Monday, January 09, 2006

Shaking Defeatism, and the Perception of being flaky in The NDP

Happy debate day one and all. Yup, tonight is the big night, the night where the men will be separated from the boys. Okay, okay, I am going a bit overboard, but the debates of the next two nights are important. The Tories are now securely in the lead, and well the Liberals, seem to going down in a flame of scandal and inept campaigning. But what is up with the NDP, why haven't the NDP been able to make any headway in this election?
Canada is at least in North American terms a social democracy, we tend to lean left on issues of human rights, and social welfare issues. The NDP are not socialists like some Liberals, or Conservatives would like to paint them, they are social democrats. The NDP ardently defends public health care, education, social welfare pretty much everything Canadians feel proud about as a society. That being said, the NDP are now sitting at 15% in the polls, behind the right wing Tories, and scandal ridden and tired Grits. How can this be, how can a country that is understandably sick of Liberal government, now rally to a Conservative party, that nothing more then a Canadian wing of the Republican party. Lets look at the polls, the recent one has the Conservatives at 37%, the Liberals 29%, the NDP 15%, the Bloc 13%, and the Green 6%. When you do some quick math, it becomes clear that 63% of Canadians are leaning towards voting for a leftwing or center left party, but when it is all said and done the rightwing Conservatives might form a minority government.
Change is in the wind, Canadians are tired of the Liberals, and Paul Martin. But instead of recognizing this fact early, the strategy that the NDP employed in the first half of the election was to concede the fact that there was going to be a minority government, probably Liberal, and instead of campaigning as a viable government in waiting, well the NDP were happy to get a few more MPs in order to strengthen their influence on the policy of a minority Liberal government. Wow talk about taking a play right out of the Canadian Olympic playbook, or even the Timbits Hockey program, winning isn't everything, its about fair play and having fun. BLLLAAAA. The NDP is in third place right now because they packaged themselves as the third option, with no real desire to govern, the NDP seemed happy to be nothing more then members of the Liberal backbench.
During the American presidential election in 2004, the rightwing media in the States tried to spread the idea of liberalism as a mental disease. This is of course all bullshit, but I think the perception that people who lean to the left are flaky, or a little out of touch with reality, has some how stuck to the NDP. The NDP have never held power federally in Canada, they must then be politically neophytes, irresponsible with the public purse, not tough enough to handle the riggers of running a large government. Jack Layton and the NDP have failed to present themselves as a viable to the Liberals so far in this election, and I fear because we as NDPers come off as flaky and non confident, we have missed a historic opportunity to maybe breakthrough and form a minority government.
This is the homestretch, there is a debate tonight and another tomorrow night, homeruns and knockout punches are always possible, so I say giver all you have got Jack, whatta ya got to lose. Yes I am a flake, and well maybe I have already conceded defeat as well, but I still believe that if Canadians truly want to vote for change, at least positive change, they have to vote NDP, if not the bad guys win.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Sparky said...

The NDP do not campain like an alternative to the Liberals or Conservitive Parties because they can't win. If anybody in Canada wants to know what a socialist government would do in Canada just look at what the Provincial wings of the party have done. Even in a time of economic boom in Saskatchewan we are loosing population and have the highest rate of taxation in Canada. This is due to the socialist, left wing policies of our provincial government. A federal version would be a economic disastor for the country. Glad to finally see the people of Ontario leaning right towarads Mr. Harper, a majority Conservitive Government is within reach, make it a very slim one. The NDP may very well loose seats in this election leaving them where they should be, in the back benches and quiet. We don't need back room deals, Government run daycares, higher taxes, more gun control that doesn't work, and on and on and on.

Thank you from Saskatchewan

1/09/2006 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Yes the NDP are a socialist party, not a Social Democrat party, if anybody does not believe me then maybe read the Regina Manifesto, which the provincial NDP have a link to on their website. Here is a small quote from the NDP...."We aim to replace the present capitalist system, with its inherent injustice and inhumanity, by a social order from which the domination and exploitation of one class by another will be eliminated, in which economic planning will supersede unregulated private enterprise and competition, and in which genuine democratic self-government, based upon economic equality will be possible.... The C.C.F. aims at political power in order to put an end to this capitalist domination of our political life."

Thank you

1/09/2006 3:49 PM  
Anonymous brad said...

Any left leaning NDP supporters who think they could actually win a minority government should maybe think they are more than a little flakey....I agree that the NDP will probably loose 3 or 4 seats in this election...they are down to their usual 15% in the polls CTV poll Jan 9/06
Conservatives: 37%
Liberals: 29%
New Democrats: 15%
Bloc Quebecois: 13%
Greens: 6%

1/09/2006 4:06 PM  
Blogger pinkocanuck said...

Now i will agree in principle that a socialist government would be a economic disaster if set loose on Canada..... I disagree with the assertion that the NDP is a socialist party. As far as the population lose in sask. well hey its like they everywhere in Canada, i grew up in the east where the first thing you want to do after finishing school, is either make some easy money in alberta or head for the big Canadian urban centers, mainly Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver. Your arguement that people are leaving in a time of economic boom, kinda flies in the face of your other arguement that an NDP government would lead to an economic disaster.... is it a disaster or a boom in sask.

As far as the impossibility of an NDP minority government, as long as the NDP field enough candidates to form a government, then well nothing is impossible... the fact that the NDP is tagged with this false impression that they are a socialist party, is a burden that the NDP might have earned in its idealistic past... kinda similar to the tag the conservatives have as reformists and thus neo-cons. So my dear friends when can debate til we are blue in the face which system is better, ah lowering taxes and cutting services, and running up deficites... or responsible tax policies that promote social spending on schools and healthcare.... but again maybe iam a flake.

1/09/2006 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Sparky said...

Glad you agree, I am saying in a time of boom in the energy sector (just look west to Alberta) and with our provincial government taking in record royalties, we are still not creating any new jobs and are loosing population (mostly to Alberta) The only thing holding Saskatchewan back is companies will not invest money in
saskatchewan as long a a sociallist government is running the province. I'm sure they havent forgotten what happened to the potach mines that were taken over by our provincial NDP.

anyway good debate, thats cause you can't win it!!!!!!!!!!!

1/09/2006 4:47 PM  
Blogger pinkocanuck said...

Oh Sparky Sparky Sparky

First this is my site it is impossible for me to lose a debate.Second I thought I tell ya that there is a Socialist Party of Canada, here is how they describe socialism:
Socialism means a global system of social organization based on:

Common Ownership: All the productive wealth of the world will belong to all the people of the world. No more transnational corporations or small businesses and therefore nobody will own the world. It will be possessed by all of its inhabitants.

Democratic Control By All: Who will run socialist society? We all will. There will be no more government and governed. People will make decisions freely in their communities, in regions and globally. With the existing means of information technology and mass communication this is all possible.

Production For Use: Instead of producing goods and services for sale and profit, the sole reason for production will be to satisfy needs and desires.

Free Access: A society in which everyone owns everything, decides everything and only produces anything because it is useful will be one in which all will have free access to what is produced. Money will cease to have any function. People will not work for wages or salaries, but to give what they can and take what they need.

Now I don't live in Saskatchewan, but I am pretty sure that if I wanted a new Honda Civic, or maybe oh a washing machine, that I might have to pony up just as much cash, as anywhere else in the country. If I have a job in Sask I am pretty sure I will recieve wages, and the current NDP government was elected democratically, and is not run wholy by the people of the province, community or globally.

As far as the Regina Manifesto, yes it mirrors, most of the ideas of the Socialist Party of Canada.... but get this it was written in 1933, and by the CCF, who are the great grandfather of the NDP, but um don't exist anymore.

Socialism is a utopic idea, one of those things that if people where not driven by greed and power, would work swimmingly. Kinda like the notion of neo-conservatism in reverse.
bonne chance
mon ami

1/09/2006 5:19 PM  

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