Saturday, October 17, 2015
The 2015 Federal Election on The Left Chapter in review -- A round-up
These ranged from a look at the Liberal's "unicorn and fairy dust" fiscal plan, to the dangerous emergence of dog-whistle, racist politics, to views on why not voting is not the unconscionable option so many present it as.
But, when it came to what Left Chapter readers read the most, all of the top posts were related to the NDP and the, to us, mystifying campaign they ran.
As we head into the last weekend before the vote, here are the top five directly election related posts, in terms of hits, on The Left Chapter since the writ dropped:
1) NDP campaign enters panic mode
By Fraser Needham
If in politics a week can be a lifetime, a month can be an eternity – especially in an election campaign.
Just put yourself in the shoes of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s top strategists to see how much things can change over the course of four weeks. On a late August afternoon when members of the Mulcair team looked out on a bright and sunny day from the confines of the NDP war room, they must have been feeling pretty confident about themselves.
2) The NDP's phony “credit card” analogy: a neoliberal conception of the public household
By Matt Fodor
In an attempt to shore up the NDP’s fiscal credibility, Tom Mulcair recruited Andrew Thomson, the fiscally conservative finance minister that served in the NDP provincial government of Lorne Calvert in Saskatchewan.
3) Morgan Wheeldon, Israel and the triumph of neo-conservative dogma
It would seem that, as with climate change, any serious discussion or criticism of Israel is now essentially forbidden in mainstream politics in Canada -- including within the NDP.
On the heels of backtracking on a perfectly reasonable and, in fact, scientifically factual comment made by star candidate Linda McQuaig about the oilsands, the NDP has now, quite literally, erased the candidacy of Morgan Wheeldon in Nova Scotia over comments he made critical of Israel's attacks on the Palestinians.
4) Mulcair doubles-down on the NDP's right shift by defending Thatcherism
This week is the week where I think it can officially be said that the NDP leadership "jumped the shark" from any pretense at ties with its roots as a social democratic labour party to a straight-up and very open embrace of Blairite centrism and neo-liberal "progressiveism.
5) The NDP and budget deficits: Not the Tommy Douglas vision
By Fraser Needham
The 2015 Canadian federal election took another strange turn this week.
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair committed that his first budget as prime minister would be a balanced one. This seems somewhat strange as Canada appears to be headed into a recession and if the current Conservative government has struggled to maintain services in recent years without running deficits, in what have been stronger economic times, the only way a new government could balance the budget in a weaker economy would be through substantial cuts. The minor revenues gained by an NDP government canceling income splitting for high-income earners and a modest corporate tax increase would not be enough to maintain current spending levels in an economic downturn, let alone meet other campaign commitments such as a national childcare plan.
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