NDP / Dobbin: "Who will stop Stephen Harper?"

58 posts / 0 new
Last post
hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture
NDP / Dobbin: "Who will stop Stephen Harper?"

My sentiments exactly: [URL=http://rabble.ca/columnists/2009/12/who-will-stop-stephen-harper?][/URL]

Murray Dobbin wrote:
As for the NDP, it, too, is operating well below its potential. The longer Jack Layton is in Ottawa the more trapped he seems to become in the daily obsession with tactics. The NDP will never form the government (Quebec ensures this) and its strength therefore is squandered in this endless search for the perfect tactical maneuver. That game makes sense for the two contending parties but the NDP's strength is its vision (it's got to be there, probably locked up in a back room so it won't provoke anyone).

The NDP has no coherent vision that it is willing to boast about, just a series of disconnected policies, some of them admittedly very good but all of them harnessed to the singular strategy of replacing the Liberals. This is the critical weakness of the NDP -- it has decided that it will present itself as the real government in waiting with Jack Layton as prime minister. This strategy all but destroys any possibility of appealing to Canadians on the basis of a hopeful vision of what the country could be. Inadvertently, the NDP hobbles itself in the contest for hearts and minds.

KenS

I agree that the NDP lacks a compeeling articulated vision.

But its barking up the tree attribute a singular strategy of replacing the Liberals. Being taken up with short term tactics is not rooted in or caused by a strategy of replacing the Liberals.

It is what is, a persistent problem in its own right.

KenS

There is a nice irony in people fixated on "stopping Stephen Harper" talking about lack of vision.

"Stopping Stephen Harper" has only a bit more scope than focusing on short term tactics.

And it has nothing more to do with articulating vision than does the latter.

remind remind's picture

Wow...what a Liberal shilling that was....."who will stop Harper"....narrowing things down to "the NDP only wants to replace the Liberals", yap yap, yap..

 

obliquely admitting the NDP has some good things going on, but their vision is narrow....as they are apparently  fixated on  "only want to  replace the Liberals",  while stating Jack was running to be Prime Minister...which means replacing Harper too...is discontinuity at best..

 

so what if the NDP want to replace the Liberals? That is the whole point in Canadian politics to replace that which is fucking over  Canadians, eh!

making it sound as if it is a crime is TFF....and indeed I hope/pray/long for the day when they do replace the Liberals

 

the Liberals need to be replaced, as much as Harper needs to be gone too, the Liberals are no saviours of Canada... no more than Harper is.

KenS

I don't think its necessary or desirable to reduce it to Liberal shilling.

Its worth noting that Dobbin and others take  the existence of a long term strategy of replacing the Liberals as evidence on its own that the NDP invests a lot in attacking the Liberals.

The constant noise people on the left hear from Dippers attacking the Liberals, does not make that the tactics of the NDP itself.  The NDP already spends litlle of its 'air time' on the Liberals- all of it in the course of attacking the Conservatives, because of the necessity of constantly reminding people they can't trust the Liberals to do the job.

If the Liberals are to be replaced, it will be by running over them while going after the Conservatives. Thats already the strategy.

[And there is nothing the least bit visionary about it.]

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

But with this strategy the NDP are asking us to vote against the Conservative/Liberal vision, rather than for the NDP vision. They ought to communicate a coherent positive vision so that people actually want to vote for them. I'm not saying they should not attack the Liberals and Conservatives, but they ought to focus more on figuring out what their own vision is and communicating it.

remind remind's picture

It is what it is Ken...

KenS

I agree.

Just pointing out the Dobbin pot calling the NDP kettle for lack of vision.

The left- together and virtually all its parts- is blind to its hubris that it has a vision. As if poking holes in others' lack of vision somehow sketches out ones own vision.

May sound like an overstatement on my part. It isn't what people say after all. But the vision people think they have is in practice anchored in nothing more than critique.

janfromthebruce

There is a nugget about vision - beyond that - I haven't been hearing the federal NDP spend anytime attacking the liberals - thus Dobbin was sloppy here and just re-enforcing a "liberal frame". NDP attack us, we should work together to defeat Harper by standing down and letting the liberals who are really the only viable alternative to Harper cons. That's the frame an he re-enforced it.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

I really can't stand it when alleged progressives criticize the NDP for wanting to replace the Liberals, without admitting that that would be a good thing. Repeatedly settling for the Liberals instead of supporting the more progressive alternative has done more damage to the progressive cause over the years than the Conservatives ever could.

remind remind's picture

Exactly Scott.......

 

...the Green Party is not getting anywhere, but lower in the polls HS....lol

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

I think a lot of you are missing the point. It seems to me this financial / environmental / social crisis we are going through is the perfect opportunity for the NDP. The failure of neoliberal policies is apparent for all to see, yet the NDP isn't capitalizing on it. It's maddening. My theory is the NDP is hamstrung, because they can't decide whether they want to be social democrats or third-way / Liberals (or they are trying to appeal to both, yet appeal to neither). Meanwhile, the Greens are getting up their nose.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

No, you're missing the point. It's not that the NDP is failing to capitalize on the perfect opportunity. It's that the continued illusion of Liberal progressiveness is blocking the NDP from capitalizing on it.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

It's not that the NDP is failing to capitalize on the perfect opportunity. It's that the continued illusion of Liberal progressiveness is blocking the NDP from capitalizing on it.

Are you saying the NDP should sit there and wait for the electorate to give up on the Liberals? The NDP has to earn those votes. They aren't going to win by default. The defaults are called Conservative and Liberal.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

No, I'm saying that the NDP should continue to work to replace the Liberals. We owe it to Canadians.

Fidel

The problem with the Liberals is that they just want to be another conservative party and yet not lose voter support when they, for example,  prop-up one of the most anemic Tory governments in recent history with 79 confidence votes, Tbey'll never win 22% of the registered vote by being double parked on the right with the Tories. Voters can't tell them apart nowadays. According to the leaked Raitt tape, Canada's big time banksters have both old line parties in a holding pattern for now.

KenS

hsfreethinkers wrote:
I think a lot of you are missing the point. It seems to me this financial / environmental / social crisis we are going through is the perfect opportunity for the NDP.

There are actually two different points being made. There is the one you are making here. The vision thing [or lack thereof]. Then there is Murray Dobbin's point- which is quite different, erroneous, and repeated ad nausem regardless- to which Dobbin just tacks on the vision thing.

People are reacting to Dobbins repeated diatribe, not to your point.

hsfreethinkers wrote:
It seems to me this financial / environmental / social crisis we are going through is the perfect opportunity for the NDP. The failure of neoliberal policies is apparent for all to see, yet the NDP isn't capitalizing on it. It's maddening. My theory is the NDP is hamstrung, because they can't decide whether they want to be social democrats or third-way / Liberals (or they are trying to appeal to both, yet appeal to neither). Meanwhile, the Greens are getting up their nose.

Opportunities like that are not as easy to realize as people think. Nowhere near as easy. And one big reason is that around the economic threats that the public feels most immediately, they have a very strong tendency to be wooed by narratives of security from the government of the day. 

To the degree that the NDP is hamstrung about developing a vision or narrative that catches people, the problem is mostly 'how to do it'... or how to do it while still doing right all the things that make up the Ottawa game that is disparaged and brushed off here, but which doing right is a prerequisite. [If you don't play that game sufficiently well, you don't get a chance to do anything else.] 

The problem is not ideological timidity or confusion. It is lack of practical understanding of how to break through the glass ceiling of what you can achieve through with only astute tactics.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

KenS wrote:

To the degree that the NDP is hamstrung about developing a vision or narrative that catches people, the problem is mostly 'how to do it'... or how to do it while still doing right all the things that make up the Ottawa game that is disparaged and brushed off here, but which doing right is a prerequisite. [If you don't play that game sufficiently well, you don't get a chance to do anything else.] 

The problem is not ideological timidity or confusion. It is lack of practical understanding of how to break through the glass ceiling of what you can achieve through with only astute tactics.

It sounds like basically you are saying it's a communication problem. That is, the NDP is not ideologically conflicted or confused. It's just that the NDP can't figure out how to explain its ideology and vision to the public. I find that somewhat implausible, as there are several organisations on the Canadian left who do a great job explaining issues, educating the public, and communicating a positive vision for Canada and the world, such as the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Perhaps the NDP could learn something from them?

Polunatic2

I think what they're trying to say is that the NDP's "communication" problem is rooted in the confusion caused by those who claim that the libs aren't as bad as the cons. 

KenS

I would not call it a communication problem because that word vastly underates what is required.

Like most people you are viewing the public disourse required as a didactic relationship. Figure out what it is you want to get across, write it up, people read it.

Thats what in your words "explaining the issues" is. And it is fundamentally limited in its reach. The CCPA and the CoC are not educating the public- they are educating a slice of it. A pretty small slice of it.

That is a fundamentally different- and hugely smaller- ambition and challenge than the NDP faces.

It is also why comprehensive manifestoes like the Green Vision are so useless [leaving aside content issues]. In practice, they are written for the choir, not for engaging the public.

KenS

Polunatic2 wrote:
I think what they're trying to say is that the NDP's "communication" problem is rooted in the confusion caused by those who claim that the libs aren't as bad as the cons.

No. I'd say that at bottom its a visceral reaction to Dobbin's oft repeated narrative. Good reason for the reaction to the diletantism. But still just a visceral reaction.

remind remind's picture

Scott Piatkowski wrote:
. It's not that the NDP is failing to capitalize on the perfect opportunity. It's that the continued illusion of Liberal progressiveness is blocking the NDP from capitalizing on it.

Yes, and Dobbin who is allegedly left wing is busily promoting that illusion, as are other "left" orgs.

 

Who and what are they really?

KenS

I didnt see or forgot what Scott said above. That must be what Polunatic2 is referring to, and therefore I stand corrected.

But I can't see that the illusion of Liberal preogressiveness is blocking, or even hindering, the NDP from capitalizing on the opportunity. Dobbin, et al have a lot of effect in circles like this. And that is significant enough in its own right, but not blocking the NDP from getting out whatever message it wants.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I think that if the federal NDP supplant the Liberals federally that will be the demise of all progressive vision in this country.  In every province with a history of the NDP supplanting the Liberals the NDP has morphed into a liberal lite party. In BC it refuses to discuss the issues from a socialist or social democratic framework and historical perspective and instead has morphed into an anti-tax party with Van Der Zalm as an ally.

Ujjal and Bob speak the same language as Moe and Bruce; "if you talk about fundamental socialist reforms to our economy and real social justice change you can't get elected."  But IMO when you abandon even talking about those issues from a left prospective you even give up the hope that people can finally be made to see that voting for white cats is the same as voting for black cats. Many of the provincial wings of the party have gone out and recruited a lot of white cats who all say that if one talks about issues from the perspective of mice then how can you ever hope to get elected.  They say its impossible since we know that mice don't vote as often as cats do so cats votes are always more important to chase.  However in BC we are going to run more female cats and more multi coloured cats because that is as progressive as one can afford to be in public.

Two party systems always result in a governing party and a party in waiting being groomed by the same elite that helped elect the government.  Without more than two parties in the race their appears to be no history of socialist ideas even being discussed.  So careful what you ask for when you seek the demise of the Liberals. Cats don't care who they vote for as long as it protects their CLASS.  

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

KenS wrote:

Like most people you are viewing the public disourse required as a didactic relationship. Figure out what it is you want to get across, write it up, people read it.

Thats what in your words "explaining the issues" is. And it is fundamentally limited in its reach. The CCPA and the CoC are not educating the public- they are educating a slice of it. A pretty small slice of it.

That is a fundamentally different- and hugely smaller- ambition and challenge than the NDP faces.

<

I suppose (re: CoC and CCPA), but if the NDP doesn't talk the talk (on the assumption nobody would read it and they'd be preaching to the converted), then it's difficult for the easily swayed who are listening (such as myself) to have faith that they'd walk the walk. As kropotkin1951 mentions, the NDP has a history and is in danger of turning into the Liberals. I wonder whether it hasn't already happened.

remind remind's picture

LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Fidel

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I think that if the federal NDP supplant the Liberals federally that will be the demise of all progressive vision in this country.
 

Liberals made a complete cattery of Ottawa while occupying the cat house for 65 or 70 years of the last 100.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Cats don't care who they vote for as long as it protects their CLASS.

The Liberals were considered auto-cattic in the 1940's. The no-class Liberals' NAFTA deal has been nothing short of a cat-tastrophe.

George Victor

To paraphrase that old hamburger ad, "Where's the Money"? 

Been waiting, expectantly, for someone to observe the changes in available funding for new social programs, the area where NDP "creativity" has always shined brightly. Broadbent's "tax the rich" to look after the deprived kids could look after the kids, but now there's the need to promote job creation by providing more graduates from technical programs and stimulus funding for startups...in the much talked about and badly needed "green" industries. And jobs continue to go abroad. And the baby boomers just refuse to stop getting older and demanding the drugs - fastest growing area of still mushrooming medical costs - that will get them into tottering old age. And upon their reaching that venerable status, who will look after them now that private pension programs have gone belly up? One million Canadian now look after aging parents in their homes, and Long Term Care construction is at a near halt.

Is it really just strategic failure that prevents the NDP from stopping Steve from gaining a position of uncontested power? And would the great frightened mass of the populace really jump to support the really, really radical economic decisions that have to be made? Is there any evidence for hope in that regard?

 Isn't playing around, making tactical moves, playing for time until ALL parties are forced into accepting serious structural change...isn't that where it's at? And the evangelical element, blind to the historical, quantum changes around them (let's cut off the primary sources of opposition party funding while waiting for this periodic economic storm to abate, and ensure majority power) sings the old 80s refrain, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" to an audience that desperately just wants to sing and not be disturbed by the news of the day?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Murray Dobbin is a Liberal? Does he know that?

West Coast Lefty

Dobbin's piece is well-argued and essentially correct on the lack of consistent vision from Layton's NDP - the NDP has now morphed into the "stop the HST" party with a separate website for this campaign.  It's a good issue and the NDP's position is progressive as far as it goes, but it's not linked to any positive alternative to inspire Canadians.  Jack has a ton of good ideas and they are articulated with vision and purpose - read "Speaking out Louder" sometime and it is all in there.  But too often, the NDP and Jack are just surfing on the latest headlines rather than speaking to Canadians about building a new green economy or eliminating homelessness and again, Jack has written books about these issues, so it's not like the vision ain't there - we just aren't expressing it consistently.

The headline of Dobbin's piece doesn't fully reflect his article - "stopping Stephen Harper" is the brain-dead Liberal frame where it's all about getting rid of Mulroney/Manning/Day/Harper and ignoring that Chrétien/Martin/Ignatieff espouse the same policies or worse in some cases.  Dobbin admits that in some passages in his article, though he does have an awful paragraph of wishful thinking about Iggy's vague musings on raising taxes (which he immediately withdrew, as Dobbin notes) and comparing the abysmal "We can do better" slogan to the World Social Forum Surprised Surely Dobbin realizes that there is not a progressive bone in Ignatieff's body but he has to create the illusion of progressive Liberals because under FPTP, the Libs are the only party that can "stop Harper" in the sense of replacing the governing party.

But overall, Dobbin is correct and his challenge at the end of the piece is the right one- the way you stop Harper (or rather, stop the Harper/Iggy corporate agenda) is to articulate a visionary and credible alternative. I saw Jack on "Question Period" today and he did talk about the green economy and a real strategy to fight climate change; that's a good place to start.

KenS

I agree with what you say WCL, and think I said something similar early on in the thread, but I think thats a charitable reading of Dobbin.... that the title "stopping Stephen Harper" is quite reflective of the article. And that its just sprinkled with references to articulating a vision that the prescriptions for how to proceed are at odds with.

 That being the case...

West Coast Lefty wrote:
Dobbin's piece is well-argued and essentially correct on the lack of consistent vision from Layton's NDP

I don't see that the piece is well argued, and many of us are just agreeing with the point within it that the NDP lacks a consistent and compelling vision or narrative.

link to Dobbin's piece

George Victor

A "green economy and a real strategy to fight climate change" would certainly be "visionary and a credible alternative" to the current mob, and the remnants of the old ruling party, eh Lefty>  And the capital for startups of that green industry will come from...?  I wonder if Jack, with his academic background in economics, could find his way clear to suggest bond issues with that in mind? Maybe even expansion of the CPP to investment there. Knock the socks off the Bay Street boobs who now have us all in thrall.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The BC NDP did present a Green Bonds program during the last campaign.  One of their good campaign ideas.  A federal Green Bond program would be a safe RRSP choice and provide capital to small and medium sized green companies.  If worker owned businesses have access to the fund it might even prove to be the beginning of a new economy. I think a  solid long term investment in green technologies is the only hope for Canadians from all classes to retire in dignity.  Innovative companies owned and operated by the workers themselves is to me the holy grail for economies.

Sunday Hat

As someone who actually supports the NDP there's some problems I have with Dobbin's piece.

1) He contends the NDP will "never win" and should therefore, I presume, not care about winning. If that's his starting point he's lost me. If we're not trying to get a majority of people to agree with us then what the hell are we doing? Why would anyone bother with a political party that was uninterested in implementing it's ideas?

2) I think the NDP has a vision and a strategy - just not what Dobbin likes much. When Dobbin actually has to articulate what an NDP "vision" would look like he simply rattles off a handful of Harper initiatives the NDP didn't oppose. Doing the exact opposite of whatever the Tories are doing isn't a "vision". It's reactionary narrow-casting that appeals to a shrinking handful of shut-ins who think Stephen Harper is the devil incarnate. Most Canadians don't think that way. Layton's NDP is pursuing a populist social democratic vision for government and I think most of his initiatives fall within that frame.

3) Dobbin implies that attacking the Liberals is a betrayal of some sort. He doesn't explain why. It's - I guess - axiomatic that New Democrats are supposed to let Liberals win.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

Exactly. Too many alleged progressives think that the NDP is for articulating a vision and the Liberals are for governing.

KenS

Sunday Hat wrote:

2) I think the NDP has a vision and a strategy - just not what Dobbin likes much. When Dobbin actually has to articulate what an NDP "vision" would look like he simply rattles off a handful of Harper initiatives the NDP didn't oppose. Doing the exact opposite of whatever the Tories are doing isn't a "vision". It's reactionary narrow-casting that appeals to a shrinking handful of shut-ins who think Stephen Harper is the devil incarnate. Most Canadians don't think that way. Layton's NDP is pursuing a populist social democratic vision for government and I think most of his initiatives fall within that frame.

3) Dobbin implies that attacking the Liberals is a betrayal of some sort. He doesn't explain why. It's - I guess - axiomatic that New Democrats are supposed to let Liberals win.

I'd just like to point out that its also possible to agree in the main with this- and that what Dobbin offers is even less like vision than what is required... but to still contend that the NDP's vision on offer is not sufficiently compelling to the audience aimed for, irregardless that is not the narrow one Dobbin wants to cater to.

w_ashley

remind wrote:

the Liberals need to be replaced, as much as Harper needs to be gone too, the Liberals are no saviours of Canada... no more than Harper is.

 

All I know is that a split on the left is what will emolden the Cons, and the last thing Canada needs are the Cons with both houses, both the senate and house of commons so they can pass any legislation they'd like, that would be the end of Democracy and Canadian Society as we know it. GST in totality only grosses $35 Billion annually this meaning while you arn't paying you need to pay almost twice that plus interest because of a 2% decrese and irresponsible spending. So your 2% GST just turned into a 14% GST... thanks to Harper and that is before Harper Sales Tax kicked in. This is the same guy who gave the banks 150 Billion to buy property they already owned, while the banks were healhy with no problems and he said it! That works out to a 30% GST A 30% GST!!! That the Canadian Taxpayers are accountable for! What do Canadians get for it? Fewer services, no future health care and all government assets sold off to the ultra rich? This is what Canadians want?  Can you imagine what his social programs must be like? Who is getting their tattoo first

Personally I don't want to live in a repressive, bigotted, rascist, and unconstitutional nation.

 Giving them the oppourtunity to kill the senate with a majority and vote on whether Canada continues with a Royal Head of state after selling off all the crown corps to private interests IS NOT what Canadians should do even if it means a 5% GST. A more than $54 Billion deficit it testement to their irresponsibility one they claim will not change for the next five year

 Any vote but a Con vote is the only real choice Canadians have.

 

 

Joan Russow

If only the Governor General, instead of appeasing Harper, would invoke Article V of her letters patent, and remove Harper from office for "suffient cause" -- negligence --- she could bring down Harper

How long will Canadians be prepared for the sake of avoiding an election to allow an unethical government which has engaged in fraudulent practices, and evasive techniques, and unscrupulous actions, govern. How much longer will a compliant Governor General support such practices, techniques and actions? The Governor General erred twice in dissolving and proroguing Parliament, (under Article VI) of her Letters Patent. Now she must correctly use her residual powers under Article V - to remove Harper from office, and call upon the Opposition Parties to govern.

Under Article V she has the following residual powers:
V. "AND WE DO FURTHER AUTHORIZE AND EMPOWER OUR GOVERNOR GENERAL, SO FAR AS WE LAWFULLY MAY, UPON SUFFICIENT CAUSE TO HIM APPEARING, TO REMOVE FROM HIS OFFICE, OR TO SUSPEND FROM THE EXERCISE OF THE SAME, ANY PERSON EXERCISING ANY OFFICE WITHIN CANADA, UNDER OR BY VIRTUE OF ANY COMMISSION OR WARRANT GRANTED, OR WHICH MAY BE GRANTED, BY US IN OUR NAME OR UNDER OUR AUTHORITY."

There is sufficient cause to remove Harper:. At COP 15, Harper ignored all the new emerging scientific evidence that was presented, by the IPCC, and by (WMO) about the consequences from climate change being increasingly more serious than anticipated in the 2007 IPPC report based on 2004 and 2005 data. Canada as the principal recipient of the fossil fuel award, was deemed to obstruct the process and ignore the plight of the developing states. A member of the African Caucus decried that while developed states were playing with numbers Africa was dying. Bangladesh pointed out that for developed states it was a matter of consumptive life style, but for Bangladesh it was a matter of survival and a right to live. By commiting to such a low emissions reduction of 3% below 1990 levels Canada was out of sync with the European Union that committed to 20 % below 1990 levels and up to 30% if other developed countries moved. As usual Canada had the dubious honour of receiving it usual "fossil award" . Canada appeared to embody the Antoinettian stance: Let them wear Rubber boots and buy bottled water.

Bill Rees pointed out in his piece; "Is Canada guilty of Climate Negligence" that "Canadian common law provides useful guidance. Environmental negligence suits focus on compensation for loss caused by unreasonable conduct that damages legally protected interests. Unreasonable conduct means doing something that a prudent or reasonable person would not do, or failing to do something that a reasonable person would do. The plaintiff must establish certain key elements of the tort‹ cause in fact and proximate cause, damages, legal duty, and breach of the standard of care. Note that fault may be found even in the case of unintended harm if it stems from unreasonable conduct.
The Governor General erred again in appeasing Harper; now she must must correctly use her residual powers under Article V - to remove Harper from office, for negligence and call upon the Opposition Parties to govern.

 

 

George Victor

Welcome w.a. and Joan. Great thoughts to launch the new year.

autoworker autoworker's picture

At the moment, it doesn't look like any party will win more seats than the Conservatives, or otherwise prevent them from forming a government in a possible election, should they be brought down by their March budget-- unless the opposition parties use the next two months to negotiate and sell a coalition strategy (a coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition), which remains unlikely.  With that in mind: what is to be done?

thanks

- on the issue of non-confidence vote on return in March- It is unfathomable how Parliament could retain confidence whatsoever in the Harper government after his slap in the face to the accepted norms of democracy, such as they are in this country, his disdain for the parliamentary institutions of governance in this country, including its committees and provincial representation, his appalling reactionary attacks on those who appeal to human decency and international law in the face of torture, his continued assault on the Charter Rights of residents through cuts to basic services, and his complete rejection of any sane approach to climate change.

- even considering polls, the majority of Canadians do not want a Harper government running the country.  whatever percentage he's up to now is still a minority.  Fact.

- the How and What to Replace with are separate questions.

- so far i've only seen options on 'What to Replace' being a coalition or 'not necessarily a coalition'.  these options and others need elaboration. 

-It's too bad that on all the most fundamental questions, Ignatieff is substantially Harper- on the war, on the tar sands, on finance and trade. Putting money and public services in the hands of residents is part of basic finance, though getting control over finance legally may prevent many incremental stuggles.  I wonder if Gerard Kennedy would have been any different.( talking last night with one young Liberal who immediately suggested him-maybe Iggy should step down.  Maybe there's a woman in the party who can do the  job.)  Iggy may be better than Harper on some issues.  He is not liked by many for his arrogance.  still there are lots of people who vote Liberal 'because they've always voted Liberal.'

-on the coalition- people on this blog said that numbers for acceptance of the idea were improved over time, but i'm not thinking any sensible progressive person would want to form a coalition with pro-war, pro-tar-sands, and regressive economic/social funding policies.

-so that leaves 'not necessarily a coalition' or other options, which need clarification.

 

 

 

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

thanks: 

I admit that I'm being cheeky with regard to a coalition.  Besides, I believe it would come apart as soon as one party felt it had an advantage (thus rendering voters even more skeptical of partisan cynicism).  What is to be done?  Other than amalgamating the current opposition into a new entity of some kind, I haven't a clue.  Will democracy ever preside? Not anytime soon, m' thinks.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Harper had done us all a favour by removing the facade that MP's actually get elected to govern.  Who needs parliament when he has all the levers of power in the PMO.  Successive Liberal and Conservative PM's have made our system into a PMO dictatorship without the checks and balances of a republican system.  We have been operating like that for over a decade, Harper has merely pulled aside the curtain.  The idea that any party lead by Iggy is on the left side of the political spectrum is mind boggling.  As a serf he will only beat me twice a week not daily like Steve?

autoworker autoworker's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Harper had done us all a favour by removing the facade that MP's actually get elected to govern.  Who needs parliament when he has all the levers of power in the PMO.  Successive Liberal and Conservative PM's have made our system into a PMO dictatorship without the checks and balances of a republican system.  We have been operating like that for over a decade, Harper has merely pulled aside the curtain.  The idea that any party lead by Iggy is on the left side of the political spectrum is mind boggling.  As a serf he will only beat me twice a week not daily like Steve?

Yep, that's about it, but you also get to choose the stick that he beats you with!

George Victor

autoworker wrote:

thanks: 

I admit that I'm being cheeky with regard to a coalition.  Besides, I believe it would come apart as soon as one party felt it had an advantage (thus rendering voters even more skeptical of partisan cynicism).  What is to be done?  Other than amalgamating the current opposition into a new entity of some kind, I haven't a clue.  Will democracy ever preside? Not anytime soon, m' thinks.

This does seem to be the case, which makes all question about a more pure electoral system even more problematic.

Why does the adoption of some sort pf Proportionally Representative system apparently change the potential for combiining, for "getting along with others", for making government work  - a scenario that does indeed look problematic with FPTP? Would a shot of "national spirit", a defence of Canuckistan, help?(And I hope that that last shot of rum is not taking this discussion up a diversionary creek)

thanks

Proportional Representation brings a greater diversity of voices to Parliament, which reflects voters preferences more closely than the current first past thepost system.

Some of those more diverse voices may be significant in shifting the content of what goes on in Parliament.  Most certainly they would be. 

If existing MPs don't have whatever it takes to get things done in Parliament that need doing, it may be a result of the skewed and dysfunctional system everyone has got used to, with apathy and hopelessness resulting.  Both constituents and MPs know the entire exercise is currently a circus. It's very difficult to break out of that.  Steps should be taken.

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

While we continue to wait for Godot, we must also continue to endure the farting and belching (pardon me) that attends the question: What is to be done about Steven Harper?

George Victor

Research the bastard's background starting with the Walrus piece and let the world know:

 

 

  • All Stephen Harper All of the Time | rabble.ca
    "In 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper began warning Canadians of the coming ..... That Walrus article is hands-down one of the best insights into Harper, ...
    www.rabble.ca/babble/introductions/all-stephen-harper-all-time - Cached
  • Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons | rabble.ca
    Hagee lauded one of Stephen Harper's first post-election acts: after .... Frankly some of the questions in that Walrus article take away from it's good ...
    www.rabble.ca/babble/national-news/stephen-harper-and-theo-cons - Cached

     

    Show more results from www.rabble.ca

  • Sarann

    Hold you noses and vote for whoever will put him out of office, then when he is gone worry about other things.

    Malcolm Malcolm's picture

    The Dobbin school propose the oddest sort of political strategy:  That the way to move Canadian political discourse to the left is for the only party on the left to marginalize itself so that the right wing duopoly can continue in power unmolested.

     

    Dobbin's "vision" is pure blindness.

    Fidel

    I think there are Liberals who would like to replace The Liberals.

    Liberals shifted right since Trudeau's last months in power. And they left a vacuum for the centre-left to fill. Liberals are paying for that  shift to the right. They can't buy a phony majority anymore by campaigning on the left and flip-flopping to the right once elected.  

    And come to think of it, neither can the other wing of the party buy a phony majority and still suffering Lyin Brian's legacy. As things stand today, Steve Harper is afraid to show up for work because of the effective opposition NDP out-scrapping them from every angle regardless of Canada's lethargic corporate-sponsored press coverage. Bay Street's agenda and democracy are incompatible.

    Pages