Jump to navigation
Now I am being to understand much more clearly what Tom meant when he said a woman in Nanaimo told him we would have failed if the NDP formed government. Unfortuantely I think this woman represents a certain small percentage of the NDP membership, including several who regularly post here, as well as Derrick O'Keefe.
Bay Street is going to back some of our candidates - imagine that.
As opposed to the backward thinking that the sky is falling, this is actually great news which confirms that the NDP is now being seriously considered to form government in Ottawa by the financial community.
But I know there are some who don't want to see any changes, and just want the NDP to remain a protest party. Fortuantely this is the 21st century, and the world is passing those folks goodbye.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Leadership 2012 Candidate Rankings - February 26, 2012
Today's debate didn't do much to resolve the continued uncertainty surrounding the NDP's leadership campaign, particularly among the candidates I've had ranked between 2nd and 5th for the bulk of the race. But let's see if the last week has changed any of the rankings...
1. Thomas Mulcair (1)
Mulcair still ranks well ahead of the pack, and indeed is largely rising above the most contentious exchanges as the candidates below jockey for position. But his new "strong, structured opposition" catchphrase rather cries out for explanation - and I wouldn't be surprised if plenty of NDP members have serious concerns about the prospect of top-down organization and message control if that's what he has in mind.
2. Peggy Nash (2)
I count myself in the crowd that's long expected a Mulcair vs. Nash final ballot. But I'm becoming less and less convinced that Nash will indeed be the final candidate left to challenge Mulcair - and she holds this place on the list for another week mostly for lack of a clear indication who's set to step into the position.
3. Brian Topp (4)
Topp could well be that candidate, as he once again showed his ability to drive the narrative this week, first seeing his camp join Mulcair's in suggesting the next leader has to come from Quebec before launching a strong challenge to Mulcair. But at least from my observations of the debates so far, Topp has all too often conveyed a much higher personal opinion of his performance than the audience has offered - and it's hard to see that being a recipe for down-ballot success.
4. Paul Dewar (3)
Meanwhile, Dewar had a good week on a couple of fronts, winning over key support from Romeo Saganash's former camp while sounding convincing on the party-building front in today's debate. But his French is still at best borderline for a serious contender, and it'll be tough to place him higher then Nash or Topp in the long run without either showing a similarly fundamental weakness.
5. Nathan Cullen (5)
Today offered a first indication as to how Cullen will respond to being seen as a serious threat to the rest of the upper-tier candidates. And while he wasn't able to play the jokester to quite the same extent as a result, he generally held up well under the pressure.
6. Niki Ashton (6)
Once again Ashton had her moments in today's debate, particularly in a rousing warning to Stephen Harper at the end of her closing statement. But she was somewhat inconsistent as well, starting the same address sounding somewhat flustered and uncertain - and she's running out of time to show she can stay consistently effective throughout a debate.
7. Martin Singh (7)
Singh took a couple of steps beyond his core campaign messages today, and with one key exception that generally served him well. But his repeated challenges to Brian Topp look to have been utterly misplaced: the last thing the NDP can afford in trying to promote a progressive economic message is to have prominent figures promoting generous tax regimes for the wealthy in order to fund the charitable sector, and Singh's one-note questioning on that front did more to call his own judgment into question than Topp's.
Another good day for Mulcair to say the least.
Former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt endorses Thomas Mulcair as NDP leader
wage zombie wrote:
"Well, that's the thing. The best strategy for Mulcair at this point is to coast along and run out the clock. He's the frontrunner at this point, and so if nothing changes in the race he'll win on the 3rd or 4th ballot."
I didn't say that, wage :) I don't think he has coasted along in this race. If he was playing it safe, he would have done what Topp is doing... run to the base but tack to the centre after winning. Which is what you'll see if Topp wins.
Following up on my earlier posts in 109 about the seven leadership candidates and proportional representation. Because PR is a "game changer", it's an important issue for me that is helping to shape my voting preferences. Here's what my research shows in month 5 of the campaign:
Candidates who make PR central to their analysis and have a plan to implement it (whatever one might think of the details of the plan):
Candidates whose websites are silent on electoral reform / PR:
Former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt endorses Thomas Mulcair as NDP leader
I didn't say that, wage :) I don't think he has coasted along in this race. If he was playing it safe, he would have done what Topp is doing... run to the base but tack to the centre after winning. Which is what you'll see if Topp wins.
I wasn't meaning to put words in your mouth.
Topp has absolutely not been playing it safe, he has not had that luxury. I see Topp as having taken a big risk by differentiating himself from all the other candidates in a big way on taxes.
When I say that Mulcair has coasted I don't mean that he hasn't been performing well. He has. He is good at it.
I guess the risk he has been taking is by being critical of past party messaging and procedures. So I accept that that is risky, but I think dippers are also inclined to support criticisms of the party.
I do think Mulcair is playing it safe, which is a typical front runner strategy. Why take unnecessary risks in the position he's in?
Whereas someone like Ashton on the other hand needs to take risks in order to get the attention.
ETA: I assume by default that every candidate will be tacking to the centre after winning, including Mulcair. That's why it's important to get as many commitments as possible now.
People want quotes, but a live-blog report will have to suffice to capture the Topp / Mulcair exchange on revenue policy.
[quote=Jan 29: MacLeans live blogging of Halifax debate]
1:20pm. The candidates are asked what they wouldn't cut from the budget and what they would. Few of them seem prepared to answer the latter. [b]Mr. Topp says rescind the corporate tax cuts and tax the top one percent.[/b] Niki Ashton seems to suggest she'd cut the military. Romeo Saganash says he'd cut the money spent fighting aboriginal rights. Mr. Dewar identifies a $24-million contract awarded to a private firm for advice on streamlining government and says he'd cut the money spent on consultants. Martin Singh seems to sidestep this question, except to say he'd link corporate tax cuts to employing young people. [b]Mr. Mulcair says companies shouldn't be allowed to use the oil sands as a dumping ground and that he'd introduce cap-and-trade.[/b] Nathan Cullen says he'd rescind subsidies to the oil sector (or corporate tax cuts?) and stop imposing costs on the provinces. Ms. Nash says she'd target tax havens. Somewhere in all that is the debate Mr. Topp wants to have: how are you going to pay for the things you want to do?
1:47pm. The candidates get a chance to ask another candidate a question. [b]Mr. Topp asks Mr. Mulcair if Mr. Mulcair agrees with Mr. Topp's tax proposals. Mr. Mulcair avoids it.[/b] Mr. Topp asks Mr. Mulcair about capital gains taxes. Mr. Mulcair almost seems to agree with him, but then seems to hedge.[/quote]
Subsequent Toronto Star article:
[quote=Feb10: Toronto Star]In a not-so-veiled swipe at competitor Brian Topp, who has called for a new federal income tax bracket of 35 per cent on incomes in excess of $250,000, Mulcair told the Toronto Star editorial board that kind of boilerplate policy does nothing to attract more people to the party.
"Canadians who are going to be making a choice in the next election ... have to be reassured that [b]the person who is asking them for their votes and says they want to form a government - that person has to look the Canadian voter in the eye and say ... 'The last thing that is going to be imposed on you as an individual is more taxation unless there is no other way,[/b]" he said.
Mulcair said even if the tax bracket was pegged at $1 million, "the only thing the voter will hear 'is these guys want more taxes.'"
[b]Mulcair said his NDP government would bring in a cap and trade or polluter-pay system that he says would pump tens of billions of dollars into government coffers and reduce pollution at the same time.
"I would prefer my method to that method (of raising taxes),"[/b] said the MP for Outremont, who is one of seven candidates vying to replace the late leader Jack Layton.
"Any responsible approach is to reassure Canadians that there are other ways of going and getting those revenues for the good things that we want and the main priority is not increasing personal income taxes."
What's to argue? Mulcair is opposed to new taxes. Mulcair instead has a plan to get new general revenue from cap and trade.
Mulcair's revenue plan is controversial as it is a departure from prior NDP policy of opposing the Cons corporate tax cuts and keeping cap and trade revenue for green initiatives.
But perhaps an argument can be made how keeping the corporate tax cuts and diverting cap and trade revenue to support social programs is good future NDP policy. It would be nice if Mulcair supporters would wax enthusiastic on this plan instead of trying to deny and shut down debate when anyone questions it.
You can't invent controversy around things that Mulcair says, and then say that the controversy proves he's out of touch with the party. Every candidate has suggested that the NDP needs to be new and improved in some way, but Mulcair says "renewal" and the only possible meaning is to copy Tony Blair. Zero candidates have suggested rescinding NAFTA, but Mulcair says that no candidate will do that and he's accused of wanting to take the party to the right. Not a single candidate proposes a unilateral declaration of independence for Palestine, but Mulcair notes that the party policy is to encourage a mediated-negotiation and he's accused of giving Israel veto power.
I'm not saying that there are no differences between the candidates, but they're far smaller than any of the manufactured controversies make them out to be, and almost always about tone/messaging/strategy than policy.
NDP leadership candidates largely agree on key issues, debate shows
Wow, 1springgarden... you really don't do yourself any good when you wear those tinted goggles.
Apparently, you didn't hear Tom say in the Halifax debate that he opposed the corporate income tax cuts and wants them rolledback?
He has a disagreement on putting a number out there on one bracket of the PERSONAL INCOME TAX CODE. ETA: same position Peggy Nash took in the debate.
Selective hearing much?
4:05pm. Mr. Topp goes into his own tax plan. Mr. Harper has broken the government he says. Mitt Romney would pay lower taxes here. Does Ms. Nash think rebalancing the tax system should be at the centre of the NDP’s plan? Ms. Nash allows that top earners should probably be paying more, but she doesn’t want to throw out “speculative” numbers because that would feed the Conservative spin machine.
2:39pm. Mr. Topp challenges Mr. Mulcair on government revenues. Suggests he’s planning to fund government programs through environment policy, a la Stephane Dion. Mr. Topp makes aggressive hand gestures, challenges him to agree that it’s time to end the imbalance of the current tax system. Mr. Mulcair says you have to consider “other options” (cap-and-trade, tax havens).
It's amazing how there's barely a crack of daylight between the two, but a few babblers hold up a magnifying glass and turn it into an ideological battle for the soul of the party. More manufactured controversy.
[quote=DSloth] Nobody has come out with a workable plan to make electoral reform happen in one term. The only way that happens is if we say we're going to pass it legislatively and we campaign on it exhaustively, hard to believe any of them are ready for that when they won't even camapign on a one term model in this contest where PR is popular.[/quote]
Not so. Topp's plan is clearly to do it in one term. So is the party platform as noted here:
The NDP called in the last House for consultation by a Special Committee which "shall report its recommendations to this House no later than one year from the passage of this motion." A Royal Commission, no. I'm very surprised at Peggy on this. I think Mulcair is still on board with the one-year time frame. One should remember that this is round two for Mulcair on PR; the Charest cabinet proposed PR and held a one-year consultation in an excellent format. (Then they lost their focus when they had to design a better model, but don't blame Mulcair, he was out of the cabinet by that point.)
[quote=Idealistic Pragmatist]The big difference, though, was Topp. I've found his debate performances either cringeworthy (toward the beginning) or just okay (more recently). He looked really good yesterday, though! Smart and sharp and with a really good closer that he barely needed his notes for. Good job, Brian, if you're reading this--let's see more of the same next week in French.[/quote]
Yes, but one quibble: he was a bit too serious, not quite warm and inspirational enough. (If he's reading this.) And I think he should drop the "two Liberal parties" line; it's over the top. Mulcair said enough things yesterday to attack him on without attacking him for things he never said.
[quote=Stockholm]I think some people are painting a picture of Libby Davies that is very much a parody. How many people remember that she negotiated the budget deal on behalf of the NDP with the Martin Liberals in 2005?[/quote]
Libby Davies represents Vancouver East. Like Angus MacInnis (Woodsworth's son-in-law), Harold Winch, and Margaret Mitchell, she is a socialist from a working class riding. What else should she be? But I am sure she can be as pragmatic as Mulcair when she wants to be.
By the way, everyone claims credit for the famous "NDP budget" negotiations, but I'm a witness: during a fund-raising party at a very nice home in Port Hope (no, not mine), Olivia had to carry the ball for half of the event while Jack kept being called away for another phone call; I think at least one of them was with Paul Martin himself. He seemed very happy by the end.
[quote=DSloth]I really don't think Tom Mulcair could have gotten away with this:
"Peggy Nash: I've not introduced plans to increase taxes and I won't during the leadership campaign" without all hell breaking loose around here.[/quote]
Actually I think Mulcair has said very much the same thing: words to the effect that the NDP's tax plank for the 2015 campaign will be written in 2015, not today. I don't believe he has committed himself to no corporate tax increase. Has he? He does seem to be leaning against an increase for the top income tax bracket, which is unfortunate.
[quote=NorthReport]Mulcair still ranks well ahead of the pack, and indeed is largely rising above the most contentious exchanges as the candidates below jockey for position. But his new "strong, structured opposition" catchphrase rather cries out for explanation - and I wouldn't be surprised if plenty of NDP members have serious concerns about the prospect of top-down organization and message control if that's what he has in mind.[/quote]
If you think Topp won't keep the caucus on-message, and if you think Jack didn't, I think you're dreaming.
[quote=Bookish Agrarian]The key to winning in 2015 is pretty clear. Get fewer people to vote Conservative, (and to a lesser degree Liberal, Green and BQ) than did last May.[/quote]
I was interested that Mulcair, yesterday, didn't explicitly say he wanted to attract Conservative votes. Former Liberals and non-voters, yes.
[quote=Hunky_Monkey]Wow, 1springgarden... you really don't do yourself any good when you wear those tinted goggles. Apparently, you didn't hear Tom say in the Halifax debate that he opposed the corporate income tax cuts and wants them rolledback? He has a disagreement on putting a number out there on one bracket of the PERSONAL INCOME TAX CODE. ETA: same position Peggy Nash took in the debate. Selective hearing much?[/quote]
HM, it's true I didn't hear Mulcair say he wants to roll back the Cons corporate tax cuts. If he said it at the Halifax debate it may indicate my selective hearing. :)
I think it would be a good question to ask various candidates, "Are you inclined to fully or partially rescind the Conservative corporate tax cuts?", would like to hear the perspectives elicited by that question.
At the Halifax debate Mulcair said he would be releasing his tax policy at a later date, it would be good to get a handle on that policy as Mulcair seems to be 'innovative' in his thinking on revenue and taxation.
[quote=Jan 29: Globe and Mail]
Long-time party organizer and strategist Brian Topp, who has won high-level endorsements early in the race, made it clear that he would raise taxes on the richest citizens in Canada, including increasing taxes on capital gains. While Mr. Mulcair said his tax plan will be released at a later date, he added that he does not want to change the capital gains tax system for people who have secondary homes, for example.
Everything you've cited above confirms exactly what I wrote--that you were wrong and that Mulcair has NEVER said that he wouldn't raise taxes. He has said we should look to other sources for generating new revenue BEFORE considering rasing PERSONAL taxes on INDIVIDUALS. He did not commit to never raising taxes and certainly didn't commit to not rolling back corporate tax cuts.
And, again, Mulcair hasn't proposed diverting any revenue from green initiatives. He has pointed to several new sources of revenue (including cap and trade) and pointed out that he has proposed a plan that would generate ADDITIONAL revenue from cap and trade. Would that additional revenue go to programs other than green initiatives? Who knows. And who cares? There no earthly reason why it shouldn't.
And I haven't seen anyone who thinks that that idea is controvertial except Brian Topp and maybe one or two commenters on this board.
You, conversly, have claimed Mulcair has promised not to raise taxes and that he has proposed diverting revenue from green initiatives to toher purposes, both of which are untrue, and from the information above it appears you actually knew that those claims were untrue when you made them. That is called "lying", and that is perhaps why Mulcair supporters sound so frustrated when responding to criticisms of him--because while there might be plenty criticisms of him that would be perfectly fair, we would hardly know what those are since his opponents would so often rather resort to innuendo or outright misrepresenting and lying about his views.
I wouldn't approve of New Democrats treating any political opponent this way, much less a fellow New Democrat in an internal leadership race. Disgusting.
It's amazing how there's barely a crack of daylight between the two (on taxes), but a few babblers hold up a magnifying glass and turn it into an ideological battle for the soul of the party. More manufactured controversy.
I was hoping it would be a video of the debate. I guess reality-based discussion is asking too much.
Zero candidates have suggested rescinding NAFTA, but Mulcair says that no candidate will do that and he's accused of wanting to take the party to the right. Not a single candidate proposes a unilateral declaration of independence for Palestine, but Mulcair notes that the party policy is to encourage a mediated-negotiation and he's accused of giving Israel veto power.
Let's be clear. Jack Layton believed that the trade issue should be reopened. Thomas Mulcair has said that it shouldn't be. That's a clear difference. And it's a move to the right.
The way we determine which candidates would move the party to the right of where it was under Jack Layton isn't to compare the candidates to each other. It's to compare them to Jack Layton. It may happen to be the case—and indeed, I suspect it probably is—that ALL SEVEN candidates hold views that are to the right of Jack's.
I should mention also that on the Palestinian question, contrary to your claim that "not a single candidate proposes a unilateral declaration of independence for Palestine," Brian Topp and Niki Ashton have both stated unequivocally that the United Nations should recognize Palestine as an independent member state, while Nash and Cullen both seem to have made statements that would seem to imply that they believe this.
And Mulcair is, of course, the only candidate to announce that he is "an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and all circumstances."
Ah yes, Israel.
the thing is this. the centre of political gravity in quebec is so much further to the left in quebec that in the rest of canada, stuff that like 'fast ferries' in quebec is done by the RIGHT WING in quebec. having a former quebec minister as leader of the ndp - whatever party - isn't comparable to anything like in other places. people here should really do their research, quebec is, by far, the jurisdication closest to nordic social democracy in the americas. as left as you think people are in the west, it's formless and reactionary (in the sense of reacting) compared with the massive movementarian politics that we have in quebec.
anyway, i thought the debate was owned by mulcair, aside from his first question to dewar. this guy is a tiger and i'm really proud of how respectful he's being to his progressive colleagues. i could honestly see us in government for 2-4 mandates with him in power, and i hope that whatever (very minor) differences that people have are subordinated to the importance of defeating the odious cpc and putting the lpc to bed forever. we're at the point where we could become one of the two parties forever - moving the center to the npd - locking quebec and the cities the way the liberals did for 50 years, we can't blow that.
Is Paul Dewar still coming? Two threads about this are closed.
He's never said no to amending NAFTA, he said no to cancelling it. "Lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater".
Why is it almost every time you post something it turns out to be inaccurate, a half truth, or something taken out of context?
No, Mulcair has never said the issue of trade should not be reopened.
All of the candidates support recognizing a Palestinian state, Mulcair just said such recognition should be accompanied by language afirm that a final settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the borders of both states, must be negotiated by the two sides.
Mulcair did not "announce" he is an "an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and all circumstances". That's just some old unsourced quote somebody dredged up--nor does that comment mean he would never criticized or disagree with the Israeli government; supporting a country is not the same thing as supporting ever action of its government.
Earlier today I received a telephone canvass from Brian Topp's campaign -514-316-7257. The caller was pleasant and articulate enough and I asked him specifically about Topp's views on Mulcair. The talking points closely reflected what we have been hearing from other sources.
1. Tom has said he will "move the party to the right." This is supposedly an exact quote directly attributable to Tom. I asked if he could email me a source and he promised to do so.
2. Tom was against rolling back the corporate tax cuts.
3. The caller knew Tom personally from Montreal and he was difficult to work with.
4. Brian was one of those most reponsible for the breakthrough in Quebec.
5. Brian "won" every campaign he ever worked on.
6. Tom supported "apartheid measures" of the Israeli government. The "any circumstances..." "quote" was delivered in full.
6. Brian had more "electoral experience than Tommy Douglas" when he was chosen as leader.
7. When I asked whether he agreed with Brian's statement that "Tom should be in the party a while longer before he seeks to lead it" he wholeheartedly agreed and pointed out that Tom was one of the "architects" of the "right-wing Quebec Liberal government."
I told him truthfuly that in the early part of the campaign I rated Brian quite highly but that my opinion of him has fallen because of his negative campaigning. He promised that he would pass on my concerns to Brian.
[quote=AnonymousMouse] Mulcair did not "announce" he is an "an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and all circumstances". That's just some old unsourced quote somebody dredged up--nor does that comment mean he would never criticized or disagree with the Israeli government; supporting a country is not the same thing as supporting ever action of its government.[/quote]
I'll assume you missed the thread where I provided [url=http://www.cjnews.com/node/80973]the source of the quote[/url]:
Thomas Mulcair révéla une des raisons pour lesquelles il est très solidaire du peuple juif et de l’État d’Israël.
“Ma femme, Catherine Pinhas, née en France et dont la famille est d’origine turque, est une descendante des Sépharades expulsés d’Espagne en 1492. Nous, quand on pense à 1492, on pense à Christophe Colomb et à son arrivée en Amérique. Mais, pour les Juifs sépharades, 1492 évoque leur expulsion d’Espagne par les Rois catholiques. Un des gestes les plus gracieux que j’ai vus en politique au cours de ma vie a eu lieu, en 1992, quand le Roi Juan Carlos Ier d’Espagne est allé demander pardon aux Juifs dans une synagogue de Madrid. Mes beaux-parents sont des survivants de l’Holocauste. Leur histoire fait partie de mon quotidien. C’est pourquoi je suis un ardent supporter de toutes les instances et de toutes les circonstances d’Israël.” [/quote]
Maybe he didn't mean what he said - in which case, he could always clarify by retracting or explaining it. But I think his actions have spoken louder than his words.
[quote=AnonymousMouse]All of the candidates support recognizing a Palestinian state, Mulcair just said such recognition should be accompanied by language afirm that a final settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the borders of both states, must be negotiated by the two sides. [/quote]
That is the position of the Obama administration, which says Israel has a veto power of what the Palestinian state should be. It's also the postion of Harper and Baird. Saying Mulcair "supports recognizing a Palestinian state" means nothing, since it's up to the US and Israel to decide what's acceptable.
[quote]That is the position of the Obama administration, which says Israel has a veto power of what the Palestinian state should be. It's also the postion of Harper and Baird. Saying Mulcair "supports recognizing a Palestinian state" means nothing, since it's up to the US and Israel to decide what's acceptable. [/quote]
One Palestinian academic I spoke to a few years ago suggested that the only Palestinian state that the U.S. and Israeli governments might find acceptable would be one called "The United Ghettos of Palestine".
In any case it appears that Mulcair wants to outsource Middle East policy to Obama.
I don't think that any of Topp's comments about Mulcair aren't true. On the other hand, I think Topp would also move the NDP to the right given his praise for the current PASOK administration in Greece. It's just a question of degree.
Holy shit! Topp says we don't need to become Liberals to win? Well, his campaign team certainly acts like the Liberal Party... or worse, the Conservatives.
I am very impressed by Mulcair, but I have not been impressed by the lack of details in his policy proposals. I have articulated my concerns and asked questions and they get ignored. The Mulcair supporters cherry pick the silly criticisms that people make and ignore the real quesions.
Here's an example--Mulcair supporters on babble have now taken to stating that he is "promoting a financial transaction tax." That's the kind of policy I'd love to hear more about and would be very in favour of. If Mulcair were actually promoting a financial transaction tax I'd be very happy.
But he's not. And you know how I know this? Because I have asked very specifically if anyone could provide me with a single detail about the FTT that Mulcair is "promoting". But nobody can provide a single detail.
So we're supposed to give Mulcair points for promoting a policy, and yet, nobody can say what the policy is. And then we're supposed to be impressed with Mulcair's ability to promote policy solutions. I don't get it.
The same criticism could be made of Mulcair's cap and trade plan.
Shouldn't be difficult for you to find that quote then. Point of fact Tom has proposed new taxes they just aren't the same as Brian Topp's blunt approach. He's proposed a financial trasactions tax and teased a target capital gains increase.
Please tell us more about this financial transactions tax. Please tell us one single thing about it.
It will be designed to prevent the type of speculation that lead to the recent global economic collapse.
Obviously the full details aren't going to be released ahead of the tax plan.
Are you serious? I suppose we could also go to wikipedia to find out more about Mulcair "The Great Communicator"'s cap and trade plan.
Once again, can anyone tell me anything specific about the FTT that Mulcair is "promoting"? Any single detail at all.
I'm not aware of the Obama administration saying that Israel has veto power over recognizing a Palestinian state at the UN. If you have a link, I'd be interested to see it. That aside, regardless of some additional stance the Obama administration may have taken on the issue of Palestinian statehood, that doesn't change Mulcair position, not does it in anyway suggest that Mulcair shares the Obama administration's belief that Israel should have veto power over the recognition of a Palestinian state. If you have actual evidence that Mulcair supports that position, please present it.
What is the Mulcair position, if you don't mind telling me? Does he support Palestine's UN bid for statehood, or doesn't he? I would like to know.
No, no. I'm claiming that Mulcair meant exactly what he said: that he supports Israel--the country--in all circumstances.
You are assuming that means he would support any action Israel takes and/or never criticize them.
The context you provide only strengthens my argument. Mulcair did not give this quote in the context of discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He gave this quote in the context of discussing the Holocaust. Nothing he said in the above citation would be inconsistent with saying "No matter what happens, I will always support Israel because I believe that after 5,000 years of oppression the Jewish people need a homeland". That doesn't mean you agree or blindly support all of Israel's actions.
I'm not claiming I can prove that that's all he meant, but there's nothing to suggest that's NOT all he meant. In fact, the context supports my intrepretation.
As posted by nicky, Mulcair's position:
"As we work toward the goal of a negotiated peace, I would follow the path laid out by our party caucus: Canada should support efforts by the Obama administration and other governments to negotiate language at the United Nations that would recognize the right of both states to exist while reaffirming the need for a negotiated settlement to the conflict rather than simply walking away from the table as has been the case with the current government."
I'm not aware of the Obama administration saying that Israel has veto power over recognizing a Palestinian state at the UN. If you have a link, I'd be interested to see it.
That aside, regardless of some additional stance the Obama administration may have taken on the issue of Palestinian statehood, that doesn't change Mulcair position, nor does it in anyway suggest that Mulcair shares the Obama administration's belief that Israel should have veto power over the recognition of a Palestinian state.
If you have actual evidence that Mulcair supports that position, please present it.
So does he support Palestine's UN bid for statehood, or doesn't he? I can't tell from what you posted. It hasn't clarified things for me at all.
The other candidates have been able to clearly state their position. I don't understand why we shouldn't be able to expect the same from Mulcair.
You asked about a financial transaction tax, not cap and trade.
Beyond supporting a financial transaction tax, I think it would passing dumb for any candidate to get into details at this point. Those will be (a) determine through much wider consultation and (b) not something you'd want to propose three and a half years out form an election.
That, of course, is a matter of opinion, but since the topic of conversation was whether Mulcair had ruled out raising taxes, not the details of his tax plans, I offer that as an explanation of why one might not expect such details in the middle of leadership race.
That would have to be a coinceidental accident on the way to round the clock rationalization of filling in the Great Communicator's "gaps".
The way I read the above is that he supports it as long as there is language making it clear that such recognition does not short circuit the peace process (i.e. that issues like borders and refugees still have to be negotiated between the parties).
I have no idea whether the answers given by other candidates contained equivalent nuance or ambiguity.
What a bunch of bafflegab.
You are so used to filling in what Tom Mulcair must have meant that you do it even on an issue where he hasn't said a word: whether he supports the UN resolution.
I cannot say I'm positive he has never said a word. But I don't think anything has ever been recounted here.
You could always source what he actually said, from which you are deriving that interpretation.
I just don't get it. If Mulcair was actually promoting a financial transaction tax (in the same way that Topp is promoting his top bracket income tax increase, or in the way that Cullen is promoting his joint nomination plan), he would be my solid #2 (after Ashton), and I would be praising his FTT as a real solution to income disparity here on babble.
But he's not. The only time he ever mentions it is when he is directly asked about taxes. The only detail that anybody knows is "Mulcair says he supports a FTT". That's it.
So as someone who very much wants to see a FTT, and reacted positively on babble when Mulcair mentioned it during one of the French debates (when directly asked about taxes), I'm listening and very open to Mulcair. However I'm not going to give him points for nothing.
I don't believe we'll be able to implement any kind of bold policies like a FTT withOUT campaigning loudly and clearly on it for quite a while. I want a leader who is proud of our policies and not afraid to talk about them. This idea of not making commitments or offering details now as a defensive tactic is not what inspires me at all, at all. And I am not going to give Mulcair my vote for "supporting" policies that he appears unwilling to champion.
Thing is, there's no comment from Mulcair on the UN bid. And the people assuming he will support it are just as problematic as the people assuming he won't. The truth is we don't know. And putting more weight on the "Israel in all circumstances" quote is just as problematic as putting more weight on the letter where he says he supports the NDP policy, which is a two state solution.
And this is the same problem on almost every issue. Whether you compare him to Jack Layton or to the rest of the candidates, we're talking about very small differences. What's the difference between Mulcair's "NAFTA is good but it needs reforming" and Jack's "NAFTA is problematic, and it should be reformed", particularly when those reforms are about the same environmental and labor standards? What's the difference between Peggy Nash's "I don't want to offer a tax increase during the leadership race because the Conservatives might exploit it", versus Mulcair's "I don't want to offer a tax increase until I've seen the 2015 books, because voters will only hear 'they're raising taxes'"?
The interpretation is almost never grounded in what the candidates actually say, and instead are grounded in what the babblers want to believe.
I don't want to just "believe" anything without evidence. I want to know, or I want to find out.
What's getting even more ridiculous now is the circular logic: "well if it's not true, then why is everyone making the accusation?" It reminds me of the embarassment of the mainstream media asking Jack "so why is the media only focusing on your health?" It's conviction without a trial. It's saying something like "you'll know X is a terrorist because he will get pissed off when I call him a terrorist."
People should support whatever candidate they want to. But reason before passion.
Thanks SDM, great post.
I don't think there's anyway to read the clauses "As we work toward the goal of a negotiated peace... negotiate language at the United Nations" other than as a reference to the Palestinians bid for statehood.
The statement is still ambiguous, but I don't think it's that part that's ambiguous.
Well the difference could be that some people may not be considering Nash at all, and are therefore not much interested in critiquing her campaign.
I just posted the quote from Mulcair's answer. wage zombie seemed to be asking what I thought that meant.
I do think it is pretty clear that "negotiate language at the United Nations" in the context of whether to recognize a Palestinian state is a pretty clear reference to a UN resolution. Unionist and Lord Palmerston who somehow believe that Mulcair's position is to give Israel a veto over whether to recognize Palestinian statehood (Where did that come from!?), seem to at least agree that this IS a reference to negotiating a resolution at the UN.
In fact, I think that anyone who hasn't concluded that Mulcair is being deliberately vague based on the fact that people are scrutinizing every aspect of every word he says to degree that he'd have to write a thesis to answer every question, would acknowledge that this is obviously a reference to negotiating a resolution at the UN. WHat else would they be negotiating language for?
I don't think there's anyway to read the clauses "As we work toward the goal of a negotiated peace... negotiate language at the United Nations" other than as a reference to the Palestinians bid for statehood. The statement is still ambiguous, but I don't think it's that part that's ambiguous.
The thing is Obama opposes the UN bid. So it's a very ambiguous statement.
Thanks for engaging, I appreciate you offering what's available.
WZ, it was the same problem when Saganash released his "let's not raise taxes" pledge, though. There were a lot of Saganash (soft) supporters (myself included) who gave him a pass. "I don't really agree, but it does make some sense."
Mulcair basically said the same thing (let's focus on closing loopholes and havens), and even left the door open to a tax increase but said let's wait until 2015. But a few persistent voices immediately added this to the "list of reasons why Mulcair is part of the vast neoliberal conspiracy".
The "evidence" on the UN bid issue is embarassingly scarce for people to be claiming "there's no other way to read it" or "it's clear".
The "evidence" that Mulcair is against Palestine's bid is because he slagged Libby Davies, supported Israel in "all circumstances", and mentioned Obama once in a 500 page letter, ergo, he agrees with Obama on everything.
The "evidence" that Mulcair supports Palestine's bid is his letter repeatedly mentions "two-state solution" and respect for UN resolutions.
That's not evidence. In both cases, that's cherrypicking things that are, in every instance, beside the damn point.