Jagmeet Singh, NDP Leader

777 posts / 0 new
Last post
alan smithee alan smithee's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Smithee wrote:

By the way this is Canada not the US..Ex PM's don't get paid for appearances after their time in office. NONE. You think Mulroney has been running around making $50K for speeches and appearancers since he's been out of politics? Or Chretien? Or Martin? Even Harper doesn't.

What is your source for saying this? Mulroney, Chretien, and Harper are all registered with speakers bureaus. Is that only for American gigs?

Joe Clark is registered with a speakers bureau that apparently gets him Canadian gigs. He does this free of charge? 

https://tinyurl.com/y8hk5zc7a

 

OK.I was wrong. But what you just said proves that this is not exclusive to Trudeau. So if he accepts money for appearances,he's doing what all other ex-Pm's are doing.

So regardless you can't attack him for it. You'd have to attack the rest of them too. But I wouldn't expect that here. There are people here with an unhealthy obsession with Trudeau like right wing Americans have with Obama.

Why not figure out ways to make the NDP competetive and get out of the 20% support they have and getting it up to a number that makes them relevant,like 30%.

Save your energy for elevating the NDP from irrelevance.

As for Trudeau. Get over it.

Sean in Ottawa

josh wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Thank-you NR

P.S. The good news is the mainstream media is losing it's influence because they are making themselves irrelevant. 

Was that a Donald Trump tweet?

This is a common opinion by those one the left who feel the media is not fair but the issue is an extremely deep one that is leading the world to crisis.

The mainstream media is the most common source of information. It is true that we can and should be upset when the commonly available information is wrong or biased but we should not celebrate its destruction becuase that is what leads a society to fragment into different universes where there is no commonly accepted facts. This is how we goet Trump and why he could continue longer than you would think possible given the scandals.

The media is very important -- it is not a good thing that we are seeing the end of a professional media that, while at times biased works within some basic rules replaced with outfits with no credibility that make up whatever they feel like supporting whatever interests their shadowy benefactors want.

It is not as if the concept of a biased media is going away -- instead the rules that kept somewhat close to reality are being dropped. Instead of often subtle warping we get outright fabrication.

The present Orwelian situation we have now should worry you  even more than the previous. Those that think that this is some victory for the underdog really need to reconsider. The interests that used to be behind much of  the Mainstream media, working within some margins, are the same ones bringing you the no-rules no-holds-barred naked fabrication of the alt media. They are the same ones who are able to manipulate the social media so that you think you are looking at individuals when you are looking at something much different. These are the interests of the extremes of big money. They are abandonning the mainstream media which had been infiltrated by some journalists of conscience and some professionalism and bringing it outside of all that. They create so-called populists who are more corporatist than the previous generations of corporatists.

This is the fraud of what is now called populism and the fraud of the breakdown of mainstream media.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Mainstream media today is not the same as it was even 10 years ago and definitely what it was a generation ago.  Now it is poorly resourced, poorly staffed and structured to chase ratings.

I don't see it as being in anyones pocket as much as it is lazy by necessity. Lazy often means following the herd and this provides a clear justification of alternative media to provide context and depth to stories.

voice of the damned

re: the mainstream media.

Personally, I don't really consider a news story to have "arrived", so to speak, until it starts getting coverage from the CBC and/or the Globe and Mail. I think I mentioned somewhere on the "Justin does India" thread that I wasn't taking stories from the National Post at face-value.

Which is not to say that I think we should ignore non-mainstream media, in fact, on some issues they have more interesting reporting than the mainstream. But if I'm gonna say "This is an important story that is likely to play a major role in politics from here on in", I'm not gonna do so on the basis of its appearance in the National Post or Counterpunch.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Mainstream media today is not the same as it was even 10 years ago and definitely what it was a generation ago.  Now it is poorly resourced, poorly staffed and structured to chase ratings.

I don't entirely disagree.  But evidently, the MSM has had a hard time with the idea that anyone can be a citizen journalist (think: rabble) and that some website can totally replace their "classifieds" section.  To their credit, they've certainly flailed about in the net for a few years, trying electronic subscriptions, "premium" content, paywalls and so forth, but I do kind of understand why they might not care to spend tens of thousands to send a field reporter to Kazakhstan to cover the local elections when some local Twitter users are going to give the world the news they want, and maybe better.

With the growth of the internet and social media, the MSM lost its monopoly on being able to report news to the public at large.  What they did retain, IMHO, was a lock on trust (or integrity, or ethics or whatever we want to call it).  We can disagree with the editorial slant of the Globe and Mail, for example, but I don't think we generally assumed that they Photoshopped images to support a biased narrative. 

Citizen journalists, on the other hand, might be 100m from where the news is literally happening, and that's awesome, but at the same time:

1.  this isn't their career

2.  half the time they're a pseudonym ("Tyler Durden")

3.  they're not actually accountable in any way to anyone

So while citizen journalists have the potential to bring us news in ways that would have been unconceivable in the days of Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite, they also have no specific reason not to promote their view of the world.  Calling them out on a perceived dishonesty is, unfortunately, indistinguishable from a dishonest rebuttal from "the other side".  In other words, if a citizen journalist says "... and then the unarmed civilians were shot by soldiers from Country A" then replying "no, they were shot by soldiers from Country B" doesn't mean much.  When everyone has skin in the game, who do we believe?

Sean in Ottawa

Pogo wrote:

Mainstream media today is not the same as it was even 10 years ago and definitely what it was a generation ago.  Now it is poorly resourced, poorly staffed and structured to chase ratings.

I don't see it as being in anyones pocket as much as it is lazy by necessity. Lazy often means following the herd and this provides a clear justification of alternative media to provide context and depth to stories.

I understand your initial point and agree. The problem is that alternative media, working without rules and frequently with more hidden agendas and more extreme biases and more hidden figures of responsibility cannot replace it. In fact the alternative media duplicates the problem. It too does not have the resources. Mainstream media is starved for cash to pay the costs. Alternative media features less training, fewer operating rules to protect against bias and loss of reputation and it often has even fewer resources on the ground at a story than Mainstream media. Alternative media has all the same pressures that are in some ways amplified as Mainstream media. They often race to release stories to get the big break to get into the big leagues. There is nothing about the alternative media to suggest taht it is in a better position.

It does not have the same biases - that is true. Its biases may be more direct, however. Instead of being concerned about floating a large structure, it may have more rponounced story biases and loyalties. Worse, alternative media is driven by confirmation bias. The audience decides the stories by what is popular. That audience will not correct a bias in their direction and so the alternative media becomes increasingly biased. Mainstream media, on the other hand at least benefits from the complaints it gets from the margins of its audience that a narrow audience cannot produce.

Mainstream media is absolutely terrible until you consider most of its alternatives.

It is true some of the alternative are better.... the ones that YOU agree with. The problem is there is no agreement as to which ones those are. The rhetoric gets further apart and forget difference of opinion about analyis -- this has been replaced with wholly made-up facts.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I think the field has been stratified and yes the stuff at the bottom can be horrid, no matter whose side it is on.  But we should beware of the slipper slope falacy there is a big range in the middle of alternatives.  Former journalists that have been cut adrift from the MSM and have a blog or something similiar, online journalism that has a fairly high standard (the Tyee) and amateurs that are pretty darn good (the Noam Chomsky's of the world).

So when I say that people can look online for alternative news, it is more than just doing taking the first page of a google search.  So when CBC says something, we can and should pay attention.  However, we should also be open to someone providing additional facts or viewpoints that may change our 'takeaways'.

Having grown up around the time of the Golden Temple seige and living a few miles down the road from Duncan (home of the bomber) I remember the strong passions of this time. For a Canadian analogy I think of the bombing at the Giant Mine.  While you must not support such acts of violence, it is also important not to use too broad a brush in your condemnation.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pogo wrote:

Having grown up around the time of the Golden Temple seige and living a few miles down the road from Duncan (home of the bomber) I remember the strong passions of this time. For a Canadian analogy I think of the bombing at the Giant Mine.  While you must not support such acts of violence, it is also important not to use too broad a brush in your condemnation.

I agree with this. The Sikh community has been an integral part of the BC mosaic for over a century. Dosanjh won the leadership of the BC NDP by signing up thousands of ethnic voters and then bussing them to meetings to support him. All over the province constituencies sent delegates to the convention whose comittment to the party was measured in months. Singh won the federal leadership by signing up people from the same community.

In BC politics during the leadership race before that the white dominated trade union movement used exactly the same tactics to ensure a Glen Clark victory and Moe Shihota (currently a tar sands shill) adapted that union model to an ethnic voting base.

Violence should always be condemned but its not like the NDP condemns violence consistently. It regularily condones but more often only downplays and ignores NATO violence and Israeli violence. 

WWWTT

OK.I was wrong. But what you just said proves that this is not exclusive to Trudeau. So if he accepts money for appearances,he's doing what all other ex-Pm's are doing.

Justin was actually doing this when he was just an mp, double dipping!

WWWTT

Trudeau was elected on his platform. It just so happens his name is Trudeau.

LOL!

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

There's a major difference between the situation with Sikhs in India and that of Quebec francophones-Canada isn't led by a government fixated on wiping out at worst or forcing into subservience at best any and all languages cultures other than that of Protestant anglophones from the British Isles and northern Europe.  

...

The only thing you could compare the Sikh situation to in India would be-to a partial degree-the treatment of FN an other Indigenous communities.  

I think the current Indian government is a throwback to the BC and Canadian model of government. In BC we stripped the Chinese and First Nations  of their existing citizenship rights when we went from being a seperate colony to joining Canada. Our politicians then insisted on things like the Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act.  

Canadian voters were mostly in favour of those measures at the time so I presume people in other countries who needed the trade with Canada would have been wrong in showing support for those communities and going to rallies that included speakers who advocated violence against the systemic government oppression used to inforce those race based laws.  

Pondering

josh wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Thank-you NR

P.S. The good news is the mainstream media is losing it's influence because they are making themselves irrelevant. 

Was that a Donald Trump tweet?

Nope. Newspapers are desperate for readers and the Network news isn't doing much better. Young people don't go home for dinner and watch the news and I bet most of their parents don't either. They aren't falling for facebook news either. 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/fake-news-spreads-fast-but-most-people-a...

It's entertainment and they know it. They scan headlines for anything of interest and ignore the rest. Anything of interest goes viral amongst friends and if it's good enough it goes farther. 

The mainstream media wishes it had the power you think it does. Eyeballs are no longer captive. The media can lead but only where people want to go. Youtube stars make their own success without the backing of production companies or mainstream media. 

Going viral is free. You just have to hope you can find the creativity to grab attention. I'm not saying it's easy. But it can be done. 

WWWTT

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

There's a major difference between the situation with Sikhs in India and that of Quebec francophones-Canada isn't led by a government fixated on wiping out at worst or forcing into subservience at best any and all languages cultures other than that of Protestant anglophones from the British Isles and northern Europe.  

...

The only thing you could compare the Sikh situation to in India would be-to a partial degree-the treatment of FN an other Indigenous communities.  

I think the current Indian government is a throwback to the BC and Canadian model of government. In BC we stripped the Chinese and First Nations  of their existing citizenship rights when we went from being a seperate colony to joining Canada. Our politicians then insisted on things like the Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act.  

Canadian voters were mostly in favour of those measures at the time so I presume people in other countries who needed the trade with Canada would have been wrong in showing support for those communities and going to rallies that included speakers who advocated violence against the systemic government oppression used to inforce those race based laws.  

Good points. But India is an independent nation.

another good related point is that when Justin visited China a little earlier, he tried to impose Canadian standards upon the Chinese in any trade deals. This went over like a lead balloon and is when his bucket full of woes actually started. 

And another good point to add is that Jagmeets grandfather helped India win independence from Britain! But according to this link I could be getting the lineage wrong. Nonetheless I wouldn’t belittle Jags abilities if he was given the opportunity to be PM

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/we-want-jagmeet-singh-kin-to-visit-see-memorials-of-his-ancestors-4871915/

Rev Pesky

Whatever the position of the current Indian government is, don't forget it wasn't that long ago that the Prime Minister of India had Sikh bodyguards. Of course, she was assassinated for that mistake, but the point is that Sikhs couldn't have been that marginalized, otherwise how did they end up as the Prime Minister's security?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

WWWTT wrote:

Trudeau was elected on his platform. It just so happens his name is Trudeau.

LOL!

Joke's on you,Chuckie.

The Liberals platform was to the left of the NDP. They made no secrets about the policies they were going to implement,it resonated with Canadians. Thomas Mulcair's NDP was classic Liberal. The NDP lost a bunch of seats and the Liberals went from 3rd place obscurity to a majority.

You really think this populism was all about Trudeau's name?

You think everyone who voted Liberal were motivated by Trudeau's name? People who usually vote NDP voted Liberal and if you pay attention to people here and look at a miror,the Orange Team hates Trudeau.

The Liberals had the the stongest and most popular platform of the 3 parties and their policies got them elected.

The NDP fucked up. Now they are a 3rd place,irrelevant party that can't top 20% in the polls. LOL!

Now the NDP has fucked up again. They will remain the 3rd place party after the 2019 election. That's a sobering fact,friend. But you're too blind and fanatical to see beyond your hatred of Trudeau and see the picture for what it is.

You're a fool. And a partisan hack.

Sorry,mate. But that's what you are.

voice of the damned

Rev Pesky wrote:

Whatever the position of the current Indian government is, don't forget it wasn't that long ago that the Prime Minister of India had Sikh bodyguards. Of course, she was assassinated for that mistake, but the point is that Sikhs couldn't have been that marginalized, otherwise how did they end up as the Prime Minister's security?

Indeed. And I'm not really sure it was a "mistake" to have Sikh bodyguards. Yeah, there were some Sikhs who wanted to kill her, but she could probably just as easily have been murdered by the kind of Hindu fanatics who took out her namesake in 1948, as those guys were still active in the 1980s(and now). And her son of course was later killed by Tamil nutjobs.

Where I think her mistake was was storming the Golden Temple in the first place. I remember it being suggested at the time that she just cut all the power and supplies into the place, so eventually the people inside would have no choice but to come out or starve. I wonder why she didn't do that.

I also remember news footage of Mrs. G touring the temple after the raid, and stopping to drink the water from some sort of fountain they had inside. I don't know if that fountain had any spiritual significance, but it struck me as a rather provocative action nonetheless.  

 

josh

But I suspect most Canadians, if they think about him at all, know only three things about Singh.

First, he dresses well.

Second, he’s getting married.

Third, he can’t be pinned down on this violence thing.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/03/19/singh-did-not-succeed-with-sikh-violence-answers.html

Pondering

josh wrote:

But I suspect most Canadians, if they think about him at all, know only three things about Singh.

First, he dresses well.

Second, he’s getting married.

Third, he can’t be pinned down on this violence thing.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/03/19/singh-did-not-succeed-with-sikh-violence-answers.html

Maybe not the last. He has clearly denounced all violence and terrorism. To most people the rest is fuzzy detail. All he has to keep saying is "I denounce all violence and terrorism" as frequently as Justin says "helping the middle class and those trying to join it".

The rest is boring detail. 

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

josh wrote:

But I suspect most Canadians, if they think about him at all, know only three things about Singh.

First, he dresses well.

Second, he’s getting married.

Third, he can’t be pinned down on this violence thing.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/03/19/singh-did-not-succeed-with-sikh-violence-answers.html

Maybe not the last. He has clearly denounced all violence and terrorism. To most people the rest is fuzzy detail. All he has to keep saying is "I denounce all violence and terrorism" as frequently as Justin says "helping the middle class and those trying to join it".

The rest is boring detail. 

Suppose it were revealed that a right-wing Conservative had appeared at anti-choice rallies alongside photos of someone who had blown himself up while planting a bomb in a clinic. If the politician was then asked if he opposed anti-abortion violence, would you consider "I oppose all violence" to be a satisfactory response?

Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:
Suppose it were revealed that a right-wing Conservative had appeared at anti-choice rallies alongside photos of someone who had blown himself up while planting a bomb in a clinic. If the politician was then asked if he opposed anti-abortion violence, would you consider "I oppose all violence" to be a satisfactory response?

Yes. I would oppose him based on his anti-abortion views, not on being next to someone who committed violence. As we have just seen both Trudeau and his wife have been photographed with an attempted murderer. That doesn't mean they approve of or support murder. 

Also, I am not speaking of myself but of how I believe the public will react to this kerfuffle. Do you think Canadians are going to consider this issue high enough profile to determine how they vote? 

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

Yes. I would oppose him based on his anti-abortion views, not on being next to someone who committed violence.

Fair enough.

For me, the issue is that saying "I oppose all violence, including anti-abortion violence" would be just as easy as saying "I oppose all violence", and would be more directly relevant to the question asked, but he doesn't do it. Why? My answer would be that it's a dog-whistle by omission.  

Do you think Canadians are going to consider this issue high enough profile to determine how they vote? 

Hard to say. You might have a point about it being more of a chattering-class preoccupation. I believe there ARE quite a few non-CCers who will be upset about it, but they'll mostly be right-wing, old Reform Party-types who were already looking for a reson to hate anyone with brown skin, and weren't gonna vote NDP and/or for a Sikh to begin with.

But, like I say, it's hard to make a definite prediction right now.

Sean in Ottawa

alan smithee wrote:

Now the NDP has fucked up again. They will remain the 3rd place party after the 2019 election. That's a sobering fact,friend. But you're too blind and fanatical to see beyond your hatred of Trudeau and see the picture for what it is.

Partly true and partly false. The party is not irrelevant. It could win. This is the rabbit hole the NDP keeps going down. Liberal supporters want to enable the NDP tendency to think elections are foregone conclusions and the party cannot win. The Liberals see themselves as the natural party and the NDP really does as well, perhaps so it does not have to swallow the bitter taste of defeat. I want the party to choke on moral victories and spit them out.

This is the disturbing aspect to the last election that is so scary for the NDP. This indicates a problem for the NDP in learning and fixing the issues that led to the defeat. There is a tendency to by the NDP to try to feel better about a loss by considering it to be inevitable. They did this in 1988 and in 2015. Both of those elections were winnable and the party blew it. In both cases they covered up the error by pretending that the loss was out of their control. In 1988 they could point to some progress but they did not even have that in the defeat of 2015. But the issue dated back before 1988.  The party should have considered 1988 as the loss it was instead of a victory. The victory was only for the party's inferiority complex.

The examples are instructive and if the party does not learn these lessons it will only keep getting defeated.

In 1988 the party went with a traditional NDP campaign fighting the election of 1984. They missed the public mood which was open to change allowing the Liberals to take the lead in what was a Free trade election. The previous summer Ed Broadbent and the NDP had reached first place in the opinion polls. The NDP in a shocking display following that election, celebrated progress even as they blew the opportunity of a generation.

Their next chance came in 2015. In this election, again they left the initiative to the Liberals. The Liberals invested in a software and hardware system to track issues of interest to the voters for door knockers using ipads while the NDP took the traditional pen and paper notes of the status of support at the door. This time the NDP did not fight the election of 2011, as they knew that the dynamic with Layton could not be replicated. Instead, they re-fought the election of 2008. They were completely tone-deaf to what the people wanted because the NDP brain trust had been incapable of making sure that the party had modern effective touchpoints to the public. They engaged in low-level insults that worked in previous campaigns for Harper even as they were backfiring on the Conservatives, they missed the mood of change, they missed the desire for a more activist government, they missed the need for faster action on promises, they missed the willingness for stimulus, and they missed specific responses to Liberal initiatives that they could have responded to. They also lacked the ability to identify the voters most likely to respond to them or any clues as to how to address them.

Following the election the party tore at the leader blaming the move to the right for the problem. This is a simplistic answer that very likely will lead to the party's defeat in the next election. The issue was not entirely about right and left. The public is not static. They are also not in the same place now as they were in 2015 and will not be here in 2019. If the party were to learn the so-called lesson of 2015 and lurch to the left they might get defeated badly. The party is clearly not in the same position and the leader will be different.

For the NDP to do well, they have to learn the other lessons from 2015 -- the ones they apparently do not yet understand. Elections have been transformed by technology. Other parties are taking advantage of this. The NDP website frequently is dated, out of place and sending the absolute wrong message. The party uses the website for fund-raising instead of communciation -- likewise email contact with members. It is largely ineffective on social media because it is not strategic -- it employs the old media concept of any noise is good noise. With social media you have to be strategic to cut through becuase the volume is so great that you cannot compete on amplitude alone. (This is the part when I have been saying the party has to shut up when it has nothing to say and choose topics for maximum impact if it wants any control over what the media will report.) Today, media is so scattered that you need quality hits that are on the right targets becuase noise alone will be erased by the next blast.

The NDP, most of all, has to find a way to track what voters are thinking so they are responding in a way appropriate to the audience. With respect, this place is a bubble and not particularly helpful for that purpose. I think most people here are even more out of touch with the swing voters needed to win than the party itself.

Now this argument that the next election in 2019 needs to be a leap to the left is a misunderstanding of the lesson that the election is about timing. There are two ways to manage timing and the NDP manages to miss both:

1) A party could consistently stay in the same place and wait for the pendulum to move to them. Had they done so, a victory in 2015 could have rewarded them.

2) A party could shift slightly to the voters in a timely way.

Instead, the NDP ran from the left in all the elections where that was a loser and then in the two elections where a run from the left could have created a win they decided to play it safe and run a more safe campaign pulling their punches on any economic initiatives from the left (1988 andf 2015). They did not even realize that any lessons needed to be learned from 1988 and literally did not know what hit them in years following.

So in 2015 which was there to win from the left the NDP gave it to the Liberals. I think that the 2019 election is not easy to see yet. There might be an opportunity to run from the left again and win but more likely the pendulum will have shifted and the party will have to moderate but instead will run the kind of campaign they should have run in 2015 and then get creamed. The news for the party is they can continue this until the end of time: they could then run in 2023 by lurching back to the right seeing the disaster of 2019 and miss the pendulum again moving back to them. This is the dynamic of fighting previous elections.

If you are going to adapt to the voters, get it right and be up-to-date. Otherwise, it is better to stay left even when that fails. By attempting, incompetently and blindly, to adapt using a previous election's experience, the NDP is doomed to continually get things wrong.

The key lesson of 2015 has to be to move past whining about Trudeau, his hair and pedigree, and his broken promises and decide -- if the strategy is to adapt -- how to do this in real time. Or, they could go with a strategy of staying in the same place waiting for the electorate to find them. Unfortunately with changing leadership (not just the leader) this strategy keeps adjusting to get it wrong every time. A stopped clock gets it right twice a day but random out-of-time changes can make sure that it is never right.

The smartest thing the NDP could do is to design the best system it can afford to track the opinions and priorities of voters and get this data back to on-the-ground organizers and senior communications and policy makers within the party. They need this whether they want to be a party that adapts to each election or if they want to stick left and identify voters and messages the best way possible. Should the NDP decide on a strategy of sticking left, this will also let them know if they are in a defensive out-of-sync election or an offence election where they should be more aggresive. This allocates resources appropriately and efficiently.

They need to reimagine their communications to match the modern age of elections.

As it is, I suspect that the party is most likely to lose the next election and then say it was unwinnable after the fact. They will either go too far left when the public goes the other way or go left to stick there which is viable in the long run but may not be next time. If the electorate moves right, it is acceptable as a strategy to go left if this is a decision to stay there and resources are set for defence. It would be a disaster if this is more knee jerk and the party has no clue where the electorate is and then uses the data to get the following election wrong as well.

 

NorthReport
NorthReport
alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

Now the NDP has fucked up again. They will remain the 3rd place party after the 2019 election. That's a sobering fact,friend. But you're too blind and fanatical to see beyond your hatred of Trudeau and see the picture for what it is.

Partly true and partly false. The party is not irrelevant. It could win. This is the rabbit hole the NDP keeps going down. Liberal supporters want to enable the NDP tendency to think elections are foregone conclusions and the party cannot win. The Liberals see themselves as the natural party and the NDP really does as well, perhaps so it does not have to swallow the bitter taste of defeat. I want the party to choke on moral victories and spit them out.

This is the disturbing aspect to the last election that is so scary for the NDP. This indicates a problem for the NDP in learning and fixing the issues that led to the defeat. There is a tendency to by the NDP to try to feel better about a loss by considering it to be inevitable. They did this in 1988 and in 2015. Both of those elections were winnable and the party blew it. In both cases they covered up the error by pretending that the loss was out of their control. In 1988 they could point to some progress but they did not even have that in the defeat of 2015. But the issue dated back before 1988.  The party should have considered 1988 as the loss it was instead of a victory. The victory was only for the party's inferiority complex.

The examples are instructive and if the party does not learn these lessons it will only keep getting defeated.

In 1988 the party went with a traditional NDP campaign fighting the election of 1984. They missed the public mood which was open to change allowing the Liberals to take the lead in what was a Free trade election. The previous summer Ed Broadbent and the NDP had reached first place in the opinion polls. The NDP in a shocking display following that election, celebrated progress even as they blew the opportunity of a generation.

Their next chance came in 2015. In this election, again they left the initiative to the Liberals. The Liberals invested in a software and hardware system to track issues of interest to the voters for door knockers using ipads while the NDP took the traditional pen and paper notes of the status of support at the door. This time the NDP did not fight the election of 2011, as they knew that the dynamic with Layton could not be replicated. Instead, they re-fought the election of 2008. They were completely tone-deaf to what the people wanted because the NDP brain trust had been incapable of making sure that the party had modern effective touchpoints to the public. They engaged in low-level insults that worked in previous campaigns for Harper even as they were backfiring on the Conservatives, they missed the mood of change, they missed the desire for a more activist government, they missed the need for faster action on promises, they missed the willingness for stimulus, and they missed specific responses to Liberal initiatives that they could have responded to. They also lacked the ability to identify the voters most likely to respond to them or any clues as to how to address them.

Following the election the party tore at the leader blaming the move to the right for the problem. This is a simplistic answer that very likely will lead to the party's defeat in the next election. The issue was not entirely about right and left. The public is not static. They are also not in the same place now as they were in 2015 and will not be here in 2019. If the party were to learn the so-called lesson of 2015 and lurch to the left they might get defeated badly. The party is clearly not in the same position and the leader will be different.

For the NDP to do well, they have to learn the other lessons from 2015 -- the ones they apparently do not yet understand. Elections have been transformed by technology. Other parties are taking advantage of this. The NDP website frequently is dated, out of place and sending the absolute wrong message. The party uses the website for fund-raising instead of communciation -- likewise email contact with members. It is largely ineffective on social media because it is not strategic -- it employs the old media concept of any noise is good noise. With social media you have to be strategic to cut through becuase the volume is so great that you cannot compete on amplitude alone. (This is the part when I have been saying the party has to shut up when it has nothing to say and choose topics for maximum impact if it wants any control over what the media will report.) Today, media is so scattered that you need quality hits that are on the right targets becuase noise alone will be erased by the next blast.

The NDP, most of all, has to find a way to track what voters are thinking so they are responding in a way appropriate to the audience. With respect, this place is a bubble and not particularly helpful for that purpose. I think most people here are even more out of touch with the swing voters needed to win than the party itself.

Now this argument that the next election in 2019 needs to be a leap to the left is a misunderstanding of the lesson that the election is about timing. There are two ways to manage timing and the NDP manages to miss both:

1) A party could consistently stay in the same place and wait for the pendulum to move to them. Had they done so, a victory in 2015 could have rewarded them.

2) A party could shift slightly to the voters in a timely way.

Instead, the NDP ran from the left in all the elections where that was a loser and then in the two elections where a run from the left could have created a win they decided to play it safe and run a more safe campaign pulling their punches on any economic initiatives from the left (1988 andf 2015). They did not even realize that any lessons needed to be learned from 1988 and literally did not know what hit them in years following.

So in 2015 which was there to win from the left the NDP gave it to the Liberals. I think that the 2019 election is not easy to see yet. There might be an opportunity to run from the left again and win but more likely the pendulum will have shifted and the party will have to moderate but instead will run the kind of campaign they should have run in 2015 and then get creamed. The news for the party is they can continue this until the end of time: they could then run in 2023 by lurching back to the right seeing the disaster of 2019 and miss the pendulum again moving back to them. This is the dynamic of fighting previous elections.

If you are going to adapt to the voters, get it right and be up-to-date. Otherwise, it is better to stay left even when that fails. By attempting, incompetently and blindly, to adapt using a previous election's experience, the NDP is doomed to continually get things wrong.

The key lesson of 2015 has to be to move past whining about Trudeau, his hair and pedigree, and his broken promises and decide -- if the strategy is to adapt -- how to do this in real time. Or, they could go with a strategy of staying in the same place waiting for the electorate to find them. Unfortunately with changing leadership (not just the leader) this strategy keeps adjusting to get it wrong every time. A stopped clock gets it right twice a day but random out-of-time changes can make sure that it is never right.

The smartest thing the NDP could do is to design the best system it can afford to track the opinions and priorities of voters and get this data back to on-the-ground organizers and senior communications and policy makers within the party. They need this whether they want to be a party that adapts to each election or if they want to stick left and identify voters and messages the best way possible. Should the NDP decide on a strategy of sticking left, this will also let them know if they are in a defensive out-of-sync election or an offence election where they should be more aggresive. This allocates resources appropriately and efficiently.

They need to reimagine their communications to match the modern age of elections.

As it is, I suspect that the party is most likely to lose the next election and then say it was unwinnable after the fact. They will either go too far left when the public goes the other way or go left to stick there which is viable in the long run but may not be next time. If the electorate moves right, it is acceptable as a strategy to go left if this is a decision to stay there and resources are set for defence. It would be a disaster if this is more knee jerk and the party has no clue where the electorate is and then uses the data to get the following election wrong as well.

 


Excellent. Very well said. That's what I've been talking about....just more crudely and pointedly.My bad.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

To be more aware of the voters, the party needs to be more aware of and more respectful of what its own members and activists want and are saying.

​Yes, there needs to be more means of understanding what the voters want, but the key to that is to get OUT of the mindset that a handful of people at party HQ know what should be done and don't ever need to listen or give a say to anybody else.

The way the Palestine resolution was handed was a key example.  Canada is NOT a country where most voters are hardline Likud apologists in the way most people are in the States-so the NDP had nothing to lose by breaking with the Liberals and the Conservatives on the issue.  There's virtually nobody in Canada who would vote for a left-of-center party but ONLY if that party explicitly took Netanyahu's side on the I/P issue, as the nothingburger of a resolution the party allowed to be debated did.  

It was an example of alienating much of the activist base and not holding any existing support or gaining any support from anyplace outside of the traditional party demographics.  And it fit the party's usual pattern of being nominally to the left of the old parties, but just barely-and being nominally to the left in a way that alienates likely supporters without appealing to anyone else.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
They will either go too far left when the public goes the other way

"too far left"?

What do you mean by that?  If the electorate can't see the awesome truths, isn't it still the NDP's job to edumacate them, even if it means taking an electoral hit and being OK with it for four years?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If the public goes "the other way", that, by itself,, would guarantee that the NDP couldn't make gains.  And it would be worthless TO gain seats for the party by appeasing any rightward swings at all in public opinion.  It's not possible to move right on some issues without doing so on virtually all of them-the tragedy that was New Labour proved that.

New Labour happened to be in charge of the part going into the 1997 election-an election Labour had already known it was certain to win no matter what.  None of the massive rightward swings it took on the vast majority of issues-under Blair, it wasn't even opposed to partial privatization of the NHS-gained the party any votes.  And none of the tiny number of good things New Labour did in power justified the Iraq War, the suppression of peaceful protest by violent police tactics, or a crime policy to the right of the Tories.  It's why a lot of people in the UK regard the Labour "victories" in 1997, 2001 and 2005 as meaningless, as worse than defeat in some respects.

 

What justly terrifies a lot of NDP supporters is that the party would succomb to the toxic argument that the only way it was ever going to win "power" was to agree to be indistinguishable from the Conservatives and Liberals, especially on foreign policy.  Canadians are not an intrinsically militaristic people in the way that a lot of Americans are, so there's no truly valid reason to succomb to that temptation, but it's a natural choice of party insiders to do so.

If an NDP government came into power and launched a military intervention in some nonwhite country-we might as well face it, all remaining wars in human history are going to be mainly white troops swarming in in to kill people of color and nothing else, "humanitarian intervention" having been proven to be nothing but a bitter joke-that act will automatically nullify anything good that NDP government could ever do.

The party insiders need to realize that the voters aren't demanding that the NDP be just as chill about war as the other big parties.

Sean in Ottawa

I am not suggesting that the party move to the right. That is one strategy. The problem is that as controversial as trying to follow the public may be, the party is moving so slowly that it is out of sync anyway.

Yes it could stay in the same right-left space and try to bring the public along but it has been wandering left and right and at times so bland that it is neither, missing where the public is. That was what happened in the last election. This is why I say as a strategy either follow the public competently or don't do it at all. Either option is controversial but better than following the public incompetently as it has been doing.

Mighty Middle

Vicky Mochama: Conflating advocacy with extremist violence is dangerous and racist

Neither Justin Trudeau nor Andrew Scheer has been put under the particular spotlight NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has been.

When Barack Obama was called on to answer for Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s fiery sermons, he did so while declining to disown Reverend Wright in a notable speech, saying, “I can no more disown him than I can disown the Black community.”

http://www.metronews.ca/views/metro-views/2018/03/18/vicky-mochama-confl...

NorthReport

I hope the Liberals keep up their nonsense on Jagmeet as that will just make Jagmeet a bigger underdog which is a good place for him to be at the present time.

https://www.eaglevalleynews.com/news/ndp-leader-singh-greeted-with-enthusiasm-in-penticton/

NorthReport

Looks like Liberals might have some splaining to do, eh!

http://thebreaker.news/news/sarai-surrey-credit-union/

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am not suggesting that the party move to the right. That is one strategy. The problem is that as controversial as trying to follow the public may be, the party is moving so slowly that it is out of sync anyway.

Yes it could stay in the same right-left space and try to bring the public along but it has been wandering left and right and at times so bland that it is neither, missing where the public is. That was what happened in the last election. This is why I say as a strategy either follow the public competently or don't do it at all. Either option is controversial but better than following the public incompetently as it has been doing.

I'm with you on the competence thing.  That would be a refreshing change for the leadership to display competence about much fo anything.

NorthReport

dp

NorthReport
NorthReport
Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:
  For me, the issue is that saying "I oppose all violence, including anti-abortion violence" would be just as easy as saying "I oppose all violence", and would be more directly relevant to the question asked, but he doesn't do it. Why? My answer would be that it's a dog-whistle by omission.  

That would be like condemning Palestinian violence without condemning Israli violence. Singh cannot allow himself to be sucked into deep discussions on the topic of Indian politics. It will label him as a foreigner more concerned with the issues of his homeland than Canada's. He has to avoid adding fuel to the fire that will force him to make longer and longer explanations about Indian politics and issues between Hindus and Sihks. 

His statement is perfect. Simple and to the point. He condemns all violence and terrorism. 

voice of the damned wrote:
 Hard to say. You might have a point about it being more of a chattering-class preoccupation. I believe there ARE quite a few non-CCers who will be upset about it, but they'll mostly be right-wing, old Reform Party-types who were already looking for a reson to hate anyone with brown skin, and weren't gonna vote NDP and/or for a Sikh to begin with.

I agree with you on the voter pool. Sad to say any Canadian that knows Trudeau did anything other than wear funny clothes in India is well-informed. What's a CCer?

voice of the damned wrote:
 But, like I say, it's hard to make a definite prediction right now.  

Impossible. It was much easier with Trudeau. His name, his policy choices, that it was a change election, that his opposition was Harper and Mulcair, that the Liberals are the usual alternative to the Conservatives, all contributed to my certainty that he would do well and that a majority was not out of reach.

Singh is by far a more skilled politician, more knowledgable, thinks on his feet (you will never catch him saying uhhhh, emmmm aaaa). In my opinion, the better man by far. But, it's not a change election and he is not up against Harper and Mulcair. 

I think we can safely predict he will not be our PM in 2019 barring some cataclysmic event. It is possible he will hold Trudeau to a minority. That would be great and to me an impressive achievement. Even if he just maintains on average the 20% mark I would deem that a success. 

I do think the NDP has to modernize and rebuild its image. Critics are suggesting because Singh hasn't turned the party's fortunes around yet it illustrates that the wrong leader was chosen for the wrong reasons. The NDP lost its identity in 2015. For the Liberals to outflank the NDP on the left stripped the NDP of its raison d'etre. It made the NDP purposeless. The Liberals are continuing to brag about their progressiveness. They have chosen gender as their flagship issue and they are doing a modified pharmacare. They are taking over all the easy NDP political ground. 

Singh has to carve out a space on the political spectrum for the NDP. For over a decade the NDP has worked to convince Canadians they are really just like the Liberals except they would do a better job of actually delivering on promises. Now the NDP has to differenciate itself from the Liberals without going farther left than Canadians are likely to go for. 

I don't see any open road for Singh to take other than the one he is on. Focusing on inequality. I too am anxious to see him flesh that out with policy but it is too soon. 2019 will be an opportunity to educate Canadians on inequality and to present policy to reverse it. Canadians won't be ready to take a chance in 2019, but if the NDP keeps beating the inequality drum it could make a difference in 2023. Another 4 years of neoliberal policy will increase inequality. After eight years there is more for people to be annoyed about and less for the incumbent to promise. The bloom is off the rose. 

Mainly I think people need to be more patient. It's going to take time for Singh to be more fully revealed for the type of leader he will be. 

Sean in Ottawa

I want to be clear that I think every leader needs good advice -- including the very best. I have no reason to assume that Singh is anything but a great leader. However, he suffers from very poor communication on this issue and the party generally has a poor track record in terms of management of communications and member relations. It needs to understand that changing the leader is the most visible but is not always the solution to deep-set problems. Many poeple who are unhappy with the NDP do not wish it ill will but hold it as responsible to deliver a competent political left voice and are angry when it does nto do so or gets dragged unnecessarily into problems of its own making.

Past failure has led the party to be reluctant to consider its mistakes electorally but assume these are foregone conclusions or related to a ceiling of support. None of this is true. The party really needs to clean house of anyone who thinks elections are unwinnable due to media bias, low support for a left party etc. This negative thinking is in the way of correcting incompetence and searching for real solutions to communications challenges. They allow senior people int he party to escape responsibility and judgment.

Rev Pesky

From the Georgia Straight, Charlie Smith article posted above:

Veteran journalist Andrew Mitrovica has compared NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to baseball star Jackie Robinson, who faced tremendous abuse when he broke the colour barrier.

Really? What barrier has Jagmeet Singh broken?

josh

Jackie Robinson?  GMAFB.

voice of the damned

Rev Pesky wrote:

From the Georgia Straight, Charlie Smith article posted above:

Veteran journalist Andrew Mitrovica has compared NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to baseball star Jackie Robinson, who faced tremendous abuse when he broke the colour barrier.

Really? What barrier has Jagmeet Singh broken?

Well, I was gonna say that the comparison is imprecise, because Robinson was dealing with officially segregated institutions, whereas there has never(so far as I know) been any rule against any ethnicites getting involved in Canadian politics. But from the research I've just been doing, American baseball was never formally segregated, it was just kind of an informally observed rule up until 1947.

But yeah, the fact that you had people at the very top of baseball striving to keep it segregated makes it a little different from the position of East Indians in Canadian politics. It's not as if the presidents of the federal parties had all sat around a table in a restaurant somewhere and agreed not to sign the nomination papers of brown people.

 

NDPP
voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:
  For me, the issue is that saying "I oppose all violence, including anti-abortion violence" would be just as easy as saying "I oppose all violence", and would be more directly relevant to the question asked, but he doesn't do it. Why? My answer would be that it's a dog-whistle by omission.  

That would be like condemning Palestinian violence without condemning Israli violence. Singh cannot allow himself to be sucked into deep discussions on the topic of Indian politics. It will label him as a foreigner more concerned with the issues of his homeland than Canada's. He has to avoid adding fuel to the fire that will force him to make longer and longer explanations about Indian politics and issues between Hindus and Sihks. 

Well, personally, I think at least some of the Palestinian violence is justified, and I don't see an equivalency between their violence and that of the Israelis, given that they are a genuine resistance movement with no recourse to the ballot box and little recourse to political freedom generally.

So, I'm gonna go back to my earlier IRA example(N. Ireland being a place where people are free to vote and organize), and say that a politician had gone to a rally where photos of the people who arranged the Harrod's bombing(a rather useless action that did little more than kill a bunch of civilians in London) are on reverential display. Yeah, I don't think it should be a problem for him to later clarify himself by saying "I condemn all violence, including that of the people who carried out the Harrods bombing." He can even throw in something about Orange violence in Belfast, if he wants to balance things out. We're already assuming he doesn't like the Orange gunmen, so it's not "fueling the fire" to say that one more time.

And on that note, I will cynically state that a possible reason for skipping the specifics is not that he wants to avoid "fueling the fire", but because he doesn't want to explicitly say anything that can be played back to his pro-IRA supporters as proof that he is wavering on the cause.

Oh, and CCer was meant to stand for "chattering class-er". I probably should have just gone with that one. Sorry for the confusion.  

 

voice of the damned

An interesting exchange between a National Post reporter and a British journalist, over Canadian coverage of this issue...

https://tinyurl.com/ybo3rw2k

The British guy gets in some points, but I did take some issue with this...

"So I think it’s important for the Canadian media to also represent younger and newer voices from the Canadian Sikh community. I mean, (last) week all I’ve seen is white Canadians arguing with each other about Canadian Sikh history, which I just find utterly baffling. "

Insofar as those discussions are stemming from the Air India bombing, that is as much a part of Canadian history as it is Indian or Sikh history, not least because the vast majority of people who died in it were Canadian. So, ill-informed as some of the discussion may be, it's not quite a case of outsiders commenting on things that have nothing to do with them. 

 

 

NorthReport

The Canadian establishment is now showing its true subtle racist colours

Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:
  Well, personally, I think at least some of the Palestinian violence is justified, and I don't see an equivalency between their violence and that of the Israelis, given that they are a genuine resistance movement with no recourse to the ballot box and little recourse to political freedom generally. 

I'm pretty sure that is exactly how Sikhs feel about what happened to them in particular the Golden Temple government massacre of Sikhs. 

voice of the damned wrote:
 

So, I'm gonna go back to my earlier IRA example(N. Ireland being a place where people are free to vote and organize), and say that a politician had gone to a rally where photos of the people who arranged the Harrod's bombing(a rather useless action that did little more than kill a bunch of civilians in London) are on reverential display. Yeah, I don't think it should be a problem for him to later clarify himself by saying "I condemn all violence, including that of the people who carried out the Harrods bombing." He can even throw in something about Orange violence in Belfast, if he wants to balance things out. We're already assuming he doesn't like the Orange gunmen, so it's not "fueling the fire" to say that one more time.  

But he did say that specifically:

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh declared Thursday that he accepts the findings of the Canadian inquiry into the Air India bombing and condemns all that were behind the horror that killed more than 300 people off the coast of Scotland in 1985.

That includes Sikh extremist Talwinder Singh Parmar, identified by Canada’s Air India inquiry as the mastermind of the attack.

He specifically condemned Parmar by name and anyone involved in the Air India bombing. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

One thing...I don't think there's an obligation to be absolutely pro-separatism/sovereigntism or absolutely anti-separatism/sovereigntism.  It's entirely possible to take it case-by-case on that.

In the 19th Century, a decent person could easily have opposed Confederate separatism in the U.S.-given that the only real motivation for that effort was the wish by slaveowners to preserve and extend the institution of slavery in North America, on the one hand, and wholeheartedly support the Irish independence cause-given that the motivation for that was the fact that there was no possibility of the Irish people ever escaping oppression and subjection within the confines of the political arrangements of the United Kingdom in that era.

It was and is perfectly consistent to support Palestinian self-determination in the 20th and now the 21st centuries on the grounds that the State of Israel will never under any circumstances cease to oppress the people of Palestine, and yet at the same time oppose the small "western separatist" movement in Canada, a movement driven almost entirely by hatred of bilingualism, multiculturalism, First Nations people, the labour movement, Jewish and Muslim people, and the LGBTQ community

By the same token, a person could work against the sovereigntist project in Quebec(taking the reasonable stance of accepting Quebec's right to self-determination while supporting whatever measures were deemed necessary to keep Quebec from exercising that right by voting to leave the existing constitutional arrangements of Canada) and at the same time support at least all nonviolent efforts to achieve an independent Khalistan on the grounds that there is no hope of India ever electing a government that is not devoted to crushing Sikh people, religion, and culture and imposing a rigid, delusional vision of India where everyone and everything that are not Hindu are simply lower orders of life.

It matters why people want separatism.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
and yet at the same time oppose the small "western separatist" movement in Canada, a movement driven almost entirely by hatred of bilingualism, multiculturalism, First Nations people, the labour movement, Jewish and Muslim people, and the LGBTQ community

When you put it that way, I'm inclined to support them if it means they leave.  Otherwise, they get to express all those same wishes in the context of the same Canada I live in.

Quote:
It matters WHY the separatism is happening.

Well, I'm not sure it's a good long-term plan to introduce the idea of "good" sovereignty and "bad" sovereignty.  Overall, we'll be more likely to keep the peace if we just take everyone's word for it.  Doesn't mean we have to paint signs and march arm-in-arm with everyone, but ideally we won't be actively opposing anyone's sovereignty either.  If Alberta wants to (formally) become the 51st state and change their name to North Texas, why not?

brookmere

Ken Burch wrote:
It was and is perfectly consistent to support Palestinian self-determination in the 20th and now the 21st centuries on the grounds that the State of Israel will never under any circumstances cease to oppress the people of Palestine

That's not the appropriate grounds, because the right of Palestinian self-determination has nothing to do with how well or how badly the Israelis treat them. They have the right because their territory is not part of Israel and that country has no right to occupy it. The Palestinian movement is not a separatist movement but an anti-colonial movement.

Also, do you think it would be appropriate for non-Canadian politicians to oppose separation of parts of their own country but support Quebec separation based on their own view that Quebec is oppressed?

NorthReport

Pages