After I wrote in blog post 3# about the roots of NDP I tried to understand what was going on during its recent convention at Edmonton.
I was sad to see young people, under the banner of “young NDP”, acting mutatis mutandis, like hose during Bolshevik revolution, issuing some statements à la Trotsky, with the small difference that the anarchist was very educated and knew how to write.
In my view NDP is a strange political creation which outside of cheap demagoguery and desire to destroy existing fabric of our democracy, does not offer anything which remotely could be construed as a process of thinking.
It is a minority similar with medieval time of “condottieri”, like many other communist organization, minus financing from USSR which disappeared, a minority hungry for power which doesn’t deserve and takes advantage of a lot of surrounding ignorance.
Somebody, a lady journalist with an acute sense of observation, Tristin Hopper, wrote a very good report about this subject which I attached below under its original title:
From socialists to good-old-boys: A taxonomy of the NDP’s Edmonton factions
Remember during the last federal election when the NDP was a big, monolithic organization with careful messaging and detailed plans to form government? Well those days are over, and the party has returned to being a chaotic orange pile of student radicals, labour unions, aging hippies, tree-huggers and socialists.
As the party’s various factions battle over the future of their 55-year-old organization, the National Post’s Tristin Hopper waded into the fray to assemble this taxonomy of some of the different factions of New Democrats at this weekend’s Edmonton convention.
The Socialist Caucus
You thought a $15/hour minimum wage was high? Try $18/hour. Free university, free childcare, Free Palestine. In an address to the convention floor, Socialist caucus leader Barry Weisleder promised to pay for all of this by “balancing the budget on the back of Conrad Black” — seemingly unaware that Black is now a non-fiction-writing ex-con living in a rented house.
The Socialists Who Hate the Socialist Caucus
The NDP also has plenty of socialists who are a bit hipper with their Conrad Black references — and who have infinitely better design capabilities than those suggested by the banner the Socialist Caucus keeps carrying around. They’re young, they don’t wear tweed and they don’t know the words to the Red Flag. Thus, these socialists are apt to bristle that Weisleder is the face of NDP socialism, and they even have a Facebook page, “Socialists Against the Socialist Caucus”2016 NDP Federal Convention in Edmonton on Friday, April 8, 2016.
The Beard and Shawl Caucus
This caucus has no unified ideology, other than a shared love of epically large beards and shawls. Tom Mulcair’s reserved lawyer-beard is nothing compared to some of the ZZ Top-style pushbrooms buzzing around the convention floor.
“Why are you all wearing suits?” one old-timer was heard to say to one of the Suit-Wearers. There was a time when NDP conventions were mostly farmers and tradesmen clad in a sea of denim. But a new generation of NDPers sprang from Parliament Hill internships instead of miner’s strikes, and they’ve got the pinstripes and waistcoats to prove it. Also, if there’s suddenly a big knot of suits on the convention floor, Tom Mulcair’s probably at the centre of it.
The Obnoxious Albertans Ruining Everything
“We need pipelines to tidewater! Pipelines built by Canadians using Canadian steel!” said Alberta premier Rachel Notley as a couple hundred Albertans leapt to their feet and screamed themselves hoarse — while everybody else conspicuously kept their seats. This could have been a full-blown progressive love-in if not for the hordes of plaid-wearing, gun-owning Alberta delegates cycling through the convention hall with obnoxious concepts like “pragmatism” and “your Leap Manifesto sucks.” And if the Manitoba NDP goes down to defeat in two weeks like all the polls say they will, these plucky Albertans will soon be the only New Democrats left at the reins of a government.
The Tough Guys
Among the union delegations, there’s a small contingent of tradesmen with shaved heads, huge biceps, sleeves of tattoos and, in one case, giant Husqvarna suspenders. This is a pretty common look in Edmonton, but it sticks out like a framing-hammer-nicked thumb in NDP-land.
The “Freedom for Palestine” Caucus
Over at the Socialist Caucus table you can buy a book called The Hidden History of Zionism. And somebody was passing out one of those “Disappearing Palestine” postcards. Nobody likes it when someone ruins a dinner party by loudly calling the host’s Soda Stream machine a “tacit endorsement of Zionist terror.” But after years of the NDP’s undercurrent of anti-Israeli activism being tamped down by Jack Layton and then Tom Mulcair, a similar tension hung over the conference centre.
The Procedural Nerds
There are times when it seems the true founding document of the NDP was Robert’s Rules of Order. Points of order. Agenda nit-pickery. Long sinful nights spent in hotel rooms arguing over policy points until dawn. Because sometimes the best part about drawing up party policy is the journey itself.
The Microphone Stars
The Rabble.ca comment section is fine, but nothing beats the rush of grabbing a microphone and spending three minutes lecturing 1,000 fellow delegates on the lack of “inclusiveness” in the convention’s translation choices. This is their moment, and regardless of the fact that they got the “pro” and the “con” microphones mixed up, it’s best to just let them have it. If delegates wanted to tell long-winded progressives to shut up, they would have joined the Liberals.
The Loser Caucus
Okay, that’s mean; they would prefer the term “the former MP caucus.” But a wave of recent defeats has brought an awful lot of ex-MPs to the 2016 convention. They’re the ones wearing jeans, relaxing because they don’t have to field as many media interviews as the last convention and catching up with some old House of Commons buddies they haven’t seen too much since the October thing. “I didn’t used to have to buy my own coffee,” joked party elder Peter Stoffer, who recently lost his Nova Scotia riding after 18 years.
The Aboriginal Caucus
The Conservative Party isn’t too hot with Aboriginals these days, and the Liberals are still in that magical honeymoon period before the Indigenous-relations file becomes an absolute disaster. But in the meantime the NDP is playing up its Indigenous cred, in ways like having a speech by Melanie Mark, who recently became the first First Nations woman to sit in the B.C. legislature. But while there are plenty of delegates ready to cite their Metis great-great-grandfather, non-Aboriginal delegates are still overwhelmingly the norm, which Quebec MP Romeo Saganash pointed out by reading a speech in Cree (on Cree territory, no less), and noting that nobody in the convention hall could understand him.
The “How Many Times Can I Threaten to Tear Up My Membership Card?” Caucus
Did you show up to the NDP convention wearing a bucket hat, an “I love Jeremy Corbyn” button and a plan to grab Tom Mulcair’s arm to ask him why he hasn’t nationalized the banks yet? Do you also get confused by long discussions about renewable energy because the party should really be talking about withdrawing from NORAD? If so, this might be your caucus.AnNDP Federal Convention in Edmonton on Friday, April 8, 2016.
They’re here! The NDP convention has actual, real-life Marxists who think capitalism’s days are numbered and that if we try communism one more time it probably won’t have nearly as many gulags. Known as Fightback, delegates politely ignored them as they stood at doorways engaging in the rather capitalistic practice of selling their journal for $2 (solidarity price: $5).
The Trudeau Haters
If the Conservatives and the NDP ever need a good icebreaker during their next four years sitting elbow-to-elbow in the opposition benches, they can always bond over their mutual hatred of Justin Trudeau. Vapid. Emotionally manipulative. Rich kid pretty boy. Faux feminist. Nobody can hate a Trudeau quite like a New Democrat.
The “We Don’t Like Labels” Caucus
Apparently, some New Democrats don’t like it when National Post reporters ask them to list off all their party’s various factions. It’s “superficial.”
Why NDP is talking about “Palestine” is up to the reader to understand .
We have, in our Canada, problems to improve, and international anti-Semitic influences do not have any place.
But NDP wants to be allied with any international movement , although Stalin’s “commintern” is long time gone.
\Or maybe not?