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NDP Blogs cheer anti-democratic labour movement hecklers of Dion

I’ve always said that I felt the Liberals spent far too much time going after the NDP, both before I became a Liberal and after. Despite some who would claim otherwise, my blogposts on here would also show I’ve also been one of the more NDP sympathetic Liberal bloggers, I would daresay, since I became a Liberal blogger and Liberal Party member. I feel we as Liberals have much more in common with the NDP (particularly us on the social left-wing of the Liberal Party) then some Liberals and Liberal bloggers are willing to admit. I think our efforts should be focused on going after the Conservatives, despite the fact Layton may irritate some Liberals with some of his actions. I believe that should be brushed off and ignored for the most part.

That being said, I’m going to slip into “Liberal bias” mode; I have to call out some of the Blogging Dipper and NDP sympathetic bloggers, who are actually cheering the fact Dion was heckled and shouted down at the labour rally today in Ottawa.

As I said elsewhere at one site, its rather appalling to see the labour movement acting in the same manner as the Conservatives do in QP in Parliament Hill – which is not allowing someone to speak their mind or views just because they don’t like a policy of his or the Party that person represents. The NDP bloggers and blogs can’t be held responsible for those doing the heckling, but it’s sad to see the NDP blogs actively cheering this anti-democratic behaviour of not allowing someone the right to express their views by shouting them down, not to mention cheering on actions that are plain discourteous and disrespectful.

Real democratic there what you’re cheering on, NDP blogging folks. You disgrace the “democratic” part of the New Democratic Party name by applauding that behaviour.

44 comments to NDP Blogs cheer anti-democratic labour movement hecklers of Dion

  • I approve of your disapproval of my comments re: Dion being booed.

  • This is hilarious.How dare workers heckel the Liberals???Like they should just be nice while the Liberals water down and turf what little workers rights and protections remain.If the Liberals gave a damn about workers they would support anti-scab legislation.But like the Conservatives the Liberals are always scraching away at the every right that worklers fought for over the years,in their ongoing attempt to claw back these rights.Rights that were gained by the blood sweat and tears of ordinary workers and Canadians.You claim to be of the left(Liberal Left) my what does the Liberal right look like.

  • Oh come on.  No Liberal (or Liberal supporter) gets to play the holier-than-thou routine when it comes to heckling.  The party of Marlene Jennings sets up a clinic on disruption and disrespect for democracy in the Commons everyday. For eons, Liberals have told voters they will do something (in this case, vote in favour of a ban on scabs) and then done the opposite.  This kind of treachery comes at a price.  All this "we are the victims" talk over Dion’s rebuke is just more proof that the Liberal Party just isn't accustomed to paying that price yet.

  • Oh, Scott, you are such an alarmist!  Anti-democratic is what the Bush and Harper regimes are doing regarding the North American Union.  Shouting down another's ideas is not anti-democratic; it's just plain rude.Buy a dictionary.And take a day off and grow up.

  • Troy

    Crush the unions.  I am sick and tored of going to a place where the workers are unionized. Apparently just showing up at work guarentees them all the benefits one could want and constant pay raises making services and good rediculously expensive.  Is there some sort of provision that requires 90% of them to lean on things to keep them from collapsing?Voting against anti-scab legislation is good. These companys need to be able to stay afloat WITH employees so the lazy unionized workers will have a job to return to after another of their periodic self induced vacations.Horrible behaviors on part of unionized workers: TTC employees don't show up for work because traffic was too bad to DRIVE to work. Nor can there employees work with any number other than than 5 or 10 when selling loose tokens. They yell at you if you ask for anything different. Ask for anything else they freak out, either because they can't count or don't want to work.Any post office will have 1 or 2 staff working the massive lineups while three stand around drinking their coffee and joking. If they don't want to take their job seriously, get a new one.They view getting a unionized job as tantamount to retiring early. guaranteed income, guaranteed benefits, guaranteed job security but provide you with no guarentee that they will actually be working or productive. Forgive me if I have no symapathy for them, as they never reciprocate concern since its not in their contract.No surprise with the dippers though, if they had thier way everyone would get paid for doing nothing. Mind you that would probably be 100 dollars a month since thestate would take care of evrything else. Do the dippers not understand our current economic reality?

  • Olaf, That’s a rather onerous standard, n’est pas?   Not really.  Conservatives tend to set the bar pretty low when it comes to standards. 🙂 As much as you all say differently  –  "You all?"  So, I'm to be held accountable for all Liberals? I have a feeling that if Harper were to stand up at, say, a pro-choice march…after getting his party to pass an anti-abortion bill, few would sit there and listen to him try and woo the “feminist vote”, and few here would suggest that they should have done just that.   –  In the words of the immortal "Dude": that's, like, your opinion man.

  • ALW

    "I'm going to slip into my 'Liberal bias' mode"

    Yeah, you might want to just put that as a disclaimer as a permanent feature up top of your blog :p

    I agree that shouting down people is childish; I don't know if it's
    anti-democratic. It's distateful regardless.  If you are sincere
    about this as a general rule, then I agree with you, but somehow I
    suspect you wouldn't care so much if it wasn't a Liberal being shouted
    down – if it were Harper, for example, you would probably have cited it
    as evidence of his unpopularity, rather than complained about him being
    drowned out.

  • Mushroom, that's the point: if they consider a coalition they will have to work out their differences on those issues to the satisfaction of both sides.  There will be no more workers if Harper stays in power, just a lot of jobless poor with no rights.

  • Let's not forget that Dion changed his mind about the anti-scab bill at the 11th hour. The Liberals supported the anti-scab legislation all the way until 3rd reading. There is an intense feeling of betrayal in the Labour Movement as a result. Before you go around calling people "classless", maybe you should consider that the level of anger that was exhibited may have been totally warranted.As for being undemocratic…it was the Labour leadership that invited Dion. By booing him off stage, the members were expressing their discontent over the leadership's decision to have Dion there. That's what grassroots democracy is all about.Not everyone gets a chance at that microphone, Scott. Sometimes people have to band together and, oh my, even shout to get thier voices heard. I am proud to be a blogger who stood (well actually, blogged) in solidarity with the workers at that rally.

  • mushroom

    Susan,What should we talk about?  On the issue of scab labour laws, globalization, and outsourcing we have been unable to find common ground.I am at a loss.  Please advice.  Please stick to the three issues at hand.    

  • I just don't get how the left doesn't realize that the real enemy of their ideas and wishes for Canada is Harper.  Why would they divide the opposition to him unless they actually think they are going to win an election?  Never happened so far.  The NDP and the Liberals and the Greens should have coalition talks and get on with the real business of getting rid of the fascists that are slowly ruining our country.

  • Ok, clearly I'm not capable of handling your new format as a result of my technological incompetence (I have no clue what EMC is, for example), so I'm going to stop cluttering the place up.   By the way, Scott, I've put up a post for your benefit lauding Stephane Dion that will be on the public record for all time.

  • My God, Scott, are you now trying to dictate who speaks and when beyond your little aggregate borders?!

    The "classless" workers will continue to protest the elites. Your
    narrow view of democracy is laughable. Do you not get that who gets to
    exchage ideas and who gets to be heard is determined largely by the
    almighty dollar? Are the Liberals prepared to let democracy prevail?
    History would suggest otherwise. The voices of Canadians in all sorts
    of Royal Commission reports have been ignored for decades as policies
    favouring elites have been advanced.

    "Undemocratic". Unbelieveable!

  • Scott,Thanks for fixing that up… I’m don’t know how I missed the conspicuous editor directly above my written word. That’s just like a conservative, can’t see anything even when it’s right under their nose. 🙂

    Red Canuck,Coming from a conservative blogger, I find this phrase particularly absurd. Conservatives routinely point to dissent amongst Liberals as a sign of weakness and “evidence” of Dion’s weak-kneed leadership (all of which is of course, a steaming pile of crap). So I’m to be held accountable for all “Conservatives”? That’s a rather onerous standard, n’est pas?

    Just an observation that childish, boorish behaviour by labour activists shouldn’t be endorsed by NDP bloggers. Undemocratic? Maybe not. But certainly not worthy of praise by anyone. In the words of the immortal “Dude”: that’s, like, your opinion man. As for the “impassioned defence” line, I exaggerate for effect, sue me. As much as you all say differently, I have a feeling that if Harper were to stand up at, say, a pro-choice march (feel free to modify the analogy according to your favourite inalienable right) after getting his party to pass an anti-abortion bill, few would sit there and listen to him try and woo the “feminist vote”, and few here would suggest that they should have done just that.

  • JF

    I'm kind of late to the party here but…  I understand your definition of democracy as an exchange of ideas, but as far as democracy applying in the context of representative government, I always thought that was the people telling politicians that are elected to represent them what they think, not politicians having the right to tell them their speech.  I mean, yes, I want politicians with ideas, I want politicians to be leaders, but they are foremost in my mind, servants of the people.  And I think it's purely democracy when angry people voice their opposition to the leader of a very influential party, whether it be with class or not is besides the point.  And I'd say that about anyone, whether it be Layton, Dion, my own MP Yvon Godin, I mean, I like Dion, I used to hate him, then I met him for a policy brainstorming session at Laval University and he's great, doesn't strike me as a PM, but a very bright guy and you quickly learn to respect him for that.  But if you piss off labour, don't expect them to just roll over when you say "Down with Harper!"But one thing I noticed in the video, maybe I'd be a horrible politician, but why does he just continue his speech?  If that was me up there, and they'd start booing me, I wouldn't just continue my speech as if nothing happened, ignoring all of that (wouldn't that be undemocratic too?).  I'd be like "Woah, woah, wait, what's all this booing about?  Anti-scab?  You guys want to talk about anti-scab legislation?  Alright, let's do that for a minute."  I mean, I'm not opposed to anti-scab legislation, but if I was, I'd try to present my arguments most convincingly to a crowd of labour activists (which is you know, impossible, but I'm always up for a challenge)  But just stand there and keep talking?  Meh.  Not too impressive.

  • Olaf: Are you using the MCE Editor on here? The XHTML codes you see on here above the text box arent necessarily the same ones that will work with the new editor enabled. I’d suggest using it rather then manual codes (italics for example are < em > (no spacing) rather then<i>, but its easier just to use the graphical commands in the editor by highlighting the text you want to use an effect with (ie bold, italics, underline, strikethru.

    I’ll edit your entry to make it more readable.

  • Sorry about all the coding, I don't know what the problem is.  Am I the only one with this problem?  My (admittedly long) posts won't even separate into paragraphs, which makes them even more unreadable then they already are.

  • Scott, Democracy is an exchange of ideas, not shouting down those you disagree with. I’m assuming this was where you ‘explained’ why shouting someone down who you disagree with is undemocratic? I don’t know of any democratic principle that mandates you listen to people you disagree with. If some crazy old coot came up to you on the street and started spouting gibberish, would you be compelled by the principles of democracy to listen to him? What if he was telling you how you should join the Free Beer Party of Canada, would you listen, or would you be undemocratic and not engage in the exchange of ideas? How could you possibly sleep at night knowing you had violated a core principle so?

    b) If Harper was invited to speak at the hypothetical Kyoto rally, I certainly wouldn’t be cheering anyone shouting him down. Just because Harper’s goons shout everyone down in the QP doesn’t mean I think the favour should be returned. Wow, your Liberal myopia is scary, as if the Conservatives were the only party to shout down the others in the HoC. All other MPs sit there respectfully in silence, hands crossed, deeply contemplating the positions being put forward by the government, do they? Wake up, dude.

    d) I actually don’t have a position on that policy, to be honest. I was commenting on the heckling and booing and not allowing Dion to speak to an event he was invited to.. please dont’ try to issue a red herring, Olaf. You lower yourself to your more trollish Blogging Tory cohorts by doing so. And, I’ve already stepped out of my “Liberal straitjacket” to clarify to you at your own blog when you somehow read at my blog that I was somehow supporting Jack Layton’s position on Afghanistan… so cut it out on saying I don’t have or take positions.. It’s not a “red herring”, it was a subtle jab suggesting that if you spent half of much time actually looking at and defending (or on occasion opposing) Liberal policies as you did defending their public personas and partisan interests, I’d be as interested in reading your stuff as before. Furthermore, where exactly did I say you don’t “have or take positions” generally? I was just saying that I was curious as to what you thought of the broader issue (C-257) in particular. Excuse me for issuing a red herring in full BT troll mode by actually considering the relevant issue at hand. I don’t know why I’m irritating you, but I’m sorry you feel that way. If you’d like to convey a formal complaint, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] (this, of course, was a joke)

  • Care to step outside of the Liberal straightjacket Olaf – Coming from a conservative blogger, I find this phrase particularly absurd.  Conservatives routinely point to dissent amongst Liberals as a sign of weakness and "evidence" of Dion's weak-kneed leadership (all of which is of course, a steaming pile of crap).  So what exactly do you mean by Liberal "straightjacket"?Your conjecture about Scott's reaction to Harper at a Kyoto rally notwithstanding, the original post was hardly an "impassioned partisan defence of Dion's democratic values".  Just an observation that childish, boorish behaviour by labour activists shouldn't be endorsed by NDP bloggers.  Undemocratic?  Maybe not.  But certainly not worthy of praise by anyone

  • By the way.. my blog, my rules. People who want to leave comments – no matter how valid they are – aren't going to be allowed on here when they leave fake email addresses.. particularly as blatant as one was on here called "[email protected]"

  • Olaf:

    a) I’ve already said why I thought what happened was undemocratic. you’re a smart fella (normally). Please re-read if you need to refresh your memory.

    b) If Harper was invited to speak at the hypothetical Kyoto rally, I certainly wouldn’t be cheering anyone shouting him down. Just because Harper’s goons shout everyone down in the QP doesn’t mean I think the favour should be returned.

    c) Glad to see you’re praising Dion. I’ll mark that down in my notebook (May 30/07 – Olaf praises Dion).

    d) I actually don’t have a position on that policy, to be honest. I was commenting on the heckling and booing and not allowing Dion to speak to an event he was invited to.. please dont’ try to issue a red herring, Olaf. You lower yourself to your more trollish Blogging Tory cohorts by doing so. And, I’ve already stepped out of my “Liberal straitjacket” to clarify to you at your own blog when you somehow read at my blog that that I was somehow supporting Jack Layton’s position on Afghanistan… so cut it out on saying I don’t have or take positions.

    If I’ve been more irritating to you of late as you say at your blog, I can say the feeling is starting to get mutual.

  • janfromthebruce

    And after reading down the comments, I was waiting for a 'class-conscious person' to pickup on the 'classless' in relationship to labour. If you didn't figure this out, it was all about "class politics" at this rally. The CLC rally was all about economic class politics and not about more free grab deals and taxcuts. It's about jobs, fair wages, worker protection here as opposed to off-shore. Just another rendition of scab labour. I guess the rank & file at the rally saw the anti-scab labour bill & loss of manufacturing jobs to offshore, as the flip side of the same coin. Go figure – very classy!  

  • I feel like I'm an impartial observer in this leftist love-in, and my ruling is that to declare this undemocratic is nonsensical.  It's the labour unions bloody rally, they can choose who they want to speak at it, and who, if they are originally permitted to speak, should be shouted down if their opinions are contrary to the prevailing union "wisdom", to coin an oxymoron.  What definition of democracy are we working with here, Scott?   I don't even see how the formal definition of democracy can be in any way connected to a publicly held, non violent rally.   Please elaborate on the principles of democracy at issue here.I mean, if a large group of environmentalists, hippies and other ne'er do wells held a Kyoto rally (kidding, kind of), and shouted down Stephen Harper trying to explain his position, I have a feeling you'd be cheering their courage and dedication.  "Way to stand up to a bully!" you'd proclaim (hypothetically).  I doubt it would even occur to you to make a connection between that and democracy.That said, Dion deserves praise for at least having the jam to get up there under the circumstances, he knew it couldn't have ended well.  It's definitely not a situation that Harper would have put himself in, let alone any other government minister.  For once, I'm impressed with Dion, and oddly enough, it comes during one of his more obvious PR failures.By the way, not to let actual substance get in the way of your impassioned partisan defence of Dion's democratic values, but do you have an opinion on the actual legislation in question?  Care to step outside of the Liberal straightjacket and actually make an argument for or against a policy?

  • janfromthebruce

    I didn't see Layton enjoying himself in the clip. He is just looking on at the spectacle, so I don't get how you could say how Layton was enjoying himself at Dion and Hargroves expense. In fact, in the clip he was not smiling, so obviously he wasn't enjoying himself.

  • Ed King

    The FTQ will boo and heckle Stéphane Dion no matter what he does.  If those people spent half as much time working on labour issues as they do promoting Quebec independence, they would probably have a lot less to complain about.  

  • “Classless” being used in relation to an labour issue.

    Classic. 🙂

  • Gee, Leftdog.. you’re getting attacked, as in personally?

    I like a lot of you NDP bloggers.. I really do, but one trait I’ve noted is that a fair # of you Dippers cannot tolerate any criticism, either of yourself or your party. The moral outrage that comes all the time can be a bit over the top, quite frankly, at times.

  • Get thicker skin if you’re gonna blog politics. I do NOT appreciate being attacked like this.

    Physician, heal thyself.

  • Hell boys and girls, I had to listen to endless weeks of 'Taliban Jack' from Lib bloggers – then when Dion & May did their little 'Central Nova' kissy face, I had to listen to Lib bloggers blasting Jack on and on and on.Get thicker skin if you're gonna blog politics. I do NOT appreciate being attacked like this.

  • “Classless”, yes. “Not nice”, yes. “Anti-democratic”, no.

    It would be nice if words like “anti-democratic” would not be abused and misused as it happening here.
    But I guess it was inevitable. Since the fall of fascism and communism, democracy is the only major political system left. Therefore the use of the term “democracy” is used in political rhetoric everywhere – including dictatorships (which tend to go through the motions of elections).So, I guess in a world where the term “democracy” is used everywhere, it really means nothing, and “anti-democratic” changes into “I don’t like this action”.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, it was classless.  We need less of this.  And we need fewer members of the ProgBlog Dipper Truth-Squad goose-stepping all around Liberal blogs everytime they smell blood in the water.  You're salivating over it on your blogs.  Isn't that enough?

  • Democracy is an exchange of ideas, not shouting down those you disagree with.

    They had every right to express their displeasure…but not letting him speak is just classless.

  • Yeah … you are way too sensitive on this …. not very cool.

  • Well, Dion was the one who flip-floped on the anti-scab bill in the first place, so as far as I'm concerned, he can sleep in the bed he made. Can't expect a group to listen to somebody who has taken action agianst their goals.As for "anti-democratic", well, its a term that I see Liberals misuse often; they seem to define it as "something that does not benefit the Liberal Party" (see electoral finance reforms).

  • If I were there, I don't think I'd heckle. But that's only because I'm rather meek individual in person and am awkward at a lot of protests, though I quite often attend them out of solidarity or concern.But calling the protesters anti-democratic because they're protesting the Liberals' vote against anti-scab legislation? That's ridiculous! This action isn't the same as the Cons in Parliament at all. In there, there are rules of decorum and an expectation that members should be able to ask and respond to questions without interruption. A rally is a totally different scenario and the goal here is public awareness of the issues facing workers. Obviously, the failure of the anti-scab legislation is going to be a big one, and Dion should be held accountable for his vote.So when, Scott, are protesters democratic and when are they anti-democratic, in your view? I ask this because ordinary people disrupting events and speaking out is really the essence of true, participatory democracy. The sort of democracy that's more than simple marking an "X" on a piece of paper every few years. Everyone listening quietly while the so-called "great leaders" imparted their wisdom from on high would be something, but hardly democracy.I can't help but thinking that if it were Stephen Harper that all youse guys would be all over this just as much, while the Blogging Tories would be writing posts pretty similar to yours. (Or maybe they'd be a little more on the vulgar side, I dunno.)

  • knb

    Stephen, he was being unreasonable. I think Scott’s point is well taken. Jack can’t do jack so watching him out there did nothing except feed his already inflated ego.

    Hargrove gave the con’s support today. Do you think Dion wants to kill that industry? Of course not. Hargrove should have stepped in, or someone else. Politicians came out in support of these people, opposition politicians and if they don’t see their best chance with Dion as opposed to Harper, well, I’m sorry, my sympathy is gone.

    Classless is what that was…and stupid to boot.

  • Scott: I'll agree that some of the schadenfreude from a few of my fellow Blogging Dippers goes further than it probably should. But "anti-democratic" is a completely unfair description of the hecklers' actions: surely the right to free speech applies just as thoroughly to the workers in wanting to get their point across as it does to Dion in wanting to use the event for political gain.

  • You missed the fact that  I didn't even put Dion's name in the title of my post  –  reason being that Labour is mad at Liberal Party policy – not Dion specifically.You are being too sensitive and too sweeping in your condemnation.

  • As far as I’m concerned, yes.

  • Stephen

    Liberal supporter Buzz Hargrove said on Charles Adler's program today that those booing Dion were right to do so, given his stand on anti-scab legislation.He tried to minimize the importance of the booing, of course, but nevertheless agreed with those doing it. Was he being undemocratic?

  • mushroom

    Anti-democratic????  A bit harsh, but not surprising in my dealings with the Dipper rank and file in urban Toronto.Invited to this rally by Buzz Hargrove, the CAW rank and file responded by booing Dion.  Layton was enjoying himself seeing both Hargrove and Dion humiliated.Dion's handlers should have known that by not passing the anti-scab legislation, he was going to receive criticism from the labour movement.  That he was booed and heckled shows that the Liberals need to be more progressive when dealing with labour issues.It's called building the foundation of a new house.  Once the foundation was built then you can have an open house.  Otherwise, it looks more like an emperor walking with no clothes.        

  • slg

    And there's Layton out there in shirt sleeves revving up the crowd like Jimmy Hoffa.Now, wouldn't you think that if people wanted any sympathies about their dilemma, they'd worry about their jobs instead of anti-scab legislation – planning strikes prior to saving jobs – please.  

  • Unrepentant…

    I notice that Scott Tribe has taken exception to my expression of glee that Stephane Dion got shouted off stage at the worker’s rally in Ottawa.

    Please allow me to respond:

    SOLIDARITY FOREVER!…

  • […] Was booing Dion “anti-democratic”? Scott Tribe makes the argument that shouting down a speaker is “anti-democratic.” I like Scott. And while we have had […]

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