Monday, August 10, 2009

Unsolicited Advice Is Often Useful Advice.

The unacknowledged irony in the New Democratic Party's trivial conniptions about whether it should start calling itself simply the Democratic Party is the implicit recognition that the party is incapable of living up to its billing. As it seeks to remake itself, it cannot be a "new" party, and we shouldn't expect that to be the outcome; to be a party worthy of its name is simply out of the question, apparently. So the nomenklatura counsel the cadres to keep watching the southern skies, as they wait and hope for some sign of John Frum.

In the meantime, Kelly McParland has a go.

I'm for No. 2, Set Free The Crazies, although not because "the fringers have nowhere else to go anyway," but because sensible New Democrats should be obliged to fight the crazies with the utmost ruthlessness and drive them out once and for all. This would improve the party enormously. If the crazies win in a fight like that, then the NDP will die, and will deserve to die.

I'm especially for No. 5, Get A Foreign Policy: "The NDP treats every military conflict like a replay of Vietnam, and persists in pretending the United Nations can end vicious confrontations by sending in a few peacekeepers and promoting dialogue." Aye and aye. Reactionary scum are not "misguided freedom fighters," comrades. Killing fascists is no vice.

No. 3 is good, in this way: "Quit pretending the NDP alone cares about social policy and craft some proposals that fit the Canada that exists" - reference to the size of "the cheque" is a distraction.

To my profound regret, No. 1 is probably wise. No. 4, so-so. Economics is a wildly overrated discipline.

Andrew Potter says the NDP should stick with its brand, even though the party has hit a ceiling of support.

Generally, I happen to be of the view that a proper democratic-socialist party would be a grand thing for Canada to muster to the global struggle for the emancipation of women, the advance of democracy and liberty, and the defeat of slavery, obscurantism, poverty and disease. That is what the "left" has always been about, at least in its finest moments. I suspect , however, that the only way such a party might emerge from the New Democrats is if it were the result of a long, bloody, and bitter mutiny, and all the flotsam were heaved over the side.


Blogger IceClass said...

may be more indicative of my current foul state of mind but I had come to the conclusion that the battle had already happened and the crazies won.

I really don't see any stomach in the NDP rank & file for such a purge. They're just too busy trying to be all things to all people and hence continually get stuck pushing some reactionary & regressive meme.

1:06 PM  
Blogger James O'Hearn said...

I'm for No. 2, Set Free The Crazies

It's funny, but I think the NDP today actually looks at lot like the Republican Party today. They are both potentially vibrant and powerful forces, but undercut and in many places broken apart by the influence of an extremely proactive and reactive fringe element.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Iceclass has a point. The NDP's quandary is that its big tent is too big, and dumb drives out smart. And that's the problem the American Republicans are saddled with, too.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not call them what my Dad did when they were still the CCF? "Liberals In A Hurry."

11:40 PM  

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