Tag Archives: politics

Naomi Klein: The Leap Manifesto and ‘De-Trumping’

No is not enoughThe Leap Manifesto brought down a federal NDP leader and left the same party with a void in its leadership until late 2017. Following the 2015 Canadian election at the post election leadership review convention of the New Democratic Party (NDP) the membership passed a motion to adopt the Leap Manifesto as policy. The same party, now under the leadership of Jagmeet Singh will have its policy convention in Ottawa in February 2018. Will the party faithful tie their new leader with the manifesto as party policy for the next election?

I need to take a step back. In Naomi Klein’s book “When NO in not enough (resisting the shock politics and winning the world we know)” she provides the history of the Leap Manifesto, which was drawn up in Toronto in 2015. It would be as Klein calls it a ‘platform without a party’. Rather, for 2015 it was a guide for supporters of the “Leap” to challenge candidates and parties to adopt some of the manifesto properties as it had not been adopted as policy by any political party, large or small at that time.

In what would be a good read on the development of the Leap Manifesto on its own, Klein decides that for 75% of “NO is not enough…” She would rather focus on Trump, Pence and the billionaires that have seats around his cabinet table.

Reading this book, the process she describes as leaders from across Canada to think about a way forward was interesting and in my view would have been a better focus for her and book. I mean could not ignore Trump if she tried – but how she spent so much time on him was just inconceivable to me. How each of these leaders came with their own ideas, how the ideas developed and how their questions would be taken and later developed into the Leap Manifesto was interesting, very interesting. I do not profess to agree with a lot of what they would say, it’s the process and how everyone ‘bought in’ into it. The Leap Manifesto is an effort of collaboration, cooperation and patience of likeminded people willing to let smaller gains be forgotten for a larger purpose.

The difficult part of this book is Klein’s extreme dislike of Donald Trump. Her tone towards the election and subsequent policy declaration of Trump remains on the verge of hatred. She goes to great lengths to ‘almost’ single out Trump for the demise of the earth and the effects policy by previous Presidents have had on the speeding up of climate change. Supporters of the President will blast it all as a figment of her imagination, but she does back up her statements and it is there where the reader needs to cut through the fog that is her distaste of Trump.

Klein’s tone softens a bit when discussing the Obama years, saying that Obama had the opportunity (and didn’t take advantage of it) to pass significant legislation to advance American actions to slow climate change. She praises Obama for signing the Paris Accord, stopping the Keystone XL pipeline extension – only to rage back on Trump for reversing those decisions. Klein expresses disappointment that Obama didn’t do more in the first two years of his first term when he had the benefit of a Democratic majority in the Congress. It is difficult to comprehend just how challenging or easy it could have been for Obama (to do what Klein suggests) without any significant understanding of how the Obama White House operated at that time.

Klein always brings it back to Trump, his brand, his rich corporate friends that now hold cabinet positions. She spills a lot of ink on Trump, and how she foresees the Trump brand taking hold of a government response to extreme climate weather clean up with ‘for-profit’ ethics and less than satisfactory results that will not meet the needs of Americans. She cites the clean up of Hurricane Katrina and the Bush era republicans profiting while providing less than stellar security and clean up. I have no doubt that had Klein waited and published this book to include the US government response to Hurricane Maria and the contracts awarded for clean up and restoration of power, she would have the first indication of how a Trump White House reverted to an establishment White House. As I write this, Puerto Rico has been ‘dark’ for 117days – something that Klein would have a heyday over especially being under the watch of Trump.

With “NO is not enough…” Klein calls for the ‘de-trumping’ of America and her tool for doing this is the Leap Manifesto. While the manifesto is not active with a political party (yet) others are embracing it. There is a movement in Thunder Bay Ontario to have a slate of candidates run under a municipal “Leap”. Mid-term elections in the US are coming; will any candidate take up the Leap Manifesto? Will the US Green Party take the “Leap”?

Under the friendlier name of the People’s Platform, Klein and company continue to pursue a worldly ‘Leap’.   In this exercise of living politically, Klein provides a view that needs should be heard. It is unknown if it’s a reasonable solution or if portions of the manifesto are to be lifted – but it was an illuminating read, a read that has opened a door for further investigation.

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress. I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. I can be reached at rdmedia@bell.net

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O’Leary was Late

RHBS 156

For months Conservatives have been waiting for consolidation among the ranks of the 14 candidates vying for the Conservative Party leadership.   Most were expecting (and secretly hoping) that one, two – oh heck 4 or 5 candidates on the lower end of polls would exit the race, I wonder if they were wary of having their own David Orchard moment and getting promises that would never be realized? Whatever the reason, the time to leave the race came and went with no movement from the bottom.

The moment in question I mention is the date before ballots were printed. Whatever date it was – that day came and went with 14 candidates going to the printer for 259,010 Conservative Party members to mark the 1 through 10 preferences. Presumably the date to withdraw from the race would fall between February 24, 2017 – the day nominations closed and March 28th when membership sales ended. There might have been another week in there as the cut off, but without the party publishing the key milestone dates we’ll never know.

All we know is that 259,010 party members will receive a ballot with an O’Leary-less leadership ballot with O’Leary on the ballot.

RHBS 156

Why was O’Leary late is leaving the race? His name on the ballot leaves a lot of questions. These questions would have disappeared if Kevin O’Leary had left the race before the ballot sent to the printers. Kevin O’Leary is still going to be part of the leadership conversation, I am sure he would want it any other way.

Now that he is out, will his memberships move to Bernier? How many of O’Leary’s memberships will still mark Kevin as #1? How many ballots will never make it to a mailbox?

With an upper tier of the leadership that has been thinned out, what is there for the lower tiered candidates to gain from the ballot? Are there expectations of a victory or the opportunity to make a statement? In the final debate, candidates Trost and Obhrai both appealed to those watching by stating that they each had common ground with other candidates on the stage. Of the lower tier how does coming number two help? Who do they become number two to? Of Bernier, O’Toole, Scheer or maybe Raitt or Chong who do Leitch, Trost, Obhrai or Lemieux aim to be 2nd on the ballot to?

Will we see deals made between Bernier and Raitt? O’Toole and Scheer? Does Chong even rate a number based on his Carbon Tax stand? The only other candidate that has outlined an environmental plan is O’Toole, does Erin court Michael and visa versa?

Ballots came in the mail to our home today, while we might be 90-100% of who our #1 is, it’s the 2 through 10, or maybe only a 2, 3 and 4 that are the source of discussion. It is too early to tell which way our ballots will go. If you have a ballot, good luck and have fun figuring out how your ballot will look…I hope to see you in Toronto on May 27th.

Thank you for reading this post; to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress. You can also see me on www.redheartbluelife.wordpress.com where I am celebrating #Canada150 with a daily post of an event celebrating our sesquicentennial in Canada.

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, @rdmediaottawa and on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97. I can be reached at rdmedia@bell.net.

Political Dominoes

Dominoes 1

When things happen, they happen fast and furiously, as fast as dominoes.

This week has seen political changes happen every day this week, and the first domino was the resignation of John Baird as Foreign Affairs Minister on Monday, Tuesday brought the news that Nipissing MPP and PC Leadership candidate Vic Fedeli was stepping out of the race and now we have heard that Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod has left the race to become the next Ontario PC Leader. The race to replace Tim Hudak is down to three, Federal Conservative MP Patrick Brown and Ontario MPP’s Monte McNaughton and Christine Elliot. The leadership debate in Ottawa next week has just got more intimate. There is much more at stake now.

The new riding of Nepean, which John Baird had previously been nominated in, is now seeking a new candidate to carry the Conservative colours. That leaves an opportunity for Lisa MacLeod to become the candidate for the October federal election. She will undoubtedly have to fight off a number of strong candidates to win the nomination.   As that might happen, the riding Ms. MacLeod now serves may be looking for a new MPP – the race for the PC Nomination for one of Ontario’s safest PC seats will begin in earnest. More dominoes will fall; who or what will blur the lines of politics between our municipal, provincial and federal is unknown. But through the cold temperatures the political dominoes has made this an interesting week.

I can’t wait to see what next week brings.

I invite you to share your ideas by commenting to this post or any post on my blog. You can also email me directly at robdekkeroc@gmail.com.

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97.

Gone? Not Really…

I cannot say I was surprised by the announcement by Premier McGuinty to resign last night.  When I saw the first tweet from Toronto Star Queens Park reporter Robert Benzie just after 6pm I knew the end was only a few minutes away.  Nor am I surprised that Queens Park will be prorogued, you see McGuinty doesn’t really want to leave.  So now he is gone, but not really…

This move makes it easier for him to stay and work without having to report to anyone.  He will not report to the Opposition MPP’s because Queens Park will remain dark until who knows when.  McGuinty will not have to report to the voters of Ontario because by the time there is another election he’ll be gone (for real).

The moves last night are merely another way that the Ontario Liberal Party will control the message and the Parliament of Ontario.  With QP closed for business the government will no longer be held to task for the Gas Plant closure, ORNGE, eHealth, the deficit and lack of Job Creation plans.  For the present time, no longer will the government have to face any consequences for their actions.

Hopes that the Lt-Gov. of Ontario will deny the prorogation are slim.  Both the PC Party of Ontario and the Ontario NDP have asked for the legislature to remain sitting to deal with the important issues facing this government and Ontarians.  The move made last night was a selfish move on the part of the Ontario Liberal Party to remain in power and continue to control the message and the direction of the government.  I am not sure they noticed, but the direction they have been taking Ontario is not the right path for a prosperous Ontario.

In Ottawa Centre and across this province the message will be of a better, growing and healing Ontario under a Tim Hudak PC Government.  Whether it comes tomorrow, two months or in 6 months, I and all my PC Party Colleagues will continue to bring to voters the PC Party Paths of Prosperity.  So while as long as Dalton McGuinty remains at the helm of Ontario for at least another 5 months Ontario remains at the mercy of the waste of billions of tax dollars that this government has orchestrated.

I am looking forward to continuing to knock on doors in Ottawa Centre and bring a message that “Yes, Ontario can lead again”.  Step 1 has been taken by the Premier, Step 2 will come, but not until the Ontario Liberal Party feels they are truly ready to face voters of Ontario.

But alas, Ontario will not truly be ready to be a leader in Canada until McGuinty is REALLY gone as is the Liberal Party of Ontario as the governing party.

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