Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stop the Endless Whining. It's the Deal You Made. Live With It.

It's like stepping into a nest of vipers. Point out the obvious, that NDP leader Tom Mulcair, like his rivals, embraces neoliberalism (his support for CETA alone puts that beyond doubt) and Dippers come pouring out to angrily defend Tom's virtue as though he was a virginal 16-year old at the Debutantes' Ball.

Sorry kids but you chose the guy and you're going to have to live with him, warts and all. He's an ex-Liberal, Thatcherite, Harper courtin', market fundamentalist neoliberal, Likudnik, petro-pol with a reputation for bursts of ill-temper and those creepy, serial killer eyes.

You're not a party of the Left any more. That's over. At the very best you're centrist, deliberately so, but that takes on a different connotation when you factor in how far Canada's political centre has been shifted to the Right with the Tories now far beyond anything really conservative, the Liberals having morphed into Conservative-Lites and the NDP filling in as Latter Day Liberals having abandoned the Left to its own devices. Sure you're still well to the left of Harper but to an outsider the distinction between the Libs and the New Dems can sometimes be a bit blurry.

You can't leave the Left and pretend that you haven't. You have. You've kept the name but you're no longer the party of Douglas and Lewis. That's over. You jettisoned that. You felt it was baggage that would frustrate your grab for the brass ring.

Perhaps to keep your heads from exploding you keep drawing tenuous comparisons between what you suppose your party will do and how you perceive the Libs performed in the past. It tends to border on childishness.

Let's get one thing straight. I'm not saying the New Dems are neo-conservative. They're not but neither are the Liberals. The Tories, however, have clear neo-con instincts and appetites. I am saying you're neoliberal, all of you.

Socialism is a political ideology. Social democracy is a more social ideology. Neoliberalism is a primarily economic ideology.  Your party was conceived in socialism and, for decades, fiercely defended those principles. For Canada there was great service in that. Among other things it kept the political spectrum open and healthy, affording plenty of room for ideas and vision.  It was a great position from which to challenge Liberal and Conservative governments, keeping them a lot more honest than they would have been otherwise.

Now the political spectrum stands truncated. There is far less room for ideas and vision but what remains is ideal for those who would rather rule than lead. For the voting public, this narrowing of the spectrum restricts choice. The party faithful don't see it that way because they can't. They're rallying behind their brand, politically lobotomized. What the brand wants is good and pure. What other brands want is wanton, duplicitous, self-serving and just plain bad.

As for the election it becomes a bauble here, a bauble there, bold promises only loosely connected to reality and all heavily larded with lies. It comes with the territory for winners.

As a thoroughly disaffected, former Liberal, I should not greatly begrudge the NDP their success. They've given their all to get where they are.


Scotian said...

All their integrity, their honour, their principles, their decades long established record of actually practicing what they preached...

Say what you will about the Libs these days, I'd trust them to run a competent government far more than I would the NDP, seeing as the NDP is nearly all made up of those with no governing experience aside from the leader and a bare handful if that in the candidate pool. If there isn't all that much difference on the policy/ideology side there, then it should be based on competence which you should support if the choice for you is between those two, and on that basis the Libs clearly are the better choice. Not to mention that Trudeau has proven he has the right leadership skills to pick up a broken and devastated national organization run into the ground full of demoralized staffers and rebuild it, he did it with the Libs in 2 short years after all, and that takes far more than just his name, and certainly is not something a empty headed puppet as so many of his critics try to cast hi as could have done.

As you said the NDP made their bed here, now it is time to lie in them without complaint. This trying to eat their cake and have it routine is very tedious, offensive, and dishonest, which for a party which tries to ride the moral high horse every time it can is truly stomach churning. I also find it disturbing how many supposedly self described moral and principled lefties/progressives still slavishly give their allegiance to the NDP these days and to Mulcair despite all the evidence that this is not the NDP of yore. So one has to wonder in the cases of all these which of three possibilities is true:

1)They are too ignorant of political realities, beliefs, and basic nature to see/understand just how much this NDP is not the NDP of old, and why that is. AKA ignorance.

2) They are aware of it but feel it is more important to gain power above all else, and are willing to sacrifice some/all of their principles to do so yet know to win they must hold the old base too so they LIE knowingly. 2a) They feel all these sacrifices are worth it for power and see it as simply leveling the playing field and ignore the fact this is exactly the sort of political behaviour they have used to denounce in others, ESPECIALLY the Liberals for decades now, and still either understate or refuse to admit at all to the reality knowingly because it would alienate part of the base they must keep onside to win as well as gain new centrist voters.

3) They are so self deluded they are lying to themselves first even before they speak to anyone else, and while in a way arguing honestly are also showing they cannot face reality as it is and therefore cannot nor should be trusted nor taken seriously.

The problem with all three choices is that at best it is ignorance, profound ignorance, or deception being wrapped up in this riding on a moral high horse approach, which is why I call it sanctimonious hypocrisy, and also why I say its stench is exceptionally foul, little less unpleasant than what come off Harper himself, and that takes a lot of stench to manage in my books.

Bottom line, if the choice is between NDP and Libs, I say the Libs are the better choice, at least we know they can run a government competently, which is clearly needed, and that these days they are also the less dishonest choice given the respective records of each of the current leaders. I also believe Trudeau genuinely cares for this nation and is running for PM at least in part for that reason and because of how opposed he is to what the Harper vision has brought us to, with Mulcair I've never had any sense of anything except his own need to have power for its own end,and that is NOT what we need, especially for the following leader to Harper.

Gyor said...

You offer up nothing but insults to the NDP, there is no insight here.

And both the Liberls and Tories are neoliberals, neoconservitive is just another way of saying it, but a poorer one, because its a rebirth of laizze faire liberalism.

You say Tom Mulcair is rightwing till your blue in the face, but you offer nothing in the way of policy to back this up (to preempt you, no targeted tax cut, like to small business do not qualify if they're in a broader progressive package like this is), the truth is the NDP is playing massive investment in healthcare, fighting poverty, childcare, transit, ect...

The Mound of Sound said...

Gyor, I had your type in mind when I wrote: "The party faithful don't see it that way because they can't. They're rallying behind their brand, politically lobotomized. What the brand wants is good and pure. What other brands want is wanton, duplicitous, self-serving and just plain bad."

Each party has a great many of this type in its rank and file. Feed'em a few talking points and they're away to the races.

It's plain from your comments that you have a feeble grasp on the concept of neoliberalism. There are some very good books that could help you improve on that.

A few policies in an election campaign don't change anything. Healthcare, poverty and child care initiatives are what I have referred to as "baubles." That's patting all the little kids on the head and kissing all the babies. There's nothing there that redresses the imbalance between labour and capital which once was a primary concern of the NDP before it was Blairified. There's nothing about restoration of a free press in Canada by breaking up the media cartel. There's just lip service to environmental measures - carbon taxes.

It's easy to say things you discern people want to hear. Tom Mulcair is very good at that even if it does take him a while to sort out which way the wind is blowing.

The Mound of Sound said...

One more thing, Gyor. There are very committed New Dems who more or less agree with me on this. One, Purple Library Guy, doesn't foam at the mouth in discussing this. He defends it as a necessary evil, the cost of bringing his party into government. We disagree but we don't quarrel because he's honest.

Then there are the old school New Democrats, especially the intellectuals like Yves Engler. He doesn't mince words in describing Mulcair and his policies. He knows the guy is neoliberal and he makes a convincing argument to show it. James Laxer, a name every New Dem should know well, agrees with Engler. These are prominent New Dems from the now estranged Tommy Douglas/David Lewis camp. They know Mulcair. They've battled his kind most of their adult lives. They still adamantly oppose the Blairification of the New Democratic Party. Do you find them insulting? Perhaps you do and that speaks volumes.

e.a.f. said...

yes you could be correct when you say we have given it our all. we gave our souls.

Anonymous said...

Actually the NDP tried to be the party of social democracy. But all they accomplished was watching Neo-Cons and Neo-Liberals tear down the "Just Society" social safety net they helped create in the 1960s.

So Jack Layton's vision was to widen the NDP tent to include centrist liberals the Neo-Liberal party jettisoned. That way instead of propping up the odd Liberal minority government and getting a couple of their demands met, they could be the party in power and decide what compromises had to be made.

In a democracy, a party must have the support of the majority in order to govern and that requires compromise. Otherwise the party will never govern.

Better to implement social democratic policies incrementally, than to sit on the sidelines waiting for a revolution that never comes watching the country get taken deeper and deeper into neoliberal territory.

Ron Waller said...

"He's an ex-Liberal ... with a reputation for bursts of ill-temper and those creepy, serial killer eyes."

Mulcair was angry with Stephen Harper and his corrupt regime and raked him over the coals daily in Question Period. Harper deserved it. Canadians were grateful Mulcair did his job. (Thankfully Junior was not the leader of the Official Opposition.)

But Mulcair is not an angry man, or a ranting raving lunatic. That description more aptly describes The Mound and Pushed-to-the-Right-And-Shilling-It. They are old, life-long Liberal partisans who developed an irrational hatred for all things NDP for stealing votes they felt entitled to.

These people daily try to manipulate the emotions of the small number of their blog readers to forward a political agenda. This is not a rational adult debate about the issues. There is no truth to their hatred and bitterness. Just deceit.

Dana said...

Just wow...

Dana said...

Reading here is like a flashback to 2006 for me when I was trying to tell people that the Harper Conservatives were outliers in our history and had no lineage other than in the US conservative movement.

Same derisional language, same faux outrage, same dismissal.

Odds are very good that none of these people are old enough to remember what the CCF/NDP used to sound like, used to stand for or the integrity and dignity which David Lewis used to regularly personify when he stood in The House or on the hustings.

Odds are equally good they probably think he was just an old fool who didn't know what it "took to win", which they believe they do know.

Maybe after a few years of PM Mulcair they'll have the same re-awakening that so many former Harper supporters are having today.

Or not. They actually seem more entrenched that the 2006 Harper supporters who refused to think.

Just as ignorant however, even though they seem to have more competent vocabularies.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ah, I see we're visited by Ron Waller, the 'living, breathing raw nerve.' Even his alter-ego, Gyor, makes Waller look a tad unhinged.

Ron Waller said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dana said...

Yup. Exactly the same language from Waller and Gyor as I read from Harper supporters in '06. Exactly. The same blind assumptions about allegiances, the same blunt refusals to look further or deeper, the same in every way.

They will give Mulcair a blank cheque just as Harper supporters gave him a blank cheque.

There's little point in engaging with them any further. They're not interested in engagement - only in proselytizing.

The Mound of Sound said...

Waller, I gave you one shot but that's it. Move along. This isn't your site and you have nothing worthwhile to contribute here.

Unknown said...

"You can't leave the left and pretend you haven't" Nuf said.

Dana said...

He'll just come back as yet another 'anonymous'. That's the thing about these hyper-partisan trolls - the spittle flying off their lips is what convinces them of the rightness of their tantrum. It also demonstrates to them that they *must* continue.

Ron Waller said...

Brainless wonders. Dish out a bunch of Harper-like sleazy personal smears then accuse others of doing it. Saying you people are wasting your time is not a smear. It's an observation. If it seems offensive it's only because you know it's true.

BTW, I'm not freaking Gyor. Jesus. You think there are no NDP supporters among all you gray-haired fake-progressive blowhards? Certainly there weren't enough to have saved the world from what you useless baby-boomers did to it.

Anonymous said...

Ron: Baby boomer here. In my riding I will be voting for the NDP incumbent that I didn't vote for in the previous two elections because I want Harper gone and I am voting strategically. I'm the same as PLG in that Mulcair and the gang is an improvement on what we have and I will continue to push for incremental changes away from where we are politically. So don't expect me to wear the team colours and become the NDP's version of Earl Cowan as you appear to becoming. Why did I write that? Because of your comment on baby boomers. If you want to play divisive politics and point fingers at certain groups, then you can fuck right off just like the NDP MLA we had who did the same in our riding. I vote, more so that the younger generation. My three young adult children also vote. I vote with concern of their future in mind, not the campaign button on my jacket.

mr perfect

Scotian said...


Or he's saying that you and Gyor are two sides of the same coin, that you might as well be the same person for all the difference there is in your thoughts and approach/attitude. Perhaps that is a little too sophisticated a thought/concept for you?


As MoS notes, there are more than a few within the NDP these days who are saying the same thing, but I suppose you hate them even more for being traitors to the cause. It was clear when I read MoS's post that you were clearly one of those he was thinking of. I'm still trying to figure out if you are ignorant, lying to yourself first, or just a liar in general, but the one thing I DO know you to be is a close minded zealot for the NDP, THAT you've made clear on many blogs over many months.


I know, deja vu all over again, right? We tried to warn them, but the Dippers in particular were more concerned by that point with the shiny bauble of destroying the Hated Libs in alliance with Harper than with staying true to themselves and gaining power that way instead and protecting us all from the greatest anti-progressive force to ever rise to power in our history. What us really sad is you may be right in that many of these do not remember the days of real Dipperdom, but I also have noted more than a few who decided that instead of continuing to practice what they preached they decided the only way to get the power they so crave that selling out is fine when it is for their side but evil and bad when all others do it. As I have said many times, sanctimonious hypocrisy in action, something exceptionally odious.

These days I look at the NDP and I hear a paraphrase of Sen Benson's comment to Dan Quayle in the VP debates regarding Jack Kennedy, you know the one about Jack being a friend of his and Quayle being no Kennedy? It fits far too well these days, sad to say.


Layton sold out his party history/heritage, pure and simple, and did so with the classic "ends justifies the means" logic, just as you clearly embrace in your comment and defence of same. This used to be the way of politics Dippers denounced, and sill like to denounce especially in the Libs while practicing it themselves while claiming to be the "different" kind of party, the one of principles. Actions are what tell the real story, and the ACTIONS of Layton/Mulcair and worse, the party loyalists in lining right up behind them or being gagged into submission if they disagreed looks a hell of a lot like the same path Harper took to power to me, and many others. Perhaps because it is, including using that incremental logic to make the changes argument, that is pure Harper playbook right there.