Sunday, May 1, 2011

Layton For PM. Then Keep His Feet To The Fire.

Shoot me. I wrote a brilliant piece of prose and f***ing Blogger had an error and deleted the whole damn thing.

Here's the short hand:
Layton could win - some polls put the NDP within three percentage points: YAY!
Remember Bob Rae (without fondness). The failure of the 1990-95 NDP government in Ontario was not just cause Rae is a skunk - it was their capitulation under pressure from the media, the corporate sector, the state bureaucracy. The only thing that could have saved them and us from the hell that was Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution would have been protests against the NDP betrayals. This happened towards the end of the NDPs tenure in office when they cocked up what should have been a shoe-in: same sex spousal benefits. The gay and lesbian community didn't have the institutional ties and baggage that the union leadership had and when it was clear that the NDP was going to betray them, thousands mobilized. That mobilization was the light in an otherwise pretty dark moment and when the Tories were elected it was no surprise that the first to demonstrate were gays and lesbians. If it weren't for that, there probably wouldn't have been a Days of Action movement, with its rolling one-day, citywide general strikes only a few months later. Ultimately that movement was sold down the tubes by the same union leadership that stomped on any attempts to fight the NDP when it was betraying workers, the poor, gays and lesbians, students, etc But all that demonstrates is the need to have clear-headed thinkers and organizers inside the union movement as well as in the gay and lesbian movement, who will resist ANY sell-out, no matter which party it comes from.
So, if the NDP wins the federal government we will have witnessed an exciting and historic event that will transform Canadian politics in ways we can't even understand - multiple party leaders will resign, the NDP will have been brought to office with a wave of sovereigntist MPs and votes (which will transform the NDP itself), and workers will suddenly realize that they can shake things up in a big way when they want to - and maybe not just at the ballot box. All this is incredible and important stuff. But we also don't want to end up with the Obama phenomenon where we elect an inspiring leader and then leave it to him, ending up in a situation where not only is our side thoroughly demoralized but the right wing comes back with a vengeance and viciousness that is the result of workers and progressives having dared to challenge their right to rule.
Let's make this election the beginning of the revolution, not the end.

CPC-NDP gap narrows to three points in dwindling hours of campaign | iPolitics
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