I see no compelling evidence that NDP extracted CERB, "paid sick days" from unwilling, inflexible Liberal govt - esp. when NDP aligned with CFIB for wage subsidies. Given their 2008 coalition & Notley/Horgan/Trudeau love triangle, I'd wager there's a top-level Lib-NDP agreement.
The Liberals have always shown incredible flexibility in making populist left pivots. Recent examples include Trudeau's performance in 2015 which @Martin_Lukacs documented so well in his book the Trudeau Formula. Freeland, author of Plutocrats, is well-versed in this, too.
After Liberals made the greatest health & social cuts in Cdn history in 1995, Chretien/Martin won in 1997 on modest social reinvestment (which panned out during the Clinton Boom). They even got Romanow (Judas of Sask socialism) to mollify popular anger over their own health cuts.
The examples are endless. The entire history of the 20th and 21st century Liberals is the ability to outflank, absorb and reappropriate serious oppositional challenges from the left - a lesson they learned well watching the fate of the mighty British Liberal Party.
All this is to say is I think we can dismiss the idea that the NDP tail has wagged the Liberal dog during the pandemic. The Liberals were not on the precipice of allowing a collapse in living standards (and the massively-inflated housing market) which necessitated the NDP.
In fact, the NDP's proposals of CERB, paid sick days, CEWS have met no handwringing or dispute from the Liberals, and have instead stabilized the Liberals. The pattern looks more like NDP-sponsored trial balloons than a "left" party pushing around resistant Liberals.
CERB: When the crisis hit, the NDP completely abandoned traditional demands for EI reform - dropping hourly qualifications & other penalties - in favour of temporary income supports ending in October. A lifeline for the Liberal govt with no push for longer-term EI reforms. Hmm.
Paid Sick Days: In March, provinces & feds reject PSDs, incl BC NDP. In late May, Singh announces deal with Trudeau to explore fed EI program. In same discussions, Horgan presses for PSDs via EI program - while refusing to pass a BC PSD law. In Aug, Trudeau intro's PSD via EI.
CEWS: In March, NDP, Unifor, UFCW, Steel collab with anti-union CFIB to demand wage subsidies. Within days, Liberals agree to program. Firm size qualifications are dropped before April implementation. By July, revenue decline qualifications dropped, CEWS extended to Dec.
In each case, the NDP pressed these policies in a manner that circumvented longer-term changes (EI liberalization, avoiding BC PSD law) or directly served business interests (CEWS, uploading PSD costs from provincial business to EI premiums).
There's no evidence here the Liberals resisted NDP proposals. The NDP openly collab'd with Libs for CERB and PSD, and with CFIB for CEWS. In each case, the NDP is pushing on an open door. But the pattern suggests an ongoing collaboration - or the NDP are just really useful idiots
Either way, the results are the same. The NDP is functioning as a junior partner to the Liberals, floating trial balloons and providing "progressive" cover to an inherently corrupt corporate party seeking to navigate a world-historic crisis and stave off a revanchist threat.
It's a recipe for defeat and disaster, not just for an independent socialist and labour politics that seeks power through the morass of the neoliberalized NDP, but the very prospect of a democratic future where hopes are pinned on a corporate liberal bulwark against fascism.

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More from @StandingTheGaff

13 Sep
The scale of CERB - 8.5 million recipients - and its speed of implementation has changed the debate about Basic Income and/vs EI. The Liberal-NDP bloc, backed up by sections of labour, have embraced BI as a technocratic renovation aimed at reforging a broad popular base.
Critiques of BI as a neoliberal trojan horse are powerful, especially when/if essential expenses are subordinated to fully marketized prices. But with BI now on the horizon with the NDP and labour as partners, such critiques are useless with no oppositional powerbase or strategy.
Apologies - this thread was cut short due to a bad connection. Continues below.
Read 8 tweets
30 Jul
I'm always bewildered with Dippers who defend the Social Contract in Ontario. There was never a technocratic solution to the crisis. The only victory would have been political: an orderly, united retreat and repositioning for the next battle.
Instead of fighting the next battle on these terms, and recognize that electoral defeat was likely, they unleashed an austerity assault on public sector workers, which kicked off a fratricidal civil war that destroyed the strike movement against Harris, and still festers today.
But simply focusing on the Social Contract is to ignore how the policy and legislation fit into an escalating series of substantial, alienating betrayals of the NDP's various organized political bases. Doing so allows us to think further about the Social Contract.
Read 13 tweets
29 Jul
"André Ouellet, Canada's [Liberal] foreign affairs minister, threw human rights out of the whole issue of trade," He [Craig Kielburger] told the delegates indignantly. "He said that Canada isn't the world's Boy Scout." (Laughter. Meaningful pause).

Toronto Star, Nov 26 1995
"Well, I'm a Boy Scout-" (Prolonged surge of laughter and applause). "And this just means that we children will have to work all the harder to end exploitation of Third World Children."
Craig Kielburger got his big start at the 1995 Ontario Federation of Labour convention - the same convention where delegates delivered a mandate to launch a province-wide general strike against Ontario Premier Mike Harris's "Common Sense Revolution" agenda.
Read 13 tweets
19 Mar
Here is a short essay on how Employment Insurance was gutted in the 1990s, with special discussion on how it impacted Social Assistance and welfare-bashing in Ontario at the same time.
In the 1990s, Canada's federal Unemployment Insurance program went from being a foundation of the welfare state to becoming a weapon against workersunion power and a tool to create the "flexible" labour markets required to compete globally at the End of History.
In 1990, Mulroney cancelled federal government contributions to UI, leaving employers and workers to finance it alone. In 1993, workers were banned from collecting UI after quitting their job, even though this practice had stiff penalties in wage replacements and weeks eligible.
Read 11 tweets

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