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. 

Newfoundlander_...

Big news today as restauranteaur Todd Perrin announced he plans to seek the PC nomination in St. John’s East Quidi Vidi and challenge Alison Coffin for the seat. While Coffin should still be considered the front runner here I imagine she’ll have to focus more on winning this seat. 

Newfoundlander_...

Todd Perrin has now backtracked and announced he will not be running for the PC nomination, this after the PCs opened nominations in the district.  Very good news for Alison Coffin as she would have been up for a nice fight to retain the seat. 

jerrym

Newfoundlander_Labradorian wrote:

Todd Perrin has now backtracked and announced he will not be running for the PC nomination, this after the PCs opened nominations in the district.  Very good news for Alison Coffin as she would have been up for a nice fight to retain the seat. 

Good news and thanks for all the updates. Keep them coming. They're appreciated. 

jerrym

dp

Newfoundlander_...

Former NDP MHA George Murphy has announced he seeking the Liberal nomination in St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi. 

He represented the former district of St. John’s East between 2011 and 2015. When the districts were re-drawn before the 2015 election Lorraine Michael announced she was running in St. John’s East-Quidi Quidi. This basically left Murphy without a seat and he called it quits. He previously ran for the Liberals before joining in the NDP and running for them for the first time in a 2010 by-election. There are some out there who are very big fans of Murphy’s and feel he could win election in many districts. It’ll be interesting to see if he can take out new NDP leader Allison Coffin. 

Newfoundlander_...

Another blow for the NDP. Nicole Kieley, who ran in the Mount Pearl North by-election in 2017, has announced she’s running again in the district but this time as a Liberal. At a time when the NDP were struggling in the polls Kieley gave the party their best performance ever in the district  

 

Newfoundlander_...

Looks like the election could be called this coming week. The government will announce the budget on Tuesday and its expected the election could be called on Wednesday or Thursday. The Liberals only have a few opposition held districts left to call nominations in and the PCs have a dozen or so seats left to fill. The NDP only have one official candidate in place as of now. There’s a nomination race in another district and a couple of nominations set to close. So far I think there are only 5 districts where people have publicly announced their intentions to run. 

bekayne

So will the NDP have more than five candidates?

Newfoundlander_...

bekayne wrote:

So will the NDP have more than five candidates?

Seems unlikely. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

bekayne wrote:

So will the NDP have more than five candidates?

The only thing I can compare this to was the decision by the B.C. Liberals to nominate only five candidates in the 1979 elections.

Newfoundlander_...

Coffin was interviewed on the news tonight saying they’d have a few more in place by tomorrow’s deadline. 

bekayne

Ken Burch wrote:

bekayne wrote:

So will the NDP have more than five candidates?

The only thing I can compare this to was the decision by the B.C. Liberals to nominate only five candidates in the 1979 elections.

Good ol' Jevington Tothill.

robbie_dee

Is there a provincial Green Party in Newfoundland? I know for a long time there was not because the federal Greens' position on the seal hunt was, to put it mildly, a hard sell in NL. However in light of the Green wave that has swept New Brunswick and PEI, largely at the expense of the provincial NDP in those provinces, I was wondering if the NL NDP had any similar worries. Particularly given their apparent overall lack of organization this time around.

robbie_dee

*Bump*

I note the deadline to register as a candidate has now passed. Do we have any more NDs?

bekayne

robbie_dee wrote:

*Bump*

I note the deadline to register as a candidate has now passed. Do we have any more NDs?

13 in total

https://www.elections.gov.nl.ca/elections/resources/pdf/releases/NR%20-%20Officially%20Nominated%20Candidates%20for%20the%202019%20Provincial%20General%20Election.pdf

robbie_dee

bekayne wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:

*Bump*

I note the deadline to register as a candidate has now passed. Do we have any more NDs?

13 in total

https://www.elections.gov.nl.ca/elections/resources/pdf/releases/NR%20-%20Officially%20Nominated%20Candidates%20for%20the%202019%20Provincial%20General%20Election.pdf

Wow, that's rough. Although I note that the PCs failed to nominate a candidate to run against the finance minister in Waterford Valley, where Alison Coffin ran second in 2015 and the NDP have nominated Matthew Cooper (is he this Matthew Cooper?). Not sure how much it matters though considering Osborne won almost 2/3 of the vote last time.

ETA I also see this link appears to answer my other question above, i.e., there are no official Green Party candidates running.

Newfoundlander_...

There’s no Green Party in NL. A former NDP leadership candidate tried to form one in the last couple of years but it didn’t work out. 

NDP ended up with 14 candidates. Elections NL originally left one out of their press release. 

bekayne

6 years ago at this time they were leading in the polls.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

bekayne wrote:

6 years ago at this time they were leading in the polls.

And then a big chunk of the MHA's decided that it was intolerable to keep the leader who had had them leading in the polls.  They leaked a letter demanding that she resigned, essentially destroyed the party in the polls in doing so, one of the MHA's who did that ended up crossing over to the Liberals-but thank god they saved the party from the nightmare of a popular leader with a strong message who had them in contention for power, but who was guilty of the unforgiveable crime of being an older woman with left-wing views.  Since then, all they've done is gone from strength to....well, what they've gone to now.

robbie_dee

Hey, if all 14 NL NDP candidates get elected and the Liberals and Conservatives split the remaining seats evenly 13 each, the NDP could form a narrow minority government!

Newfoundlander_...

Ken Burch wrote:

bekayne wrote:

6 years ago at this time they were leading in the polls.

And then a big chunk of the MHA's decided that it was intolerable to keep the leader who had had them leading in the polls.  They leaked a letter demanding that she resigned, essentially destroyed the party in the polls in doing so, one of the MHA's who did that ended up crossing over to the Liberals-but thank god they saved the party from the nightmare of a popular leader with a strong message who had them in contention for power, but who was guilty of the unforgiveable crime of being an older woman with left-wing views.  Since then, all they've done is gone from strength to....well, what they've gone to now.

The only one of the caucus that didn’t end up joining the Liberals is Gerry Rogers. And she probably ended up causing the most problems for the NDP. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Newfoundlander_Labradorian wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

bekayne wrote:

6 years ago at this time they were leading in the polls.

And then a big chunk of the MHA's decided that it was intolerable to keep the leader who had had them leading in the polls.  They leaked a letter demanding that she resigned, essentially destroyed the party in the polls in doing so, one of the MHA's who did that ended up crossing over to the Liberals-but thank god they saved the party from the nightmare of a popular leader with a strong message who had them in contention for power, but who was guilty of the unforgiveable crime of being an older woman with left-wing views.  Since then, all they've done is gone from strength to....well, what they've gone to now.

The only one of the caucus that didn’t end up joining the Liberals is Gerry Rogers. And she probably ended up causing the most problems for the NDP. 

OK, I stand corrected-MOST of them crossed over to the Liberals-which raises the question of whether the anti-Michael putsch was essentially orchestrated by the Liberals in the first place because they saw Michael's leadership as a threat to their continued hold on power, and they saw people in the NNDP caucus who could be enlisted simply with the prospect of a cabinet position in the near future.

Can anybody argue that what that cabal did was to the ultimate good of anyone OTHER than the Newfoundland Liberals?  

The party didn't even end up nominating enough candidates this year to have a theoretical shot at forming a government.  It's going to take years, possibly decades, to rebuild what was wrecked if it even can be rebuilt.

Newfoundlander_...

Well at the time of the caucus revolt the Liberals had just begun to rebound after being in diserray for a decade. Polling during that time showed a three party race. Trust me, the Liberals are no where near smart enough to orchestrate a caucus revolt within the NDP.  

Aristotleded24

Now that the NDP slightly exceeded seat expectations and is in a minority Parliament, what are the chances of an NDP revival happening?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

A lot hinges on the creation of an effective party infrastructure across the province.  They need to create or activate riding associations in every riding in which they had no candidates last time, and they need to get an effective electoral organization in place right now.  There IS no downtime here.  The new government will be perpetually on the verge of defeat in the HoA and the NNDP has to be prepared to hit the ground running at any moment.  I'd actually suggest that they start nominating candidates for the next election IMMEDIATELY.

Newfoundlander_...

I think the most district associations the NDP ever had in place was 9. They have a ton of work to build infrastructure throughout the province. Without that, recruiting candidates, getting money and being a credible force in an election is going to be tough. 

Look at the PCs in this election. The last number of polls had them leading the Liberals, with  fairly big leads in central and eastern Newfoundland. However, even for a party that recently held big majorities their infrastructure on the ground is not great. It was thought that they might end up being out organized by the Liberals on the ground and they were, with the Liberals holding a number of seats that a better organized PC Party should have easily taken.  

Coffin needs to start mending fences with people in the party and figuring out a plan to start building the NDP once and for all.  

robbie_dee

Newfoundlander_Labradorian wrote:
Coffin needs to start mending fences with people in the party and figuring out a plan to start building the NDP once and for all.  

Speaking solely as an outsider who doesn't know the personalities involved, I thought a lot of the potshots taken during the campaign, at least to the extent they were directed at Coffin directly, were pretty unfair since she'd only been on the job for two months and basically inherited a mess. In the end, she exceeded expectations and deserves credit. Hopefully those that really want to see the party succeed will find a way to put past disputes behind them and help the NDP take advantage of the fresh opportunity it has been presented with.

Newfoundlander_...

It wasn’t solely Coffin’s fault that the NDP only had 14 candidates. I think she made mistakes that impacted recruitment but the blame lies very much with Gerry Rogers, and I believe the lack of preparedness for an election is one of the main reasons she resigned as leader. 

I think one of the reasons the NDP only fielding 14 candidates remained a story throughout the campaign was because Coffin refused to take any responsibility for it. It has been expected for quite sometime that the election would be held this spring, rather than wait until just after the federal election to hold it. Coffin even mentioned that when she announces her candidacy for leader, noting she’d be ready for an early election. When they weren’t ready well then it was all Dwight Ball’s fsult because the election was early. I think had she accepted a bit of responsibility on behalf of the party for not being ready then there wouldn’t have been so much criticism. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Coffin did the best she could with an impossible situation.  Her ultimate test will be in getting a full slate of candidates nominated as quickly as possible(she should start by asking everyone who stood last time if they are willing to stand again, and then giving a priority to setting up party organization everywhere in Newfoundland where it doesn't currently exist.  The results this time are a sign that voters are open to an alternative to the Liberal-PC "alternance" and will at least consider voting for it IF GIVEN THE CHANCE.  Coffin should be working on the assumption that the next election is, for all purposes, already underway.

Aristotleded24

My guess is that now that the NDP has leverage in a minority situation, that people will start paying attention and that the NDP can win over people to its public policy programme. What better basis than this to springboard to attract new members, donors and supporters, hire organizers, set up constituency associations, etc? Plus, with a little bit of hard work the 2 St. John's seats can be presumed safer for the NDP and can free up the leader to go around the province, whereas before she had to focus on winning a seat that was far from guaranteed.

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