Thoughts on the NDP

I’d like to have confidence in the NDP, but they have become a neoliberal party, in full submission to the corporate powers and the neoliberal corporate agenda, despite the fanfare and the piece-meal token gestures.

Mulcair certainly is no Tommy Douglas, nor is he a Tony Benn. I hope I am wrong, and I’d be thrilled to be proven wrong, but he strikes me as the new Tony Blair – the lapdog of the corporate powers, and Washington’s poodle, as one British newspaper called him, and appropriately so. Show us some spine, NDP, and we will show you support. You have to merit support, not just receive it because of a posture of righteousness which is largely hollow.

The NDP continues on its stubborn, and foolish, stategically and morally disastrous path of trying to battle the Liberals for the centre. Here is news, boys and girls – the NDP will never win that battle. The Liberals are too entrenched as the party of the centre for the NDP to win by imitating the Liberals.

What the NDP needs to do, as I’ve said for years, is present a bold alternative to the other major parties. This, the NDP has refused to do, and this is why the NDP, therefore, has made itself irrelevant.

Worse than pursuing a failed strategy: trying to compete with the Liberals for the centre has to be seen within the context of a constantly shifting centre, as all of the major parties have slid far to the right over the past thirty years. So competing with the Liberals for the centre now means behaving like a right-wing party of neoliberal corporate globalization – which is an ethical disaster.

So let’s stop pretending, and change the name and the official platform of the NDP to something more honest: The New Corporatist Party: “A party dedicated to corporate profits and corporate power” – with just enough bells and whistles and banners and token gestures to conceal its true nature as a band of political prostitutes in drag as the heroes of the people.

I have to say that the Harper Conservative government presents such a grave and imminent threat to democracy in Canada, that he simply has to be defeated – even if it means for voting for the lesser of evils. For that reason alone, I think the NDP are worth supporting in ridings where they might win, just as the Liberals are worth supporting in ridings where they might win.

I have been fiercely opposed to strategic voting in the past, and in general, and even in the recent past, but I have come to feel that Harper simply must be removed from power, even if we have to hold our nose and vote for a party we have little faith in, in order to do it.

That doesn’t leave the Liberals and NDP off the hook: it simply means that they must be pressed harder, even if, or when, the people vote one or both of them into power.

October 17, 2015

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