Thursday, January 24, 2013

On policy choices

Thomas Walkom and the Mound of Sound both note that a leadership race has only signalled how far the federal Libs are from being a progressive party. But with Walkom and Paul Adams also questioning whether Canada's political system has seen either a convergence in the middle or a drift to the right, let's note that the Libs' leadership convention may not be this spring's most important source of answers on those points.

On the same weekend the Libs choose their new leader, the NDP will be holding its first convention since last year's leadership vote which elected Tom Mulcair. And the Montreal convention website has now been updated with the basics of the NDP's policy development process - including both the current policy book (PDF), and the guidelines for convention resolutions which will have to be approved and submitted by February 11.

That doesn't leave much time to review and discuss what changes might be made to the principles agreed upon by the NDP's membership just a few years ago - either to strengthen the language to better reflect progressive values, or to water it down if the party's leadership wants more room to maneuver.

But we should be able to tell plenty about the party's future direction by watching how a convention featuring a high proportion of the NDP's new Quebec membership handles traditional party policy and proposed amendments. And the more important test for progressive politics in Canada may play out in Montreal - rather than at the Libs' putty sculpture contest down the road.


  1. Walkom and the Mound of Sound hardly note anything. They certainly repeated a collection of meaningless pablum about the Liberal Party--that we have no ideas or that we are opposed to strong positions and then mention some of those ideas and positions whether that be on foreign investment or the Green Shift or on what to do with the system of subsidies for millionaires paid for by poor people that constitutes our country's farm policy.

    Of course, the Green Shift was supposed to be the exception that proved the rule right? Never mind that the leader of the Liberal Party waged an election arguing that we need to radically overhaul the tax code to fight climate change. No, that doesn't count at all, because apparently Dion was just an 'individual Liberal'. We simply aren't enough of a policy-cult to satisfy the two you've cited.

    Repeating the same tired old stories about the Liberal Party might be fun, but if standing up for not changing a thing about the works of prior generations counts a progress, I'm happy to be out.

    1. Dion was an "individual Liberal" and the Liberal party backroom boys backstabbed him thoroughly for his annoying insistence on having policies and principles.

  2. Calivancouver & fellow Liberals,

    You see what you want. While you ignore that which totally contradicts you:

    That is the point of the Liberal party.

    Traditional political parties exist to produce sustainable policies which adhere to clear values & principles. The neo-Conservatives, social-New Democrats, and environmentalist-Greens...are such parties: by design & constitution.

    The Liberals are NOT a traditional political party. By design and constitution: they exist as a virtual nation. Their purpose is to recruit a mass of competing interests and ideologies...trusting that the internal political process will produce wise policy & outcomes.

    What the Liberals claim as "non-ideological" and "flexible" actually just submission to mob extortion. You cannot recruit such a diametrically opposed mass of people...without giving each some "pound of flesh".

    The result of such Liberal rule, according to Canada's traditional political parties, has been incoherent horror. They have long watched as Liberals have stolen or bastardized their carefully designed policies...with the end-result being botched & insincere implementation (or in the case of Kyoto, willful non-compliance).

    Yet you see what you want,
    Dan Tan