Sunday, August 16, 2009

Darrell Dexter to NDP: Become Liberals

I'm getting quite the kick out of this Darrell Dexter love-in at the NDP convention. It's amazing how ideology is tossed aside, so long as you have NDP beside your name. Called a "conservative progressive", Dexter moved the NDP to the center, abandoned the far left thrust, and this lead him to victory. In other words, Dexter became Dalton McGuinty- the horror!!! A taste of Dexter's "escape from the past" message.

Everything I read coming out of the province agrees that Dexter has largely abandoned the traditional marginal left agenda, and he's been doing it for years, tactically moving the party to attract mainstream support. It's common sense really, if you want to be a mainstream party, you need some appeal to the center, because, well, the "center" is by definition the mainstream. It's for this reason, that I denote an air of hypocrisy, which is muted simply because of a party moniker.

A tough pill to swallow. The lesson for the NDP, if you want to win become the Liberals. Make the speaker anonymous, don't give authorship to the platform or ideas, and just take it in. Then ask yourself which party do these ideals most closely align themselves with. I'll bet my shorts the vast majority of people would pick the Liberal Party, not the NDP.

Enjoy the love-in, if you close you eyes you can hear Dalton :)


Anonymous said...

I hear Gary Doer, Roy Romanow, and even some of Alexa McDonough every time I see Darrell Dexter.

Not center but center left and progressive left. To win the NDP is becoming what the traditional Progressive Conservatives were. In fact, if you look closely Darrell is becoming as dry as -- Bob Stanfield!!!

Anonymous said...

I also understand that Dexter told Layton to stay away from the province during the campaign as his presence wouldn't be overly helpful...

Anonymous said...

Maybe Ignatieff have should stayed away from NS instead of campaigning for the NS Liberals - he didn't seem to do them any good. In general thought, it is unusual for federal leaders to campaign in provincial elections unless its their home province. The FEDERAL NDP gets a hiogher popular vote in NS trhan in any other province.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:13,

The Grits are on their way back in NS. Official Opposition status. It will take years for the Nova Scotia PCs to regain respectability, thanks to the Atlantic Accord and Peter MacKay.

In fact, this also leads to this major irony. Dexter and Danny Williams becoming two step partners in fighting for a greater stake of offshore oil revenues. While in New Brunswick, Shawn Graham wants to implement a Christine Elliott style flat tax. Liberals supporting a flat tax and the NDP becoming more decentralist.

northwestern_lad said...

Steve... one quick point from the floor of said convention: To win you don't need to become Liberals, because Liberal run on left and govern on the right ;) Historically New Democrats actually govern on what they ran on... That's quite the big difference :)w

Anonymous said...

Liberals campaign from the left and govern from the right. The NDP campaigns from right and governs from the left!

Jerry Prager said...

Dalton McGuinty is a Progressive Conservative in the mold of Bill Davis, there's nothing particularly liberal about him except the degree to which Davis himself was a centrist liberalizer who continued the movement of his own party away from it's reactionary roots al la George Drew et al.

Jerry Prager said...

And of course George S Grant always argued that the CCF/NDP were a conservative party because they are essentially communitarian in their outlook. The real difficulty of self definition is with liberalism, and that's largely because CD Howe embedded the Liberal Party in corporatism, which is decidedly not liberal, Trudeau's Charter moved individualism a considerable degree, but then Chretien spent all his time spread Canadian corporatism around the world, and Paul Martin was never anything but a kinder gentler corporatist. Until Liberalism moves beyond corporatism, it's just a party of opportunism because it has abandoned the logic of individualism, what I call independent communitarianism, akin to Trudeau's Catholic personalism, and Protestant I and Thou. With the Harpercon/Harrisite abandonment of Progressivism, McGuintyism is the only opportunity Liberalism has, which is to say, Progressive Conservatism is which corporations remain more powerful than citizens.

Anonymous said...

Just from CTV News. The resolution to change the name did not make it to the convention floor.

So no Clause 4 Tony Blair imitation for Jack Layton. Ed Broadbent and Pat Martin gets to come home extremely happy.

I am of course delighted. No linkage to a Democratic Party that is allied to the likes of war hawks such as Robert McNamara and Richard Holbrooke.

I am sure Cam will correct me if my facts are wrong.

Anonymous said...


I think the comparison of McGuinty to Bill Davis is far fetched. There is a sort of anti-establishment feeling with Dalton that you don't see with the Big Blue Machine Toryism. The Ontario Liberals is still a Catholic communitarian party helped by demographic changes. It is no longer Orange Ontario as in the days of Whitney's Conservatives. This is what helps him, especially in his re-election campaign against the more establishment John Tory.

The irony is that Harper to become more communitarian than Harris in order to survive. Much more interventionist and may become more overtly Christian in defending Canada. Similar to the Christian Democrats in Europe, which has now dominated the discourse of the centre right.

Steve V said...


What does that mean exactly? They killed it before a vote? How is that possible, it was 7 on debate.

Anthony said...

In all fairness, it makes Dexter's job ALOT easier if he has Harper to demonize in Ottawa.

Should Ignatieff become PM and do a good job, suddenly his life becomes more difficult

Greg said...

Steve V. the name change was too far down the agenda and they ran out the clock on an omnibus amendment. Color me, happy.

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked the Liberals in NS when in government stole about 15 million and put in a slush fund. Last time I checked the Liberals paid nurses to leave the province. The last time I checked they cut health care to bone. Last time I checked the Liberals set out fishing quotas which killed the cod stocks and they never came back. Anyone who thinks Dexter is acting like the Liberals don't know what the Liberals did to this once prosperous province.

JimmE said...

Anon 1:42-
Really? Methinks ye needs check again.
-Slush fund? do you mean the in&out law-breakin' (Reformatories) or do you mean the folks who were not part of the Government & are doing time for fraud? So check again.
- Paid nurses to leave, really?
- I know that dippers like to think Muroney was a Liberal, but he ain't & just so you know, Cod collapse was on his watch. So check again.
- NS was a once prosperous province... during George H. Murray's day. So check again.

Anonymous said...

No I mean the Liquor kick backs Reagan father of Geoff Regan set up for the Liberal party to take 10 cents on every bottle of booze sold in NS. You know the Millions they stole put in a fund no knew about until the Savage years and that they never paid back the people of NS. The fund they still use to this day to fund their campaigns. You know the NS Liberal Slush fund.

Yes paid nurses to leave the province. This is when Dr Savage, You know the father of Mike Savage ruined Health care in NS, by cutting until it was almost gone and wait lists were so long people were dieing out side of Halifax.

It was the Liberals who started the consolidation of the cod fishing bisuness. They targeted the big fishing industry the put the small workers out of bisuness. It was then who killed the hand line fishing in 94-95 that lead to fisherman all over Atlantic Canada seizing DFO offices until the government would talk to them.

This is why the Liberals don't do great in NS. I mean the NDP was 1% behind them federally last election. The Liberals and Conservatives ruined this province and I can tell you aren't from here and no nothing of the horrible party politics we have seen which have driven strong Liberals and Conservatives to the NDP just so they can have a party that might be for NS for once.

Steve V said...

"Steve V. the name change was too far down the agenda and they ran out the clock "

They didn't even get to 5 on the list, and delegates purposely wasted time so there was nothing substantive. Amazing organizational skills, but then it always was about nothing, except the color blue and praising a Liberal, I mean NDP Premier.

Steve V said...

"This is why the Liberals don't do great in NS. I mean the NDP was 1% behind them federally last election."

Winning the most seats in recent history isn't "great"? And, don't let 2008 fool you, it was an anomaly.

Anonymous said...

"They didn't even get to 5 on the list"

I know you might not understand democratic procedures being from the Liberal party but the delegation voted to spilt the first motion. This made the first motion instead of 1 motion 7 or 8 resolutions. So yes they go to 5 on the list in fact they got through about 13 resolutions in around 50 minutes. Much better then the Liberal convention I watched.

JimmE said...


You are correct, I'm from New Brunswick. Just so you know, & you obviously don't, many folks were against draggers the so called best minds in the world were for them, Tory, Dipper or Grit that was the stupidity of the day. (FYi Cod has not been part of the NS or NB economy for like 60+ years, but you're prob. not that old!)
Guess what? If the Dipper PM of NS turn to a Grit & does not pave his county driveway, more power to him. And just so you know, Grits Makes stuff, Tories break, & Dippers mess stuff up. To paraphrase Steve V Dippers who do a good job have have become Grits.
Smile, life is too short to live with all your pent up hate.

Steve V said...


Is one member one vote a democratic procedure???

I'm lovin the weak tea rationalizations. Face it, the convention was about jack shit, apart from election prepardness, looking all blue and licking the toes of anyone associated with Obama. Call a spade a spade, don't flower.

Anonymous said...

Funny I see you didn't talk to the Liberal kick back's from Liquor sales. That was the reason they were kicked out in the first place and it is the reason why their wont be a Liberal government for another 10 years. I don't know if you fallowed the CH and CBC this election but every second comment was about them from normal people was Liberal Slush fund.

As for the cod stocks. Maybe you should the 20,000 people in NS who lost their jobs in 1992. Man Liberals have such short memories. I find it disgusting that you would marginalize these people and claim that NS was not dependent on these jobs. You show why the Liberals in NS have such a hard time. Instead of making a claim like that you could just say "yah everyone screwed up we are looking to the future."

Steve V said...

"You show why the Liberals in NS have such a hard time. "

Yes, consistently leading in the polls, winning the most seats, surely translates to this nonsense you're spewing. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Steve V you seem to forget that the Liberals haven't run NS in 11 years. You seem to forget federally last election they beat the NDP by 1% of the vote. In 1997 the won 0 seats in NS.

As for them being ahead in NS, because no one polls NS you really don't know that and with the NDP poll really strong in the Atlantic I am betting almost all of that comes from NS. Unless you think the NPD are pull 25-30 in NB, NFLD, and PEI as well. If you think than the Liberals are in real trouble in Atlantic Canada then.

Spin on though spin on. In NS we remember what the Savage government did, what the Reagan government did. Slush fund is the word that comes to mind.