Friday, June 17, 2011

Will NDP Members Vote for Their Party to Go Right?

As angry as I have been with Jack Layton and his alliance with Stephen Harper, I had great hope for the party.

Packed now with union leaders, activists and bright-eyed youth, I thought they might be able to rouse Parliament with a bit of the prairie fire, ignited by Tommy Douglas.

Or before him, J.S. Woodsworth, who refused to leave the floor until the government was willing to enact prison reform.

But alas, it's just more of the same: "Big oil, big banks, sponsorship scandal. Big oil, big banks, sponsorship scandal". I expect them to break out in song in a remake of the Wizard of Oz. "Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my".

Perhaps that's fitting, as the Wizard of the NDP is acting more and more like the man behind the curtain, or as longtime NDP insider, James Laxer once said of Layton, the man who fakes left, but goes right.

That was written in 2006, when Layton left the Kelowna Accord and a national childcare plan on the table.

In 2008, Laxer again criticized Layton's leadership, feeling that he was causing the party to lose direction, missing an opportunity to build a progressive movement.

He was driven purely by power so joined forces with Stephen Harper to destroy the Liberals, instead of focusing on what this country needed. A strong voice on the left.

This weekend's convention could put the final nail in the coffin, of what men like Tommy Douglas and J.S. Woodsworth tried to build, as Layton is expecting the membership to vote on measures that will clearly move them to the right.
Delegates to this weekend's convention will be asked to eradicate the word "socialist" from the NDP constitution. A proposed new preamble touts the party's "social democratic principles" of economic and social equality, individual freedom and responsibility and democratic rights — replacing the current preamble's dedication to the principles of "democratic socialism," which include "social ownership" and a pox on making a profit.

{Brad] Lavigne says the proposed change is simply part of a "modernization" of the constitution, begun two years ago, getting rid of out-moded phrases that no one uses anymore. For his part, Layton declines to explain the difference between social democratic principles and democratic socialism. "I couldn't give you a quick primer on that. I've offered lengthy courses on the topic over the years," he said earlier this week.
Layton then goes into his usual food on the table, education, medicine and pensions. And yet he is not insisting that Flaherty tell him what 111 things he's going to cut (it's a secret) or demanding that the health minister produce the Canada Health Act. Instead she is getting away with touting the party line "we're increasing transfer payments".

But for all those socialists out there, not to worry: "the NDP resolutions do include some staple big bank- and corporation-bashing".

Again ringing hollow, seeing as how the Libyan "mission" is for "big oil" and "big banks" (Goldman-Sachs already has their foot in the door).

The Liberals gave us our flag, our national anthem, our unique rights culture and our Just Society. And they accomplished that when governing from the centre, taking from both the right and the left.

But much of the success of this nation came from the NDP, making sure that the country stayed on course.

Stephen Harper's political victories came by pretending to be Liberal, or Progressive Conservative, answering the question insider Tom Flanagan once asked: "how do we convince Canadians that we are moving to the left, when we're not"? This has led to a mistrust, since those who know better, are well aware of his far-right ideology.

Now Jack Layton also wants to pretend to be Liberal, so he can take over that base. It won't happen. Right leaning Liberals would go Conservative, because of Layton's anti-corporate posturing, and left-leaning Liberals, would probably go to the Green Party, if either decided to jump ship.

However, I believe most will instead work to rebuild the party, that has given Canada so much. We lost the Progressive Conservatives and we can't afford to lose the Liberals.

I mean who would Jack Layton spend all of his time bashing then, seeing as how he has always given the Conservatives a free ride?

1 comment:

  1. I'm not impressed by what I have seen from the Dippers thus far, but Bob Rae on the other hand has been might impressive--