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Is the federal NDP irrelevant?


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Over the weekend I read about a poll that pegged federal NDP support at something like 15 percent. Given that NDP has abandoned the notion of representing the interests of Canadian workers in favor of replicating the diversity ideology espoused and practiced by Trudeau's party, is there anywhere left on the ideological spectrum for the NDP?  Of course, for those of us who don't want to see the Libs reelected next year, NDP voters likely siphon some "progressive" (if it can be called that) support to the detriment of Lib hopes. But in as much as I try to figure any other useful role for the current iteration of the federal NDP I come up empty.

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1 hour ago, Adam1980 said:

 Take another round of leadership and policy change for them to have any hope of un-irrelevanting themselves. 

But is there an actual role out there for the NDP when the Libs have moved so far to the left on social policy, particularly where pet Lib social engineering and income redistribution schemes are concerned? Rational class-based economic and social analysis has been displaced in academia by the promotion of victim-based identity causes. Marxism has been replaced by neo-Marxism and in the process intellectual objectivity has been jettisoned. In the current environment of "progressive" anti-intellectualism, I can't see any room on the ideological spectrum for the NDP other than as a kind of pale 'us too' version of the Liberal Party. The modern NDP doesn't appear to be able or willing to challenge the elitist globalist perspective and seems disconnected from the actual concerns of ordinary Canadians. Has its time simply come and gone?

Edited by turningrite
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It's a good question; I think if they returned to actual pro-labour support they do have a role, and could likely muster a consistent percentage of the vote, but there's no incentive to do that from the macro/party level perspective. They would never form government which is the goal when they shift center-ish as has been done.

That is a role and probably one that needs filling. 

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As much as I dislike the NDP,they do serve a role in that they will siphon off votes from the Liberals to some extent. I don't really see all that much difference between the Liberals and NDP policy-wise,they are both pretty far out on the left.Their current leader,what's-his-name most certainly hasn't caught on in any way to date.

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2 minutes ago, Wilber said:

You guys make me happier to be a Canadian every day.

 

Why would that ever be in doubt ?    Enjoy watching us on the telly tonight....just like always.

Even the "gong show" reference is American.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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On 10/30/2018 at 10:29 PM, Adam1980 said:

I think you nailed it; in their current form they are largely irrelevant. The leader IMHO is perceived to be and is indeed weak. Take another round of leadership and policy change for them to have any hope of un-irrelevanting themselves. 

When there are 30% of voters who pay no taxes (no skin in the game), the NDP/Socialists will always have voters.

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Look at the recent US numbers:

The Democrats - across the board - win in the popular vote. Republicans only win - recently - because of gerrymandering.

Long term, Republicans are (excuse the expression) fu*ked.

=====

Trump? The last gasp of America.

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9 hours ago, August1991 said:

When there are 30% of voters who pay no taxes (no skin in the game), the NDP/Socialists will always have voters.

But isn't this is the same block of voters the Libs now assiduously court? The Libs love nothing more than redistributive schemes that are designed to appeal to the subsidy classes. I think the real problem for the NDP is that progressivism has morphed from relying on class-based economic analysis to a reliance on identity-focused cultural analysis. By mimicking Lib progressivism the NDP has ditched Marxian logic for neo-Marxian frippery and become a mirror image of the Lib party, minus the corporate agenda of course - or so it likes to imagine. The Libs have conveniently adopted a neo-Marxian approach in the service of the corporate globalist agenda. Or, as Trudeau often suggests, the Libs see the role of government as serving to round the rough edges of corporate globalism to make it palatable to the hoi polloi. But is the NDP not serving to bolster the same agenda without admitting as much? At least the opportunistic Libs appear to embrace their own hypocrisy. I worry, though, that the NDP has little comprehension of the game it's playing. If its ideology isn't grounded in class-based analysis designed to serve the actual interests of ordinary working people, I think it naive to believe it now realistically serves any purpose other than to essentially validate Lib policies. In the Marxian intellectual construct, modern progressivism is a distraction that's primarily designed to serve the interests of global capital. I believe the NDP has allowed itself to be co-opted to serve this agenda.

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On 10/22/2018 at 9:52 AM, turningrite said:

Over the weekend I read about a poll that pegged federal NDP support at something like 15 percent. Given that NDP has abandoned the notion of representing the interests of Canadian workers in favor of replicating the diversity ideology espoused and practiced by Trudeau's party, is there anywhere left on the ideological spectrum for the NDP?  Of course, for those of us who don't want to see the Libs reelected next year, NDP voters likely siphon some "progressive" (if it can be called that) support to the detriment of Lib hopes. But in as much as I try to figure any other useful role for the current iteration of the federal NDP I come up empty.

We have three liberal/socialist/communist political party's in Canada. The liberals, the NDP and the conservative party. It does not matter which party gains the throne they all think alike and are all oh so politically correct, too pro diversity, and are on the payroll and will follow the marching orders that are given to them from high above. But if the NDP socialists/communists did fold than that would be more seats for the liberals. Then the conservative party might as well join with the liberal party and be done with it. Or the conservative party would be left or right to have to become a real and true conservative party. The Peoples Party is an example of what appears to be now a real and true conservative party in the waiting. 

The one thing that I could never understand about the NDP is why have they never thought about implementing citizen initiated referendums/the right to recall like they have in many American states and Switzerland? The NDP always say that they are there for we the people but appear to be always against we the people. They have become the biggest sucks to the pro environmental and pro animal movements and native against everything Indians and appear to be only interested in sending us all back to the stone age. Progress is just not their bag, man. 

As things go now Canada's political scene will always come up empty. Canadians only have a bunch of deadbeat pro leftist liberal socialist diversity politically correct politicians and one of them cannot stop calling himself a feminist and cannot stop apologizing to someone or some group every time this wimp of a leader can get the chance. As far as I am concerned Canada needs a get up and go leader and not wimps that will make me want to feel proud and would want to fly the Canadian flag. For now all I can do is fly a white surrender flag. Pathetic. 

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On 10/22/2018 at 7:34 PM, Hates politicians said:

Their leade is just another talking head

Personally, I do not like what he wears on his head. I do not want to ever see a PM in Canada wearing a turban on their head. It would give the rest of the world the impression that Canada is a Sikh country. My opinion. 

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On 11/8/2018 at 10:39 AM, turningrite said:

But isn't this is the same block of voters the Libs now assiduously court? The Libs love nothing more than redistributive schemes that are designed to appeal to the subsidy classes....

Blah, blah, Marxist blah...

In Canada, about 30% of filers pay no federal income tax - assuming that such people bother to vote.

======

In English Canada, federal Liberals were once perceived as CCF/NDP in a hurry.

Since French-Canadian (Quebec) nationalism is currently dormant, federal Liberals can occupy the leftist space.

But federal parties in Canada (Liberals traditionally, uh, conservatively - but Conservatives also) work to keep us united.

===

Given this centenary, we in Canada have avoided a Civil War and avoided a Great War.

We are a modern Austrian-Hungarian Empire: We live side by side.

Edited by August1991
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10 hours ago, August1991 said:

In Canada, about 30% of filers pay no federal income tax - assuming that such people bother to vote.

 

You seem to be trying to prove my point. Low income earners in Canada file taxes because it's in their interest to do so as most qualify for tax credits and other government-funded subsidies by so doing. It seems these non-taypayers vote in sufficient numbers to incentivize governments to pay attention to them. Identity politics, grounded in neo-Marxian victimhood ideology, has allowed old-style class-based economics and politics (as the NDP used to practice) to be supplanted by a cynical new brand of retail politics. Never underestimate the ability of politicians to be able to buy votes with taxpayers' money. The NDP will never outplay the Libs at this game.

Edited by turningrite
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Low income people tend not to vote, so the right-wing claim that they "vote for goodies" is wrong.   Highest turnout is among those who have money and good-paying jobs so it's certainly not "people who don't pay taxes" who decide who'll govern.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-001-x/2012001/article/11629-eng.htm#a6

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/middle-class-politics-who-belongs-to-this-vote-rich-group-1.2939750

https://voxeu.org/article/low-voter-turnout-increasing-household-income-may-help

 

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4 hours ago, dialamah said:

Low income people tend not to vote, so the right-wing claim that they "vote for goodies" is wrong.   Highest turnout is among those who have money and good-paying jobs so it's certainly not "people who don't pay taxes" who decide who'll govern.

 

I think you're overgeneralizing here. Undoubtedly, lower income Canadians are less likely to vote than are higher income Canadians, but where they do vote they can significantly impact outcomes. In part, this is because Canadian regions and communities are often income-segregated, a trend that's likely becoming more rather than less relevant. Further, as the Stats Can link you cite notes, home ownership is used as a rough equivalent of income (which may be applicable only to larger cities) and age is by far the more relevant factor where voter participation is concerned.

Further, the "middle class" (and those working hard to join it, as Trudeau likes to condescendingly chirp) to which politicians so love to appeal, is quickly disappearing. According to polling done late last year and reported in the CBC earlier this year (link below) fewer than half of Canadians now define themselves as being middle class. And even within the group that does, Trudeau and other politicians appeal to meeting "family" needs and concerns, including with the now huge child tax benefit, as part of a strategy to promote their interests and no doubt appeal for their votes. But isn't the CTB more a rearguard action more than anything else?

Interestingly, in 2002 70% of Canadians defined themselves as belonging to the middle class and yet even with the advent of massive subsidies like the CTB the middle class is disappearing as a viable socio-economic entity. Those most disadvantaged by public subsidies, of course, are working taxpayers without children as well as individuals and families with incomes immediately above the subsidy threshold levels. But the very notion that policies are being designed for the middle class and that these are the people most likely to vote is a simplistic mirage. I have a much more cynical view of the situation wherein I believe the government is using subsidies to mask a dramatic economic transformation in line with the needs and expectations of corporate globalism - a transformation that ultimately will render most Canadians less well off and less secure than was generally the case between the last world war and the end of the 20th century.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/middle-class-poll-1.4542903

Edited by turningrite
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1 hour ago, turningrite said:

I think you're overgeneralizing here. Undoubtedly, lower income Canadians are less likely to vote than are higher income Canadians, but where they do vote they can significantly impact outcomes.

I am overgeneralizing here?   Hmmmm..

Let's try math, instead.  The claim is that about 30% of people don't pay taxes, so "they are voting for goodies" because tax policies don't affect them.   Of that 30%, 54% won't vote, based on StatsCan "home ownership" metric.  So, the proportion of people who are supposedly  significantly impacting policy is about 16% of the population.

StatsCan says that 66% of employed people vote; I assume that this group includes the 70% of people who do pay taxes, vs the 30% who do not.  That is about 46% of the population.

I fail to see how 16% of the population is responsible for the way in which the country votes, regardless of where they live.  I also suspect politicians are well aware of this, such is why disability, welfare and minimum wage rates remain so low.  The people who live in that degree of poverty are not a large enough voting block.

1 hour ago, turningrite said:

Further, the "middle class" 

Yes, the "middle class".  People who are employed and who pay taxes.  If the claim was that the middle class, especially the lower middle class, was aware of and voting in response to promised "goodies" in large enough numbers to affect economic policy, I would find that at least a plausible argument.   Rich people and corporations also support economic policies that benefit them and are arguably more successful at influencing policy, so why some think it's only a problem when people at the low end of the economic scale do is a mystery.

 

Edited by dialamah
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1 hour ago, dialamah said:

I am overgeneralizing here?   Hmmmm..

Let's try math, instead.  The claim is that about 30% of people don't pay taxes, so "they are voting for goodies" because tax policies don't affect them.   Of that 30%, 54% won't vote, based on StatsCan "home ownership" metric.  So, the proportion of people who are supposedly  significantly impacting policy is about 16% of the population.

StatsCan says that 66% of employed people vote; I assume that this group includes the 70% of people who do pay taxes, vs the 30% who do not.  That is about 46% of the population.

I fail to see how 16% of the population is responsible for the way in which the country votes, regardless of where they live.  I also suspect politicians are well aware of this, such is why disability, welfare and minimum wage rates remain so low.  The people who live in that degree of poverty are not a large enough voting block.

Yes, the "middle class".  People who are employed and who pay taxes.  If the claim was that the middle class, especially the lower middle class, was aware of and voting in response to promised "goodies" in large enough numbers to affect economic policy, I would find that at least a plausible argument.   Rich people and corporations also support economic policies that benefit them and are arguably more successful at influencing policy, so why some think it's only a problem when people at the low end of the economic scale do is a mystery.

 

You appear not to understand the modern approach to retail politics, which is to identify and target voting blocks and design policies to appeal to voters within these blocks. The entire notion of "middle class" has become muddled in the post-industrial order. Further, there are vast regional variations in Canada, thus negating your assertion that those "who are employed and who pay taxes" constitute the middle class.  Somebody who earns $30K to $40K annually in St. Hyacinthe QC or Saint John NB, for instance, doesn't face the same economic circumstances as somebody living at that income level in Toronto or Vancouver. Engaging in paid employment (i.e. "working") doesn't in and of itself render one a member of the middle class in Canada and in fact income taxes in Canada kick in at very low levels, thus exacerbating the situation.

As for you not understanding how a relatively small proportion of voters can influence electoral outcomes, perhaps you're not aware that swings of as little as 4 or 5  percentage points determine election outcomes in the Canadian FPTP system. The major parties in this country practice "base" politics to some extent but they can't win elections without appealing to otherwise unattached voters and in order to do so they design programs attractive to these voters. Watch for Trudeau to ramp up subsidy and redistributive offerings over the next year (as with his carbon tax rebate scheme), just as Wynne tried to do in the flailing final year of her regime in Ontario. It didn't work for her because her government was already discredited by that point, but it might work for Trudeau.

As for the influence of corporations and the rich, they sure do get their way for the most part, which is generally to bear an increasingly smaller percentage of the taxation burden, which they've seen shifted to consumers and those in ordinary paid employment, both middle class and otherwise. This shift began in earnest in the Mulroney era and has continued unabated ever since. Corporations and the wealthy don't want to pay for redistributive schemes and they increasingly get their way on this. In essence, the working middle classes and the working not quite poor are paying for the subsidies.

Perhaps you might apply a more sophisticated analysis in order to render your position somewhat more plausible.

 

Edited by turningrite
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