Thomas Mulcair

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ottawaobserver

Unionist wrote:

Actually, after reading some of the well-meaning posts above, I think I'll take Mulcair's utter silence at my latest letters to be his final word on the subject. If he hasn't figured out yet that Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu using the term "apartheid" in describing Israeli behaviour is not anti-semitic - or even that being anti-Zionist is not some kind of covering for really wanting to slaughter Jews - then I'm afraid he's not in the confused swing camp. Likewise for some of the comments above, I'm sorry to say.

This is not some irrelevant "foreign policy" issue. When Mulcair makes these statements (as with Libby, and as reported by Kady) in public, in the name of the party, then he is standing for the opposite of all that I believe and that makes me get up in the morning (or whenever, depending on shift work).

If Mulcair said sweet fuck all about Zionism and Jews and Israel, I'd be fine with that. But he appears to be a fanatic on the issue. According to Kady, he "vows, once again, to face that debate head on, at McGill and everywhere else." I've written to him twice as a constituent and a campaign supporter - once regarding the CPCCA, once on Libby - and never received a response. So much for facing that debate "head on".

He can go and fuck himself.

Yes, please by all means accept Kady O'Malley's live-blogged words (which she admits she may not have gotten right) over his in person to you in a meeting.

I now regret posting that, but you are back to being your surly self, so that's pretty much the end of anything constructive I guess. I can only imagine what your letters to him read like.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

FWIW, my experience is that any public figure who can justify one set of atrocities - or look the other way when it suits him or her - can justify any set of atrocities. Furthermore, it's strange how the most normal thing in the world - remaining neutral about things one is ignorant about - somehow doesn't fit into the lexicon of the usual suspects. I doubt Mulcair could make such a claim, mind you.

If Mulcair is weak on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Israel, treats any criticism of this odious and racist regime as equivalent to bigotry, and makes all the appropriate seal-like noises when required by his party, then who is to say that he won't be weak on other foreign policy matters - like the US/NATO occupation of Iraq/Afghanistan - when push comes to shove? 

For an imperialist country like Canada, foreign policy is a rather easy dividing line between those who support genuine and universal solidarity - socialists or better - and those who do not. And the more imperialist the country, the easier it is to identify this line.

It's going to be easier and easier to identify this line for Canada ... and the overwhelming majority of our Parliamentarians fall on the wrong side of this line. So to say something positive here, Mulcair won't be out of place. And there's no one of Svend Robinson's magnitude in sight.

 

 

Unionist

ottawaobserver wrote:

Yes, please by all means accept Kady O'Malley's live-blogged words (which she admits she may not have gotten right) over his in person to you in a meeting.

I've met Mulcair in person, thanks very much. And if Kady's words had been inconsistent or incompatible with the positions he has previously taken, I of course would have taken them with a grain of salt. But you already know the screaming he did against Libby and against the very notion of BDS last summer. That's when my opinion was formed - not today.

Quote:
I now regret posting that, but you are back to being your surly self, so that's pretty much the end of anything constructive I guess. I can only imagine what your letters to him read like.

I have never made a personal comment about you - because I don't know you and because it serves no purpose on a discussion board even if people know each other. Yet you have never lasted five seconds in a debate without resorting to ugly dehumanizing dismissive shit of the kind which I just cited above - not directed just against me, but against anyone who doesn't share your trite, predictable, uncritical, sycophantic rationalizations of whatever you deem to be in your party's better interest on any particular day. So do me a favour and leave me alone. Surely a surly idiot like me can't be worth your precious lobbying time.

KenS

Unionist wrote:

If Mulcair said sweet fuck all about Zionism and Jews and Israel, I'd be fine with that.

Not only would it be fine with you- it would be useful even if it got no further than that... as piddly as it might sound.

That much at least sounds quite attainable. And it might not stop there.

Unionist

By the way, I see no tangible distinction between Cheri DiNovo vicious denunciation of IAW activists (in support of a neocon motion); Thomas Mulcair rabid bullying of Libby Davies; and ottawaobserver's oh-so-polite-butter-wouldn't-melt comments about IAW activists being "confrontational".

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

If Mulcair is weak on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Israel, treats any criticism of this odious and racist regime as equivalent to bigotry, and makes all the appropriate seal-like noises when required by his party, then who is to say that he won't be weak on other foreign policy matters - like the US/NATO occupation of Iraq/Afghanistan - when push comes to shove? 

 

This is why he would be to the NDP what Tony Blair was to the Labour Party. I would not support the NDP if he was the leader. Also, his most progressive credential was on the environment front when he was part of Charest's Liberal government. His proposals were pretty much in line with something Dion or even May could come up with. Solid policy based on best practices in Europe.

I would definitely support Charlie Angus who for me has strong socialist credibility and sensibility. Perhaps not as principled and courageous as Bill Siksay and Libby Davies, but a far cry better than the right leaning Thomas Mulcair, Pat Martin and Peter Stoffer.

George Victor

And as this thread demonstrates, Steve doesn't even have to go out on the hustings. The "progressives" set the bar so high, there is not a person in the realm whose foot fits the fucking slipper of their moral choice. (Although perhaps, too, nobody knows a bloody thing about him for certain, except his reluctance to be drawn out by constituents whom he has no real reason to trust. And perhaps he says things that he's sure will not guarantee his failure in that riding.  I would say he is a veteran campaigner of Quebec politics.  That much is clear, and that much only.)

George Victor

nicky wrote:
I opened this thread to explore the possible strengths and weaknesses of Mulcair as a possible future NDP leader. Much of the discussion has focused on the narrower Palestinian issue. I appreciate there are strong views held on this issue which in the opinion of some eliminate Mulcair from consideration. I hope we can have a broader discussion. I suspect that given the demographics of Outremont it would be electoral suicide for Mulcair to have taken much of a different position on the Palestinian issue. This perhaps explains but might not excuse. I don't purport to know. The broad Canadian electorate will however not cast it's vote on this issue. I would like to get a better sense of Mulcair. I like what I see. I think he is formidably articulate and persuasive. there seem to be electoral opportunities beckoning the NDP in Quebec which may be harvested with Mulcair as leader. The party's weakness in Quebec has always undermined It's viability nationally. I remember that it was only after Mulroney broke through in the polls in Quebec in the 1984 campaign that the rest of the country fell in line for him. Maybe the same thing can happen with Mulcair.

As for this repeated appeal ?  Nada, perhaps because folks really know booall about the chap except what they read in the johnny one-note threads such as this.

ottawaobserver

Unionist wrote:

By the way, I see no tangible distinction between Cheri DiNovo vicious denunciation of IAW activists (in support of a neocon motion); Thomas Mulcair rabid bullying of Libby Davies; and ottawaobserver's oh-so-polite-butter-wouldn't-melt comments about IAW activists being "confrontational".

I said the use of the word apartheid was confrontational. It can hardly be otherwise, and is probably not intended to be otherwise.

It's also been noted who used the word "fuck" first in this thread. Anyways, insults are not going to get me to change my point of view that I shouldn't be making any definitive comments on things I don't know enough about. I regret ever wading anywhere near this territory, but am unapologetic about anything I've written.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

George Victor wrote:
The "progressives" set the bar so high, there is not a person in the realm whose foot fits the fucking slipper of their moral choice.

ha ha. Good one. But, George, aren't you the one defending current US President Obama and his regime's unending torture, indefinite detention, and what have you ... in the longest war in US history.

[Amy Goodman: "The war in Afghanistan is now the longest war in US history ... " ]

Anyway, the bar isn't really all that high. A high bar would be to insist that all NDPers be socialists. Showing solidarity with Palestinians against Israeli atrocities is only "anti-imperialist" and doesn't even rise to the level of socialist anyway. 

These aren't simply "moral choices" George. Perhaps that's your problem in understanding what's being said here. It's about not allowing the bar to go so low ... that one becomes indifferent to torture, war, aggression, and so on.

George Victor

I thought it was about Mulcair as a possible choice for leader of a party competing for votes in this world, not the world of your excited imagination and hopelessly distorted rhetoric.  Somehow everything assumes Biblical proportions, hereabouts, a condition that would only be laughed at on the hustings...or in contemplative moments when one wonders whether one has wandered into a seminary.

NorthReport

This is the kind of thinking that keeps re-electing the right-wing Cons & Libs governments to power in Canada. I'll be blunt. The NDP doesn't need, nor does it want, this kind of support.

laine lowe wrote:

I would not support the NDP if he was the leader.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

i haven't got time to help you raise what you would call your moral level of understanding, George. Have a look over here ...

if you give a shit, that is.

George Victor

Your assumption of a superior moral position is also the product of an excited imagination, NB,  unable to understand that to eliminate the problem, one can't just climb up on a fucking soapbox and proclaim to the world what a superior fellow you are.

Never works that way in the kind of world we've inherited.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

No George, you claimed that others, such as myself, were working from a too-far elevated moral position. It was YOUR claim I was addressing. I thought you could use some help.

 

Obviously, you don't want any help. There's a word for that.

KenS

laine lowe wrote:

I would definitely support Charlie Angus who for me has strong socialist credibility and sensibility. Perhaps not as principled and courageous as Bill Siksay and Libby Davies, but a far cry better than the right leaning Thomas Mulcair, Pat Martin and Peter Stoffer.

My New Years wish:

a lightning bolt from the sky illuminating that "principled and courageous" people are not only the ones people agree with.

George Victor

I think, Ken, that we are communicating with folks who don't have to care about public opinion or anything so trivial as that.

Must be a wonderful world to live in.

KenS

I understand, but dont share that opinion.

George Victor

What opinion?  That they live in a wonderful world?...or that these folks don't care?

What do you understand...what CAN you understand, without a sense of humour?

KenS

My sense of humour does not include taking digs at people. Not to say I dont. It is a weakness, not something to complacently indulge in.

But as to the substance, "I understand" means that I empathisize what you are reacting to. But you werent just being humorous, You were expressing an opinion about what motivates people. I dont share that opinion.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Sorry if my opinion offended but I have no desire to see the NDP led by a potential Tony Blair. Blair deserves to be hauled before a court along with Bush and Cheney for what they unleashed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I will vote with my conscience and I will financially contribute with my conscience. I, like many others it would seem, supported Siksay financially without even being in his constituency let alone his province. I did my time supporting the NDP with my votes, financial contributions and door knocking/phone calling/scrutineering in the past but I am not at all inspired to do so anymore. Quite a few of my activists friends feel much the same.

So go ahead and ignore this feedback. Go ahead and ignore that there are milions of people not voting because there are NO parties that inspire them to believe real change can happen. Go ahead and condemn us for living in an illusionary world that strives for equality and justice.

George Victor

@ laine lowe
"I did my time supporting the NDP with my votes, financial contributions and door knocking/phone calling/scrutineering in the past but I am not at all inspired to do so anymore."
A customary complaint.
1 - About how much time did you do? 2 -  What has changed...besides the apparent acceptance of the current social institutional arrangement forced into being by the NDP and its CCF predecessor?

George Victor

@ Ken S.

I wasn't into what "motivates" people, just commenting on their apparent cognitive state...in  an apparently too frivolous attempt at humour.

Sorry.

Cueball Cueball's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Mulcair has the potential to be Canada's Tony Blair. 

It is comments like this that make me come back here, again and again.

KenS

laine lowe wrote:

I will vote with my conscience and I will financially contribute with my conscience. I, like many others it would seem, supported Siksay financially without even being in his constituency let alone his province. I did my time supporting the NDP with my votes, financial contributions and door knocking/phone calling/scrutineering in the past but I am not at all inspired to do so anymore. Quite a few of my activists friends feel much the same.

I absolutely understand why people decide they do not want to support an NDP that does not [or does not any longer] express enough of what makes them want to support a party.

But does that mean you need, or that it is acceptable, for you to say that only a select few are "courageous and principled"?

Is it your intention to be condescending?

Do allies you have too many differences with to want to work closely with them mean nothing to you?

Life, the unive...

It occurs to me that if an athropologist from say 500 years in the future dug this thread out of some sort of computer hard drive buried in the rubble of Toronto they would easily be able to understand why the left of the early 21rst century in Canada ate itself and left the field wide open for the right.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I think you're making the mistaken assumption that everyone in this "debate" is on the "left". Please explain to me how trivilizing war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and so on, is a left wing value.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

@ George. I'm not that old that I actually was around for the CCF. I did tons of footwork for Ottawa Centre in the 80s and 90s  on the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

@ KenS. I am not trying to denigrate those who would support the people I like, at all. I just am not impressed with the people the NDP has been tryiing to recruit in the recent past like "progressive" banker Paul Summerville or professor Michael Byers. Trying to displace the LPC by more or less morphing into the LPC smacks of following Tony Blair's Third Way policy.

George Victor

Mulcair would understandably have nothing to do with such mincing social democrats,  apparently ready to let Steve set the pace of Canadian social and economic development . Mulcair's  constituents would not understand. (They aren't alone.)

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

It occurs to me that if an athropologist from say 500 years in the future dug this thread out of some sort of computer hard drive buried in the rubble of Toronto they would easily be able to understand why the left of the early 21rst century in Canada ate itself and left the field wide open for the right.

 

The "he's not pure enough" schtick only serves Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff et al.

George Victor

laine lowe wrote:

@ George. I'm not that old that I actually was around for the CCF. I did tons of footwork for Ottawa Centre in the 80s and 90s  on the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

@ KenS. I am not trying to denigrate those who would support the people I like, at all. I just am not impressed with the people the NDP has been tryiing to recruit in the recent past like "progressive" banker Paul Summerville or professor Michael Byers. Trying to displace the LPC by more or less morphing into the LPC smacks of following Tony Blair's Third Way policy.

How, exactly, do you think Mulcair fits the Blair mould?   And why do you think I asked, several posts back, for any fucking opinion, anything at all - from this repository of Marxist, political economic opinion - for some input, anything at all, on Mulcair's economic position?  WHY is everyone avoiding that and accepting that his understanding of what is progressive and what is not progressive about the Palestinian situation the only bloody thing that people are ready to discuss?  

What a herd of cattle!

genstrike

Look, the Palestinian solidarity movement is one which many posters on babble are active in, or at least strongly sympathize with.  And being active in this movement means that we have a bit of a strong emotional attachment to it.  And I don't know if you noticed, but this movement is also facing some pretty severe attacks by the government - including certain NDP polticians like Mulcair, Pat Martin, Judy W-L, Cheri DiNovo, Christine Melnick, etc., and there are very few politicians willing to stick up for us.

Now, I have very little patience for people who insist that I have to support neo-McCarthyite twits who are trying to shut down a movement I'm involved with.  If we're going to pretend to be all one big happy family with the NDP as our friends in Parliament, then solidarity has to be a two-way street.  If someone has made some political calculation that they'll get more support by shitting on us than supporting us, then obviously they don't need our support.

Some of us actually do have a new world in our hearts, and are involved in the daily struggle to make that a reality.  And yes, that also means that some of us also find supporting oppression to be disgusting.  I don't think that's a bad thing, even though sometimes it means we have to go against the grain, or at the very least against people whose only concern is maximizing the number of orange ties in Ottawa.

Unionist

KenS wrote:

Do allies you have too many differences with to want to work closely with them mean nothing to you?

Ken, those (few) of us who are involved in real life movements - other than telling people "vote NDP" at election time - understand perfectly what it means to ally and work closely with people that share next to no "beliefs" with you.

That's the reality I face every day in the trade union movement.

It's also the reality I face at election time. Which is why I campaigned for Mulcair in the only two federal elections he ever won.

None of Mulcair's beliefs, positions, principles have changed, as far as I can tell. Yet this time, I cannot vote for him. Do you understand why not?

I'll repeat, for the likes of some here, that I have detected no change in his principles or opinions or ideology or anything of the like.

Quite the little paradox, isn't it?

Hint: It is because of his actions - not his "principles".

Likewise, in the union movement, there are those who mouthe every "correct" principle and slogan - but at a crucial time, they take their stand with our enemies. At that moment, we stand united against them - "we" meaning those of us who vote Green and Conservative and Not At All and who are Catholic and Muslim and Jewish and who play the stock market and who are racists and sexists and God knows what else.

Because beggars can't be choosers. We can't afford to dictate purity of principles as the basis for any kind of real-life unity. But we sure can smell the dirty stench of an enemy or a traitor in the heat of battle.

Have you figured out what I'm talking about yet? No? Sorry about that.

 

George Victor

@ genstrike...from one who can't possibly have a "new world in his heart" ...

What you apparently don't realize is that you are making it possible for Steve to take over. Completely.

Any thoughts on solidarity in the "real world" based on that notion?

Unionist

George Victor wrote:

@ genstrike...from one who can't possibly have a "new world in his heart" ...

What you apparently don't realize is that you are making it possible for Steve to take over. Completely.

Any thoughts on solidarity in the "real world" based on that notion?

Not sure why anyone would bother responding to this Liberal Party trope, but I will:

If the NDP doesn't replace Mulcair (which they obviously won't, given Layton's recent vote of support for his arch-Zionist politics), and if Mulcair is trounced in Outremont, it will unfortunately revert to its Liberal traditions. I'll be voting Bloc (most likely) in an effort to stop that. But no one in my part of town is confused or desperate enough to vote for Stephen Harper.

The ones helping Harper are the ones adopting his politics. Why would he need a majority when there are enough useful idiots from various parties helping him achieve his goals?

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

George Victor wrote:

Mulcair would understandably have nothing to do with such mincing social democrats,  apparently ready to let Steve set the pace of Canadian social and economic development . Mulcair's  constituents would not understand. (They aren't alone.)

Uh...."mincing social democrats"?  What the hell?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Give me some economic policy that signals that the NDP is very different from the LPC or Conservatives. Right now, all I get from the NDP web site or newsletters is crap about lowering credit card/ATM fees or introducing a fuel tax credit. Sorry, but given what we are dealing with that does not sing to me or many others I know.

Stopping Harper by replacing the LPC seems to be the modus operandi. Go ahead and decimate the Liberals. I have no desire to see Ignatieff anywhere near power because he has the same imperialist views as the US. But I will not support the NDP in mimicking the same freaking position as the LPC.

George Victor

A note about posterity

The KW Labour council has just sold the old (1922) building that has housed the remaining labour unions (membership 3,000 and change) since it was purchased by the collective of unions in 1955 - the year of formation of the CLC and the AFL-CIO - when there were 10 times that number of union members in the region.

Is it perhaps time to stuff the rhetoric and come to realize that "progressive" means combatting the bastards on a level playing field, not in the graveyard?

nicky

Such a long thread with so few comments even remotely relevant to my original query. Can you children please fight it out in another sandbox?

Erik Redburn

I don't know guys, what progressive principles exactly have the federal NDP stood for recently, up to and including standing up to this scarey government?   Mulclair for example may have been uneasy about offending some of his base support, as a politician, but did he really HAVE to speak out publically AGAINST fellow New Democrat Libby Davies?  And hasn't Layton himself supported this supposedly frightening regime, when it served his own short term purpose?  Or at least what he thought at the time.  And aren't most of you still talking eagerly about 'overtaking' the Liberals, regardless of whether it merans Harper gets his majority?  Or why its impossible to do business with the other opposition parties?    

And really now, if this board is so far to the left of the 'average' Canadian then what does it matter if some here don't support the official NDP line on small considerations like the MiddleEast?

Erik Redburn

And do most Canadians really support Israel as mindlessly as certain pro-Zionists in all the official parties now do?  

Erik Redburn

Methinks certain self-described 'moderates' have just gotten into the habit of projecting their own poorly thought out biases onto the so-called mainstream. 

George Victor

nicky wrote:

Such a long thread with so few comments even remotely relevant to my original query. Can you children please fight it out in another sandbox?

Nicky, this thread is very revealing.  Labour, in a last-ditch stand for its members, is ready, desperately,  to sell the NDP down the drain, as it finally senses what a win by Steve would mean, and the ideologues demonstrate that they haven't the foggiest idea of the threat to the social institutions that Mulcair's party were instrumental in developing.

George Victor

And Erik, could you rejoin that lunch that you have apparently just returned from?

Erik Redburn

George Victor wrote:

And Erik, could you rejoin that lunch that you have apparently just returned from?

 

What does that mean -anything?

genstrike

George Victor wrote:

What you apparently don't realize is that you are making it possible for Steve to take over. Completely.

You know, the last time I heard that line was from some Young Liberal clown when I said I was voting NDP.

Erik Redburn

Yes, it is very revealing alright.  As those who talk most about what institutions 'the party of principle' was once responsible for (in Canada) also appear to be the ones most eager to abandon them.    But do go on pretending that noone is pointing out all your self evident hypocracies, in a way no amount of kneejerk cheerleading or fear mongering can deny.   This is why the next generation will either have to clear house of all the lazy-ass elders standing in our way or, failing that, start a new party that means something to the thirty plus percent who still subscribe to progressive values.  Higher percentage interestingly than the old DP is ever able to muster. 

Unionist

Bingo.

 

Erik Redburn

Maybe it was the same clown in a slightly different costume.  

George Victor

genstrike wrote:

George Victor wrote:

What you apparently don't realize is that you are making it possible for Steve to take over. Completely.

You know, the last time I heard that line was from some Young Liberal clown when I said I was voting NDP.

 

And who did you decide to vote for?  You and U?

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