Monday, February 5, 2018

Will It Be Vision Or Political Expedience?

In yesterday's post, I wondered whether Jagmeet Singh and the NDP will embrace a form of radical progressivism as it prepares for the 2019 federal election or instead hew to more mainstream policies that they think will make them more electable. In today's Star, two letter-writers offer some important perspective.

Rose DeShaw, of Kingston, Ont., reminds us of a time when the thirst for power was secondary to New Democrats' agenda:
American politics has changed Canadian politics. What we need is not a populist wave or to win big but to build a solid, basic set of public values that express a new and deep intention to reverse the trend of inequality in society by establishing policies of support for all women, men and children in their lives.

The important thing for the NDP is to once again become the conscience of the Canadian government. The old CCF/NDP was concerned with pressing government to improve the lives of Canadians, not by winning elections but by changing the policies of the larger parties to bring in the baby bonus, a national health act, pensions and social insurance, to name a few.
Ken Sisler, of Newmarket, Ont. reminds us of the the failure of our governments thus far, and the vital need for progressive politics:
Yes, it is time for a Bernie-Sanders-style, left-wing populist movement in Canada. The system has failed poor people and working-class people. We need universal pharmacare, dental care, child care, vision care and a $15 national minimum wage. These are not radical ideas. Many countries already have these programs.
We await with bated breath to see what road leader Jagmeet Singh chooses.


  1. .. this is good stuff (some might say its a cry for common sense) or (putting the servant back in the term 'public servant')

    I don't know.. but among a select group I have a tendancy to read, follow or have the privilege to comment on.. the term 'captured government' is often mentioned. Yes, there are other ways, terms or context used to describe such non democratic erosion.. demolition or toxic pollution.

    What to expect when the political parties are all contaminated though? When they are all supplied via the same voter database software, or the same data sets and data wankers.. and when all of this wankering trickles down from feederal to provincial to municipal to grassy rootabago levels ?

    What when its all about the vote? What when the enacted policies really don't differ? (ie when the election promises & platform are baloney) What when its A-Ok for 'donors' to hedge their bets and contribute to all parties? What when the mainstream media becomes complicit at the ownership level?

    I tend to revert to simplistic farm term.. and farm sensibilities.. When there were rats in the granary, we suspected rats. We did not pretend otherwise, or choose optimism, sunny skies or steady hands on the tiller. We went after the rats will alacrity.. it was them or us.. and we had cattle to feed. I could expand on this 'way of being' - like if smelly water came up from the well, or the 27th sideroad did not get plowed after the commonplace blizzards that swept down from the northwest.. or the party line phone stopped working .. or.. well I know you catch the jist here.. and the jest.. there comes a time for leaders. So where are they?

    1. When all party 'leaders' and their apparatchiks are drinking from a common jug of Kool Aid, Sal, there is little hope for an engaged electorate to push for real change.

  2. The letter writers remind readers that the NDP used to be concerned first with public policy and then with power, Lorne. Things have been reversed.

    1. Indeed, Owen. At one time, the interests of the people and the interests of the party were one and the same. May we return to that foundation.