Why I really don’t like the hard core left


Why I really don’t like the hard core left


Yesterday someone asked me “You really don’t like the NDP do you?” No, I don’t. I was a firm and rapid supporter of the NDP in 1988 when I was in grade 10. As fate would have it, I happened to be supporting Chris Axworthy at the time, although I didn’t actually work on the campaign. I was one of the more outspoken people in our mock parliament in history class. Other teachers would sit in on our history class and watch as our class engaged in political warfare. It was a lot of fun, and one of my finest memories from highschool. As odd as it may seem one of the things we ‘dippers’ attacked the Mulroney Tories on was the deficit. When the Turner Liberals stood up to speak to the issue we gently reminded them of how our debt really got started in the 70′s.

Things have changed. The once proud and fiscally responsible NDP is no more. Now they are a protest party, an activist party that has so lost their grip on reality and common sense that their leader will do anything and say anything to get in power. Fortunately every press outlet in the country immediately saw through Jack Layton’s lies and theatrics on the issue homeless deaths in Toronto. Perhaps he didn’t lie. Perhaps he just has a tenuous grip on reality. I’m not sure which is worse.

The hard core left is spurred on by anecdotal stories of big corporations collecting huge profits and firing workers, all the while ignoring the big picture that has seen unemployment drop significantly in 10 years. Little do they realize that the increase of value in their pensions and RRSP accounts is direct result of those corporate profits. The world is one giant conspiracy theory in which cigar smoking capitalists plot their oppression of 3rd world nations and the next environmental disaster.

Paul Martin is an evil heartless CEO who cares nothing for the people. A bay street toady who was serving only his buddies when he cut spending and decreased taxes. I guess it doesn’t matter to them that the right kind of tax cuts don’t decrease government revenue, they increase it by producing jobs and stimulating the economy. A fact that some long time progressives like Roy Romanow and Janice MacKinnon figured out 10 years ago. It doesn’t matter that Canada’s debt was creating fiscal instability that was driving investment and jobs out of the country. It doesn’t matter that we cede our economic sovereignty to bond holders as our collective debt squeezes us. It doesn’t matter that if we were actually debt free we could afford to have everything from a healthy social safety net to a proud military with room for tax cuts. It doesn’t matter that every time Canada puts a billion dollars against its debt it gains a serious economic advantage in the global economy.

The hardcore left drink deeply from their own propaganda. They insulate themselves from other points of view and live in ignorance yet consider themselves enlightened. It really is unfortunate because they care about things moderate parties should care about like the environment. All Canadians should listen to the left, but God help us if they ever held the balance of power in Ottawa.

  1. #1 by Marc Vandersluys on May 31, 2004 - 12:21 pm

    I’m not a hard-core Leftist (I think I fit somewhere in the middle), but I do take issue with some of your comments:

    1. There is no drop in unemployment that would justify massive layoffs during hugely profitable periods. A drop in unemployment is good, but it does not excuse layoffs.

    2. While they may not be plotting anything, big corporations do exploit 3rd world nations and don’t seem to care much for the environment. In all likelihood, it is done unwittingly–thinking of profit margin in 104th floor offices probably disconnects people from humane issues–, but it does happen.

    You should be careful how you present your arguments. Your sweeping statements regarding extreme Left thinking, be they correct or not, sound just as bad as the “conspiracy theories” you try to deflate.

    That being said, I don’t have a clue how I am going to vote in the election.

  2. #2 by Leighton Tebay on May 31, 2004 - 1:31 pm

    My statements do reflect the hard core left, and that is why I titled my post the way I did.

    Why should a company keep unnecessary people on payroll if they can deliver the same product or service without them? In terms of the total economy shouldn’t people work in places where they are actually necessary?

    I don’t deny that some corporations exploit third world labour and the environment. I believe that if that fact is the primary guiding issue in determining fiscal policy we would run our economy in to the ground. If punished all corporations for the sins of the minority I think we’d find outselves with a lot less jobs.

  3. #3 by Marc Vandersluys on May 31, 2004 - 3:34 pm

    I understand what you’re saying. I just take issue with the fact that everything comes down to profit margin and efficiency. Perhaps this is naive and unrealistic thinking, but I cannot see how I could separate my moral beliefs and obligations from my political activities, and it seems to me that putting profit before humans and the environment isn’t moral.

    Granted, if we act financially irresponsible, the economy would crumble and we really wouldn’t be taking care of people. I guess I just wonder how on earth we got ourselves locked into this dependency on stock exchanges and whatnot.

    I should probably never go into politics. Or business, for that matter.

  4. #4 by Leighton Tebay on May 31, 2004 - 5:05 pm

    I agree with you. I think there are constructive ways of doing this.

    I actually really like the Green Party’s idea of raising gasoline taxes and dropping income taxes.

    The public needs to be educated about the exploitive practices of large corporations. Walmart for example treats their employees very poorly and takes very high profits. Therefore I buy very little at Walmart. I’m not generally concerned with layoffs as much as corporations that pay low wages and offer few benefits.

    I find that lots of people that do know about corporations like Walmart don’t change their shopping habits. The bottom line for the consumer is price.

  5. #5 by scotty on May 31, 2004 - 5:31 pm

    Since you’re offering up your generalizations, how’s this: The right wing care about money; the left wing care about people (in particular the disadvantaged that are exploited by the advantaged). The NDP may never win a majority government, but they do bring some balance to the perspectives of the right (which can be just as narrow – “if the economy is in good shape everything else will magically take care of itself”).

    You accuse Layton of “saying anything to get into power.” This is what the Liberals did 10 years agao by promising to end the GST in the Red Book. Mr. Martin is quoted as saying, “Screw the Red Book.” This is what politicians do: present reality in certain ways to sway voters.

    And while we live in Canada we really are isolated and insulated from 3rd world realities and how corporations get more exploitive year after year. It’s a huge problem. Fortunately some “hard core leftists” are standing up any way they know how to try to change it. Granted, it often doesn’t change, but in time who knows what can happen?

  6. #6 by Leighton Tebay on May 31, 2004 - 10:19 pm

    Scott:

    The Liberals did try to change the GST by harmonizing it with provincial sales taxes but the only provinces that would go for it were the Maritime ones. They made a promise, and couldn’t live up to it. I believe it is very possible for those in opposition to promise to do things that they realize are a very bad idea when they get in to government. In her book Janice MacKinnon talks about all the things they realized they couldn’t deliver on when they assumed power. that being said I believe it is wrong to overpromise.

    Over promising is a far, far cry from accusing the Prime Minister of killing the homeless use the most dubious of evidence. That is pretty much slander.

    You are right in saying the hard core left are sticking up for things the rest of us should notice. I made that point in my initial post.

    What good is it to care about such important things while staying in complete insulation from anything that strays outside narrow hard left ideology? This is the point I see very socially progressive people like Chris Axworthy and Janice MacKinnon making.

  7. #7 by Carol on May 31, 2004 - 10:40 pm

    Leighton said: “Why should a company keep unnecessary people on payroll if they can deliver the same product or service without them? In terms of the total economy shouldn’t people work in places where they are actually necessary?”

    I know I may be going off on a tangent here, but this comment jumped out at me. These are loaded questions. How does a company determine that an employee is necessary or unnecessary? I think there are probably a lot of people out there whose workload exceeds what would be considered reasonable. I was telling a friend that if I was able to stay late after work most nights, I would probably be able to stay on top of my workload. Her response was: ‘why should you have to stay late?’ How did we get to the place where more people have to work more hours just to keep their jobs? I know there are many factors, but could one of those factors be companies laying off employees that ARE necessary and putting the workload of 2 (or more) people on 1 employee to increase the bottom line? I agree that there are cases where layoffs are necessary, but I think there are more than a few cases where the companies are more interested in profit than the best interests of their employess. I’d be curious to know what percentage of the workforce has gone on stress leave due to work-related stress.

  8. #8 by lylem on June 1, 2004 - 12:29 pm

    When I was in University, I decided I was NDP. I was a Romanow fan (and still am) and a big Tommy Douglas fan.

    But… thing change. When I was in University, everything was about Ideologies, but when you learn about real life, ideologies don’t fit. I still believe at a core in the ideology, but in practice I realize that you need balance.

    When I started work, and did alot of work with Unions (especially in Ontario). I realized that you need to sometimes feed the Golden Goose, and not just chop it’s head off. It is unfortunate that it is this way, but it is. In the same breath, you can’t just bend over so the corporations can give it to you.

    That is why I have slowly switched to Liberal too. You can’t go too far left, or you piss the businesses off, and you can’t go too far right because you could lose the social programs and a standard of living that define Canada.

    Plus, there is a third group that is turning into a bigger issue. The environment. IMO, the Liberal party has the best agenda when it comes to that. And that is my #1 issue. IMO, the liberal party would give the best balance of people, business and the environment. That is why I vote for them.

  9. #9 by Clinton on June 1, 2004 - 6:41 pm

    Leighton, you said:

    The Liberals did try to change the GST by harmonizing it with provincial sales taxes but the only provinces that would go for it were the Maritime ones.

    The whole point is that the Liberals said they would scrap the GST, not change its name. They lied to us, or decieved us on purpose, whichever you prefer. The only way they have managed any fiscal balance is because they lied about scrapping the GST. Mr. Martin was such a good financial minister because he had access to GST revenue. Thank goodness the PCs created the GST or the Liberals would have made things worse. Anyhoo…

    NDPers, Liberals and Conservatives all want to create a better Canada, but their views of what that is differ. Conservatives don’t say, “I love money, screw you people.” And the NDPers aren’t saying, “I love people, screw you business.” And Liberals aren’t saying, “I love both, so lets give some money to our friends.” They have different ideas of what would give us the best life in Canada possible, but creating a great Canada is the goal of all. I like some aspects of all the parties’ platforms, but come election time, I think it would be healthier for Canada if there was a changing of the guard.

    And Leighton, as you are more politically involved than most who read your blog, could you maybe post some comparisons of the different pary platforms and personal views (gun registry, taxation, marriage, abortion, social programs, crime prevention and punishment, health care, etc…) of the candidates in Chris Axeworthy’s riding?

  10. #10 by Clinton on June 1, 2004 - 6:47 pm

    I take that back. Mr. Martin was a good finance minister, with or without the GST. But the GST difinitely made his job easier.

  11. #11 by Leighton Tebay on June 1, 2004 - 7:33 pm

    Clinton:

    On the GST the Liberals did two things. They talked about scrapping the GST in big bold text and had tiny bylines “clarifying” their position. I still don’t think it was honest.

    The GST is a good tax. As a company that collects payroll tax, GST and pays income tax the GST is by far my favourite tax because it is the simplest. Rich people pay more GST than poor people, but not excessively more.

  12. #12 by lylem on June 1, 2004 - 7:47 pm

    Clinton,

    I don’t think anybody would argue that thier party wants to change/make Canada into a better Canada. The question is who will change/make a better Canada? And I guess that is up to each individual voter and what they think makes a better Canada.

    You say you will not vote for the Liberals because you think it is just time for a change… It has to be more specific when it comes to voting. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

    There is one part I agree, there are some incumbent members that got a little fat off the system. But that was on both sides! Do we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater?

    Let’s talk about what they have done

    -> balanced budgets

    -> Reduced the debt

    -> Had a strong economy, when so many other economies struggled (despite Mad Cow and SARS)

    -> Ratified the Kyoto accord and supported environmental causes.

    -> Did not goto Iraq.

    -> Seperatism seems to be more at bay.

    From my vantage point, they have not done too bad at all.

  13. #13 by lylem on June 1, 2004 - 7:51 pm

    I hate how people vote sometimes. Hey! Let’s eliminate Taxes. Good promise. Not much depth, but they will soak it up. Newsflash! Politicians say stuff to make you vote for them.

    Sure, Harper proposes tax cuts, but he knows he is going to have back out of other things in order meet these promises. What is it? Environmental law cutbacks? Healthcare cuts? Running a deficit. So you must ask, when you vote on a specific promise of a party, what is on the other end of the stick? Because they will promise you the good, but never tell you about the bad. And most of the time, they can’t give you the good because it is not feasible or not legally possible. (ie. Anti-Abortion)

    This reminds me of the last election here. They had a vote on Car tabs on whether to reduce them or not. (they went from 250 a year to about 50). Of course people voted to reduce the tax. People are never going to vote to add taxes! But they never thought of the other end of the stick! The State lost billions of dollars in Revenue and this revenue was specifically alocatted to the transit system. They had to make cuts. They cut the transit system and cut it hard.

    BUt… the people who voted, owned cars, so they didn’t care. But there were people who depended on Transit to get to work. They either had to move, change jobs or go on welfare. It was more likely to be the later.

    And it created more traffic on the roads, so traffic congestion became more of a problem. The government had to generate more revenue to create more roads. (And don’t get me started on Air Polution and time lost in traffic. Time =$$$).

    So promises are promises. But with Ying, there comes Yang. Read through the promise and really think about what you are really getting.

  14. #14 by George on June 1, 2004 - 7:54 pm

    Leighton, how about responding to Clinton on what he said “And Leighton, as you are more politically involved than most who read your blog, could you maybe post some comparisons of the different pary platforms and personal views (gun registry, taxation, marriage, abortion, social programs, crime prevention and punishment, health care, etc…) of the candidates in Chris Axeworthy’s riding?”

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