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Avi Lewis on the ‘ideological battle’ over the Leap Manifesto

Avi Lewis on the climate crisis, Naomi Klein, and how he didn’t mean to ‘blow up the NDP convention’


 
Avi Lewis. (Photograph by Michael Klein)

Avi Lewis. (Photograph by Michael Klein)

If there’s an NDP gene, Avi Lewis surely has it. His late grandfather, David, was once federal leader, while his father, Stephen, ran the Ontario branch and remains a party elder statesman. But it was the Leap Manifesto—a creation of the younger Lewis, his wife, author Naomi Klein, and a number of other prominent activists—that helped crystallize discontent over Tom Mulcair’s leadership this past weekend. The journalist and filmmaker spoke to Maclean’s about Leap’s role and where the party goes from here.

Q: The Leap Manifesto starts with the premise that Canada is experiencing its deepest crisis in recent memory. Can you define it for me?

A: What we face in Canada are multiple overlapping crises. We have the climate crisis, which is screaming down on us—all of the predictions are coming true even faster than the scientists thought. We have the inequality crisis, where the Panama Papers are a great reminder that the one per cent have actually created their own economy. We have lots of communities in crisis: First Nations, like Attawapiskat. The black community in Toronto, with structural racism and police violence. And refugees and immigrants, with deportations and deaths in custody. We still have the crisis of child poverty, which has never been dealt with despite decades of concerned words from politicians.

Q: So is the manifesto designed to be a blueprint for revolution or a conversation starter?

A: Both. I think revolution in the Bernie Sanders sense, where we need change in our political and economic systems if we are going to really deal with things like the climate crisis. But one thing that has been lost in the cascading series of mischaracterizations about this document is that it is profoundly hopeful. To come out of our understandable, daily denial, where such problems are too terrifying to even look at, we need a thread of hope that there is something we can do. The premise of the Leap Manifesto is that responding with urgency and ambition to all of these crises is actually the best chance we’ve ever had of building a better Canada.

Q: Leap calls for a massive 20-year shift to a country entirely powered by renewable energy: wind and solar farms in remote places, vast transmission networks, major transit expansions and green retrofits for homes and businesses. Won’t that be fantastically expensive?

A: Oh, yeah, absolutely. But you know what will cost even more money? The climate crisis. Catastrophic damage from climate-driven extreme weather is now an annual reality. The cost of not dealing with it will be much greater than if we try to pre-empt some of those disaster cleanups by actually investing in the shift now. Do we seize the opportunity and create great jobs and save our economy? Or do we stay on the oil roller-coaster, tied to a petrodollar?

Q: But people would like to know what all this is going to cost. Is there a price tag?

A: No. It’s an aspirational, high-level document that attempts to tell a story about where we are in history and what we need to do next. The next stage is to develop that granular policy approach, and the coalition of social groups behind this document would like to get there. It’s not designed to be a budget. It wasn’t written by economists. But we know the money is there.

Related: Where the NDP will land after the Leap

Q: When the manifesto was released in the middle of last fall’s election, critics branded it “utopian” and “anti-capitalist.” Were you surprised by the response?

A: We weren’t surprised in the slightest that pre-paleolithic climate-denying curmudgeons like Rex Murphy and Conrad Black would seize upon our radical and idealistic vision with glee. We know this is an ideological battle. What we did misjudge was how this would be used against the NDP. That was certainly not our intent. Maybe we were a bit naive. People have said it’s the NDP’s left flank attacking Mulcair. That’s not true, but we lost control of that narrative.

Federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair waves to the crowd after his speech during the 2016 NDP Federal Convention in Edmonton Alta, on Sunday, April 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair waves to the crowd after his speech during the 2016 NDP Federal Convention in Edmonton Alta, on Sunday, April 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Q: It was pitched as non-partisan, but it does come from the left. Did you give Tom Mulcair or his people any input, or at least a heads up?

A: Absolutely not. They were in the middle of running an election campaign and we were a broad group of Canadians who felt that the absence of climate as a central issue, and the centrist, cautious tone of the campaign, was a massive disconnect from the way Canadians felt. We hoped to reach people and build some urgency for more ambitious policy. Indeed, we got 20,000 signatures in 10 days.

Q: Mulcair’s response seemed lukewarm. Did that concern you?

A: I didn’t read it that way. He said that he welcomed the debate, and he loved big ideas. He didn’t weigh in, but I don’t think he was lukewarm.

Q: Well, he said he’d follow the will of the party.

A: Tom was welcoming of the debate the Leap Manifesto brought to the party. Look, there’s been endless analysis of what the hell happened last weekend, but I think the Leap question and the leadership question are separate. They’re not unrelated, but there’s no causal relationship. Tom was asked about Leap a lot and he didn’t embrace it wholeheartedly, but he didn’t denounce it like the Alberta NDP are doing now.

Q: In the run-up to the convention you said that you weren’t out to get Mulcair. But now that he’s going as leader, are you happy?

A: No, I’m not. I was at the convention for Leap. I wasn’t really engaged in the leadership question, and like everyone else, I was stunned by the result. I gained a good deal of respect for Tom Mulcair over the weekend as I saw him try to navigate these very difficult issues and saw his real passion for the fight against climate change.

Related: What’s in the Leap Manifesto?

Q: Now that there’s a leadership race, what role should the manifesto play in it?

A: It’s clear that it has been explosively controversial for the Alberta NDP government, and that in other regions of the country, it has really resonated with those who are looking to reconnect with the social democratic roots of their party. Look, let’s zoom out. The political landscape in North America has dramatically shifted to the right over the past half-century. But as we see from the incendiary success of Bernie Sanders, so far—running as a socialist in America, my God!—there is a hunger for forthrightly left-wing political alternatives. Some portion of the NDP base is looking for a way to connect with a new wave of enthusiasm, youth and activism here in Canada. And the Leap Manifesto looks like it’s worth exploring.

Supporters applaud Alberta Premier Rachel Notley as she makes her speech during the 2016 NDP Federal Convention in Edmonton Alberta, April 9, 2016. Jason Franson for Maclean's Magazine.

Supporters applaud Alberta Premier Rachel Notley as she makes her speech during the 2016 NDP Federal Convention in Edmonton Alberta, April 9, 2016. Jason Franson for Maclean’s Magazine.

Q: You mentioned Alberta. Rachel Notley calls the manifesto “naïve and tone deaf,” while her environment minister says it’s a “betrayal.” Is there a way to bridge that gap?

A: I think what we’re seeing is more a reflection of Alberta politics than a schism on the left. Their gusto in attacking the manifesto suggests that it’s practical for them to do so at this moment. But there might be a danger in carrying it too far. Most of what’s in the document is already NDP policy. There’s one demand out of 15—that there be no new fossil fuel infrastructure—that has been a grenade. We get it: Alberta politics is brutal. It’s an oil province, and the government feels it needs a new pipeline. But there were lots of Albertans in the room when the Leap Manifesto was born. And there are many different economic interests in Alberta and Canada. The science says we’re past the point where we need to get off fossil fuels and our political debates are stuck in the 1970s.

Q: There’s a history of activists trying to take the NDP further left and party brass resisting. Like the Waffle movement in the early ’70s, which both your grandfather and father rejected as radical and impractical. Isn’t this the same?

A: It’s very different. The Waffle was an internal schism. The Leap Manifesto is a non-partisan cri de coeur which comes from outside the party. NDP members started passing resolutions to engage with it, but we had nothing to do with that. We want as many Canadians as possible to look at this document and debate its contents. We never intended it to blow up the NDP convention. Nobody saw this coming.

Q: What do you think the party should be looking for in its next leader?

A: I think Canada deserves a forthrightly left electoral alternative. I don’t see the advantage for our democracy in having a number of parties crowded in the centre. The Liberals are experts at co-opting left language and framings during campaigns, and historically, we know they don’t govern like that.

Q: Your name has already been raised as a possible candidate. Are you interested?

A: Not in the slightest. I grew up in a political family. My earliest memories are of committee rooms and conventions. But it was a defining moment for me when my dad left politics in 1978, because it was getting too personal and ugly, too difficult to speak about the important issues. And having been a journalist for the past 25 years, I know what we do to these people and I wouldn’t relish being on the other side.

Q: What about your wife, Naomi Klein? People have been bandying her name about, too.

A: Even less so. She’s a writer, she has that personality and disposition. And she doesn’t have even the faintest flicker of interest in that political role.

Q: In a strictly hypothetical world where you both run for leader, who would you vote for?

A: One of the things that could be exciting about this next phase of Canadian politics is if we could maybe have co-leaders.

Q: That sounds like weaselling.

A: No, no, I’m serious. If we could get proportional representation and open up roles for smaller parties in coalition governments, we could start intentionally breaking down the cult of personality that is one of the most distorting things about our electoral system. We had a constellation of social actors behind the Leap Manifesto. And we created something bigger than ourselves.


 

Avi Lewis on the ‘ideological battle’ over the Leap Manifesto

  1. If we really want to make an effect on fossil fuel consumption , why not start with

    1. stopping all cheap imported oil , make our own oil consumption expensive . Blocking Alberta oil , will not stop consumption , if we just import more from other countries.

    2. stop manufacture of fossil fuel vehicles , airplanes . They are the true emitters of CO2
    No more support for Bombardier , or Ontario car makers , until they manufacture only electric vehicles

    It seems that this Leap manifesto , is targeting only Canadian Oil industry , where there are many other industries responsible for emissions

    • LEAP is a great first start. Avi touches all the bases. You have to have the right agenda in place before you break down some of the detail. I’m glad also to see the folks on the website who have come aboard.

    • Electric cars are nowhere near the efficiency of internal combustion engines. Until we build up the infrastructure which will take decades and a shift in consumer demand for said electric vehicles which will take a long time as well; It’s fair to say the ICE engine will be around for decades to come.

      • You are wrong about the efficiency of electric cars. They are three times as efficient as gasoline vehicles, and electric motors provide much greater acceleration while potentially regaining power when slowing down. Electric motors can get by without changing gears since they deliver good torque at all rotation speeds. The problem is that batteries are big, heavy, expensive and take a long time to charge, but there has been great progress on this in recent years, to the point that even electric aircraft are now in service. Fuel cells are another evolving route to efficient portable electricity. There is no doubt whatsoever that electric is the future of all transportation except for launching into orbit.

        • Where are these supposed ‘electric aircraft?’ And don’t get me started over the cost of replacing batteries in an electric vehicle.

    • You will still need oil products to produce your electric cars, windmills, fibreglass, Kevlar etc. On a lighter note: without petroleum products, M.E.C would have to close down.

      • That is exactly right! If I were Rachel, I would try to make Alberta the world magnet for research into, and production of, composites. Oil replaces iron ore.

  2. Avi summed up perfectly everything you need to know about the Leap Manifesto:
    “It’s not designed to be a budget. It wasn’t written by economist. But we know the money is there.”

    Funny. Because it makes budgetary claims and budgetary recommendations. And it makes authoritarian proclamations as though from the position of economic expertise. But the rigour and expertise of economists? Bah! Trust us. We just know the money’s there.

    Some (many NDPers themselves) have called this document naive. It’s not naive. Lewis and Klein are both intelligent, reasonably informed individuals. They know perfectly well what they are doing. This document is not naive. It’s disingenuous. Misleading. Reckless. Dishonest. My guess is they appease any guilt over their dishonesty by telling themselves it’s for a “greater good.” The planet. And then they construct a straw man of the threat to that greater good. But here they are no different from their ideological opposites on the right, both willfully misrepresent reality for what they deem the greater cause. In approach the wacky right and the wacky left are two sides of the same coin. Neither sides position is supported by evidence.

    Rants and ramblings.

    The unibomber’s manifesto was more rational.

    • Would you mind citing how the document is misleading, reckless, dishonest, and disingenuous? Have you studied the science of climate change? Are you aware of the number of refugees is has already created, and will exponentially create in the near future? Would you explain how the wacky right (based on a fundamental interpretation of cherry picked scriptures), and the “wacky left”, based on scientific evidence, much of which has been already validated by real life events?

  3. They put it on the Internet during an election and it took 10 days to get 20,000 signatures? Big deal.

    “Tone deaf” is right. I actually agree we need to stop planning for more oil and pipelines, but I can’t buy anything they say, mostly.

  4. Until any political party puts jobs and the economy first, no intelligent Canadian will be interested in reading anything that they have to say. The environment is certainly a top issue but they need to realize that people also need to feed their families. The NDP was better off a week ago.

    • There is plenty of proof that transitioning to renewable, clean energy will create more jobs and be better for the economy, and certainly better for our health, then putting jobs and the economy first. In fact, there are ex tar sands workers who are taking the initiative to start that transition. There are no jobs or an economy if the earth is flooded, scorched, fracked and poisoned. Check out the conditions in the north east part of BC. Or in Fort Chip. Talk to those people and see what price they are paying for your jobs and economy priorities.

      • ‘Proof’ is a strong word. Can you provide this proof?

        Colour me sceptical, but if this proof existed there would be no debate, even in Alberta.

      • I live in NE BC on a lake whose water I can drink, forests I can walk in and clear air that allows me to see the mountains. That said, I hate fracking and hope Site C never gets built. Out lake ice goes out earlier every years and the wild life is stressed because the bugs and ticks don’t die in the winter.

        However, banning petroleum products overnight would not help. We need compromise and caution as we move into change.

  5. Leap M goes far beyond just climate change. Wake up people and read it!!!

    • I have read it and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives art. on how to pay for it. Tax the rich a lot more and move to a post industrial state. I have not problem in reducing carbon emissions to zero as a goal but this document says how it is to be done. No nukes, all renewables ok but state the cost which is in the trillions. Unrestricted immigration. Its also fairly land stuff, more jobs, less hours greater pay. Though they forget that the standard of living will be much lower so it may be more pay there will probably be a 20 cent CAN $. So no petrodollar just a $ which is going down down down.
      The following will not pay the trillions just to convert all the generating capacity to renewables :

      Ending subsidies to the fossil fuel industry would recoup about $350 million a year for the federal government (and more if provincial governments do likewise).
      A national financial transaction tax could raise $5 billion a year.
      Ending special tax treatment for capital gains income would recoup $7.5 billion a year (and more for provincial governments).
      Returning the corporate tax rate to where it was in 2006 would raise $6 billion a year.
      Tackling tax havens would recoup $2 billion a year.
      A new federal upper-income tax bracket on incomes over $250,000 could raise about $3.5 billion a year.
      Scaling military spending back to pre-911 levels would save $1-$1.5 billion a year.
      Eliminating the recent income splitting and other family-with-children tax cuts would recoup $7 billion a year.
      And a national carbon tax of a mere $30/tonne (the same level as BC’s current carbon tax) would raise $16 billion a year.

      • Converting to renewables will cost trillions? Where does that figure come from? The cost of not doing it will be far greater. The Katrina mess hasn’t been cleaned up. The hurricane Sandy mess has not be cleaned up. When it affects you directly, will you be ready?

    • I have. It’s wishful thinking all the way down.

      Social spending costs money. Shutting down industry stops money. Saying both can be done requires an awful lot of hand waving.

      • Simplistic thinking on your part, I’m afraid. The money that goes into social programs goes directly back into the economy, not into tax havens or other hoarding practices of the filthy rich individuals and corporations. Transitioning to new, sustainable, clean industry will create jobs, and save us money in the long run. Especially if we follow initiatives like the plan put forward by CUPW, and the plans of groups like the unemployed tar sands workers. We can do this. And create jobs and a better economy, one that is not shrinking the middle class and shifting the wealth to a tiny minority who do not have your interest or mine at heart.

  6. What a load of utter nonsense. Proportional Representation , had we been unfortunate enough to have used it would have resulted in basically the following numbers Liberals 133 seats, Conservatives 108 seats
    NDP 74 seats, Greens 23 seats and others 1 seat, which is what is known as a hung parliament. I doubt very much if Canadians have the slightest interest in travelling coast to coast to coast by horse back. International travel by sailing ship ? I think not. No tractors or machinery to work the land. Sheer unadulterated baloney.

    • Check out the technology that has already been created to make the transition. Proportional representation with the mix that you kindly provided would make for better government that having a large majority in the hands of a single party. They have to compromise, negotiate, and attempt to come up with more fair and just solutions, taking into account the diverse interests in this country. It’s called having a democratic government. On a rare truth telling occasion, Harper called it a benign dictatorship. It would also cut down on the sniping and carping of the opposition parties. There were be a sense that all positions are being heard, and that more interests would be served in decision-making. There is power in diversity.

  7. Avi has a very short memory. Deepest crisis in memory? Offshore accounts and tax shelters have been in operation for decades. The crackdown by various governments on money movement has lead to an ever tightening net that leaves fewer and fewer places to hide.
    .
    FN crisis worst in memory? Is Avi trying to say that he prefers the residential schools model?
    .
    BLM? I guess he’s forgotten race riots of the 60’s, the back of the bus, whites only and strange fruit.
    .
    A very short memory indeed. Or, as has been mentioned, disingenuous (or perhaps dishonest). But hey, ya gotta play to the base …. right?

    • Yes, tax havens have been around for a long time, but the income equality in Canada has grown faster than in any other industrialized country in the past decade.
      And, if I had the room, I’d make the case about the crisis in First Nations – a perfect storm of broken treaties, environmental devastation, collateral damage from residential schools, a decade of more neglect than usual, etc. Too long and complicated to get into here but every Canadian has a responsibilty to learn the real history and consequences of that history.

      And the base is people of all political stripes who understand the crisis we are facing.

      • I agree Sandra, income equality in Canada is at an all time high. We’ve done quite well.
        .
        That doesn’t mean we can’t do better, but to call this the “Deepest Crisis in Memory” is blatantly false and misleading.
        .
        Racism against the first tribes is less than it has ever been. We’ve made huge leaps (see what I did?) in making our society more fair for all citizens of this country. As recently as the 50’s natives were not allowed to hire lawyers (read in another comment today).
        .
        Again, we can continue to make our country better. But compared to what some call the cultural genocide of residential schools (which finally closed in the 1990;s), we most certainly are not experiencing the “Deepest Crisis in Memory”.
        .
        Unless of course you have a very poor memory. Or are simply dishonest. The base apparently has not ability to put our current situation in context. Those who forget history …

  8. While I appreciate the idea behind Leap, I wonder if those who wrote it actually realize where the majority of parts for vehicles (electric or otherwise), wind machines, solar panels actually get their start – as petroleum!!

    Oil isn’t just for gasoline – it’s also for manufacturing. Without pipelines moving the oil from source to manufacturer, we’re going to be stuck.

    This sort of thing (Leap, etc) can’t be an all or nothing proposition like I’m hearing from so many voices on both sides of the debate. Obviously we won’t go back into the 1800’s – give your head a shake. And just as obviously, we won’t end up living in a utopian paradise. It will take a balanced approach to attain a reduction in climate change as well as keep our economy running. It won’t happen overnight but it needs to happen because we haven’t discovered another planet for us to go to (and ruin in 300 years) once this one runs out of resources.

  9. Wind and Solar are not reducing C02. Ontario’s own Engineering Society is telling us this. See the report, “Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – Achieving Low Emissions at Reasonable Electricity Rates.” Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), April 2015.
    http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ospe.on.ca/resource/resmgr/DOC_advocacy/2015_Presentation_Elec_Dilem.pdf

    Page 15 of 23. “Why Will Emissions Double as We Add Wind and Solar Plants ?”

    – Wind and Solar require flexible backup generation.

    – Nuclear is too inflexible to backup renewables without expensive engineering changes to the reactors.

    – Flexible electric storage is too expensive at the moment.

    – Consequently natural gas provides the backup for wind and solar in North America.

    – When you add wind and solar you are actually forced to reduce nuclear genera,on to make room for more natural gas generation to provide flexible backup.

    – Ontario currently produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh.

    – Wind and solar with natural gas backup produces electricity at about 200 grams of CO 2 emissions/kWh. Therefore adding wind and solar to Ontario’s grid drives CO2 emissions higher. From 2016 to 2032 as Ontario phases out nuclear capacity to make room for wind and solar, CO2 emissions will double (2013 LTEP data).

    – In Ontario, with limited economic hydro and expensive storage, it is mathematically impossible to achieve low CO2 emissions at reasonable electricity prices without nuclear generation.

  10. Lewis says:
    “I think what we’re seeing is more a reflection of Alberta politics than a schism on the left. Their gusto in attacking the manifesto suggests that it’s practical for them to do so at this moment. But there might be a danger in carrying it too far.”

    Lewis seems to be suggesting that the Alberta NDP is merely putting on a show of attacking the LM, and, that they’re possibly even sympathetic to it. I’d like to hear Notley’s response to that.

    • Don’t hold your breath waiting. Having tasted power for 11 months, Notley is understandably loathe to toss it away so quickly. It is beyond contention that, were she not Premier, Notley would be fully supportive of every last jog and tittle in the Leap Manifesto. That she is distancing herself and her government from it means she is prepared to abandon her core beliefs to cling to power. Can’t say I blame her – Trudeau is the poster child for the principle that elections are no longer fought on the basis of core beliefs and possessing such beliefs may, in fact, be a detriment.

      • As a long time NDP member, I find it a bit of a stretch to describe rejecting the Leap manifesto as “abandoning core beliefs” . The LM is not a core belief for the NDP – it is a new, untried belief

  11. I’m a member of the Green Party of Canada. I spent the weekend watching the NDP convention. I now see the NDP as the party in the forefront of where we want to go with climate & social change. And that’s because it has agreed to embrace discussion of LEAP – risky, brave, much needed. Thank you!! I want you to know I will support this, even though you’re not my party at this time. This is my interpretation of Avi Lewis’ ‘non-partisan’ comment.

    I’m just off a successful foray into Suzuki’s Blue Dot initiative. I see LEAP as the next step toward our education about the crises we’re facing and the actions we need to take.

    Political parties have collaborated in the past. This time it’s not just parties that share a common goal. There’s LEAP, IdleNoMore, EcoJustice, Council of Canadians, Unions (LEAP’s list and then some). All have been working toward the same goal for years if not decades.

    How to bring us all together – parties and non-parties?

    If we did that, how difficult would it be to negotiate a stellar blueprint for a way forward?

    Is this part of the plan? I hope so.

    The NDP has just placed itself as a new leader in this challenge. Others are talking about division in the party. All I can see is strength.

    • If these kids want to promote the Leap manifesto then they should be honest about it, ditch the NDP and join the Green party

  12. The Leap manifesto is political suicide. It will be a tough go destroying industry and much needed tax dollars whilst spending it on subsidies on green energy and massive expansion of the welfare state. The NDP is dead.

    • We have been subsidizing the fossil fuel industry in the billions for years. Shift that money to renewable and create more jobs, a more diverse economy, and a cleaner, healthier planet.

      • Since when have we been subsidizing the oil industry? People like you trot this nonsense out with no basis in fact.

    • You are correct about the tax dollar approach but perhaps we should think about new government-created money for it. Money is the only man-made thing that is infinite. Yes it needs to be managed to prevent inflation but wouldn’t it be a shame for the human race to die out because it couldn’t afford to save itself?

  13. Avi Lewis’ and Naomi Klein’s Leap Manifesto is the creation of a socialist ideology that is frighteningly similar in its radical tone to insane mind of the infamous Reverend Jim Jones who conceived and led the 1977 Jonestown, Guyana mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced grape-flavored Cool Aid

    • I am truly excited about the Leap Manifesto – within just under 40 years we will all have great paying jobs, shorter work weeks, more time with family, electric cars, study social work and be able to travel across the country on high speed rail. Just imagine the excitement of travelling from Edmonton to Garden River on a high speed train. The really beauty of this is that the funding will come from the greedy corporations, the capitalist system,those who depend on carbon and the rich, well they won’t be rich any longer. We will all be in that magical 1%. The 1% will be the new 99% . We will all be like David Suzuki with multiple residences and all female security personnel. There is a biblical feel to all this, Moses was able to lead his people out of the wilderness and into the promised land in 40 years, the Leap Manifesto will do the same. Moses also travelled throughout the Middle East and ended up in a place that had no oil – You see Lewis and Klein were not the first to see a bright future without oil. I was also excited to read that the Leap Manifesto was written by representatives of a large number of interested and committed groups. Sort of what happened in the construction of the Tower of Babel and I am sure with the same result. It is said that God so loved the world that he didn’t send a committee. Oh well maybe he will be proven to have been wrong. My only disappointment will be that due to my declining years I will not be around long enough to reside in this bright new future – I am also reminded of Moses who told his people that he would not be able to join them in the promised land. Isn’t it truly great to be able to live in such a marvelous world and have some else pay for it. Just love “tax the rich, taxes on carbon and extraction of natural resources” Isn’t that great or what?

  14. Did Avi and Naomi walk or bike to Edmonton? Buying carbon offsets when you fly is the true weasel response for urban socialists.

  15. The Lewis/Klein clan do not want Notley elected again. They have decided that Alberta does not deserve to have an NDP government. They would like to go back to the days of that other Klein and the “dinosaur farts” so that they can laugh at Alberta again.

  16. I have been convinced. Over the last few decades a suspicion has steadily increased the Lewis family are really subterenean trolls for the Liberal Party of Canada/Ontario/Quebec.

    The situation outlined in this Macleans Article has confirmed it. If the N.D.P. ever do become the replacement for the “natural ruling – we are entitled to our entitlements” Librano Crony cartel, then the access through the Laurentien Elite cartel to tax-payer funding will cease.

    Why would there be a need for another whining group to be fed when the Liberals are permanently placed in the Third position, as occurred in the early 1900’s in the United Kingdom. The Laurentien Elite Culture will have sufficient supplicants within the N.D.P. ranks of actual people willing to take political risks.

  17. The Leap Manifesto is a great projects to bring change. But let us not forget that the way prices are being gouged for Electric cars, natural food products, etc.. are obviously of some concern for the poor and the middle class who cannot afford these luxuries and pretend that it is some kind of a leap from the real conditions they live in. These ecological products are great for yuppies, dilettantes, bourgeois bohemians (BOBOS) and the wealthy professionals but not for the middle class and poor whose salaries and pensions are being stifled by big business and government. The Leap Manifesto must also serve to better the living and working conditions of the poor and middle class and obviously the environment, education, health and social services to help all people live on equal standing. Worker-members in the NDP are suspicious of measures that end up benefiting the wealthy professionals, yuppies, dilettantes and BOBOs that never see the real problem from their tinted glasses and ideology. Julian Benda said : “We can serve privilege and power or we can serve justice and truth. And those of us who commit to serving justice and truth, the more we make concessions to those who serve privilege and power, the more we dilute the possibilities of justice and truth.” The Leap Manifesto must serve justice and truth to work. Hence the discussions that need to happen within NDP rank and file.

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