Sunday, June 25, 2017

It's Not Easy

In the era of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbin, Tim Harper writes that the NDP is going to have to take a hard left turn. The template for their platform already exists in British Columbia:

If one wants to see what the federal New Democrats will likely put on the table for voters in 2019, the template is in British Columbia.

It will pledge real electoral change.

It will work toward Indigenous decolonization and real reconciliation, not the symbolic reconciliation so far favoured by Trudeau.

It will take a much tougher line on pipelines and climate change.

It will aggressively tax the rich and impose tough levies on real estate speculators.

It will pledge to overturn economic inequality and pledge solutions to precarious employment, rejecting Finance Minister Bill’s Morneau acceptance of it as a fait accompli.

There will no longer be talk of balanced budgets. There will be no more kid gloves with corporate taxes. They will likely push to lower the voting age to 16.

But, at the moment, nobody is paying attention to the Dippers' leadership race. And, across the country, several provincial parties have worries of their own:

New Democrats in British Columbia have no time to focus on this race. They are on the cusp of government in an ongoing political drama on the West Coast.

That saga is also drawing all the attention of Alberta New Democrats who are consumed with what an NDP-Green alliance in B.C. will do about a major pipeline expansion that has federal approval.

Manitoba New Democrats are focused on choosing Ojibwa Wab Kinew, a rapper, broadcaster and author, as its next leader.

These days, it's not easy being Orange. 

Image: Maclean's


The Mound of Sound said...

The fire is out. The old NDP, some might call it the "real NDP" was as much a movement as a political party. Its members used to hector others as opportunists, heretics. They were the true believers of a relatively coherent if sometimes impractical or overreaching philosophy. Or so they claimed. When Layton came along followed by Mulcair it turned out "The Internationale" was really just a tune, not an anthem, as those true believers readily embraced centrism.

The Old Guard didn't put up much of a fight as the new order abandoned the Left. Now, 14-years later, how does the party make another 180 without being seen - for the second time - as rank opportunists this time following the trail of crumbs of Sanders and Corbyn?

I'm coming to fear, Owen, that we've entered a post-political age in which political philosophy and principles are now dispensed from vending machines. Look at Christy Clark's radical epiphany as she changes her spots, wholesale, in a desperate attempt to cling to power or force another quick election. Look at Justin who was gushing with high principle on the campaign trail only to cynically renege on his solemn promises, one by one, with neither regret nor even shame.

Perhaps the days of political vision are over, a casualty of the diminished national sovereignty created by neoliberal globalism. The political caste is now a technocracy, a gaggle of cheap administrators for whom the burning fires of vision have long gone out.

Owen Gray said...

I'm afraid that you're right, Mound. Politics these days is all about a means to an end -- the end being power. What you do to get there doesn't matter. All that matters is that you get there.