NDP Challenge: Save Canada from the ConLib Clique
The New Canadian Agenda…
Canada in 1812 was a British colony. Upper Canada, now Ontario, was run by the Family Compact. In Lower Canada, what is now Quebec, it was known as the Chateau Clique. These were small closed groups of men who ran the business of the colony according to their own wishes. They were largely conservative and anti-democratic. They controlled the politics and economics of the colony and resisted any sort of responsible government.
Finally, after the Rebellion of 1837 and the submission of Lord Durham’s report in 1838 the Family Compact was dissolved; characterized as being, “a petty, corrupt, insolent Tory clique.” Durham was remarkably progressive for his time as he recommended the colonies be united under responsible and democratic government. It would though take another three decades for Canada to become a confederation, under the British North America Act.
Even though the Family Compact was dissolved in 1837 powerful vestiges of it persist today. Many of the institutions that supported it still exist, as do many of the attitudes. The concentration of power of our supposedly democratic government falls into the hands of fewer and fewer and it is highly arguable we are still ruled by clique. Consequently, our federal legislature-Parliament is rendered redundant.
We are also ruled by clique in that there is very little difference between the two main parties. There is of course a dramatic difference in style, but very little in substance and pre-disposition.
The Harper Conservatives and theTrudeau Liberals have been back to back disasters for the country. As the “party of one” Harper busily dismantled the country while the neophyte Liberals practice benign neglect with their long list of broken election promises and regrettable legislative record.
Most notably the Liberals casually walked away their promise to initiate long over-due electoral reform-Putting them in the same company as the Family Compact and its contempt for democratic values.
The Conservatives and Liberals in some very real ways are merged (the ConLib Clique) as they both takes their cues from Bay Street and The Business Council of Canada– shades of the Family Compact.
Even though they operate under their traditional monikers, they are both practitioners of Neo-liberalism.
Both parties refuse to understand the true nature of so called free trade agreements such as the TPP, that privatization is pilferage of the public purse, and that deregulation for the most part is just lazy-ass government not doing its job.
Their autonomy and identities are also further blurred by their cozy affiliations to their respective American counterparts;the Democrats and Republicans.
So too are they merged as their policies are largely guided by the presence of the empire next door. Both suffer a lassitude that is much too deferential to US wishes.
As this ConLib Clique dominates, it offers Canadians no real choice, no alternatives , democracy just becomes a rote exercise. Where there are no alternatives, no competing policies, there is no democracy.
History can be serendipitous as the country is now facing a unique opportunity. The NDP is electing a new leader. It is also positioned to be an agent of real change and provide the country with a dynamic alternative to the moribund ConLib Clique. Where Preston Manning’s Reform Party became extinct the NDP is positioned to pick up that mantle and be the party of reform.
Putting partisanship aside for the interim, Canadians who want a live democracy and genuine political alternatives might consider backing the NDP as the vehicle for change.
As it stands now the 2019 federal election will be another insipid exercise in pseudo-democracy courtesy of the ConLib Clique in the dubious tradition of the Family Compact.
It can be a pivotal turn to real democracy and a new Canadian agenda if the NDP supported by a coalition of progressives are determined to make it so.
In the mean time the NDP must choose a capable leader. May the best woman win.
A silence no longer affordable. Help spread the word.