agreement will prevent progress rather than help it.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..not sure what you mean sean

..what i'm trying to say it is possible to change the way decisions are made. current structures make decisions on an every decreasing number of people. at the end of that is a totally corrupted system that can be easily controlled externally. it is possible to create a new world inside the old. but we need different structures becuase the ones we have are oppresssing us.

I am not disagreeing with working out of the political system -- in fact I am arguing that a prospective political party does not need to and should not attempt to co-op individual non-partisan movements. I think the attempt would fail and it would do dmage both to the project of a new party and to the movements themselves. As well the idea of broad-based cooperation and unity is not a good one. Individual efforts must be independent and draw what they can from everywhere. Requiring some kind of over-arching agreement will prevent progress rather than help it.

..i am suggesting there is another way to go. what you are suggesting is premature. this would need to be discussed with the party members. to be honest i don't understand the space that is not part of the movements yet on the left. nor do i know much about it.

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..not sure what you mean sean

..what i'm trying to say it is possible to change the way decisions are made. current structures make decisions on an every decreasing number of people. at the end of that is a totally corrupted system that can be easily controlled externally. it is possible to create a new world inside the old. but we need different structures becuase the ones we have are oppresssing us.

I am not disagreeing with working out of the political system -- in fact I am arguing that a prospective political party does not need to and should not attempt to co-op individual non-partisan movements. I think the attempt would fail and it would do dmage both to the project of a new party and to the movements themselves. As well the idea of broad-based cooperation and unity is not a good one. Individual efforts must be independent and draw what they can from everywhere. Requiring some kind of over-arching agreement will prevent progress rather than help it.

..i am suggesting there is another way to go. what you are suggesting is premature. this would need to be discussed with the party members. to be honest i don't understand the space that is not part of the movements yet on the left. nor do i know much about it.

Well we can leave it there with a disagreement. In some ways I think this is overdue. But there is no obligation to any kind of timing no permission is required to start a party and if one is started too early it just might take longer to flourish. If people want to support such a thing they will and there is no point saying don't do it. Personally I think there are a lot of people who want to vote but have nothing to vote for now. This alone is a reason.

I consider it a mattrer of civic duty to either vote for somethign or advocate for a new choice. We don't have to agree but I consider voting to be an essential part of democratic process and that if you feel you have nothing to vote for then you must create something rather than not vote. Others disagree with me but I won't be a hypocrite on this: I believe you must find something to support.

I also have no problem with being mindlful of the electoral system. If this was the last FPTP election there is nothing to be afraid of. If the Liebrals break their promise then a new party can decide when it wants to field candidates and under what conditions. And one consideration remains and I don't think just for me: the Mulcair NDP is not an option so having another choice simply enables a vote. It might even direct attention and discussion to issues that need to be discussed and perhaps if the NDP is worried about splitting it would push them to better action. But overall, it is hard to see how this cannot be a postive thing.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

to be honest i don't understand the space that is not part of the movements yet on the left. nor do i know much about it.

..this  might sound like an accusation and i didn't mean it to be. but i don't understand what you are trying to help build sean so i'm poking around trying to get more meat on what the thinking is. 

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

to be honest i don't understand the space that is not part of the movements yet on the left. nor do i know much about it.

..this  might sound like an accusation and i didn't mean it to be. but i don't understand what you are trying to help build sean so i'm poking around trying to get more meat on what the thinking is. 

Well I don't have time to repeat all I said building up to this-- I have been specific in terms of policies and rhetoric (middle class). I have stated that there is a vacuume left as the NDP does not live up to its principles. I think I have already stated it clearly enough. I reject the notion that it has to be joined directly or formally to other movements as that is not what parties are for.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i would like you to respond to my posts about participitory democracy.  being a better vehical than electoral democracy in both protecting ourselves from the ravages of capital and making our country more democratic.

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