16 August 2009

Dipper doodles: NL First meets the (N)DP

Scanning the list of resolution at this weekend’s (N)DP convention – the “New” is optional -  someone from Newfoundland and Labrador might find it all very curious.

There’s a resolution to reorganize the party’s national executive board.

The resolution provides for two seats representing all of Atlantic Canada.

Four provinces:  two seats.  Ontario gets two seats on its own as do Quebec and British Columbia.  But according to the (N)DP,  seven of the 10 provinces in the country have to be bundled together in clumps to equal the other three provinces on their own.

The very attitude so many Canadians have fought against for decades is enshrined as (N)DP national policy in how the party governs itself.  The Liberals and the Conservatives both have representation on their national executives by province. 

Good enough for Grits and Connies.

But not for Dippers.

This must not be sitting well with such long-standing and hard core (N)DP types as Ryan Cleary, he of the Newfoundland and Labrador uber alles wing of the party.

Cleary has set as his goal improving the “long-term status of Newfoundland and Labrador” so it must be tough having to start by trying to sort out the headspace of his fellow (New) Democrats on top of all his other challenges.

Now almost certainly some irked Dipper will point out that there is representation for each province on the national council.

But take a look at the revised structure of that council.  Each province gets one member.  But where party membership is over 5,000 in that province, there’s another member.  And there’s another for province’s with more than 10,000 (N)DP members, and so on.  That sort of structure obviously favours more populous province’s like  - interestingly enough – Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.

The run-up to the next election could turn out to be really fascinating for political watchers, but not because the (N)DP can’t figure out what to call itself. 

Nope.  There could be a little war brewing between the party and one of its wannabe candidates.

-srbp-

Quagmire update:  At this writing (1015 AM Eastern) The convention wound up moving two separate motions to refer the resolution back to committee to reconsider the representation issue for both the Prairie’s and Atlantic Canada.

How did this get out of committee in this state in the first place?

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

And they just spend 20 minutes changing the "POW" to the "WC" for fear that POW was an acronym that might be associated with other things.

Because, WC, on the other hand...

...oh nevermind

Anonymous said...

Cleary representing Newfoundand and Labrador over central Canadian interests?

My God, do they have time to drop the socialism thing before their convention is over? I almost see my vote swaying.

I'll vote Newfoundland interests over Canadian interests anyday, and why not?

(Can we find a way to keep Smilin' Jack completely off the island, I mean legally? I could almost allow a little workers controlling the means of production rhetoric if there was 0% chance of coming across Layton in my local park.)

Edward G. Hollett said...

Sorry 1426, if you want the philsophy that goes with NL uber alles you have to take the politicians who will promise it to you.

René Lévesque said...

So, when it comes to the question of driving a power line from NewfoundlandLabrador across Quebec to power the subways of New York, whose side is Jack Layton on?

Edward G. Hollett said...

A lot of things have changed since killed people while driving drunk, Rene.

For starters, there are no sides to be on. Anyone can run power through anywhere else.

For example, NL can run poiwer through Quebec and are doing so right now. That's what all the fuss was about back in the winter, if you recall.

And of course, by the same token, if someone wanted to import power to run a mine or mill in Labrador then they can do that too and there's no way to stop them, not if NL Hydro wants to export power to the US.

And if there is a line connecting the island to the North American grid, power can be wheeled to anywhere in NL as well.

Must he hard ti keep abreast of developments, Rene what with you being dead and all, but hopefully that helps.

Anonymous said...

1426 here again. Curious why the negative connotation towards representing Newfoundlands interests?

I have rarely to never seen the 'greater good' of NL coinciding with the 'greater good' of Canada, with the truth laying closer to the old "What's good for Newfoundland is bad for Canada, and whats good for Canada is bad for Newfoundland" adage.

Having lived and worked with Canadians, I've rarely found them to place the 'greater good' of Newfoundland over the 'greater good' of their local interests. Am I to care for their best interests out of some sort of benevolence? As one who likes to keep things practical I don't see me going down that road anytime soon.

Jack Layton will say anything to get elected, like any politician. However, socialists scare the pants off me. I remember Layton being out of his depth as a Toronto city councilor, as a leader of a federal Canadian party, well, this just shows the calibre of their party. The pot advocates seem to be ruling the roost. I also remember he and Chow both fully employed as city councilors, being ran out of a subsidized Toronto housing complex that they managed to live in whilst those needing assistance were unable to access such a spot, until the press got hold of the matter. (All are equal, just some are more equal, true to their ideological ilk).

If Cleary actually IS looking to represent Newfoundland in Ottawa, I wish he had another party to run for. But which party? I dislike the CPC and Harper's 'arts are a fringe issue' mentality. I have as much love for the Liberal Party of Canada as I do for Jack Layton, actually, less. I actively loathe them and their corrupt crony ways (ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING for a vote, from marching with Hamas in Montreal to attending Tamil rallys featuring children marching in camo and holding wooden AKs in Brampton. Scary party there!) The dippers just give me the creeps, but as they don't represent much danger of actually gaining power, are able (mostly) to be ignored. Another disappointing set of choices loom for the fall.

So who is the "Newfoundland" choice? Identify yourselves, be credible, and you've got my tick. I'm not holding out much hope on that though.

Note, the feigned resistance of our Liberal MPs regarding the last Canadian budget, as 'representing Newfoundland', not credible. At least Russel was up front on the matter.

Anonymous said...

"That sort of structure obviously favours more populous province’s like - interestingly enough – Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec."

Unlike the parliament of Canada?

Edward G. Hollett said...

An interesting perspective 1426.

According to you:

Lower taxes are not in the interest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Improved defence is not in the interest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Health care funding is not in the interest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Funding for schools is not in the interest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

These are all examples of decisions taken by the federal parliament that apply to all Canadians and yet you insist they are not in the interests of people living in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Since, as you claim, you like to focus on practical things, do you have any other examples of this curious view of the world?

Edward G. Hollett said...

0336, you hit on the larger issue.

As I said in the post, an issue many of us in Canada have worked on for years is one endorsed whole-heartedly by the federal New Democrats.

Just because the federal parliament is currently skewed doesn't mean that such a bias is okay for the federal Dippers.

Well, at least I hope you weren't arguing that.

Anonymous said...

I'll let it go as we're veering off topic from Ryan and the Socialists.

But to argue that because Canada exists means we have defense, schools, hospitals is to argue I presume that without Canada we would be have been unable to protect NL, no hospitals, no schools, and high taxes (to pay for nothing, one presumes), is a bit much no?

It certainly doesn't touch upon the possibilities of a small population exercising self-determination, or the cost of lost-prospects that nationhood offer.

Or... I'd have rathered be a New Zealand, than a Tazmania.

Back to Ryan. I hope he mops the floor with Coady and whatever toady Harper sends to run... and then forgets what party he represents and abandons everything they stand for. I could support that.

Anonymous said...

Quebec can use the capacity of its grid to hold Newfoundland and Labrador hostage.

Anonymous said...

How pathetic is Ed at all? I bet half of these anomoyous comments are Ed himself.

Who do you work for Ed?

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, 1110, it isn't off topic if you brought it up.

You also misrepresent the point, which of course you have to do in order to sustain the original silly proposition you set up.

You said that you "rarely found them to place the 'greater good' of Newfoundland over the 'greater good' of their local interests" and I gave several examples where your position was simply preposterous.

The only way you can try and salvage your position is to say silly things like Nl would not be able to have schools and defence with out Canada. That wasn't my point at all and you well know it.

It is a bit much but you are the only one proposing such a ludicrous thing on top of the original ludicrous idea that the interests of people living in NL don't match ever the interests of other Canadians living elsewhere in Canada.

You then add a third ludicrous proposition, namely that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians do not currently exercise self-determination. They do, just as they have since 1948.

You see there is no truth in the adage you cited. It is merely another one of the slogans used by some people in Newfoundland to avoid having to actually think about things.

But if, by some chance, you can offer some concrete example of what you are referring to, some specific example, then by all means, bring it on.

Edward G. Hollett said...

How can they do that Anonymous 1136?

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, 1203, let's start with a simple proposition:

Who are you and who do you work for?

Every knows exactly who I am but they have no idea who you are, who you work for and how many of these anonymous comments have come from you.

Anonymous said...

Edward, you say my point was silly, leaving me no point but to rebut that your point is silly.

Are you are actually countering that Canada provides Newfoundland with defense, schools and hospital (and low taxes! LOL) out of the goodness of their hearts, and are not fairly compensated through the ownership of Newfoundland and all that comes with it?

If we are talking about sustaining myths, then the 'naked benevolence' of Canada must rank well up there.

I would say that Canadian services, shoddy as they are, vs, say, the rest of Canada, defense included, are more than compensated for. Would you care to point out how they are not?

No need to get snippy in tone though please. This is a friendly conversation, no?

BTW: To the gentleman who posted that these comments are being written by Ed. They are not, for what that's worth.

Anonymous said...

edit... that should have been...

Canadian services in Newfoundland, shoddy as they are...

Anonymous said...

I don't think any other part of Canada would be expected to live with a service the like of Marine Atlantic.

Anonymous said...

Ed, this is the guy writing the long posts again. I do have a question for you. I read your blog fairly regularly and followed it through the last few elections. As in this thread you seem to be always ready and willing to "stand up for Canada", and are an active proponent for the goodness that Confederation has brought us. I am just wondering what sustains this? Is it simply opposition to the current (nationalist) Premier, or does it go beyond this? If it is the latter, may I ask, have you ever lived outside Newfoundland? If so, where, and for how long?

I was just accused of being one who seeks to avoid having to think. As I am paid (reasonably well I might say) to think, so you're off base there, then I am led to wonder how you've come to your other conclusions, and to question the weight they carry. Regularly, I read here that that those who don't see our current constitutional status as the 'ne plus ultra' are somehow mentally inferior to the Captain Canada base you seek to represent. Why is that?

My employment has ranged from the Canadian Forces to Bay St. In the former, I met plenty of Newfoundlanders actively employed in the defence of Canada from BC to NS. I never had the chance to do anything in Newfoundland. We are very very lightly 'defended'. In the latter, the only take on Newfoundland was a total ignorance when not negative; that we (they, my accent suits the crowd) should not think we deserve an equal voice given our 'take take take' 'newfie' status, and should be happy with what we're left with after central Canada has been satiated. I heard actual outrage when NL acted 'too big for it's britches' with the stated implications that we need to be taken down a peg. These were near universal opinions.

I pretty much mirrored your positive impression of Canada, giver of good, until I actually had a chance to work amongst those wielding real economic power over this place. My reaction to that was that we must get out, and get out now.

If you have lived among them, I'd be curious if your experience was different?

Edward G. Hollett said...

It is silly, 1426, 1110 or whoever you are, to suggest that the interests of people in Newfoundland and Labrador do not intesect with other Canadians living elsewhere in the country.

I'll go a step farther and point out that since you were referring to issues of local interest, then you are even more off base. Local matters are entirely within provincial jurisdiction. thus what people in Manitoba do in the Manitoba legislature doesn't affect Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and vice versa.

I said nothed about belevolence, naked or cothed. That's something you mentioned for some reason.

Rather than fight the things you think I am talking about, try and read what I actually wrote.

Anonymous said...

"I'll go a step farther and point out that since you were referring to issues of local interest, then you are even more off base."

The "local matters" I refer to circulate about our physical place in the world, and the territory, resources and issues of control that go with them.

The big issues.

I am not talking about basketball courts, provincial parks, or daycare.

Anonymous said...

"I said nothed about belevolence, naked or cothed. That's something you mentioned for some reason."

In your 8:53 post you provided a list of services provided to all Canadians by the federal govt of Canada. I believe you were implied that we all share the same in these from coast to coast.

I counter that we would have these services with or without Canada, and state that we're paying for them regardless of where the seat of power lays. If it is your point that we could not have them without Canada, then it stands to reason that we must be getting something we could not otherwise provide for ourselves, thus, we receive them through the benevolence of others.

I disagree.

Mark said...

Oh - if I might jump in - especially on the point of having lived among "them" - I've worked in five federal departments, attended four universities, lived in five provinces, worked directly in somer capacity for two prime ministers and I guess you could say I've had my share of views and opinions from "them". If the opinions you found to be "universal" truly were, then I'm sure I'd have run into them on a daily basis. I haven't. Occasionally, yes. There are ignorant people out there. There are ignorant people in Ottawa, and in Toronto, in government and elsewhere. They're ignorant about NL, but they tend to be equalliy ignorant about PEI, about Saskatchewan or other places. No denying that there are ignorant people out there. Ignorance about women and minorities, too, and abuot immigrants and welfare recipients, and all kind of things. There's a lot of ignorance to go around. The "universal" ignorance about Newfoundland and its people pales in comparison. That's not a topic for today's rant. But if this was your "universal" experience in the rest of Canada I strongly suggest you choose another line of work or a different social circle.
I've also had the chance to live and work in St. John's on three ocasions, and I would wager a thousand dollars that I've visited more Newfoundland communities in the past ten years than any spineless commenter on this thread even know exist. if you want ignorance and "universal" opinions about Newfoundland, particularly among those "wielding real economic powwer" you don't need to stray too far inside the overpass to find them. But that's not the point of this rant either.

The real point of this rant is that if your honest reaction is that "we" should get out, you should have the courage of your convictions and step up to the plate. Canada has a Calrity Act, which essentially allows provinces to leave. If your only previous attachment to Canada was that you believed it to be a "giver" of good, and you've reached the conclusion that it isn't, then you really don't belong here, do you? Go on, get out, or at least try.

Mind you, at the ballot box you'll have to show ID, which clearly frightens you in this forum.

If you truly believe that Newfoundland's only reason to be part of Canada is some measure of what Canada "gives" it, then you're just as bad at perpetuating the very stereotypes that you claim offend you.

Anonymous said...

"I said nothed about belevolence, naked or cothed. That's something you mentioned for some reason."

In your 8:53 post you provided a list of services provided to all Canadians by the federal govt of Canada. I believe you were implied that we all share the same in these from coast to coast.

I counter that we would have these services with or without Canada, and state that we're paying for them regardless of where the seat of power lays. If it is your point that we could not have them without Canada, then it stands to reason that we must be getting something we could not otherwise provide for ourselves, thus, we receive them through the benevolence of others.

I disagree.

Anonymous said...

"If you truly believe that Newfoundland's only reason to be part of Canada is some measure of what Canada "gives" it, then you're just as bad at perpetuating the very stereotypes that you claim offend you."

Absolutely not. Good on you to point it out. I should have said that I thought we were on a fair two way street. Honestly, fair point on my comment.

Ignorance here, yes, no doubt. Painful no matter the source.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, 1300, if you are the same long comment writer as before, I have already dealt with part of your further long comment: you are making a mistaken assumption to bring forward the idea that my position rests in any way on "benevolence".

Your comments thus far have followed along on a series of presumptions. That's just reacting and not thinking. It has nothign to do with what you get paid to do or how much you get paid. Our society pays lots of people to think who quite evidently don't, but that's really another discussion altogether.

That I am getting at here is that you are presenting, essentially, a series of stock arguments.

For first two paragaphs of that last comment, for example, follow that essential pattern and frankly I am long past being bored with the whole 'Why don't you love Danny more" arguments and all its variants as much as I am nauseated with the equally silly "How come you always stick up for Canada but not Newfoundland" crap.

Not only are they inherently ridiculous, they have been dealt with and disposed of repeatedly. All they are - really - is just another part of the local sloganeering. And slogans are of course the things for people who don't wish to think. Hoepfully that wouldn't include you.

Your experiences are your experiences. They aren't mine and they don't match mine on every level. There are ignorant Canadians from coast to coast. I don't try and condemn entire groups of people (as you seem to be doing) based on the stupidity of specific individuals.

I also doubt that yours were "near universal" experiences except in your own personal case. Others mileage varies and varies quite considerably.

Anonymous said...

So... you've never lived elsewhere?

I haven't heard the slogans. If my argument is a slogan, is that the evidence that proves it false?

"Canada has the best healthcare system in the world". Now that's a ridiculous, easily dis-proved slogan.

I didn't read the slogan in my posts.

Edward G. Hollett said...

I made no such list of services, Anonymous nor at any time did I suggest these things would not be available to one degree or another if Newfoundland were independent.

Evidently you are running around making raft of assumptions again. You disagree, as you've noted but I'll quickly point out that you are disagreeing with the straw men you've created yourself.

Bravo.

The couple that I mentioned are ones voted on by the parliament in Ottawa.

Now the representation of all Canadians in parliament needs fixing seriously but it should be fairly obvious to even the casual observer that there are a great many issues and values which Canadians share, coast to coast, regardless of which province they live in. There are a great many interests of the people in NL which intersect with and are congruent to the interests of other Canadians living in other provinces.

Now you may have been affecting this "us" and "them" stereotyping for the sake of whatever argument you are making. I'd suggest you read Mark's comment which pretty much makes the point on the issue of "us" and "them".

Edward G. Hollett said...

"I didn't read the slogan in my posts."

Perhaps it wasn't you but one of the other people who have a problem with discussing issues and identifying themsevles at the same time.

Mark said...

"I thought we were on a fair two way street."

That's one of the most annoying misconceptions about federalism that seems to emanate increasingly from the brain trust currently occupying Confederation Building. Newfoundland and Canada do not really have a bilateral relationship. Quebec's political class have an even harder time understanding that concept.

Anonymous said...

I think you should change the tile of this blog to Liberal Hackery? Just a thought.

Who do you work for Ed?

Edward G. Hollett said...

You first, Anonymous 1336.

It's really that simple.

You reveal your identity and we'll deal with your question.

Charlie said...

He works for me.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Sorry, Charlie, but working for you would bring back too many nightmares of 'Nam.

The horror! The horror!

Agent 99 said...

He work for Chaos!

Shtarker said...

He doesn't vurk fer Kaos.

Seigfried told me.