Sunday, June 18, 2017

We'll Have To Wait And See


There are deep divisions in the New Democratic Party. It's is not the first time the party has faced the problem. Robin Sears writes:

In 1939, M.J. Coldwell risked splitting the CCF over his support for the Second World War, while his pacifist leader, J.S. Woodworth, was opposed. Except that the two men worked out an agreement that permitted party members to agree to disagree. Woodsworth maintained his honour and kept his leadership, although most party members were deeply committed to the fight against fascism.

In 1981, when the NDP struggled with one premier who supported the Charter of Rights and one who vehemently did not, with similar divisions across the party, Ed Broadbent and Allan Blakeney worked hard to prevent the disagreement from splitting the party. A vigorous convention battle ensued, but one that left no blood on the floor.

This time the issue is pipelines. B.C.'s Dippers are opposed to them. Rachel Notley's government favours them.  What's to be done? Sears doesn't offer a prescription. But he does give Dippers some free advice. In the past,

New Democratic Party leaders and activists . . . worked hard to ensure it did not happen,  smacked hard those who would use deep party differences for personal career gain, and  understood the restraint and caution that moments like these must entail.

Does it take courage for a Vancouver MP to grandstand at the expense of party unity in a leadership race about a controversial project deeply unpopular to his own base?

Is it wise, if you’re the only woman candidate, to fling epithets at the supporters of one of Canada’s — and one of the party’s — most admirable woman leaders.

Does it demonstrate leadership to deride a competing candidate seeking to find the balance a federal party’s leader must necessarily strike on internally divisive issues?

The questions answer themselves.

We live in a time where unbridled ego seems to trump party. We'll have to wait and see what happens with the Dippers.

Image: ceasefire.ca

9 comments:

Owen Gray said...

I'd like to publish your comment, Anon. But it needs to be initialed.

The Mound of Sound said...

The New Dems chose to transform into a centrist party at a time when that demanded they embrace neoliberal ideology. They slipped their moorings and now find themselves vexed by issues such as pipelines. They'll try to cling to left wing vestiges but progressivism rarely finds a comfortable home in any petro-state. They're reduced, as Sears argues, to a lifeless, grey suit brigade marking time, waiting for conditions to worsen to the point that they can safely return to the left.

Owen Gray said...

You don't hear echoes of Tommy Douglas coming from today's Dippers, Mound.

Steve said...

The guy with the Turban should loose on principle. We do not need more fairy tale leaders.

Owen Gray said...

Are you implying that he can't win because he wears a turban, Steve?

liberalandlovingit! said...

Owen, the Dippers can't seem to conjure up a genuine smile among them. Except for Julian, who won't win. Cullen is just weird; Charlie and Niki- way too intense.
People actually need, (dare I say?), sunny ways- to survive and thrive. It's about "attraction, rather than promotion"...

Have a good one.

Owen Gray said...

There's more art than science to retail politics, lovingit.

liberalandlovingit! said...

Owen, I'd like to apologize for my Nathan Cullen remark- it didn't come out right.

I think he is a highly intelligent, committed person- I do however find his smile, at times, seems a bit forced, but, I have been wrong very many times before.

What really irritated me was watching he and Ms. Bergen practically holding hands,
while ganging up on M. Mendocino, on Evan's bucket, last Sunday. I do not plan to waste another precious weekend hour watching that show, again. I miss Don Newman. And,the best part of Soloman's other incarnation was the sparkling, wry, wit, of Rob Silver.
Then, Evan wouldn't let the man say two full sentences, in answer to a question he asked, before he interrupted him, again. The whole thing was rude. Mendocino? Gracious and unflappable.

Most times, I don't believe the opposition deserves a QP, as it's pure theatre to them. PM JPT, should just get with the journos and take their questions- the opposition is failing in its duties.

Owen Gray said...

My gut tells me that Cullen won't be the NDP leader, lovingit.