Have issues with Singh as leader? Here are the questions you have to answer:

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
God forbid that the leader of the NDP spend a day living like the ordinary voter.

Evidently he grew up in St. John's and Windsor, so I'm guessing he spent lots and lots of days living like the ordinary voter.

The point is, if the media finds out that he's couch-surfing to save a few bucks, it kind of looks bad on the NDP.  Not that he has to spend the night in a nine-star hotel.  But people would be right to wonder what's up with the NDP if he has to pay for a plane ticket out of pocket, and be billetted like some foreign exchange student.  Geez, why not hitchhike if it's that bad.

Debater

I think the challenge facing Singh is the same one that faced Mulcair.

People now expect every NDP leader to become the next Jack Layton.  People expect an overnight "Orange Wave".  There is now enormous pressure on every NDP leader to compete with Jack Layton.  Layton has achieved an almost legendary status which makes it challenging for every new NDP leader to escape his shadow.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mighty Middle wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Mighty Middle wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Even PC Premier Brian Pallister showed up for a by-election campagin in a poor urban Winnipeg riding where a good showing for his party is to exceed 20% of the vote. If he can show up to bolster the morale with his troops, what's Jagmeet's excuse?

The NDP had a lack of funds for airfare to send Jagmeet to visit the 3 ridings. Scarborough was local.

Pretty sure he gets paid enough to buy plane tickets out of his own salary if necessary, and somebody could put him up at their house overnight if it came to that.  And the only place he have had to fly to was B.C.-if it came to that, you can DRIVE to the Maritimes probably or take Via Rail.  It would look very "common touch".

Visiting a riding is not as simple as just buying a plane ticket, there are other costs as well. I think the Party assessed whether it was worth the funds to spend on a campaign they knew they were going to lose and opted to not spend anything as money seems to be really tight.

Sitting NDP MPs are being docked expense money from Board of Internal Economy for the Satallite Offices. Every dollar the Board of Internal Economy docks from an NDP MP, they in turn submit a claim for reimbursement from the Party.

https://www.hilltimes.com/2017/11/06/ndps-court-challenge-boie-decision-...

Plus there are legal fees the NDP is paying to fight this in court. On top of that they are about 5.5 Million in debt and now paying Jagmeet a salary.

So they need to be careful with their money, and sending Jagmeet off to tour in ridings they knew they were going to lose, didn't seem cost effective to the NDP.

Wasn't the satellite offices thing(in addition to being a fairly trivial offence in practice)years ago?  How much more money is still owed on that?

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
Singh's turban is a problem.

What are you trying to say here? I hope it's not to pander to racist sentiment and suggest that Singh should not have been selected on that basis. In this part of the country, having dark skin is also a potential liability to running for public office, but we have to be true to our values and be honest about who we are. Running away does nothing to dispel bigotry.

No I am not saying he shouldn't have been selected because of it. It is both a drawback and a bonus. It's just being realistic to examine a leader from every angle that might impact votes. There is no such thing as the perfect candidate.

The negative aspect is that Canada has lots of racists of different degrees for whom the turban means that they don't have shared values. The turban can also be a plus in that it gets attention. Singh presents very well so once he has people's attention I'm confident that he can dispell fears.

That Canadians, NDPers anyway, would elect a Sikh to lead a major party with the potential to become Prime Minister is something that makes me proud to be Canadian. This is a major historic advancement.

Aristotleded24

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
God forbid that the leader of the NDP spend a day living like the ordinary voter.

Evidently he grew up in St. John's and Windsor, so I'm guessing he spent lots and lots of days living like the ordinary voter.

The point is, if the media finds out that he's couch-surfing to save a few bucks, it kind of looks bad on the NDP.  Not that he has to spend the night in a nine-star hotel.  But people would be right to wonder what's up with the NDP if he has to pay for a plane ticket out of pocket, and be billetted like some foreign exchange student.  Geez, why not hitchhike if it's that bad.

Except people generally feel that politicians get too much perks for free at the expense of the general taxpayers anyways. Besides, he's the leader. If he can pull this off creatively and be a success then it is a huge testament to his abilities.

Aristotleded24

brookmere wrote:
I suspect that the candidates in the other 3 ridings might not have been openly supportive of him in the leadership campaign, or maybe he just does't feel like appearing in contests he can't win.

Then why did Thomas Mulcair show up for a federal by-election in Brandon? Why did Justin Trudeau show up for a federal election in Manitoba's Bible Belt? Why did Brian Pallister show up for a provincial by-election in a poor urban Winnipeg riding?

I get that miracles are not going to happen overnight, but showing up is a pretty basic part of the job. Wasn't there a political party that used that line against the Liberals before?

brookmere

I watched the Dec 13 interview on Power and Politics and was surprised to hear Singh say that he has been traveling across Canada for the last two months. Clearly the money to travel was available, just not the motivation to visit those three ridings. 18 minutes in.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/powerandpolitics/power-and-politics-december-13-2017-1.4447691

 

 

 

Mighty Middle

brookmere wrote:

I watched the Dec 13 interview on Power and Politics and was surprised to hear Singh say that he has been traveling across Canada for the last two months. Clearly the money to travel was available, just not the motivation to visit those three ridings. 18 minutes in.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/powerandpolitics/power-and-politics-december-13-2017-1.4447691

He billed his tour as a "Coming Home" tour where he has visited urban centers and attend NDP fundraisers to get earned media. So the party is getting more bang for their buck. The by-elections wouldn't give him the same exposure, maybe a blurb in local media. But that is it.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
God forbid that the leader of the NDP spend a day living like the ordinary voter.

Evidently he grew up in St. John's and Windsor, so I'm guessing he spent lots and lots of days living like the ordinary voter.

The point is, if the media finds out that he's couch-surfing to save a few bucks, it kind of looks bad on the NDP.  Not that he has to spend the night in a nine-star hotel.  But people would be right to wonder what's up with the NDP if he has to pay for a plane ticket out of pocket, and be billetted like some foreign exchange student.  Geez, why not hitchhike if it's that bad.

I think just the opposite. It's more likely to have people sit up and think "wow, he has friends to stay with and he doesn't pay 16$ for a glass of orange juice! This is my kind of guy!

I know lots of solidly middle class people who don't waste money on hotels if they can avoid it. If people even find out that he stayed in private homes rather than hotels it's a bonus. They will think "this is a guy and a party that knows the value of a buck". This is someone who won't waste our money. This is a guy who understands budgeting. This is a party that really is different than the others.

If I were considering donating I would think, "hmmm, this is a party that won't waste the dollars I give them on fancy hotel rooms".

Most people, including the solidly middle-class, avoid hotel rooms for anything other than very special occasions. If members of the NDP are hosting him or if his friends are hosting him it reflects well on him and on the NDP. It's not something to be ashamed of.

This is the right kind of populism. Trudeau tries to show people that even though he is wealthy he really just is like them. His children wear Joe Fresh clothes from Loblaws, a clothing line developed by one of the dragons on dragons den. He goes camping. He does sports. He's a family man. These are ways that he telegraphs "I'm just like you" even if I have a lot of money. All the hullabaloo over his Christmas holiday was to prove he isn't like us he is massively privileged. Ignatieff was an abject failure in large part because he really was an out of touch academic. He was unrelatable even to nerds. Dion too. With Layton's personality Dion would have been a huge success.

Photographs of Singh staying with ordinary people, either friends or members of the NDP, across the country would be great campaign material. That would prove more than a 1,000 words that Singh is a man of the people that knows the value of a dollar.

I tried to start a thread about what motivates voters citing a woman in Quebec who didn't vote but was sorry she hadn't. This was an educated professional. She was cynical about politics. The type who thought voting makes no difference, they are all the same. She didn't pay attention to politics. The night Trudeau won she saw her family reflected in his, mentioned his kids wearing t-shirts like her kids do. She was sorry she had not voted for him. In him she saw someone that belonged to her "tribe".  A person who would have the same concerns she does because he has a family like hers.

You can diss her for the simplicity of her views but it remains true that she represents many more voters and non-voters. Her vote cannot be discounted. She isn't a stupid person. Lots of people are cynical about politics. Politicians don't appeal to their interests. It's like the teacher in Charlie Brown. Wah-wa. No matter who is in charge it's six of one a half dozen of the other.

People want non-politicians. They want authenticity. They want someone they can relate to. In not staying in hotels Singh provides all three.

Mock Singh or the NDP for using private homes rather than hotels and you mock the 99%. Most people don't consider that couch surfing.

 

SeekingAPolitic...

I had a look at the numbers, as of 2016 12 31 the NDP was in negative 1.7 million when you look a balance sheet.  That year total in take was 5.4 million.

Interesting factoids

-NDP is carrying a 5.5 million debt instrument.  That is offset by 5.8 million in non depreciated capital assets.

-Doing a personal estimate 2017 balance sheet will show a depreciated charge from min 600,000 to maybe 1 million on the high end.  That means assets 600,000 in assets disappear in the 2017 sheet.  We will not see a balance sheet until the middle of the year 2018 for 2017.  

-As for a party having a 1.7 million more liabilities than assets is not a big deal when collected 15 million plus like lib and con.  When collect 5.4 million its a different story.

I am not an accountant and so you keep that in mind.  Check the Elections Canada Database for your self.  

MM you mentioned the 5.5 million in debt, will you speaking about the debt instrument?

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Just wanted to pop in to say that I DO get the irony that, after starting this thread over a year ago, I now have issues with Singh as leader.  At this point, my take is that, either he needs to go, OR he needs to start presenting ideas that actually get people's attention.  One thing that he could do would be, in addition to presenting real ideas on the economic inequality issue(he could tie it to the need to put limits on corporate power and to encourage the creation of co-operatives), would be to present the NDP as an antiwar party.  People who want a big war budget and continued Western military intervention in the Arab/Muslim world aren't going to vote for anybody other than the Cons or Libs, and there are a LOT of people who don't currently vote who would like the chance to vote for something at least close to peace.  Put those two things together and there'd be a big improvement in the NDP's polling numbers, especially in Quebec, where the only votes the NDP has a chance of getting are from people who want a clearly Left alternative to the les rouges ou les bleus.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
At this point, my take is that, either he needs to go

How long would that take?  I'm thinking of:

a) whatever process relieves him of duty

b) whatever process replaces him

quizzical

he needs to step down.

Cullen replaced

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
At this point, my take is that, either he needs to go

How long would that take?  I'm thinking of:

a) whatever process relieves him of duty

b) whatever process replaces him

a) Singh would resign immediately, with an interim leader being immediately appointed;

b) A much shorter leadership election campaign(say, two months) would be held; the electronic voting process the party uses would easily accomodate that, and the shortening of the campaign would make it easier for candidates who didn't have a lot of money to stand-we now know there's no correlation between the level of donations a leadership candidate might receive and that candidate's actual effectiveness as a leader;

I doubt any of the candidates in the last leadership campaign WOULD run again; most of them are still paying off the debts from those campaign.

My own personal favorite would be Ruth Ellen Brousseau; she'd restore Quebec support and would resonate with working-class anglophone voters, she has a personal narrative of overcoming hardship the average voter would connect with, she has a fast learning curve.

Others could emerge that I don't personally know of;

2019 will be a tough year for the NDP no matter what, but it MUST have a leader who's ready to offer a real difference and who's appeal is not based solely on their supposed personal charisma simply to hold the existing ground.  If the party goes down to 15 or 20 seats and none in Quebec again(or worse yet, a 1993-style disaster), it won't be possible for it to make gains in any future elections.  No one will even consider voting for a party loses more than half its seats in two successive elections; no possible future leader could make an impression on the voters if the party took major losses in '19.  When you get too low, you simply can't recover: Ask any Creditiste.

Singh could still right the ship, but ONLY if he abandons the "say nothing and dress well" strategy and starts getting public attention by talking about what the party will do and who it will fight for.  Caution makes no sense for a party that's on the verge of going back to only winning anglophone votes.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

(self-delete.  Dupe post).

Pondering

Yeah because releasing policy early helped Mulcair so much and Trudeau withholding policy until the election is  responsible for his loss. Wait, he won the last election. Mulcair lost. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
a) Singh would resign immediately, with an intermim leader being appointed;

OK.  But you really can't count on that.  And since he hasn't even faced an election yet, I question how reasonable it would be to even hope for it.

Quote:
b) A much shorter leadership election campaign(say, two months) would be held; the electronic voting process the party uses would easily accomodate that, and the shortening of the campaign would make it easier for candidates who didn't have a lot of money to stand-we now know there's no correlation between the level of donations a leadership candidate might receive and that candidate's actual effectiveness as a leader

Also OK.  But Singh didn't win because of fundraising munnees, he won because of votes.  He could have lost, even with way more money, but he couldn't win without the votes.  Just like in 2019.

Quote:
My own personal favorite would be Ruth Ellen Brousseau

Plus ça change.

We had a nice couple of years not having to hear how she can cook a three minute egg in two minutes.  But here we go again.

Are there any older, more experienced progressive women who might make a good leader?  Or just REB and Niki Ashton?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Yeah because releasing policy early helped Mulcair so much and Trudeau withholding policy until the election is  responsible for his loss. Wait, he won the last election. Mulcair lost. 

Mulcair didn't lose because he released policy.  He lost because he had BAD policies(such as the pointless commitment to a balanced budget that made implementing any recognizably NDP policies impossible), because he kept the party totally distanced from the activist Left, because he was, as I think everyone including you would have to agree, a terrible campaigner, and because he totally botched the niqab issue-by which I mean offering no coherent explanation for the party's position on that, which is why he lost seats to a party that had the SAME position on the same issue.

And actually, the NDP released almost NO policies in the run-up to the election-they kept the platform a secret and gave the rank-and-file no input on what the platform, the policies THEY would have to campaign for, were actually going to be.

Justin also had a famous name and was great on the stump.  Jagmeet was unknown before being elected and has been a mediocre orator at best.  

 

It's now abundantly clear that the ONLY reason Singh was ever induced to become a leadership candidate was to help the party insiders prevent anything from really changing.  There was a desperate need for renewal and redefinition, and it's now clear that as long as Singh is leader neither of those things can ever happen.  

It makes no sense to stall when you're behind and your support is falling.  The only reason to run out the clock is when you're ahead and trying to hold your lead.

The only way to do well at all is to get attention and speak to what's going on.  Nobody is impressed with the damn designer suits.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Nobody is impressed with the damn designer suits.

And yet many seem to suggest that Trudeau is only sailing by on the strength of the GQ cover that nobody is impressed by.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Nobody is impressed with the damn designer suits.

And yet many seem to suggest that Trudeau is only sailing by on the strength of the GQ cover that nobody is impressed by.

 

It works for Justin:  It can't work for Singh.  If it did, the NDP's poll ratings would be on the rise, including in Quebec, instead of on the slow slide towards electoral death they're on now.

But it looks like his defenders don't care, or would actually PREFER the NDP to be a non-Quebec party only again, for some reason.

6079_Smith_W

Don't agree with him... well it's too late now? That is a weird way to frame it. I was also an Ashton supporter, and disagreed with Singhs policies (and was kind of pissed that the race issue overshadowed that). His actions since then have only reinforced my opinion.
And this early blunders rhetoric? He's shooting to be PM, not run a Tim Hortons franchise.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Does that really hold water, though?

The electorate is content if Trudeau wears just the right tie, and will continue to support him, but expects Singh to bring a radical vision for Canada?

If that's how it is, then maybe most of us really are just stupid.  Not me or you, of course.

cco

As a Quebecer and an Ashton supporter who thought Singh was the worst choice, and who expects we'll take a beating next election, Singh still deserves a chance in the general election. This "Look at a few by-elections! Look at the polls! Clearly, he needs to be turfed before the election!" shit is right out of the Blairite playbook, and the same type of shit Corbyn faced (and has only temporarily muted). For those of us on the left of the party, it's the worst possible precedent to set -- short of replacing him with merge-with-the-Liberals Cullen.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Does that really hold water, though?

The electorate is content if Trudeau wears just the right tie, and will continue to support him, but expects Singh to bring a radical vision for Canada?

If that's how it is, then maybe most of us really are just stupid.  Not me or you, of course.

That's an exaggeration and an oversimplification of what I was saying, but it is fair to say that a lot more is expected of Singh than of 'Lil Justin.  People expect the third-party to clearly distinguish itself from the two parties of the status quo, to be loudly and demonstratively "different".  After all, difference in ideas and identity is the only reason for a third party to exist.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Does that really hold water, though?

The electorate is content if Trudeau wears just the right tie, and will continue to support him, but expects Singh to bring a radical vision for Canada?

If that's how it is, then maybe most of us really are just stupid.  Not me or you, of course.

That's an exaggeration and an oversimplification of what I was saying, but it is fair to say that a lot more is expected of Singh than of 'Lil Justin.  People expect the third-party to clearly distinguish itself from the two parties of the status quo, to be loudly and demonstratively "different".  After all, difference in ideas and identity is the only reason for a third party to exist.

Differences in ideas and identity has little to do with it except for the bases. That's why all parties move towards the centre. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Does that really hold water, though?

The electorate is content if Trudeau wears just the right tie, and will continue to support him, but expects Singh to bring a radical vision for Canada?

If that's how it is, then maybe most of us really are just stupid.  Not me or you, of course.

That's an exaggeration and an oversimplification of what I was saying, but it is fair to say that a lot more is expected of Singh than of 'Lil Justin.  People expect the third-party to clearly distinguish itself from the two parties of the status quo, to be loudly and demonstratively "different".  After all, difference in ideas and identity is the only reason for a third party to exist.

Differences in ideas and identity has little to do with it except for the bases. That's why all parties move towards the centre. 

Differences in ideas and identity had a massive amount to do with it.  And the obsession with looking "safe" and "respectable"(i.e., utterly detached from the real issues that viscerally affect people) is the main reason voter turnout has been plummeting for decades.  Why not try turning nonvoters into voters, why not try making an actual effort to inspire and connect with people, when doing the opposite of those things is what has made the NDP flatline in nearly every election in the last fifty-seven years?  

Time is running out for the NDP to even be able to run the sort of campaign that holds its ground in Quebec.  And large-scale losses in Quebec guarantee the party can't gain any significant amount of votes anywhere else.  

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Which is more fun? Watching them lose, or watching them cry about it?

robbie_dee

I don't buy into most of the criticism of Jagmeet Singh. The collapse in support in Quebec sure is a problem. With all due respect to Ken Burch's comments above, though, I don't think that more left wing policies - regardless of their other merits - is the solution to this particular problem. The province is about to elect a CAQ government this fall, for goodness sake.

IMO, I think the NDP's current problems in Quebec started with the fact that, notwithstanding the hard work Jack Layton had put into it for years beforehand, winning 59 seats in 2011 was a total anomaly brought about by unique factors going on in the other parties just as much as in the NDP. Basically the Harper Conservatives and the Ignatieff Liberals were unable to respond to the desires of francophone Quebec voters just as those voters were ready to abandon the Bloc Quebecois en masse and Layton's NDP was poised to pick up the pieces. We tried hard to dig some foundations in those seats after the fact, but in many ridings we were frankly never a great fit and in 2015 the niqab issue completely decimated us because it was a flaming hot button that got pressed in the middle of an election campaign and split our predominantly white francophone support in Quebec outside of Montreal onto the directly opposed side from the voters the NDP required and was depending upon everywhere else in Canada. Mulcair, to his credit, took the principled side on the issue but boy did he pay for it. Now we are faced with trying to meet expectations that are completely outsized to our present capabilities.

Realistically I think the NDP's base in Quebec probably looks a lot like Quebec Solidaire's base (and, for that matter the NDP's base in much of the rest of Canada) - diverse (but not predominantly anglophone) seats in the larger urban centres of Montreal and Quebec City, maybe some blue-collar towns elsewhere that have retained a substantial unionized industrial base, and the far North. We can try to build on this. Maybe a candidate who doesn't wear a prominent visible marker of his (non-Christian, predominantly nonwhite) religious affiliation would be better placed to do this. But frankly I think we were going to have an uphill battle in Quebec with any of the four leadership contenders last time, including Guy Caron who would obviously have been the best situated of the four.

Despite the issues in Quebec, Jagmeet offered a number of significant potential advantages when he ran for leader, advantages that persuaded me to rank him #2 behind Caron when I voted and which, notwithstanding the rocky start, he still has now. He was and is more charismatic than the other candidates. The fact that he is not white and he wears a turban, while a problem in some respects (see above), is also a huge advantage in others not the least of which is that it signals to countless nonwhite voters throughout Canada that there is a place for them in the NDP, too. Along with Quebec, this has also been an historic weakness for the NDP and while I am certainly not suggesting that all or most internal critique of Jagmeet's leadership has been motivated by race I do think that many of those who have been attacking him are discounting the historic nature of his victory and the tremendously bad optics that we would face if we turned around and turfed him without even giving him a chance to lead the Party into a general election first.

On ideology, which I understand to be the actual concern of many of Jagmeet's critics, I just have to disagree both in principle and as a tactical matter. I liked Niki too. I ranked her third (Charlie Angus's french skills were the main thing that pushed him to the bottom of my ballot). But notwithstanding her attempts to frame herself as the local tribune of the Bernie Sanders/Jeremy Corbyn phenomena, I honestly don't think there was that much ideological difference between Niki Ashton and the other three candidates.  Certainly in the eyes of most Canadian voters I don't think there is much appreciable difference. Electing a federal NDP government, pretty much regardless of leader, will require a decision by voters to express political preference significantly to the left of the prevailing consensus that has governed the country up to this point. Maybe this is the historical moment when voters are ready to do that; but if so, they will probably do so only with passing regard to the details of Party's actual platform. It might be better for the party to try to signal bold change rather than cautious incrementalism like Mulcair did in 2015, but whatever it is it that would do the trick will really have to be all about broad brushstrokes and not the minutiae. The public, if and when they decide they will actually vote for us, will choose to do so on the belief that we can build a better society that raises up all of us instead of just serving the selfish needs of particular individuals. What we need is a leader who can communicate that.

I remain cautiously optimistic about Jagmeet's chances in 2019. That being said, I do have one big issue with Jagmeet and this article gives me a chance to bring it up again:

Eric Grenier, "Where the parties are raising the money to fight the 2019 election," CBC News, July 10, 2018

Quote:

The Conservatives have at least 79 ridings with over $100,000 in net assets — just over half of them in western Canada — with the Liberals claiming at least 30 and the New Democrats just two. The most financially sound NDP riding association was the one in Regina–Lewvan — the seat occupied by former NDP MP Erin Weir. After being booted out of caucus following allegations of sexual harassment, Weir has been sitting as an MP for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, a forerunner party of the NDP that hasn't existed since 1961.

Jagmeet's treatment of Erin Weir was simply inexcusable, and while I think Jagmeet found himself in somewhat of a difficult position because of the broader political climate as well as internal caucus divides, he simply has to find a way to resolve the matter in a way that allows Weir to return. Weir is a big reason why the Regina Lewvan riding association is as well-funded as it is, because the guy simply worked really hard for the Party and for his constituents. It would be especially appalling if the fruits of his years of fundraising efforts got handed off to another candidate because of  backroom machinations and dirty tricks by Weir's rivals in the party (which, it seems increasingly obvious to me based on the facts that have now become publicly available, is what I think the accusations against him fundamentally were all about). I can only speak for myself, but my cheque-book remains closed until the matter is resolved in a manner that appears more fair to Weir.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

This thread keeps popping up to the top of the Active Topics page with a link to one new post.

Are you just editing and re-editing your earlier post?  And if so, do you think you'll be done soon?

brookmere

robbie_dee wrote:
and in 2015 the niqab issue completely decimated us because it was a flaming hot button that got pressed in the middle of an election campaign and split our predominantly white francophone support in Quebec outside of Montreal onto the directly opposed side from the voters the NDP required and was depending upon everywhere else in Canada. Mulcair, to his credit, took the principled side on the issue but boy did he pay for it.

As Ken has pointed out, the lost NDP votes in Quebec went to the Liberals, not the Conservatives or BQ, so you can't simply blame Mulcair's stand for losing votes when the Liberals took the same stand. The difference was that Justin Trudeau had gotten ahead of the issue. He had taken a firm stand on the PQ's "religious symbols" law well before the election so was seen as having nothing to lose on the niqab issue.

By contrast Mulcair tried to sit on the fence and when he was forced to take a stand during the election it was the NDP which was seen as vulnerable, losing its credibility as an alternative to the Conservatives. Of course this is a lot clearer after the election than before, but I think Mulcair's reluctance to alienate the perceived Quebec nationalist vote - which turned out not to be there - was one of his biggest mistakes.

Pondering
  • Weir accused Charlie Angus of participating in a 6 month vendetta against him with Mulcair.
  • Weir stated that the one non-sexual complain was part of the vendetta against him. 
  •  Weir stated that if solicited all men would have the same complaints against them has he had.  

Why did Weir agree to sexual harassment training? He obviously doesn't think he needed it. I can only conclude he did it for optics. 

Accusations of harassment were the catalyst to Weir being investigated but had nothing to do with his being ousted from the party. He was ejected for attacking Mulcair, Angus and the women who reported him. 

robbie_dee

brookmere wrote:

As Ken has pointed out, the lost NDP votes in Quebec went to the Liberals, not the Conservatives or BQ, so you can't simply blame Mulcair's stand for losing votes when the Liberals took the same stand. The difference was that Justin Trudeau had gotten ahead of the issue. He had taken a firm stand on the PQ's "religious symbols" law well before the election so was seen as having nothing to lose on the niqab issue.

By contrast Mulcair tried to sit on the fence and when he was forced to take a stand during the election it was the NDP which was seen as vulnerable, losing its credibility as an alternative to the Conservatives. Of course this is a lot clearer after the election than before, but I think Mulcair's reluctance to alienate the perceived Quebec nationalist vote - which turned out not to be there - was one of his biggest mistakes.

Brookmere, I agree with you that the fact that Trudeau won 40 seats in Quebec with a position in clear opposition to government restrictions on private display of religious symbols seems rather at odds with the thesis that Mulcair's late endorsement of the same position is what killed the NDP in Quebec and ultimately (once the party's perceived strength in Quebec collapsed), the rest of Canada. Perhaps you're right that the party equivocated too long before taking this position. But the counter-argument is that, in Quebec, the NDP and Liberals were largely not fishing in the same pool of voters. What the niqab issue did was to throw the NDP off of its efforts to crush both the Cons and the Bloc and consolidate the soft nationalist vote against the roughly 1/3 of Quebecers who were committed to the Liberals, a project that was looking largely successful until the dreaded issue reared its head midway. through the campaign. Maybe the NDP should have anticipated this and gotten in front of the issue better. My view, though, is that it was probably not possible to square that particular circle and its why the NDP's position post 2011 was ultimately not sustainable. They were trying to meld together a coalition that was fundamentally at odds with itself. In any case, the main point I was making here is that the NDP's current dire straits in Quebec are hardly Jagmeet Singh's fault.

Pondering wrote:

  • Weir accused Charlie Angus of participating in a 6 month vendetta against him with Mulcair.
  • Weir stated that the one non-sexual complain was part of the vendetta against him. 
  •  Weir stated that if solicited all men would have the same complaints against them has he had.

Why did Weir agree to sexual harassment training? He obviously doesn't think he needed it. I can only conclude he did it for optics.

Accusations of harassment were the catalyst to Weir being investigated but had nothing to do with his being ousted from the party. He was ejected for attacking Mulcair, Angus and the women who reported him.

Pondering, the independent harassment trainer has written a report that Weir agreed to make public and which I think speaks for itself. It addresses both the allegations against Weir that were investigated by the NDP, and what he has done to try to change his own behavior going forward as a result of what was brought to his attention. The actual investigator's report remains undisclosed by the NDP, but it appears to have been summarized in all relevant respects by the independent harassment trainer. I see no reason to question*Weir's* motives at this point, and whatever else you may think about him you have to acknowledge he's been pretty transparent throughout this process.

As to others' motives, though, and specifically with respect to the one specific, nonsexual harassment complaint by Former Mulcair Senior Staffer (FMSS) that you note in your first two bullet points, consider that (1) nobody has actually denied that Weir was barred from asking questions in QP for several months while Mulcair was leader and Angus was caucus chair, and (2) FMSS was obviously someone who was involved in SK politics (there is a reason why she is the one who was sent to SKNDP convention to block him from speaking). In her senior position in the leader's office, she may also have been aware of how well resourced Weir's riding association was.

Can you really rule out the possibility that - even if Weir really did speak in a harsh tone to FMSS while being taller than she was, as was apparently the nub of the investigator's findings - FMSS's re-raising her old complaint now and then leaking it to the media had an ulterior motive? E.g. not just to destabilize Jagmeet's leadership as I suspected before, but also to make available his riding and the ample coffers of its riding association to a different candidate? And if so do you think Jagmeet should be going along with this?

Pondering

brookmere wrote:
 I think Mulcair's reluctance to alienate the perceived Quebec nationalist vote - which turned out not to be there - was one of his biggest mistakes.

It was and it was evidence of living in the past and perhaps thinking of nationalists as suckers. Couillard is right there with him, and the Tories joined the party. I am referring to the idea of Quebec collecting federal taxes. There is a trap here for the NDP.

My reaction as a Quebecer is "Are you kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" How many millions of dollars is that going to cost? " That is the position the NDP should take. That as an idea it's interesting but it would invaribly increase administrative costs at a time when the focus should be on controlling  government spending not increasing it for ideological reasons. 

My theory concerning the rise of CAQ is that they are focused on the economy. This is the main issue voters want the government to take care of. There has been a strong move away from ideology as social conservatives in Canada are a minority. All parties are anti-racist, anti-sexism, etc. or at least don't threaten regressive legislation. What voters want to know is "What are you going to do with the money?" not "What's fair to whom?". 

Singh isn't asking to marry anyone's daughter or move in next door. If he makes the best economic argument he has a chance. 

Pondering

Concerning the complaints of harassment, that was settled by taking the anti-harassment training. He was not ejected over that. 

robbie_dee wrote:
  With respect to the one specific, nonsexual harassment complaint by Former Mulcair Senior Staffer (FMSS), though, consider that (1) nobody has actually denied that Weir was barred from asking questions in QP for several months while Mulcair was leader and Angus was caucus chair, and  

Denying would have given it legs. He was ejected from caucus for having given identifying information about her and for suggesting her accusation was politicly motivated. Also, for suggesting the other women would have complained about any man. 

robbie_dee wrote:
   (2) the Former Mulcair Senior Staffer (FMSS) was obviously someone who was involved in SK politics (there is a reason why she is the one who was sent to SKNDP convention to block him from speaking). In her senior position in the leader's office, she may also have been aware of how well resourced Weir's riding association was.  

Let's say he is right and her accusation was politicly motivated. There was a plot to put someone else in his riding and senior leadership in the NDP, Mulcair, Angus, were in on it and even included staffers. Would this help or hinder the NDP's election chances in 2019 if it is revealed?

robbie_dee wrote:
  Can you really rule out the possibility that - even if Weir really did speak in a harsh tone to FMSS while being taller than she was, as was apparently the nub of the investigator's findings - that her re-raising her old complaint now and then leaking it to the media had an ulterior motive? E.g. not just to destabilize Jagmeet's leadership as I suspected before, but also to make available his riding and the ample coffers of its riding association to a different candidate?  

She didn't "raise it again".  When asked she described what happened and how she felt. When the media found out the report was concluded they started asking questions and she answered. Maybe she should have said no comment but she was entitled to speak. Weir was not. 

I cannot rule out your suggestions but I also can't rule out that Weir is a bank-robber in his spare time but lacking any evidence for either it doesn't seem pertinent. 

I think Singh had to choose between keeping Mulcair and Angus or keeping Weir. He could not keep Mulcair and Angus if they plotted against Weir with a staffer and vindictively prevented him from speaking in the house for six months in retaliation for being against the carbon tax. 

I don't care much for either Mulcair or Angus on a political level but I don't believe Weir's accusations. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

brookmere wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:
and in 2015 the niqab issue completely decimated us because it was a flaming hot button that got pressed in the middle of an election campaign and split our predominantly white francophone support in Quebec outside of Montreal onto the directly opposed side from the voters the NDP required and was depending upon everywhere else in Canada. Mulcair, to his credit, took the principled side on the issue but boy did he pay for it.

As Ken has pointed out, the lost NDP votes in Quebec went to the Liberals, not the Conservatives or BQ, so you can't simply blame Mulcair's stand for losing votes when the Liberals took the same stand. The difference was that Justin Trudeau had gotten ahead of the issue. He had taken a firm stand on the PQ's "religious symbols" law well before the election so was seen as having nothing to lose on the niqab issue.

By contrast Mulcair tried to sit on the fence and when he was forced to take a stand during the election it was the NDP which was seen as vulnerable, losing its credibility as an alternative to the Conservatives. Of course this is a lot clearer after the election than before, but I think Mulcair's reluctance to alienate the perceived Quebec nationalist vote - which turned out not to be there - was one of his biggest mistakes.

And, in hindsight, it was probably tied in with Mulcair's delusional belief that the NDP had to be known for ONE policy commitment and one policy commitment alone...a commitment to a balanced budget.  It almost looks as if Mulcair was willing to see the NDP face electoral disaster rather than be connected in the voters' minds with anything OTHER than balanced budgets.   He'd totally forgotten that the ONLY reason the NDP had moved back into what turned into a short-term lead in the polls was for once, for ONCE, he had taken a left-of-center position on an issue- when he challenged C-51 on civil liberties grounds.  Opposing that bill was the only courageous moment in Mulcair's entire tenure as leader, the closest he ever came to Tommy Douglas' heroism in opposing the imposition of the War Measures Act during the October Crisis-and rather than doing what he should have done and leading with that, Mulcair used his pointless obsession with fiscal conservatism to erase his one moment of heroism from the voters minds, and refused to speak passionately against the niqab ban out of the same pointless fixation.

The lesson is, it can't work for the NDP to limit itself to one, essentially conservative message in the run-up to and during the election.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

brookmere wrote:
 I think Mulcair's reluctance to alienate the perceived Quebec nationalist vote - which turned out not to be there - was one of his biggest mistakes.

It was and it was evidence of living in the past and perhaps thinking of nationalists as suckers. Couillard is right there with him, and the Tories joined the party. I am referring to the idea of Quebec collecting federal taxes. There is a trap here for the NDP.

My reaction as a Quebecer is "Are you kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" How many millions of dollars is that going to cost? " That is the position the NDP should take. That as an idea it's interesting but it would invaribly increase administrative costs at a time when the focus should be on controlling  government spending not increasing it for ideological reasons. 

My theory concerning the rise of CAQ is that they are focused on the economy. This is the main issue voters want the government to take care of. There has been a strong move away from ideology as social conservatives in Canada are a minority. All parties are anti-racist, anti-sexism, etc. or at least don't threaten regressive legislation. What voters want to know is "What are you going to do with the money?" not "What's fair to whom?". 

Singh isn't asking to marry anyone's daughter or move in next door. If he makes the best economic argument he has a chance. 

Nobody is arguing that the NDP should make nothing but "social justice" arguments-btw, you seem to be using the Hillary Clinton definition of "social justice" issues here-minor group rights questions that are decent and noble in intent but which are never societally transformative and will never require any sacrifice from the rich-what most of us to your left are ACTUALLY saying is that social justice is connected with economic justice and requires redistribution of wealth and economic decision making power for its achievement, both of which will help the sort of "ordinary people" you like to pretend you're the only person on this board who cares about-and nobody is arguing that the NDP should ignore or even back-burner economic issues.  Nor is anybody arguing that the NDP should ONLY support measures that deal with group oppression while ignoring the needs of everyone else-needs, by the way, which don't conflict with the needs of people in historically oppressed communities. 

We are all in agreement that the party needs to be challenging income inequality and economic injustice-doing so was a centerpiece of Niki Ashton's agenda, for God's sakes.  Challenging income inequality and economic injustice MEANS challenging at least some elements of the existing economic order, challenging "market values" as the only valid criteria by which economic and social questions are decided by in North America. It never has to mean telling FN people to "wait their turn", and it never has to mean validating middle-class resentment of the homeless or of environmentalists or of immigrants. If you make the egalitarian, redistributive component of the program a priority, that's all you have to do to get the support of "ordinary" voters-economic justice as a major part of it is what will get those voters on the NDP's side.

Pondering

Were you not here in 2014. The year before the election Mulcair announced with fanfare that the NDP would soon be releasing 5 platform items because he felt voters deserved the time to evaluate these proposals. I waited with baited breath. 

One of his items was national daycare, another was 15 dollar minimum wage for federal employees. I cannot remember what the other 3 were but they did exist. 

It wasn't just that he said he would balance the budget. He said he would do it while delivering on his promises and would not raise taxes. It turned out the minimum wage was for a limited number of workers, not everyone, and the daycare plan wasn't really a plan but something that would be discussed with the provinces. 

In my opinion Singh will move the NDP farther left economically along the lines of what Guy Caron would have done. We won't know that until the next election is announced and the platform is released. Until then complaining that Singh isn't making enough lefty noise is the equivalent of accusing Trudeau of not having any policy. Neither can or could be judged until a platform comes out with the exception of specific comments they make. 

There is a committee of NDP economic types working together to come up with something plausible for 2019 that will survive the scrutiny of the parliamentry budget officer. 

robbie_dee

Pondering wrote:

I think Singh had to choose between keeping Mulcair and Angus or keeping Weir. He could not keep Mulcair and Angus if they plotted against Weir with a staffer and vindictively prevented him from speaking in the house for six months in retaliation for being against the carbon tax.

Nobody appears to be disputing that Weir was disciplined by Angus, the then caucus chair, for attempting to raise his views about the carbon tax at 2016 SK NDP convention. The form of that discipline was to be temporarily suspended from asking questions during Question Period. Check Hansard if you want to confirm this. Whether or not that discipline was appropriate is a different question, but it is the kind of discipline all caucuses apply to their members from time to time for all sorts of issues. It's not what's at issue now though.

The issue now is that, almost two years after the fact, Weir got caught up in an unrelated allegation of sexual harassment that, upon investigation, really turned out to be a situation where he stood too close to some women and talked to them for longer than they wished to be spoken to, because he is someone who has difficulty reading social cues (which difficulty may or may not be due to a disability, but that's really his private business unless he wants to share it). Contrary to your prior assertion that Weir challenged those women's accounts of their subjective experiences with him, Weir in fact publicly and without qualification accepted the conclusion of the investigator that his behavior was wrong and voluntarily underwent training to try to change his behavior in the future. I will add here that the type of behavior probably is in fact behavior that a lot of men may be guilty of, it is probably relatively minor on the culpability scale compared to other sorts of allegations that have been in the news (and compared to the sorts of things Christine Moore originally alluded to when she said she would not feel safe being alone with Weir), but it is nonetheless also the kind of behavior that men should try to change if it is brought to their attention that they are doing it, and that is what Weir has tried to do here. The trainer he worked with spoke well of Weir's efforts to date.

During this same investigation, however, which turned out to be basically a dragnet raising substantial concerns about procedural fairness, the Former Mulcair Senior Staffer (FMSS) came forward with her own allegation that, as has been reported, was fundamentally about Weir speaking harshly to her, and her feeling intimidated because he was taller than her, while she was engaged in trying to prevent him from speaking at SK NDP convention. Weir, by the way, has according to the trainer apparently acknowledged that here too he needs to be more conscious of how he occupies physical space when engaged in contentious communications like this in the future, because he is tall. But the questions remain (1) whether this was really an appropriate issue to re-litigate as part of an investigation that otherwise dealt with a totally unrelated type of conduct, and (2) what was FMSS's motivation to inject herself into this matter now anyways?

On the second question, maybe FMSS still just really harbored a grudge at the way Weir yelled at her almost two years ago. That would suggest she has kind of a thin skin for someone who is engaged at such a high level in party politics, but it's possible. If rather there was some kind of "plot" though, that substance of that "plot" would have been to muddy the waters of the sexual harassment investigation by raising this other issue and then leaking it to the media when a deal was already in place to resolve the other issues. And the motivation for doing this would have at most only been tangentially related to either Mulcair's prior leadership or Weir's prior position on the carbon tax. Rather, it would obviously be connected to the current political situation in the NDP, including the desire by Jagmeet's opponents to destabilize his leadership, and quite possibly I now believe also their desire to put a different candidate in Weir's riding in the next election. Such an alternative candidate may, among other things, be more inclined to support Charlie Angus in a future leadership challenge. And Jagmeet played right into that.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Were you not here in 2014. The year before the election Mulcair announced with fanfare that the NDP would soon be releasing 5 platform items because he felt voters deserved the time to evaluate these proposals. I waited with baited breath. 

One of his items was national daycare, another was 15 dollar minimum wage for federal employees. I cannot remember what the other 3 were but they did exist. 

It wasn't just that he said he would balance the budget. He said he would do it while delivering on his promises and would not raise taxes. It turned out the minimum wage was for a limited number of workers, not everyone, and the daycare plan wasn't really a plan but something that would be discussed with the provinces. 

In my opinion Singh will move the NDP farther left economically along the lines of what Guy Caron would have done. We won't know that until the next election is announced and the platform is released. Until then complaining that Singh isn't making enough lefty noise is the equivalent of accusing Trudeau of not having any policy. Neither can or could be judged until a platform comes out with the exception of specific comments they make. 

There is a committee of NDP economic types working together to come up with something plausible for 2019 that will survive the scrutiny of the parliamentry budget officer. 

But in the run-up to the campaign, and in the campaign itself, he centered the balanced budget thing.  He never gave the other items equal priority.  It came across as though he wanted to hide the fact that the NDP disagreed with the older parties on any major issues, that he placed obedience to the neoliberal economic and budgetary consensus above all other things.

And with Singh now, it's that he's not really making ANY policy noise, let alone any "lefty" noise-you've never explained, btw, why you use the term "lefty" with such sneering contempt, or what it is that you blame the left for-it's that he's presenting no message at all that differentiates the NDP from the Liberals and Conservatives.

What part of "the only reason for the NDP to exist is to provide an alternative to the status quo" do you not understand"  What part of "playing it safe for fifty-seven years has never achieved anything" do you not understand?

"Respectability" means staying stuck at 15% to 20% of the vote for the rest of electoral eternity.  

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Maybe a shift in focus from an all-encompassing platform to supporting producers, on the grounds that the social programs are going to come up from the towns and the villages and the provinces.

This support of producers would be evenly spread throughout the economy, so no particular business sector would overinvest on the basis of added infrastructure provided under the production support program.  

National social programs could then be asymmetrically allocated on the basis of efficiency.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
  And with Singh now, it's that he's not really making ANY policy noise, let alone any "lefty" noise-you've never explained, btw, why you use the term "lefty" with such sneering contempt, or what it is that you blame the left for-it's that he's presenting no message at all that differentiates the NDP from the Liberals and Conservatives. 

Yes. That is exactly what he should be doing. Staying away from policy. Right now expressing policy is handing the enemies of the left a weapon with which to attack him. I put "lefty" in quotes for a reason. It's very ill-defined. I am a lefty so I don't think of them with sneering contempt. You don't seem able to differenciate between leftist philosophy and political strategy. You  seem to think we can just be honest and good and fair and that will get the left elected. It will not. 

Ken Burch wrote:
  What part of "the only reason for the NDP to exist is to provide an alternative to the status quo" do you not understand"  What part of "playing it safe for fifty-seven years has never achieved anything" do you not understand? 

The NDP has been in power many times provincially. While they may govern slightly more to the left they are still part of the "status quo" as in a mainstream political party. I do agree they have to offer an alternative. I doubt Singh's budget will be radical enough to suit me. I only hope that it is radical enough to get Canadians to sit up and take notice if not actually vote NDP. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 "Respectability" means staying stuck at 15% to 20% of the vote for the rest of electoral eternity.    

I'm not promoting "respectibility" and I want the NDP to win. Realistically they won't win in 2019. They might in 2023 but unlikely. So I would be mapping out a trajectory to be the party Canada needs in 2027. 

I don't want the NDP to play it safe I want them to play it smart. That means Singh playing his cards close to the chest just like Trudeau and Scheer are doing for the most part. Being in power means Trudeau can't avoid it entirely but I think he does a pretty good job of it. 

I don't think the NDP is the party you think it is or want it to be. I wouldn't want it to be because I would like the  NDP to have a chance at getting elected federally. That does not mean hewing to the centre or mimicking the other parties in any way. 

In my opinion activists need to lead the way in convincing  people to move left. Then a party like the NDP has a chance to offer solutions. 

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
 We are all in agreement that the party needs to be challenging income inequality and economic injustice-doing so was a centerpiece of Niki Ashton's agenda, for God's sakes.  Challenging income inequality and economic injustice MEANS challenging at least some elements of the existing economic order, challenging "market values" as the only valid criteria by which economic and social questions are decided by in North America. It never has to mean telling FN people to "wait their turn", and it never has to mean validating middle-class resentment of the homeless or of environmentalists or of immigrants. If you make the egalitarian, redistributive component of the program a priority, that's all you have to do to get the support of "ordinary" voters-economic justice as a major part of it is what will get those voters on the NDP's side. 

From what I have seen of the last few elections they are won or lost based on a core message that can be expressed in a few phrases coupled with image building of the leader. 

If the party presents 30 ideas the media will decide which one of those is the "core message". You see it as speaking to to the people, informing voters, but they aren't listening. Only people who are into politics are paying attention. Whatever other people are hearing is filtered and defined by headlines. Once an impression is solidified it is very difficult to change. 

During the weeks leading up to an election a party has an opportunity to brand itself if the leader has a generally positive image. 

You think he would be creating a positive image if he expressed a progressive position on a myriad of issues. I think he would be opening himself up for attacks and labeling he might not be able to shake off for the election. Every word he says is evaluated for clips that can be used against him when it counts.

While I know you want the NDP to take a position farther left I think we are in general agreement. What we disagree on is tactics. 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
 We are all in agreement that the party needs to be challenging income inequality and economic injustice-doing so was a centerpiece of Niki Ashton's agenda, for God's sakes.  Challenging income inequality and economic injustice MEANS challenging at least some elements of the existing economic order, challenging "market values" as the only valid criteria by which economic and social questions are decided by in North America. It never has to mean telling FN people to "wait their turn", and it never has to mean validating middle-class resentment of the homeless or of environmentalists or of immigrants. If you make the egalitarian, redistributive component of the program a priority, that's all you have to do to get the support of "ordinary" voters-economic justice as a major part of it is what will get those voters on the NDP's side. 

From what I have seen of the last few elections they are won or lost based on a core message that can be expressed in a few phrases coupled with image building of the leader. 

If the party presents 30 ideas the media will decide which one of those is the "core message". You see it as speaking to to the people, informing voters, but they aren't listening. Only people who are into politics are paying attention. Whatever other people are hearing is filtered and defined by headlines. Once an impression is solidified it is very difficult to change. 

During the weeks leading up to an election a party has an opportunity to brand itself if the leader has a generally positive image. 

You think he would be creating a positive image if he expressed a progressive position on a myriad of issues. I think he would be opening himself up for attacks and labeling he might not be able to shake off for the election. Every word he says is evaluated for clips that can be used against him when it counts.

While I know you want the NDP to take a position farther left I think we are in general agreement. What we disagree on is tactics. 

 

The approach I'm talking about COULD be expressed as a concise message "economic justice, social justice,  peace".  Five words-none of which are scary.  You wouldn't have to discuss every single proposal in detail on every occasion.  

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
 The approach I'm talking about COULD be expressed as a concise message "economic justice, social justice,  peace".  Five words-none of which are scary.  You wouldn't have to discuss every single proposal in detail on every occasion.  

That works for me but without any known proposals until the election. No matter what the NDP proposes it will be ripped to shreds by the mainstream media. If it happens while people aren't paying attention people will get the vague impression that the proposal will require tax increases or cause businesses to close etc. 

That is much more difficult to do during the election period especially the next one as all platforms will have to be costed and presented to the parliamentary budget officer. Then the NDP can point to the PBO to prove whatever they are proposing is affordable. 

In my opinion the NDP should minimize the specifics on foreign policy. It has more potential to lose votes than win them. 

No matter the race, religion, or sexual orientation everyone wants good jobs and good places to live for themselves. Whichever party seems most likely to provide those things wins. If more than one party seems equal on those scores and one of them is the incumbant the incumbant usually has the edge. If not then secondary issues come into play. It becomes "so what else are you going to give me?" 

On foreign affairs including peace and trade Trudeau wins easily. Partisans and people directly connected to the countries in question are the only people paying close  attention. The general impression is going to be that Trudeau is a fantastic diplomat admired by leaders in the EU and the States with the exception of Trump. No one has any chance of convincing people they would be better on the world stage than Trudeau is. 

I supported us helping in Libya and the Ukraine. I understand now that that was wrong because I took the time to argue with people here and to follow links and to read long articles I wasn't really that interested in. I think I think it was right to help the Kurds but I am not even sure of that because I don't believe I know enough to know either way. Most Canadians won't go that deep because they know it isn't a voting issue for them. As long as a leader is plausible on the world stage it's good enough and they might not even need that much. Even when I was supporting Trudeau I didn't think he would do well on the world stage. He way exceeded my expectations.

I do get that it is frustrating that Singh isn't coughing up anything good or bad for the most part. NDP members see themselves as more involved in policy decision-making therefore have a right to know what the leadership is planning or discussing in the way of policy so members can express an opinion and impact policy if they don't like it. 

Maybe there was a time when the party worked like that but from what I can see that was in pre-Layton days or even earlier. The modern NDP runs like any other political party. Members elect the leader but there is a strong executive that has influence with the leader and appears to be powerful perhaps through the purse strings. Members get an opportunity to express themselves primarily at conventions and even then it is limited to topics the resolution committee approves. 

robbie_dee

This seems like as good a place as any to post this:

Melanie Green, "How Jagmeet Singh running in Burnaby could rebrand the party," Toronto Star (from StarMetro Vancouver), July 15, 2018

Quote:

VANCOUVER—If federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces and wins a seat in the Burnaby South riding, it could be the start of a potential rebrand for the party at one of its most beleaguered times, says the man Singh would replace if he won.

After visiting several spots in Metro Vancouver last Friday, speculation ramped up that Singh might run in Burnaby South — a position previously held by Kennedy Stewart, who is now seeking to be mayor of Vancouver.British Columbia is essential to rebuilding the New Democrats federally, Stewart said in an interview, noting that donors from the province give the most money to the federal party.

Singh does not have a seat in the House of Commons and has never committed to running before the 2019 election. The 39-year-old criminal lawyer was a star Ontario MPP from 2011 until last October, when he resigned his seat after winning the federal NDP leadership.

Observers say Singh may be the best person to capitalize on the backlash surrounding the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion from Alberta to B.C.

“There’s a real cause for the Liberals to worry with the (Trans Mountain) pipeline,” Stewart said. “If Jagmeet heeds the local call for him to run when a byelection is called, then I think he could win it.”

R.E.Wood

robbie_dee wrote:

This seems like as good a place as any to post this:

Melanie Green, "How Jagmeet Singh running in Burnaby could rebrand the party," Toronto Star (from StarMetro Vancouver), July 15, 2018

Quote:

VANCOUVER—If federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces and wins a seat in the Burnaby South riding, it could be the start of a potential rebrand for the party at one of its most beleaguered times, says the man Singh would replace if he won.

After visiting several spots in Metro Vancouver last Friday, speculation ramped up that Singh might run in Burnaby South — a position previously held by Kennedy Stewart, who is now seeking to be mayor of Vancouver.British Columbia is essential to rebuilding the New Democrats federally, Stewart said in an interview, noting that donors from the province give the most money to the federal party.

Singh does not have a seat in the House of Commons and has never committed to running before the 2019 election. The 39-year-old criminal lawyer was a star Ontario MPP from 2011 until last October, when he resigned his seat after winning the federal NDP leadership.

Observers say Singh may be the best person to capitalize on the backlash surrounding the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion from Alberta to B.C.

“There’s a real cause for the Liberals to worry with the (Trans Mountain) pipeline,” Stewart said. “If Jagmeet heeds the local call for him to run when a byelection is called, then I think he could win it.”

What a strange article... "Rebrand" the NDP as what exactly?  And Kennedy's last line in the excerpt quoted makes no sense - of course, if Singh runs "he could win it", but so "could" any other candidate who runs. Perhaps he meant to say "I think he will win it"? At least that would have had greater conviction. Frankly, if Singh runs there he won't be given an easy ride by the other parties and he "could" lose, which is probably why he continues to play his endless coy game of avoiding making any decision on the matter, just like he's done with most every other subject he's had to make a decision on during his campaign for leader and since.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
 The approach I'm talking about COULD be expressed as a concise message "economic justice, social justice,  peace".  Five words-none of which are scary.  You wouldn't have to discuss every single proposal in detail on every occasion.  

That works for me but without any known proposals until the election. No matter what the NDP proposes it will be ripped to shreds by the mainstream media. If it happens while people aren't paying attention people will get the vague impression that the proposal will require tax increases or cause businesses to close etc. 

That is much more difficult to do during the election period especially the next one as all platforms will have to be costed and presented to the parliamentary budget officer. Then the NDP can point to the PBO to prove whatever they are proposing is affordable. 

In my opinion the NDP should minimize the specifics on foreign policy. It has more potential to lose votes than win them. 

No matter the race, religion, or sexual orientation everyone wants good jobs and good places to live for themselves. Whichever party seems most likely to provide those things wins. If more than one party seems equal on those scores and one of them is the incumbant the incumbant usually has the edge. If not then secondary issues come into play. It becomes "so what else are you going to give me?" 

On foreign affairs including peace and trade Trudeau wins easily. Partisans and people directly connected to the countries in question are the only people paying close  attention. The general impression is going to be that Trudeau is a fantastic diplomat admired by leaders in the EU and the States with the exception of Trump. No one has any chance of convincing people they would be better on the world stage than Trudeau is. 

I supported us helping in Libya and the Ukraine. I understand now that that was wrong because I took the time to argue with people here and to follow links and to read long articles I wasn't really that interested in. I think I think it was right to help the Kurds but I am not even sure of that because I don't believe I know enough to know either way. Most Canadians won't go that deep because they know it isn't a voting issue for them. As long as a leader is plausible on the world stage it's good enough and they might not even need that much. Even when I was supporting Trudeau I didn't think he would do well on the world stage. He way exceeded my expectations.

I do get that it is frustrating that Singh isn't coughing up anything good or bad for the most part. NDP members see themselves as more involved in policy decision-making therefore have a right to know what the leadership is planning or discussing in the way of policy so members can express an opinion and impact policy if they don't like it. 

Maybe there was a time when the party worked like that but from what I can see that was in pre-Layton days or even earlier. The modern NDP runs like any other political party. Members elect the leader but there is a strong executive that has influence with the leader and appears to be powerful perhaps through the purse strings. Members get an opportunity to express themselves primarily at conventions and even then it is limited to topics the resolution committee approves. 

Yes, the modern NDP is run like any other party-and that is exactly WHY the modern NDP is collapsing in Quebec and losing ground everywhere else.  

And even with your "look to 2027" strategy, the party can't make a major breakthrough in 2027 if it loses ground in 2019.  It HAS to make a major effort at least to hold its ground.  Any reduction in the seat count this year probably makes future recovery in any future election impossible.

And yes, the press will attack any NDP proposals.  But they will equally attack the NDP, AS THEY ARE DOING, for saying nothing  and basing its current strategy exclusively on the personal charisma we now know Singh does not possess.  They will shred the party no matter what...which is why the party needs to make some active effort to set or at least influence the agenda, because the only thing that can gain or even maintain support for the NDP is ideas...is principles..is being willing to, as the legendary Welsh Labour politician Aneurin Bevan once said "for god's sake stand for SOMETHING!"  Caution and defensive politics don't work when you're in third place, and nothing can hold the party together besides ideas, besides some expression of passion and concern about the real issues of life.

The only thing that works is trying to win the argument...nothing else wins people over, nothing else holds the people you already have.

Oh, and please, once and for all, STOP acting as if I, or the social movements you so deride, have EVER argued that the NDP should backburner bread and butter issues.  The social movements were and are just as much about fighting against the TPP and NAFTA as they were and are about the issues you pretend are only niche causes.  There's no conflict between social justice and economic justice...they are distinct, but linked, and the best way to achieve either justice agenda is to work for all.

Besides which, people who complain about FN activism or climate justice work or the peace movement aren't ever going to vote for any party other than the Cons.  It's not as though there's this huge bloc of "King of Kensington" types the Dippers could win if ony it shut up about racism and homophobia-the party DID shut up about racism and homophobia throughout the Douglas and Lewis eras and for most of the Broadbent eras, and the King of Kensinton voters-assuming there were ever that many of them, and there are virtually none now-always shunned the Dippers anyway.

 

Pondering

I don't know why you think Singh is lacking in personal charisma. Whenever I have seen him I thought he had oodles of it and commentators seem to agree. Do you also think Trudeau is lacking in personal charisma?

The only thing that works is trying to win the argument...nothing else wins people over, nothing else holds the people you already have.

I agree with the above but the timing has to be right and the public has to be receptive. 

R.E.Wood

Pondering wrote:

I don't know why you think Singh is lacking in personal charisma. Whenever I have seen him I thought he had oodles of it and commentators seem to agree. Do you also think Trudeau is lacking in personal charisma?

The only thing that works is trying to win the argument...nothing else wins people over, nothing else holds the people you already have.

I agree with the above but the timing has to be right and the public has to be receptive. 

The extents of Singh's limitations have been listed in extensive detail by myself and at least a couple other people around here. I'm sure you've seen them, ignored them, and are just trolling us all with your "oodles of charisma" praise. I think you're just punking us all and privately laughing as the NDP races toward oblivion. There's something very Trump-ian about you, Pondering.

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
 Yes, the modern NDP is run like any other party-and that is exactly WHY the modern NDP is collapsing in Quebec and losing ground everywhere else. 

Singh hasn't lost any ground since he was elected. I'm not positive but I think he gained some. 

Ken Burch wrote:
  And even with your "look to 2027" strategy, the party can't make a major breakthrough in 2027 if it loses ground in 2019.  It HAS to make a major effort at least to hold its ground.  Any reduction in the seat count this year probably makes future recovery in any future election impossible. 

If that were true the orange wave would never have happened, but it did. When I say look to 2027 I'm talking about designing policy for what the future will be like. When Trudeau supported cannabis legalization it was against the majority of Canadians. He foresaw that the  industry would grow and that by election time people would be onboard and it would look like progressive foresight. Same with gay marriage. The liberals knew it was coming and got ahead of the parade. That is what the NDP needs to do but in a bigger way. Get ahead of the parade. Think about the next 4 to 8 years. 

Ken Burch wrote:
  They will shred the party no matter what...which is why the party needs to make some active effort to set or at least influence the agenda, because the only thing that can gain or even maintain support for the NDP is ideas...is principles..is being willing to, as the legendary Welsh Labour politician Aneurin Bevan once said "for god's sake stand for SOMETHING!"   

In the run up towards the election people are paying closer attention to politics. They will hear what the NDP has to say. Right now they will not. They will only hear what the media has to say. The NDP will have no chance to defend itself.

By the time the election rolls around it will be common knowledge that the NDP ideas are unrealistic or damaging. If they release ideas closer to election date the NDP will have a chance to defend the ideas. This is why all the parties play their cards close to the chest. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 Oh, and please, once and for all, STOP acting as if I, or the social movements you so deride, have EVER argued that the NDP should backburner bread and butter issues.  

It isn't about backburnering. Tell me in three sentences what the NDP will do better than the Liberals. There isn't a lot of room in three sentences for multiple issues. Just say the word poverty and you've lost people's attention. 

Ken Burch wrote:
 ​The only thing that works is trying to win the argument...nothing else wins people over, nothing else holds the people you already have.  

Winning an argument requires focus and interest on the part of the speaker and listeners in the best of situations. Winning multiple arguments requires even more focus and interest. It seems very obvious to me that voters are not paying  anywhere near enough attention to evaluate and absorb reasoned arguments on multiple topics. It seems to me that people are only vaguely aware of politics between elections which is worse than being unaware. They get the headlines which are often misleading. 

In my opinion it is possible to persuade people to vote in their own best interests. It's very difficult to sell them on an ideology because they aren't interested. You can talk until you are blue in the face and they will be thinking of the chores they need to get done that night. 

I strongly believe in Canada's approach to abortion; leaving it in the hands of the health system instead of the legal system. As a politician I would not bother arguing for that in Ireland. I would not argue for the right for women to go topless in Saudi Arabia. I'm using extremes to make a point. 

To persuade someone to change their opinion you must first know what their opinion is not just what yours is. Depending on the topic it is best if you also know what they most want in their own lives and what their priorities are. You need to understand their values so you know what they might support if it were offered.  

That is what the right has done with their neoliberal think tanks. They figured out where people are and found ways to manipulate them through indoctrination of simple ideas and values. Think "right to work". It's brilliant. Three twisted words win the argument. 

Being right doesn't win the argument. If it did we would have been pouring money into renewables instead of fossil fuels decades ago. It's not like this is a new topic that people haven't had a chance to catch up on. Kids are learning about environmental stewardship from kindergarten. We regularly hear about iceburgs breaking off and extreme weather patterns. we hear about islands that are going to disappear. Countries are beginning to plan and build flood protection for major cities that are exposed to rising sea levels like New York. There is major opposition to Trans Mountain but there is also major support though it may not be as strong. Lots of people fall for the argument that as long as oil is being burned it might as well be Alberta's. It's longer than three words but still concise. 

I have noticed that once anyone wins they keep some of their promises but break others and do things that were not in the platform. The NDP has to pick the winnable battles. Once in power they can do all kinds of progressive things. There is no need to convince everyone of everything before getting elected. 

For example, Notley could have introduced the idea of PR when she was elected. She could have started the debate, used government funds to educate people on it. She could have campaigned for it while in office. Then measured public sentiment. If it was high she could have forced it through with her majority. 

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