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Author Topic: Social Democracy or Democratic Socialism: What should the NDP do?
dc_toronto
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posted 05 November 2001 02:18 PM      Profile for dc_toronto     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
With all the talk about the future of the NDP, I think this topic is very important in distinguishing for the party.

What do you all think?


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
agent007
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posted 05 November 2001 02:22 PM      Profile for agent007     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Go to a funeral home, and arrange for a decent burial.
From: Niagara Falls ON | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 05 November 2001 02:24 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I for one have never been very clear on this distinction, dc_toronto. Maybe you could start by describing the two, as you understand them.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
NP
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posted 05 November 2001 03:22 PM      Profile for NP   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Honestly I don't think there is a real difference between the two names. It seems the only people who get caught up in this age old debate are party members of the NDP.

I guarantee that if one were to ask the average Jane on the street, she wouldn't be able to spot the difference.

In practical terms, parties under the Social Democratic banner don't operate any differently than those named Democratic Socialist. Case in point would be Scandinavia, where there exists a Labour party in one country (Norway) and a Social Democratic one in the two others (Sweden and Denmark). In reality there is very little that separates them.

Take a look a the www.socialistinternational.org to see what I'm getting at


From: The city that rhymes with fun | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 15 November 2001 12:31 AM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To dc toronto:

The differences between social democracy and democratic socialism in theory is substantial.

Democratic socialists put "people before profits" through direct government involvement such as ownership of key industries from banks, public utilities and natural resources such as oil and gas to all needed social services.

Social Democrats on the other hand are basically capitalists -- left-wing Liberals or "reformist" Liberals. They believe in Keynesian economics and "trickle-down" concepts (by tax breaks and other incentives to the private sector in the hope of rectifying the shortcomings in society or in countering recessions and depressions which are inherent in the business cycle created by the free market system).

In the book, The Future of Social Democracy, it reveals the thinking of what ex-Social Democratic leaders in the last couple of decades believe. They clearly state that "social democracy is not socialism," that private enterprise should be the "engines of growth," in globalization of capitalism and "the transition of national economies to a global economy." ( In Europe however, Social Democratic parties are often more socialist than social democratic.)

In Canada, while the "social democratic" NDP has socialist concepts embedded in its 1983 Statement of Principles, it's apparently only to delude its rank and file to retain loyalty. It threw out its socialist concepts (Wafflers in the early 70s) and become "left-wing Liberals" and now "neo-Liberals" – the reason why they call themselves Social Democrats (re Alexa and Nystrom) and never socialist.

Party members, are normally much further to the left than its elite, but because of "rubbing shoulders" with them, they are normally cowed and are afraid to challenge their leaders or their elected representatives. Hence, when Rae, Romanow, Clark or Alexa strayed from established party concepts, they went unchallenged as if it were unimportant or insignificant.

The difference between the present NDP's Social Democracy and Democratic Socialist concepts in Canada, is that under Social Democracy, neoliberal capitalist trends will continue until Canada is completely taken over or colonized by the Americans. Under Democratic Socialism (such as the CCF), the country could determine its own policies and destiny and even greatly increase its standard of living if it just owned its natural resources and borrowed from the Bank of Canada instead of from private sources.

So what should the NDP members do? Get to know what policies the NDP is ready to implement, and if its adequate to solve the problems in society or to save Canada. Their methods (social democratic or democratic socialism) will determine if its adequate or not.

(The major differences and criticisms of the two ideologies are stated in my previous article, Social Democracy or Democratic Socialism under that topic, p4.)

JJR

[ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: JJRosso ]


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
NP
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posted 15 November 2001 01:31 AM      Profile for NP   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
JJR:

The CCF of the 1940s is not that different from the NDP of today. In fact, from a social perspective, one could very succintly argue that the NDP of now is much more left wing than the CCF. Case in point is the issue of eugenics and treatment of first nations peoples.

Don't forget, while the Sask CCF was first elected in 1944 (less than ten years from the Regina manifesto) , it took 17 years until health care was made fully public.


From: The city that rhymes with fun | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
NP
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posted 15 November 2001 02:22 AM      Profile for NP   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
JJR:

As well, I must disagree with you regarding your statement that party members of the NDP are more left wing than the party itself. Actually, if you were to look at the facts themselves, you would see that the majority of NDPers in Canada (i.e. those residing in Manitoba and Saskatchewan... which totals over 1/2 of national party memberships) are "centre left".


From: The city that rhymes with fun | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 15 November 2001 05:12 AM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Noah:
In your blind defense of the NDP, you're like the religious fanatics arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Socialism is mainly about economics – which will then produce decent social programs and decent living conditions. Eugenics and the first nations peoples treatment are minor in the whole scheme of socialism – but that doesn't make the party more Leftist. The CCF in the 1940s was vociferously socialist – today, the NDP is barely social democratic – in fact, its neo-liberal with its "grudging" support of NAFTA, globalism and its almost total rejection of public enterprises. (Don't quote me their phony Constitution which is ignored by the elite – give me their program which they promise they'll implement.)

You misread what I said: "Party members, are normally much further to the left than its elite." I did not say the "party itself." Most of the rank and file which I've spoken to over the years ( at least of the older people who support the NDP) are for much more public ownership as suggested by the Regina Manifesto. The elite, particularly the Broadbents, Raes and Romanows are closer to left-wing Liberals and neo-liberals than traditional social democrats. (Centre left is equivalent to Social Democratic or left-wing Liberalism and Keynesian economics. Support of social programs but not Socialist economics is insufficient to save Canada.) Most of the elite support NAFTA and globalization concepts which is already leading to the takeover of Canada and soon its "death." (The coming NDP/NPI showdown will reveal if the NDP puts its own interest first, or will act in the "greater good" to save Canada.)

JJR


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
NP
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posted 15 November 2001 06:09 AM      Profile for NP   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
JJR, I wasn't defending the NDP, rather I was simply stating the facts. As a young person active within the party grassroots I think my observations in this subject area are more legitimate than a middle aged cynic like yourself.

I don't quite care for your condescending tone of writing, nor for your out of date takes on Canadian politics.

NPE


From: The city that rhymes with fun | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
David Kyle
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posted 15 November 2001 10:27 AM      Profile for David Kyle     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think the NDP should stop pandering to special interest groups and the unions.

Instead the NDP should look for direct support from the people...Grassroots support.


From: canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
MJ
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posted 15 November 2001 12:43 PM      Profile for MJ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In Canada, while the "social democratic" NDP has socialist concepts embedded in its 1983 Statement of Principles, it's apparently only to delude its rank and file to retain loyalty. It threw out its socialist concepts (Wafflers in the early 70s) and become "left-wing Liberals" and now "neo-Liberals" – the reason why they call themselves Social Democrats (re Alexa and Nystrom) and never socialist.

I tend to think this semantic hair-splitting is just that, and that these debates serve to distract us from the important issues. Nevertheless, I've heard both Alexa McDonough and Lorne Nystrom use democratic socialism in speeches.


A quote from Alexa McDonough (from a speech in April, 2001):

"We are a social democratic political party. Or a democratic socialist political party – It’s what we believe, and what we do that counts, not the label alone – I personally feel comfortable with either one."


I don't have anything from Lorne Nystrom, but here's something from Roy Romanow ((from a speech in November 1997):

"Friends, today I want to talk about our vision and the role of democratic socialism in the 21st Century."

and...

"They want us to believe that we are separated from our neighbors by greed and fear, all of us competing in a cruel and heartless game where there are only winners or losers...and the losers are cast aside. Well, my friends, that's not the Saskatchewan way. And it's not the way of democratic socialism."

and...

"But as I've said, while we have traveled a great distance, we have not yet reached our destination. We are not done. Being democratic socialists, we can never be done."

and...

"Community requires solidarity with the other people of the world. They are farther away, and out of our sight, but they should not be out of our minds. For that reason, we should use the globalized market not just to export our goods and services, but our basic political values, our democratic socialist values."


From: Around. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 15 November 2001 03:51 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Anything from Lorne Calvert?
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dogbert
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posted 15 November 2001 04:18 PM      Profile for Dogbert     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Roy Romanow wouldn't know socialism if it walked up to him and gave him the good smack he deserves. He calls himself a democratic socialist... then he goes out and guts medicare, screws unions, and gives the rich in this province the biggest tax breaks they've ever seen. Little wonder he and Chretien are such good buddies... they're both good little liberals.
From: Elbonia | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 15 November 2001 04:27 PM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's actions of the NDP while in power that count, not words – a concept which appears to elude almost all NDP loyalists, particularly the aspiring "young turks" in the NDP. Hence, speeches "about socialism" by the NDP elite may be heard in party meetings but are certainly not repeated in the mass media.

MJ thinks the difference between the two concepts are "hair-splitting." Unfortunately he doesn't know the difference between Keynesian and socialist methods of development – the difference between Canada destroyed or being saved. It is this form of rationalizing by MJ and Evanchuck which "distract us from the important issues" and allows the elite to carry on its neoliberal trend.

MJ sustains the deception by quoting Alexa: "We are a social democratic political party. Or a democratic socialist political party – It’s what we believe, and what we do that counts, not the label alone – I personally feel comfortable with either one."

"And do what counts," she says? That's the problem! NDP actions across Canada have been in general adopting neoliberal concepts of smaller government, privatization, and globalization concepts such as NAFTA which is colonialization in disguise. Where is the NDP battle against NAFTA? Or criticism of arms sales to dictators who oppress their people, or allow the rich developed countries to rape and plunder the poor countries through "free trade"concepts and investment? The NDP elite can describe their beliefs as they want – but it's their economic and social policies which they implement that count!

( In public, Alexa talks about "trade being necessary" rather than the consequences of NAFTA and how it's destroying Canada; or about investigating the merits of "flat taxes." Meanwhile Dan Miller and Zirnhelt talk about privatizing the forests, while other NDP elite in government cut taxes to the handicapped and under-fund hospitals while cutting corporate taxes. Thus the elite continues to delude its blind followers to retain their loyalty rather than fighting against the major issues such as NAFTA and globalization. These are the major issues that count, not eugenics or policies to the native Indians, for without the defeat of NAFTA/WTO concepts, not only will these policies be lost, but Canada will also be lost and become a "third-world" colony under Americans domination.)

It’s the failure of the NDP rank-and-file to keep things is perspective and to recognize the deception of their elite. It's also the failure of local branches to discuss issues (rather than membership and party finances) and to challenge their elite on their stance on the major issues, and lastly, their rationalizations over minor issues while ignoring the "big picture" (of the take-over of Canada) that is destroying the NDP.

JJR


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
NP
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posted 15 November 2001 04:59 PM      Profile for NP   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is it PC to say "young turks"? Methinx more of JJR's xenophobia is bubbling up again.

As well, JJR, you don't know me and you certainly don't know of my socialist activities in and out of the NDP. I'd prefer if you'd keep your petty tirades about me to yourself.

[ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: Noah Evanchuk ]


From: The city that rhymes with fun | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
NP
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posted 15 November 2001 05:10 PM      Profile for NP   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As far as not knowing "socialism", or Marxism for that matter, members of my family:

1)Were leaders in the Estevan coal strike
2)Participated in the Winnipeg General strike
3)Were shot down by the RCMP at the Regina riot
4)Were present at the drafting (in Calgary) and signing of the Regina manifesto.
5)Were active in the Blairmore communist movement
6)And generally were women and men of action.

I know just as much about revolution and fighting capitalism as you do. In many ways I consider myself a follower of true Trotskyite philosophy, i.e. International Menshevism.

I understand your frustrations with the status quo, but much of what you have presented us with sounds like a recycled version of "What has to be done".

That is the real problem with the Left today. Too many dinosaurs of generations past refuse to let the young generation, the youth who have been forced into a consumer society of their parents and grandparents, have a chance to say their peace .

My suggestion to you is to stand back for a moment and have an open mind. Dino Communists need not apply.

[ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: Noah Evanchuk ]


From: The city that rhymes with fun | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 15 November 2001 05:30 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
That is the real problem with the Left today. Too many dinosaurs of generations past refuse to let the young generation, the youth who have been forced into a consumer society of their parents and grandparents, have a chance to say their peace

The ageism aside, I think this thread demonstartes quite nicely what is wrong with the left: we'd rather fight among ourselves.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
MJ
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posted 15 November 2001 06:13 PM      Profile for MJ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It's actions of the NDP while in power that count, not words – a concept which appears to elude almost all NDP loyalists...

And

quote:
MJ thinks the difference between the two concepts are "hair-splitting." Unfortunately he doesn't....

I will point out your earlier comment, JJR:

quote:
It threw out its socialist concepts (Wafflers in the early 70s) and become "left-wing Liberals" and now "neo-Liberals" – the reason why they call themselves Social Democrats (re Alexa and Nystrom) and never socialist.

My point, which I thought was self-evident, was in fact the very one you make above:

"It's actions of that count, not words."

Talking about the theoretical differences of SD vs DS isn't that relevant, it's what gets done that is important.

My more subtle points were that:

a) you shouldn't give such credence to mere words, as you do in your claim that people like McDonough et.al. never call themselves socialists, if you believe that actions are what count

b) it's not useful to make such a broad generalisation if it can be disproved by a 4-minute web search.

I am gently critiquing the mixed messages in your communication, JJR, not the substance of what you say.

(edited to add)

I would also inquire, politely and in good faith, as to the source of the hostility and contempt that is implied by much of the message I partially quote above. Speaking only for myself, it seems difficult to draw the conclusions you do from the very brief content of my earlier message.

[ November 15, 2001: Message edited by: MJ ]


From: Around. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 15 November 2001 07:15 PM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Noah:

Giving the past history of your parents does not automatically credit you with such merit. It's what you say and do that is relevant. I would hardly think from what you've written that your parents would have taken your stance (support of an NDP which supports NAFTA/WTO neoliberal, chaotic free markets, colonialist in disguise). You cannot get off riding their coat-tails.

Then again you overreact when you said: "I know just as much about revolution and fighting capitalism as you do…much of what you have presented us with sounds like a recycled version of "What has to be done".

First, how do you know what I know? Secondly, this makes me wonder about your knowledge of capitalism and logic. You're almost implying that it has changed or became benevolent, that new thinking must be initiated, and that old analyses of capitalism is "dinosaur" thinking. Since when has the basics of capitalism changed?

Second, you state that "Dino Communists need not apply." Are you referring to Stalinists or Marxists forms of communism or both? In any case, both systems do not apply to me as I've detailed in the previous threads.

Third, who prevents you from having a chance to say your peace? It's your arguments that count. I've given detailed criticisms of the NDP and Social Democracy and have challenged the actions of the NDP – and you retaliate with a history of your parents apparently in an attempt of unearned credit. You've had months to challenge my arguments made on SD vs DS but you haven't.

Fourth, you're apparently implying that I'm a "dinosaur" for my thinking. Give me your reasons for what you consider is outdated.

I'm not stopping you from giving your views, but don't expect me or others to keep silent if you give false or irrelevant arguments. If you think you're right, give your supportable arguments – not retaliate like Panzer, Wagewar and the other cowards.

JJR


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
NP
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posted 16 November 2001 02:55 AM      Profile for NP   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
JJR, arguing is something I do with my parents during the holidays. It's not something I import into my free time. If I had months to challenge this SD/DS split of yours and did nothing, it was probably because you insulted my ethnic background to the extent that I refused to enter into debate with you.

In any case, it is non-productive to sit around throwing barbs at each other. What do you suggest the NDP do so it can actually overthrow capitalism?


From: The city that rhymes with fun | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 16 November 2001 03:33 AM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Noah:

One step at a time. Before capitalism is overthrown, it must be replaced by something better which is clearly seen by the people. If progressive forces combine, get into power and implement policies which truly benefit the majority of the people, then it will evolve to eliminate "corporatism" and all the evils of predatory capitalism.

The most feasible and realistic thing to do now is follow the advice of Paul Hellyer as the first step, in the topic which I posted:

NDP holds the key to survival of Canada

If you have a better strategy, let's hear it.

JJR

[ November 16, 2001: Message edited by: JJRosso ]


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gracchus
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posted 16 November 2001 09:28 PM      Profile for Gracchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I had to wander into another topic to find out what Rosso refused to reveal to me when I requested it.

The "democratic socialist party" that bears the burden of the future is -- wait for it -- the good old NDP.

I was hoping you'd uncovered something a bit more inspiring than that.

But hey, for all your lengthy screeds laced with sarcasm and hate words, you turn out to be just another supporter of Alexa's party, though not a completely satisfied one.

I spent many years as an activist in the NDP, and still vote that way. But I lost my allegiance to the party when the Rae government, many of whose caucus members were my friends, decided that Ontario had to be more like New Zealand.

Rae had nothing but "wake up and smell the coffee" messages for the hardworking supporters who put him in the premier's chair, while he had only reassuring words and concessions for the people who had spent big money to keep him out of the Premier's chair.

He managed to alienate, provoke, and frustrate almost the whole spectrum of NDP support, which collapsed at the next election and has never recovered. He opened the way for Harris by making all the neoconservative arguments, but then holding wringing his hands about implementing neocon policies.

But we mustn't be too hard on Rae -- the same sort of thing was happening in socialist parties across Europe. It seems that the old left coalition has just simply run out of steam, leaving its elite scrambling to replace the old base of support with people who just want lower taxes.

Tony Blair is the best example of this trend. He is not socialist at all. He is a hard-nosed conservative who understands that the British cherish some of what he regards as relics like the NHS. He keeps a tight rein on his caucus, which, according to former Minister Mo Mowlam, has been marginalized, along with Cabinet, by a bunch of spin doctors and "experts" much like the Bush team.

I support the NPI because it's an attempt to face the fact that the NDP will die unless it offers something more than a slightly pinker version of the Liberals. I don't know whether it will succeed -- the NDP has had a very noticeable death wish at least since it failed to pick Svend Robinson as Leader, and instead picked boring Alexa McDonough to follow boring Audrey McLaughlin.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
QuikSilver
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posted 19 November 2001 04:16 PM      Profile for QuikSilver     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anything from Lorne Calvert?
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Considering he has the personaility, charisma and political skills of a 2x4, I'd highly doubt it.


From: Your Wildest Fantasies | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 19 November 2001 08:40 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Others I've talked to say he's reminiscent of Tommy Douglas.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 20 November 2001 05:42 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, once again, I skipped most of the posts- Why, this time?

BECAUSE THE ONES I READ WERE DISGRACEFUL PIECES OF CRAP!!!!

For the love of pete! Wingnut`s right! It appears we`d much rather bitch about who`s the "real" socialist, or who knows "the right way" to cure the NDP, than we would to actually develop a policy, get beyond semantics, and start focussing on our ACTUAL opponents!!!

Anyway, I`ve got a book called "Ideologies: an analytical and contextual approach" and here's the big differences they note between Socialism and Social Democracy:

Socialism:

strategies for change: evolutionary
ownership of property: state control of key enterprises/sectors
allocation of resources: regulated market redistribution
democracy: mass working-class party

Social Democracy:

strategies for change: evolutionary
ownership of property: mainly private
allocation of resources: regulated market redistribution
democracy: pluralist

-----

Okay, so what's "Democratic Socialism"? I'd say it's like socialism, except for the part about democracy- that would remain pluralist.

SO BIG ****ING DEAL!!! You're hurling insults at each other over wether the party is more to the right, or more to the left? What a waste of time!!! It depends on where you are- here in SSM, I found that everyone at the renewal conference was fairly farther to the left than the party.

JJR, though I am a Democratic Socialist, I don't see why you have to be such a damn prick.

Noah, you don't need to fight fire with fire.

It's not possible to say "oh the young ND's are more to the left" or "more to the right"- it depends on where you are, and most of all, it depends on the individuals you're talking about. Some youth may be more to the left, some may be more to the right. Some of the party elders may be more to the left, some may be more to the right, too. DOES IT MAKE ONE GRAM OF DIFFERENCE?!?!?!?!?!

Silly me, I thought we were all party members (well, not me- I still haven't joined) regardless of age, wage, sex, or whatever else you people feel like bickering about next!

If you all want to talk about wether the NDP should be democratic socialist, or social democratic, fine, go ahead- I might even join you- but don't start blasting each other with insults, because that only gets the rest of us annoyed!!!


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Richard J Feehan
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posted 21 November 2001 12:59 AM      Profile for Richard J Feehan     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
While I have no interest in the discussion of the technical truthfulness of Social Democracy vs Democratic Socialsim, I am quite taken by this discussion. What I find interesting is the fact that the NDP have essentially lost the battle for the minds of the people in my Province - Alberta- and generally across Canada on a national level. The many programs that we have created over the years are quickly being eroded and the American way has become the truth. The Federal Liberals are the most right wing government that we have lived under in my 41 years and yet no left alternative has been able to find a voice. The question that I have is: how we as a group of people that hope to both preserve and create a particular way of life can register with the voters that can make that way of life possible. It is my belief that the voter could not care less about the technical argument, but would love to believe in a system of government that offered both a solution to many of our difficulties and would preserve the "advantages" of the system we live in. These constant assaults against capitalism are not useful for the simple reason that almost all of us receive our personal wealth in some manner from the capitalist system. Yes, I understand that the capitalistic system is fraught with problems, it requires a person to be at a very special place in their own lives to question the very basis of their ecomonic and social security. I know, I know, this makes me a "liberal" to many of you. But I am continually frustrated with the attempt to make our party successful by telling people that they are inherently bad by supporting a system that is as 'evil' as capitalism. My own experience as a small business owner is that it remains possible to strive toward "success" while at the same time believing in the equal value of all people and wishing for a system would best achieve this.

My hope is that the NDP would simply look at the issues that are possible for people to commit themselves to rather than expect people to 'find the truth'. We as a party are too afraid to 'throw it all out' and build up again. We are seen as a collection of special interests. We represent this group and that group rather than a positive prospect for the future. For example, we should not be against globalization, we should be for some form of acceptable globalization. I would love to see some of these international agreements reflect the values we espouse in Canada. But instead they only represent the values of American style business. So what would a left winger like to see ... what is the positive alternative. Such as a universal minimum wage. International medicare. etc How would we see these being created. What are the first steps toward our ideas. How do we move people along the road without demanding that they be at the end of the journey on day one.

I would love some responses.


From: edmonton, alberta | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 21 November 2001 01:07 AM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Due to the shortage of time with the NPI/NDP showdown I'm writing hastily.

Meades is again acting like a "shithead" as he did over Yugoslavia (refusing to read the stated information and suggested articles and then denigrating Chomsky, Parenti, Pilger, Znet and other experts while supporting the war criminal Louise Arbour for promoting and supporting the criminal and illegal war against Yugoslavia and so on).

In this case, Meades again refused to read the context, and made inaccurate and unsustainable arguments. What arguments have I made which deserve the merit of being called "a prick"? If you cannot answer this, the term applies to yourself.
DC_toronto asked for the differences and I simply replied.

My argument continuously is that there is a great difference between Democratic Socialism and Social Democracy, it is not quibbling as some people think. It is the difference between swimming and sinking despite the assurances by McDonough and Nystom (but Judy Rebick and a host of others aren't fooled by their rhetoric, and I haven't also for the last 30 years either.)

Under today's NDP "social democracy" Canada is finished. Under a CCF type of democratic socialism Canada would survive and even prosper (details are given under the old topic of Social Democracy vs Democratic Socialism, p4or5, in topics 100 days or longer).

So when I see false arguments, I point them out -- I have learned something in the last 70 years. For instance, Meades gives the differences between SD and DS which looks almost identical. But the overwhelming difference in ownership of key industries or sectors and control over the market system. And there's a lot more: "free trade," foreign investment (in which the country could be bought up by foreign interests); and the immoral to criminal colonialist exploitation of poor nations abroad. The end result is whether we will be allowed to determiner our own destiny, US relations, and exploitation of poor people abroad and so on. It's not about who's the better leftist, it's about whether the policies are "Left" (socialist) which will work, or capitalist (social democratic to neoliberalism) which will not (particularly in recessions or depressions).

JJR

[ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: JJRosso ]


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 21 November 2001 01:25 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hello Richard,

I think you have stumbled onto my personal gripe. That is, in particular the issue of media and message in Canada.

For example you ask:
"We are seen as a collection of special interests."

Why is that? The NDP represents people. Some organized some not. But all people. The other main stream parties, for the most part, represent corporate or regional interests. These are not special interets? The answer is the right began branding the NDP as a party of special interests and the media picked it up and propagted the message for them.

This is another example:
"For example, we should not be against globalization, we should be for some form of acceptable globalization."

The left and the NDP are not opposed to globalization. They are opposed to corporate globalization. They favour fair trade over corporate defined free trade. Again this message is lost within the mainstream media.

"I would love to see some of these international agreements reflect the values we espouse in Canada. But instead they only represent the values of American style business."

That is exactly the position of the Canadian left and the NDP. So why don't you and other Canadians know that?

If you only watch and read mainstream media how do we get the message to you?

For the record I am not a member of the NDP nor do I advocate for them. I am still wavering between NDP and Green. Tough choice.

Short note to JJR (and just JJR!): Are you attempting to persuade anyone of anything?


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 21 November 2001 01:43 AM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Short reply to Wingnut.

If you disagree with what I say, challenge the argument. Don't act like a coward or scoundrel.

JJR


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
PanzerLeader
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posted 21 November 2001 01:54 AM      Profile for PanzerLeader   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey, don't ever call Meades a shithead again! He is young guy trying to find his way in the world and he is doing a fine job, if you ask me. Unlike so many his age, at least he has a view. SO BACK OFF!!!
From: Ottawa, Ontario | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Richard J Feehan
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posted 21 November 2001 02:02 AM      Profile for Richard J Feehan     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wingnut

Thanks for the reply. I agree with your concern completely. But, I must point out that I do read other than the mainstream media and I continually find "lefties" saying that they are against globalization. I also do not see anywhere clearly articulated alternative. But rather reactive statements against the right.

On the point of the special interests, I agree that we are seen as such because we have been successfully labeled by the media and the right. I also agree that business is also a special interest which never has to wear the label. Here is my, however,: I know that my party in Alberta does reserve seats and votes for particular groups at conventions and at the leadership table. Unions are given guaranteed spots. I guess that is the kind of thing that we do that makes it easy for us to be labeled. Maybe it is time for us to bring democracy home.


From: edmonton, alberta | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 21 November 2001 02:05 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have been reading your posts JJRosso with great interest, and given the level of hostility directed against you by so many, I was expressing a genuine question. No where in my very short post did I attack any of your arguments or you on a personal level.

I thought some of the comments toward you were acrimonius and undeserved given this is a site for opinion. But appartently a question seeking -- not questioning -- your motives is met with spite and venom.

That is too bad.

[ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 21 November 2001 02:09 AM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
JJR:
1) I ended up reading those links
2) that was, what, four months ago?
3) I also ended up reading all of your posts on this thread, and with that I discovered you were being a prick- not that that is anything unusual for you.
4) I agree with you on Democratic Socialism- I just find your tone terribly rude, for no reason at all- that is why I called you a prick. If you don`t like being called a prick, I suggest that you don`t belittle all those who disagree with you.

quote:
...in your blind defense of the NDP, you're like the religious fanatics arguing how many
angels can dance on the head of a pin.

quote:
a concept which appears
to elude almost all NDP loyalists, particularly the aspiring "young turks" in the NDP.

quote:
MJ thinks the difference between the two concepts are "hair-splitting." Unfortunately he
doesn't know the difference between Keynesian and socialist methods of development –
the difference between Canada destroyed or being saved. It is this form of rationalizing
by MJ and Evanchuck which "distract us from the important issues" and allows the elite
to carry on its neoliberal trend.

quote:
...You
cannot get off riding their coat-tails.

quote:
...this makes me wonder about your
knowledge of capitalism and logic.

quote:
not retaliate like Panzer, Wagewar and the other cowards.

Not only, in many of the posts which are quoted, are you acting like a prick, but you`re also being a hypocrite- again, not that it`s surprising to anyone who has ever read your posts.

You have continually downgraded the quality of discussion on babble with personal attacks (something almost all of us do once in a while, granted. But you have certainly given out more than your fair share.) in addition to an overall negative tone, and attitude.

In an effort to sustain the pleasant atmosphere of babble, I will henceforth completely ignore all of your future attempts at baiting, and that goes for all the other trolls as well.

I would wish you a good life, but I fear you`d only curse me for it not being perfect. So I guess I`m forced to part you with a chummy, ta-ta.

[ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: meades ]


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 21 November 2001 02:20 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hi again, Richard,

Everything it seems gets tossed under the label anti-globalization. But how can one be opposed to a fact? The above term is mostly a misnomer to describe corporate globalization. Activists are involved all over the world with individuals, organizations and NGO's. The left is globalized. Again the issue is with the corporate global agenda.

I was a meeting last week wher Maude Barlow spoke by cell phone. She was scheduled to be there but left Qatar a day late. Outside that meting was a great deal of printed material where alternatives where presented. The problem is how do we reduce an alternative to an easily digestable sound bite like, say, tax cuts?

I agree with your latter statement entirely.
It is time to bring democracy home.

[ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 21 November 2001 03:28 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sound bites? Tax cuts?

"The BC Liberals cut $1.5 billion out of the budget to give you a TAX CUT. They just blew the equivalent of three new hospitals so you could get an extra donut each week."


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 21 November 2001 03:30 AM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
LOL!!!
From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
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posted 21 November 2001 03:45 AM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I still think that if the NDP studied British PM Tony Blair and the Labour Party, they would gain more votes in elections. Some political analysts have said, and this is from reading about it and it was quite a while ago, that Tony Blair is the new modernized left wing. I remember the article suggesting that if the NDP in Canada want to survive, they'd have to ditch their 19th-early 20th century platform.

I find that a lot of European left wing parties aren't as far on the left as the NDP. And the NDP isn't as far on the left as the Democrats in the US. My brother used to live in the US while going to law school there. He said, and I've heard from people living in the US for a time and now back in Canada say that the left in the US is farther than Canada's as well as the Republicans in the US.

As of the whole debate thing what the left should do next in terms of a new party or what not, well, I understand what's happening there. It's the same thing that happened on the right. The splintering to small c conservative parties in the Alliance & Tories. And I readily admit that as long as the Tories & Alliance are split, the Liberals are a lock to win every election. The right needs to consolidate its parties. The same goes for the left. If the NDP splinters into another party such as the NDP & the NPI, they're not going to gain seats, they'll lose even more. So they should take a hint from what happened to the right, get all the minds on the left together and structure a new policy.


From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Marc
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posted 21 November 2001 04:06 AM      Profile for Marc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
JJR...meades is far more intelligent than you are so you should treat him with respect. You appear to be a tired old socialist with nothing to do than to throw insults at people a quarter of your age. I will throw insults back at people who are this pathetic. I guess you have nothing to say...I should have pity on you but I don't and I won't. meades is a bright, funny and enthusiastic babbler who happens to be one of my favorites.
From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 21 November 2001 04:07 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I find that a lot of European left wing parties aren't as far on the left as the NDP. And the NDP isn't as far on the left as the Democrats in the US.

(Oh, I'm laughing AT you, not WITH you)

[ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 21 November 2001 04:16 AM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wingnut wrote:

" Are you attempting to persuade anyone of anything?"

Just because I get childish abuse from a half-dozen right-wingers who pat each other on the back for their right-wing, often neo-fascist and imperialist views, I think it is giving you a distorted view severely out of proportion. Hence, my response.

This of course is due to the ignorant and uninformed views of these right-wing neo-fascists who in some cases do not even know the definition of fascism or imperialism or have any sense of morality. For example, "dumbo" says:

"Yes, the U.S. has taken action for its own self interest. Why is wrong with that?"

What is wrong with imperialism, both economic and military, and support of dictators from here to hell, and exploitation and oppression of people in poor countries??? And of course this is mild compared to the fascist imperialist Panzerlackey for support of the US in bombing Vietnam and others back to the stone age as in Vietnam.

So, because you hear the voices of the "ignorant right" so often, it doesn't mean that my views are incorrect
and nobody is listening. I, may be wrong in some cases, but challenge my views, and we'll see who's right. I'm not an ideologue – I only go where the evidence is overwhelming. ( And I do not insult a person first -- except fascists/imperialists.)

As for Meades, he doesn’t counter my arguments either. When I challenge an NDPr for supporting the NDP over minor issues instead of the major ones – he's annoyed.

When I challenge the "young turks" in the NDPrs to give me reasons for supporting the NDP rather than out of loyalty or opportunism, he's annoyed.

When I object to MJ calling the difference between NDP actions and Democratic Socialism (of public ownership concepts) "hair-splitting" (Keynesian economic vs socialist) Meades is annoyed – even when DC_toronto asked for the differences.

When I point out the fallacious argument of Evanchuck attempting to get unearned credit for political legitimacy -- for riding the coat-tails of his parents), or scorning the ridiculous statement that the NDP is now further to the left than the CCF – except for minor issues ) – Mr. Meades calls me a "prick"! How's that for triple dose of political ignorance, displaced logic and bias? For his performance, he was awarded the support of the fascist/imperialist Panzer.

JJR


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
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Babbler # 1387

posted 21 November 2001 04:52 AM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
DrC - Trolling?
From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
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posted 21 November 2001 05:04 AM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Just because I get childish abuse from a half-dozen right-wingers who pat each other on the back for their right-wing, often neo-fascist and imperialist views, I think it is giving you a distorted view severely out of proportion. Hence, my response.

I presume that you are referring to the NDP and all parties right of the NDP?

quote:
but challenge my views, and we'll see who's right.

What's wrong with one's views being challenged? People challeneg my views, I'll challenge theirs. And as for saying "we'll see who's right", what do you mean by that? Can you clarify what you mean? Are you hinting at total and complete anarchy? And if so, a land without laws would not be a pleasant country to live in for anyone except for the extreme few.

quote:
As for Meades, he doesn’t counter my arguments either. When I challenge an NDPr for supporting the NDP over minor issues instead of the major ones – he's annoyed.

Actually, Meades is an extremely smart kid. The kid is concise. I may not agree with his politics but the kid has my utmost respect for his brains.

So JJR, in your view, what issues are major ones that the NDP should focus on. You've piqued my curiosity. But don't expect me to buy a sickle and hammer lapel pin with a picture of Lenin or Papa Stalin on the center of it.


From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 21 November 2001 02:15 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
DrC - Trolling?

No, I just find it f-ing hilarious that you think the Dems in the USA are left of the EU-social-democrats and the Canadian NDP.

The Dems talk a good game, but in substance they act like kinder Repubs. Take Tom Daschle for example. He generally has, at best, a 50-50 record in voting for legislation that favors the interests of the ordinary fellow as opposed to campaign contributors.

Or take Zell Miller from Georgia. He's a Senate Democrat who votes with the Republicans almost every time. Tom Daschle has reportedly been pretty steamed at Z. Miller.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 21 November 2001 03:52 PM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
JCL:
I don’t care who challenges my conclusions, in fact I welcome questions or opposing evidence. I don't claim to be infallible and will accept anything if it overwhelms my conclusions (separate facts by themselves do not result in the overall truth of an issue -- its the totality of facts which represent the truth and proper conclusion). However, if one does challenge my conclusions, give reasons for it. Debate will eventually determine who's correct. Saying I'm full of shit without giving reasons is useless and solves nothing (normally the act of cowards and fascists). I've stated this half a dozen times already if you've read any of my comments. How much clarity do you want?

Search my file over the last six months and you'll see that I'm opposed to all political parties to the right and left of democratic socialism. (In Canada it would be that of the CCF's Regina Manifesto – with slight updates due to NAFTA and other colonialist policies in disguise.) I've given examples of programs needed to save Canada in the SD vs DS topic under Politics p4 or 5 by now). I've repeatedly stated that Canadian "social democratic" policies (such as the NDP and Greens, with the exception of CAP), are unable to save Canada and I've stated the reasons several time (without a single response from NDP supporters challenging my arguments).

As to anarchy, I've already stated that Anarchism is the stupidest ideology that exists with Marxist's end stage of communism being only slightly less stupid or workable. (What makes you think, I advocate such ideologies in the first place?)

As to Meades, I agree that he's exceptional and should go far and I praised him last summer. (You don't need to tell me about him for this is our third encounter in which each time it was he who started the argument with incorrect statements and abuse). But he makes mistakes just like everyone else, and must must be held responsible for what he says.

As to the major issues that the NDP should focus on – I've stated that in SD vs DS. Today, the NDP should do as the NPI and Paul Hellyer (NDP holds key to survival of Canada) recommend. That basic demand is to create new party of the progressive Left as the only solution if Canada is to be saved.

The destruction of Canada is almost here. Previously, the Trilateral Commission, and now Brezezinski, have advocated a worldwide reduction or destruction of democracy and civil and economic rights (for US expansion and growth). Now the Liberal government is implementing such policies (started by the "big business" Conservatives) and Canada is rapidly becoming a "neo-fascist" and colonial state within the American Empire. (The adoption of the US dollar, on a probable 1 for 2 basis, will be the last straw that ends Canada as predicted by many from Hellyer, and Orchard to Mel Hurtig and Maude Barlow. (Perhaps the right-wing "gun nuts" weren't so wrong after all when they said government only wanted to take away their guns so they couldn't effectively rebel).

Lastly, where do you get the idea that I'm advocating "a sickle and hammer lapel pin with a picture of Lenin or Papa Stalin on the center of it"? Is it from the fascists and other writers because of their political and economic incompetence who try to ridicule my arguments without giving reasons, or are you just trolling to see your name in print?

JJR

[ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: JJRosso ]


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 625

posted 22 November 2001 01:06 AM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Marc, JCL- thank you both very much

As for JJR, he's right that everyone makes mistakes, but one thing he failed to pick up on was that it was his negative and condescending tone with which I had an issue- nothing else. Don't worry about him though. Personally, I'm passed the point of caring about what he thinks of me. Though I consider him very intelligent, and articulate, I just don't like the tone of several of his posts.

Oh well, lets move on to more important issues now


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
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posted 22 November 2001 01:20 AM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
DrC - Perhaps that Miller takes a conservative stance on some issues. Daschle's probably pissed because Miller has to toe the party line.

It's no secret that examining Al Gore, he was split internally. A part of him is right wing because of his Christian upbringing but also a part of him is left wing. I remember reading some of Gore's quotes from the late 1980s and on some issues, he sounds conservative. But on other issues, he's left wing. Gore knew that if he joined the Republicans, he wouldn't have gotten as far as he did had he not joined the Democrats. Kind of like a Trudeau symptom. Trudeau in his heart was left wing. But a left winger like him realized that the NDP will never be a federal power. So he joined the Liberals. An NDPer in Liberal colors.


quote:
Saying I'm full of shit without giving reasons is useless and solves nothing (normally the act of cowards and fascists).
Well, I've been called a troll on numerous times and I interpret that as an inability to answer with reason. Except calling other people fascists or cowards is something I'd never say or even think. But also if someone doesn't answer, it doesn't mean they're cowards or fascists. Some just choose not to respond.

quote:
As to anarchy, I've already stated that Anarchism is the stupidest ideology that exists with Marxist's end stage of communism being only slightly less stupid or workable. (What makes you think, I advocate such ideologies in the first place?)

Aggressive writing tone and vague comments that isn't specific.


quote:
That basic demand is to create new party of the progressive Left as the only solution if Canada is to be saved.

I don't agree with that. Not because my politics is right of center. Nor do I believe that the left could ever be a federal power. But perhaps someday they will. Who knows? But any political party that says they can be the "savior of Canada from itself", I think they're kidding themselves and people today are a lot smarter than they were 300 years ago. 300 years ago, that speech could've worked. People these days are more informed and well educated than in the past.

quote:
The destruction of Canada is almost here.

quote:
Now the Liberal government is implementing such policies (started by the "big business" Conservatives) and Canada is rapidly becoming a "neo-fascist" and colonial state within the American Empire. (The adoption of the US dollar, on a probable 1 for 2 basis, will be the last straw that ends Canada as predicted by many from Hellyer, and Orchard to Mel Hurtig and Maude Barlow.

What about the European Union? They have one currency, or at least a progression towards it. Yet those nations in the EU don't have to lose their independence or nationality to it. I believe eventually we'll see a North American Union between Canada, the United States and Mexico. Like it or not, it will happen. We will still have our Canadian flag, we'll still be called Canadians, still have our national anthem and probably much to the delight of beer drinkers, our Canadian beer. As for Canadian culture, well, I won't go there.

quote:
Lastly, where do you get the idea that I'm advocating "a sickle and hammer lapel pin with a picture of Lenin or Papa Stalin on the center of it"? Is it from the fascists and other writers because of their political and economic incompetence who try to ridicule my arguments without giving reasons, or are you just trolling to see your name in print?

The lapel pin I was referring to is the establishment of communism. Lenin established communism and Stalin was like Idi Amin.

I don't have to read other peoples' writings or counter arguments to yours to decide for myself. I can think critically for myself just like the others can regardless of political beliefs.

As for trolling, there is a world of difference. Calling others idiots and incompetent fools because of your perception of their so called political and economic incompetence is trolling. What I asked of you was not trolling. I was asking you to be more specific in what you're saying.

And I asked you what major issues should the NDP be focusing on? You have not answered. You gave a broad sense what they should do. Yet give no specific examples what they should do. How should the NDP really handle what's going on in Canada in regards to Bill C-36, health care, economy, education, etc.


From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jared
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posted 22 November 2001 01:30 AM      Profile for Jared     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And the NDP isn't as far on the left as the Democrats in the US.

The Dems never were left of the NDP (or at the very least, since the New Deal days), but the past decade or so they've moved right at a dizzying pace.

Exhibit A: California Senator Barbara Boxer campaigned on a strident pro-gun control platform. Since then, her knees have weakened to the point where she simply advocates trigger locks on guns.

"Liberal" is essentially a swear word in the states, even as far as Democrats go. It's a synonym of "wimp."


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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Babbler # 625

posted 22 November 2001 01:34 AM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Stalin was like Idi Amin.

far worse, I'd say. One of his famous quotes:

quote:
One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.

From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
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posted 22 November 2001 06:41 PM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
JCL

What I've been trying to say is that the NDP has NO chance of coming to power with its record across Canada and the current ideology of the elite (globalism by grudging acceptance of NAFTA/WTO etc).
Consequently, no other leftist party has a chance either unless they combine forces, get into power and make legislated changes. (The parties to the right is leading to a neo-fascist colonialized Canada which will soon be destroyed as Hurtig, Hellyer, Orchard and others have stated.)

So even if the NDP has the best platform (and programs) they will not be elected!
Of course they should speak out against this neo-fascist Bill C-36 (part of Brezizinski's ideology of "World Dictatorship" within the next five years – led by the USA as explained in his book , The Grand Chessboard). The NDP, as its first step to regain credibility in the future, should demand the end of NAFTA as it's first piece of legislation – for unless it is abolished, nothing else matters – because we would be unable to determine our own destiny (there is no anti-NAFTA voice of significande in the NDP today).

That's why I didn't give specifics. It is my conclusion (and that of others such as Judy Rebick) that a new progressive party of the left must be formed if Canada is to be saved. So, the first thing is for the NDP is to agree to a vote of NDP members to decide upon a new party as suggested by the NPI and Hellyer. This is because the NDP carries too "much baggage" (not entirely its fault) but sufficient that it will not be elected again. (In my opinion, Bill C36 will sufficiently stifle dissent, and with control of the media by the corporations, there may not be any more elections as everything is transferred to Washington's control in which our representatives will report to Washington instead of Ottawa).

Again I restate – a new progressive party of the Left is the only thing that can save Canada.

If you disagree, at least give me an explanation, unlike the traitors of the right and their childish pronouncements!


(Liberalism in the US is almost synonymous with Communism as already stated in several cases.)

JJR

[ November 22, 2001: Message edited by: JJRosso ]


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
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Babbler # 1387

posted 22 November 2001 11:27 PM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
That's why I didn't give specifics. It is my conclusion (and that of others such as Judy Rebick) that a new progressive party of the left must be formed if Canada is to be saved.

You don't give specifics because there aren't any? Just talk?

As for a new progressive party of the left, I would sooner interpret it as a new party of the left to save and preserve the Canadian left wing ideology. Not Canada in itself.

And please, do explain.


From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
JJRosso
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 720

posted 23 November 2001 07:20 PM      Profile for JJRosso     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
JCL (absolutely last attempt):

As I stated many times before, NO policies of any party matter unless it includes the abolition of NAFTA as it first priority. We, rather than international interests, must and should determine and develop what's needed in Canada – otherwise we'll become a colony based upon the whims of foreign internationals whose only concern is maximization of profits (as in "third-world" countries where almost pure capitalist, survival-of-the-fittest concepts reign supreme).

Canada cannot compete with unfair conditions in other countries ("slave or child labor") or US economies of scale (which often use even lower wages than in Canada through legal and illegal contracting out at "slave-wage" rates, and who's taxes are lower because they do not include the cost of social programs as in Canada).

Free-trade is unwanted as it also does not take into account the social costs – destroyed businesses, jobs, towns, villages and the whole country etc. All those small fishing villages, small farms that dot Switzerland, France, and Canadian villages would all be destroyed if free trade and investment existed.

Consequently it is a matter of values! Either determining our own destiny, culture, heritage and standard of living as we see fit, or allowing multinationals to come in, plunder us, shut us down, and then leave us to survive as best we can.

We cannot "compete" in most cases due to unfair competition due to slave wages and child labor abroad. NAFTA is already de-industrializing Canada as industries are being bought out, closed down or consolidated, and then replaced by an extra shift in the US. It also allows the country to be bought out which devalues the dollar as profits are repatriated. This weakens the dollar, buys less, and reduces our standard of living and causes greater unemployment (severely camouflaged in Canada). As industries close down, the government's revenues are reduced, resulting in less social programs and increased poverty (50 percent increase since FTA commenced). This eventually results in "third-world standards" because the system is based solely on raw competition and maximization of profits.)

Hence, I did not give specifics in this case, because it is useless unless NAFTA/WTO are abolished. (I gave many specifics of Leftist policies in my previous article under the topic of SD vs DS.)

In response to your last question, what good is ideology by itself if it's not to be implemented? The philosophy of the socialist left is explained in the Regina Manifesto (1933) and with modest changes, can save Canada and increase the standard of living. The present approach that our governments are following, is the "colonization" of Canada by the United States, and Canada turned into "a Tennessee of the north." This will eventually set the stage for "terrorist" revolt (if Bill C36 is adopted in its present form). Lots of "fun" then.

JJR


From: vernon bc | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
skippy trippy
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1859

posted 27 November 2001 12:23 AM      Profile for skippy trippy        Edit/Delete Post
jeezzzz..... what's the problem with you people and JJ Rosso.

Look JJ; try not to get to uptight about these people. Even though I find your message ( i.e. actions not words) is as clear as day. These people either just want to pick a fight or they can't form the picture of what you are trying to saying.
As for you people attacking JJ. The guy is like what? 70 years old or something? What 70 year old isn't crusty around the edges?

Imperialism is alive and well with the government of USA as it's head honcho. What are we going to do about it here in Canada? Agrue wether social democracy is different then demacratic socialism? Or if maybe JJ should be more polite with his replies?
I for one have not a real clue. I just know that capitalism waving the stars and stripes ain't working for me.
Maybe you guys and galls can help someone like me (new to a deeper understanding of politics then my daily rags could ever inform me) by posting specifics or directing me to them???????


From: windsor | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
wagepeace
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 114

posted 27 November 2001 06:07 AM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Interesting cartoon from Bruce MacKinnon located here!
From: In a fog and on anti-psychotics | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
hst
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 844

posted 27 November 2001 11:38 PM      Profile for hst     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've only followed this thread for one page and I've had enough. If this is what debate and discussion is considered by you I certainly hope that none of you have ever gone knocking on doors during an election for the NDP or for any party. It would be a lost vote for sure.

The basic question on the difference between social democracy and democratic socialism is a very interesting and important one. Both in theory and in practice.

Unfortunately no one really bothered to discuss it but took to insulting each other or going off somewhere else. Too bad.

If this is what political discourse is in these pages perhaps the hardworking rabble staff and writers should close babble down and use the space for more valuable writing. There are lots of good material on the Net that could fill this space.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Donovan King
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1872

posted 30 November 2001 07:11 PM      Profile for Donovan King   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think we need a new party. NDP has never done much, and everyone is bored with it. Too right-wing! NPI, now there's a party! We support them @(otl.20m.com)
From: Montreal | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
bandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1435

posted 01 December 2001 03:53 AM      Profile for bandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I just got this e-mail about the sort of same issue, I didn't know where to post it because it goes from the convention to social democracy v.s. Democratic Socialism to the NPI

After 40 Years Now What for the NDP?
by Eugene Plawiuk

Watching the 40th convention of the Federal NDP on CPAC here are my
observations on the direction of the NDP.

First lets understand that what happened this weekend was not at all like
the situation the Waffle found itself in thirty years ago. While the Waffle
had a broad base of support like those promoting the NPI and the Socialist
Caucus it was purged by a united front of trade union leadership and party
hacks using backroom politics, slander and red baiting. This did not happen
at this convention either with the NPI resolution or with the Socialist
Caucus candidates for Leadership.

The reason? The Leadership was split, the trade union movement was split,
the party is fractious and fractionated.

This gives us an advantage to push the party left while trying to build an
authentic Socialist Party/Movement out side of the NDP.

First the party IS NOT socialist. Lets make no mistake about that. All
through out the past two years of the party leaderships call for renewal
the old guard have been quite clear that they are 'social democrats'. Ed
Broadbent made it clear on numerous occasions, as has Alexa, that social
democracy is about reforming capitalism, it accepts capitalism as a given
and only wishes to ameliorate its worse excesses. There is NO
anti-capitalist critique in this view of social democracy. This is the view
of those who wish to rule a capitalist democracy. They do not view the
party as a 'workers' party no matter what Barry Wiesleder and the Socialist
Caucus might say. Nowhere during the weekend convention did the 'social
democrats' declare the NDP a workers party, nor did the Trade Union
leadership of the CLC declare the party a 'labour' party let alone a
'workers' party.

In fact in his revisionist history of the party, industrial unionism and
the origin of the NDP Ed Broadbent speaking on the floor made the creation
of the party something that evolved naturally out of the CCF and recognized
the CLC as a 'partner' thanks to the 'first industrial unions in Canada
that were created in my city of Oshawa in the 1940's'.

That Ed forgot that the first industrial union movement in Canada was
created by the One Big Union OBU) in 1919 cannot be forgiven, this is Ed
politicking for CAW votes, CAW being one of the dissident union supporters
of the need for a New party.

That the labour movement and the party suffer mutual schizophrenia
regarding the origin of the party shows the years of incestous backroom
politicking at the top of the CLC and Fed NDP that is now facing a divorce,
one being forced on it because of its political dishonest ideology of
'social democracy'.

This divorce was elequently expressed by Ed Broadbent now historically
speaking for the politically defunct and bankrupt 2nd International (the
still existant Socialist International which all Labour and Socialist
parties belong to including the Labour Party of Tony Blair), again at the
mike on the convention floor. He explained to delegates that the history of
social democracy was one of a political movement working with Labour
unions. Once again Herr Docktor Professor Broadbent, stoops to revising
history for the convention delegates. Social Democracy, the creation of the
2nd International was a direct outgrowth of the workers movement, it was
created by workers as a workers party just as workers were creating unions
during the same time period of the late 19th Century.

Why it was called the 2nd International is because the First International
was created prior to it, and reflected two major currents in the workers
movement, Anarchism and Marxism. This First International was split over
the issue of syndicalism (pure union organizing of workers at the point of
production would lead to a revolution through a general strike) versus
creating a mass political party (that mass party would coordinate a
political struggle to supplement worker organizing on the shop floor). The
period of the first international was one of repression by the state, one
when Bakunins idea of anarchist psudeo-masonic secret society organizing
was a reality in many countries in Europe where unions were banned, let
alone mass political parties of the working class.

The fact is that until the Bolshevik Revolution the Second International
represented the political parties of the working class in Europe, parties
that called themselves Social Democrats. If one reads the writings of
Luxembourg, Lenin, Zetlin, Kollanti, Gramsci, Trotsky etc. once sees
constant reference to themselves and their parties as 'social democrats'.
They viewed being social democrats as synonymous with socialism.

The politcal bankruptcy of the 2nd International was exposed during WWI
when national social democratic parties supported that Imperialist War. The
marxist and anarchist workers and their organizations opposed the War and a
split in the 2nd International occured that never healed. In fact the left
wing of the social democratic movement declared themselves openly communist
called for all power to the workers through workers councils and created
the Third International during and after the Russian Revolution.

Well that was then and this is now. How did we get here?
(for a historical timeline of the NDP go to: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indepth/background/ndp_timeline.html)

The CCF in Canada was the creation of a workers farmers alliance,
influenced heavily by British Methodism. The social gospel of J.S.
Woodsworth. There was an already existing anarchist movement in Canada,
and there was a marxist Socialist Party (SP)in Canada as well as labour
party formations created by the trades union congress in Canada from the
late 19th Century through the 1930's. There was the anarchosyndicalist
union the IWW which was banned in the U.S. and Canada and the Canadian
created One Big Union, thesyndicalist industrial union the creation of IWW
militants and members of the Socialist Party.

After the revolution in Russia, there was the creation of a Workers Party
in Canada, which was banned and had to organize in secret, this party we
know as the Communist Party. It was made up of militants from the OBU and
SP as well as anarchists.

The labour parties in Canada were the creation of trade union politicians
who wanted a trade union party instead of running candidates as Tory-Labour
or Liberal-Labour candidates, which had been the practice until then. These
Labour parties were regional across Canada and reflected the ideology of
the craft union leadership of the Canadian Trades and Labour Congress. This
was the party of Bill Irvine who sat in the Alberta Legislature during the
1920's before going on to become a Federal Labour Party MP.

The CCF was a creation of labour and farmer advocates, methodist social
gospel types, guild socialism and cooperative fabians. It was an
alternative party to revolution, and like all social democratic parties of
the 2nd International advocated for evolution of capitalism towardds
socialism rather than revolution.

Workers power was not on their agenda, rather they promoted an
anti-monopolist prairie populism promoting a co-operative commonwealth of
producer and comsumer coops, building the new society in the shell of the
old, legislative reforms to ameliorate the excesses of capitalism. They
were avowedly ANTI_COMMUNIST as were the Labour parties.

Labour party advocates were elected to municipal, provincial and federal
government positions all through out the 1920's through the 1950's as were
CCF members. The anarchists, syndicalists, communists, and even the SP were
all banned and red baited, they were deported and smashed by a concerted
effort of the state and its RCMP while the CCF and Labour party hacks
cheered. The rivalry between the CCF/Labour social democrats versus a more
left wing, marxist anarchist workers movement was clear from their
inception. This has been social democracies legasy in Canada. Social
Democracy was an alternative to a militant radical workers movement, NOT an
alternative to Capitalism.

This conflict between the radical workers movement and social democracy was
played out across the country during depression. In 1932 the City of
Edmonton city council was dominated by founders of the CCF and the Labour
Party, who acted as an adjunct to the United Farmers provincial government.
They refused to give relief to unemployed workers, to close the single
worker relief camps (concentration camps for the unemployed). The Communist
Party organized workers, farmers and the unemployed across Canada, the
United States and Europe in protest,in opposition even to existing social
democratic governments and in Edmonton a labour controlled City Council. In
1932 with the support of the social democratic city council, the United
Farmers government ordered police to attack and beat hunger marchers.

In 1937 prior to WWII at the height of the depression, after the government
had banned worker volunteers from fighting in revolutionary spain, the
Liberal Federal Government of Mackenzie King adopted the Old Age Pension
act with the support of the Federal CCF and Labour MP's.
Social Democracy was not about revolution, it was about pragmatic politics,
about abandoning socialism for the reality of 'ameliorating' the worst
excesses of capitalism.

WWII created a new world political situation, facing an armed working class
returning from the war, with grievances still pending from the Great
Depression, capitalism accepted the Keynesian model of world wide economic
social democracy, known in Europe as the social contract.
The Liberal Federal government adopted CCF and Labour policies, stealing
the political thunder of these parties, in order to maintain 'law, order
and good government'. In Europe communist workers movements were gathering
strength so the US supported a Marshall Plan for economic reconstruction,
with CIA support for Social Democratic parties in order to undermine the
revolutionary movements.

And then along came the cold war. Needless to say this was a boon to the
CCF, the CLC and its Labour Parties. They were able to effectively red bait
anarchist and communist workers in the union movement. David Lewis, then
lawyer for the CLC, oversaw the purge of radical workers and their
democratic unions, sold out to the American International reactionary
Business unions.

The creation of the NDP was the creation of a new social democratic party,
not unlike that proposed under NPI, which was not adequately promoted in
the NDP. The NDP was a merger of the CCF, the Labour Parties, the CLC and
even yes members of the Communist party and the Trotskyists. It was created
with much dissension in the CCF, many did not want to abandon the radical
Regina Manifesto, for a more 'pragmatic' electoral politics. It was created
through the creation of grass roots clubs, New Party clubs, and it talked
about a new post WWII social democratic politics that could address the
fact that capitalism and its state had survived both a Depression and a
World War (something crude economistic Marxists had predicted would not
happen). It reflected the fact that the left was seriously wounded by the
Cold War, the left was a house divided, the expose of Stalinist
counterrevolution in the USSR and the resulting purges and blacklisting in
North America created a hostile atmosphere for the left.

The NDP met this challenge of cold war poltics by abandoning revolution for
reform. That at this convention it should continue on this course should
surprize no one, especailly the members of the Socialist Caucus.

The overlap betwen pragmatic politics and pragmatic business unionism was
melded by the overlapping leadership of the CLC and the NDP.

That power was enough to purge the Waffle, a new left tendency of the heady
anti-war movement of the late sixties and early seventies. The leadership
of the CLC was dominated by American based International Business Unions
(Steel, UAW etc..)During the Seventies in Canada the IWW reformulated
itself, a new Canadian Union movement was created the CCU which organized
women bank workers as well taking on the International unions in B.C.'s
resource industries, the new left formulated itself into many parties;
Trotskyist, Maoist, anarchist,etc, the gay rights , womens rights,
aborignial rights movements gained mass popularity, a new movement called
environmentalism created Earth Day. Quebec had a quiet revolution, then a
much more vocal one and the birth of a militant nationalist labour
movement. Canadian militants were now joined by thousands of Chilean
exiles, after the fall of the Allende government. A whole new movement was
happening.

The State became concerned as more and more public sector workers joined
unions, and suddenly the CLC saw a growth in Canadian based public sector
unions that outstripped the old American industrial business unions.

The Federal and provincial governments began banning public sector strikes
and brought in wage and price controls. Suddenly the politics of
tripartism, the post WWII Keynesian social compact of capitalist peace and
prosperity shared between corporations, unions and the government was
thrown out the window.

Canada faced numerous crisises in the 1970's, the states support for the
Vietnam war, the use of the War Measures act, the arrest of Jean Claude
Perrot of the Postal Workers, the impostion of repressive Wage and Price
controls despite a one day national protest.

The world economy bottomed out as the oil crisis spread in the 1970's.
Alberta boomed and the rest of Canada spiraled into a recession.

And the old NDP plodded along trying to get elected. Its best showing being
the in the late eighties, after a decade of capitalism's decline into near
perpetual recession.

A mass organized right wing business movement was created in the seventies
as well to the combat the social democratic state of the post WWII era.
This movements success was predicated upon creating an artifical boom for
capitalism. It gained power throug tax cut movements in the eighties and
the 90's. It became the dominant ideological hegemony replacing
Keynesianism and its social democratic compact of tripartite labour peace.
Class War had been declared and the only ones not knowing it were the
Labour movement and the NDP.

Social democrats around the world crouched in terror as Reagan, Thatcher
and Mulroney challenged unions, workers, and yes social democratic parties,
with the ideology of Hyak,
Mises, the Cato and Fraser Institutes, the whole bankrupt 19th century
ideology of lasse faire capitalism. Social Democracy could not adjust, it
could not or would not counter attack. It had accepted the so called new
capitalism of Keynes for so long, it ad created and promoted the welfare
state, that its very reason for existance was now called into question. The
collapse of the soviet union was the final stake in the heart of social
democracy. There was no longer a cold war that social democrats could
benefit from by being the alternative to revolution. And social democracy
was not able or capable of being an alternative to the new free market
capitalism, having spent so long propping up the capitalist state as an
alternative to 'socialism' (that is stalinist command economies).

The current crisis in the NDP is this crisis. That the leadership under
Alexa wants to move right. It wants to embrace the new social democracy
that ameliorates the excesses of the Reagan Thatcher Mulroney years, while
maintaining their program of dismantling and privatizing public services.
It desperately wants to move to the middle, thinking this will get it
elected to government. But we already have the ultimate historical party of
the Middle, the Federal Liberals.

Even Romanow in a moment of honesty thought out loud that the right wing
social democrats should abandon the NDP for a coalition government with the
Liberals last federal election.

And this was the original intent of Alexa's renewal process, how to move
the party to the right in doing so it would mean that the party would have
to sever its historic relationship with the CLC. And if social democracy
had been the handmaiden of Keynesian social compact/tripartite/capitalism,
the CLC had been the leaderships crudgel in beating down the left.

At this convention we had a historic opening in the party. The left
mobilized against the right wing renewal process with its socialist caucus
and the NPI. The union movement was floundering, accepting Alexa's renewal
meant losing power in the party, and the union movement itself was split
between the CAW and the CLC over this issue. Unlike the historic role of
bully boys that the CLC played in purging the Waffle, they were too busy
trying to maintain some influence in the party over the issue of one person
one vote.

The success of the NPI was that it got 40% of the delegate votes. Both
sides stacked the votes, this was clearly seen in table positions. Lots of
Steelworker tables there to support the status quo hoping to get some
crumbs from Alexa's table. The CAW tables supporting the NPI hoping to make
Buzz king maker instead of Georgetti of the CLC.

Svend Robinson, having failed and abandoned his followers in his leadership
bid for the party two years ago, never one to miss an opportunity for self
promotion, helped set up the NPI along with Libby Davis and Judy Rebick to
position themsleves as leaders of the left. How quickly he and Libby
abandoned the NPI, after disastorously watering down the resolution for the
convention, shows that even the left (and by the by Bill Blakie is on the
left of the party as well and he continued to support the status quo) in
the party still believes in Alexa's 'pragmatic politics' (also known as job
security). In fact Louise James co-founder of the NPI a very articulate
young woman of colour from Winnipeg, was dwarfed by the 'stars' of the NPI.
Interestingly she was also a nominator for the status quo back room
candidate for one of the executive positions, not supporting the Socialist
Caucus candidate.

The Socialist Causcus did very well for itself challenging the Leader and
all open executive positions. Despite being rather limited in its
influence, and having relatively unknown candidates, it garnered 20% of the
vote. This was a first, a clear left alternative to the party back room
types, a successful campaign launched from the real grassroots made it to
the floor. Even Alexa sensing the mass disappointment with her leadership,
mused publicly as did her supporters, that it could be a close race. It
wasn't because many of the supporters of the NPI did not support, even as a
protest vote, the SC candidates. Here is a lesson and an area where work
has to be done convinvcing the 'left' in the party to join the Socialist
Caucus. To broaden the activist base in the SC and if need be to make its
leadership more reflective of its membership rather than being seen as a
creation of Barry Weisleder, Socialist Action and its small mileux of
Toronto Trotskyists. Steps in that direction have been made, and need to be
continued.

I supported both the SC and the NPI, with reservations, on both. They were
the outcome of the revolt in the party at the last National convention when
Alexa tried to sell the party on Tony Blairs Third Way. She, Dewar, Nystrom
and other right wing social democrats again tried to sell the party on
Third Way renewal now calling it 'pragmatic politics'.

They missed the point of the NPI and the SC, which called for the creation
of a mass based, movement based, party that would act as an
extraparlimentary opposition as well as an opposition in the house. In
effect a socialist party!

The CLC got its 25% block vote, but it was a pyrichic victory. Alex pulled
a fast one not being Tony Blair she aquiecesed to the CLC and cobbled
together a revised resolution that allowed for one member one vote for
Leader,with a vote by delegates at convention, what this strange beast will
look like is anyones guess. It was enough to get support of CLC delegates,
but just barely, clearly Georgetti was not pleased with it nor the decision
on the NPI, but he was willing to abandon revising the NPI for the delgate
block vote for labour.

The fact that tables were empty of Steel and CAW delegates after the NPI
resolution showed both sides had stacked the convention. Unfortunate for
the efforts of the SC, which could have garnered more votes had more NPI
supporters not abandoned the convention after their motion failed. That
Alexa didn't get the message, and believes she has clear sailing ahead with
her renewal program showed in her refusal to offer an olive branch to NPI
supporters, and the quick return to the fold by Sven and Libby, after a
blasting by Bill Blakie on the floor.

Lousie James did not come to the fore as a leaders of the NPI til after
convention, it was CAW Jim Stafford, Sven, Libby and Judy Rebick that were
all seen as the movers and shakers in the NPI. Had Louise been seen as the
spokesperson we would have perhaps had a different outcome.

In the post debate the real message of the NPI has been missed even by its
self appointed spokespeople. The reality of our message, whether it is the
NPI or the SC is that the party must broaden its politics, it must be seen
Federally, Provinicially and Muncipally as a broad organization of the
working class, and socialist activists. That it functions not just to win
elections but to act as an organized party in an extra-parlimentary
fashion, mobilizing, leading struggles against globalization.

Such was the case in Edmonton, when the APEC energy ministers met and we
organized the Anti-APEC teach in. That was organized by members of the
party, but we could not use the parties name, because of its limitations as
a parlimentary/electoral organization, much of these limitations are in
ints internal mindset, however, it was NDP activists that did this. In the
end our activities resluted in furthering the public image of the Council
of Canadians who hired one of the NDP staff involved to act as their
community outreach organizer around globalization issues. In fact it is
interesting to note that the new communications director for the Council of
Canadians is another former Edmontonian and former director of the Parkland
Institute.

The real debate we must engage in now is how the party can function as an
extra parlimentary movement, how the consensus poltics of direct democracy
can function within a party that still relies on backroom politics. Can
such amerger happen. Is the NDP willing to see itself as the REAL
OPPOSITION to capitalist politcs in Canada, and in the provinces? I fear
that such a communist position (Lenin stated that the only role of
communists in a parlimentary system was to "Oppose, Oppose, Oppose!") is
not even in the mindset of the leadership of the Federal and Provincial
parties. All they care about, and this is their key arguement as presented
by Doer at the convention, is getting to be government.

But they want to be a government in a clearly capitalist system. This is
where I agree with the Socialist Caucus more-so than the citizen democracy
inititatives of the (Liberal) Council of Canadians and Judy Rebick. You
cannot democratize capitalism, a workers government and a peoples democracy
is the anti-thesis of capitalist democracy.

This was an exciting convention for its clear representation of a broad
mass of Canadians. Farmers, workers, trade unionists, academics, women,
men, gays and straights, people of colour, young and old.
We had vocal active on the floor representations by aborigianl, the
disabled and Quebec caucus.
You don't see that at other party conventions. In fact that same weekend
the Alliance held a large meeting, and the TV shots of the room showed
overwhelmingly the white haired membership of this aging group.

The Federal Party has made tactical errors in the past by not aligning more
closely with the left wing of the BQ. Clearly the message of the Quebec
caucus to the party is that they are Soverinists. Both candidates for the
Assoc. President Quebec, the one endorsed by the Quebec Caucus and his SC
opponent were avowed and outspoken soveriegnists. This will be the next
crisis to face the Federalist chauvinists in the party. For the PND to gain
a toehold in Quebec it must be a soverignist democratic socialist
alternative to the PQ and BQ. We must win over the disaffected left of both
the provincial PQ and BQ and their supporters in the labour and mass
movements. Having this outspoken caucus and its leadership is a good first
step. And Quebecs unique situation in Canada must be recognized by those
writing resolutions.

The resolution on Municipal Affairs calling for Federal government
recognition of the autonomy of municpal governments has one meaning in
Quebec and another in the Rest of Canada. In Alberta we have seen the
provincial government bludgeon economicaly and politically Municipal
governments and the autonomy of school boards. In Quebec this resolution
has a different meaning, it would allow English Canadian municipal enclaves
to thwart the Quebec government bypassing it directly to hte Federal
government. In Quebec this resolution takes on an onimous meaning, and
should have been referred back rather than passed in its current form. In
referring it activists in the party would have been seen to have listened
to the floor opposition from the Quebec caucus who opposed the resolution
as it was worded. I too have problems with the resolution because it did
not also address the need to recognise the historic autonomy of School Boards.

In Canada prior to the creation of Provincial states, civic states and
school boards were created based on the dejure commonlaws of Europe. This
is an anarchist arguement that the best government, the most direct
government affecting people is the civic or city state. The fact is that
under both English and French commonlaw the incorportation of the city
comes prior to the creation of larger provincial or even federal states.
The attack by provincial governments against their historic predecesors and
rivals, civic governments, must be addressed, but this motion did not do that.

We need a new politics initiative, one that addresses the need for
restructuring the federal state to be representative of the people, not
just of vested political interests such as the Provinces. All levels of
governance need to be represented. Such a far reaching vision would appeal
to many Canadians. The need for direct democracy in our political process
is the appeal of the referendum initiatives of the Alliance, albeit they do
it for other reasons. With the support of Proportional Representation a
real step has been made in addressing this need to restructure provincial
states and the Federal state. We can abolish the Senate, replacing it with
a proportionally elected house. Proportional representation offers us a
real issue in which to counter the Alliances referendum iniatiatives.

Fighting for the legitimate autonomy of municipalities and school boards in
English Canada can also gain us support. It even allows us to call for the
public ownership of utilities, under the control of the people.

We can put Public Ownership and democrtizing corportions on the agenda
thanks to the blatant failure of privatization. We can say "well they tried
that and it failed look at Air Canada, look at Telus".


In other words we need a Transitional Program to get from here to there.
Will the NDP adopt such a program? I fear not. Its politics as usual in the
NDP driven by the need to become government. Despite having more members in
opposition that the Tories or even the Tories and their Alliance rump, the
NDP have not taken advantage of this. The media covers the Tories even when
there were only two of them left, as a poltical alternative because they
once held government. While the Federal NDP have not held government,
neither has the BQ or Alliance.
Instead of running for government, we must run to become the opposition,
the strongest opposition voice of the left. That unfortunately is not on
the Federal NDP agenda, the back room gang of Alexa, the CLC and co. will
continue to do business as usual, despite this exciting revitalized
convention, and will once again grab defeat from the jaws of victory.

Alexa's refusal to address the NPI before during or after convention, to
say clearly she and her Blairite faction did hear and understood the
message was not forthcoming, and this bodes ill for authentic party renewal.

Despite a clear soverignist Quebec caucus, we will see no approaches to the
left wing of the BQ to form a common front of opposition in the house on
key issues. Despite the call for a broader politics that address the needs
of the extra-parlimentary opposition, the NDP caucus will continue to say
it is being outspoken in the house (which it is), and that is enough. While
the caucus did show up in Quebec, the broader question of what kind of
party does the anti-captalist/anti-corporate movement need will not be
addressed.

I believe that the opportunity before us is to develop a Transitional
Program for Socialism in Canada, a real program that can address short
term, medium term and long term goals. That this was the program of the 3rd
International as well as the intention of the orginal 4th International.
That we build in the NDP without illusions, a strong Socialist Caucus built
on this program, while also looking outside of the NDP towards aligning the
broad left into creating a new authentic socialist movement in pre-party
formation. That once the NDP rejects change as it will in 2003 we launch a
New Socialist Party that addresses our real needs both extra parlimentary
and electoral.

What would a Transitional Program look like? We take up the initiative of
the NPI which is not going to go away quietly into that good night. We look
at what is needed to appeal to Canadians and Quebecers regarding direct
democratic and community control. We look at running candidates for school
boards, health boards, city council, territorial, provincial and federal
government, based on a Transitional Program that is based on a
Black-Red-Green program.

Black for anarchism-direct community control of public corporations and
bodies, broadening the public input into budget process for example (ala
Puerto Valletra) direct democratic alternatives, Red for a different
concept of Socialism, again addressing the need to reform health care under
workers and public control not privatization (Community control of health
care that puts doctors on salary and smashes their monopoly which they
maintain in universities, democratizing health care through short term GP
training to meet our health care needs especially in Nothern communities) ,
public ownership not privatization, and a Green program for authentic
worker-community alternatives that are environmentally sustainable.
Recognition of new form of governance for Aboriginal communities and
Quebec. A proposal for a new federal model of governance including
proportional representation, perhaps modeled on Switzerland and its
referendum and Cantons. A call for authentic community worker controlled
National Day Care with living wages for day care workers. All this must be
the next step in debating what an authentic participatory socialist party
based on a transitional program can be.

And I believe we have a historic momement thanks to the anti-capitalist
movement in the streets, the success of the Socialist Caucus and the NPI
and the current failure of the leadership of the NDP to offer an
alterantive, to launch this initiative across Canada, Quebec and the
Indigenous territories.

We are at a historic moment in Canada to move to the left, to organize a
broad based left alternative to Capitalism. To take on the Right. To build
an authentic socialist movement. Let us pick up the NPI initiative and call
for the building of an authentic Transitional Program, not a pre-made one,
a new one with input from all.

Eugene Plawiuk
November 2001.


From: sudbury | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged

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