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Author Topic: Unionist Party of Canada
LiMpY
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posted 06 December 2001 04:49 PM      Profile for LiMpY     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Howdy guys. Well, there was a little bit too much information for me to sort through this afternoon before work, but I felt I had better post this so I can debate any replies I get.

I am disturbed at the lack of solidarity displayed by the NDP, especially recently, however I cannot say I'm surprised. The fact is, we do need a new Party for the Canadian Left. Unfortunately, it has to be closer to centre and not further away, as NPI supporters seem to believe. People, the left will never attain power at the Federal level until it can split the loyalty of the majority of voters (i.e. the Liberal-minded centre). I have banded with a few other local activists (Ottawa) to come up with this brief outline for the soon-to-be established Unionist Party of Canada (UPC). The UPC is the best chance for the left to ever gain a majority government, as its policies are not hostile towards corporations (as those of the NDP and even moreso the NPI are), but rather attempt to soften the blow that environmentalism and unionism can have on big business.

The UPC’s policies apply to the common person’s senses of patriotism and collective love for the environment in order the win over one’s idealistic sentiments; and combines it with sound financial policies (debt reduction, focus on small business) in order to make these ideals a reality.

The following is the initial statement I have drawn up, and will be subject to elaboration shortly.

Peace and Love---Jared O'Neill =)

The Unionist Party of Canada U.P.C.

The mandate of the Unionist Party of Canada (U.P.C.) is to perpetually seek:

 real equality amongst Canadians from all walks of life
 an increase in Canadian sovereignty
 eradication of poverty within our borders
 conservation and protection of the environment
 and to increase Canadian influence abroad in order to achieve these goals worldwide, not just in Canada.


The U.P.C. believes that this can be achieved by measured, balanced reform in most aspects of government including:

 expansion of grants available to Canadian business, in order to stimulate production in Canada, thereby reducing the need to export to sustain the economy.
 legislation to ensure that governments are forced to increase minimum wage to meet inflation.
 entering into negotiations to amend the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other global trade agreements, giving government greater control over natural resources and trade.
 strengthening of the Canadian Forces to a level consistent with our population and GNP.
 Increased funding and executive power for government agencies tasked with environmental conservation & restoration (i.e. Fisheries & Oceans, Forestry Depts. + The Coast Guard and National Park Rangers).
 Fair marijuana legislation to be introduced following debate. This may include de-criminalization, legalization, or simply a modification of penalties under the Illegal Substances Act—subject to public opinion.
 Severe tightening of refugee laws, preventing refugees from taxing the system with lengthy court battles. Applicants denied entry following the first hearing will be summarily deported.
 Increased funding to immigration department, reducing the backlog on immigration in order to increase population; and hopefully reducing the strain of the Baby Boomer retirement bubble on the future workforce.
 Pay cuts of 3-9% at the highest levels of government, with a subsequent salary freeze for 4 years.
 Legislation prohibiting government surpluses to be used for anything other than debt reduction. It is the policy of the U.P.C. that there is no true “surplus” until government liability is nil.


From: Ottawa, Ontario | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
bandit
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posted 06 December 2001 04:59 PM      Profile for bandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why not just join the liberals? Don;t you think such a slight change in neo-liberalism would be better done by building a whole new party? By all means if it gets the NDProgress to leave I'll be fine with it.

[ December 06, 2001: Message edited by: bandit ]


From: sudbury | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
NDB
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posted 06 December 2001 05:07 PM      Profile for NDB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Welcome LiMpY! Way to just jump right in.

While the values you espouse in the UPC mandate are fair and worth pursuit, they seem to be disconnected in important ways from your policy positions. Namely:

- there don't appear to be any policies proposed to address poverty or equality
- calling for stricter immigration laws and summary deportation seems to run counter to the ideal of "real equality." (Although I do note that you qualify that by saying it's eqaulity for Canadians)
- the two immigration stand seem to contradict each other IMHO.
- your meaning is unclear in certain points, for instance, what are the "highest levels of government" from which you wish to extract pay? Are you referring to political or public service, or both?

Anyway, I'll wish you good luck, although as someone who considers himself "left" I don't find this appealing.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 06 December 2001 05:11 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Sounds like the National Party or the Canadian Action Party.
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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Babbler # 625

posted 06 December 2001 05:35 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The National Party is before my time, but CAP is actually to the left of the NDP as it stands, now.

Also, by your last point, do you mean that spending won't increase (disproportionate to inflation) until the debt is eliminated, or no spending at all until the debt is elimated? Either way, I'm not interested.

Also, the NDP and NPI are hostile towards corporations for very good reasons- if people would ask why instead of pooh-poohing us for it, perhaps it wouldn't be such an issue.


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
bandit
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posted 06 December 2001 06:55 PM      Profile for bandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
and don't polls show that the general public doesn't trust corporations (as well as government) so shouldn't we push for less corporate influence and a more bottom up structure reliant less on both corporations and government? It would sure take a lot of the wind out of the extreme right of smaller gov't by applying that same notion towards a differant end.
From: sudbury | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dogbert
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posted 06 December 2001 10:13 PM      Profile for Dogbert     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My question is... who would support such a party?

The right might get excited by the name Unionist, thinking it means union with the United States- we had a party of the same name in Saskatchewan that wanted just that. But big business doesn't want big subsidies, big business wants big tax cuts. They also like NAFTA as it is, ie. giving them power over governments, rather than the other way around. Why would they support you?

The left, on the other hand, is going to find little to love in your immigration policies, or in your love of big business. They're also going to question how you can increase subsidies, eradicate poverty, fix the environment, and lower the debt all at the same time. Why would they support you?

So, you're short on campaign workers who believe in your vision and the money to make yourself seen. The "common person in the middle" is thus unlikely to notice you. So, the best you're looking at is to siphon a few votes off left wing Liberals and right wing NDPers.

Sorry, but I just don't see what you think you'll accomplish here.


From: Elbonia | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 07 December 2001 12:44 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If it can split the middle, okay.
If it splits the middle and gets people thinking about why they support this side of the middle or that side of the middle, and maybe defining what they really want, okay.
If it helps in even the slightest way to prevent another bloody majority for the unLiberals, okay.
As to the future, we need something entirely different.

[ December 07, 2001: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
LiMpY
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posted 07 December 2001 04:47 PM      Profile for LiMpY     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey hey,

Well, the replies to my post brought up some extremely important topics, some of the leftist resistance we were expecting, and a reiterance of the challenges the UPC faces in growing from fledgling wannabes to majority government.

First, let me reply to NDB, who made 4 challenges to the policies of the UPC with regards to our mandate:

-- with regards to poverty, the UPC recognizes that there will forever be a segment of society that cannot be helped by the government without infringing on the rights of those impoverished or others. Namely, this means many who live on the street as a result of mental illness or lack of drive.

With this in mind, the UPC believes that debt reduction, reduction of government spending waste, and long-term thinking with regards to the baby boom retirement bubble will all contribute to greater funds primarily for social programs and, subject to research, either an increase in non-taxable income or gradual tax cuts aimed at the lowest tax bracket.

--next...immigration. The UPC strongly believes that immigration is both wanted and vital to all aspects of Canadian society. One must differentiate between refugees and other immigrants, NDB, as people afforded refugee status have inherent rights that most immigrants do not. With regards to these laws, the UPC intends to ensure that the refugee process is fair, but still looks out for the best wishes of Canadians. Therefore, the UPC intends to make amendments to various laws thereby requiring a refugee to do more than simply enter territorial waters to obtain all the judicial rights and privileges a Canadian citizen would have.

I know--this is not very left-minded. It remains up for debate, but when it came up in discussion with other members of the UPC, we decided that this policy would be necessary to cater to many blue-collar workers (who the NDP have gradually lost as voters) and the Liberal-left.

the above counts for your second point as well...

--finally, with regards to pay cuts and freezes, we have found exhorbitant amounts of government waste with regards to salaries in many positions that receive little public scrutiny. Generally, this has to do with advisors or consultants hired for positions of short duration (1-3 yrs.), however this is not necessarily the case. The UPC will make these decisions on a case-by-case basis within the party (with regards to its policies) or case-by-case basis within the House (with regards to legislation). Additionally, potential UPC MPs will be required to be party to an agreed-upon 3%-9% cut of their gross government salary. These funds must be directed toward a registered charity of said MP’s choosing. In order to avoid corruption of various kinds, these funds will NOT be pooled.
This action is a gesture of goodwill towards the public—or if you prefer, you can construe it as a political stunt, however it will show that the UPC is prepared to put its money where its mouth is.

I don’t really know how to respond to all the replies I got, so I’ll try to make a couple separate posts.

In response to you, Dogbert, I have to defend the party. Right off the bat, I want to say that the party so strongly advocates Canadian independence in its mandate, that nobody can mistake it for the part you speak of in Sask. Secondly, I would like to as: When you think of corporate influence that you object to, what do you think of? McDonalds? Wal-Mart? Exxon? We believe that these government subsidies are necessary to jump-start production in Canada. We can’t afford tax cuts. As a side affect of increased production, we will have less reliance on export. Less reliance on export= less leverage the USA can hold over us. Key players in the USA? The above mentioned corporations. So while the subsidies will help some business (and, might I add not necessarily big business, who may not qualify and certainly not if foreign-owned) it will in the long term reduce corporate influence and not the other way around.

We expect very little support from the corporate sector with regards to finance. We are expecting most of our power to come from the left, who will finally see a way for something to get done, and from people who vote Liberal simply because they find the other parties too radical.

Hey, we’ve been around for 2 months and we’ve got 6 dedicated members. Not much, but it’s a start. After all, what has the NDP done for you lately (like in the past 70 years)?



From: Ottawa, Ontario | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 625

posted 08 December 2001 07:02 AM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Health care
From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
LiMpY
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1834

posted 08 December 2001 11:05 AM      Profile for LiMpY     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In response to your post, Meades, I have to ask..spending of what, and where? Obviously, spending everywhere must increase at an inflationary level, and our budget would reflect this, and a few of our spending increases are outlined in our policies. However, as part of our long-term economic plan, the UPC would like to see debt at nil or close to it. Additionally, if this is legislated, it would provide future governments with incentive to budget realistically and not hold out on social programs for any given fiscal year.

Your second point is valid also, and I agree whole-heartedly. In no way do I “poo-poo” you for it, as I am aware of the reasons. However has the NDP ever achieved majority, minority governments, or even the status of Loyal Opposition? We believe that one of the factors needed to be elected, especially at the federal level, is to avoid scaring corporations. At least for now.

In response to Bandit’s post I would say that the Party will likely come up with a plan to help small business quite shortly. So far we have all agreed that to reduce government corruption, corporate influence must be eradicated. I disagree with your less government approach however. With regards to environment and trade and social programs, more government is needed with less money driving its policies. I also wonder if the polls you cite are accurate when I see the kind of public backlash against 99% peaceful protests like the G20 in Ottawa. Backlash with regards to Quebec City, I can understand….but Ottawa? It was tame.

Meades again: Health care isn’t a social program?

Well that takes care of the UPC for now...on to other posts.

Peace and Love--Jared O'Neill


From: Ottawa, Ontario | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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Babbler # 625

posted 08 December 2001 11:19 AM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Health care isn’t a social program?

Yes, health care is a social program- did I ever say I didn't like/use/support social programs?


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 08 December 2001 02:09 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
-- with regards to poverty, the UPC recognizes that there will forever be a segment of society that cannot be helped by the government without infringing on the rights of those impoverished or others. Namely, this means many who live on the street as a result of mental illness or lack of drive.


Excuse me if i point out the dangerous bigotry here. Nobody lives on the streets because of Mental Illness they live on the street because of lack of adequate supportive housing and community resources. With appropriate support recovery from acute psychiatric distress is quite high.
Also there is no segment of the population that cannot be helped by changes in social, political or economic conditions.
Please explain how such flagrant poor bashing has anything to do with the left.

From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
LiMpY
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posted 09 December 2001 05:59 PM      Profile for LiMpY     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In no way is this poor bashing. Believe it or not, N.R.K., there are many people who live on the street because it suits them.
I know--I lived with them for months on end. The street has many advantages, although few people would believe they outweigh the disadvantages...only those who are constantly and continually attacked by society as a whole and society's enforcers.

I would like to ask, NRK, how you would force a mentally-ill person who lives on the street, to seek treatment, when they believe they prefer to be there and seem to be managing ok?

In discussion, those involved with the UPC felt that their right to move about in a free society as they saw fit was paramount, and that it was self-rightous and egotistical to take the position that the government knows better than its citizens.

So, NRK, while you may believe it is okay to forcibly remove someone from the street, under the pretense of "helping" them, the position of the UPC is that this is the wrong approach.

Rather, the UPC believes more funding to various charities and social programs will provide the necessary resources to aid these people when they choose they need help.

I, for one, do not believe in imposing my will on others.


From: Ottawa, Ontario | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 09 December 2001 11:27 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The first premise I was questioning Limpy was that there are some members of the populace could not benefit from intervention in the political economy or alterations in social conditions. This I would contest and also suggest that it is implicit poor bashing because it represents being marginalized as a personal choice rather than a result of existing social conditions.

quote:
there are many people who live on the street because it suits them.

After five years as a mental health outreach and housing support worker I do have great difficulty believing this it has certainly not been my experience. Someone might express a choice in the context of a lack of options. If the choice of being on the street in contrast of staying in an overcrowded and dangerous shelter system, then the "choice" can be understandable. Anyone who has seen Toronto's hostel Seaton house could understand this. Other options overcrowded dilapidated rooming houses or boarding homes.Paying $350 to share a tiny room with 3 others represents a choice. I suppose it does but not a very significant one. You might note in my original post I said the solution was adequate, affordable and suupportive housing for those diagnosed as mentally ill. I have also met some people who express homelessness as a choice as a form of protecting their sense of dignity sense of control and mastery all of which are constantly under attack by society.

quote:
I would like to ask, NRK, how you would force a mentally-ill person who lives on the street, to seek treatment, when they believe they prefer to be there and seem to be managing ok?

Exactly at what point did I advocate forced or coercive "treatment" of any kind. It is because of these types of interventions some people end up homeless.
I admit there are some people who express reservations about being housed. Often they are distrustful and fearful of contact often with good reason I might add. It is therefore necessary to engage and befriend the person and try to understand the trajectory of experience that led to them living on the street and what barriers they face on becoming housed. As I stressed earlier it is often due to lack of alternatives and negative experiences in inadequate or dangerous housing. If someone takes the time and effort to do this, you find homelessness is not a choice. I know this because I have had a great deal of success in housing people referred to as long-term homeless suffering from "chronic mental illness."
Having said that I will stick to my original statement that "mental illness" does not cause homelessness;lack of adequate, safe, affordable supportive housing causes homeless. So if you don't condone forcing your will on other people you would advocate for a revolutionary restructioning of social conditions so that everyone might benefit. In the mean time it would be helpful to advocate for the building of affordable housing at least then people would have a genuine choice.

From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
LiMpY
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posted 10 December 2001 11:12 AM      Profile for LiMpY     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
...NRK, in your latest post, I had trouble finding a point on which we disagree...

You basically agreed with me that people with mental illness must make the first step, with the encouragement of others. In no other way can this step be taken for them without infringing on their rights.

The only thing I would contest is your statement that what I said was poor-bashing. Not at all, but it _would_ be idealistic to believe that EVERYONE can be helped by the government at the same time. And let's face it, those on the street DO have a choice. Granted, they are not pleasant, however nobody can expect to get off the street and immediately be given a nice single-living apartment. One has to work for that, and work hard. Now, dont' take my next statement out of context. There will always be lazy (for lack of a better word) people in society. Many homeless people (particularly the youthful component of the homeless population) are lazy. I feel this is a strong word, but I don't know any other way to describe this, and what I am saying likely doesn't represent the feelings of the rest of the Party. Homelessness represents a world free of responsibility for these people, and lack of long-term thinking. So education is key, but no matter what people will make bad choices.

And one of these is homelessness.

I think I will, however, ask for the "forever" part of the statement to be removed, for a word that more accurately represents the long-term hopes of the UPC.


From: Ottawa, Ontario | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 11 December 2001 01:16 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
While I admire your attempt to build concensus I must stress that there are still a number of important distictions in our positions.
quote:
You basically agreed with me that people with mental illness must make the first step, with the encouragement of others
What I actually said was the first step in building safe, affordable supportive housing. You can't offer someone something that does not exist. Also the second step involves doing outreach amongst people who are marginalized and homeless in order to engage them and build trust. It ends up being a co-operative effort.
I also stressed that it is important to understand how people became homeless in the first place. By choice only if you believe death by hanging or firing squad a choice. People who come in contact with the mental health system often lose housing due to a psychotic episode that results in eviction and other times because while in crises in hospital for extended period their rent does not get paid. Other people are fleeing dangerous, harassing or threatening environments. Some may be denied housing because the stigma attached to their condition.
quote:
nobody can expect to get off the street and immediately be given a nice single-living apartment
Actually this is exactly what I am advocating. This is also what the organization I work for did.
i especially advocate this for those who have been given a psychiatric diagnosis due to the particular barriers they face (see above). We also have responsibility as a community to assist those we deem "disabled".

As for the homeless situation in general we also disagree

quote:
And let's face it, those on the street DO have a choice.
In my last post I described the appalling condition of certain housing stock. I did not point out that very vacant rental housing exists. On another recent thread I posted links detailing the lack of affordable housing in Ontario. You are welcome to look them up. Once again I am advocating the building of affordable housing. If adequate housing is built and people are still on the streets perhaps then we can discuss the question of choice.

quote:
Now, dont' take my next statement out of context. There will always be lazy (for lack of a better word) people in society.
I don't think I am taking this out of context but I do have a problem with the term lazy. I find the term lazy to be a rather non-descriptive characterological label that does little to understand an individuals experience or the social conditions they face. I think it is more accurate to speak of people as marginalized, disenfranchised, or alienated. To a large extent there may be people who have given up hope because of the number of times they have been rejected. Most people I meet through my work want very much to work but rarely do they have the opportunity. The theory of "learned helplessness" (a theory developed by Martin Seligman www.positivepsychology.org )is particularly useful in explaining the situation many people face.
The main difference in our positions is that you claim people face homelessness/poverty due to dispositional factors be it craziness or laziness. I on the other hand am attempting to stress the social conditions that lead people to these states. I would further elaborate on what these exact conditons are but it's getting late. Hopefully in the next couple of days I can start a new thread "The myths of capitalism:confessions of a class traitor.
but now it is late and I have work to do.


[ December 11, 2001: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]

[ December 11, 2001: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
LiMpY
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1834

posted 11 December 2001 03:37 PM      Profile for LiMpY     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
We've gotten a little past the discussions the UPC has held thus far, so the following are my opinions alone.

With regards to mental illness you are obviously more knowledgeable than I, and what you advocate makes sense. Therefore I concede that point, and do not believe it contradicts the goals or policies of the UPC.

However, with regards to those on the street who do not suffer from mental illness, we disagree significantly.

The housing systems in place right now (in the Windsor-Montreal corridor, anyway) are
adequate to meet the needs of those who truly wish to take responsibility for their lives and integrate with the "rest of society". (The last part of that phrase is disheartening, but the sad truth is the homeless are not considered part of society, as the system stands today). Housing needs to be expanded, yes. It needs to be made more available financially, yes. But there is no reason for teenagers and adults to be placed immediately in single-living residence at the tax-payer's expense. I believe it is quite reasonable to expect someone to live in common with 1 or more people, provided there is adequate space, plumbing, etc. One may have to stay in a residence such as this until they are retrained, and/or obtain employment satisfactory to their needs. At such a time, they should be able to move into a place of their own as anyone else would. Obviously, for this to happen, government controls will have to be put in place to keep rents down (namely in Ottawa and Toronto).

As for laziness, I don't believe in the Politically Correct Revolution. What do you call someone who just doesn't really want to work? Granted, some don't want to work because of depression, or various other environmental factors, but for some people, you call them lazy. It could just be a character trait.

Socialism would have worked long ago if not for laziness, and we would all benefit from a utopian bliss.



From: Ottawa, Ontario | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
bandit
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posted 11 December 2001 06:09 PM      Profile for bandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think being lazy had nothing to do with it more like weapons of mass distraction, as well as COINTLPRO (or the CIA's op: chaos), Mcarthyism,etc,etc; had a lot more to do with the lack of socialism in our society.
From: sudbury | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged

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