The differences and similarities of the Green and the Ndp Parties in Canada is an area I want to attempt to draw attention to. With the main purpose being the idea of the two parties joining forces to take over the left wing of politics in Canada and to continue to push Canada forward as a leader in progressive thinking in the world.
As someone who did not vote in the last Canadian Federal Election and a self proclaimed left wing libertarian. I felt my integrity would be lost if I voted for Justin Trudeau. At the time, I was really dumbfounded with the idea how any person of colour could openly support Justin Trudeau for Prime Minister. I was a supporter of his first run around the block but after it came out that he had done Black face not once, but twice. I jumped ship and never really looked back.
After being able to spend alot of time growing my relationship with my dad over the last 7 months of being on lockdown, to working from home. He explained to me one day while we were discussing the daily circus that is American politics why he had no problem with continually supporting the Liberal Party at every level possible no matter what.
It was that explanation that led to my passion to write this. As a black man who Immigrated to Toronto in 1974. My father had a lot to say about why he always makes sure he goes out and makes sure his vote counts.
You can say what you will about Pierre Trudeau’s record on immigration (https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/nothing-to-write-home-about/).
But the fact that he was one of the first world leaders to really embrace multicultural immigration in 1971 meant that my dad in 1974, at 23 years old was able to be sponsored by his older sister to come to Canada. As a result his younger sisters and mother were able to follow in the coming years. For him and many other newly immigrated Canadians, they thought this not possible if not for the Liberal Party of Canada. In combination with the treatment he received consistently from noticeable groups of Canadians that opposed the idea of new Canadians and thought that by voting Conservative, that they would not only stop the arrival but to be able to send back the current first generation immigrants in Canada.So for him, every election day he goes out and votes for the party that has the best chance at making sure the Conservatives do not take power.
Pierre Trudeau was the man in charge at the time of the Liberal party. As a result he gets the credit at a higher level. That same support was able to resonate almost 40 years later to help his son Justin take power of the Liberal party of Canada.As well as, majority control of Canada’s Federal Government. All this being done with a far less than stellar record. To the point he was able to hide his photos of him in black face through his first election all the way up until his re-election campaign 4 years later. To all the ongoing scandals over the last year.
To that I can now draw my parallel, just like in the election of 1974. Just months prior to my father touching down in Pearson Airport. It seems like the Canadian support for this generation’s Trudeau is failing for all the same reasons his father did. And the series of political events that led up to that point can offer foreshadowing of what could be to come for Canada. Whenever the next federal election would be.
It was widely agreed that the NDP Party carried the Liberal-Pierre Trudeau minority government for the 18 months heading into that election. Something we are currently seeing with the 2020 Federal NDP and Liberal Parties.
The main topic that drew the vote of non confidence was inflation. Something present day Canadian’s are really feeling the full force of as covid has attacked our global economy and people have begun to hoard items and resell them for insane mark ups.
The NDP Leader at the time, David Lewis. Was really proud of his ability to “change the vote” . When in all reality he fed into the problem the NDP and other smaller left wing political parties have when reaching out to voters. Especially people like my father. Who use their vote, to vote for the party that is left on the political spectrum of the Conservatives and has the best chance at winning.
So by not only aligning the NDP with the Conservatives but being proud and not resentful in doing so. He alienated what could have been the beginning of an orange or green wave that had the chance to take over Canadian politics for almost the next half century.
I come to that conclusion by not only looking at the resounding Liberal majority government win that happened in the 1974 Federal election. But the present day stigma that the NDP currently have of not being winners and as such people do not want to “waste a vote” supporting a party with no chance of winning.
The Present day Federal Green Party of Canada, In my opinion falls victim to many of the same downfalls that caused the demise of the Social Credit Party of Canada. A party similar in setup to the present day Green Party. It is my belief that both the Green and the Social credit parties had an inception similar to the NDP Party. The other 2 major parties put up with them for a lack of a better term. As they draw interest away from their competitors base.
An example would be the Conservatives profit by drawing some of the Liberals more left facing base to the NDP. As the NDP will never win and they had no chance at swinging those voters. On the Flip side, the Liberals benefited from parties like the Social Reform Party and the Present Day Green Party as they draw voters that may have high Conservatives value on things like gun ownership rights, religion, same sex marriage and women’s reproductive rights. But also care about sticking it to big business. Fighting for the blue collar worker and the environment. As a result the Liberals are able to swing those voters that they would never be able to reach using their platform.
I will not pretend to be fully studied in Canadian politics because I am not. By simply typing in 1974 elections you will be able to find many resources describing a lot of issues that fit the mold of what we are currently dealing with today. From both left and right wing facing publications. Here is one bit of reading that aligns with my train of thought:
The Important Part
I say all of that to say this, for there ever to be a real 3 Horse race vs the 1 on 1 deathmatch we currently see going on in Canadian politics. The left, mainly Jagmeet Singh and Annamie Paul . The leaders of the Federal NDP and Green Parties of Canada. Need to be able to do 2 main things in my opinion to start a left moving political wave. One the world has never seen.
The first would be to find a way to either join forces in full. Something that is much easier said than done.And has been attempted in the past and has failed. Some might say the second attempt was better than the first but that is a whole other rabbit hole of left wing political history to jump into.
The driving force behind this idea would be to get the new party into a place where they can force consecutive minority governments flipping back and forth between the 2 larger parties. Leveraging their ability to “change the vote”, while still standing firm on their distrust for both sides. Being able to do this consistently while growing the number of seats won is a very hard task. Something Jagmeet Singh has attempted to do with varying success. Depending on who you ask.
The Second and most important point to this.Canada at its core is in debt to the Indigenous people of the land on which it is built. Because without them the picture we see of Canada could be very different. This is not something that is an opinion or up for debate. It is a fact. The same way that it is a fact that the American government used slaves to create the foundation of their society. In a much similar fashion the Indigenous people have been forgotten then vilified at every turn when trying to protect and fight for the basic rights and promises that were made and ensured to them by the Canadian government many times over since July 1, 1867.
But since then, at every review of the progress vs the promises that were made. They have missed the mark EVERY SINGLE TIME, in my opinion.This can been seen in the stories made public recently of how Indigenous people are treated in some hospitals around the country.You couple that with the silencing of the Mi’kmaw people trying to hold the RCMP and the Canadian Government accountable to policing people that are willingly going against a Canadian treaty and ruling from the Supreme Court. All for a larger share of a market they have a full monopoly in. When compared to the Mi’kmaw Fishers.
I wholeheartedly believe that being able to “change the vote” by making sure Indigenous people of all ages, across the country, regardless if they have any political loyalties currently.Have the ability to feel like their vote matters. To even get to that point on a higher level we need to provide 1000x support to all Indigenous communities. We need to make sure that we protect them at every turn. That starts with listening to them when they voice their concerns and fight unrelentingly to close the gap between the average quality of life in their communities in comparison to that of the rest of Canadian communities.
This can be done by any party in Canada and really is the cheat code to a Pierre to Justin type loyalty that can cement, this time a political party in Canadian history and/or a Political ideology into world history for ever.
For a Party like the Liberals, I think it would give them controlling interest in the Canadian people for years to come if done correctly in a way that appeased some of the right or center leaning people in their base.
I do not see the Conservative party with any real shot at pulling this off but I could be wrong.
So that leaves the NDP and the Green parties.
Being able to influence a generation is one of the main reasons I think the Liberal party of Canada has been able to stand so strong in Canadian politics despite all their shortcomings. There is a chance now for that same type of influence to be used on a group of people that are silenced by a system that was meant to hold them back. Being able to earn the trust and loyalty of the Indigenous people of Canada is the Key to long term success in Canadian politics.
Ryley J. Joseph