Sunday, August 16, 2015

A "Must Read" from Canadian Dimension. The Ugly Face of Today's New Democratic Party.

It's probably too late for New Democrats to reclaim their party but at least they need to grasp how degraded it has become under their leader, Tommy Angry Beard.

They can start with two terrific articles from Canadian Dimension.

First up: Yves Engler's fine piece, "The 'N' in NDP Now Stands for NeoLiberal."

And next there's Richard Swift's, "Death of a Candidacy."

Tom Mulcair in completing what Jack Layton began has now Blairified the New Democratic Party. The New Dem faithful are clinging to a delusion that their party remains social democrat, somewhere to the left of centre. That's nonsense.

What do Mike Duffy and Tom Mulcair have in common?  1. They both chose parties they thought would float their boat.  2. Neither one of them truly did their respective parties any good.


zoombats said...

Yeah but what choice do we have?

Anonymous said...

By chance I have just read the article and it scares the shit out of me.
Living in Nanaimo where a split vote could mean a shitty Conservative candidate win I am caught between a rock and a hard place.
For fucks sake we do not want a TONY BLAIR.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Zoombats, at this point I don't know, I honestly don't. It's too close to the election to do anything, I suppose. There are a number of people who think we need to form another party of the Left, one that reflected the interests, concerns and needs of blue collar and white collar Canadians, organized labour and the poor. There was a time when those people could look to the party of Tommy Douglas but that's about over.

@ Anon, I get your predicament. Just look at the mess Labour is in today. A left-winger is making a dark horse bid for the leadership and the right is mobilized to do everything they can to stop him. Blair has weighed in, so too has that dismal failure, Brown. They'll do anything they can to prevent Labour becoming 'labour' again.

The political spectrum is shrinking at a dangerous rate. Everything is moving powerfully to the Right. The voters don't see alternatives, just slightly different grey suits stuffed with wet cardboard.

I personally find the Greens the most progressive party of the lot. So too does James Laxer and he carries some weight with the Canadian Left or what remains of it. Whether it's the atrocities in Gaza or C-51, Elizabeth May doesn't wait to see which way the wind is blowing. She stands up for what's right and she backs it up with clear and compelling reasons.

Anonymous said...

The only thing consistent about the Angry Mound is his hatred of the NDP.

Notice that he's perfectly Ok with the neoliberal ideology that the Green party platform is founded on. (Preston Manning green for the fail.)

The Mound of Sound said...

Interesting, Anon, that you have no dispute with either of those articles. I'll take that as your admission that they're accurate - and they are.

Thanks for playing.

Purple library guy said...

Well, I've more or less given up talking about this subject around here. But maybe there's still room for a position with more than one note.
OK, first, the whole thing about turfing a candidate for less-than-complete support of Israel is putrid, and I've been dead set against Mulcair's position on Israel since before he was elected leader; it's a key reason why I put a number of people ahead of him on my ballot. So I can agree about that.

Second, the NDP is . . . kind of a little neoliberal, but it is frankly unrealistic to claim that it's all the way there, even under Mulcair. The child care alone pretty much puts the lie to that; any neoliberal worth their salt must by definition insist that such things should be done by the private sector. They're far to the right of my preference (so are the Greens), but they are nonetheless still somewhat distinct from the Liberals (and that's imagining the Liberals ever kept their promises, which they rarely do).

Third, your own line about Mulcair is ludicrous. The man is too much of a Liberal for my taste, but he certainly didn't pick the NDP out of opportunism. Nobody seems capable of remembering the circumstances under which Mulcair joined the NDP. They had, what, one riding in Quebec (Pierre Ducasse if I remember right) which they held purely on the basis of the MP's personal popularity. The conventional wisdom was that an NDP breakthrough in Quebec was impossible, the leader of the BQ was formidable, and there was Jack Layton, busily trying to convince people the NDP could take Quebec. Turned out he was right and now it looks like becoming the NDP's Quebec lieutenant is this no-brainer stepping stone to power, but at the time it was becoming one more voice crying in the wilderness; nobody would have gone for it out of opportunism. It's just silly, the only people aside from MoS who maybe believe that are those Conservative spokespeople so stupid they believe the talking points they're fed. You can dislike someone without believing every piece of crazy shit anyone says about them.

Finally, no matter what MoS thinks of the NDP, at the moment there is exactly one electoral hope for the Green Party and future better parties to the left of the NDP to come into existence: The NDP promise to bring in proportional representation. If the NDP doesn't get in, the chances of PR arriving and enabling small parties (both directly and by defanging "strategic voting" arguments) are a dead letter again for at least four years and more likely a decade. So anyone who wants the Greens to get anywhere, and who doesn't live in Elizabeth May's riding, should be voting NDP no matter how sneer-worthy they may be.

The Mound of Sound said...

As you know, PLG, we disagree on that one. The way Harper appears to be self-destructing our differences might be moot.

Scotian said...

Well, we all know my view on the transformation of the NDP into something it bears little resemblance to, so this latest proof is not a shocker to me. I will say though that this party still likes to brand itself as what it once was is pretty much the same thing the Harper CPC did after it murdered the PCPC, and the fact so many Dipper partisans here and elsewhere not only refuse to see it, or see it as a good thing while denouncing such elsewhere only underscores why in my mind ANY overly ideological party mindset, or my party right or wrong mindset, in inherently unhealthy in the long run, period.

From where I sit, for the NDP to have a chance at returning to its roots is for them to take a major hit in this election, lose to a Trudeau majority and then return to its roots, otherwise it will continue to become everything it always used to denounce as bad and evil about the Liberal party of Canada. I find it both ironic and infuriating to see the NDP go from a real party of real principles to being everything they always denounced in others but see as fine in themselves. A more perfect reflection of the Harper CPC M.O. is hard to see.

And of course for those that will continue to claim I am a hard core Lib partisan despite anything I've ever said to the contrary (since of course they all know better than I what my political beliefs and leanings are) and therefore must hate the NDP, my wife was a decade ago as hardcore a Dipper partisan as you could wish for, and it was the way the party changed, not anything I said or did, that has turned her not just away from the NDP with her own rage, but these days she is a Trudeau supporter much more than I.

She is in no small part what the NDP sold out with Layton and then Mulcair, me I blame them for selling out the nation when Harper was still stoppable and seeing protecting their electoral position as more important than defending Canada from the most destructive anti-progressive force in our history as the priority. Indeed, worse, de facto teaming up with Harper to try and destroy their mutual electoral rival the Liberals was the most important, which shows that for all the claims of high minded statecraft and principles when push comes to shove this NDP is all about the power expediency game first and foremost, which when you claim to be the only ones not so motivated has a really nasty stench to it.

These days I am wondering whether it should be spelled NaDP, or New anti-Democratic Party between the actions around the debates with Mulcair, and the purges he has periodically enacted within his party, including the latest one. Not to mention the willingness of so many of the partisans of the party to STILL stand by them despite the massive changes that have happened to this party over the last decade and to believe that somehow once in power they will still advance the old NDP promises and agenda.

Oemissions said...

i would talk to Libby Davies and other NDP MPs and members about all this before making a total condemnation
The grassroots has been pushing back with the BC NDP and moving them forward such as on Kinder Morgan
Get in there and make some NOISE
I just decided this weekend to vote for the NDP candidate and not E May (who i campaigned for last time) after 2 important FN people introduced her and explained why they are supporting her

Anonymous said...

Running on tax cuts = neoliberal ideology. Running on reversing tax cuts and increasing social spending = opposite of neoliberal ideology.

Big difference between not trying to appear radical and mistaking neoliberal economics for evidence-based policy.

Anonymous said...

The Cons are doing everything to win including a large dependence on vote split. We need to be brave and vote for the future of Canada not vote for some wishy washy threat that is baseless. Think of hiring Mulcair as signing the best player from somewhere else for a local sports team. The goal is to win. Why would you run with a lose?

Scotian said...


There is a large difference between a local sports team and picking a potential Prime Minister, and in our system of government the leader while important is not the entire hire either. You need to consider what kind of Cabinet and major Ministers are likely to come from that leader's party as well, and it is there that many people find Mulcair and the NDP comes up short to the Liberals. The thing is the Liberals while having a leader who is clearly not as experienced overall in the political game as either Harper or Mulcair has the candidate pool best qualified on the experience front to come in after the Harper CPC, while the NDP may have the more experienced leader but a party and candidate pool with far less such, and whose institutional governing knowledge federally is zip. This last matters especially when following a disaster government that came to power with no such experience either.

I would also point out another one of Trudeau's selling points despite his relative inexperience. We have a government that is in massive disarray and having been systematically weakened and destroyed by Harper. Trudeau took over a party that at the time everyone expected to disappear, and if by some means it survived to not be a political force for at least a few elections. Yet in less than two years he rebuilt it financially, from the ground up at the riding and Constituency levels, and has made it a real option for government in this election (and that takes far more than his name to be doing, and he put in the hard ground work, it is why he was away from Parliament so much, and in the case of his party it clearly was needed). I have pointed out in the past his rebuilding shows leadership skills ignored by his critics, but that this particular feat also shows that he has the right leadership skills to follow a disaster PM/government like this one is a point I only recently recognized myself.

So yes, while getting rid of Harper is job one, it is also important to consider who is best qualified to pick up the pieces he is leaving behind, and on that front Justin Trudeau with his successful rebuild of the Libs despite all reasonable expectations has actually shown himself to be the first round draft pick, to continue with your sports analogy, not Mulcair. That Mulcair is as of late showing more and more his true colours with these purges and the way he plays along with Harper on the debates while claiming to be the real defender of our democracy, well that only underscores why he is not the "best player" to hire.

Dana said...

Back in '06 I was asked to write a piece for a CTV election web board.

Long lost of course due to a hard drive meltdown.

I said then that far too many Canadians only had the imagination and wit to treat an election campaign as a sporting event and once they'd picked their team that was it.

In the years since, every time I read the online comments sections in the national news media I'm confirmed in that.

And now here too.