babble-intro-img
babble is rabble.ca's discussion board but it's much more than that: it's an online community for folks who just won't shut up. It's a place to tell each other — and the world — what's up with our work and campaigns.

If the Greens take Victoria, should Mulcair still lead the NDP?

Ken Burch
Offline
Joined: Feb 26 2005

A disaster may be happening for the party in Victoria tonight.  If the Greens, a party that has NEVER won a byelection, manage to take one of the NDP's safest seats(and do so by running AGAINST sewage treatment, of all things, which makes them a totally anti-green party btw)does Tom Mulcair still have any credibility at all as opposition leader?

How does the NDP recover from this?


Comments

Aristotleded24
Online
Joined: May 24 2005

Ken Burch wrote:
A disaster may be happening for the party in Victoria tonight.  If the Greens, a party that has NEVER won a byelection, manage to take one of the NDP's safest seats(and do so by running AGAINST sewage treatment, of all things, which makes them a totally anti-green party btw)does Tom Mulcair still have any credibility at all as opposition leader?

How does the NDP recover from this?

We start by not jumping to conclusions and by letting the results play out first.


Ken Burch
Offline
Joined: Feb 26 2005

I hope the NDP still holds Victoria...but it's now clear that they'll just barely scrape through there at best...and that shouldn't ever happen to the official opposition in a safe riding. 

 

 


Ippurigakko
Offline
Joined: May 30 2011

remember Tom is not Jack Layton.


Ken Burch
Offline
Joined: Feb 26 2005

That seems to be clear.  What is he worth, though, if THIS is going to happen?  And will the NDP have any chance in 2015 if this DOES keep happening? 

If nothing else, this does totally discredit Mulcair's whole "fuck the activists" attitude.


Arthur Cramer
Offline
Joined: Nov 30 2010

Well, Ip, you are right. But I voted for Tom because I believed it when he said "he could bring the center to the NDP". I am waiting. This is making me start to think maybe I was wrong about him. I simply don't understand what is going on. I am thinking though that despite how much I have been telling myself to the counter, the wind may be gone from the NDP sails.


felixr
Offline
Joined: May 6 2012

Despite the Greens surprising results, it is not a safe riding for the NDP. Part of the reason the NDP ran such a green candidate there is that is what it took to win the seat in the first place. Denise Savoie was known as a green, but she ran for the NDP. It was a surprise to people that Denise chose the NDP. Anderson, before Denise, was known as a green but ran as a Liberal.

The Greens have never been competitive before because it has never seemed like they could win and with EMay next door and so little on the line, that option seemed more credible. Even so, Galloway is a very weak candidate and the Greens have run a weird campaign. Throwing sewage treatment under the bridge might have been a cynical and clever calculation to win over the low tax vote in wealthier parts of the riding. It seems to have worked. Economic conservatives have thrown support to the Greens (see Calgary Centre for a similar storyline).

Should Mulcair resign? Hell no, but he does have to wear this one. I think Mulcair needs to cut out the aloofness and get his elbows dirty with the people. He hardly goes out in public without a podium to read from behind and spends all his energy in Ottawa. He's also lost the message track that Jack Layton worked so hard to develop: "imagine a leader who actually cares"


Ken Burch
Offline
Joined: Feb 26 2005

Good critique there.  It'd be nice if Mulcair listened.


Arthur Cramer
Offline
Joined: Nov 30 2010

Felixr, man you nailed it with your comment above. As I have said so many times in other threads, where the hell is the NDP? I don't trust the brain trust running things. I think they think they are smarter then they actually are.


Arthur Cramer
Offline
Joined: Nov 30 2010

Ken Burch wrote:

Good critique there.  It'd be nice if Mulcair listened.

Can't see it. Not his nature. I think we are in trouble.


Aristotleded24
Online
Joined: May 24 2005

I think the key thing here is that being a by-election, it somewhat levels the playing field for the smaller parties, so they have more resources to throw around. The spill-over from Saanich was also a factor. In a general election, the Greens will be running a full campaign, so even assuming that Victoria is a targeted riding, they will be spreading their small resources over a much larger area. Plus the fact that (fingers crossed) should the NDP win, then Rankin gains the incumbency advantage.

felixr wrote:
Should Mulcair resign? Hell no, but he does have to wear this one. I think Mulcair needs to cut out the aloofness and get his elbows dirty with the people. He hardly goes out in public without a podium to read from behind and spends all his energy in Ottawa. He's also lost the message track that Jack Layton worked so hard to develop: "imagine a leader who actually cares"

I agree.

*Edited to add* This is also ironic since this was the opposite approach to how he approached building the party in Quebec.


felixr
Offline
Joined: May 6 2012

Mulcair's been running the party like he's a cabinet minister, directing ministerial aides and doing press conferences. In parliament, he has been running things like a deputy leader of the opposition. A new job requires new skills. Mulcair has got to learn how to develop a bigger shadow. Delegate. Hit the streets. Show us what you learned from Jean Charest and Jack Layton.


Ippurigakko
Offline
Joined: May 30 2011

mulcair still leading all across canada about 28% but last summer like 38% something.


Aristotleded24
Online
Joined: May 24 2005

There's another reason that the Greens are doing so well tonight (not just in Victoria). People are fed up and cynical of politicians of all stripes, and the Greens are playing on this to a great effect. Their candidates go on about how the party will not control how they vote. Remember that Bruce Hyer quit the NDP, and say what you will about Bruce or his motives, the fact that he did struck a huge chord with people. The NDP needs to do some soul-searching and loosen up. It wouldn't hurt to allow some lively debate at Conventions, or for Libby Davies to march in solidarity with Gazans. Such diversity could only strengthen the party, as it would show that several different perspectives are welcome and that the NDP is willing to learn from them.


Ken Burch
Offline
Joined: Feb 26 2005

That's a good point.  It has probably hurt the party that Mulcair is so bloody obsessed with making it look "respectable", "responsible" and "safe".   Safe, respectable, responsible parties don't help put social change or economci justice into practice. People don't WANT the NDP to be  just like the old parties in any way at all.  Being "responsible" centrists in orange ties is a total waste of time.


And as to Libby...voters who put being "pro-Israel" ahead of everything else(i.e., the only sort of voters who'd really be offended by her position)aren't going to agree with the NDP on much of anything.  But there really aren't that many of that sort of voters.


Let the NDP be a "bottom-up" party, rather than a "top-down" party, and you'd see massive renewal in energy and support levels.


Arthur Cramer
Offline
Joined: Nov 30 2010

Paul Summerville on Poverty and inequality in the Time Colonist"

""I always thought the left had a very powerful description of what's going on in the global economy, with the risk that unbridled capitalism creates unsustainable inequities," Summerville said. "But the problem with the left, which I discovered when I ran for the NDP, is the prescription is thinking more about taxation than innovation ... more about a handout than a hand up, decreasing inequities, rather than increasing equality," he said.

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Paul+Summerville/7607156/story.html#ixzz2DOvRpG00"

How is this different from the Tories. As I have said again and again, Libs are simply Tories in less of a hurry.


grangerock
Offline
Joined: Nov 22 2012

In Victoria, the byelection has nothing to do with Mulcair--its all about the electorate not wanting their taxes to go up and pay for the sewer treatment plant--the Greens have Uplands (used to be Conservative voters) voting for them because Andrew Weaver has convinced them the currents will carry away the sewage and they won't have to pay more taxes.  Andrew Weaver is right wing (on his own admission) and is running for the Greens in the provincial election in Oak Bay.


Stockholm
Offline
Joined: Sep 29 2002

As it turns out Rankin will win by a reasonably solid margin of about 1,300 votes. I don't think people should over-react to these things. Exactly two years ago the NDP WHILE BEING LED BY JACK LAYTON lost Winnipeg North to the Liberals in a byelection and it was regarded as an even safer NDP seat than Victoria is or was...there was lots of hand wringing and feeeting about what this meant for Jack layton's leadership etc... in the end it turnout to be quite meaningless - not only did the NDP win 103 seats just five months later - but a year later the Manitoba NDP won a massive re-election...weird things happen in byelections.


Debater
Offline
Joined: Apr 17 2009

Stockholm wrote:

As it turns out Rankin will win by a reasonably solid margin of about 1,300 votes. I don't think people should over-react to these things. Exactly two years ago the NDP WHILE BEING LED BY JACK LAYTON lost Winnipeg North to the Liberals in a byelection and it was regarded as an even safer NDP seat than Victoria is or was...there was lots of hand wringing and feeeting about what this meant for Jack layton's leadership etc... in the end it turnout to be quite meaningless - not only did the NDP win 103 seats just five months later - but a year later the Manitoba NDP won a massive re-election...weird things happen in byelections.

Stockholm, you argument is valid up to a point in that one obvously can't read too much into by-elections, but remember that the 2011 election may have been an anomaly.  

Up until the half-way point of the 2011 election, the Liberals were way ahead of the NDP.  It was only because of a remarkable breakthrough in the English language debate where Layton knocked out Ignatieff that the Liberals tanked & the NDP surged.  The NDP also benefitted from the collapse of the BQ.  Those events were unique to 2011 and won't necessarily be repeated again.

Every election is different.

 


Arthur Cramer
Offline
Joined: Nov 30 2010

Debater, don't count your chickens before they are hatched.


Debater
Offline
Joined: Apr 17 2009

I'm not counting anything except the numbers in the 3 ridings tonight.

Why don't we agree that all the parties had mixed results tonight?  I think that's what most of the objective commentators are going to say tomorrow.

 


Stockholm
Offline
Joined: Sep 29 2002

I would agree that the results were mixed for all parties. The NDP did well in Durham, badly in Calgary Centre and had a bit of a near death experience in Victoria. The Libs did well in CC - but the whole story will be that Justin "blew it" and cost them the seat, plus they were demolished coming in 3rd in Durham and FOURTH in Victoria. The Tories dropped 20 points in CC and almost lost and they lost a ton of votes in Victoria - but their vote held up quite well in Durahm


Debater
Offline
Joined: Apr 17 2009

Stockholm wrote:

I would agree that the results were mixed for all parties. The NDP did well in Durham, badly in Calgary Centre and had a bit of a near death experience in Victoria. The Libs did well in CC - but the whole story will be that Justin "blew it" and cost them the seat, plus they were demolished coming in 3rd in Durham and FOURTH in Victoria. The Tories dropped 20 points in CC and almost lost and they lost a ton of votes in Victoria - but their vote held up quite well in Durahm

Justin didn't blow anything - that was one of the stories tonight.  The comments about Alberta had no effect in Calgary Centre.  The polling numbers before and after the Justin remarks stayed the same.  Locke was about 4 or 5 points behind going into it, and that's where he finished tonight.

The story will be, as Rob Silver said tonight, that the Liberals had the best percentage of the vote they've gotten in Calgary Centre since 1968.


jerrym
Offline
Joined: May 30 2009

We seem to be forgetting that in November 2010 that the NDP did abysmally in 3 federal byelections: Vaughn, Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette and Winnipeg North. We even lost the latter riding that we had held for much of the past and got less than 5% of the vote in Vaughn. (http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/11/29/byelections-a-test-of-liberal-le...)

Yet just 6 months later we had the greatest victory in the history of the NDP under the same leader, Jack Layton. Changing leaders at the first sign of trouble usually leads to only more trouble in both sports and politics. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts both had problems at midseason. The Bombers changed head coaches and finished last while the Argos kept their head coach and won the Grey Cup. Do I know what will happen under Mulcair? No. However, if we simply change as soon as we see problems, the public is not likely to develop much confidence in the party. There will come a time to review Mulcair's leadership. For me, this is not it.

If your unhappiness with Mulcair is because of his policies, I cannot agree to such a quick change in leaders because he was chosen leader less than a year ago. While I supported him, I would take the same approach with any new leader unless there were major personal ethical problems involved, which I do not see now. 

 

 


felixr
Offline
Joined: May 6 2012

This is comparable to the 2010 byelections in that the NDP had to face them at a time they didn't have a tremendous amount of traction in the national polls. They also had trouble recruiting a strong candidate in Dauphin-Swan River Marquette.

Winnepeg North is/was a more solid NDP seat than Victoria. The results there were attributed to the poor provincial NDP numbers. In Victoria, the near death experience is more an indication of where economic conservatism and the protest vote pushed the Greens. In Calgary Centre, the same factors pushed the Greens up as well.

It is the wrong side of the equation for the NDP to be on when they don't seize the popular zeitgeist, when they don't really have momentum as challengers in the polls. That same populism that pushed the party over the top in Quebec in 2011 i important for the party in 2015. Mulcair's personal poll numbers are not good. They rarely have been. It is a priority for him and the party to reconnect with the public in the coming months. You can't reconnect by hiding at Board of Trade meetings and the OLO. You must visit the ridings and connect with the non-elite. It's just a requirement of the job.

As for Durham, the results are an improvement, but not nearly good enough if those are to be a headline news story for the NDP. The party had a much better candidate, and they were good for a 5% bump. How much of that is due to improvement for the party and how much is due to improvement in the candidate?


Ken Burch
Offline
Joined: Feb 26 2005

Fortunately, the Greens didn't ride a wave of sewage to victory tonight in Denise Savoie's old riding.

Elizabeth May might have coattails, but they won't be smelling any too nice this morning.


socialdemocrati...
Offline
Joined: Jan 10 2012

By-elections are going to be an anomaly because of low-turnout, local issues, and so on. I wouldn't read too much into it. The fact that the incumbant parties held all their ridings, I'd read even less into it.

No news here.

But agree that the NDP should be doing more to reach out to the grassroots. I appreciate the whole media-and-professional circuit that Mulcair is doing, but the best he can ever do is make them not hate us. He can't make them love us more than the two corporate-funded parties. He has to go directly to the streets.


Aristotleded24
Online
Joined: May 24 2005

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
I appreciate the whole media-and-professional circuit that Mulcair is doing, but the best he can ever do is make them not hate us. He can't make them love us more than the two corporate-funded parties. He has to go directly to the streets.

Not even. The Saskatchewan and Manitoba NDP tried to be professional with the media and such like, but it never blunted the sharp criticism the party inevitably receives.


Policywonk
Offline
Joined: Feb 6 2005

Ken Burch wrote:

That's a good point.  It has probably hurt the party that Mulcair is so bloody obsessed with making it look "respectable", "responsible" and "safe".   Safe, respectable, responsible parties don't help put social change or economci justice into practice. People don't WANT the NDP to be  just like the old parties in any way at all.  Being "responsible" centrists in orange ties is a total waste of time.


And as to Libby...voters who put being "pro-Israel" ahead of everything else(i.e., the only sort of voters who'd really be offended by her position)aren't going to agree with the NDP on much of anything.  But there really aren't that many of that sort of voters.


Let the NDP be a "bottom-up" party, rather than a "top-down" party, and you'd see massive renewal in energy and support levels.

I'm not sure what respectable and responsible look like when the chances of limiting global heating to less than 2 degrees Celscius are slipping away, and I doubt there is a safe approach anymore.


toaster
Offline
Joined: Sep 5 2011

These results make me nervous.  I'm not sure sure about Mulcair anymore.  I think a strong fluently bilingual female is what the party needed/needs.  Peggy Nash's leadership qualities and Carol Hughes bilingual abilities.


Ippurigakko
Offline
Joined: May 30 2011

like last election many people said NDP voters are protesting voters but now it turns Green voters are protesting voterrs....


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or register to post comments