Good advice for B.C. from Dobbin & the ghost of Tommy Douglas

I don’t always agree with Murray Dobbin, but this…

In Saskatchewan where I come from, Tommy Douglas and the CCF (the precursor of the NDP) won power in 1944 in a province totally dominated by a Liberal, pro-business party machine for decades. It won a landslide victory in a media atmosphere of absolute hysteria (headline: CCF will seize farms), fear-mongering and blatant lies. The CCF held power for 20 uninterrupted years. How? It started out as a movement and retained that character for many years afterward. It was deeply rooted in community. People felt ownership of it and its policies and out that came government programs that met the expressed needs of the people. And that, in turn, brought enormous trust in government.

…strikes me as excellent advice. Voter turnout across the country is plummeting. This may be, as some suggest, because Canadians are “lazy” or “complacent”. But I have always suspected that it’s something more serious. People are losing faith in the system. They are voting by not voting. Particularly amongst young people.

However, if there’s anything the last few years have shown – from Occupy/Idle No More/Casseroles/Maple Spring is that there are a lot of young people who do care and who will get politically involved.

Ordinary people don’t need a political party right now. Perhaps they need a movement, one they own.

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One comment

  1. Norman Farrell

    I too don’t always agree with Murray Dobbin. I seldom do.

    Is it possible today for a political organization to be deeply rooted in the community rather than in special interests? In days of Twitter and Facebook, perhaps not in ways that are more than superficial.

    The NDP is rooted in the labour movement and, beyond public services, that’s a segment grown significantly less relevant in the last two decades. Many of us wish that were not true but wishing doesn’t make it so. I grew up in Powell River when thousands of union workers earned good livings (and good retirements) in the pulp, paper and lumber mills. There were good wages, strong apprenticeship programs, employment for young people in post-secondary schooling, aid to programs in sports, music, arts and other elements that create vibrant communities. Modern corporations pay allegiance to quarterly reports and care little of the long term.

    Is the NDP willing to evolve or must they be replaced by a political party that represents ordinary citizens. We’ll know soon.