NDP Revival in Newfoundland and Labrador?

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robbie_dee

*Bump*

Newfoundlander_...

Ken Burch wrote:

Newfoundlander_Labradorian wrote:

I would argue that those caucus members represented a significant portion of the party. And would calamity have occurred had Lorraine Michael stepped aside when her entire caucus asked her too? 

(on edit) Misread the question.  To clarify.  OK...here's the calamity which would have happened: the election of a new NDP leader who would have been well to Lorraine Michael's right-an outcome which would, in itself, have made it impossible to argue that anyone at all should have voted NDP in the subsuquent election.  Why wasn't it enough for her to offer a vote on her continued leadership?  Why was standing down the ONLY acceptable choice as you see it?  And what possible justification could there have been for leaking the letter?  It's not as though THAT could lead to any positive outcome and it goes without saying that, if she had just stood down, no leader elected after it became clear that she'd been forced out by caucus could ever have unified the party or offered any program worth voting for.  You can't elect left-of-centre governments after that kind of treachery occurs.                                                                                                Given how badly things went in election after Michael was stabbed in the back, how could anything other than calamity have occurred if she'd stepped down earlier?   BTW, there's been no recent record of success for any provincial NDP anywhere that has obsessed with winning over "the center", i.e., the socially progressive, fiscally conservative voter who, as it turns out, doesn't really exist anywhere.  

I hope that whoever does lead the NDP there gets it together, and I'm sorry if I've sounded blunt, nothing personal-it just frustrates me to see the damage done by the caucus implosion, and I hope you can at least accept that there was no excuse to leak the caucus letter demanding Michael's resignation to the press, that that should have been a strictly internal matter.

I agree the letter should have been an internal matter. I still believe Lorraine Michael caused many the issues that the NDP faced though and wouldn’t be surprised if she was the one who leaked the letter. 

 

As for what’s going on with the party 4 years later, it appears that Alison Coffin May have been acclaimed leader today. No word yet from the party.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I hope she's got something good to offer, and will finally address the organizational issues.

Newfoundlander_...

With an election likely weeks away Coffin will not have much time to get organized. When she ran last year she said she would get candidates in place by January of this year. As of now, they have no candidates in place and only one incumbent saying she will seek re-election. Coffin may also need to focus on getting elected in her own seat, rather than trying to mount a provincial campaign. While a bit of a controversial candidate, the PCs have nominated former city councillor Jonathan Galgay in St. John's Centre. Coffin has indicated this is likely where she would run, and it's the seat Gerry Rogers currently holds. Galgay was defeated by an NDP-supported candidate in his re-election bid for council so it's not likely he's an overly strong candidate, but he does bring name recognition with him. 

Coffin should probably be focusing her attention on getting elected and then a 4 year strategy to grow the party for 2023. 

robbie_dee

Sheilagh O'Leary challenging Lorraine Michael for NDP nomination (CBC News)

Quote:

The deputy mayor of St. John's is looking to make the leap to provincial politics, and she plans on challenging longtime NDP MHA Lorraine Michael for the party's nomination in St. John's East—Quidi Vidi. 

Sheilagh O'Leary announced Monday that she will run against Michael, who has held the  seat in the House of Assembly since 2006. 

"Just the status quo is not good enough," said O'Leary in an interview with the St. John's Morning Show.

"I certainly have nothing but the highest regard for Lorraine Michael and certainly the work that she's done for the party, but I think it's time for change."

The party faces an uncertain future following leader and St. John's Centre MHA Gerry Rogers's decision to step down after a new leader is chosen.

Thus far, only Alison Coffin has announced her intentions to run for leadership. 

The party is expected to make an announcement on the leadership on Tuesday morning.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

So...it's not enough to force Lorraine Michael out of the leadership...now it's time to force her out of the House of Assembly?  And it's worth putting at risk what might be the ONLY seat the NNDP holds onto in this election?

Newfoundlander_...

Looks like the other wing of the party is really try to make their move. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Newfoundlander_Labradorian wrote:

Looks like the other wing of the party is really try to make their move. 

So how would you characterize "the other wing" here?  I don't know much about the person challenging Michael.

robbie_dee

I'd be interested in an answer to Ken's question above because I really don't know any of the personalities involved here either. I am just following from afar. FYI though Alison Coffin has now been confirmed as the new NLNDP leader by acclamation.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Hope she can figure it out, and that she realizes there's nothing to gain by leading the NNDP as a Romanow type.

Newfoundlander_...

I’m not overly familiar with the inner workings of the NDP, but many see there as being two wings. Lorraine Michael and Gerry Rogers come from the wing that I would consider to be more activist. It’s made up of people who’ve been around forever, they don’t necessarily care about gaining power but want to push their views without any compromise. This wing is made up of people primarily from St. John’s, and they’ve done little to try and organize outside the capital.  

When it comes to Alison Coffin and Sheilagh O’Leary I would say they come a wing that wants the party to be a bit more serious on how they approach issues. There’s probably not much policy differences per say but a difference in how they approach issues and what they want to focus on. So Alison Coffin is an economist, her views on economics don’t seem to be more to the relight but she knows the topic in-depth and is aware the party has lacked a really coherent message when it comes to economics. The economy and finances are a huge issue for NL voters but the NDP have never really spoken much about it. This has led to the average voter feeling that the NDP wouldn’t be able to manage the province’s finances or grow the economy. This wing also seeems more focused on trying to get organized. As I’ve probably said before, even when the party was high in the polls they never seemed to bother getting a ground game. At one point several years ago they were polling in first or second place and only had something like 9 district associations out of 48. Even in recent by-elections they’ve been late to the game in getting organized. 

Anyways I’ll touch on more of this later as it’s tome for work.  

robbie_dee

NDP MHA Lorraine Michael steps aside, leader Alison Coffin to run in St. John's East-Quidi Vidi (CBC News)

Quote:

Newfoundland and Labrador New Democratic Party leader Alison Coffin announced Thursday that she will run in the St. John's East-Quidi Vidi district, with NDP MHA Lorraine Michael stepping aside.

There will be no incumbent NDP MHAs in the next provincial election.

Michael told reporters it's important for the party's leader to have a seat in the House of Assembly and that the decision has nothing to do with her health. She said she is energetic and plans to campaign door-to-door with Coffin. 

The announcement comes after St. John's Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O'Leary announced in early March that she plans on challenging for the nomination in the district.

When contacted by CBC News shortly after the announcement, O'Leary said she had no comment.

Newfoundlander_...

Sheilagh O’Leary announced minutes ago that not only will she not run against Coffin for the nomination but she won’t run for the party at all in the election. 

robbie_dee

Wow this seems like a lot of drama for one measly seat in a 40 seat legislative assembly.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Newfoundlander_Labradorian wrote:

Sheilagh O’Leary announced minutes ago that not only will she not run against Coffin for the nomination but she won’t run for the party at all in the election. 

Which strongly suggests that the only reason she ever said she would challenge Lorraine Michael was to force Michael out of the race.

robbie_dee

Election Year Moves Not a Good Look on NDP, Says MUN Political Scientist (VOCM)

Quote:

A political scientist at Memorial University admits she doesn’t know what’s going on within the provincial NDP, “but they need to figure it out.”

Amanda Bittner didn’t pull any punches in her reaction to the NDP’s latest political maneouver. She tweeted out her thoughts immediately following yesterday’s announcement by Lorraine Michael and Alison Coffin.

"Whatever is going on in this party right now...y'all need to get your shit sorted out. I'm not big on giving 'advice' to parties. But as a citizen who follows politics *pretty* closely, and as an expert on elections, this doesn't look good."

Michael, who’s held the seat for St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi for the last 13 years announced that she will not be seeking re-election to allow new leader Alison Coffin to run. That’s despite the fact that St. John’s Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary had previously announced that she intends to run in the same district.

The seat in St. John’s Centre is open after former leader Gerry Rogers announced she was stepping down less than a year after winning the leadership over Alison Coffin.

Bittner says none of it looks good, especially in an election year.

She says heading into an election all parties need to have someone in place with enough time to give voters a chance to decide whether or not they want to vote for that candidate. She indicates when things look mysterious to outsiders and imply party infighting and disarray, they look very bad. She doesn’t know what’s going on within the party at this time, but “they need to figure it out.”

Newfoundlander_...

Things seemed bad for the party when Rogers made her sudden announcement that she was calling it quits, but when it became clear that Coffin would takeover uncontested it seemed as though the party was ready to move on from some of the drama that had been going on behind the scenes and focus on the upcoming election. However, this whole Sheilagh O'Leary fiasco seems to have caused a lot of issues for the party with people from within taking different sides. Jenny Wright who heads up the St. John's Status of Women Council, and who sought a federal NDP nomination in 2015, has been critical of how Coffin and the party handled the situation. On Twitter she said that what happened sends a clear message that people, particularly women and minorities, wouldn't be consulted or supported when seeking a nomination. Her view is that O'Leary was left in the dark as to what was going on with the nominations and that now instead of havin g Coffin, Michael and O'Leary on the ballot they'll have just Coffin. 

Another thing I've seen brought up by people is that the party has made it pretty clear that if they don't run their leader in St. John's East Quidi-Vidi then they face the prospect of having no leader in the House of Assembly. Not a great image to portray when you're trying to recruit 39 other candidates. 

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