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This is not the entire solution, but the NDP needs to project itself as a party seeking and able to form government. Otherwise, many of us have no reason to vote for them. They are instead the 'moral voice of Parliament' and are seeking to find ways to influence positive change. Tepid. People are heavily influenced by strong, decisive leaders.

It's a tough road.

The most disillusioning part of the ANDP that I saw is how they hung their candidate to dry in this last by-election while they had their little convention where they patted Mason on the back and made blank promises about every riding matter.

The NDP lost to the frakkin Social Credit member in the by-election. While we usually do bad in Calgary, 1% of the vote is a joke.

I am another disillusioned NDPer...

Nervous nellies like you and Laxer should vote for the Liberals then like they did in BC. I hear that's working out great.

The nervous Nellies are the ones who believe that the NDP can only become a "credible" party by advocating for the economic status quo. Indeed, it is those of you who are ready compromise at every turn who should become Liberal since winning seems more important than behaving like a labour party that has faith in the populace!

The options are not exhausted by, on the one hand, concession to the status quo and, on the other, raving like out-of-touch ideologues. The system is the way it is, and failing to acknowledge reality is a sure road to disaster. But, the NDP needs to clearly and directly articulate an alternative. (I'm increasingly convinced this will require bypassing the previous century's methods of communication at the very least). The suggestion that there needs to be a choice between pragmatism and principle is the calling-card of the Liberal Party, and it's just not true.

The way between the tolerable and the ideal is the good, and that's where the NDP must be.

We've tried it your way for 48 years, Polly.

Well, I am all for the kind of politics within the NDP and Canada which Ryan Meili demonstrated in the recent Sask NDP leadership race. No, he didn't win, but for one who was predicted to place dead last and who ended up with a full 45% of the vote, I think many have a lot to learn!

He spoke at our nomination meeting yesterday and expounded on his Politics of Positivity which, on the surface, could be airy and passive. Really, though, it is the belief in ideas, that a campaign be based on ideas, conversations around ideas, ideas that mean something rather than the constant negativity and low-brow campaigning that has been going on in the past few years.

The national campaign could learn a lot from young Dr. Meili.

48 years is not long in politics and when a global recession hits, you swing left; you don't weave right. Had people had the balls to give it 52 years, we might see magnificent change. (Sorry, for the heterosexist language...but seriously.)

Regina Mom, that is an informing and encouraging story...

I agree we need to campaign on ideas and I also agree with, trs, that an alternative has to be clearly articulated.

Right now, policies look like those of an opposition party (i.e. what bills we would like to slip in to their system).

I would like to see a more serious policy discussion that explains how the NDP would run the government and fund public services once in power...I will take another look at the Orange Book, but I don't believe we have comprehensive policy. In Alberta, we articulate our values but not our strategy. I want numbers and figures and comprehensive policy...We need a percentage for royalties/taxes on oil companies, a sound estimate of the amount of income that would generate and an idea of how much would be devoted to various social program...Moreover, we need an clear plan to democratize these resources.

And, if NDPers think it is wildly ideological and not practical, to place people and planet before profits, then really move on to another party. Instead, of timidly acting on current polls, we might consider the large percentage of voters who might actually show up to the polls if any party confidently spoke of a platform that would actually impact their lives for the better.

Had people had the balls to give it 52 years, we might see magnificent change.

If you had the balls you'd be willing to give us more than 52 seconds to get that magnificent change.

Hi Joanne, Hm, we had a group of phoners in the Saanich North and The Islands race called the Good News Nellies...
I say, squeeze something out of the Cons for the people, and organize for the spring. We could spook ourselves with all the forecasts, or we could do our best, knowing we are the party of hope, with a good track record of working for the people.

You are waiting for an MRI still? I was hoping to meet you at the last convention.

Anne, I am not spooked. I just am tired of squeezing out minor wins...We should be think two elections ahead...keeping a strong platform and waiting for a significant win. People will become increasingly receptive to the ideas of the party as the recession progresses. And, frankly, we don't feel like the party of hope...We feel like the party of fear. We are worried about hanging on to current seats instead of planning two moves ahead to sweep seats where we might have never imagined winning them. Frankly, I think most NDPers are scared of sounding too socialist. Only when we start naming the problems of capitalism and not taking watered down positions will we reach those who don't bother voting because "nothing ever changes."

I am still waiting for the MRI...

I hope to make the next convention. Hopefully, there will be more of a place for those of us who hold socialist ideals in the coming year or two...I have tremendous respect for the people who work ridiculously hard in this province, but the framing of issues doesn't resonate with me.

I didn't mean you are spooked, just don't go down that corridor. We are still planning to target special resources on 12 ridings this provincial election, and of course the "co-operation" resolution was defeated again. I am going to drag my riding association to working to that, and see what happens.
I agree with you about the scared of sounding socialist phenomenon. It's rhetoric, sure, but maybe we can master the art of speaking well. So "socialist" is being used to deride the underpinning values of the NDP. Hmm, how to counter? Any thoughts you have would be valuable. I talk about what we would do in government, but it would be fun to have an argument in my pocket about the meaning of socialism in 2009.
I hope you get the MDI pronto.


Polly said, "Frankly, I think most NDPers are scared of sounding too socialist. Only when we start naming the problems of capitalism and not taking watered down positions will we reach those who don't bother voting because "nothing ever changes.""

This is what is so refreshing about the slough of younger (than me) folks who made Meili's campaign so successful. They were not afraid to defend their ideas with solid arguments and made great headway in bringing new people forward and to challenging cynics such as me to take a second look.

I didn't renew my membership for the provincial campaign; Link and his ilk make my stomach hurt. But when I met Meili's Regina co-ordinator, Noah Evanchuk, who has since been nominated as the candidate in Palliser, I met hope. And I renewed.

It is happening, people. Truly, it is. Here, in the place where the CCF was born, it is happening.

"In Alberta, it is time to seek citizen control of our coveted natural resources."


A lot of us, outside of Alberta, are depending on you to help make strides against the mega-destruction and the commercial rip-offs out there.

Here in London, Ontario I'm part of a tar sands campaign -
The bottom set of the demands there are about the Albertan tar sands -- as are the other demands (more indirectly).

The whole world has somewhat of a stake in what's happening in Alberta; and it looks like it we'll be better off if the unconventional oil sources in Alberta are left in the ground for the foreseeable future. In other words: let's not just divvy up the spoils from the extraction projects in Alberta. (You haven't said that we should keep all of the extraction projects out there going; citizen control could go that route though, so I'm just jumping in to say, outright, that we should do better.)


I fully agree with everything you say, Toban. And, certainly, citizen control would be initial move, but we have to begin to see our resources as belonging to all of the inhabitants of the planet. I think we also need to establish greater consciousness of the geopolitical issues and potential for conflict in coming generations...

Unfortunately, I feel Greenpeace has done a disservice by framing the issue as solely an environmental one...there are no connections made between the tar sands, current and future wars and the current economic system. the same time, I think the people heading up the project see these connections...the issue is getting funding for the work they are doing and, if not Greenpeace, who?

Polly, if you are getting disillusioned with the NDP, I invite you to come over to the dark side (anarchy).

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