The hue and cry that has risen up in NDP quarters over the Liberal leader Stéphane Dion’s plan not to run a candidate in Central Nova would have been humorous if it weren’t so shrouded in feigned moral superiority on the part of the New Democrats.
NDP bloggers are accusing Dion of side-stepping democracy (as if somehow our electoral system was actually democratic) and of abandoning Liberal Party ‘values’ (as if there was such a thing) by co-operating with the Greens and Elizabeth May.
For those of you who’ve never visited the Blogging Dippers site (I actually do recommend it, even for true progressives and Marxists because there actually are some insightful blogs carried on their feed), you know that they have html code that they encourage you, as faithful New Democrats, to put on your blog. The html code generates random images of previous leaders and a random fact/quote about the party that looks like this:
Leadership You Can Trust
Made In Canada Socialism
What I find funny is how the NDP is slamming the Liberals for abandoning democracy/liberal values (again, isn’t “Liberal Party Values” an oxymoron?) when the party on the federal scene that’s been the most vicious at actually waging a grassroots war against progressive factions in their own party is the New Demcrats! Was it not the NDP who expelled all their truly progressive comrades in the famed explusion of The Waffle in the early 1970s? Was it not The Waffle who was the one faction of the NDP which was the most faithful to the Regina Manifesto (click here for the full text), the original founding document of the CCF?
You probably won’t read that on their “random fact generator”.
So, let’s be honest here and call a spade a spade:
To my New Democrat friends: you gallivant around with “socialism” on your sidebar when you’re really just capitalists and your party’s actions historically are exemplars of a vicious hatred of socialism.
Now that said, you’re certainly a hell of a lot better than the vulgar capitalists to your right (the Liberals and Conservatives). And, if I must have capitalists in my Parliament, I’d certainly rather that they be you guys than them. But let’s just not kid ourselves and think that somehow you’re so fundamentally different from the other capitalists parties.
Fundamentally different? Most definitely not. You just want the capitalist system managed a little bit differently.
So, here’s my ‘radical’ proposal: If we must have capitalists in our Parliament, let’s all — Marxists, Socialists, “Socialists”, Greens etc. — work to ensure that as many of them as possible are not Conservatives.
I’m calling my proposal the “300 Strategy”. The NDP and the Greens sit down like grown-ups and work out 8 ridings each where they won’t run candidates. Layton can still attack May and vice versa. Each party could submit 8 ridings to the other until they both agreed on which 8 ridings the NDP would take on without Green candidates and which 8 ridings the Greens would take on without an NDP candidate.
This way, we may still have capitalists in our Parliament but at least we’d have more New Democrats and, by extension, fewer vulgar capitalists.
Of course the one weakness of my plan is that it depends on Layton and May getting together and behaving like grown-ups.