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

No More Tom Foolery?

Aristotleded24
Offline
Joined: May 24 2005
Left Blank

Comments

Aristotleded24
Offline
Joined: May 24 2005

I know we already have a thread about Thomas Mulcair going, but I want to start one to deal specifically with the idea of the NDP having a leadership review to challenge Mulcair's leadership, which is what I believe the NDP should consider doing at this point.

I have never supported the idea of Thomas Mulcair for leader. I thought he was a Blairite from the early time, and with the one-year anniversary of his leadership ascension coming up, he has not been able to persuade me otherwise. I believe if Mulcair continues on this current path that the NDP will lose the next federal election, because he will not be able to inspire the majoirty of people who are turned off of politics. I've seen him in person, and he comes across as very dismissive of anyone who disagrees with him. (See this video for more evidence of that.) He also does not understand the party he chose to lead, having made offensive remarks about a "boilerplate from the 1950s" to decry the NDP's use of class-based language, language which had been used to great effect. Then there are the trade agreements like CETA and the TPP. He's musing about supporting them under certain conditions, when the terms of the agreements have already been leaked, and there is no way our trading partners will meet those conditions. These trade agreements need to be rejected outright, and maybe if the NDP spoke out forcefully and made the proper case, the uprising might force the Harper government to back down. His wait-and-see approach to these trade agreements is not fooling anyone on the right or left ends of the political spectrum. Take also his approach to national unity. He walked right into a trap that the BQ set, alienating not only nearly every provincial section in the country but possibly people in Quebec as well with the Unity Bill.

Keep in mind that Mulcair did not have a strong mandate from the beginning. A rookie MP who delivers the second-largest province to the NDP to vault it to Official Opposition status. It was a slam-dunk case, Mulcair should have easily won on the first ballot with that kind of a record. It's a much stronger record on the surface than what Jack had when he won on the first ballot. Yet still, he does not "get it." Since the NDP has been unable to rein him in, I think the NDP needs to seriously consider a leadership review to force the party brass to change course. How do we go about organizing this?


Lord Palmerston
Offline
Joined: Jan 25 2004

Organizing a movement against Mulcair on the left sounds like a good idea to me.  He was very open about his Third Way politics and intention but a lot of people seemed too enamoured with the idea of "winning."  Now we basically have a Liberal Party under the NDP banner.

Even the narrative about "standing up to Charest" and his "resigning on principle" is kind of a joke.  


Centrist
Offline
Joined: Apr 7 2004

OTOH, Mulcair is seemingly cut from the same cloth as Manitoba's Gary Doer - the most popular premier in the country at the time and the most successful New Democrat government in the country winning 4 elections in a row. I never heard of anyone ever requesting a leadership review of Gary Doer.

That said, I understand where you guys are coming from. 


socialdemocrati...
Offline
Joined: Jan 10 2012

I'm also less than enamored with the NDP's increasing deference to NATO. And I'd also like a party that's more willing to challenge the status quo in Israel.

But when I see that video, I don't see a dismissive guy. I see someone I disagree with on a few points, which isn't the same thing as dismissive.

I also see a lot of people engaging in yelling, heckling, badgering, and basically asking questions that they have no interest in hearing someone else's opinion on. I work with a lot of brilliant, optimistic, and effective activists. But there's a kind of activist that's so belligerent, so resigned to pissing in the wind, and so incapable of basic conversational etiquette ("YOU FUCKING SELL OUT THE IMPERIALISTS DON'T DESERVE ETTIQUETTE!!!") that I seriously wish we weren't on the same side.

If these are the people that are going to challenge the party, you can count me out. Those types of people are fundamentally incapable of ever building a "movement", nor do they ever understand why more people aren't interested in joining their "uprising".

The only consolation is that these people will make themselves look so stupid that the NDP will be able to use them for a "sister souljah" moment, to make ideas like universal child care and carbon pricing look reasonable.


Aristotleded24
Offline
Joined: May 24 2005

Centrist wrote:
OTOH, Mulcair is seemingly cut from the same cloth as Manitoba's Gary Doer - the most popular premier in the country at the time and the most successful New Democrat government in the country winning 4 elections in a row. I never heard of anyone ever requesting a leadership review of Gary Doer.

Gary Doer also presided over lower average voter turnouts in Manitoba than anyone else. Also, the fourth election was won by Greg Selinger (not nearly as personally charming as Doer), not Gary Doer, and the incompetence of the Manitoba PC party plays just as much a role in perpetual NDP rule as anything the NDP is doing.


Lord Palmerston
Offline
Joined: Jan 25 2004

Yeah I can't see this going anywhere...but it can open up discussion of alternatives, of buidling the Left inside and/or outside the party.


Aristotleded24
Offline
Joined: May 24 2005

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
I also see a lot of people engaging in yelling, heckling, badgering, and basically asking questions that they have no interest in hearing someone else's opinion on.

You mean a politician might actually be heckled while speaking in public? I never thought!

For me, I had experienced that dismissive side of Mulcair in person, that video just confirmed it. Yes, the activists may have been a bit rude, but he really comes across as not wanting to be bothered by someone who questions him. Mulcair is very aloof, which also explains his mis-steps on trade and national unity that I pointed out. It's not a problem of lack of intelligence, Mulcair is evidently a very intelligent man, so something else is going on. That's why I raised the spectre of a leadership review, because I'm becoming convinced that these issues cannot be trained out of him.


socialdemocrati...
Offline
Joined: Jan 10 2012

Again, you have to distinguish between "dismissive" and "disagreeing". Between "not wanting to be bothered" and "not wanting to pander or agree". Someone asked his opinion on something where he's in open disagreement with strict anti-imperialist activists. He disagreed, but he did it with a lot of detail and respect. As opposed to saying "I'm not going to answer that", or "I reject that question", or "security, could you please do something about this person".

As another point, the NDP was in unanimous agreement about Libya, as the video pointed out. If letting NATO do this kind of thing without Canada is more important to you than (say) carbon pricing, proportional representation, child care, and so on, then maybe you should consider that the NDP isn't the right party for you in the first place?


Boom Boom
Offline
Joined: Dec 29 2004

Gary Doer - look what he's become: Harper's mouthpiece in the US.


Aristotleded24
Offline
Joined: May 24 2005

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
As another point, the NDP was in unanimous agreement about Libya, as the video pointed out. If letting NATO do this kind of thing without Canada is more important to you than (say) carbon pricing, proportional representation, child care, and so on, then maybe you should consider that the NDP isn't the right party for you in the first place?

I deliberately didn't say anything about NATO myself because the NDP has been doing poorly on the NATO file well before Mulcair came on as leader, and is a problem with the party regardless of who becomes leader. That's a separate issue that I raised a while ago.

Lord Palmerston wrote:
Yeah I can't see this going anywhere...but it can open up discussion of alternatives, of buidling the Left inside and/or outside the party.

Not seriously, but perhaps we can organize enough people to vote in favour of a leadership review at the next convention to give Mulcair pause. If say, 20-35% of the people voted "Yes" on the leadership review question, he would have to listen.

Aside: Why can't the NDP open up avenues for party members not attending convention to vote on a leadership review? We can vote for leader, why not that?


Boom Boom
Offline
Joined: Dec 29 2004

I suspect that right now, two years or so before the next election, it's very important that the NDP appear as united as possible, and, with a relatively new leader, it's unthinkable to the party to have a leadership review now. After the next election - sure, if the party does not become the government.


kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

If letting NATO do this kind of thing without Canada is more important to you than (say) carbon pricing, proportional representation, child care, and so on, then maybe you should consider that the NDP isn't the right party for you in the first place?

Indeed I have left but only because the party keeps moving right. I hope when you go to the convention you demand that they take any mention of socialism out of the Constitution.  You wouldn't want to confuse all those liberal voters you are hoping to attract.

Good luck on your quest to get people like Debater to vote for you.  I suspect that voters who have voted Liberal in the past when faced with a Liberal party and the NDP acting like a liberal party they will likely pick the real Liberal party. 


socialdemocrati...
Offline
Joined: Jan 10 2012

kropotkin wins the award for debating a strawman. good job. you gave that strawman hell.


kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

You shouldn't put yourself down in such a fashion. I think you have more in your brain than straw.

However if you want to trade, I'll trade my strawman for your false dichotomy.


socialdemocrati...
Offline
Joined: Jan 10 2012

Right. Because the guy with "social democratic" in his name is secretly a liberal who wants to remove all elements of socialism from the party.

You often sound so cynical and bitter and defeated, I guess you need to find victories wherever you can, even if you have to make them up.


KenS
Offline
Joined: Aug 6 2001

People wanting to get rid of a leader it is acknowledged they never wanted- that's a non starter.

And I would think it is obvious why this sucks for reasons that go beyond left, right, centre.


Aristotleded24
Offline
Joined: May 24 2005

KenS wrote:
People wanting to get rid of a leader it is acknowledged they never wanted- that's a non starter.

And I would think it is obvious why this sucks for reasons that go beyond left, right, centre.

Okay, so I've made it clear why I disagree with the direction the party is taking. What should I do now? Or is my opinion simply not welcome in the NDP and would I be better advised to vote for someone else after having worked to elect local NDP candidates in 3 consecutive federal elections?


socialdemocrati...
Offline
Joined: Jan 10 2012

I honestly believe that the best way to reduce U.S. violence would be to emmigrate there and get involved. Canada's role in these conflicts is symbolic. Even in the most wildly optimistic dream, where you could create some kind of groundswell where Canada denounces (say) the counter-terrorism mission on Mali. Then what? If you want to stop violence initiated and perpetuated by other countries, you have to go fishing where the salmon are.


Arthur Cramer
Offline
Joined: Nov 30 2010

Ari, I don't know how we push on the left. Maybe its time for another Waffle? Should we be speaking to Laxer? By the way, I had wished Doer lost the third time. I knew the Tories would run the province into the ground and finish them off. Sellinger is a nice enough guy, but a Liberal in terms of how he governs.


Aristotleded24
Offline
Joined: May 24 2005

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:
I honestly believe that the best way to reduce U.S. violence would be to emmigrate there and get involved. Canada's role in these conflicts is symbolic. Even in the most wildly optimistic dream, where you could create some kind of groundswell where Canada denounces (say) the counter-terrorism mission on Mali. Then what? If you want to stop violence initiated and perpetuated by other countries, you have to go fishing where the salmon are.

Again, it's not my intention to discuss issues around NATO in this particular thread. If other people discuss NATO here, I can't stop them, and I haven't engaged on this topic at all on this thread. Yes, the video deals with the subject of NATO, but that's not why I posted it. I posted it to show how, in my own personal experience, Mulcair is dismissive of people who disagree with him. The issue isn't the pertinent point, it's Mulcair's behaviour. The other issues I raised in this thread are pertinent to Mulcair, and I've laid out very clearly why I think he's going the wrong way on them.

And yes, I realize that a leadership review is quite serious, but I raised that possibility because I honestly see no other way to address these issues. I was willing to give the NDP the benefit of the doubt after Mulcair won, but he has clearly been charting his own course and imposing his will on the party. That's not the way I like to do politics.


6079_Smith_W
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2010

Boom Boom wrote:

I suspect that right now, two years or so before the next election, it's very important that the NDP appear as united as possible, and, with a relatively new leader, it's unthinkable to the party to have a leadership review now. After the next election - sure, if the party does not become the government.

I agree with that.

Though more importantly, if you consider that Mulcair is catching more hell at the moment for actually doing something right, this conversation is a bit funny, IMO

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/03/12/pol-mulcair-in-washingt...

I mean, you want to start a movement to reconsider his leadership, I think someone beat you to it.


kropotkin1951
Offline
Joined: Jun 6 2002

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Right. Because the guy with "social democratic" in his name is secretly a liberal who wants to remove all elements of socialism from the party.

You often sound so cynical and bitter and defeated, I guess you need to find victories wherever you can, even if you have to make them up.

I said take the socialist references out of the Constitution I never said anything about the taking social democracy out of anything. It should have been removed years ago but the party likes to lie to the left to gain support and volunteers. Having a reference to socialism in the Constitution is just barefaced hypocrisy.

After working for the party for decades, partially because of its stands on foreign policy not just Canadian policy, you tell me I was always in the wrong party and then you call me cynical.  I and other idiots like me kept the party alive as a third party only to see it morph into a pro free trade, pro NATO, pro tar pipelines party and you can't think of any reason why that would bother me.

I am sorry I was so stupid as to have thought that those ideals were worth fighting for when it fact it is obviously only power that is important. Its your fucking party now not mine so good luck in reaching for the brass ring but please don't try to claim to have any socialist leanings in Tom's party.

I love the fact that you not only want to kick people out of your party for daring to raise foreign policy issues but you also suggest they should leave the country and move to America. WTF is with that?  The RCAF bombs Libya and provides heavy lift capabilities to the French invasion forces in Mali and your party agrees to it.  It is not just America anymore that is to blame there is blood on Canadian hands now too and there is no parliamentary opposition to it. 

What good will it be for the party to gain government, yet forfeit its soul? 


autoworker
Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2008
Why doesn't the NPD's socialist faction form its own party, rather than being the tail that insists on wagging the dog?

autoworker
Offline
Joined: Dec 21 2008
@kropotkin1951: You might think of joining the Greens, if you can accept the Clarity Act.

nicky
Offline
Joined: Aug 3 2005

This is the resolute, principled Tom Mulcair whom I backed for the leadership and strongly support today:

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mulcair-champions-case-of-g...


KenS
Offline
Joined: Aug 6 2001

I hear what you are saying A24. And you arent the only one.

But the formal processes are neither the problem or the solution.

Tom Mulcair not only won a free and fair election. But there was a ton of discussion, and I think people knew what they were voting for.

Coming to the present- there should be leadership reviews, but there aren't. Thats not because someone(s) "ran it down". It is because constitutional change is VERY difficult because of the two-thirds majority requirement. When One Member One Vote was proposed it got surprising consensus support. But that was fragile. And it wa achieved and maintained by keeping it simple. If you get into "the details," people who were never sure they wanted this start going sideways. If you want OMOV, stick to that. Leadership reviews get into heel digging disagreemnts about how. So you dont go there.

And predictably, people dont want to go back there.

But even if there were formal leadership reviews [like every year?]- Tom Mulcair would easily pass.

Having unsupportive 'forms' doesnt help. But the content is the issue. You can make the NDP far more pro-actively democratic, and it is still the same big tent. And the overwhelming majority in that big tent dont agree about everything, and from time to time largely dont like what is going on.... but they are satisfied with the 'long wave' of the ideological orientation of the party.

Which in turn consigns another group of people to being a perpetual minority. Not without influence, but rarely in a position to say they are satisfied.

It doesnt have to be that way. But that is [at a minimum] the way it has been.


janfromthebruce
Offline
Joined: Apr 24 2007

It is because constitutional change is VERY difficult because of the two-thirds majority requirement.

Just to be clear, constitutional change using two-thirds majority requirement is the normative standard in "rules of order". Ditto for "changing bylaws".

And I am with Nicky on this when I also read that article. I didn't vote for Mulcair because I was a Topp supporter but Mulcair was my 2nd choice.

 

 


Brachina
Online
Joined: Feb 15 2012
This is a waste of space thread. Mulcair is doing a great job and I'm very happy with him.

KenS
Offline
Joined: Aug 6 2001

"waste of space thread"  Smile

 

and fanboy gushing has what social utility now?


Boom Boom
Offline
Joined: Dec 29 2004

Brachina wrote:
This is a waste of space thread. Mulcair is doing a great job and I'm very happy with him.

So, because you are happy with him, everyone else should just fall in line?


Comment viewing options

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