Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On marginal relevance

There's no lack of obvious problems with Gerald Caplan's excuse for "advice" to the NDP and other federal parties today. But for a fairly stark indication of just how little interest Caplan apparently shows in dealing with what's actually going on, this may be the most striking tidbit:
The NDP will hold a big national convention where the only faux-excitement will be an elite-led attempt to change the name to the Democratic Party. To this fine state has the party of Tommy Douglas and David Lewis descended, at a time of multiple crises with the democratic left virtually moribund. No new public policy ideas will be introduced.
So what's wrong with that paragraph? Well, the NDP's resolution deadline was just last week. And the convention website's page on resolutions still lists the process for submitting them, rather than a list of what's set to be debated.

In other words, there's no way for Caplan to know what new ideas will or won't be discussed. (That is, except to the extent he himself is involved in a single riding which could have submitted resolutions - and he noticeably doesn't seem to have anything positive to offer for discussion.) But in the interest of putting a negative spin on the convention, he's instead simply assumed that absolutely nothing will be talked about - then turned that evidence-free assumption into reason to grumble about the NDP's direction.

Needless to say, that should serve more as evidence that Caplan isn't paying attention than that there's actually going to be a lack of lively discussion at the convention. And hopefully the rest of his diatribe will be treated accordingly.

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