This article appeared first at: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/tariq-jeeroburkhan/2012/04/surviving-progress-%E2%80%93-ndp-style
April 30, 2012 -There is a long-standing core of the NDP’s longest-serving members who have an objective for the Party – yes, they want an NDP government, that is a priority – moreover, the core and established serving members of the NDP also want to enjoy the alienation of the arrogance they faced as third-party members toiling in the shadows for so long – in particular the alienation of the Liberal Party.
Putting an end to this political class arrogance is what the experience of the longest-serving NDP members has shown to be the major and vital challenge for any party representative of the Canadian centre-left.
It would be sweet, poetic justice to the longest-serving NDP caucus members of a governing party, come 2015, that the Liberals remain in the corner of the house for the next 50 years to experience exactly what the NDP went through for their first 50 years of struggle.
Over the last three years, from Quebec in particular, has come a newly-arrived veneer to the NDP membership and caucus, embodied by new leader Tom Mulcair and rife with the rif-raf political opportunists who fled the sinking Liberal ship to dawn the orange. This influx shares the priority of desire to form an NDP government; however that is their only priority.
To the longer-serving members of Canada’s social justice, fairness and equality party, this win-at-all-costs attitude reeks of get-rich-quick schemes and snakeoil. Even further, they are beginning to see in their own party and caucus some of the most despised behaviours of the Conservatives and Liberals.
Only valid means can justify the ends, the ends do NOT justify the means.
This filters down to policy directions – social justice issues like budget redistribution to augment the social security (Education, Pensions, Healthcare, etc.) net in Canada, equalization of tax rates so that the most affluent actually have to pay a fair share to help the most in need – these are “must-implement” government priorities which are the only way to put an end to a culture of Canadian political-class arrogance.
Nobody knows this better than the longest-serving members of the NDP who have borne the brunt of this arrogance for their entire political existence.
There is more at stake here than just forming government; it’s about re-forming our country and culture by redefining the relationship between the political class and the electorate.