Jagmeet Singh Reinstates NDP MP David Christopherson Of Critic Role After Outcry

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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And you are the only one here who believes that, despite what is in the constitution.

I will believe Unionist's parsing of the constitution and its rules.

But if the party just "wings it" in practice, and that's what you're saying, I'll believe you too.  Heck, that's not even contradictory.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I'm not weighing in on how the party handles these situations because I am not that closely invested. I am, although, extremely happy with this clause for getting student summer job funding (and I hope all federal program funding). Perhaps it should have been clearer in its wording but how do you politely say if your organization is committed to undoing all the progress we made as a society to respect and value women and LGBT rights, you are not getting a penny from the government. Similarly, if an organization public spouts beliefs to suppress the rights of Indigenous people or new immigrants (aka fundamentally racist beliefs), they should also be denied public funding.

josh

And people who believe boycotting Israel is anti-Semitism could make the same argument to deny public funding:

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit in October on behalf of Esther Koontz, a math and science curriculum coordinator in the Wichita public schools. She was denied a state teacher-training contract after refusing to sign a statement that she wasn't participating in a boycott of Israel or Israeli products.

http://m.ljworld.com/news/2018/mar/26/kansas-legislators-try-save-law-against-boycotting/?templates=mobile

Pondering

Unionist, you are probably right. The party has drifted far from its origins but I am pretty sure Ed Broadbent expected compliance with his decisions once he made them. 

The leader has always been the face of the party to the public and the public has always judged a party through its leader.  That isn't going to change any time soon.

At least the Liberals are honest about who runs the party. It is the leader and executive. There are no members anymore, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. They ended paid memberships. Everyone is just a supporter now. 

Maybe that is part of the NDP's identity crisis. The party isn't being honest about what it has become. 

Unionist

Pondering wrote:

Unionist, you are probably right. The party has drifted far from its origins but I am pretty sure Ed Broadbent expected compliance with his decisions once he made them.

Broadbent was leader when I quit (actually, declined to renew my membership). I'm not suggesting that the party has drifted from its origins. It didn't function then in a democratic and rank-and-file-driven manner, and it doesn't now. What bothered me then was less that the Leader dictated, but that the members didn't mind. When I couldn't meaningfully influence that phenomenon, I took my activism in other directions.

Quote:
The leader has always been the face of the party to the public and the public has always judged a party through its leader.  That isn't going to change any time soon.

That's really sad. Luckily, though we have major problems and challenges in the union movement, we've never been reducible to the Leader. Different unions are more or less open to control from below, but there is always room for real activism and progress and change at the local and regional levels. And constitutions are respected for the most part. I've never seen a conspiracy of silence as bad as the kind that exists among members of a political party (not just the NDP).

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At least the Liberals are honest [clip]

Sorry, I couldn't read the rest of that paragraph. Couldn't get past "Liberals" and "honest" in the same sentence. My bad.

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Maybe that is part of the NDP's identity crisis. The party isn't being honest about what it has become.

It's the members. They've bought into the desperate yearning for obtaining and retaining electoral success. Everything else is secondary, or non-existent. The irony is that even electoral success isn't attainable that way.

6079_Smith_W

Well that's the thing.

If that is their thinking I presume they are trying to out-progressive the Liberals, even as they are riding on their coat tails. If this is how they think they are going to get back votes from the Liberals the real outcome is going to be the opposite, because the Liberals still govern this isue, and this mis-step is going to cost the NDP in the middle. Like I said, they ARE going to pay at the ballot box for this bad decision unfortunately.

But it is primarily a bad decision for the reasons that it doesn't solve the problem; it makes it worse. And it is an unnecessary show of hierachical force.

(edit)

And yes, we just finished having a leadership race here in Saskatchewan which was essentially about trying to compete with the Sask Party on their own issues versus trying something different. The party has had a couple of elections to learn that the former does not work.

 

cco

josh wrote:

And people who believe boycotting Israel is anti-Semitism could make the same argument to deny public funding:

Which BDS organizations currently receive funding from the federal government?

SocialJustice101

So if a government decided to fund only non-controversial (in their judgement) human rights advocacy groups and environmental groups, they can't do so?    How about groups that supposedly fight for "European-Canadian heritage and rights" and supposedly defends "men's rights."   How about Nazi groups and the KKK?  They claim they fight for free speech.    At the end of the day, government funding is a perk and it's up to the government to decide what they want to fund, and then be accoutable to voters.

SocialJustice101

If a government asked questions which are *irrelevant* to the funding, only then we'd have a problem.  For example, if a person was applying for government pension and was asked their view on abortion, that would be illegal.   However, if that same person opens an advocacy group and requests government funding, the organization's actitivies would be a very relevant and totally appropriate question.

6079_Smith_W

Anti-feminists have gotten (and continue to get) these kinds of benefits. You can donate to them and get a tax break:

https://nowtoronto.com/news/mens-rights-group-used-feminists-names-on-ch...

By contrast we have groups targetted because relieving poverty is apparently political.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/charities-political-activities-canada-re...

So yes, these measures can be used both ways. And this is an especially intrusive example of it. All the more bizarre that the NDP and Liberals both acknowledge the problem, but are persisting in it anyway.

Of course the Conservatives have an ulterior motive here, but if the NDP are going to walk right into it, shame on them.

 

 

SocialJustice101

Smith, the anti-feminist group was approved under Harper and they also clearly lied on their application.  Not sure if they are still considered a charity.

6079_Smith_W

I have not heard that they have had it taken away. And as the article says, other groups are still being targetted under the Liberals. And clearly the Conservatives are just as hypocritical in tabling this motion, even though they are right on the issue.

This is less about partisan differences (because who gets funding and status should not be partisan), than the whole question of resorting to these tactics. And going beyond actions of a specific project to an organization's "core mandate" opens the door to making these actions far worse. At least some in the NDP seem to recognize that.

In fact, it seems they all see it. But some of them decided to go along with it anyway and whip the vote for good measure.

 

 

SocialJustice101

The Cons are wrong on the issue.  They are playing politics by misrepresenting the language of the attestation and ignoring the clearly stated intentions of the government.  I'd glad that NDP leadership had the common sense to NOT play along with the so-cons.

SocialJustice101

As for the suggestion, that the NDP should have presented a re-worded clearer version of the attestation, I agree.   However, it's too late to change the application for this year, and it is still sufficiently clear from a legal perspective, if not from a media/politics perspective.

6079_Smith_W

If you agree that the wording is unclear how can you say that the cons are wrong? And how can you justify the NDP telling members to shut up and go along with it or be punished?

SocialJustice101

The wording is not as clear as it could have been, but it's clear enough not to side with the Cons.    The NDP made the best choice, not the perfect choice.   The perfect choice was not on the menu.

6079_Smith_W

So yours is a partisan decision then, based on not supporting your opponents and not based on whether it was the right thing to do, or the effect it is having on people.

SocialJustice101

6079_Smith_W wrote:

So yours is a partisan decision then, based on not supporting your opponents and not based on whether it was the right thing to do, or the effect it is having on people.

Nitpicking on wording to pretend to be a victim is NOT the right thing to do, especially if you claim to care about the less fortunate who need charitable work.   It's kind of ridiculous to pretend that the government would actually care about your personal views when they are considering your organizational activities for funding.  "Use your common sense, folks!"

6079_Smith_W

They cared enough to send back the forms and not grant funding, even on groups which explained in writing why they didn't sign.

And the NDP cared enough to speak out about it when the issue first broke.

So let's not pretend that there isn't a little compromising of principles here, whether it is to be not seen supporting a conservative motion, or to get back some of those progressive votes from the Liberals. Really the main question is why they decided to be authoritarian to the degree that they took it out on their own respected MPs.

Might not be your "perfect solution", but not whipping would certainly have been better than what they did.

 

 

 

SocialJustice101

Only incomplete applications were sent back.   It's false victimhood with an agenda. The attestation deals with serveral questions, in addition to the core mandate.   I have not heard of any church's complete application being denied.  The Ministry has reportedly been reaching out to past applicants, including churches,  encouraging them to re-apply.   

The NDP has been very clear about NOT allowing free votes on human rights, including gay rights and reproductive rights.   I recall there was an NDP convention resolution that was passed by delegates to that effect.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
If you agree that the wording is unclear how can you say that the cons are wrong?

Did they make a request for clarification?  Consult with a lawyer?

Lots of legalese could be clearer than it is, but that doesn't mean anyone can just "skip a step" because they're not sure what "mandate" really means, and they don't own a dictionary and they're too shy to ask.

It's hilarious that we don't seem to know what this word means, or something.  I wonder whether it's even allowed in Scrabble?  Scrabble only allows real words, right?

Here's my proposed, provisional definition for "mandate":  what you exist to do and/or intend to do.

If an organization is called "Send a Kid to Camp Leakytent" then probably their mandate is going to have something to do with having been organized to send kids to Camp Leakytent.  Could include some fundraising, some marketing, and presumably, some camping.

Their mandate isn't whether or not they believe in Jeebus.  Hope that helps someone.

6079_Smith_W

The deadline has passed SJ101.

And perhaps you should write David Christopherson's constituency office, Magoo. I'm sure he needs the dictionary waved under his nose.

 

bekayne

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ndp-mp-criticizes-leade...

Mr. Angus, who came second in last October’s leadership race, said the fallout from Mr. Singh’s decision to remove NDP MP David Christopherson as vice-chair of the powerful procedure and House affairs committee, has been “intense.”

“People are really stunned, because they don’t understand what the political agenda is by publicly attacking such a senior member of caucus,” Mr. Angus said in an interview. “It’s not how you treat someone who’s given so much of their life to the party and to building solidarity in the caucus. It shows a lack of respect.”

Mr. Angus said the decision to remove Mr. Christopherson from committee “should be reversed immediately.”

6079_Smith_W

Nice. Looks like The Star can't read either, and is just siding with the cons:

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2018/03/26/ndp-was-wrong-to-p...

R.E.Wood

bekayne wrote:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ndp-mp-criticizes-leade...

Mr. Angus, who came second in last October’s leadership race, said the fallout from Mr. Singh’s decision to remove NDP MP David Christopherson as vice-chair of the powerful procedure and House affairs committee, has been “intense.”

“People are really stunned, because they don’t understand what the political agenda is by publicly attacking such a senior member of caucus,” Mr. Angus said in an interview. “It’s not how you treat someone who’s given so much of their life to the party and to building solidarity in the caucus. It shows a lack of respect.”

Mr. Angus said the decision to remove Mr. Christopherson from committee “should be reversed immediately.”

Thanks for sharing this very enlightening article! It should put to rest any questions some have had as to who was responsible -- Singh! And Bravo to Charlie Angus for standing strong!

Veteran NDP MP Charlie Angus is lambasting leader Jagmeet Singh’s decision to punish a senior New Democrat for breaking ranks on a motion condemning the Liberal’s summer jobs program, raising questions about the rookie leader’s control over his caucus.

It's also nice to see Romeo Saganash siding with Angus and standing up for Christopherson:

NDP MP Romeo Saganash said he agrees with Mr. Angus about Mr. Christopherson’s treatment by the leadership. “I find that regrettable,” Mr. Saganash said outside the House of Commons on Tuesday.  “I’ve taken positions contrary to my party in the past, and I didn’t get that kind of sanction. So, it’s unfortunate.” He also called for Mr. Christopherson to be reinstated on the committee.

Rev Pesky

From that Star article:

Christopherson is not denying a woman’s right to choose, nor is he standing against any of the social democratic values that presumably make a New Democrat a New Democrat. Rather, he is making a case, on the basis of those very values, for freedom of belief.

Nobody is preventing someone from believing whatever they want. However, I don't see any reason the taxpayers should support any and all beliefs.​

Mighty Middle

Unionist wrote:

I've completed my search of the NDP constitution. My conclusion is simple: the Leader has no democratically or legislatively determined power to name or dismiss critics. But power, whether in the hands of the Leader, or in the minds of the Followers, doesn't need to be written down, right? It just needs to be respected.

Well Unionist, you finally have your answer. NDP MPs said it was Jagmeet decision

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ndp-mp-criticizes-leade...

Charlie has also been very critical of Jagmeet being more style than policy driven with past comments, but this is a new one.

“It just doesn’t look right. [Mr. Singh] is at the Junos, and Dave Christopherson is hearing, along with everyone else … that they’re removing him from his committee role,” said Mr. Angus

SocialJustice101

It may have been *effectively* Singh's decision, but I doubt Singh could/would do it without the executive's approval.  The media is rarely concerned with such details of the process.

Mighty Middle

SocialJustice101 wrote:

It may have been *effectively* Singh's decision, but I doubt Singh could/would do it without the executive's approval.  The media is rarely concerned with such details of the process.

Why didn't the executive push back on this like the caucus is doing right now? Or does the executive just rubber stamp everything Jagmeet requests?

SocialJustice101

Mighty Middle wrote:

SocialJustice101 wrote:

It may have been *effectively* Singh's decision, but I doubt Singh could/would do it without the executive's approval.  The media is rarely concerned with such details of the process.

Why didn't the executive push back on this like the caucus is doing right now? Or does the executive just rubber stamp everything Jagmeet requests?

But wasn't there a convention resolution forbidding free votes on certain social issues?   The Executive may feel like they are complying with the resolution.  And I bet the party leader has more credibility than any other member of the Executive.

Mighty Middle

SocialJustice101 wrote:

But wasn't there a convention resolution forbidding free votes on certain social issues?   The Executive may feel like they are complying with the resolution.  And I bet the party leader has more credibility than any other member of the Executive.

But if this is also the Executive decision then why aren't the NDP MPs blasting the executive as well? They are all training their outrage at Jagmeet saying it was his decision alone.

Unionist

Mighty Middle wrote:

Well Unionist, you finally have your answer. NDP MPs said it was Jagmeet decision

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ndp-mp-criticizes-leade...

Hm. Seven (7) NDP MPs are named in that article. The only one quoted as saying it was "the leader's decision" is Alexandre Boulerice. Charlie Angus didn't say that:

Quote:
“It just doesn’t look right. [Mr. Singh] is at the Junos, and Dave Christopherson is hearing, along with everyone else … that they’re removing him from his committee role,” said Mr. Angus.

Who's "they"?

 

SocialJustice101

Mighty Middle wrote:

SocialJustice101 wrote:

But wasn't there a convention resolution forbidding free votes on certain social issues?   The Executive may feel like they are complying with the resolution.  And I bet the party leader has more credibility than any other member of the Executive.

But if this is also the Executive decision then why aren't the NDP MPs blasting the executive as well? They are all training their outrage at Jagmeet saying it was his decision alone.

So far only a couple of MPs out of 40+ spoke out against this decision.  If the Executive had a similar vote breakdown, the decision would have been taken easily. 

Unionist

SocialJustice101 wrote:

It may have been *effectively* Singh's decision, but I doubt Singh could/would do it without the executive's approval.  The media is rarely concerned with such details of the process.

The Executive has 27 members. It is required to meet at least three (3) times per year. A quorum is ten (10) members [sic - I know, I know, don't blame me, I didn't write the constitution]. I've seen no reports of an Executive meeting on this issue.

If it was deemed an "emergency", the six officers (or, a quorum of at least four of them) could have made the decision, on an interim basis, pending confirmation by the Executive or the Council. I don't know whether that happened.

 

josh

cco wrote:
josh wrote:

And people who believe boycotting Israel is anti-Semitism could make the same argument to deny public funding:

Which BDS organizations currently receive funding from the federal government?

An organization that would be denied funding unless it attested to not boycotting Israel.

cco

Which organization? Kairos?

Your argument, if I understand it, is that if Liberals don't subsidize anti-abortion groups, the Conservatives, when they're next in power, will seize upon that precedent and yank funding from groups that don't lend unquestioning support to Israel. My point is that the Conservatives have already done exactly that, a decade ago. How quickly we forget that these supposed fair-play gentlemen's agreements only ever apply to the left.

6079_Smith_W

This is not about anti abortion groups. Do you think Christopherson would have made the decision he did if it was?

SocialJustice101

It's impractical logically and impossible legally to make a case that the government has an obligation to fund all advocacy group, regardlesss of their actitivies and conduct.   It shouldn't surprise anyone that a right-wing government could stop funding to women's rights groups involved in pro-choice activism.     Just remember that elections do have consequences.   

cco

6079_Smith_W wrote:
This is not about anti abortion groups.

Which pro-choice groups are refusing to check the box stating that? Or is it other issues, like gay rights, they're opposed to?

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Do you think Christopherson would have made the decision he did if it was?

He's not the first, nor the last, to confuse "I'm not getting paid to say this" with "It's illegal for me to say this." It's disappointing to see, but it's certainly not surprising.

ETA: Singh backs down. Christopherson's restored to his position. Or, I suppose, council backs down, procedurally.

6079_Smith_W

Some of the groups are doing work that has nothing to do with reproductive health or LGBT issues, cco. It is posted upthread. And no, I don't think Christopherson is confused about the issue at all.

And that's good news. Hopefully it will also be a good lesson. From what he said it seems like he may have gotten it.

 

NorthReport
Mighty Middle

Jagmeet Singh reinstates NDP MP David Christopherson to his role as vice-chair of the powerful procedure and House affairs committee

Did he talk to the executive beforehand? Or was it an emergency? As he cannot appoint critics or remove critic roles, without clearing it with the Executive. That according to Unionist.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ndp-mp-criticizes-leader-singhs-punishment-of-fellow-new-democrat/

Pondering

bekayne wrote:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ndp-mp-criticizes-leade...

Mr. Angus, who came second in last October’s leadership race, said the fallout from Mr. Singh’s decision to remove NDP MP David Christopherson as vice-chair of the powerful procedure and House affairs committee, has been “intense.”

“People are really stunned, because they don’t understand what the political agenda is by publicly attacking such a senior member of caucus,” Mr. Angus said in an interview. “It’s not how you treat someone who’s given so much of their life to the party and to building solidarity in the caucus. It shows a lack of respect.”

Mr. Angus said the decision to remove Mr. Christopherson from committee “should be reversed immediately.”

Angus is a sore loser. He does not want the NDP to be successful under Singh and he will do his utmost to undermine him every chance he gets. He addresses Singh through the media. Angus should be put out to pasture before he destroys what little hope the party has.

Pondering

"Over the last several days, Jagmeet and I have had in-depth conversations addressing all aspects of this issue," Christopherson said.

"Through this process I believe Jagmeet has shown himself to be a strong Leader, willing to listen to all viewpoints and come to a fair resolution. I have complete trust in his leadership."

I'm willing to bet Angus does not agree. 

Mighty Middle

Jagmeet is in a no-win situation here. Now if he makes a tough decision that the caucus doesn't agree with, all they have to do is go to the media to complain and apply pressure for him to back down.  For Jagmeet to do a reversal like this, doesn't show strong leadership at all.

Now the caucus is going to continually question every decision he makes.

6079_Smith_W

I don't think that is necessarily true. This was a particularly bad decision that deserved to be challenged.

And it was, both by members of caucus, and by the media.

But if there are problems in the future it won't be because he reversed a bad decision in this case.

 

 

JeffWells

I think better of Singh for reversing his decision. He made the wrong call, he listened to the caucus and did the right thing. That's the kind of leadership the NDP needs, and so much better than digging in his heels to demonstrate who's boss.

R.E.Wood

Pondering wrote:

bekayne wrote:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ndp-mp-criticizes-leade...

Mr. Angus, who came second in last October’s leadership race, said the fallout from Mr. Singh’s decision to remove NDP MP David Christopherson as vice-chair of the powerful procedure and House affairs committee, has been “intense.”

“People are really stunned, because they don’t understand what the political agenda is by publicly attacking such a senior member of caucus,” Mr. Angus said in an interview. “It’s not how you treat someone who’s given so much of their life to the party and to building solidarity in the caucus. It shows a lack of respect.”

Mr. Angus said the decision to remove Mr. Christopherson from committee “should be reversed immediately.”

Angus is a sore loser. He does not want the NDP to be successful under Singh and he will do his utmost to undermine him every chance he gets. He addresses Singh through the media. Angus should be put out to pasture before he destroys what little hope the party has.

Oh Pondering... poor Pondering... You're such a sycophantic Singh cheerleader bashing Angus but ignoring the facts: Angus was RIGHT! (And so were Christopherson, and Saganash, and Boulerice, and most likely others who spoke in private...) Singh backed down! He was wrong, and he finally admitted it and reinstated Christopherson. Just took some MP's taking this public to get Singh to admit he made a mistake. Who's to blame for making the party look bad? Not the MP's who took extraordinary means in order to make Singh pay attention, that's for sure!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I think better of Singh for reversing his decision.
Quote:

Speaking of reversals, did this thread's title do a one-eighty?

R.E.Wood

JeffWells wrote:

I think better of Singh for reversing his decision. He made the wrong call, he listened to the caucus and did the right thing. That's the kind of leadership the NDP needs, and so much better than digging in his heels to demonstrate who's boss.

I agree with this, and with the preceeding post as well. It is good that Singh showed flexibility (under the pressure of caucus backlash and media spotlights). But what remains a worry is why he made this decision in the first place. Why his instinctive response was to punish for a minor infraction, rather than having a big conversation to understand Christopherson's reasoning, and the thinking of the rest of caucus. Sorry, but as much as the decision to back off punishing Christopherson is a good one, Singh's initial decision still remains rash, harsh, and simply wrong. 

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