Friday, April 6, 2007

NDP exists for many reasons

interesting from an older article:

"The NDP exists for many reasons, but what it does not exist for is to be marginalized by a party, which is now scrambling for votes in the face of corruption and an utter lack of leadership. The Liberals should sort out their own direction before complaining that the NDP cost them their comfortable status quo."

Why does the NDP exist? An interesting question posed in Jason Cherniak’s article “The NDP is Sick”.
Logan McKnight

I could give a history lesson on left-wing social values in Canada’s history, but I will simplify by saying that the NDP exists, and continues to exist because there is a large enough portion of Canadian’s dissatisfied with the Liberals to require another option.

I find it interesting that the NDP has been labelled sick, while the liberal party was the one battered in the last elections. I tire of the comment that NDP seats only ensured a Conservative government; this is the worst kind of Liberal rhetoric aimed at appealing to progressive voters. The Liberal Party has a consistent habit of campaigning on the left and then governing on the right, to the dismay of all the progressive voters fooled by Liberal promises to stop the Conservatives. What do those progressive voter’s find in a Liberal government more often than not? Blue-Liberals. Liberals who have more in common with the party they vilify than with anything resembling left wing policies. Take Paul Martin’s proposed corporate tax cuts in the 2005 budget, tax cuts that progressive voters and the NDP disagreed with and eventually had removed from that budget in place of funding for progressive priorities. The exact same corporate tax cut scheme was re-introduced in the recent Conservative budget. Why should progressive voters support a party that shares economic goals with the Conservatives? The economics of the nation is inextricably linked with the social situation in the nation, so the fact that the Liberals lean towards the progressive socially does not absolve the party of their economic policy that threatens to undermine the entire social fabric of our nation. So voting NDP leaves the door open for the Conservative party to win? Voting Liberal gives us Conservatives with a different party logo. Voting for the NDP elects members to the house who push for the same progressive values they were elected on, not so for the Liberals.


The NDP exists because the Liberal party does not, has not and will not consistently represent the values of progressive voters. Now perhaps I’m a “nut-job” for believing so, but I believe my vote should go towards the party that represents my interests and not pessimistically towards the Liberals because they are the lesser of two evils. Apparently over 17% of Canadians, over 5 million people nation-wide, agree with me. Now as for that 17% of votes turning into less than 10% of seats in the house, it only further illustrates why the NDP needs to exist, to push for the end of inequalities even within our own voting system.


In my mind it is the Liberal party that is sick at the moment, leaderless, directionless and struggling to reclaim their comfortable “middle ground”. I truly wish the new leader of the party good luck in putting humpty dumpty together again. It is not time for “reasonable” NDP supporters to reassess their goals and presumably jump into bed with the Liberals; it is time for progressive voters to realize that the fence-sitting Liberals do not have their interests in mind. I will argue day and night against Harper and the Conservatives, because their ideals are, to my mind, fundamentally selfish and more supportive of big business than the working people of Canada. But always will I also argue against Liberals who attempt to claim that the NDP has no purpose, no reason to exist, and is made up of merely misguided idealists. If we are not fighting for our ideal views of what Canada can be, then what are we doing involved in politics to begin with?


The NDP exists for many reasons, but what it does not exist for is to be marginalized by a party, which is now scrambling for votes in the face of corruption and an utter lack of leadership. The Liberals should sort out their own direction before complaining that the NDP cost them their comfortable status quo.

1 comments:

MilitantLiberal said...

I think you make many excellent points. The Liberal party has in some way's been a victem of their own success.For many years it seemed that they would be in power forever.center right wingers who are nothing if not pragmatic began to realize that the only way they could effect change was to join the liberal party. The liberal party which is nothing if not pragmatic will accept support from anyone who can deliver votes. Thus the party is infected with people who should be voting conservative. I think this may have been the elephant in the room at the leadership convention. Dion seems to have come from the actual liberal side of the party which is why I and many other people who sometimes vote NDP were drawn back to the Libs. The biggest political fight in canada is for control of the Liberals.The Martinites always seem to win in the end though and pull the libs back to the right. This was also true in the past. Remember Chretien was gonna end free trade and the GST but was steered aside by these same nefarious interlopers.I fear you may be right and I may be a sucker. MY hope however is that maybe finally we can get the libs into power while the left controls the party. But does the left ever really contol the party?