Canada Jonathan Kay: B.C. NDP succumbs to the leftist battle over identity politics

18:32  22 september  2020
18:32  22 september  2020 Source:   nationalpost.com

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In small groups across leftist organizations people are starting to stand up to identity politics . This destructive divisive phenomenon is ruining the

Nathan Cullen wearing a suit and tie holding a laptop © Provided by National Post Nathan Cullen

During this year of protest — which has included both Indigenous blockades and Black Lives Matters marches — most progressive Canadian politicians have walked a fine line when it came to overtly race-based academic doctrines such as intersectionality and critical race theory. On one hand, they’ve acceded to activist claims that Canada is contaminated by institutional racism, or even white supremacy. But in their broad rhetoric, they still echo the classically liberal spirit of colour-blind pluralism that’s widely embraced by ordinary Canadians.

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“ Identity politics ” is a very vague phrase, but it generally refers to the discussion of and politicking around issues pertaining to one’s, well, identity . The bigger battle isn’t about restricting speech on college campuses, but who exactly is accepted in America. People don’t want to get left behind.

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In coming years, the growing strains between these two mutually incompatible understandings of our society will likely dominate progressive politics in Canada. And a political battle within British Columbia’s provincial NDP in recent days may provide a microcosm of what to expect.

The conflict centres on the NDP nomination for Stikine, a riding in northwestern B.C. now represented by 63-year-old Doug Donaldson, who’s announced his retirement. On Sept. 17, former NDP MP (and one-time federal leadership aspirant) Nathan Cullen announced his intention to run for Donaldson’s seat.

The next day, the star candidate was joined by Annita McPhee, former president of the Tahltan First Nations government, whose lands comprise part of the Stikine riding. But McPhee didn’t just jump in: she also called on Cullen to jump out . According to a motion adopted in 2011, older male NDP MLAs who retire must be replaced with either a woman or a member of an “equity-seeking” group. Cullen, a white guy born and raised in Toronto, doesn’t qualify.

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The " politics of division" which progressive politicians fret over have always prevailed. We threw down our weapons a half century ago when we changed our immigration selection criteria to the detriment of European applicants and subsequently replaced biculturalism with multiculturalism.

Jay Fayza of TheRebel.media explains why the Marxist roots of identity politics make them toxic, no matter which side is doing it.

In the days since, the plot thickened, with the party president releasing a vague statement indicating that “in certain instances, despite extensive candidate searches, our regulations permit allowances for other candidates to be considered.” It also turned out that the definition of “equity-seeking” is quite broad. In the last election, one married male NDP candidate, who’d always presented as straight, abruptly claimed he was bisexual. Another white male candidate got nominated after saying he had a hearing impairment.

I hadn’t heard of the B.C. NDP’s equity-seeking policy until this week. But its existence shouldn’t surprise me. The whole thrust of modern identity politics is to rank the acuteness of human oppression — and, by corollary, the urgency of the associated political demands — on the basis of race, sex and other personal traits. It makes sense that this principle should now be institutionalized, and weaponized, by politicians competing for status and power in a left-wing party that explicitly claims to represent the oppressed. Not so long ago, oppression was defined in NDP circles according to a Marxist understanding of labour and capital — which is why unions had such a prominent role in the party. But those days are long gone. Just last month, in fact, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh used his Twitter account to promote officially debunked conspiracy theories suggesting that a Black Toronto woman was murdered in May by a half dozen (unionized) Toronto police officers.

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Did you know that the Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, founded the KKK, and fought against every major civil rights act in U.S

On Monday night, the B.C. NDP put out its official candidate list, and Cullen’s name, not McPhee’s, was listed as the official candidate for Stikine. The party president put out an accompanying statement claiming that the NDP had gone out and interviewed more than a dozen potential equity candidates for the riding, to no avail. McPhee’s application came in late, he added, and with faulty signatures. (In an apparently co-ordinated announcement, the Siskine riding association put out the word that McPhee was in their bad books for comments she’d made in 2019.) So, quel dommage, the party would have to give the nomination to brand-name NDP superstar, and white dude, Nathan Cullen.

I have a feeling that we haven’t heard the last of McPhee, or the details of how all of this was resolved. But I’m guessing Cullen would be delighted to put all of this behind him. In 2019, when he was still an MP, his party endorsed the claim that Canada was engaged in an ongoing “genocide” against Indigenous women — women just like McPhee. And so, the NDP’s faulty-signature rationale conveniently allowed him to avoid telling this genocide survivor ( literally , if the NDP is to be believed) to shuffle along because he’s got a doctor’s note for flat feet or psoriasis. Such are the bizarre vignettes that will increasingly unfold within leftist parties as the reality of power politics come up against the identity-based dogmas informing younger cadres.

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This is an interesting time for politics in Canada. On one hand, progressives have an enormous advantage when it comes to media coverage (especially the predictably hysterical CBC scaremongering on social issues). On the other hand, progressive politicians now find themselves pushed into extreme and unpopular positions by ideologues within their own ranks: Canada is a genocide state; the police are all thugs in uniform; everyone’s a racist, even if they don’t admit it (especially if they don’t admit it); masculinity and white skin are toxic; a person’s intersectional worth can be tabulated by reference to ancestry and pronouns. In this kind of ideological environment, even the most blandly stated common-sense sentiment is often welcomed by the public as a breath of fresh air. After vandals in Montreal tore down a statue of John A. Macdonald in August, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole tweeted that “Canada is a great county, and one we should be proud of. We will not build a better future by defacing our past.” It got 14,000 retweets.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, said little on the statue issue lest he be seen as coming down on the wrong side of Black Lives Matter. Or decolonization. Or social justice. Or whatever progressive Canadian Twitter happened to be wailing about that day. Like Cullen was over the weekend, the prime minister is engaged in an excruciating balancing act. At a time when his most doctrinaire supporters are obsessed with intersectional theories of privilege, he is arguably the most privileged straight white male in the country — a son of wealth and power who lectures everyone on tolerance but can’t remember how many times he wore blackface. And if O’Toole wins the next election, it will be because he’s exposed this hypocrisy — while reminding Canadians that the most important job of a prime minister is to help Canadians overcome their differences, not fetishize them.

National Post

For the NDP, being the Liberals' 'junior partner' may come at a cost .
The NDP did not do well in the last federal election — but it did get lucky. The NDP lost 15 seats in last year's vote and was knocked down to fourth-party status in the House of Commons. With just 24 MPs remaining, the party was reduced to its lowest share of the House since Jack Layton's first election in 2004. But although it stumbled into the race in a perilously weakened position, Jagmeet Singh's NDP was not wiped out. Instead, the New Democrats fell backwards into a chance at relevance — because Justin Trudeau's Liberals also lost seats.

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