Remember the Leap Manifesto? That was the wild-eyed ultra-greenist, anti-capitalist dogma-sheet that Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein dragged out to the New Democratic Party convention recently. It received a blistering reception from the only NDP premier in Canada, Rachel Notley, and was excoriated by labour leaders in Alberta – where its fanatic zealousness threatened the peace and point of the convention itself.
It is the finest specimen of the Greenist philosophy yet put to hard drive or paper. Kill oil. Kill all fossil fuels. No pipelines. No refineries. Cripple the economy. Deny the poorer nations. If not in your backyard, it should go in no backyard.
No doubt it was meant to be radical. But only if radical now means a cascade of unexamined and baseless assertions, a manifest distaste for reality, a raw pulse of dogmatic certitude, and a set of prescriptions that would obliterate a modern economy, push hundreds of thousands out of work, and bring the industrial age back to the days of horse cart and covered wagons for transportation.
The manifesto played its part in the non-confidence vote that hit NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. Had he brazenly called its silliness out, many would have seen it as a token of his courage and good sense, taken it as a sign that even post-election and up for review he was not going to stand for the green dictates of dilettantes and globe-trotters when it comes to made-in-Canada NDP policies.
But he temporized, leaving the Leapers (to put it mildly) unimpressed, and those delegates retaining some contact with reality seriously questioning his judgment.
Many thought the manifesto was a real milestone, a marker for just how far cause-politics could distance itself from how things really are, and how out of touch with workers, families, and those with day to day concerns the millenarians of the global warming crusade can be. Alas, that was a vain expectation. The green mind acknowledges no boundaries.
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