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NDP Leadership #108

DSloth
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Joined: Apr 26 2011

Repost:

Xtra recently conducted a provocative interview with Thomas Mulcair:

Quote:

How would you promote queer rights abroad?

Let's look at this year's Commonwealth meeting. There are a lot of Commonwealth members that have an abysmal record on "queer rights," as you call them, that still consider it a crime. There has to come a point where in your foreign policy that type of abject refusal to recognize human rights becomes an impediment to closer relationships.

So there's a difference between a working arrangement with other countries, diplomatic relations with other countries, but when you get into a closer relationship, as with the Commonwealth, either the Commonwealth is going to start standing up and showing leadership on these issues or countries like Canada that respect these rights and understand them are going to have to send a clear signal that they're not going to be part of that club any more.

You would actually have Canada withdraw from the Commonwealth?

The Canadian government has already sent a signal that the last meeting was totally unacceptable, that there's been no progress. You can do that once. You can do that twice. But if you're still dealing with several countries that are showing absolute failure to respect rights and are in fact treating it as criminal behaviour, yes, of course, this is a question of whether or not you would associate with these people in the closest possible way. That's what the Commonwealth is supposed to be about. It's supposed to be about shared history, shared institutions and shared values. If there's a total breakdown on that on such an identifying issue as this one, then at some point you have to send a clear signal that if it continues like that, that you're willing to break that relationship. That has to be clear.

How can a queer agenda be advanced from opposition?

Well, we saw what Bill Siksay was able to do, but that was in a minority government situation. We're going to put the government to the test because it is a rights issue. If now after having seen this be enacted the first time, if the bill doesn't make it through, then the public will have that as one of the other things they can decide on in the next election.

What's the road map to an NDP government?

The vision that I have is repeating in the rest of Canada what we accomplished in Quebec. For five years we worked across Quebec, tirelessly, nonstop, every corner of the province, bringing a very positive, upbeat message about who we were, our progressive vision. Showing that the Bloc [Québécois] were not progressives. It was a very substantive debate largely under the radar in the rest of Canada.

There were things like in ‘07 in my by-election, we went hard against them on their voting record on Afghanistan. If Jack was going to get beaten up in Toronto and called "Taliban Jack," we were at least going to connect with Quebeckers who were strongly anti-war, and tell them we're the only ones with a consistent record on this.

We knew Quebeckers shared our values. They just didn't vote for us and they default voted for the Bloc because they thought they were more progressive. So we had to take them on and we had to take on the Liberals and the Conservatives.

I think that the Conservatives are vulnerable to a concerted opposition. One of the things that's of real interest to NDPers is that I was part of a very tough team in Quebec City that dismantled the Parti Québécois. When we beat Bernard Landry, they haven't arisen and they're still in shambles since then. We went after them for five years. It was tough fighting. Believe me, politics in Quebec is bare knuckles. It's not the Marquess of Queensbury. Much tougher than any you've seen in Ottawa, and we stood up to them and we put together a very tough approach, a very structured approach, substantive attacks. You've got to push away and say what's wrong with the government, but you've got to bring people to you. You've got to do both, and it's the pushing and pulling that allows you to advance as a party. That's what I'll bring to this party. No one's ever taken on Harper in a substantive way.

Can the leadership candidates from the rest of Canada hold on to Quebec?

There are eight tremendous candidates in this race. We all bring different things to it. And I would hope that whoever is chosen is able to keep what we've got in Quebec, because if we don't, we can't form government. We have 58 seats in Quebec, we have 43 in the rest of Canada, and we need another 60. What we have to do is what we did in Quebec: reach beyond our traditional base. That includes going after young people.

Sixty-five percent of 18- to 25-year-olds didn't even bother to vote. In Quebec we've put up a lot of young people. Young people are excited about politics in Quebec; more young people voted in Quebec than in the other provinces.

We connect with First Nations. A lot of them didn't vote in the past. We've got two tremendous people - Romeo Saganash, Jonathan Genest-Jourdain - all the young Cree and all the young Innu came out and voted for them. That's a really incredible breakthrough.

We've got a lot of ethnic communities that used to be very beholden to the Liberal party that we're working very hard to get on side and connect with. The Filipino community is one of the first that came over to me in the ‘07 by-election. I knew them well from having worked as a volunteer for years, but I also knew that they had a lot of complex issues and the Liberals were taking them for granted. They came over to us and gave us a chance. They've been loyal, and, boy, have we been loyal to them. Those are some of the things we have done to go beyond our traditional base, because that's the only way you're going to win. You've got to get more voters.


Glad to hear Tom is willing to go to the mat on the Commonwealth issue, the meeting last October was a huge international embarassment. 

 


Comments

Ippurigakko
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Joined: May 30 2011

I like what he said

 

"We connect with First Nations. A lot of them didn't vote in the past. We've got two tremendous people - Romeo Saganash, Jonathan Genest-Jourdain - all the young Cree and all the young Innu came out and voted for them. That's a really incredible breakthrough."

 

We need in Nunavut Inuit seek NDP candidate next elections and Inuit youth can vote who is Inuit NDP MP. I hope Paul Irngaut going NDP next time, last time he got highest vote in 2008 since 1980. he almost win!


Brachina
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Joined: Feb 15 2012
Ippurigakko wrote:

I like what he said

 

"We connect with First Nations. A lot of them didn't vote in the past. We've got two tremendous people - Romeo Saganash, Jonathan Genest-Jourdain - all the young Cree and all the young Innu came out and voted for them. That's a really incredible breakthrough."

 

We need in Nunavut Inuit seek NDP candidate next elections and Inuit youth can vote who is Inuit NDP MP. I hope Paul Irngaut going NDP next time, last time he got highest in 2008 since 1980. he almost win!

Right on, it'd be great to take out Harper's Healh Minister. Hope he does run again and win.

wage zombie
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Joined: Dec 8 2004

I think Dippers tend to be overly cautious when making choices like this.  If you like Niki Ashton, and you think she has principles, and the right perspective, and political skills, then vote for her!

If you think younger people can excel, then vote for her!  Some may say that a candidate that young could never be successful.  Do not get dragged into the fear perspective.  That is a losing argument.

For all those saying that Ashton does not have what it takes to win a majority government during the next election, I strongly disagree.  Ashton has appeal across many regions.  She succeeds in the prairies.  She succeeds in a rural riding.  Her French is only behind that of Mulcair and Topp and relative to most of the candidates she is extremely well positioned to hold Quebec.  I think she has great potential to lure young non-voters in and keep them voting.  Despite being a rural MP I think she would quite well in urban areas.  And I think having lived abroad, speaking several languages, and being younger will make her very appealing to new Candians and thenic communities.

She has not been able to sell her "new politics" very well yet.  But I feel very strongly that new politics are needed, and they are what Jack was taking us towards.  I don't think we need to renew our social democratic party, I think we need to offer Canadians new politics, and I think there is a big difference.

And as I have been comparing the statements that candidates make about policy, I find that Ashton is consistently among the top answers no matter the policy area.

Now that there has been more differentiation between the candidates, and we have seen them perform more, it is becoming clearer to me that Ashton if the best candidate for leader.  I hope she can demonstrate this in all the debates coming up.


dacckon
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Brachina
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Joined: Feb 15 2012
I got woken up by Mulcair campaign today (working nights this weekend), and got asked about how I felt his campaign, the guy talked about front runner status and taking on Harper, and then asked for money, but was very polite when I told him I was broke (sadly very true), so that was interesting. Nothing negative, except against Harper hehe.

Charles
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Joined: Apr 21 2001

Had a call from the Cullen campaign, aggressive but not in a bad way. Very persistent, tried hard to explain away the "co-operation" issue, and as a caller from QC (Mai's riding actually, and clearly pissed about the Dewar endorsement) did well to bolster the idea of Cullen's growing French skills. Very effective call, though not enough to budge my support from Mulcair (frankly at this point and seeing all other candidates in action nothing could do that). Still Cullen has risen in my estimation throughout the campaign and he and Ashton are now the only other candidates that I find genuinely appealing as a possible leader beyond Mulcair...


vaudree
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Joined: Sep 7 2001

Debate tomorrow 1 pm Central! 


laine lowe
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Joined: Dec 15 2006

I got a call from a Cullen worker and we had a nice conversation. I told him that after my prefered candidate resigned, I was very much undecided about who to support. He asked about the "co-operation" issue. We talked about it and he tried to clarify what Cullen meant by it.

Early in the game, I also spoke with a Dewar worker and outlined why I couldn't support him. Calls from Nash and Mulcair have been robocalls.

I am still very undecided in my vote except that I won't be supporting Dewar, Singh or Mulcair.


Brachina
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Joined: Feb 15 2012
L
laine lowe wrote:

I got a call from a Cullen worker and we had a nice conversation. I told him that after my prefered candidate resigned, I was very much undecided about who to support. He asked about the "co-operation" issue. We talked about it and he tried to clarify what Cullen meant by it.

Early in the game, I also spoke with a Dewar worker and outlined why I couldn't support him. Calls from Nash and Mulcair have been robocalls.

I am still very undecided in my vote except that I won't be supporting Dewar, Singh or Mulcair.

The call from Mulcair's team was a person at least, I don't answer robo calls. Haven't actually been called by anyone else, but,I just joined a few weeks before the deadline.

mark_alfred
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Joined: Jan 3 2004

I'm in my late 40s, so I find the idea of constant surveillance kind of creepy.  For me (and some others of my generation) 1984 by George Orwell was considered a dystopia.  Now, however, it seems the norm.  So, in the past those who volunteered for different political campaigns would be seen as civically engaged citizens worthy of our praise, and even if we didn't agree with the ideas or messages that they were delivering, we still appreciated the right of people to have and express a different opinion.  However, some people now who don't agree with differing opinions will classify such opinions as sacrilege and will see such people as suspects who must be recorded, catalogued, and exposed for perceived misdemeanours (via Twitter, Facebook, or whatever other corporate cataloguing means that this person advocates).  A sad state of affairs, really.  Candidates who attract such types to their campaigns are ones I frankly wish to avoid.

Of course, I may be written off as an old "boiler-plate" social democrat.  However, I am encouraged that Niki Ashton is very much on the side of regular working people, unlike the anti-boilerplate no-to-social-democracy Mulcair.  So, perhaps there is hope that youth are still onside with the more egalitarian message of the NDP.  I think Topp, Nash, Ashton, and even Cullen with his tax proposals, and Dewar with his various policies, and Singh with his focus on pharmacare and health care are very much in line with the old Tommy Douglas traditional boiler-plate social democracy.  Mulcair, the centrist who has openly spoke against the good old boiler-plate social democracy, is the odd man out, in my opinion.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

That's the main reason I'm not persuaded by people who say Mulcair wants to move the party to the center. Whenever they dig in on the policy, they find out that Mulcair either supports or expands on the current platform,

And what about the argument made by a number of us that it is not aboout what Mulcair wants, it is based on what he says, what we can expect to GET?

To answer your question, I still rank Topp #1 and don't think at this point that would change. But I'm happier with Cullen all the time, and I expect his numbskull plan to just sink beneath the waves. It might even get us some good PR in the process. But I think its a reasonable hope/expectation that it will not result in the kind of organizational and cadre grief it is in principle capable of.


KenS
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JeffWells wrote:
On the other side, it's a worry for me re Cullen. Sure, he can be entertaining - loose cannons often are - but would Canadians trust him with government? I don't see it.

From having worked with Nathan- albeit briefly- I seriously doubt he has that loose cannon potential. [That Mulcair has in spades.] The risks that I think go with him dont have anything to do with his 'stage manner'. Despite the casual appearance- which I think would encourage trust- he very much knows what he is doing up there.

His clunker idea, and his defense of it made me more than wonder about his political judgement. But that's a big one for me, and all the others except Topp raise considerably bigger questions for me. I think he can roll with that one, and learn from it.


Skinny Dipper
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Joined: Dec 23 2005

I give Thomas Mulcair top-ranking based on winnability in a federal election because he has a strong political intuition to take on Stephen Harper.  He is very intelligent, knows what to say, and when to say it.  He is like a heavy-weight boxer who waits to throw his punches at the right moment.  Mr. Mulcair has had to campaign outside the NDP ideological midpoint because he would likely get lost in the crowd and lose the race.  Essentially, he is campaigning for votes from NDPers who aren`t afraid of an ideological shift and who really want to win   The people who hand out The Socialist Worker at public venues will not likely care Thomas Mulcair.  He won`t care for them either.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

I've had enough of this scam that the only reason people dont like Tom Mulcair is because of "purity tests".

Like a lot of other people around here, I'm no candidate for the 'purity test' smears or 'those who hand out Socialist Woker.'

I dont trust Tom Mulcair because the only thing he is cautious about is the formal strategic positioning.

When it comes to political judgement he has limited sense, let alone any caution.


KenS
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Skinny Dipper wrote:

Mulcair is campaigning for votes from NDPers who aren`t afraid of an ideological shift and who really want to win 

And I suppose this is an example, from the discussion about the politics of a number of Mulcair's large donors:

Well this "reaching out" that Mulcair has done is not to people that were conservatives, it is to people that are bona fide neo-cons. And a pretty activist crowd at that, since even just casually running down the list of hundreds of names turns up a number of well known individuals.


Skinny Dipper
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Joined: Dec 23 2005

I think in today`s debate, we`ll see the candidates trying to differentiate from each other.  Some of the candidates will start throwing their "Hail Mary" thoughts.  If they know from internal polling that they are in third, fourth, or fifth place, they will need to gamble on all or nothing by subtly criticizing other candidates.  For example, Brian Topp's campaign talks about him being a LONG TIME NDPer as opposed to some other leading candidate who has only spent a few years as an NDPer.  Thomas Mulcair mentions his strong labour support in his recent newsletter.  That might mean that Mr. Mulcair has strong first ballot support, but his second and third ballot support is weak [edit addition] from long time NDP and labour supporters.  Paul Dewar may talk about his strengths as a social-activist to get the Peggy Nash supporters and vice-versa.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Or rather than it being part of a strategy driven by strategic ranking, its what it sounds like: a candidates narrative... which is always about more than the particular words spoken at the moment.


Skinny Dipper
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KenS wrote:

And I suppose this is an example, from the discussion about the politics of a number of Mulcair's large donors:

Well this "reaching out" that Mulcair has done is not to people that were conservatives, it is to people that are bona fide neo-cons. And a pretty activist crowd at that, since even just casually running down the list of hundreds of names turns up a number of well known individuals.

I wonder if those donors bought NDP memberships.  Ha ha!

Note: for personal reasons, I will still rank Thomas Mulcair last on the preferential ballot.  It is still not too late for his campaign to reply to me by email.  It takes one minute to reply.  If it's a half-decent reply, then I will place Mr. Mulcair much higher on my ranking!


KenS
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Skinny Dipper wrote:

Essentially, he is campaigning for votes from NDPers who aren`t afraid of an ideological shift and who really want to win.  

But he and his supporters are always saying that it is not about ideological shifts, its about "bringing the centre to the NDP."

FWIW, I'm not saying that what you have expressed is [necessarily] what it "really is". I think what you are expressing is what I have been saying since the beggining of the campaign. Mulcair puts out both a 'literal mesaage' and a de facto one. They are both in play, and they capture two distinct groupings in the party.

It is my observation- which is a qualifier for those who need explict hints- that Mulcair's core supporters do not actually care which one it is. They say he isn't moving the party to the centre, and they probably are not looking for that. But truth be told, they will accept it if it turns out that entirely positioning in the supposedly safe centre what 'winning' means.


KenS
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Meanwhile, taking money from well known neo-cons close to Harper- that's cool too.


Rabble_Incognito
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Joined: Feb 21 2012

I read the Brian Topp piece on taxation policy and I thought he nailed it.

I didn't see, though, reference to companies that took tax incentives / breaks offered by communities, then broke their agreements with these communities in effect, and made their way to shut down plants and lay off workers. I think the Feds can and should aggressively pursue and punish financially this corporate parasitic behaviour, and confiscate their assets just like proceeds of crime.


Skinny Dipper
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I [agree] with your assessments, Ken. [edited]


Catchfire
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Yeah, I agree too KenS. The only reason I'm not voting for Mulcair is because I believe he has a destructve and divisive political style antithetical to what I consider the spirit of the NDP. I think the party would be crazy to elect such a politician as its leader, even if he was guaranteed to win the next election.

In terms of voting, I'm with laine lowe (as I am on most things). I don't know who I'm voting for yet (although I've donated to Niki Ashton's campaign); but I know I'm not voting for Mulcair, Dewar or Singh.


DSloth
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Joined: Apr 26 2011

Brachina wrote:
I got woken up by Mulcair campaign today (working nights this weekend), and got asked about how I felt his campaign, the guy talked about front runner status and taking on Harper, and then asked for money, but was very polite when I told him I was broke (sadly very true), so that was interesting. Nothing negative, except against Harper hehe.

Did you sign up on the NDP website or the Thomas Mulcair website?  It's extremely unusual for someone on the campaign team to be calling you for donations if you weren't already an identified strong supporter. 

I ask because I got a strange call from a Thomas Mulcair fundraiser as well yesterday.  Probably just the Tory robocall story but I'm feeling a bit paranoid. 


Bookish Agrarian
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Joined: Nov 26 2004

Catchfire wrote:

Yeah, I agree too KenS. The only reason I'm not voting for Mulcair is because I believe he has a destructve and divisive political style antithetical to what I consider the spirit of the NDP. I think the party would be crazy to elect such a politician as its leader, even if he was guaranteed to win the next election.

In terms of voting, I'm with laine lowe (as I am on most things). I don't know who I'm voting for yet (although I've donated to Niki Ashton's campaign); but I know I'm not voting for Mulcair, Dewar or Singh.

You see that's exactly how I feel about Brian Topp.  Of course I would still vote NDP, but my involvement beyond that would probably be done.


Brachina
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Joined: Feb 15 2012
Wow people continue to accuse Mulcair of plotting to move the NDP to the centre, with not a shred of proof or evidence. The best you can do is point to some rightwing pro Isreal donars, because surprise, surpise, his policies are actually very left wing. He's made it very clear on countless occasions he conciders himself to be a social democrat. Please show me an arguement of any concrete substance at all. And I don't mean his donar list, you don't know why they donated, all you can do is jump to conclusions and that is not proof. All you have is flimsy innudendo.

Arthur Cramer
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Joined: Nov 30 2010

Catchfire, lets assume that you are right on target with your commentary. What other candidate do you think is out there that is likely to win an election or at least maintain the NDP gains we saw under Jack (blessed be his memory)?

By the way, I am going to the leadership debate here in Winnipeg today. I'll try to report back on it later.


Hoodeet
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Joined: Dec 8 2008

"pro-Israel donars"= donairs? 

Greek take-out?

 

concider=  Harper's kool aid?

 

innudendo= which emperor's new clothes?

 

(sorry.  i'm a hopeless pedant with an allergy to misspelling. i couldn't hold back this sunday morning spell,  but i hope you take it with the good humour that was intended.  )

 

 

 


Brachina
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Joined: Feb 15 2012
DSloth wrote:

Brachina wrote:
I got woken up by Mulcair campaign today (working nights this weekend), and got asked about how I felt his campaign, the guy talked about front runner status and taking on Harper, and then asked for money, but was very polite when I told him I was broke (sadly very true), so that was interesting. Nothing negative, except against Harper hehe.

Did you sign up on the NDP website or the Thomas Mulcair website?  It's extremely unusual for someone on the campaign team to be calling you for donations if you weren't already an identified strong supporter. 

I ask because I got a strange call from a Thomas Mulcair fundraiser as well yesterday.  Probably just the Tory robocall story but I'm feeling a bit paranoid. 

I sighed up via Mulcair's website, I even bought a tituim visa card to do it. What was strange about the call you got? The one I got seemed pretty straight forward, assess my level of support for Tom, pump up Tom's value via Tom's the one who can take on Harper, ask for donations while talking about how exspensive the campaign was, pretty much what I'd expect from such a call. How did your's compare Dsloth?

nicky
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Joined: Aug 3 2005

I am back, tanned and rested from my 24 hour vacation which in fact was imposed for 44 hours. I trust the moderators will credit me for the 20 extra hours against my next suspension.

In any event I have seriously considered whether to return to Babble at all. In the last few days it has become little more than an anti-Mulcair scandal sheet. For reasons convincingly outlined by FFK, the moderators have scarely been un-biased. In fact they have themselves hurled some of the more extreme anti-Mulcair diatribes. They have suspended at least 5 Mulcair sympathizers for "sins" they overlook in his detractors. If this trend continues I fear that Babble's credibilty will be severely diminished.

There are many sincere and thoughtful contributors to Babble who in my view have been ill-served by the moderators. In the spirit of thoughtful debate about the leadership I would like to elaborate on one significant recent development in the leadership race. I welcome any input, particularly from our friends in Sakatchewan.

The Mulcair campaignon Friday announced 100 endorsements by prominent New Democrats in Sakatchewn, including 17 former MPs and MLAs. Sakatchewan has always had a special standing in our party. It still has roughly as many members as Quebec and Manitoba, about a tenth of the total. 

In the early stages Brian Topp lined up many Saskatchewan heavyweights including Romanow and Calvert, supposedly building on his work in the Sakatchean government. It is increasingly doubtful that Topp is doing as well as first surmised in Saskatchewan.

David Akin recently wrote that Topp might be running fourth in Saskatchewan, hampered by the bridges he burned as Romanow's abrasive chief-of-taff. I heard a couple months ago that Mulcair was doing well in Saskatchewan and that he has been pulling the biggest crowds of any candidate. His recent endorsements certainly suggest momentum.

Another factor of some interest is the demographics of the Sakatchewan membership. It tends to be older than that in other provinces. As such its turnout may well be greater so Saskatchewan may punch above its weight.

In addition, it would appear that in Saskatchewan at least Mulcair is doing well among the old CCFers. They at least do not seem impressed by Topp's line that, "Tom should be in our party a little longer before he seeks to lead it." 

 

 


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