Here's Stephen Harper's plan to win the 2015 election

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Debater

I never said anything about your height.  How would I know what your height is when I've never met you before?!

I was referring to the fact that Mulcair is the shortest of the 3 main leaders, and in politics, height connotes power.  That's why most male leaders tend to be 6 feet tall.  Both Harper & Trudeau are over 6 feet, Mulcair is not.

And there have been constant attacks on Trudeau's appearance here.  What I was saying is that I haven't done that about Mulcair, but it's been happening for a long time towards Trudeau.  He also gets referred to as "It For Me" by David Young, which is also immature.  We need to keep those sort of things out of the discussion.

Sean in Ottawa

What century are you from Debater?

tall like Putin? 5'7"

Winston Churchill Maybe? 5'6"

François Hollande? 5'7"

François Mitterrand? 5'7"

Josef Stalin? 5'5"

Dmitry Medvedev? 5'4"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debater

Sean, I wasn't planning to have a detailed discussion about height.  I originally brought it up to poke some fun at Mulcair for being the shortest of the 3 main federal leaders.  But it happens to be a fact that height is usually correlated with success in leadership & the world of politics.

In the Western world, height is an advantage for leaders, particularly men, and this phenomenon has been well-researched by scientists.  There are always exceptions to the rule of course, but people tend to be influenced by who is tallest, particularly in the case of men.  Presidents of the United States are rarely under 6 feet.

Anyway, here's one research study for those who are interested.

----

The height leadership advantage in men and women: Testing evolutionary psychology predictions about the perceptions of tall leaders

Abstract

Research suggests that tall individuals have an advantage over short individuals in terms of status, prestige,

and leadership, though it is not clear why. Applying an evolutionary psychology perspective, we predicted

that taller individuals are seen as more leader-like because they are perceived as more dominant, healthy,

and intelligent. Being fit and physically imposing were arguably important leadership qualities in ancestral

human environments—perhaps especially for males—where being a leader entailed considerable physical

risks. In line with our expectations, our results demonstrate that by manipulating an individual’s stature

height positively influences leadership perception for both men and women, though the effect is stronger

for men. For male leaders this height leadership advantage is mediated by their perceived dominance,

health, and intelligence; while for female leaders this effect is only mediated by perceived intelligence.

____________________________________________

 Research shows a positive relationship between tall

stature and measures of status and leadership.

Height is positively associated with income (Judge

& Cable, 2004), authority status in the workplace

(Gawley, Perks, & Curtis, 2009) and military rank

(Masur, Masur, & Keating, 1984). Furthermore,

individuals in managerial positions are taller, on average,

than individuals in nonmanagerial positions

(Egolf & Corder, 1991), American science professors

are taller than the general public (Hensley, 1993),

and the U.S. presidential election outcome is partially

predicted by height of the winning candidate—the

 taller candidate is twice as likely to become president

(McCann, 2001). People also tend to judge an individual’s

height based on that individual’s status

(Dannenmaier & Thumin, 1964; Higham &

 Carment, 1992; Roberts & Herman, 1986), and

judge someone’s status on the basis of their height

(Lindeman & Sundvik, 1994). Additionally, recent

research show that individuals depict nation leaders

taller than average citizens, and that taller individuals

tend to show a greater interest in leadership positions

(Murray & Schmitz, 2011).

 

Why is height associated with leadership emergence?

Research has shown a link between height

and dominant or assertive personality traits which

may facilitate leader emergence (Melamed, 1992),

but how do perceptions of tall individuals contribute

to this process? Previous findings show a connection

between perceptions of status and height,

but important questions still remain. What underlies

the perceptions about tall leaders? How can we

explain the automatic association between height

and leader perception? Finally, does the height leadership

advantage apply to both men and women?

In this article we integrate ideas from leadership

categorization and implicit leadership theories

(Kenney, Schwartz-Kenney, & Blascovich, 1996;

Lord, Foti, & De Vader, 1984) with an evolutionary

psychology framework to understand the implicit

association between height and leadership.

-----

(Italics added by me.)

Rest of the research study here:

http://www.professormarkvanvugt.com/files/heighlteadeshipGPIR.pdf

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Any thought that Trudeau might not be 'man enough' was quickly dispelled in the boxing ring with Brazeau.

Sean in Ottawa

Debater this is silly. Mulcair is not short. He may be shorter than Harper who at 6'3" is one of if not the tallest of world leaders today. However when you see Mulcair on stage or walking with poeple it is obvious he is not short. He was the second tallest on the stage of NDP leadership contenders at his leader. Topp was much shorter.

I found no references anywhere to him being called short. Except by you.

He was also taller than Layton by quite a bit and Layton was never identified as being too short.

As I say this is silly.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Debater this is silly. Mulcair is not short. He may be shorter than Harper who at 6'3" is one of if not the tallest of world leaders today. However when you see Mulcair on stage or walking with poeple it is obvious he is not short. He was the second tallest on the stage of NDP leadership contenders at his leader. Topp was much shorter.

I found no references anywhere to him being called short. Except by you.

He was also taller than Layton by quite a bit and Layton was never identified as being too short.

As I say this is silly.

It doesn't matter. He wasn't calling him short or fat. He was using those as examples of invalid personal attacks based on appearances rather than substance. His point being that attacks on Trudeau's appearance are also invalid.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Harper is 6'3"? I never would have guessed. He doesn't look like a tall man to me. Then again, I always thought Joe Clark was short and was surprised to see that he was far taller than I imagined when I saw him walking down Rideau Street (post-PM).

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

 

dadgad

 

Jacob Two-Two

Pondering wrote:

It doesn't matter. He wasn't calling him short or fat. He was using those as examples of invalid personal attacks based on appearances rather than substance. His point being that attacks on Trudeau's appearance are also invalid.

But the comparison is not valid. Nobody actually makes fun of Justin's appearance. Whoever heard of making fun of someone for being good looking? The gist of the gibe about Justin is that his looks are all he has going for him. That he HAS to be good looking to compensate for his lack of qualifications or accomplishments, and thus his appeal is all about style and surface rather than substance. His good looks aren't a target in themselves, but only as a part of a larger phenomenon of shallowness surrounding Justin that is perfectly valid to criticise. It's not at all the same as calling somebody ugly, like when the Cons made fun of Chretien's appearance.

Pondering

laine lowe wrote:

Harper is 6'3"? I never would have guessed. He doesn't look like a tall man to me. Then again, I always thought Joe Clark was short and was surprised to see that he was far taller than I imagined when I saw him walking down Rideau Street (post-PM).

Me either, I assumed he was of average height. Odd.

Debater

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Debater this is silly. Mulcair is not short. He may be shorter than Harper who at 6'3" is one of if not the tallest of world leaders today. However when you see Mulcair on stage or walking with poeple it is obvious he is not short. He was the second tallest on the stage of NDP leadership contenders at his leader. Topp was much shorter.

I found no references anywhere to him being called short. Except by you.

He was also taller than Layton by quite a bit and Layton was never identified as being too short.

As I say this is silly.

As I said above, I brought up the height thing to poke some fun at Mulcair for being shorter than Trudeau & Harper who are 6'2 and 6'3 respectively.  They are both tall men, and Mulcair is average height, yes.  But he is only around 5'9 or 5'10 compared to Trudeau & Harper, so they will be towering over him by comparison.  People will notice that.  And as you can see from the scientific research above, height does matter for men in politics, although more so in the United States.  As the research says, Presidents of the U.S. are rarely under 6'0.

Debater

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

Pondering wrote:

It doesn't matter. He wasn't calling him short or fat. He was using those as examples of invalid personal attacks based on appearances rather than substance. His point being that attacks on Trudeau's appearance are also invalid.

But the comparison is not valid. Nobody actually makes fun of Justin's appearance. Whoever heard of making fun of someone for being good looking? The gist of the gibe about Justin is that his looks are all he has going for him. That he HAS to be good looking to compensate for his lack of qualifications or accomplishments, and thus his appeal is all about style and surface rather than substance. His good looks aren't a target in themselves, but only as a part of a larger phenomenon of shallowness surrounding Justin that is perfectly valid to criticise. It's not at all the same as calling somebody ugly, like when the Cons made fun of Chretien's appearance.

There are many Babblers who have tried to make fun of Justin's appearance & physical characteristics.  You can be good-looking and still have your appearance made fun of.

I already outlined some of them above.  People have called Justin a 'fop', and called him flamboyant and un-masculine.  To give them credit, there were a few Babblers who called out this behaviour and reminded people not to stoop to the level of the Cons.

Btw, I don't know how many times I can tell you that you are wrong about Justin's looks being the only thing he has going for him.  If that were true he wouldn't be where he is today.  Looks are not enough to get to the top in politics.  He has a lot more than that going for him, and that's why he's doing so well with voters.  There's nothing I can say to change your mind.  That's the difference between you and an objective political commentator like Chantal Hébert, Tim Harper, Stephen Maher, etc.  They look at the strengths of each of the leaders.  You don't think Justin has any.  That's your choice, of course, but it will make analyzing politics more difficult for you.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Debater this is silly. Mulcair is not short. He may be shorter than Harper who at 6'3" is one of if not the tallest of world leaders today. However when you see Mulcair on stage or walking with poeple it is obvious he is not short. He was the second tallest on the stage of NDP leadership contenders at his leader. Topp was much shorter.

I found no references anywhere to him being called short. Except by you.

He was also taller than Layton by quite a bit and Layton was never identified as being too short.

As I say this is silly.

It doesn't matter. He wasn't calling him short or fat. He was using those as examples of invalid personal attacks based on appearances rather than substance. His point being that attacks on Trudeau's appearance are also invalid.

Yes he was -- read it again.

Debater

montrealer58 wrote:

Any thought that Trudeau might not be 'man enough' was quickly dispelled in the boxing ring with Brazeau.

Correct.  You have picked up on something important.

Trudeau is very smart when it comes to politics (his detractors forget this).  Trudeau knows politics, better than Mulcair, which is why he's beating him.  He knows what voters want and how they make their choices at the ballot box.

Trudeau realized that voters, particularly male heterosexual voters, judge leaders by how strong or masculine they appear.  If they appear to be weak in some way, they are portrayed as feminine, gay, a wimp, etc.  

The Conservatives have tried to do this in their marketing by portraying Harper as strong, tough, masculine, etc. and portray his opponents, particularly Dion, Ignatieff etc. as wimpy, prissy intellectuals.  They also wanted to portray Trudeau as a wimpy pretty boy, and tried to do that last year with that print ad of Trudeau with the pixie dust.  (A few reporters called out the Cons for that.)

For an example of the Conservative mindset, I know of several conservatives who told me they lost respect for Peter MacKay as a future leadership contender when Belinda Stronach dumped him and he ended up crying about it in the potato patch in Nova Scotia.  They viewed it as an emasculation.  Conservative males will not vote for leaders they see as weak, and some of the swing voters and moderates are also this way.  Whether we like it or not, this is a well-researched phenomenon in the world of politics.  And look at the beating Robert Stanfield took for the 'football fumble'.

So Trudeau decided he would prove that he's got a tough side and likes sports, including boxing.  As Michael Den Tandt has written, Trudeau brilliantly orchestrated the boxing match.  He lured Brazeau into a false sense of security by pretending he wasn't that good at boxing and allowed Brazeau to get overconfident.  Then he went out and beat him and proved he could be tough.  Trudeau's standing went up in the public eye after that.  There was a big piece on it in The Ottawa Citizen last year by Den Tandt for those who want to read more details rather than hearing me blabbing on about it.

nicky

For what it's worth I have been face to face with Tom many times. I think he is as tall as me - 5'11" although I have never asked or measured. 

I can only assume that Debater brought up this issie of height because he perceives some height inadequacy on his own part.

clambake

Debater wrote:

montrealer58 wrote:

Any thought that Trudeau might not be 'man enough' was quickly dispelled in the boxing ring with Brazeau.

Correct.  You have picked up on something important.

Trudeau is very smart when it comes to politics (his detractors forget this).  Trudeau knows politics, better than Mulcair, which is why he's beating him.  He knows what voters want and how they make their choices at the ballot box.

Yup, and that's sad reflection of the state of our democracy. Reminds me of this Chomsky quote:

"The role of the PR industry in elections is explicitly to undermine the school-child version of democracy. What you learn in school is that democracies are based on informed voters making rational decisions. All you have to do is take a look at an electoral campaign run by the PR industry and see that the purpose is to create uninformed voters who will make irrational decisions".

clambake

Debater wrote:

montrealer58 wrote:

Any thought that Trudeau might not be 'man enough' was quickly dispelled in the boxing ring with Brazeau.

So Trudeau decided he would prove that he's got a tough side and likes sports, including boxing.  As Michael Den Tandt has written, Trudeau brilliantly orchestrated the boxing match.  He lured Brazeau into a false sense of security by pretending he wasn't that good at boxing and allowed Brazeau to get overconfident.  Then he went out and beat him and proved he could be tough.  Trudeau's standing went up in the public eye after that.  There was a big piece on it in The Ottawa Citizen last year by Den Tandt for those who want to read more details rather than hearing me blabbing on about it.

All this talk of personality politics is completely irrelevant to most visitors to this site. The fact that Trudeau is percieved as an empty suit is secondary to the greater concern of what he and his party represent.

Sean in Ottawa

Debater wrote:

montrealer58 wrote:

Any thought that Trudeau might not be 'man enough' was quickly dispelled in the boxing ring with Brazeau.

Correct.  You have picked up on something important.

Trudeau is very smart when it comes to politics (his detractors forget this).  Trudeau knows politics, better than Mulcair, which is why he's beating him.  He knows what voters want and how they make their choices at the ballot box.

Snipped the rest of your post because it was just down hill from the first stinker.

Debator you are showing yourself to be very ignorant about politics here, frankly, as you pronounce on who knows what. Your tone is absolute and arrogant which makes the ignorance more annoying. And you wonder why people are so tempted to unfairly attack you. I am hereby attacking your post for the drivel that it is.

Politicians are very rarely strategists and there is absolutely no indication that Trudeau himself is the source of the Liberal strategy around promoting him. Looking at two leaders you cannot assume which one knows more about politics by measuring popularity.

As for what the candidate knows personaly about politics the smart money would all be on Mulcair and not just because of his experience, education, previous performance and obvious skills. That said, it is not what the candiate knows about politics that sets him or her apart in a campaign. It is the impression they give rather than their knowledge that makes a difference.

Having the most powerful political family name in the last 50 years no doubt is a massive asset. It would be like starting a race where one of the participants begins three quarters of the way to the finish line. They would have to fall flat and not get up to lose. Looks are important. The facility to look natural and engage is as well. Trudeau has these. He also seems to be getting good advice on the policy and communications front generally and when he is prepared comes out with some good statements. In fact I think the poeple around Trudeau are doing a fantastic job. To say this makes Trudeau more knowledgable is magical thinking.

Mulcair has only his own name. He does not have the apparent ease nor the poise of a celebrity. Trudeau appears more like something out of Hollywood than real life. But his background has trained him for that. He was a born celebrity literally and Canadians feel invested in having watched him grow up. Mulcair is not dashing - he even took the ALS challenge wearing an uncomfortable suit. He looks a little awkward at times. So Mulcair having personal numbers close to Trudeau suggests that Mulcair has something that makes up at least somewhat for all the advantages Trudeau seems to have.

Trudeau cuts a more impressive sight than Mulcair. To say he knows more suggests that you don't know much and I think this is all fair comment brought on by your post.

Pondering

There are multiple levels of political strategy. Justin has his father's political instincts. Trudeau has charisma but so does Mulcair.

Trudeau has unshakable personal self-assurance coupled with the conviction that he reflects Canada's values and aspirations. All he has to do is be himself. He doesn't need any help crafting an image or even projecting his image.

That is why he isn't worried about making gaffes. He knows none of them will be serious so they won't stick. For example the crack he made about Putin early in the Ukraine crisis. It was forgivable because he was taking at crack at Putin not at the Ukraine. He shouldn't have said it but most Canadians can imagine making a similar crack sitting at the dinner table.

Same goes for his swearing. He doesn't have to think about when he can or can't get away with it. He knows automatically. He was born socially attuned and it was honed growing up in a political melieu. He is appropriately transparent about his finances releasing more than any other leader and about his mother's mental illness and his admiration of her.

He knows how to get under Harper's skin. He is going after the Conservatives like a Matador with a cape entertaining the crowds by dancing out of the way just in time. He is driving them mad with frustration, giving them just enough rope to hang themselves. Now they are going on about him shrugging just like his father.

Now Conservatives are focusing on the "elite" angle which the "shrugging" is emblematic of. Trudeau's ALS video alone dispels any charges on that score. The little girl that wanders in and out of the frame gives it the feel of a home movie and a family no different than millions of Canadians. Trudeau is dressed like any normal person would in his backyard. Sophie is every wife who would be amused by dumping a bucket of ice water on her husband's head.

Mulcair's video was equally candid but instead of a warm family shot we get two older men, Mulcair in a sloppy looking suit minus the tie, standing in a field. It was an opportunity for us to get to know the man, and we did.

Take every word over four letters in that paragraph and you have a list of why the ruling Conservatives hate him. I didn’t put the word “attractive” in there in case they fizzed with resentment and exploded, like when you shake a pop can and open its little metal hole.

If you’re reading this online, check out the gif of Justin and Sophie dancing in a hallway just before his big convention speech in 2013. This is how these two shake off their spare energy; they dance like nobody’s watching. But everyone’s watching and they like what they see.

Trudeau has brought the party back from near-extinction in 2011 to lead in the polls, and the NDP, admirable but too cautious, are worried. What do Stephen Harper and his wife do before a big moment? Glare at each other? He yells at a trembling staffer, she strokes her cats. At some point, a line was crossed and Harper now emits the kind of toxicity a politician can’t kill. It’s like a house where meth was cooked. That house is done.

Pasted from <http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/08/24/why_voters_like_justin_trudeau_mallick.html>

Trudeau knows when it's okay to be caught dancing.

thorin_bane

Debater wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Debater this is silly. Mulcair is not short. He may be shorter than Harper who at 6'3" is one of if not the tallest of world leaders today. However when you see Mulcair on stage or walking with poeple it is obvious he is not short. He was the second tallest on the stage of NDP leadership contenders at his leader. Topp was much shorter.

I found no references anywhere to him being called short. Except by you.

He was also taller than Layton by quite a bit and Layton was never identified as being too short.

As I say this is silly.

As I said above, I brought up the height thing to poke some fun at Mulcair for being shorter than Trudeau & Harper who are 6'2 and 6'3 respectively.  They are both tall men, and Mulcair is average height, yes.  But he is only around 5'9 or 5'10 compared to Trudeau & Harper, so they will be towering over him by comparison.  People will notice that.  And as you can see from the scientific research above, height does matter for men in politics, although more so in the United States.  As the research says, Presidents of the U.S. are rarely under 6'0.

As mentioned before TROLL. Nice weasel job, but you did make fun of him in a very passive aggresive way even though you had the facts wrong. Typical.

thorin_bane

Pondering wrote:

There are multiple levels of political strategy. Justin has his father's political instincts. Trudeau has charisma but so does Mulcair.

Trudeau has unshakable personal self-assurance coupled with the conviction that he reflects Canada's values and aspirations. All he has to do is be himself. He doesn't need any help crafting an image or even projecting his image.

That is why he isn't worried about making gaffes. He knows none of them will be serious so they won't stick. For example the crack he made about Putin early in the Ukraine crisis. It was forgivable because he was taking at crack at Putin not at the Ukraine. He shouldn't have said it but most Canadians can imagine making a similar crack sitting at the dinner table.

Same goes for his swearing. He doesn't have to think about when he can or can't get away with it. He knows automatically. He was born socially attuned and it was honed growing up in a political melieu. He is appropriately transparent about his finances releasing more than any other leader and about his mother's mental illness and his admiration of her.

He knows how to get under Harper's skin. He is going after the Conservatives like a Matador with a cape entertaining the crowds by dancing out of the way just in time. He is driving them mad with frustration, giving them just enough rope to hang themselves. Now they are going on about him shrugging just like his father.

Now Conservatives are focusing on the "elite" angle which the "shrugging" is emblematic of. Trudeau's ALS video alone dispels any charges on that score. The little girl that wanders in and out of the frame gives it the feel of a home movie and a family no different than millions of Canadians. Trudeau is dressed like any normal person would in his backyard. Sophie is every wife who would be amused by dumping a bucket of ice water on her husband's head.

Mulcair's video was equally candid but instead of a warm family shot we get two older men, Mulcair in a sloppy looking suit minus the tie, standing in a field. It was an opportunity for us to get to know the man, and we did.

Take every word over four letters in that paragraph and you have a list of why the ruling Conservatives hate him. I didn’t put the word “attractive” in there in case they fizzed with resentment and exploded, like when you shake a pop can and open its little metal hole.

If you’re reading this online, check out the gif of Justin and Sophie dancing in a hallway just before his big convention speech in 2013. This is how these two shake off their spare energy; they dance like nobody’s watching. But everyone’s watching and they like what they see.

Trudeau has brought the party back from near-extinction in 2011 to lead in the polls, and the NDP, admirable but too cautious, are worried. What do Stephen Harper and his wife do before a big moment? Glare at each other? He yells at a trembling staffer, she strokes her cats. At some point, a line was crossed and Harper now emits the kind of toxicity a politician can’t kill. It’s like a house where meth was cooked. That house is done.

Pasted from <http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/08/24/why_voters_like_justin_trudeau_mallick.html>

Trudeau knows when it's okay to be caught dancing.

Tell me does he also walk on water when it isn't winter like his father must have passed down to him? You guys are seriously going to be disappointed if you believe half of what you write. I can admit I am not happy with Mulcair as leader, but I don't pretend he is somethign he is not.

Pondering

thorin_bane wrote:
Tell me does he also walk on water when it isn't winter like his father must have passed down to him? You guys are seriously going to be disappointed if you believe half of what you write. I can admit I am not happy with Mulcair as leader, but I don't pretend he is somethign he is not.

No Trudeau doesn't walk on water but he is on a roll for a reason and it isn't based solely on his hair or his policies or the MSM. He is obviously tapping into something. Hiding your head in the sand isn't going to defeat him.

Mulcair is an attractive charismatic man with a great sense of humor who can think on his feet. So far the only place people seem to realize that is in Quebec. I think he may be uncomfortable selling himself as opposed to policy. Maybe that's not it but there is a problem.

Sean in Ottawa

In view of what I wrote above I think Trudeau may well be a massive success in 2015 -- one that might even rival his father. I also fear he may be a massive dissapointment. One that might even rival his father. He may do long term damage to the country. In a way that might even rival his father.

But I can see the magic that may bring him to power and the current polls are barely reflecting it so far. I think the people that are not answering polls and are not paying much attention may fall into this even more than those who are now participating.

Ther will be Conservatives wondering what happened. There will be New Democrats pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. But for the great mass of people who want to be drunk on optimism for the future they will vote.

If the NDP want to reverse this trend or at least hold it back a bit, they have to start to recognize what it is and answer with their own optimism.

For now Liberals are pretending that the Trudeau phenomenon is about the brilliance of Justin and the others are pretending that there is nothing more to it than a snowball in spring. Time for people to pause and recognize what we are seeing, especially if they don't want to see Justin as PM.

Sean in Ottawa

Trudeau is young and a little cocky. He has some good instincts in between the awkwardness and gaffes and he is lucky enough to be forgiven for much as people want him to be something. He also seems to have some talents -- he is a natural celebrity. This is not the same as political knowledge although it is possible that will catch up. Very different from the way Debater put it.

I think Trudeau has something else going for him and right now it is politically golden.

He is positive -- to a fault. Canadians are craving this. Sounds a bit like Layton and this is very much what made the difference between Layton's initial foray that had limited success and the one that almost brought him to power. I think if the 2011 campaign had gone on another couple weeks and Layton had the strength for it he could have won. Layton in spite of the cane was the ray of sunshine in that campaign and everyone got it. That optimism made Layton appear younger than his adversaries even though he was older than Harper (Igantieff is only three years older than Layton). The man with the cane was experienced but still a breath of fresh air -- new.

If I were working for the NDP right now I would suggest a minor make-over for Mulcair. Not the Beard or anything difficult but this. Frame every difference with the government into an opportunity and a positive rather than a criticism -- really not hard to do -- it's rhetorical not a difference in content. Avoid any attack other than the debate or in the House. Get other New Democrats to deliver blows when needed but frame the leader as an optimistic option.

Back to Trudeau. Trudeau has another asset and it is huge. He does not just have any old name. His name is nostalgic for the last time Canadians really felt good about themselves in Canada and on the world stage. This was a time of huge optimism and prestige for Canadians. The only other time Canadians had such a positive vision from a PM was Laurier and he is beyond living memory. And it was not as if there were not terrible problems. But still there was great optimism. Or at least it is seen that way from here...

Certainly there were negative periods to PET's time in office but Justin does not remind you of these because he is younger. He reminds people more of 1968 than 1979 or 1984. While lots of issues existed the 1960s and the 1970s were more optimistic for the country -- even in spite of the referendum, October Crisis, economic difficulties and the NEP. This was the afterglow of 1967, of the Olympics, of Canada representing peace in the world and the very popular Charter of Rights and Freedoms which became popular over time. Even when people felt the government was being mismanaged there was a lot of faith that it could do better -- that with the right policies government was a force for good. All those problems of PET's time and what came later has lead to a broad skepticism that exists today that did not exist then even among Trudeau's enemies. Even those who wanted Quebec to be a country did so based on huge volumes of optimism for the future.

This was a time of a strong and hopeful "middle class" better and better wages, a time of Katimavik not a time when people are facing the decline of the "middle class." Canada was at peace while the US was at war. We were attracting Americans who wanted a better world not losing more jobs. Medicare was new and hopeful. Our border was undefended. The time Trudeau reminds people of is more popular than his father, himself, was.

For Justin it is a best of both worlds. Western Canadians may not blame Justin for the NEP but they will share the nostalgia for that positive time. Some of the nostalgia is a false picture but none of that matters as impressions are more important than reality.

Remember as well that PET replaced a generation that was older than he was in more than years. Pearson was slightly stuffy. Trudeau was over twenty years younger which is a generational change. Trudeau is 12 years younger than Harper and appears even more. The sense of generational change is as strong as the optimism. Mulcair is five years older than Harper. Trudeau's lack of experience is being trumpeted by Harper but the CPC are missing the fact that this is his greatest asset. They want to be rid of the entire crop of politicians that Harper came from.

Canadians look at Harper and feel that they are disliked by their leader. They want his replacement to like them. Mulcair is smart and he appears to care although most have not related to him at least so far. But we all know, regardless of all other issues, that Trudeau truly loves Canada and Canadians. Considering Harper, we have not been able to take that for granted in a PM. Trudeau is joyful. And that impression is a huge issue in politics right now. Mulcair's enthusiasm is not as much on display as Trudeau's. It should be.

This is not an endorsement as I want some very practical things from a government change. But I can understand that the relationship Canadians have with Trudeau is very emotional and it is not just nostalgia for his father.

 

(sorry about the length -- I have been considering writing an article on this for a time and I guess, rough as it is, I just did.)

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Sean, everything you say is sensible, and it all may be correct. However, I think you are making many assumptions that are not justified by evidence, but rather by your own intuitive sense of the political landscape. I prefer to assume rather that Canadians will be more impressed by the actual expertise of Mulcair and his clear mastery of the issues, than the fluff of Trudeau during the next campaign. The real problem with your position is that it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if enough people think the same things. If I am wrong, I will suffer some mild embarrassment after the election, but at least I won't have contributed to the concept of Trudeaumania.

Sean in Ottawa

Actually I think if people recognize this for what it is they may protect themselves a little from it.

People are projecting on to Trudeau what is not there. Many who are huge fans can not articulate why. If they understood that they would see how much of this is not rational.

I don't think this is just my assumption. I think most Canadians are in a political depression when they think of the leadership for this country. I think the dynamics of that group depression are what is fuelling not just the extra enthusiasm for Trudeau but the willful blindness to any of his weaknesses. We will do anything to feel good about the country again even if it is just for one day.

The people who are policy minded may not be taken in but they still need to understand what is happening in order to talk to people who will elect Trudeau on a cloud of hope in a rejection of dispair but without any real examination of the substance.

I do think there is lots of evidence. In fact my explanation works better than conspiracy theory to explain why Trudeau is as ubiquitous as O J Simpson was in 1995.

We are hearing that the media cover Trudeau more and more becuase he drives the ads. People cannot read enough. There is a reason for this and it is not his brilliance.

Marg Wood Marg Wood's picture

I am fed up with this system of government. It is not democratic when 39% gets a majority of seats, but not the majority of votes. I would like to see the parties get the number of seats by the percentage of votes the party gets.  No calling of elections until the term is over and no omnibus bills.  Majority votes on bills & either they pass or not.  That in my opinion is a social democratic system! I don't understand why Canadians of all parties are not fighting for this kind of government??? 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

What you are describing is called Proportional Representation, and we have had many threads about it here on babble. For me, it is the most important issue there is, in the sense that I would vote for any party if I knew they would implement P.R. when elected. Unfortunately, only the Green Party and the NDP are currently committed to the idea. However, some Liberals and even a few Conservatives are on side. You can get more information at Fair Vote Canada.

thorin_bane

The liberals I have heard of prefer preferential balloting, which in most countries, ours included, moves the most votes to the mushy middle. I want a written declaration (which the NDP should do, its a stunt but it would be good for PR) that they would at the least have a vote, cant use referendum because it now has a negative conitation, on to move forward with a new form of government or to continue with FPTP. After we decide to change the way we vote, we THEN put the options on the table. First thing is to unite the PR/preferential voting people so we can at the least scrap the current model. Then we can debate the merrits of STV MMP PV. I sit in the MMP camp, certain flavours are better than other.

So first we abolish FPTP then when people understand that we can make changes in this country that are more democratic, it would be a good springboard to getting rid of the senate, and even the monarchy.

Pondering

Sean articulated well the notion that Trudeau will not carry the sins of the father but will benefit by nostalgia for that era. It is also true that the times and Harper's reign of ugly have primed the public for an upbeat leader.

I was speaking of political instincts not political knowledge. He was born and raised in the public eye so he is very comfortable being himself. He grew up watching his father entertain the press. Trudeau has a finely tuned instinct for knowing just how far he can go which makes him very confident and relaxed in the face of attacks. He trusts Canadians to see him for who he really is which is an intelligent modern man who loves Canada.

He boxes, he does yoga, he's a family man, he has university degrees, he has unshakable confidence.

As to policy, Trudeau is expressing at least as much as Mulcair and I would argue more of it. The Liberals may not have an ideology but they do have principles and they are expressed.

Trudeau: "The biggest threat to global security is the kind of violence and misunderstandings and wars that come out of resource depletion, economic uncertainty, concerns of lack of hope for generations growing up in a world that is getting smaller and seemingly less and less fair."

Trying to peg Trudeau as lacking in gravitas won't work. Neither will trying to paint him as an out of touch elite who doesn't understand the needs of families. One statistic I saw a while back that didn't get much attention is that a majority of Canadians feel Trudeau best reflects their values or Canadian values, I forget the exact wording but shared values is a powerful draw.

Defying all reason Harper still has a reputation as a great economic manager, it's his ace in the hole. His weakness is that he has been exposed as mean and ugly, un-Canadian.

Mulcair's narrative seems to be that he is more experienced than Trudeau but administrative experience won't be a strong argument against the expertise and experience Trudeau is/will be surrounded by. Trudeau will be presenting a highly credible cabinet not just himself.

Why do you think he lacks substance? Because he doesn't have a thick resume?

 

 

Pondering

thorin_bane wrote:

The liberals I have heard of prefer preferential balloting, which in most countries, ours included, moves the most votes to the mushy middle.

During the leadership debates Trudeau supported preferencial balloting but as policy believes various voting methods should be studied and debated before a particular one is promoted. I agree because no provincial governments have succeeded in implementing preferential or proportional voting. It would be a major change and I am not convinced I want it. There are hybrid systems too so I think it would take a Royal Commission to study the matter and present findings to Canadians.

Sean in Ottawa

There is a long history of Liberals promising great things and then once elected not performing. Now that we have mostly agreed that the issue is not about Trudeau but the people around him, we have good cause to remain concerned that the opportunity for progress can pass us by when we elect Liberals.

I don't hate Trudeau as a person. I don't even think that we need the absolute brightest as PM. But I do think that we need to try a different party than the one with a horrible record on keeping progressive promises for change. The damage from Harper must not only be arrested (which I think the Liberals *might* do) but the previous damage must be reversed (which I have no reason to feel confident about the Liberals doing).

My concern -- unlike some others here -- is not so much that Trudeau is a light-weight but that he is in a party with a political culture of offering more than it will ever deliver. The Liberals have long been considered the Master Bait and Switch Party.

Even if Trudeau were the most brilliant, most experienced, morally unimpeachable and personally a progressive with a committment to democratic renewal, I have no confidence that his party has the will, interest or ability to make the changes needed.

I, like many others, appreciate the value of having a PM that truly loves Canada and Canadians. After the last few years of Harper that would be a great change. But we need specific, real and significant action to redress the damage of the Harper years. I have no confidence a Liberal government, regardless who the leader is, would do that. I agree that some people may take their frustrations with the Liberal party character and history out on Trudeau. And he is, after all, the leader and he has opted to be the point person to defend that record and try to make a case that somehow this time it will be different.

Already he is bold about motherhood issues and less specific about most social justice issues.

The exception I can think of is the committment to fix the funding gap in Aboriginal education. I am pleased to recognize that committment and want to hear the same from Mulcair. This for me personally is one of my absolute top political priorities. But I remain stuck with the problem trusting the Liberals to deliver when they have failed to do that so often before. This is a trust deficit the Liberals have a problem overcoming.

Still, if there were much more on First Nations I could be persuaded to take a risk especially if the NDP were silent on these specifics. That is becuase I consider justice for Canada's Aboriginal people to be my absolute number one priority for the federal government right now. I have said that a long time and would be lying to pretend I am not looking closely at what everyone is saying.

My second priority has to be democratic renewal. For me the only parties I could trust are the NDP and the Greens and I don't expect the Greens to be in a posiiton to do anything.

My third priorities are a credible industrial and jobs plan and measures to deliver greater social justice. I only trust the NDP on these.

As well I am concerned that Trudeua may make moves that are far to the right of what I am comfortable with.

So if I were convinced most of the Aboriginal policies that I support were in the Liberal platform AND for some reason I thought the Liberals would actually deliver AND the NDP were not also committed to the same policies, I would seriously consider lending a vote to Trudeau and hope he would make some progress. However, I have much more faith in the NDP on my second and third priorities AND I think the NDP may address much of my first priority.

So this is the reason I respect Trudeau's comments on First Nations and hope to hear more but have not heard what it would take to convince me to move to his camp. I hnestly don't know if there is anything that would convince me to trust what he is saying even the things I appreciate very deeply.

 

thorin_bane

Two things that say No to that empty promise. 1 Child Poverty reduction. 2 Consecutive years of surplus that went straight on the debt. Thank you once again Paul Martin/JC/Ralph
I could also say GST/NAFTA etc. The only thing I can state they did was cancel the helicopters. Which had we known we would have taken 1/4 of the shippment at the penalty cost and at least got something for 500 million(1/2 the original price).

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The conversation in this thread is fascinating but what the hell does it have to do with: Here's Stephen Harper's Plan to Win the 2015 Election.

CoolWink

Sean in Ottawa

thorin_bane wrote:

Two things that say No to that empty promise. 1 Child Poverty reduction. 2 Consecutive years of surplus that went straight on the debt. Thank you once again Paul Martin/JC/Ralph
I could also say GST/NAFTA etc. The only thing I can state they did was cancel the helicopters. Which had we known we would have taken 1/4 of the shippment at the penalty cost and at least got something for 500 million(1/2 the original price).

This is the problem -- so you see my big problem is not with Trudeau per se. My big problem is with the Liberal party and being able to believe anything they say. That whole machine puts up leaders that talk Canadians into believing and then do something else. Their famed run from the left govern from the right strategy.

To consider the thread topic-- this is somewhat relevant considering that Harper will focus on Trudeau. In fact he has a life-long Trudeau fetish. This might work to a degree but it is not the main issue which should be about the entire political culture coming into government. And that means the Liberal party. And that is where the greatest concern lies. I would hope the NDP keeps some of the criticism on the party rather than go for that personal focus on Trudeau who is a rather unknown quantity. As PMs go he will reflect largely the company he keeps and the advice he listens to.

Debater

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The conversation in this thread is fascinating but what the hell does it have to do with: Here's Stephen Harper's Plan to Win the 2015 Election.

CoolWink

Good point. Wink Unfortunately, most threads here tend to end up being about Justin Trudeau or the Liberals vs. the NDP.

Kind of proves the point that Paul Adams makes in Power Trap, doesn't it?  The Liberals & NDP spend more time going after each other than focusing on Harper.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

So that is item 1 on Harper's plan. Let the Liberals and the NDP duke it out.

But what is the voter going to want? Are they going to absolutely want to destroy Harper and the Conservatives? If so, they are going to be strategically-intelligent as no time before. If ridings are going NDP, people would go NDP, and if Liberal, Liberal. It might not get the government we want, but it would get rid of the Conservatives.

Looking at the heart of Conservative power, we have half in Ontario, and half in the prairies/interior BC. The real powerbase is suburban Calgary, which has financial and political interest in the oil business. What is happening there? The provincial situation is in a shambles. Conservatism in Alberta is splitting again, and we saw the Christian Heritage Party rear its head again. This could delete a lot of Conservative margins in evangelical and catholic areas. On the moderate side is the smiling face of Elizabeth May, who is proving to be the new kind of Joe Clark Green Tory leader.

Harper has not delivered enough to the social conservatives, and fortunately, the way this country is set up, no Prime Minister ever could. And there is no way he could be credible to anyone who was any kind of green. All that leaves is Canadian Tea Party, which is going to be manifested in more and more idiotic ways.

Pondering

I can see why you hold the views that you do. Being a member of a party, or a strong supporter of one, naturally means you will put more emphasis on party affiliation than someone who doesn't. I see four components to a party. The leader, the executive, the caucus and the membership. The membership has very little power other than withdrawing its support which is what happened to the Liberals.

I agree that beyond the shadow of a doubt NDP members and followers are on average significantly more progressive than Liberal members on average. The problem is that the membership is as powerless as the Liberal membership was (and pretty much still is).

The main power lies in the hands of the leader versus the executive. The caucus can lean one way or the other. All three, leader, caucus and executive, can be on the same page or they can be at odds. Right now, in the Liberal party, Trudeau has all the power and he will make the final decisions but the people he chooses as advisors will inform his decisions. The executive that chose Martin, Ignatieff have lost all power and influence.

For the Conservatives Harper and a small cabal hold all the power but there is growing mutiny in the ranks.

My perception of the NDP is that the power is shared between Mulcair and the executive but they are on the same page. The membership exists to do the legwork so the fact that the membership is more progressive than the leadership is immaterial to me. What matters is how the party is being run and by whom.

As a party that has been in power through much of Canada's history there are "promises" they have kept and some they have not, and they did break some big ones. Different people are in control of the party now and these are different times. I am not going to judge the new team on the basis of the old.

I understand that members of the NDP have good reasons to a have different perspective than mine but it does come down to judgement calls and interpretations.

I read that 7 riding associations had submitted the question of marijuana legalization for a vote at the convention. The committee changed it to a vote to reaffirm the commitment to decriminalization. Why even bother voting? You don't vote to not change policies. It makes no sense. It is just an attempt to placate or claim that the party membership voted for it. That is a huge red flag to me not on the issue of marijuana, but on the issue of the powerlessness of the party membership. Every month that goes by and this policy doesn't change reaffirms that the membership has no power. The smoking oregano talking point is so misleading that it is obvious people in the party who know about marijuana are not being consulted. Why would I think they would consult experts on anything else within the party? Mulcair doesn't have Harper's power but there is still a closed group making all the decisions and they aren't interested in getting anyone else's opinion.

Trudeau does listen, at least he did on marijuana. He became informed and changed his opinion. Sean is correct to cast an eye towards the people Trudeau is surrounding himself with. They will not dictate policy but they were chosen because Trudeau respects their opinons. Scott Brisson and Chrystia Freeland are working on the economic plan. I think Trudeau is going to be pretty transparent. There will be no bait and switch not that I don't understand thinking differently.

Debater

Pondering wrote:

Trudeau does listen, at least he did on marijuana. He became informed and changed his opinion. Sean is correct to cast an eye towards the people Trudeau is surrounding himself with. They will not dictate policy but they were chosen because Trudeau respects their opinons. Scott Brisson and Chrystia Freeland are working on the economic plan. I think Trudeau is going to be pretty transparent. There will be no bait and switch not that I don't understand thinking differently.

Your mention of Scott Brison brings up another point I have tried to make here in the past.  One of the key voting blocs in this country is the red tories/blue liberals.  They are the swing voters in Canada, particularly Ontario, that often decide elections.  They are similiar to the 'Independents' in the United States that switch between Democrat & Republican.  In Canada they tend to switch between Liberal & Conservative.

Scott Brison, as we know, used to be a PC MP in the old Progressive Conservative party before it was taken over & destroyed by Harper.  He left the PC's and joined the Liberals because of Harper's attitude towards gays & other social issues.  Justin Trudeau and his advisers know that there aren't enough left-of-centre (eg. Liberal/NDPers) to win an election and you also need Liberal/PC types (Martha Hall Findlay is an example of a blue Liberal that would probably he happy in the old PC party).

Unless you can win both left-leaning progressives and some of the moderate conservatives and right-of-centre Liberals, you can't win in this country.  That's why the NDP failed to beat Harper in 2011 outside Quebec and why the NDP is still having the same problem 3 years later.  Thus far, only the Liberals have been able to appeal to both sides of the spectrum.  That's the only way Harper will be beaten.

clambake

Debater, most who come to this site are social democrats that are done with the revolving Liberal/Conservative door. Being "Not Harper" isn't good enough, as the status quo isn't working under either party. 

Debater

clambake,

1.  The new NDP leader is not a social democrat - he is a former provincial Liberal who served under a Mulroney Tory.  The NDP has also made a visible attempt to move away from the left and towards the center.  This has been documented by many journalists and is also discussed in Susan Delacourt's Shopping for Votes.

2.  How does the NDP intend to form government?  That is, afterall, the goal of the next election, is it not?  Since only a small percentage of the population are social democrats, how do you propose winning over other voters to the NDP?

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

You pose the same question posed by NDP thinkers here and elsewhere. There is no room in the centre for a third party. The NDP has to get into some issues which will take off on their own accord, away from the cloisters of parliament hill, and which could take on an Internet/Social Media presence of their own.

The way to do this would be to come out with politics which were aligned to 'left' and 'oppressed' groups in society, whatever those groups want to call themselves these days.

There was a huge student movement in Quebec which got Pauline Marois elected by some deft political maneuvering on her part. The betrayal came pretty soon after, however the political potential is still there. Policies which would get people really motivated would be:

1. Free university tuition
2. Massive national social housing program
3. Pharmacare program like B.C. or Quebec
4. Beefing up of pensions.
5. National transit strategy going from subway/LRT building in the cities (as needed) and increased bus service for rural areas which are sadly underserved.

If the NDP came up with some good progressive details like this, I think a lot of people would run with it. IT may not be as centrally controllable as a traditional campaign, but the NDP campaign would be the spearpoint of a much bigger social campaign which would give it a great mandate to get to work when elected. Also, it would be very hard to get Wynne to put any of these things down. If she can stay neutral, it could be better for the NDP. Even though he has nothing to offer Ontario, it looks like Trudeau will have Wynne's support.

clambake

Debater wrote:

clambake,

1.  The new NDP leader is not a social democrat - he is a former provincial Liberal who served under a Mulroney Tory.  The NDP has also made a visible attempt to move away from the left and towards the center.  This has been documented by many journalists and is also discussed in Susan Delacourt's Shopping for Votes.

2.  How does the NDP intend to form government?  That is, afterall, the goal of the next election, is it not?  Since only a small percentage of the population are social democrats, how do you propose winning over other voters to the NDP?

1. Mulcair may or may not be a social democrat, but he has been an NDP member since the 70's and is supported by a base of NDP social activists that I will hopefully veer the party away from going further to the centre. Although I have concerns about a shift to the centre, I am comfortable with supporting the NDP over the Liberals, A. Because of the Liberals past record, and B. Because the NDP have policy iniatives I support, including: 

  • Proportional representation 
  • An increase in corporate taxes
  • National child care
  • Cap and Trade
  • A national transit strategy

None of these issues have ever been supported by the Liberals, past or present. 

 

2. I don't care how likely the Liberals are to win or how "impossible" it is for the NDP to form government. I'll leave the strategy of winning to the party while trying to convince my progressive-minded friends and family to not support the Liberals.  I'm done with supporting parties based on how likely they are to win. Strategic voting has done nothing to change the status quo of increasesd income inequality or enviromental degredation. I don't know how much better an NDP government will be on these files, but i'm willing to give them a shot basead on prior platforms and their activist base. I certainly won't vote for the other parties that have effectfively gutted our social safety net and allowed GHG emissions to rise in the past few decades. It doesn't matter if it's Harper and Truedau calling the shots if the results are the same. I'd sooner vote for a Marxist or Independent candidate before I vote Liberal again. 

Debater

montrealer58 wrote:

Also, it would be very hard to get Wynne to put any of these things down. If she can stay neutral, it could be better for the NDP. Even though he has nothing to offer Ontario, it looks like Trudeau will have Wynne's support.

This is a very broad (and inaccurate) statement.  On what do you base it?  And what would Mulcair do so much differently for Ontario than the Liberals?

And yes, of course Trudeau will have Wynne's support.  He very wisely chose to endorse & campaign for Wynne right from the beginning, when many people had written her off. (good political instincts by Trudeau again)  She will be repaying the favour next year.  And since Wynne is still ahead in the latest polls, that could be a bonus, too.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

When the Liberals were in power under Chretien and Martin, they always knew they could count on the support of many seats in Ontario. So Ontario under Harris, Eves, McGuinty, etc., were always left with the shaft. When Martin was doing his fiscal work, it was Ontario that suffered the brunt of it.

Being able to take Ontario for granted, the Liberals can then buy support in other parts of the country where their political fortunes are not so secure. There is no reason not to believe Trudeau will do anything different, as his backers and supporters will be the same gang. Indeed, if Trudeau does promise anything for Ontario, he will lose support in the rest of the country.

Debater

I'm not quite sure where this discussion is going.  One of the challenges for all parties in a country of regions like Canada is trying to balance the concerns of each province, which often conflict with one another.  Harper is in power because although he has very little support in Quebec, and only some in Atlantic Canada, he's been able to come up with an ideology that appeals to the West and a large swath of Ontario.

In order for Trudeau & Mulcair to challenge Harper, they have to find a way of appealing to more than one region as well.  The Liberals failed to do that in 2011, while the NDP succeeded in Quebec, but not outside of Quebec.  At the moment, Trudeau is doing a better job at appealing to more regions of the country than Mulcair is.  That is confirmed by the recent polling & by-election results.

Sean in Ottawa

I think Mulcair is still very much unknown in an electoral context and I'll wait for the next campaign to judge him in that capacity. Most Canadians outside Quebec have never seen Mulcair in an election (very little of his campaigning was visible outside Quebec).

We have an idea of what Trudeau will look like in an election. He likely will keep policy remarks to pre-planned ideas to avoid gaffes and focus on connecting to people in a non policy way. I see no reason why this would not work for him especially as I have the sense that he can survive a few gaffes (His supporters want him to do well and are forgiving). He ramains the anti-Harper Candidate from a different generation and with a different style. He is comfortable while Haprer is wooden and machine-like. Harper will have to move to more closed events as he has in the past election. Competing with Trudeau will be difficult if Harper is avoiding public events.

Mulcair is the one I really wonder about. He is older but still clearly different from Harper. He has a human side to him that is quite engaging but he at times does seem to be wooden himself. He can also look overly serious and intense at moments when he should be being likeable. The media may not give as much to Mulcair as you would expect from an oppositio leader. The NDP's inability to remain close int he polls this last year is leading to an impression in the polls of the NDP as a distant third party and Mulcair as a poser only in opposition position due to Layton magic. And predicitons can make reality. The NDP has to put on a strong push now in order to be seen with enough attention once the election begins.

We also have to remember the economics. The election is not a short campaign as previous ones have been but a grinding long affair more like Amercian elections. This is what fixed elections do for you. the possibility of an early election only heightens that election momentum. Trudeau has free publicity as everything he does as a celebrity is news. Harper has enough resources available to run three back to back elections and the NDP will have to work hard for or pay for every inch of press.

The NDP must do things that are extraordinary not merely try to beat the others at their own game and pace.

thorin_bane

Debater wrote:

clambake,

1.  The new NDP leader is not a social democrat - he is a former provincial Liberal who served under a Mulroney Tory.  The NDP has also made a visible attempt to move away from the left and towards the center.  This has been documented by many journalists and is also discussed in Susan Delacourt's Shopping for Votes.

2.  How does the NDP intend to form government?  That is, afterall, the goal of the next election, is it not?  Since only a small percentage of the population are social democrats, how do you propose winning over other voters to the NDP?

Susan Delacourt..pfft why not just post a link to the Liberal homepage. She isn't just an opinion collumnist, there is no doubt where her heart is. Never seen a balanced article from her. Still remember her clear bias on Politics with Don Newman. That would be like me sighting a book by Brad Levine for info as to why the liberals won't keep their promises. Though that book may represent things more balanced because we already know Brad is a dipper. Journalist is such a disgraceful cover for when you push your agenda but pretend to be a neutral party.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Harper has no chance to win in 2015. Progressives can vote their conscience and the NDP and Liberals can sort it out after the election. Of course, it would be best if everyone just voted NDP.

 

Justin Trudeau would make a good Minister of Sport in an NDP-led coalition.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Debater wrote:

In order for Trudeau & Mulcair to challenge Harper, they have to find a way of appealing to more than one region as well.  The Liberals failed to do that in 2011, while the NDP succeeded in Quebec, but not outside of Quebec. 

 

The NDP won 43 seats outside of Quebec in 2011. That is more than the Liberals won in all of Canada and it also equals the NDP's previously best seat total in 1988.

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