Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Difference In Popularity Between NDP & Its Principles

How could the Conservatives or the Liberals weaken the New Democratic Party? Show Canadians what New Democrats stand for, the end of capitalism.

Because both Conservatives and Liberals have for so long ignored the NDP's first principle, socialism, it may seem like an exaggeration to ordinary Canadians that the orange wave wants to sink Canada's capitalistic system however that's exactly what the party stands for.

In the preamble of the New Democratic Party's constitution, a document that is the foundation of the party and which for obvious reasons was not posted on its website for many years, it declares that the party is against any economic system whose end is profit.

The constitution states: "That the production and distribution of goods and services shall be directed to meeting the social and individual needs of people within a sustainable environment and economy and not to the making of profit."

As a fundamental requirement for capitalism is the ability for individual actors to make profit, the NDP's stance necessarily opposes any form of a capitalistic system. Of course New Democrats do not advertise such implications and was the most likely justification for the party to keep its constitution hidden for many years even though before joining, a potential member had to read it and agree with it beforehand.

On this point it would be in the interests of any opposing party, particularly the Liberal Party, to differentiate the public image of the NDP and its substance. A party tactic that would produce such an effect would be to issue a survey with a respected polling firm asking a large sample of Canadians two questions: Do you support the NDP? and Do you oppose capitalism in all of its forms?.

As undoubtedly a significant majority of New Democrat supporters will give contradictory responses and say they in fact support capitalism, the poll will generate subsequent news coverage that will discredit the popularity of the New Democrats and expose it as the superficial surge it is, or nothing more than the irrational pendulum swing of some orange clockwork.

In the end the NDP's socialist principles will get more attention and inevitably dwindle the party's appeal to centrist voters. The news coverage will show that though Canadians support the change that the NDP represents they actually oppose what the NDP stands for.

Of course such a tactic which publicizes the New Democrats' socialist, and anti-capitalist, principles might backfire and only make the party more popular, but perhaps having an opposition party that is popular because of its principles and not because of its image wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.

And finding out Canadians support the end of capitalism might finally offer the competition that our political system, not to mention our economy, needs.


The Mound of Sound said...

Scott, you're reaching. The way back for the LPC isn't through trashing the NDP over silly notions of socialism. You might just be the only living Canadian who actually believes the NDP is socialist. Layton brought them hard right. They're today's liberals just as the Libs have drifted to become conservative-lite.

The Libs earned their decline from Sussex Drive to Stornoway to Motel 6. They're on the outside looking in and if they want to change that, ranting about the NDP being scary socialists will ensure failure.

The Libs have to earn their way back. That means presenting policies that resonate with the electorate, rebuilding public trust in the party. It's the hardest alternative but it's also the only one that stands a chance.

Let the NDP and the CPC remain absorbed smearing each other. Their determined negativity leaves the positivity option a gift to the Libs if only they can get past their arrogance and stupidity and take advantage of it. said...

Mound, the NDPs constitution clearly states its socialist, it's not my opinion.

Your motivations in denying that the NDP isn't socialist only highlight the point that the NDPs substance isn't as popular as its image.

The Mound of Sound said...

Scott, I know what it states but that's not the point. Layton's people were preparing to get their constitution amended prior to his death. Mulcair will just do the same thing.

I don't know what "my motivations" have to do with this nor am I "denying" that the NDP "isn't" socialist. Now if you have something, anything, that suggests the NDP would pursue the sort of policies suggested by their constitution, please let the rest of us in on it.

The Tories are into attack politics. The NDP are now into attack politics. Do you really think it's going to lift the LPC out of the cellar by it resorting to attack politics? To me, that's the very sort of thinking that got them into the basement. said...

Mound, your second comment contradicts your first. A constitution sets out what a party is, as long as it says the NDP is socialist, the NDP is socialist.

If you read my post I find it hard to imagine how it could be classified as an attack, especially one comparable to those perpetuated by a major political rival. I may have offered a tactic to pursue but I don't believe I did any attacking of any sort.

The Mound of Sound said...

You might want to explore "Clause IV" of the British Labour Party constitution and how it was dealt with by Tony Blair in transforming "old" Labour into "new" Labour. The Layton NDP understood the vulnerability of its constitutional framing and so does Mulcair's. They'll opt for a Blair amendment and that will be the end of that.

We're in an era where labels don't matter very much. Parties move almost effortlessly around the political spectrum to suit their interests. Economic models are becoming almost as flexible. What we once recognized as capitalism has now morphed into corporatism which is coming to rival democracy's hold on political power.

Canada has had several purportedly "socialist" provincial governments that turned out to be remarkably centrist in wielding power. They pretty much put paid to the "Red Menace" card. said...

Mound, out of interest I definitely will review the old constitution of the British Labour Party.

Whatever the difference between the NDPs substance and image, and I maintain that difference is large, the fact there is a difference maintains the validity of the above post.

I sincerely disagree however that the NDP has abandoned everything socialist. I watched their last convention and for every member who argued for a more general preamble there was at least one member arguing vehemently for the perpetuation of socialist principles.

I should further elaborate on the point I made in the closing sentences of this post. I personally value the fact we have a socialist party in our political system. I find it troubling that so many on the left speak of the need for a Green Party but for pragmatic reasons disavow the need for a socialist one.

Why should we have a party that puts the environment first and not one that does the same for people?

Anyong said...

Does anyone in Canada think for one moment Canada isn't a Socialist government? It's like an American thinking there isn't one aspect of socialism in the US...when their 401K pension plan is as socialist as it gets.

Anyong said...

Does anyone in Canada think for one moment Canada isn't a Socialist government? It's like an American thinking there isn't one aspect of socialism in the US...when their 401K pension plan is as socialist as it gets. said...

Anyong, and therein lies the rub. I believe there is a need for socialist programs, free post-secondary is but one example, but a socialist economy is not something I believe is desired.