Friday, March 23, 2012

The NDP Leadership Convention

I have been paying attention to the convention stuff today as I have been working and I am getting three over arching themes from people:

1) The NDP should not change and Canadians will flock to the party now because they understand the NDP message

2) There needs to be an alliance of progressive people in Canada to defeat the Conservatives.

3) The NDP has to be closer in views to the majority of Canadians to be able to represent them properly and become government.

The first theme or view point I find rather disturbing.   It feels like an arrogant approach to politics - we are right and you should just shut up and accept it.   If it is not that, I would have to call it delusional.   If it were not for Quebec, the NDP would have 44 seats to the Liberals 27, hardly a strong win over the Liberals.   The NDP may have been in the right place with the right guy to win all those seats in Quebec, but it is not by an stretch of the imagination the preferred choice of Canadians outside of Quebec.

The idea that there could be a coalition of progressives with the NDP, Liberals and Greens completely misreads where the parties come from.   The Liberals are Liberals because they are centre to centre right and "free enterprisers", they are not a party of "progressives" as people on the left understand the term.  Christy Clark is a federal Liberal and the BC Liberal policies are not to the right of the federal party, in fact on social issues the BC Liberals have normally been on the progressive side.

Most Canadians are in the political centre with the centre left being slightly larger than the centre right at the moment.   You can not be a long term government in Canada and not represent the views of the majority of Canadians.   In the case of the NDP, you can not win if you do not become a party like Labour in the UK or Labor in Australia.

If the NDP chooses a leader to far to the left of Canadians, this simply will allow life to return to the federal Liberal party.   The first and most important goal for the NDP has to be seeing off the remains of the federal Liberal party, this can only happen with Thomas Mulcair.
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