Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Monday, April 11, 2016

Which way for the New Democratic Party in Canada?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding recent developments in the New Democratic Party in Canada.

I lived in Manitoba for ten years until I was deported because of my political views after the Liberal government joined the right wing in attacking me.

At the present time, I am a member of the Lake-of-the Woods Communist Club, one of three co-chairs of the club which has members from Minnesota, Manitoba and Ontario. Members of our club have been very involved in the NDP and our club had members at the recent NDP meeting.

There are those making the outrageous claim that the NDP is a "social democratic party."

This was my response to one person making this claim: Wrong. Dead wrong, Andy Span.

The New Democratic Party is not a social democratic party.

The NDP includes all views from the left... and beyond... or, at least it should.

Social democrats should go start their own party if they want an exclusively social democratic party.
But, this wouldn't solve any problems, either.

The NDP would be severely weakened should the social democrats withdraw; but, the social democrats are going to have to learn to be respectful of the views of others.

There is no proof that the Leap Manifesto won't gain tremendous traction with the vast majority of working class Canadians. Why would anyone oppose it being debated and discussed. These debates and discussion will bring new life into the NDP.

The most successful provincial NDP government of all time in Canada was led by Howard Pawley in Manitoba and he had an open door to all of the entire left... and most others willing to work with him for the common good.

I would suggest everyone take a few deep breaths and read Howard Pawley's excellent book, "Keep True, My Life in Politics."

The NDP paid a very heavy price for Bob Rae's treacherous betrayal (and I was very involved in helping get this guy elected as the first NDP premier of Ontario) and the NDP is paying a very heavy price for making a substantial part of the left in Canada feel like they have no home in the NDP because there are those who try to pigeon hole the NDP as a social democratic party.

Tom Mulcair started coming to his senses in his later speeches in Toronto but it was too little, too late.
Buying into this crap about the need for "baby steps" and "incremental reforms" is sure to doom the NDP.

Tommy Douglas, from his deathbed, urged the NDP and all Canadians to take up the task of struggling and fighting for fully socialized health care and if we examine this issue as a way to look at most other struggles for required reforms we can do so by asking a very simple question concerning the right to have dental care included as part of health care:

Would you vote for any politician who didn't care if you have a toothache and can't afford to get dental care?

Working people have very serious problems from poverty wages to lack of child care (and what is with this "affordable child care crap" when child care should be universal through a public system and free for all? Is this too much for the well-heeled crowd of social democrats to comprehend?

And why don't the social democrats like Mulcair want to talk about a Minimum Wage that is tied to actual cost of living factors which would bring in a Minimum Wage of just over $20.00 an hour for a forty hour work week?

Or, what is the position of the social democrats when it comes to a Basic Income Guarantee which worked so well as an experiment in Dauphin, Manitoba when the NDP forced the Liberals to fund the experiment?

When it comes to health care, child care, unemployment, Minimum Wages, the cost of higher education--- "baby steps" and "incremental reforms" are not what the severe problems working class families confront need... a giant Leap forward is required and it is time for the NDP to bring forward some kind of program and platform to make the multi-national corporations which have been raping the land of resources pay for it all.

I have traveled and met with Canadians in every single province and a point of great unity is that Canadians are sick and tired of U.S. and other multi-national corporations taking everything they can grab while leaving nothing behind to improve the lives of the people and this theft has been carried out in a way that has left tremendous damage to the environment.

As far as the oil in Alberta... bring these oil fields under public ownership like the NDP originally believed in doing. Then take a look at the situation and decide how to proceed. Again, this is foreign multi-nationals raking in huge profits at the expense of the Canadian people while doing great harm to the environment. Cut out the huge corporate profits and perhaps an environmentally sound way can be found to manage the production of oil. In the long run as the oil industry is going in Alberta it would be cheaper to just halt it right now because the mess that is being made is going to end up costing a lot more than what is being gained right now.

What gave the social democrats the right to use bullying tactics to replace the demand for public ownership of the mines, mills, factories and entire industries like banking, communications and energy with this coddling of private industry--- domestic and foreign--- while pushing higher taxes on the working class?

And why would Mulcair seek to ally the NDP with Obama's neo-liberal Wall Street Democrats as a way to appease Bay Street instead of seeking out allies from among the working class?

The social democrats who have bullied their way into the NDP while trampling on democracy insisting that the NDP be a social democratic party have been very selfish and their selfishness cost the NDP an election victory that was there for the taking.

The NDP should have gone to Canadian with a plan to reduce the retirement age to 60; free universal child care; free public education through university; tax the hell out of the foreign multi-nationals; for a socialized health care system that includes everything from pre-natal through burial... and a commitment to pull out of NATO and end all complicity with U.S. imperialist wars and a promise to raise the Minimum Wage to at least $20.00 an hour while outlining a strategy to put an end to the cost-of-living crisis every single working class family in Canada is experiencing.

The base of the NDP must be the working class and farmers along with real small businesses and professionals.

The Manitoba NDP put a full dental program into every single elementary school and the Conservatives and Liberals killed that program--- as Manitobans today how they like paying for private dental care for their children.

Manitoba had a provincially owned and operated telephone system providing Manitobans with the least expensive phone service in North America... the Conservatives and Liberals connived together to kill this... ask Manitobans how they like paying through the nose for private for-profit telephone service today.

The NDP government took over bus manufacturing in Manitoba saving hundreds of jobs; the company was doing just great. The company was sold to a foreign multi-national after being subsidized by Manitoba tax-payers.

Manitoba has government owned casinos... the profits go for health care and education not into the pockets of Las Vegas mobsters. And Manitoba's casinos were among the first to go smoke-free to protect the health of its workers and the general public.

Because of the fight led by Howard Pawley, Manitoba has a provincially owned auto insurance program. I don't hear many people other than the Conservatives and few of the more die-hard free-enterprise Liberals complaining.

The NDP should be for public ownership not just out of some old principle articulated in a Marxist pamphlet but because public ownership works better for the people than private ownership in most cases.

The strength of the NDP has always been that all views from the left are always welcome... and not just those with left wing view but those with liberal and progressive world outlooks, too; and this is the way it should remain.

I want to point out that in Manitoba, the NDP always got along with Communists like Jacob Penner and Joe Zuken... in fact, the NDP took the initiative to name a public park after Jacob Penner.

And Jacob Penner's son became an outstanding Minnesota Attorney General.

I counted Howard Pawley among one of my best friends and we got along just fine even though we had some differences on some issues.

My suggestion is that the problems should be articulated and a common approach should be found to solving these problems in a way that works best for the working class.

Tom Mulcair and his social democrats are just going to have to learn to live with the fact that working people want their problems solved now--- while they are still alive, not later after they die.

These are very important developments now taking place in the New Democratic Party and there will be much for everyone to learn.