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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Neither Green nor Orange

Waffling between these two shades of faux progressive "left" is a waste of time.

It is hard sometimes to get one's mind around the inanity of Canadian politics, especially on its alleged "left" flank.

When Dimitri Lascaris came close to winning the Green leadership the push was on by many leftists to join the Green Party thinking that this might be the new entryist path to a red-green party.

Others countered that his loss would mean a consolidation of power on the Green Party right.

The old NDP stalwarts, as well as those who purport to be socialists and insist the NDP is a socialist party have carried on with their indefatigable line that the NDP is a "labour party" and the only party that can be a vehicle for socialism despite all of the staggering evidence to the contrary.

But this is a clear case where it is not either/or but rather neither/nor.

Never has the evidence been more clear that neither the NDP nor the Greens offer a meaningful chance at a socialist alternative than it is right now.

The new Green leader has gone out of her way to alienate the party's left and caucus by refusing to defend her MPs from ludicrous accusations of "anti-semitism" that came from within her own leadership circle.

In a now-deleted Facebook post from May 14, Annamie Paul’s senior advisor Noah Zatzman accused “Green MPs” of antisemitism for their statements criticizing Israel, and vowed that “we will work to defeat you.” In subsequent statements to the CBC, Zatzman has doubled down on these attacks against his party’s own elected officials, and clarified to the CBC that his post specifically referred to MPs Paul Manly and Jenica Atwin. Meanwhile, Annamie Paul has said nothing to contradict these statements.
It is outrageous that the Green Party leader’s senior advisor would engage in a public attack against his party’s own MPs. The fact that Annamie Paul has kept her silence on the matter -- as Zantzman repeats his accusations in national media -- gives the impression that he has her support. The message coming from the Green Party leader’s office is that MPs who want to criticize Israeli human rights violations will be vilified and that the party leadership may even actively work to defeat them. This is unacceptable.

An exceptionally poor move given that one of the Green MPs, Paul Manly, defected from the NDP entirely due to his having been blacklisted by the party for supporting Palestinian rights.

The irony, of course, is that now some lefties are seizing this as a moment to claim the NDP is a better alternative despite the history with folks like Manly and despite the recent attempt to exorcise Niki Ashton from the holy chapel for being pro-Palestinian and wanting to have an event with Jeremy Corbyn.

Meanwhile the NDP continues with its long term mediocrity and hypocrisy.

They have engaged in what amounts to performance art rambling on on June 3 at some party online event about "calling on Justin Trudeau's Liberals to take concrete actions for real reconciliation with Indigenous people."

And yet Singh and company have never called on the country's only NDP government to do the same thing. They have never demanded they stop with the phony BC "reconciliation" through the barrel of an RCMP gun that John Horgan practices.

The NDP has also been lockstep with the Liberal government -- and even taken credit for -- the total disgraces of the CERB and the corporate welfare of the CEWS while helping them push through the very dubious Climate Accountability Act, Bill C-12.

Some on the party's "left" seem enthused by the possibility of a future Avi Lewis White Knight leadership campaign though it is hard to see why anyone would be excited by what has been described as him entering the "family business" given the utter failure of the "Leap" project and the reactionary history of the Lewis family from David Lewis and the unions to Stephen Lewis and the Waffle.

Enough of these detours and wastes of time.

Every single adventure in trying to turn these parties left has seen them go further right.

For those on the left looking for a solution to the malaise that is Canadian politics it is neither Green nor Orange. It is Red.

We need to build a new Red Front and the sooner we do so the better.


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