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Author Topic: Martin on the NDP
Kiavash Najafi
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posted 18 December 2003 07:36 PM      Profile for Kiavash Najafi     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The CBC (Canada Now) was just showing parts of Martin's new-year interview with different media outlets. In one part Martin said that he's not too worried about the Conservatives and that his real challenge is the NDP. We just got an endorsement from the Prime Minister!

Then he bashed the NDP for not being the "great NDP of the past". He said that we're "NDP-lite", we have no substance to our arguments and that "Canadians won't buy it".

Funny thing is that the CBC showed Richard Mahoney saying that people of Ottawa Centre will have the choice between the leader of the 21st. century, Paul Martin, or the old, tired, class-conflict arguments of the NDP's Jack Layton.

So, which one are we? Too old and ideological? Or too hip and moderate?

Or, are the Liberals just plain confused and scared? Any thoughts?

PS. I will post the link to any internet files on Martin's interview, whenever I find one.


From: Toronto and Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 18 December 2003 07:43 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Then he bashed the NDP for not being the "great NDP of the past". He said that we're "NDP-lite", we have no substance to our arguments and that "Canadians won't buy it"."

Sounds like he's describing the current state of HIS party. Also if he thinks the NDP of the past was so "great," I expect him to push a quite leftist set of policies, right?


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Albireo
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posted 18 December 2003 07:46 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Testing.

Heh.

[ 23 December 2003: Message edited by: albireo ]


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Newbie
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posted 18 December 2003 08:38 PM      Profile for Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You know the thing is, and while I hate to sound like David Orchard, I feel like a conservative, or at least old-fashioned.

There have been a lot of changes over the last couple of decades that really suck. A lot of things were better in the Canada of Mike Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, David Lewis, Ed Broadbent, Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark.

Yes, there were a lot of things wrong too, and none of these men were perfect.

I want a government that pays its bills and spends its money wisely. And I happen to think social spending is a wise investment.

I want a government that stands for Canada and stands UP for Canada. I want a government committed to maintaining what works well, and not to have an ideological urge to do things they THINK should work (like selling off crown corporations for a quick cash grab).

And I want a government that WILL take action where action is needed, not waiting for a crisis to erupt. I sure don't have answers to all issues, nor to all the unforseeable ones, so I want a government I can trust to make decisions on my behalf in accordance with principals I believe in.

So I guess in a lot of ways, compared to someone like Paul Martin I'm old-fashioned and conservative.

I believe the party that best exemplifies what I want is the NDP.

I don't expect miracles. I realize how limited the powers of a government really are compared to the forces of the global business community.

I'm not particularly interested in "tired, class-conflict arguments" and I don't think that's what Jack's giving us. I don't really want to hear about ideology either, or ways to divide us, including rich from poor.

I want to see Jack run a very positive, upbeat campaign, negative about the Martin Liberals, but not attacking the rich (a definition of which is always problematic) or the Liberals (and Tories) of the past.

The NDP is not going to win power as an old-line socialist party, like it or not. But we can, at the very least, halt the ever-rightward drift of the political "centre" and start moving it leftward again.

There is much in the past that the NDP proposed and the Liberals and Tories adopted (not "stole"), that were then destroyed by Mulroney and Martin (there is NOTHING to be gained by criticizing Chretien for the parts of his record we dislike and everything to be gained by praising him for those we like.)

Martin is a policy wonk, we'll need lots of policies too. They should be imaginative and not cost much -- we don't need to fight off the "tax and spend" accusations. And while the tax cuts have to stop, we can't bump things back up either.

One has to wonder what Martin's motives are. It has nothing to do with winning this election. Is he, like Joe Clark, actually trying to build us into the opposition because they do not want the Canadian Alliance to ever be allowed to govern?

I certainly don't. Martin's MORE than right wing enough for me!


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 18 December 2003 08:59 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Newbie:

You know the thing is, and while I hate to sound like David Orchard, I feel like a conservative, or at least old-fashioned.

There have been a lot of changes over the last couple of decades that really suck. A lot of things were better in the Canada of Mike Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, David Lewis, Ed Broadbent, Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark.

Yes, there were a lot of things wrong too, and none of these men were perfect.



I feel the same way about American politicians. They were a lot better 30 years ago. Of course, there was Nixon, but even he, I hate to say, was better than Bush. And you actually had Republicans who were more progressive than many Democrats. From what I know about Canadian politicians, the folks you mentioned, and several that preceded them, were far superior than most of the politicians today. I guess Darwin was wrong.


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 18 December 2003 09:19 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Nice post, Newbie. I echo your sentiments. I am an ex-PCer myself, and feel at home in the NDP. I may even be to the left of many in the NDP, as I am insisting on investments now to cure the social deficit. We have cured the economic and fiscal deficits, now it is time to turn to the social. After 20 years of Mulroneyism we have had enough. The pendulum must swing back.

I think Paul Martin is very unwise to not play the middle between the Conservatives and the NDP. The vote splitting on the Right (i.e. Conservative/Liberal) could now bite Martin on the ass, considering how right wing and corporate he is.

Between now and the election the Conservatives are going to be getting a lot of media play, what with their leadership race and so forth. Considering the Conservatives are at least around par with the NDP in the popular vote, shouldn't Martin consider them an equal threat?


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Michael Hardner
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posted 18 December 2003 09:24 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree with much of what you wrote, Newbie.

Especially this:

quote:
I want to see Jack run a very positive, upbeat campaign, negative about the Martin Liberals, but not attacking the rich (a definition of which is always problematic) or the Liberals (and Tories) of the past.

By moving to the right, Martin is handing the NDP a chance to grab the rich centre-liberal votes that are out there. Layton should campaign to maintain our sane social spending, our infrastructure, our inclusive values - the type of thing that helped the Liberals win in the past.

These are not left-wing values, but Canadian values. Martin will lose many mainstream votes by going after the 20% right-wing votes that are out there - these are the NDP's votes to gain.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
hibachi
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posted 18 December 2003 09:57 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And who is now calling himself 'centre-left' and is not 100% happy with Paul Martin?

Warren Kinsella!!!!

If he is 'centre-left', why did he work for John Tory and not David Miller?

And I QUOTE:

December 16, 2003 - From Revolutionary Moderation - a summary of Canadian leftist bloggers. There's not many of >>>>> us <<<<<, but we are loud and proud, etc. Throw off your cable modems, you have nothing to lose but an expanding abdomen, etc. etc.

Click

Will Warren be joining the party come electiontime? That would be a mind blower.


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Mycroft_
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posted 18 December 2003 10:06 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Kinsella is not centre-left. He's centre-self.
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Newbie
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posted 18 December 2003 10:17 PM      Profile for Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Of course I just saw Jack and Ed and they were talking about how Martin did things for the rich.

Instead I think they should be talking about how Martin made things good for the other members of the mile high club. Not necessarily that, but something that makes it clear we're not talking about 90% of Canadians.

I definitely think policy is important, I really don't have ideas to offer there. Tuition fees, which Ed has been talking about is an issue that not only resonates with the young, but with their parents as well. From poor, to middle class to upper middle class it's a big issue.

We need other issues that can bring together a broad spectrum of voters that are in keeping with NDP principles and values. No one is going to vote for a party that is out to harm them, as the Alliance doesn't seem able to learn.

In many ways, and I expect some may jump on me merely for mentioning it, but I think Dalton McGuinty's campaign against Ernie Eves was in many ways a good model for campaign style.


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Stockholm
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posted 19 December 2003 12:11 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Then he bashed the NDP for not being the "great NDP of the past". He said that we're "NDP-lite", we have no substance to our arguments and that "Canadians won't buy it".


Well, now that Paul Martin has paid tribute to the "great NDP of the past", we should all take his comments to heart and elect the ultimate symbol of that "great NDP of the past" and elect Ed Broadbent!


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Schmillis
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posted 19 December 2003 04:04 AM      Profile for Schmillis     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by hibachi:
I think Paul Martin is very unwise to not play the middle between the Conservatives and the NDP. The vote splitting on the Right (i.e. Conservative/Liberal) could now bite Martin on the ass, considering how right wing and corporate he is.

Between now and the election the Conservatives are going to be getting a lot of media play, what with their leadership race and so forth. Considering the Conservatives are at least around par with the NDP in the popular vote, shouldn't Martin consider them an equal threat?


I think this is fantastic. Think back to the 2000 election, how Chretien played up the Alliance threat and virtually ignored the NDP and PCs. What happened? It polarized the choice, gave credibility to the Alliance, created the impression of a vast difference between the Liberals and Alliance, and squeezed the NDP and Tories into the "oh yeah, by the way" category of news coverage.

For Martin to pick the NDP as "enemy #1" and ignore the Conservatives is fantastic for us and horrible for the Cons. Martin is helping us differentiate ourselves from Liberals, he is identifying the NDP as a real and credible force, identifying us as "the" alternative for anti-Liberal voters, and stealing the thunder of the Cons as they try to establish themselves as "the" alternative. If Martin keeps this up, this will be the best thing that could possibly happen to us!

"First they ignore you. Then they mock you. Then they fight you. Then you win." -- Ghandhi (I think)


From: Edmonton | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 19 December 2003 04:37 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in what MulMartin is saying.

I'm sure he'd like nothing better than for the NDP to take his advice, dust off the old fire and brimstone "Hang the Corporate Welfare Bums" rhetoric to find out it doesn't sell today as it didn't sell for David Lewis.

Sure, it appeals to me, but it scares the bejesus out of the soccer moms and bubbas who, even if they acknowledge there's a class war going on, are still deluded into believing they are on the winning side.

And you know what?


I don't think we need to take advice on substance from Liberals.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tackaberry
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posted 19 December 2003 08:22 AM      Profile for Tackaberry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
this doesnt dictate the election campaign. Now, Layton is ascending. So his trhone speech will be left and hel'll go after Layton (and yes this launders credibility to us).
The conservatives aren't making news, so don't help them make news. Ignore them. It works
But come convention and new leader, just before the election, the conservatives will be ascending and Martin will switch.

This is why right now is the most important time for the NDP. We have to do a lot of damage and gain control of the media cycle so that MArtin can't switch later.

The NDP has about 3 months to capture the media cycle. If they dont, then we will be ignored like the conservatives are now come election time, come the right's ascendence.


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Guêpe
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posted 19 December 2003 10:48 AM      Profile for Guêpe   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If the Liberals are attacking us, then that's a good thing. Yes for the 3 month news cycle that is important. One also has to keep in mind the 24 hour news cycle.

The NDP will eventually have to try to get positive coverage in the news once a day.


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Olly
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posted 19 December 2003 11:24 AM      Profile for Olly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree that the NDP needs to lose the rhetoric of attacking the "rich." But there can be a more nuanced version of it. I think it's fair to point out the policies that benefit the rich, but within the context of a basket of policies that raise incomes and earnings for the average person ie. letting the average person catch up to and share in that prosperity. These could include tax cuts for middle income earners, raising basic income tax exemption levels to move people in poverty out of the tax rolls, higher social spending in areas such as the National Child Benefit Supplement, the creation of a new investment savings vehicles for low income earners, etc.

There was an interesting article yesterday in the Toronto Star about the Toronto Transit Commission's lack of funding from upper governments. You have to read through it to find it, but it makes the point that the Martin government is feeling pressure to live up to commitments on the "new deal for cities" for fear that the NDP and Jack Layton will usurp them on this issue.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?M12A26AD6


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hibachi
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posted 19 December 2003 12:12 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Do you HONESTLY think urban issues will get ONE RED CENT from Paul Martin? When it comes down to it, that is not a federal responsibility.

Suckers.


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Olly
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posted 19 December 2003 12:22 PM      Profile for Olly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Do you HONESTLY think urban issues will get ONE RED CENT from Paul Martin? When it comes down to it, that is not a federal responsibility.

Who are you referring to when you say "you?" If you mean me personally, I think there will be something more than "one red cent" for cities, but probably not enough to make any significant dent in the infrastructure and social deficit. As the article said, Jack is scaring them into some sort of action, and they do have one of the most progressive Liberals on the file. That said, I think Jack can and should be the leader on a cities agenda.


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hibachi
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posted 19 December 2003 12:37 PM      Profile for hibachi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No, it will just be talk talk talk, just like McGuinty does. They will say they have a deficit or something. Currently they have a FREEZE on all CAPITAL EXPENDITURE from Ottawa. This presumably includes cities, who need money for CAPITAL infrastructure. They will NOT Get it, as paying off the debt is more important.

If you HONESTLY believe that Martin is going to LIFT A FINGER for the cities, I have a bridge to the Toronto Island Airport I want to sell you. And if the NDP is calling for it, it is even LESS reason for them to act. You don't know how misanthropic these people are.

Suckers.


From: Toronto, Ont. | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 19 December 2003 04:52 PM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
i honestly hope the ndp get elected just so all the deluded dippers out there (and on here) can finally see what a sham party the ndp is.
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Newbie
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posted 19 December 2003 05:40 PM      Profile for Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by person:
i honestly hope the ndp get elected just so all the deluded dippers out there (and on here) can finally see what a sham party the ndp is.

I'd call you a capitalist pig, but you seem incapable of actually using capitals.


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
speechpoet
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posted 19 December 2003 07:48 PM      Profile for speechpoet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
LOL, Newbie.

On the Martin comments: if this does in fact signal the death knell of scaremongering about the big bad Right, that could be a watershed for "strategic" (read "self-defeating") voting in federal elections.

The federal Grits have always tried to characterize NDP votes as wasted.(We, of course, return the favour in many provincial elections.) But that message has been much more pointed over the past decade and a half. In pretty much every federal election since 88, NDP voters have been jammed by Liberals on the express threat posed by the Conservatives (88 and 93), Reform (93 and 97) or Alliance (2000).

If that's now no longer the case -- if Martin's people have foreseen the collapse of the Conservatives and are now turning their guns toward their left flank -- then that removes a major obstacle for many would-be NDP voters. How do we take advantage of that?


From: Sunny Vancouver | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Newbie
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posted 20 December 2003 12:15 AM      Profile for Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've defended strategic voting both on the federal and provincial (Harris) level, but never more strenuously than in 2000.

I don't think it worked particularly well, but I understood and accepted what was behind it, that even a lacklustre PM like Jean Chrétien was preferable. It is only because of the Reform party that he was never behind in the polls at any time in ten years.

The alternative was not merely unpalatable, it was simply unthinkable, to large numbers of NDPers and Tories as well as swing voters with no commitment to any party.

I think many of us hoped for a return to the traditional Canadian "big three" many of us remember from the 60s through the 80s.

It was not to be. The Tories couldn't recover, especially after the disaster of electing Peter MacKay as leader.

And now we see what everyone in the Liberals and NDP, as well as many in the Tories and some in the Alliance said was true -- these parties couldn't be merged.

So now, not only is the time of strategic voting over, the NDP faces an awesome challenge, one it may not be up to, but I hope it is. It is the challenge the Reform Party failed.

The NDP can no longer settle for being "the conscience of Canada" or "Liberals in a hurry." The NDP needs to replace the PCs as the national alternative, a broad-tent party of the left.

I'm enough of an independent that I won't tell people what they should believe, and I believe politics to be a generally sordid occupation and am under no illusions that NDP politicians are any better than those of other parties, but those who are more ideologically pure than myself I ask the question:

If the country will be governed 10% the way you like with an Alliance government, 20% with a Liberal government, and 50% the way you like under an NDP government, which is best?

If most in the party don't accept that compromises must be made to win power, then the party will never win power. And I don't want to see Canada become a one-party state.

I don't want to poach candidates from other parties. But I sure wouldn't mind an endorsement from Flora MacDonald or Joe Clark.

You don't have to be a socialist to agree that Canada needs an honest, competent, socially progressive and fiscally responsible government that will stand up for Canada and for Canadian values and that Paul Martin cannot deliver one.

Jack Layton and Ed Broadbent both have great abilities to connect with Canadians. The Liberals now lack that, as well as a disconnect with youth, the middle-aged and anyone earning under 500k a year.

I don't want a prime minister who has never smoked marijuana anymore than I want one who's never had a drink or is a virgin. Martin is a real stiff. He needs to import a gay Tory to give him some charisma and young urban credibility. Jack doesn't need that.


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Albireo
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posted 20 December 2003 01:12 AM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Newbie:
You know the thing is, and while I hate to sound like David Orchard, I feel like a conservative, or at least old-fashioned.

There have been a lot of changes over the last couple of decades that really suck. A lot of things were better in the Canada of Mike Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, David Lewis, Ed Broadbent, Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark.

Yes, there were a lot of things wrong too, and none of these men were perfect.

I want a government that pays its bills and spends its money wisely. And I happen to think social spending is a wise investment.

I want a government that stands for Canada and stands UP for Canada. I want a government committed to maintaining what works well, and not to have an ideological urge to do things they THINK should work (like selling off crown corporations for a quick cash grab).

And I want a government that WILL take action where action is needed, not waiting for a crisis to erupt. I sure don't have answers to all issues, nor to all the unforseeable ones, so I want a government I can trust to make decisions on my behalf in accordance with principals I believe in.

So I guess in a lot of ways, compared to someone like Paul Martin I'm old-fashioned and conservative.

I believe the party that best exemplifies what I want is the NDP.


Newbie, what you say reminds me of Robert Bateman's op-ed piece in the Globe, in which he proudly describes himself as a conservative, but that which he wants to conserve is very much in line with NDP (or Green) values, and is diametrically opposed to the radical and destructive neo-cons:
quote:
I am a conservative. This is why I deeply resent the neo-conservatives who are not conservatives at all. They are the opposite: radicals who are destroying cherished institutions and wreaking havoc on our human heritage as well as our natural heritage.

I do not consider destroyers to be conservative. So many cherished institutions have been built with great care and dedication through the decades by well-trained people with good hearts. These are being smashed and weakened in great haste by politicians and ideologues who do not even understand what they destroy. Creation is long and difficult; destruction is quick.

Institutions such as railways, medicare, electrical power production and delivery, environmental protection, social services, schools and many other government agencies are being attacked, weakened and even privatized. These aspects of society are useful and helpful and are there for the common good. Their destruction is done with the aim of cutting taxes and reducing government.
...


From this perspective, the NDP could stake claim to being the true conservative party, the party that would best conserve the environment; the party that would conserve and build on the social programs, infrastructure and basis for family, community and for individual opportunity, that was built from the 1930s to the 1970s, and which is being gradually dismantled by the likes of Paul Martin.

The political spectrum has shifted right, to the point where the "leftist" NDP is occupying the same part of the political spectrum that once was home to the likes of Pearson, Trudeau (the 1960s version), Robert Stanfield, John Robarts and Bill Davis.

In answer to your question,

quote:
If the country will be governed 10% the way you like with an Alliance government, 20% with a Liberal government, and 50% the way you like under an NDP government, which is best?
I wouldn't hesitate to pick the latter. Perhaps that is because I'm more of a pragmatist than an ideologue, but it's also because I think there is a historic opportunity right now. The conservative government of Paul Martin may endanger the new Conservative Party by encroaching on their natural habitat, and the Conservatives may do the rest by tearing themselves to pieces. If Martin stakes out the centre-right, and if the Layton-led NDP can pitch as broad a tent as possible to their left, the NDP could well become the next natural alternative.

I don't hold my breath waiting for Red Tories like Clark or Flora McDonald to endorse the NDP, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. That wonderful red old Tory Dalton Camp made no secret of supporting Alexa McDonough in Halifax Centre, and the NDP today is standing quite close to where the Liberal and Conservative progressives used to stand. Much has been made of the NDP's attempt to reach out to youth and to social and environmental movements, and this is important. But the NDP can also appeal to some of those people who lived through the 1930s-70s, who helped build the legacy that is now being destroyed, who now depend on pensions and our health care system, and who may see the need for a fair, clean and prosperous society for their grandchildren.

As odd as it seems, the NDP has the opportunity to become Canada's truly progressive and truly conservative party.

[ 20 December 2003: Message edited by: albireo ]


From: --> . <-- | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Newbie
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posted 20 December 2003 08:00 AM      Profile for Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Newbie, what you say reminds me of Robert Bateman's op-ed piece in the Globe

Let's not ever let it be said that I'm an original thinker.

I agree that a strong case can be made that the NDP is the true conservative party, opposed to the radical changes that have been inflicted on Canada. I don't know that it's a road the party should explicitly go down. I think the party needs to talk about what it believes in, without labelling it as conservative, liberal, socialist, social-democratic.


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged

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