Since a percentage of my subscribers are outside Canada, this blog may mean nothing although the bigger picture rules do apply. This past weekend, the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada elected a new leader to replace the second- coming-of-god, Jack Layton, who died of Cancer in August of 2011, just months after he led his party to a shocking 103 seats making the NDP official opposition and decimating the former opposition Liberals in the process. It was a shock because the only place the party was ever elected in Canada were in various provinces and if you followed the election that May, the NDP acted like they won and the press in particular, mostly because the press hates this government, seemed to forget who actually won and won big, the Conservative Party. There’s an old sports adage that says, “Nobody remembers who finished 2nd” and that principle may not apply to politics per se, but I am fascinated by how Canada’s media portray politics as if the winners, the democratically elected party of choice seem to be the enemy rather than the leaders of our democracy.
Let’s be clear, I find politics fascinating and in case you didn’t know, I even threw my hat in the ring running for a seat in the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1986. I found it fascinating in that I had become a Saskatchewan “celebrity” having appeared on several high profile telethons and events where the majority of the population truly admired my efforts in life, something I never took lightly. I also wanted to make a difference in my world so when given the opportunity to seek public office, I was honored. I ended up losing to the NDP candidate in my riding and that was okay but what astounded me was the day my name got put aside a “Conservative” party banner, over 40% of the population hated me. I never realized how nasty politics was and is and for that reason, I will never run again but I mention all this before I vent just so you now that I have “been there, done that”.
Let’s start with this; the NDP are the most negative, divisive and judgmental political party ever conceived. They did not start out that way. They started in 1932 and were called the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. Ironically, the party was formed in 1932 in Calgary and I say ironic because the CCF or NDP hasn’t been elected significantly in Alberta for decades. In 1933, the party met in Regina where they chose their first leader and adopted the “Regina Manifesto” which set out its goals that included creating a mixed economy through the “Nationaliation” of key industries and establishing a “Welfare State” with universal pensions, health and welfare insurance, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and other social programs that when growing up in Saskatchewan I thought were “free”. This, of course sounds like nirvana, a utopian world where everyone is equal and there is no elite. This would be code for “Communism”. The farm-based mentality and the religious component (their early leadership were blatant in the fundamenalism) looked good on paper but that was 1933. It simply does not work in 2012 yet the NDP believes that if you don’t support their beliefs, you don’t care about people. They have used that tactic for decades and continue promoting themselves as the only party for “real people”. They are pro-union, anti-capitalist and extremely self-serving, but yet, those who don’t know them voted for them for reasons that nobody seems to want to admit. They did not win the seats that sent them to second place, the other parties lost as a protest vote and in particular in Quebec.
I love Quebec but their politics is even wackier than the NDP. It doesn’t help that since the 70’s polticians having been kissing Quebec’s butt for the sake of votes as history has shown that their sheer population gives them huge representation in Canada’s House of Commons and thus, some decisions have not been for a better Canada but to serve political interest, bilingualism being the most contentious idea. More skewing allowed Quebec to field candidates under the political banner of “Bloc Quebecois” and although elections are supposed to be Canada-wide, Quebec elected a large number of the BQ who did not have to run candidates anywhere else in Canada. Does that sound fair? These BQ Members of Parliament were elected based on a simple hatred for Ottawa and the message it would send. In a bizarre twist, the NDP in Quebec convinced the electorate that if they really wanted to send a message to Ottawa, elect a truly “National” party who can get even more perks for Quebec who have long annoyed many Canadians for preferntial treatment. For example, Quebec believes in universal daycare and even though no other province in Canada has it, all of Canada pays for it under what is known as “Equalization” where “have’ provinces like Alberta give literally billions of doallars to “have not” Quebec. Sounds like Communism wearing a french mask but I digress.
Jack Layton was viewed as a “saviour” of the NDP and his unfortunate death from cancer made him into a true martyr. I mean no insult as he was loved and for those who did, they suffered great loss but to suggest he was singular in changing the face of Canadian politics is as much a myth as the idea that they are but one election away from being Canada’s government makes my akin crawl. We cannot let that happen!
We left Saskatchewan for many reasons and was a truly tough decision…I grew up there and love the place. But I grew weary of the negativity….constant negativity that was and is the guiding princiiple of a party that is not “new” at all. The party principles are still linked to the Regina Manifesto and Quebec is similarly connected as they are defintely the most socialist jurisdiction this side of Russia! Remember, I love Quebec, the place and most of their people and I say most because there is still a significant number who would love Quebec to seperate from Canada hating this wonderful country.
Nohing ever comes from hate and anger and I may be hypocritical here, but i really hate a belief system that says, amongst oher things, that anything I create and become wealthy from I have to share with all the folks who have done nothing to earn it. I care for the underdog (its why I am still a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan) and I have helped raise over 175 million dollars for charity so I am constantly concerned for the betterment of society but to suggest that the NDP is the only party that cares is bogus.
Thomas Mulcare is the NDP’s new leader and if you listen to the press, especially the CBC, he is the third coming, will be the country’s saviour and slay the evil conservatives who only care about the rich. I would urge severe caution. Thomas Mulcare is a typical Quebec politician and a typical member of the NDP. He will never be positive, never be constructive and will do his best divide not unite a country in dire need of renewal. If it looks ike a pig and oinks like a pig, it is still a pig and no amoujnt of lipstick can change that!