Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When The NDP Wants To Do Something, Anything

...they write-up up a whack of by-laws and form a commission, because more bureaucracy is always the answer.

Actually, another great piece by Dennis Gruending on the federal New Democrats attempt to reach out to faith-based groups and religiously motivated individuals through its recently created Faith and Social Justice Commission. Mr. Gruending deserves more readers, although I think sometimes his material is too calm and meticulously reasoned for the blogosphere. I'd suggest he throw in the occasional "boobies" gag, but I get the impression that just isn't where his head is at.

In any case, from the article:

[NDP MP] Comartin says that he has seen a change occurring among faith-based groups in the past four or five years. “We are witnessing a shift from the primary focus of these groups being right wing and based upon what they call family values back to a more left of centre position. These people are increasingly concerned about peace, poverty and the environment and they are coming at it from a more progressive perspective.”

Ducasse and Comartin agree that Barrack Obama’s effective outreach to faith-based groups during his presidential campaign in 2008 was an important development. Comartin says, “Faith groups in the U.S. became active on behalf of the Democrats in the way that they had been for the Republicans in earlier times. This arose from pastors and others seeing the problems that people in their congregations and their communities were facing, and they became involved in politics because of their faith and their desire to create change. Political leaders are recognizing this.”

Interesting that, down in the States, both Republicans and Dems. are fighting over the "less religious" vote.


leftdog said...

"Actually, another great piece by Dennis Gruending on the federal New Democrats attempt to reach out to faith-based groups"

If you like the Gruending piece ... why the negative headline to your post???

bigcitylib said...

Because I also think its a typical means of the NDP proceeding. Very process, not much product. Note that the commission has barely met.

leftdog said...

"FOOLS RUSH IN .. where Angels fear to tread!"

KC said...

Blech... More religion in politics.

Anonymous said...

It's the Social Justice part that is attractive. And certainly much better than Mr. McKay who Iggy has dispatched to reach out to the religious (Evangelical) vote.Ignatieff wants to make sure church-going Christian voters feel at home in the Liberal Party. He has his work cut out for him , McKay's voting record on same-sex marriage (he voted against) and his pro-life stance won’t make him many friends in some parts of the Liberal Party.

Unknown said...

The Commission is all product, BCL!

For the record the Commission meets quite frequently - usually once a month or more - and engages in extensive outreach with a wide array of multi-denominational Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and Sikh communities.

Its overarching purpose, as Joe alludes in the article, is to wrestle issues of faith back from the right and aggressivley make the case that social justice, poverty, and environmental sustainability can and should be just as - perhaps more - important to people of faith than dogmatic opposition to civil rights for gay and lesbian people or the reproductive rights of women.

I agree that DG's work is almost always excellent.

As for the transparently partisan, largely unecessary knock on the NDP - typical Liberal means of proceeding to paraphrase you - I just watched a whole bunch of Commissions meet at the Seinfeld Convention in Vancouver. They covered almost exactly` the same issue areas... women, aboriginals, envrionment et al.

Not really a unique characteristic of Canada's social democratic movement, but just kinda... how parties organize themselves and galvanize opinion around particular issues.

You seem to support the concept but then trash it instinctively... we've got to much of that in our politics, even if we're all guilty of it to some extent.

That's why I stopped reading partisan blogs, including those of my own party: they're too often predictable and lame. Occasionally I relapse, evidently.

Anyway, thanks for providing the forum and best wishes!