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Author Topic: Tell me the path to a Federal NDP Government
Rob8305
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posted 08 April 2005 05:34 PM      Profile for Rob8305     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's not impossible, right? So, what does the NDP have to do make a breakthrough. I mean you don't have a different group of voters in B.C. in federal elections than you do in B.C. elections. They're the same voters.

So, why do people vote NDP provincially but yet never federally across Canada?

And what would have to happen in a federal election campaign for the NDP to form government? Where would the seats come from, etc?

Also, I was only 8 years old in 1991 but I remember how stunned everybody was at the Ontario NDP victory. What happened there and how do we translate it federally?

FYI: It looks increasingly likely that the election will begin Thursday of next week. The conservatives and NDP are sending strong signals that they will vote for the Bloc non-confidence motion.

[ 08 April 2005: Message edited by: Rob8305 ]


From: Montrose | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 08 April 2005 05:43 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I asked a similar question in another thread but I'll also second Rob's question. Of course, my own views are pretty much NDP were I with all of you. Any further North American counterpoint to Bushtopia would be very welcome.
From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rob8305
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posted 08 April 2005 05:49 PM      Profile for Rob8305     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I guess another thing I would add is this:

The people hate the liberals and are terrified of the conservatives, so the NDP alternative should gain steam. Why isn't it.

Egalitarian American, imagine Prime Minister Harper and President George W. Bush? Very scary, isn't it?

Also, maybe Bill Blakie was a better leadership choice. A protestant minister might be able to talk to the rural voters in Saskatachewan and Alberta better.

[ 08 April 2005: Message edited by: Rob8305 ]

[ 08 April 2005: Message edited by: Rob8305 ]


From: Montrose | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 08 April 2005 06:01 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rob8305:

Egalitarian American, imagine Prime Minister Harper and President George W. Bush? Very scary, isn't it?


Like two nightmares for the price of one. But whereas I think Harper would show some restraint, Bush feels no restraint. When I watch Air Farce reruns online they have Martin kissing Bush's ring in one episode. I wonder what Harper's role would be. I just don't understand the conservatives wanting the kind of integration that would bring all the American nasties to Canada. Do you really want a Tim LaHaye version of Christianity to be used as a roadmap for governing?


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 08 April 2005 11:26 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Egalitarian American:

When I watch Air Farce reruns online they have Martin kissing Bush's ring in one episode. I wonder what Harper's role would be.


Roughly the same, just Bush would turn around.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 09 April 2005 07:26 AM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
. . . the path to a Federal NDP Government? Ain't gonna happen'. Sorry. We're going to see a fight between the Liberal crooks and the Conservative nutters. The NDP will get shut out once again.

Actually, I often wonder why voters do this over and over again. When the Libs and Cons are being stupid beyond belief, why won't voters choose a sane alternative? I can't fathom it, but after watching election after election, I've gotten used to it.

I also wonder why women don't vote for women. Oh, some do, obviously. But, stastically, there are a few more women than men, so if they wanted to, every woman on a ballet would get elected. However, women only get elected if men vote for them. Prior to women's sufferage, it was assumed that giving women the vote would cause chaos. In fact, it changed absolutely nothing. Why? Why don't women see what a mess men have made of politics and force the issues? Why do women put up with the old boy's clubs running everything? I'm probably being clumsy with this, but it has puzzled me for a long time.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
mary123
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posted 09 April 2005 07:38 AM      Profile for mary123     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
With the blow out in Quebec about crooked Parti Quebecois officials accepting bribes I would think now would be a GREAT time for an NDP entry inQuebce and offering them an alternative to the gLiberals and the Parti Quebecois.

If Quebeckers are sufficiently mad at the PQ they will be more receptive to an NDP message I hope.


From: ~~Canada - still God's greatest creation on the face of the earth~~ | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 09 April 2005 07:45 AM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
Well I'm not a woman, but I am gay and I'd never vote for a gay Conservative. Why would a committed NDPer vote for a Liberal because they have similar genitalia? Or a committed Conservative vote NDP for that reason? I voted for heterosexual Michael Shapcott over homosexual Bill Graham and over 85% of the women in my riding voted against female candidate Megan Harris.

As for the turning to the NDP, we're a country of regions. Alberta and Quebec aren't going to vote NDP under any foreseeable circumstances and as a result voters in other provinces who might be willing to vote NDP don't do it because it's seen as a wasted vote federally.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 09 April 2005 07:55 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Parti Québécois is a provincial party. On the federal level, the sovereignist party is the Bloc Québécois.

I'm pretty sure the impact of the scandal will fuel the Bloc vote. It would be interesting if the NDP could pick up a couple of seats in largely anglophone and/or allophone ridings. In Papineau (Villeray and Parc Extension, in North Central Montréal) most of NDP candidate André Frappier's support came from the largely allophone west end of the riding (Parc Ex and the western part of Villeray), at the expense of Pettigrew, who had taken those voters for granted.

If the NDP gets a groundswell, it will have to find a way of forming a de facto alliance around social measures and opposition to Bushism with the Bloc.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 09 April 2005 08:14 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cougyr:

My MP is Carolyn Bennett, Martinite Liberal. She doesn't need me to vote for her, but why would I anyway?

I'm sure she does get a lot of women's votes, and a couple of my friends shocked me a bit last year when they got angry at me for saying that I would never support her, but why would I?

She's not advancing the cause of women per se; she's advancing the Martinite agenda. Years ago, given a chance to stand against Chretien on principle (over the vote on compensating Hep C victims -- she's a doctor), she caved, and then sat in her seat in Parliament and wept melodramatically. As though her tragedy was the tragedy deserving attention. That utterly disgusted me. I would never vote for her.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 April 2005 09:09 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The way to elect a Federal NDP Government would be to have a left, outside the NDP, strong enough to elect its own candidates. Then the NDP would be seen as the moderate party that it is and get more Liberal votes. Centrists would be scared of the "commies" and vote NDP. But without competition on the left, for most Canadians, the NDP is the left and, therefore, Canadians don't choose clearly working class parties with the same willingness to shop around as they do with, for lack of a better word, bourgeois parties.

That's my "critical support" lefty view anyway.


According to this logic, even a Green victory or two could be a good thing for the NDP in the long run.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Alan Avans
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posted 09 April 2005 09:14 AM      Profile for Alan Avans   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I cannot say with any certainty whatsoever how the NDP can win a federal election. That being said, I'll throw all caution to the wind and pontificate and rant and rave about this matter anyway!

If the NDP could manage to win federal seats in the provinces where the NDP regularly forms the government, then the NDP would at least be well on its way forming a minority government, particularly if the NDP could partner with the Bloc Quebecois.

Of course, if the NDP could manage to win a respectable number of federal seats in Quebec then it's well on its way to forming a majority government. But this seems to be a distant possibility at this time.

Or the NDP could win federal seats in every province by exercising a different kind of electoral politics. This would require that the NDP think differently about where and how it promotes its agenda. It can conceive of itself as a political party in the narrow sense that it is today, or can be a catalyst for a social movement that organizes people to transform their communities, and this NDP campaign doesn't stop when the election polling stations close, and this kind of NDP campaign continues, win, loose or draw at the ballot box.

Because in reality there is more than one ballot box. There is a ballot box in the market place...and people can choose to organize their economic affairs in a more cooperative manner. The NDP should speak for these people...but more importantly it should speak to them. In the living room...at the kitchen table.

NDP campaigns need to be a means of asking people, who happen to be voters, for commitments. If you ask voters for commitments then they have a clear idea of what your own commitments are! And campaigns should always be projects...campaigns should always be building a grassroots complex of active social, political and economic organizations....organizations that come into being whether the NDP forms government or not.

The NDP can think outside the political box that the ReformaTories and Liberals are battling over. The people don't want to live in that box. The NDP should fight for something else...work for something else. That's how the NDP is going to win.

Regards
Alan Avans
Economic Democracy for the Americas (ECODEMA Movement)
http://www.pierreducasse.ca/ecodema


From: Christian Democratic Union of USAmerica | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 April 2005 09:32 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't think the NDP has the ability to be self-critical in that way. Look at the recent history. Competition, from the left, is a necessary but not sufficient condition to elect a federal NDP Government. The other stuff (English-French alliance, mobilization and democratisation) is all necessary too.

[ 09 April 2005: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
John K
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posted 09 April 2005 09:34 AM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post
Still not convinced of an imminent election, but if there is, the NDP needs to run against Harper and the neo-Cons hard. The lesson of the last Liberal campaign is that nice guys finish last. While Layton needs to some degree be above the fray, his war room needs to get it into high gear.

But attack Harper and the Cons intelligently. Harper has a lot of baggage (firewall, NCC) but he's no Tom Wappel and will no doubt do his best to put forward a moderate image.

In terms of the Liberals, give them some of their own medicine. Woo disaffected Liberals with strategic voting arguments, but have the air and ground campaign to back it up.

Will this be enough to win? Probably not next time, but in a best case scenario we could finish second.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 09 April 2005 10:03 AM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:
Well I'm not a woman, but I am gay and I'd never vote for a gay Conservative. Why would a committed NDPer vote for a Liberal because they have similar genitalia?

Good question. I don't advocate voting for someone because of their gender. However, I believe that that there are many men and women who will not vote for a woman because she is a woman; and I have heard people make comments to that effect. Politics everywhere is dominated by men, usually old men, usually cranky.

I also don't advocate electing women who just support everything their male leaders tell them to; any more than I want a man to do that.

All I would like to see is some balance. There are some issues out there that need to be addressed and the old men who run things have a very narrow vision.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Alan Avans
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posted 09 April 2005 10:14 AM      Profile for Alan Avans   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
I don't think the NDP has the ability to be self-critical in that way. Look at the recent history. Competition, from the left, is a necessary but not sufficient condition to elect a federal NDP Government. The other stuff (English-French alliance, mobilization and democratisation) is all necessary too.

[ 09 April 2005: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


I hope the NDP can reflect upon itself in a thoughtful way.

Your comment is interesting, N. Beltov. What form would a competitive challenger on the left take?

Alan


From: Christian Democratic Union of USAmerica | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 April 2005 12:55 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Alan Avans: I hope the NDP can reflect upon itself in a thoughtful way.

I'm not suggesting that the NDP is incapable of thoughtful reflection about itself. But anti-communism and similar ideological traditions in this part of the world have done their dirty work: the word "revolution", for example, is restricted to usage describing new cars, shampoo and razor blades. It is not used to describe the steps that are necessary to reach a new visionary sort of society, beyond the current one, where a revolution in the relations between people is a serious matter of public discussion and of possible futures. NDPers no longer even dream of socialism. It is for others to continue that dream, even if, electorally speaking, the NDP may become a ballot box beneficiary of such movements for a time.

quote:
Your comment is interesting, N. Beltov. What form would a competitive challenger on the left take?

I wish I knew. I'd join it in a "New York" minute.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
peterjcassidy
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posted 09 April 2005 01:30 PM      Profile for peterjcassidy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
We can hope to achieve a parliamentary majority by passing though stages. One version has polarization, the NDP, the party of the left, a relatively major party, squaring off against the other major party, a party of the right, such as the Conservatives. The mushy middle Liberals, reduced to a relatively minor party,are seen as having little hope of forming a government so a large number of "soft" liberals" go left rather than see a right wing government.
This polarization to the benefit of the left is the situation in the UK, where for over 50 years it is has been Labour v. Tory, with everyone realizing the Liberal party has no hope of gaining power. The NDP as a major party, ending up as government or official opposition, has often been the norm in BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
This polarization scenario came close to happening in the 1980’s (I think 1984 was Libs 40 NDP 30? and 1988 Libs 70+, NDP 40+?. A swing of ten or twenty seats and the NDP would have replaced the discredited Libs as opposition and alternative to the Brian Mulroney/Kim Campbell government. I think it could happen in 2005 with the scandal ridden Libs dropping below the NDP. Then in the election after 2005 strategic voting works for us-no sense voting Liberal they won’t win. - Only the NDP can stop the Tories.

[ 09 April 2005: Message edited by: peterjcassidy ]


From: Screaming in language no-one understands.. | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Emma D.
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posted 09 April 2005 02:01 PM      Profile for Emma D.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
FYI: It looks increasingly likely that the election will begin Thursday of next week. The conservatives and NDP are sending strong signals that they will vote for the Bloc non-confidence motion.

What are your sources for this? I thought the Conservatives wouldn't vote with the Bloc on this?


From: Stratford | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 09 April 2005 02:02 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
The problem keeping that from happening is that we aren't facing Tories -- we're facing the Reform Party.

And that's a powerful incentive to keep the Liberals from doing a slow fade. If ever a government warranted defeat, it was the Liberal government in 2004.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
MasterDebator
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posted 09 April 2005 02:51 PM      Profile for MasterDebator        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:
The problem keeping that from happening is that we aren't facing Tories -- we're facing the Reform Party.

In the Prince George area we've had Reform and now "Conserviative" MPs since 1993. It hasn't affected my life one bit. Jay Hill and Rick Harris are social conservative throw backs, but it hasn't altered my daily life or that of any one I know. Once in a while, it's a bit irritating to have someone from Vancouver tell us we're in redneck country, but that's about the extent of it.


From: Goose Country Road, Prince George, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 09 April 2005 03:28 PM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:
The problem keeping that from happening is that we aren't facing Tories -- we're facing the Reform Party.

And that's a powerful incentive to keep the Liberals from doing a slow fade. If ever a government warranted defeat, it was the Liberal government in 2004.


I wouldn't credit the old Tory party with a whole lot of social progressivism though, the thing is that like all conservative parties, these folks move on issues of social justice like a snail. And as the world turns new issues are raised, for instance same-sex rights, where largely a fringe concern fifteen years ago, and that's completely changed in the last little while. So if they want goverment they too are going to have to move on them. Of course right now they‘ll need to pander to their so-con base, but even these people will be further marginalized as they realize they can‘t advocate such positions and hope to form goverment (for instance abortion, which they‘re only now realizing is an issue that society has moved on). I suppose you could say the old PC's were like upper-class snobs who where ‘secretly’ prejudiced whereas the new Conservatives are more open and are trying to use it in a more "populist" way.

How the NDP could win? Hmm interesting and difficult question, and there have been some interesting responses. I think they need "bases", they have to hold on in Nova Scotia, they need to break back into Saskatchewan, and various other areas. Canadian politics are largely based upon regional concerns, and the NDP is more of a class-based party. Nonetheless, showing people in these various regions that the NDP will be a fair arbiter, and that their MP's will stand up for their interests, is an important key. If they can balance this properly then they'll be in good shape to win soon.


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 09 April 2005 04:15 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by MasterDebator:
In the Prince George area we've had Reform and now "Conserviative" MPs since 1993. It hasn't affected my life one bit. Jay Hill and Rick Harris are social conservative throw backs, but it hasn't altered my daily life or that of any one I know. Once in a while, it's a bit irritating to have someone from Vancouver tell us we're in redneck country, but that's about the extent of it.

So why do those particular troglodytes manage to attract votes by being complete horses' asses?

----

Re: NDP Federal government.

Tall order! If I had the magic pathway I'd be whispering in Jack Layton's ear instead of sounding off on babble, but hey. Can't have it all.

I think it would be a mistake to think that the NDP should keep moving further right. The Liberals have shown themselves past masters at mooshing all about the political spectrum. If the NDP tries to move right to chop off Liberal ground, they'll just get squashed by the Liberal machine.

The NDP also needs to keep pointing out that every time the Liberals talk a good puff game about social programs they dribble the money out like a miser and then give the store away to their rich buddies. The NDP also needs to point out that the only difference is that Harper wants to do it faster and with less hypocrisy attached.

We are one of the world's wealthiest nations and not all the whining and carping about brain drain, taxes, or all that rot will change the fact that we have a pretty good thing going compared to the rest of the world, and certainly by comparison to the USA (although IMHO a dead dog could compare itself to the USA and come out ahead ).

The NDP also needs to point out the idiocy and ridiculousness of continuing to claim taxes are high after 20 years of tax cuts. The only reason taxes seem high is because the tax cuts have been concentrated at the top end.

A nice chart showing what tax levels have been in place over the last 20 years would graphically drive this point home and make people realize that this tax cut rhetorical bullshit is a cheap play at bribing voters with their own money to shortchange their future.

And if you think THAT'S too bombastic - well, ask yourself what would happen if some prize idiot like Harper got to chop the CPP all to pieces because he promised a tax cut? Well, you, my friend, just lost that guaranteed government safety net after 65.

The punch line should read:

"Do you make less than $30,000 a year? We'll give you a fair shake for the first time!"

[ 09 April 2005: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
peterjcassidy
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posted 09 April 2005 08:36 PM      Profile for peterjcassidy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:
The problem keeping that from happening is that we aren't facing Tories -- we're facing the Reform Party.

And that's a powerful incentive to keep the Liberals from doing a slow fade. If ever a government warranted defeat, it was the Liberal government in 2004.


I think you are touching on, if not necessarily buying, the strategic voting argument of the Liberals. "Yes Liberals are bad, corrupt, right wing and reactionary but the Conservatives are worse."

AND the only choice you have is one of evil so vote for the lesser evil . Though it saved Paul Martins butt in the last election it aint going to save him this time. The strategic arguement is flawed in several ways-based on moral values and valid strategic thinking.
First there are numerous alternatives to a Conservative majority government, which the Liberals held out as the only alternative to them getting a majority governement. We could have had a Liberal minority, with the NDP holding the balance of power, pushing a progressive agenda. We could have had a Conservative minority backed by the Liberals, just as we now have a Liberal minority backed by the Conservatives.

Then of course there were and are ridings where the main alternative to the Conservatives was the NDP, not the Liberals. A vote for the lesser evil led to the election of the greater evil. For illsutrative purposes imagine a riding where, wihout strategic voting the results would have beem NDP 38, Cons. 37, Libs 20 others 5. The good people win. With strategic voting Cons. 37 NDP 28 Libs 30. The greater evil won because people voted for the lesser evil.

Then of course in many ridngs the Liberals were and are threatened by the NDP not the Conservatives. In Hamilton we took Stan Keyes handily, almost got Tony Valeri and Beth Phinney and had a good shot at Russ Powers. Arguably, exept for people choosing the lesser evil when there was no threat of the greater evil, we could have taken 4 out of 5 ridings in this area. That is what we are going for next election as we get ready to govern.

In summary the main obstacle to a NDP government is voters choosing the lesser evil ovre the greater, Likely result the next election the greater evil or the greater good..

[ 09 April 2005: Message edited by: peterjcassidy ]

[ 09 April 2005: Message edited by: peterjcassidy ]


From: Screaming in language no-one understands.. | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Leuca
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posted 09 April 2005 08:55 PM      Profile for Leuca     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
AND the only choice you have is one of evil so vote for the lesser evil . Though it saved Paul Martins butt in the last election it aint going to save him this time.

Absolutely right. The Liberals are in deep trouble and they know it.

The NDP should focus a great deal of energy thought and effort into becoming Canada's next official opposition party. I believe that is the first step to becoming government. It is when a party is the Off Opp that the people of Canada have a chance to get a better look at the party, it is also a good chance for the party itself to learn more about itself and to learn more about the people they would like to represent as government, namely the Canadian people.

As Off Opp the NDP would have a good chance to showcase the party and it's policy ideas, and then to get feedback from the people which hopefully is taken to heart to make the party better and more responsive to the needs of the people. If the NDP were to ask for the support of Canadian voters to be the Off Opp and if Canadians believed they could beat out the Liberals and Bloc for that position. Then many Canadians would feel comfortable voting NDP knowing that they won't be the government, but that they will have a chance to prove they are worthy of being the government, that they can develop the maturity and the sense of responsibility to be the government one day. If the NDP is given that chance it would be for them to prove they are capable or show that they are not ready. It would be totally up to them to show what they can do, or not.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Albireo
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posted 09 April 2005 09:28 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by MasterDebator:
In the Prince George area we've had Reform and now "Conserviative" MPs since 1993. It hasn't affected my life one bit. Jay Hill and Rick Harris are social conservative throw backs, but it hasn't altered my daily life or that of any one I know. Once in a while, it's a bit irritating to have someone from Vancouver tell us we're in redneck country, but that's about the extent of it.
It hasn't affected your life one bit because your local neo-Con MPs are powerless opposition back-benchers. If we ever elected a Con majority and the government and cabinet were completely infested with these guys, then your life and many others would be affected many bits.

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blacklisted
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posted 10 April 2005 09:25 AM      Profile for blacklisted     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
the only way i can see is to inform the people of the tremendous difference that choice can make,at a personal level for so many. this involves educating prospective candidates, and fully acknowledging the undeniable detriment to social order that an Americanization of our country represents. some of the facts;
"Sanders' response to Secretary Gutierrez was the following:

"Mr. Chairman, let's look at the facts. Over the past 4 years, poverty has gone up. Today, over 4 million more Americans, 36 million overall, are living in poverty than was the case 4 years ago. Sadly, 21.9 percent of U.S. children live in poverty, only slightly better than Mexico where the childhood poverty rate is 27.9 percent. Mr. Chairman, compare that to Denmark, where only 2.4 percent of children live in poverty.

Today, over five million more Americans do not have health insurance, 45 million in all, than was the case four years ago, and the United States is the only industrialized nation on earth that does not have universal health care.

Over 14 million American families today are paying more than 50 percent of their income on rent. There are now over 20 million Americans with incomes so low that they had to enter the food stamp program in order to feed their families.

Last year, more than 1.6 million American families went bankrupt, up from up from 289,000 in 1980. 90 percent of these bankruptcy filings were the result of a lost job, a medical emergency or a divorce.

Real (inflationary-adjusted) wages have gone down over the past 2 years. The new jobs being created today pay 21 percent less than the jobs that are being lost. In my State of Vermont, those numbers are higher. The new jobs being created pay 29 percent less than the jobs we are losing.

The gap between the rich and poor in the United States more than doubled from 1979 to 2000. Today, the richest 1 percent have more money to spend after taxes than the bottom 40 percent. Meanwhile, millions of workers have not seen any increase in the minimum wage in years."
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0409-24.htm
make the parties of the corporate interest groups responsible for their role in advocating for this agenda.
and propose a diametrically different vision. be the leader in a proactive,rather than reactive, campaign to retake democracy from elitism.


From: nelson,bc | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Vigilante
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8104

posted 10 April 2005 11:36 AM      Profile for Vigilante        Edit/Delete Post
Become full blown civil libertarians?
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6718

posted 10 April 2005 12:24 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by MasterDebator:

In the Prince George area we've had Reform and now "Conserviative" MPs since 1993. It hasn't affected my life one bit.


Yeah, and in lots of areas they've had NDP areas and it hasn't affected anyone's life there one bit either.

It's not your local MP that matters, it's who forms the government.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6718

posted 10 April 2005 12:28 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by peterjcassidy:

AND the only choice you have is one of evil so vote for the lesser evil . Though it saved Paul Martins butt in the last election it aint going to save him this time.

Nor is it going to help the NDP. (Some) people won't be scared of the Conservatives anymore and that's who they'll vote for. I strongly expect the next election to be disastrous for the NDP.

While all the points you made about the real effects of "strategic" voting are valid, they don't matter. People don't pay attention to local races.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
m0nkyman
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posted 10 April 2005 01:34 PM      Profile for m0nkyman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Let's see. The goal is 155 seats right? Let's see where we can get them:
Nova Scotia: 3/11
Newfoundland: 1/7
New Brunswick: 3/10
PEI: 1/4
Quebec: 4/75
Ontario: 55/106
Manitoba: 8/14
Saskatchewan: 8/14
Alberta:2/28
BC: 18/36
Yukon & Territories:3/3

106 NDP
65 Bloc
12 Liberal
125 CPC

Given that situation, who is going to form a government? The reality is that so long as we get more than 66 and the CPC is kept under 155, The NDP could be the next government

That, folks is an attainable number given a Liberal collapse.


From: Go Left. Further. Bit Further. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
artfuldodger
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Babbler # 8603

posted 10 April 2005 01:42 PM      Profile for artfuldodger     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I consider myself to be "fuzzy left". I have some very left wing ideas on pretty much everything.

In Manitoba we were running a surplus until the provincial NDP got elected on a promise to end hall way medicine. Now we have a growing deficit, we pay more taxes, we pay more per capita than anywhere in Canada for health care, and the provincial healthcare minister was on the CBC a couple of weeks ago saying that there is no soloution to hallway medicine, that it will never go away.

I like the NDP's ideas, but they are not financially responsible enough (from what i have seen here and in other provinces) to hold power. Love em, but would never vote for them.


From: Almost as far away from Winnipeg as I can get. | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Leuca
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Babbler # 6495

posted 10 April 2005 01:48 PM      Profile for Leuca     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The NDP cannot possibly win 55 seats in Ontario.

In this next election the goal of the NDP is to ensure as many Liberals as possble are shut out. The fewer Liberals that survive the collapse the better. Because it will make it all the harder for them to ressurect themselves in the short term. Then once the Liberals have been shut out the NDP, who will have a significant number of seats just not 55, can start the process of consolidation, by that I mean they are the default choice for left and left of center voters. From there, the NDP will be ready to start the next stage which will be to position themselves to beat the Conservatives. This is a close to a decade long process. Best of Luck.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6718

posted 10 April 2005 01:56 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
Hey Leuca, how about you let NDPers decide what their role is?

Personally I see the NDP's role as defeating Conservatives out west and replacing them, not the Liberals as the second party.

First off, the Liberals are much harder to destroy. Secondly, we don't want you bigoted scum in power. Ever.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Left Turn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8662

posted 10 April 2005 03:39 PM      Profile for Left Turn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here the best I think the NDP can hope for, unless the Liberals stop being able to elect anybody:

British Columbia 19
Alberta 0
Saskachewan 10
Manitoba 6
Ontario 21
Quebec 0
New Brunswick 2
Nova Scotia 6
PEI 0
Newfoundland 1

Total: 65

Far short of forming government

[Edited to add] Alberta, Quebec, and PEI are the three provinces where the federal CCF/NDP has never won any seats. So dismal are the NDP prospects in these provinces that they would be more likely to get 55 seats in Ontario than to win anything in Quebec and Alberta respectively. Many voters in the other provinces don't vote NDP because they don't want to deny both Quebec and Alberta representation on the government side of the house.

[ 10 April 2005: Message edited by: Left Turn ]


From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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Babbler # 7911

posted 10 April 2005 04:20 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So this is what I hear overall from babblers about why the NDP has not been able to form a majority government or even become the official opposition:

fiscal irresponsibility, real and perceived
lacking strong leadership in Ontario, plus poor previous track record governing in that province
class based social policies turn off western voters
party held to a higher standard by the media and voters, consequently, failures are magnified
voting traditions die hard in Canada, especially among Ontario liberals
perception of voting for NDP as a "wasted vote" on the Federal level, fear voting for NDP results in CPC wins
perception of idealism over substance
lack of financial/business backing
lack of nationwide party grassroots

did I miss anything?

Note to Jack Layton: resist temptation to hire Bob Shrum as an advisor, i.e. don't do anything the US Democrats do.

These problems are not insurmountable. But I also get the sense from reading these threads that Canada, like the US, generally feels itself comfortable and there is some question whether the Gomery fallout will provide a catalyst to genuine reform. Like many in the US, what I am hearing here is that many Canadians expect a certain level of graft and corruption from their politicians. It also seems that the only thing that will cause a seismic shift in voting patterns and attitudes would be a similar seismic shift in the living standards of ordinary Canadians - this is the same in the US.

Until people see there personal lives and fortunes at stake, it doesn't seem like most really care about politicians getting a little something for themselves.

Some babblers have brought up Tom DeLay in other threads. I really don't think that DeLay is in any danger of losing his seat. He's rallying all the Christo-fascist groups around him right now and calling in all his favours. I think you'll see some very dirty pool being played in that regard, and DeLay survives.

Its sad, it really is, but as long as the the majority of the middle class believes that they are unaffected by these political shenaningans, it become a game; a spectator sport. The trick, as I see it, is to make it somehow real for these people - to get them to connect the dots -- as corruption goes, so goes the system. If nothing else, if they want things better for their children, what example are we setting for them? That its not really anything to be ashamed of unless you get caught? That the ends justify the means?

This is a serious problem and there are no easy answers.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rob8305
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Babbler # 6298

posted 10 April 2005 05:32 PM      Profile for Rob8305     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Emily, in times like this, confusion reigns.

On Friday, it looked like the conservatives were going to bring down the government. Now, though, it's becoming pretty clear that the Conservatives don't want an election this week. The CBC said the tories will probably trigger the election sometime in May.

Sorry about that.


From: Montrose | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Leuca
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Babbler # 6495

posted 10 April 2005 05:40 PM      Profile for Leuca     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Personally I see the NDP's role as defeating Conservatives out west and replacing them, not the Liberals as the second party.

First off, the Liberals are much harder to destroy.


I think you just don't like the fact that your beloved Liberals are in deep trouble, and believe me they are.

The Liberals were, key word, much harder to destroy. But they have just changed that situation, and they did it to themselves, all we need to do, is keep giving them more rope, to finish off the job, and by we I mean the Conservatives, the Bloc and the New Democrats. What I hear from NDP spokesmen on tv is they are ready to help take down Liberals wherever they are, no problemo.

The Conservatives have payed the price, they broke apart, the Reform pushed a sensible, conservative agenda, won the fight but with some of the harder edges removed by the old progressives, have the rest of the old PC's on board, at least a critical mass of them, have reunited, are wroking together for the common goal of ridding Canada of the Liberals, currently have the second most seats by a wide margin, and are perfectly positioned to accomplish their goal. The Conservatives are not going to be pushed out of the West, including BC.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
MonkeyIslanderPolical23
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5758

posted 10 April 2005 05:45 PM      Profile for MonkeyIslanderPolical23        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
the Reform pushed a sensible, conservative agenda

What on earth was sensible about the Reform agenda?


From: Ontario | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
MonkeyIslanderPolical23
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5758

posted 10 April 2005 05:48 PM      Profile for MonkeyIslanderPolical23        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
[Edited to add] Alberta, Quebec, and PEI are the three provinces where the federal CCF/NDP has never won any seats.

The federal NDP won a seat in Alberta in 1988. The federal NDP won a seat in a Quebec by-election once. It is PEI where the federal NDP has never won any seats.


From: Ontario | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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Babbler # 5474

posted 10 April 2005 06:00 PM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Conservatives won't be completely pushed out of the west, since there are bastions of support in places like rural Alberta that favour them. Nonetheless they're the past, they appeal to cranky folks who are increasingly moving away from the dynamic cities of this country. As such they will be marginalized in the west if the NDP plays its cards right -- as the West, just like the rest of the country, is urbanizing even further. And rural/smaller centres within the West, outside of Alberta, that are economically depressed will see right-leaning governments offering no solutions to their problems. This means the NDP will need to offer a strong two fold urban/rural strategy that is helpful to people in their everyday lives. As we know this isn't true with regards to the Liberals or Conservatives.

This is especially true in BC as more people move into Vancouver and its suburbs, and as more people see the Conservatives as an unreasonable alternative to the Liberals. It's already happening in Vancouver and Winnipeg, the closer to the city centre you get, the less chance the Conservatives have of ever winning! They're still very competitive in the suburban areas, nonetheless these too will become more developed and eclectic, and as such the Conservatives will be marginalized there as well. The Canadian Alliance was appealing because of it's populist rhetoric, and because of the unpopularity of the NDP in BC, nonetheless the new Conservative Party and it's stodgy leader have none of these advantages and will continue to decline because of it. Right now the Conservatives have the electoral map on their side, since the more progressive minded people within the west are concentrated more so in urban areas, whereas the small-c conservatives are more spread out. But as the progressive areas increase in population, so to will their seats in the house.


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Left Turn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8662

posted 10 April 2005 09:19 PM      Profile for Left Turn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The federal NDP won a seat in Alberta in 1988. The federal NDP won a seat in a Quebec by-election once. It is PEI where the federal NDP has never won any seats.

My mistkae. But seriously, the odds of the NDP winning anything in Alberta or Quebec right now are absolutely dismal.


From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3276

posted 10 April 2005 09:59 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:
we're a country of regions. Alberta and Quebec aren't going to vote NDP under any foreseeable circumstances

But even with our primitive voting system, enough voters voted NDP in Alberta to earn 3 MPs and in Quebec to earn 3 more. So with proportional representation the NDP would do even better. As would the Alberta and Saskatchewan Liberals, the Quebec Conservatives and Liberals, and the Ontario Conservatives. We aren't a regionally divided country, we're a country with a regionally divisive voting system.

quote:
Originally posted by Cougyr:
women only get elected if men vote for them.

Women gets lots of votes if they can only win nominations. But men will always find some way of saying "this is a winnable seat, so we need the strongest candidate, we can run a woman somewhere else." Experience in Europe and elsewhere has shown that this will continue until two things happen:
1. at least some multi-member districts, and
2. either a party willing to nominate at least 40% women, or a parity law of some kind like France and Belgium.

quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
The way to elect a Federal NDP Government would be to have a left, outside the NDP, strong enough to elect its own candidates. Then the NDP would be seen as the moderate party that it is and get more Liberal votes. Centrists would be scared of the "commies" and vote NDP. But without competition on the left, for most Canadians, the NDP is the left

Again, experience in Europe and elsewhere supports this view. With an average of six parties in most countries with proportional voting systems, there's almost always one further left than the main left party. In the 25 countries represented in the European Parliament, 14 have MEPs in the "United Left/Green Left" group. Those that don't are mostly smaller countries.

Social psychology studies have shown that a certain percentage of people, asked to choose between various alternatives of any kind (not just politics) will never choose the position at either "extreme." If they have only three choices, they will always pick the middle one.


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sean in Ottawa
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posted 11 April 2005 09:37 PM      Profile for Sean in Ottawa     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Okay, path to NDP government:

First you will need the Liberals pounded below NDP. It has to happen quickly with the Liberals in power. If it is too slow the Conservatives take over government and the Liberals go into opposition where they regroup and are forgiven and come back again. The best scenario is a strong NDP during the time of a Liberal minority government. But if the Liberals actually lose to the Conservatives, we have to wait till the stars line up again since the Libs recover in opposition. So in the short term, you need the liberals to hang on to power somehow so that the NDP can grow. If the Liberals lose to Conservatives they get to grow a new head.

This road could have been now if the NDP had won 50 seats in the last election. Sadly we didn't and I suspect we may have lost the opportunity for now. The real reason for the lost opportunity? We were so far down before the last election we simply had too far to go. Had Layton taken over the party in the condition it was when Broadbent left then he could have had a shot in his first election. But the party was way too wounded on the ground in too many ridings.

The road starts like this:
An NDP firmly in control of 30 seats but even more importantly a real factor on the ground in a 100 seats (We are not there now).
Then the NDP needs a leader with potential (we are there now) then followed with another leader with potential.
Then the NDP needs to be a contender in 3-4 regions: We are in BC and the prairies and almost in the Atlantic and Ontario but not quite yet. Then the NDP needs a sliver in the remainder (this means Quebec) and we are not there yet either.
Then really bad things have to happen to a Liberal government (happening now but our position is not strong enough to take advantage).
The Conservatives have to be weak. (Actually, I think they are now since their policies are not in line with most Canadians and many people are afraid of Harper -- in spite of their best efforts I suspect the Conservatives will stay with this problem for a while: I don't actually see them electing a capable moderate -- for one they don't have a good selection of those. Stronach is a moderate but she is also a lightweight , the closest thing to a Kim Campbell they currently have.)
We need the money to fight a good campaign (I think we have that now).
The media has to like and respect our leader (we don't quite have this but it could actually happen if the media saw him as a classy underdog rather than a yapping dog. This could actually happen (forget about the right wing media as they will always do their thing and be recognized for it). However, this is more likely to happen to our next leader.

So with the exception of the lack of NDP strength going into this scenario this is almost the dream scenario for the NDP.

Unfortunately, we are just not quite strong enough to do it from here now. This means waiting for a generation for everything to line up again. It may mean living through a Conservative government. another Liberal government then if the same type of political environment lines up there would be another shot. this cycle takes between 12-18 years. Sad but true.

The only other way would be an incredible sudden connection between the people of Canada and an NDP leader. While I like Layton. I don't think he can do that. Too far to go and not enough time. He is a building leader not the one who will get to bring us to the top of the mountain.

There are some who could: Justin Trudeau, if interested in the top job and sickened by Liberals could do that (perhaps he is a New Democrat underneath it all), Ducasse possibly could, Sarah Polley, Avi Lewis, Steve Page. It would take a younger person with a magical following to come up at the right time say 4-6 years from now to reduce the waiting time. It will be of that generation not Layton's. A pair would be better: one French, one English working together both impressing -- it would not matter which one was leader.

Dream scenario? Ducasse gets a seat in the next election and the NDP holds it through 2-3 elections. 6-10 years from now, Sarah Polley replaces a successful Layton inheriting a party with some 60-80 seats. Then she take us over the top. If the party had been stronger that person could have been Layton. More years ago if the party had had the strength it could have been Judy Rebick.

All the people I mentionned are people with their own mind and a lot of guts. If the party had not blown up, Rebick could have gone from NAC to NDP. I personally feel that we would be in a better position if she had when Broadbent retired. But at that time we had other good candidates -- and took the worst of the field. Stephen Langdon, Howard McCurdy -- they would have kept us in the game. Hindsight is telling us that the ones who today look like they would have been safe choices are the ones that at that time would have been considered the risky choices.

Layton may well be the man who can build the party to the point where when he goes the party can make that extra leap.

So what do we do? We hope Layton can handle the frustrations of rebuilding a party that has never completed construction. We hope he can obtain balance of power and widespread respect. We hope he can take the party one step beyond even Broadbent who missed a breakthrough in Atlantic Canada and Quebec at his height.

Then Layton can give the party to someone to finish the job. He will need a decade to do this.

That is roughly how I see it now but I might think differently next week.

A final thought: the same sex marriage debate needs to be a done deal. This is not the issue that will give us a breakthrough. This is a human rights step necessary to complete to get on to the economic social agenda we need to work on. We can't get there while we don't have full equality but the equality debate is not going to bring us there -- it will be an economic and environmental one with wide universal appeal.

Oh yeah, PR. That would help -- a lot.

[ 11 April 2005: Message edited by: Sean in Ottawa ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged

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