Friday, October 9, 2009

Time to go Mr. Layton. . . .

It is time for people on the left of Centre to take back the NDP and make it a party of principle. I don't care what your political stripes, if you are committed to democracy (unfortunately many conservatives are not so committed) you must know that there is a place for a party at the left of center to make a contribution. Unfortunately, under Jacky Layton the NDP has become a party that seems to change positions with the changing of the weather. Unfortunately there are other NDP MPs who are even worse that Layton like Mr. Mulcaire. In recent decades we have have watched the political spectrum shift slowly to the right and the result has been more inequality of wealth, the centralization of power, radical increases in corporate crime against the environment and human rights, decreases in political participation, media concentration. The fact is that a handful of people have most of the wealth and through that wealth they control most of the political agenda. Global capitalism is failing and so is democracy. The NDP under Layton is part of the shift to the right. It is time for a change. It is time for principles to return. 


Anonymous said...

As a party member, and considering myself to be fairly left, I'm not sure I agree with you-- nor can I really vouch for your tone as though you speak for all centre-lefties.

The reality is that Jack's leadership has modernized our party, especially with respect to outreach, fundraising, campaigning and presence in the House-- all the while taking strong and defined (I'll add consistent) stances the issues. Afghanistan, healthcare, environment, and childcare-- they've been on the button!

It may be uncomfortable for some to be put in a position to make any action in parliament, but that's what is necessary when you pick up seats. I happen to think our caucus has handled themselves in keeping with my/our values.

Kirbycairo said...

Fair comment. And I certainly don't speak for all on the centre-left.

However, one is either principled or one is not. There is very little if any middle ground. And I think Jack has shown on many occasions that he is not.

We can argue issues till the cows come home but let me just say this. On Afghanistan Mr. Layton only came on side when he received enough pressure to do so. On childcare, he should have done everything in his power to keep the Martin Government in power because they would have instituted it. On the environment the NDP has not been nearly progressive enough in my opinion.

I think on issue after issue the NDP can only be considered centre-left if we accept the current paradigm of political orientation. If we use even the standards of the 1970s the NDP is nowhere near the left.

Most of all Layton is offensively strategic, has no charisma, and has no credibility thanks to his flip-flop on supporting Harper. If he hadn't spent the last two years telling us that voting against Harper was a matter of principle then maybe he would now have a shred of credibility. But I believe he is politically finished and being unable to lead should get out of the way for someone who can..

Véronique Émond said...

The reality of ‘modernizing’ the party, as you say, in terms of outreach, campaigning, and presence in the House (which seems to be another way of saying getting more votes) means compromising principles. I think it is the unfortunate circumstance of being the smaller contender, but the NDP consistently compromises its principles in order either to appeal to more voters or to maintain their position in the House. Jack plays it safe, and gets the party where it needs to be to make a change – and then fails to enact those principles. I understand there is a fear of losing position or power, but what good are either of those things if we do not use them to make a change? The end result is that the NDP becomes indistinguishable from the other parties, and the average centre-leftie voter is left with no one to vote for..