One of the greatest achievements of the modern day NDP is that it has managed down the insurgency. It has managed to keep the blowback to the radical agenda of the neo-liberals in check. It has provided a conduit for activists and anarchists alike to push back in the parliamentary system while blunting direct action and the formation of a more representative political party. This is a profoundly tactical and highly strategic maneuver that even has adherents in the party's most openly marginalized components, such as the "socialist caucus" and other organized expressions of the insurgency that have managed to carve out a bureaucratic reflection within the inner machinations of this long established political institution.
This roll is invaluable to the current power brokers who control our country and are careening down the narrow and dangerous path away from democracy and toward a benevolent military dictatorship.
Bold moves such as 'W' making his first post presidential appearance in Calgary's tarpit, while immersing the Canadian military system with that of the US are just the tip of the iceberg that sees Canadian sovereignty melting away before our very eyes. The looting of the treasury, the harmonization of policies with that of the oligarchies empire, the corporate confiscation of the commonwealth and the very bold and public abuse of the office of the Governor General's during the "constitutional crisis" are the visible aspects of the iceberg.
Bit players like Lizzy May and former independent Garth Turner have been raising flags and ringing alarm bells while mainstream newspapers with considerable readership dangle evidence every once in awhile with language clearly describing the complete and utter abandonment of democracy in favour of a more dictatorial, anti-democratic approach to governance. Yet there is barely a whimper from the NDP caucus. Instead, we experience a complicit caucus that contributes to the development of a stealth police state by publicly involving the RCMP in elections that bring down governments.
The result, or more to the point, the reward for this remarkable achievement is snippets of positive mainstream media coverage and a bankroll. The lapdogs of the purveyors of this agenda receive a life line, no more - no less. One simply for the unstated purpose of containing the insurgency as evidenced in the Bank financing of a indebted party with little fundraising capacity outside of public dollars allocated on a per vote basis. The NDP vote is shrinking at an alarming rate and with a resurgent Liberal party the trajectory (at least from a financiers point of view) must be downward yet the vault remains open even during the "credit crunch." The reason is twofold, they recognize the vital role the party is now fully committed to and are willing to risk the dollars to ensure its survival, with the full understanding that the risk is nominal given the direct line to the public treasury that exists. So for today's financiers its all gain and no pain, yet for party members and adherents it is the complete opposite - all pain and no gain.
For a number of years in the run up to these developments the more astute activists at the centre of the insurgency argued and worked to re-align the party with its intended, if not original, purpose and when efforts where met with a stiff and unmoving wall of resistance the obvious alternative of the formation of another party entered the debate. Here is where more analysis is required. We need to ask the hard questions. Why are those who prescribe to the party's constitution still, after a generation, holding onto the faint hope that the NDP will rediscover its roots? Why after repeated failures from before the highly publicized waffle to the recent machinations of new party advocates do supporters of the party accept the abandonment of principle and purpose the party has come to boldly represent? Why during these most headiest days of socialist philosophy is the country's socialist party the least relevant player and most silent? The questions are many, however the answers are few as evidenced in the fact that long standing members within the party cannot even get accountability when asking who is responsible for decision making on campaign financing and strategies. The requests fall on deaf ears and no one is responsible for the abysmal failure the party has become with respect to electoral achievements.
The NDP requires a retooling and not simply an upgrade to continue the now long established agenda of managing down expectations while greasing the skids for the corporate confiscation of the commonwealth. It needs to be re-made and re-invented with a populist penchant that works to fill the void displayed by the current apathy within our system. Now is the time if it is not already to late otherwise a new party will evolve which in the end will serve to extend the term of the current rulers but may in the end be the only future alternative. Its time to face the fact that there is nothing new or Democratic about the New Democratic Party and either change it or move on.
The Hill Times, June 8, 2009
NDP lags in fundraising, still has a multi-million-dollar debt load
But party's national director Brad Lavigne says it's ahead of schedule to pay off debt, and has secured financing to fight a federal election, whenever one is called.
By Harris MacLeod
The federal NDP has not done any substantial fundraising in four of its five biggest donor provinces in the first two fiscal quarters of 2009 and still has a multi-million-dollar debt from the last election campaign.
But the NDP's national director says the party will catch up on fundraising in the third and fourth quarters, will pay off its debt "in a matter of months," and says the party's feeling "bullish" about its chances in the next election.
NDP National Director Brad Lavigne, speaking to The Hill Times last week from Washington, D.C.,
Read here: http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=2009/j...
Good luck with that.
I agree with you to some extent - a lot of people on left, not the least of which is the Socialist Caucus, are in a situation of self-delusion with regards to the NDP. I think there are tendencies at play here which push parties like the NDP to the right (see: The Labour Party Illusion by Sam Dolgoff) which makes them a less than reliable ally in the struggle, and when they take power, often an enemy (see: struggles against war in the UK, Gustafsen Lake Standoff in BC, student struggles in Manitoba). This is an international problem too - the names of the party (NDP, Labour, Socialist, etc), the great traitor (Blair, Hawke, Doer, etc) and the hero from the good old days* (Douglas, Attlee, Whitlam) are essentially interchangable in a global narrative.
*This hero from the good old days may not even be that much of a hero to the radical left - if I remember correctly, Douglas was on the right of the party when he won the leadership and Dolgoff has some major grievances with Attlee
There is definitely a sort of "pressure valve" effect, with the NDP containing discontent and sending it into ineffective, bureaucratic parliamentary channels (maybe if you keep voting NDP, Doer will eliminate tuition!). I think that is a role the NDP plays, although it is not as though Jack Layton wakes up in the morning and says "Okay, I'm going to shower, have breakfast, then defend capitalism by directing radical energies into useles parliamentary channels. I love bourgeois liberal democracy."
As a result, I think we on the anti-capitalist left should stop bullshitting ourselves with the false hope that if the right guy is elected leader we can turn this whole thing around.
I'm not sure what you're proposing though, maybe I'm misreading it but you seem to say that the NDP needs a retooling, as if you still have hope left.
And yeah, to some extend I am a little guilty of focusing on the NDP and discussing it and every backslide in detail and holding out hope for change, or blaming certain leaders (mostly Gary Doer) for their sins when the issue is a lot bigger than Doer. Or being optimistic whenever there's a leadership convention that some insurgent young leftie or cranky old populist will win. Heck, the fact that I'm posting on babble shows that I can't seem to completely psychologically commit to this grim reality about the NDP.
BTW, you seem to be new here, so I should warn you, if you post something criticizing the NDP from the left, especially the radical left, the ironically-named Fidel and all the NDP partisans are going to jump on you. I give this thread four hours, tops, before it gets turned into a total shit-show. Given the usual accusations, I don't think your screenname would help matters either.
I think you should condense that Soviet-sized post to what it boils down to, which is bla bla NDP bla
Missing from most of your misleading mini-critiques of the NDP is a basic undertanding of the neoliberal agenda in Canada since Mulroney and Chretien-Martin, and now herr Harper with his phony minority government propped-up by the Liberals.
This site is called Babble, however I have always referred to it as Bubble, as that is what the "NDP Partisans" here live in.
I would not call them NDP Partisans actually, given the frame of the piece I submitted, which you are absolutely correct will be turned into a shit show, they are more accruately described as supporters of an agenda that is far removed from anything remotely related to the purpose and principles of the NDP.
Nowhere has our party adopted the status of lapdogs to the Neo -liberal agenda, we have been hijacked and our purpose has been twisted while our principles have been abandoned.
I chose the screen name in a attempt to be humourus and point out the irony largely due to the insults and accusations for posting these obvious facts. It is odd that I can talk to people who are simply just people, not political junkies plugged into chat groups and they, themselves tell this stuff to me. They do so without the slightest flinch of regret or indecisiveness. They just simply know it to be true.
Methinks the folks here doth protest too much and we will be experiencing the barrage in very short order as you point out, or they will simply toss me out of the debate and then lock the thread in order to ensure the bubble does not burst.
Actually Fidel I do not overlook that at all, I just tried to avoid a super soviet-sized post.
Your reponse however well fits a BLAH BLAH BLAH apologist BLAH BLAH type of thing.
heh... Bubble... that's pretty good.
So, any writings about the NDP are incomplete without writing about the Liberals? And you complain that my post is too long and needs condensing, yet you want me to add stuff about another party? So, I should shorten it by adding a couple paragraphs about something only a little more than tangentially related?
By your logic, the instructions for my toaster oven are incomplete because they don't talk about how to hook up a DVD player.
And my critiques of the NDP are not misleading, they are all based in fact and flow naturally from my political views and the actions of the NDP.
I think the NDP can do only so much when campaigning and revealing the truth about the fascist agenda in Canada. People have to do their part, too. And I think that attacking the fourth party in Ottawa is misguided and works to instill even more power in the hands of those who have it. And keep in mind I can smell a phony socialist a mile away.
Youre so full of shit about the NDP in your posts most of the time that I have to clothes-pin my nose before glossing over them.
And the Whig Party will love you for your broadcasting bullshit about the NDP, too. The only consolation for the NDP is that your constant and repetitive bullshit about the party is so foaming at the mouth that most people will find your rabid anti-NDP rhetoric indigestible.
Any writing about any party is incomplete when it is not seen in its politcal context. It mighty make a group of 8 people feel utterly self-righteous to see themselves as "pure socialists." They of course have no interest in advancing policies that the voters want because they think they are going to establish a dictatorship of the "proletariat." Anyone who has any grip on adult reality nows that these people who see themselves as revolutionaries have no chance of success. In other words, they have as much chance of success as someone has who thinks they could promote an effective general strike in Canada.
The NDP is a politcal party that can only work by seeking election and being part of the messy business of politics. And if you think it shouldn't be messy, please tell me what country has a perfect political system so far in human evolution.
You must be troubled by your own stench then?
Regardless of the nose that knows, its not about purists or even socialists. Its about being relevant and my original post even included the desrciptive term "populist." Mostly due to the fact that if we were to espouse policy and a platform more in tune with our principles we would find them be to populist, especially in the current climate.
The modern NDP approach is to clever by half and when we try to be something we are not, we do not attract those that are not us, but we do abandon those who are.
We need to clear, concise and transparent while advocating a real and affective approach to the challenges we face today, one based in the principles that we were founded upon.
Wasting time on the spectrum debate and the meaningless dialogue of left, right and centre is gibberish. A rhetorical box designed by our enemies to convey a more moderate tone for their radical agenda.
Look around you. We are not the radicals. The ones pillaging and plundering are. We have been reduced to enablers.
I've learned the hard way that appealing to the apathetic is not an easy path to follow, though I beleive you're right that a re-invented NDP has the best chance of appealing to those voters
I agree that a strategy designed to appeal to apathy will not work.
A strategy designed to inspire counters apathy and that will.
You are correct, however no group of 8 has advocated anything let alone a group of socialists advocating a turn into oblivion.
The common refrain from folks like yourself is that there are no alternatives that no one else gets it, just you guys.
The point is that you don't get it and the results reflect that. Your strategy has brought us to our knees and now we are broke and have to dig a deeper hole to simply stay in the game. That is pathetic. Time is up. We need to move on and start an approach that is different from yours becuase yours does not work.
I agree we don't need some marginalized wackos calling the shots, nor do we need to become more irrelevant and that is why I am posting this stuff. Becuase the results are in, you guys are the marginalized wackos who have brought us to irrelevancy and your time is up.
Youre targetting the wrong party for criticism.
The ones in power and whove had it for the last 140 years in a row in Ottawa are the ones who want calling on their neoliberal bullshit.
I dont know any Marxist-socialists who believe the NDP is the enemy. They might think the NDP is a party of populist policies for fixing capitalism and trying to appeal to everyone, but they tend to save most of their venom for the Liberal and Tory powermongers in Ottawa.
We can't achieve change without actually fighting for it first, like socialized medicine in Canada, public auto insurance, etc.
And for those challenging my socialist point of view wrt my chosen online moniker, Canada is not Cuba. Canada is not Haiti or even Guatemala. Canadians are not in that same situtation that the poor were in under the US-backed batista regime. Our stooges may have welcomed the Duvaliers during their escape from Haitian justice, but there are no Papa or baby docs ruling Canada with the same oppression. Poor people in those US client states would think Canada is a socialist paradise by comparison.
For the most part I found this interesting. That said, I don't think the NDP should be retooled, I think it should be ignored, except when it is directly offensive to the progressive world view, sucks up activist energy or directly attacks the left.
I am not taregetting the wrong party because I am not holding the NDP to account for the last 140 years.
I am holding the people responsible for our party's abandonment of purpose and principle, feet to the fire.
I am not marxist-socialist, this is part of the problem. Anyone who speaks against the positioning and strategy of the party is insistently deemed a disgruntled pinko hell bent on destroying our party's electability which is utter bunk. Have you seen our electability lately? Is probable that a bunch of wacked marxists could do better, but I digress.....
We need to do what we need to do to become relevant, its that simple. Those responsible for the "lets replace the Liberals" are Harper lapdogs whehter they mean to be or not. We have tried this strategy and we see the results, its time for something different.
I suspect you are part of the driving force of the party.
Speaking of being in a babble bubble, I've never heard anyone else outside this site or similar ones claim that the problem with the NDP is that it's insufficiently radical socialist. Certainly never real voters at the doorstep.
Neither have I.
who are you guys? you guys seems to be just you. if the time is up for us guys, what actions are you taking beyond posting to an internet forum? us guys, marginalized wackos that you call us, are doing much more than that.
Actually I prefer "Rubble Bubble," because the bubble here exists amongst the rubble of our once proud party.
And I repeat, this is not a thread about turning sharply left into oblivia. Just in case someone wishes to once again make this false claim.
I am doing more than you and have, that much I guarantee.
The strategy has seen a rise in NDP support and some of the worst electoral results for the federal Liberals in several decades. And most of it was their own doing with some of the phoniest majorities in Ottawa ruling paternalistically.
We need to fight to maintain medicare, and replace the billions of dollars removed from health care, education, and reinstitute a national housing strategy scrapped by the very neoliberal federal Liberals.
We need to fight for fair voting in Canada and democratize parliament. The red chamber has no place in a modern democracy, and neither does an electoral system invented before electricity.
We need to renegotiate a bad trade deal which the Liberal Party signed all our names to in 1994.
We need to fight for neutrality in telecommunications - a revolutionary change that is happening in the way we communicate with one another and access information. Freely accessible information is a requirement for democracy, and we cant let big business control access to information and thereby controlling what people think, or the way it is today in the US of America and influencing the way our stoogeocrats govern our northern corporate-friendly colony.
The NDP is fighting the most important battles worth fighting, imo.
This isn't a personal battle. I'm supporting the work of a group of people. You're here saying they are not longer accomplishing anything. But you are not able to supply the name of any group that is accomplishing more.
When, exactly, was once?
Don't get out much, I guess.
I'm going to ignore the obvious baiting to point out what the Hill Times' article chooses to ignore. The federal NDP planned to have a debt following the last election and agreed not to fundraise in parties that were having either elections or leadership races. There's only so much money that you can raise for the NDP when you exclude Saskatchewan, BC, Ontario and Nova Scotia. I have every confidence that Brad Lavigne's projections are solid.
So, where does completely unsubtantiated assertions, and childish bragging and one-ups-manship fit in your brave new world? Is that part of new culture and new social relations that you propose for a future society?
Can it really be true???
Not fair getting my hopes up like that Cue.
Absolutely, it can be true. For the most part it is quite easy except during elections, where one simply can't post on any topic without someone flyering the topic with election propaganda.
Explain to me again what it is you and your group are accomplishing? And how that supercedes what I am doing? Also explain how my one post in 18 months is indicitive of my sitting around and posting from the sidelines all day long?
You know, its interesting the original post has been abandoned. I guess I should take that as a compliment.
I have been a member all my life and extremely active in the party for the last two decades. I have held offices within the party and worked in government when the party found itself in that role. I suspect few here have. From this perspective I offer you all what I posted and am happy to debate the substance of it. However, if people wish to digress to a 'mine is bigger than yours' debate than it will be treated as such. Same goes for the constant and oft repeated drivel that fills these pages.
I hoped this news that were broke and beholden to banks would allow for a more relevant dialogue that reflectes the seriousness of these circumstances but I guess I have come to the wrong sandbox.
It is reassuring to know that we are broke by design.
I wasted 15 minutes on one old timer's doorstep. Long-time Liberal Party supporter, he declared to me. He was rambling on about how the NDP doesnt represent him or his concerns. Meanwhile he complained of doctor shortages, kids with student loan debts as large as small house mortgages, job losses, being nickled and dimed for everything he buys, corruption in politics etc.
And I thought to myself, it'll be a great day when the grey hairs get out of the road and make way for the new.
You haven't offered any serious dialogue. Your original rant sounded like an interesting start, but then you collapsed into wild insults, bellyaching, rude behaviour, and childish one-upsmanship at the slightest hint of opposition. Show me the way forward brother, you and your Bic lighter will lead us out of the darkness surely.
Find another sandbox, be my guest.
Nice! Older people are irrelevant, and should be dead, or shut up. I love your egalitarian spirit.
Actually Cue had someone offered something worth discussing I would have rose to the challenge as it were, it seems what you describe as petty, childish, one-upmanship rules the day here on Rubble Bubble. I was particularly moved by your insights in this respect.
I proposed that the NDP is a lost cause and it should be ignored. You up for it or not?
My comment was entirely directed at your contemptible personal attack on Banjo, someone who I have a agreed with maybe once in my entire posting history. I am suprised that he even responded to your drivel. The idea that one anonymous internet poster, can challenge the value or validity of another achievements or activity, is obviously absurd and childish, and has no foundation other than prejudice.
And prejudice is the cause of one of the worlds ills, not an attribute to be paraded about as if it is a positive quality. It certainly has nothing to do with reasoned debate, based on evidence that is freely available to one and all.
Where does: "I do more than you, nyah nyah!", fit in with reasoned debate? It's just hazing.
My summary of your interactions so far? Far from uplifiting, it is petty, childish.
Oh well then Cue Ball I guess its your rack......
You have something to say, say it. If you are just going to run people down, take off eh...
On the point of substance.
Many people share your opinion, hense the meagre voter turn out in BC and the decline in overall votes for the party in both the last BC Eleciton and Federally.
Ignored, sure but to what end?
It seems that the guy whose pushing for a general strike had more to say on this topic with respect to holding out hope and organizing for change.
I think there is a chance for hope and change. I think it is achievable. We have to begin by abandoing our fear of upsetting our foes and the resulting harangue by the media. We have to accept that mainstream media is not our friend and quit forever positioning ourselves just so as to gain the credence of our enemies and the favourable media coverage. We have to learn to let them scream and properly communicate when we have the chance in order to turn the tide. Then we move to offering Canadians what they want becuase then and only then will they hear it over the hue and cry of the corporate media.
Thats a start, or we could just ignore them.
Listen Cue ball I said it in my first post, which you seem to want to ignore.
And my response was pretty simple. I think the NDP is a waste of time, and should be ignored.
Others had different perspectives, but if you can't handle different perspectives without immediatly degenerating into ad hominems, childish name-calling, hazing and one-ups-manship, as a way of asserting authority, I guarantee you that you will have absolutely no political authority, or impact, no matter how much you state otherwise. Those are hardly qualities that inspire dialogue or action.
Now if you don't mind, I am going to level my charachter in Mafia Wars. See you.
justchilling, I couldn't help but wondering how an ******** **** such as yourself could have been a babbler here for so long without being banned. Well, imagine my surprise........yup, that was me,... when I discovered that you actually had been banned, for trolling non-the-less, (GASP!) and appear to have been in that little group whose accounts were accidentally reopened in big changeover.
We have now rectified that little mistake.
(I have edited this for unseemliness, and given myself a good talking to)
Voters at the doorstep tend to say exactly that, but in different words.
You see in the adult world debt is a part of life -it comes in the form of mortgages, car loans, credit lines those sorts of things. The time to worry is when you can't pay off that debt. You are not broke or busted by the simple situation of having debt.
Your premise is full of shit from the very begining.
Lots of people I talk to are disillusioned with Canadian politics. And I think the two old line parties, which have been in power and sharing power federally for about twice as long as the Soviets ruled the USSR, are to blame for their autocratic rule and taking voters for granted for far too long.
Like a lot of people I've knocked on a lot of damn doors in my life. Not once has someone told me the NDP is not hard line radical socialist enough for them. Not one single door.
You haven't knocked on my door lately BA, but I love house calls - knock, knock - you's there? - A radical socialist. Radical socialist who? Radical socialist NDP. SLAM!
you commie ______