Next Federal NDP Leader

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Unionist

quizzical wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:
That is just the facts. All across Canada our cities have been electing GenX Mayors and civic leaders. The idea that Mulcair could be the poster boy for change is ludicrous. 

Naomi Klein for PM

does she speak French?

No, unfortunately.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I don't know. She grew up in Montreal but her parents were immigrants from the US and I think she did all her schooling in English.

In my opinon the only way back to relavancy for the NDP in the next election is to take the Liberals new young voters who voted for pot and not much else. Of course I would not want her as a leader if she was put in the same box as the MP's have been put in for the last 6 or 7 years. We need a party of young activists in this country. Not a tired old party run by vainglorious boomers who have forgotten the point of the exercise is to build a better world not become all powerful operatives in the PMO.

DaveW

re Mulcair and political rebounds: sheesh, the list of political second acts by "losers" and their later victories is huge:

try Robert Bourassa I and II, Bill Clinton in Arkansas, Jerry Brown in California, Francois Mitterrand, Charles De Gaulle,

and less savoury pols like Richard Nixon, Netanyahu and Berlusconi, all of whom served again in office after what was seen as a decisive defeat

BUT, none started from deep 3rd place in a 2-party system, like Mulcair

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

quizzical wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:
That is just the facts. All across Canada our cities have been electing GenX Mayors and civic leaders. The idea that Mulcair could be the poster boy for change is ludicrous. 

Naomi Klein for PM

does she speak French?

No, unfortunately.

The question is can she learn? Jack didn't speak French very well when he won the leadership and he won seats in Quebec. Mulcair who lost most of those seats spoke extemely good French and was hired because of it. In retrospect from the other side of the country it seems that showing respect by learning French is required not linguistic prowess as a precondition to the job. That precondition last time meant that most of the best candidates were barred from even entering the race and you ended up with a French speaking liberal named Mulcair.

Instead of knowing both official languages as a precondition how about the minimum precondition be that the leader is a social democrat or a socialist and actually understands the concepts enough to talk to the electorate, in any language, about a vision for a better society. The message is everything and balanced budgets and the right tax breaks for middle class voters in both official language is not the answer. I suspect the people of Quebec would have rewarded the NDP with way more seats if the caucus had not been muzzled, in both official languages. The message is more important than the language skills of the leader.  Of course a committment to learning the other official language is still a precondition.

Part of the problem is the cult of the leader instead of pushing the idea of the team that includes many fluent speakers of both official languages.

Stockholm

Only someone who is unilingual could possibly think that learning a new language from scratch is some simple task that anyone can just pick up. it takes years of total intensive immersion in a second language to become fluent....you would need to focus on learning French and nothing else for the next four years to be even remotely acceptable.

Jack Layton wasn't perfectly fluent in French in 2003 when he became NDP leader - but he had a grounding from having grown up in Quebec and his French was far better than the non-existent French of his main rival Bill Blaikie. Also in 2003 the NDP had zero seats in Quebec and had taken just 2% of the vote there in 2000 - so it wasn't such a high priority. His French got better and better and in his fourth election, he finally won seats in Quebec. We are in a different situation now - the NDP has 16 Quebec seats - more than in any other province. So it is essential that any leader of the party be PERFECTLY fluent in French. It also wont be enough for a leader just to speak good textbook French, they will have to have a real sensibility for Quebec culture and preferably have some direct ties to the province.

Mulcair didn't win the NDP leadership just because he was bilingual. Brian Topp's French is just as good as Mulcair's and Cullen and Nash spoke French very well also. Paul Dewar's French was awful and in retrospect he really had no business running for the leadership for that reason alone. 

I'm not sure why anyone is babbling about Naomi Klein - does anyone seriously think she is crazy enough to want to be a politician? I suspect she would laugh in your face if you suggested that she run for public office.  

DaveW

Stockholm wrote:

I'm not sure why anyone is babbling about Naomi Klein - does anyone seriously think she is crazy enough to want to be a politician? I suspect she would laugh in your face if you suggested that she run for public office.  

She would be abysmal as a leader; no sense whatsoever of the regular guy/gal. Lives in a downtown bubble, from everything I have seen.

and: think Mr Ignatieff got  a hard time from political ads?

wait till this jet-setting/anti-carbon millionaire/celebrity socialist comes onto the political radar ...

BAM! wipeout.

 

quizzical

she's a millionaire? where does she live?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Given that accordiing to the NDP only 7% of the population of this province are fit to lead the country or be a serious cabinet minister why bother with Ottawa. BC's voices will be restricted to elites who have the financial means to learn another language not to use in everyday life but just in case they want to engage in federal politics. Talk about being on the outside of the Centre of the Universe. I think we need a party in BC that promises to secede from Canada just to get a little respect from the ruling elite in Toronto and Montreal.

quizzical

i wanna secede. sign me up.

Debater

DaveW wrote:

BUT, none started from deep 3rd place in a 2-party system, like Mulcair

PLUS, there's no evidence that Mulcair is a BUILDER.

Mulcair was handed more advantages as NDP Leader than anyone else in its history.  He inherited a party of 100 seats!

Layton & McDonough, on the other hand, had to take over a party that had lost official party status (McDonough) or that was barely hanging onto official party status (Layton).

Mulcair has never shown that he has the ability to build a party like Layton (& Justin Trudeau).

To quote Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, "You didn't build that!"

DaveW

quizzical wrote:

she's a millionaire? where does she live?

frankly, a millionaire is not that big any more: a mortgage halfway paid in TO or Vancouver, a paid-up insurance policy, 20 years of RSP, there you go;

but in her case, the residuals from several big-selling books in several languages, paid from NYC in hard currency?

-- she is pulling in a couple of $$million in years after her big books (Shock Doctrine, This Changes.. , etc.)

she lives in the Annex, average house price 850k

quizzical

don't know what the annex is sounds dark and gloomy.

millionaire is more than most in Canada.

quizzical

i just googled images. they look like homes from love it or list it or income property.

Honest Ed's seems to be a thing there???

Stockholm

Can anyone imagine the NDP having a leader who was a unilingual francophone from Quebec who spoke no English at all? Imagine yourself as a quebecer and being expected to vote for a party led by a unilingual Anglo.

Btw, there is no shortage NDP figures in BC who are bilingual. Peter Julian speaks excellent French and so does Nathan Cullen. Supposedly the MP from outside of Quebec who spoke the most impeccable French in the last parliament was Alex Atamanenko from the Kootenays. Adrian Dix executive director of Canadian Parents for French before being elected to the BC legislature and also speaks excellent French. And those are just the ones I know of.

Debater

Naomi Klein would not be interested in going into politics.

When you go into politics, particularly from the far left, you lose your ability to be an activist.

And since the NDP has moved more away from the left than ever before, why would Klein want to sell out her principles to the modern NDP's "Third Way"?

Plus, Klein would be portrayed as a left-wing nut by the media.

I like Klein, and I very much like her book "No Logo" which I used as a source in a university paper I wrote 15 years ago.

But Klein's interests lie outside elected politics, not within them.

quizzical

who are you talking about scott?

brookmere

Stockholm wrote:
Supposedly the MP from outside of Quebec who spoke the most impeccable French in the last parliament was Alex Atamanenko from the Kootenays.

I'm guessing you really mean the anglophone MP who spoke the most impeccable French.

 

quizzical

i don't get the distinction you're trying to make?

brookmere

quizzical wrote:

i don't get the distinction you're trying to make?

Well I would doubt that Atamanenko speaks better French than, for example,  Mauril Bélanger.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Presumably that there may have been Francophone MPs from outside Quebec who spoke better French. 

I suppose then the distinction becomes that not every person (MPs included) outside of Quebec is an Anglophone.

scott16

Erin Weir

Can anyone from Saskatchewan tell me about his pros and cons if he were to run for the leadership?

Does he speak French?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Stockholm wrote:

There are a number of criteria of what makes for a good leader - and age is the least of them. I remember how back in the early 90s Jean Chretien was dismissed as "yesterday's man" and was seen to be as old as the hills and everyone went on about how he was no competition for the young dynamic first woman PM - Kim Campbell! I also remember how in 2000 the Canadian Alliance under their "young, vibrant, athletic" leader Stockwell Day was going to easily blow old man Chretien out of the water because he looked so sexy on a jet ski - how did that turn out???

You seem to foget that Jean was a rising young star when he was first elected at the age of 29.  Thirty years later he was seen as over the hill but he won in '93 when he was just shy of his 60th birthday. He retired when he was 69. Mulcair was 64 during this election and he will be the age that Cretein retired if he runs in the next election.

Kim Campbell was a scape goat for a dying party. In  BC in '93 the Reform party ate all of the Conservative seats and most of the NDP seats as well. Neither Chretien nor Campbell had much to do wiith the dynamics of that election in the part of the country I was living in.

Personally I don't like agism but I see it everyday in many GenXer's.  They blame the boomers for what is wrong with the world rather than blaming the economic system. Since no one, not even the NDP, will explain the first thing about democratic socialism or why the trade deals have killed our economy over the last 20 years who else are they going to blame.

It seems that for some unknown reason the surge of first time voters didn't vote for an old boomer with promises to balance the budget and study how to jail less people for pot.  You don't think this had anything to do with a generational shift in Canadian politics but I disagree. I also think that those new voters will never vote for a boomer leader en masse especially a boring old fart like Mulcair with no flair and mundane speaking skills in both official languages.

Debater

Yeah, the Jéan Chrétien comparison with Tom Mulcair that Stockholm is making doesn't really apply:

-

1.) Chrétien was Official Opposition leader of a party that had a history of forming Government.

(Mulcair will be 3rd party leader in 2019 of a party that has never formed Government).

-

2.) Chrétien was 59 when he became PM.

(Mulcair is 61 now and will turn 65 in October 2019).

-

3.) Chrétien was running against the PC's at a time when Mulroney was hated by the public, and when the PC's were up against Reform & the BQ, which caused the PC's to be wiped out in Western Canada, Ontario & Quebec.

-

As a result of these factors (& several others) it is very unlikely that Mulcair can pull off in 2019 what Chrétien did in 1993.

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

There are a number of criteria of what makes for a good leader - and age is the least of them. I remember how back in the early 90s Jean Chretien was dismissed as "yesterday's man" and was seen to be as old as the hills and everyone went on about how he was no competition for the young dynamic first woman PM - Kim Campbell! I also remember how in 2000 the Canadian Alliance under their "young, vibrant, athletic" leader Stockwell Day was going to easily blow old man Chretien out of the water because he looked so sexy on a jet ski - how did that turn out???

Unlike Mulcair, Chrétien didn't lose the 1993 election so there was never a reason for Chretien to resign in 1993.

Would the PC Party have been better off if Kim Campbell had remained leader after the PC's loss in 1993? If Campbell had remained leader of the PC Party, the PC Party could have sustained more long term damage than it did at the time. Kim Campbell remaining leader in 1993 may have allowed the Reform Party to gain much more than it did after 1993. Maybe if Kim Campbell had remained leader of the PC's in 1993, Preston Manning would have become PM in 1996?

And would the Canadian Alliance have been better off if Stockwell Day had remained their leader after 2000? Had Stockwell Day remained leader, the Liberals could now be celebrating 22 straight years in power.

Mulcair's popularity may rebound sometime in the future but it is also possible that his continued leadership is currently damaging the NDP's long-term popularity and long-term viability. It is possible that people who are giving up on the NDP now because Mulcair is staying on as leader are going to be lost to the party indefinitely. Mulcair's hanging on to power may be moving people to the Liberals long term. The biggest beneficiary of Mulcair continuing to be NDP leader may end up being Justin Trudeau.

Would the Liberals have been better off if Stephen Dion had remained Liberal leader in 2008? Or if Ignatieff had stayed on in 2011?

Stockholm

JKR wrote:

Would the Liberals have been better off if Stephen Dion had remained Liberal leader in 2008?

I think the Liberals would have been better off with Dion a second time in 2011 then with Ignatieff - it certainly couldnt have been any worse. The NDP would likely have done MUCH better in 1993 if they had stuck with Ed Broadbent one more time rather than replacing him with Audrey McLaughlin. Would the Liberals have been better off if they had dumped Lester Pearson after the 1958 debacle? Should the federal PCs have dumped Robert Stanfield after he was crushed in 1968? Maybe, maybe not...but age was not the issue. We can go on forever with these historic analogies...but age is not the issue. I agree that from the perspective of the Canadian Alliance after the 2000 election Stockwell Day had to go - but he wasnt old - in fact he was the youngest party leader at the time. If Jack Layton had lived - he would have been 65 years old going into the 2015 election. Was that too old? should he have quit after 2011 even if he was in perfect health?

Maybe Mulcair should quit, maybe he shouldnt - but i would be asking myself the same question whether he was going to be 65 in 2019 or 45. Adrian Dix was quickly ushered out the door after the 2013 BC election even though he was in his late 40s.  Ultimately, I will only say he should retire if I feel there is a plausible successor to him who is camera ready, perfectly bilingual and well-versed on all the issues.

josh

Age has nothing to do with it. He should go because he led the party to a disastrous election result in comparison to 2011, and because he's too conservative for a social democratic party. Assuming the NDP still is.

robbie_dee

scott16 wrote:

Erin Weir

Can anyone from Saskatchewan tell me about his pros and cons if he were to run for the leadership?

Does he speak French?

I'm not from SK but I know him. He lived in Belgium for a year and he speaks French. I like him and would vote for him for leader. (I commented a bit on my reasons why upthread).

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Ultimately, I will only say he should retire if I feel there is a plausible successor to him who is camera ready, perfectly bilingual and well-versed on all the issues.

By that criteria it appears that Mulcair should never have been elected leader. He knows zero, zilch, nada about democratic socialism so he fails your test. Of course if you mean the intricate details of tax breaks for the middle class then he's your man but Justin would have been better since they both come from the same liberal culture.

Stockholm

I said that a leader has to understand the issues - that means have an encyclopedic knowledge of foreign policy, health care, fiscal issues, environmental issues, justice issues, longterm societal trends, climate change, industrial policy...the NDP is a social democratic party - it is not a party of "democratic socialism" - at least not since the 1930s - and in any case, any fool can take an introductory course on "The Marxian Perspective" and repeat a few cliches about how "the workers must own the means of prodction" - that doesnt make them a competent PM in waiting who can master a wide range of issues.

In case you didnt notice - the NDP never proposed any tax breaks for the middle class - that was the Liberal policy. Instead the NDP proposed all these neo-conservative (sic.) policies like increasing corproate taxes, introducing universal child care, introducing univeral pharmacare, increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement, having an aggressive target to reduce climate change, moving to proportional representation and an assortment of other "rightwing" policies too numerous to list.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I know Stock its amazing with such a perfect platform and a superb leader they lost seats and fell to third place.  Acoording to you and Mulcair they did nothing wrong.

But I get that attitude since the BC NDP have been running the same campaign since 1996 and have never convinced a plurality of voters that they were anything worth electing. But go ahead and believe that the road to power lies in the mushy middle.

Over the course of my years as an NDP activists we elected MP's every election and they were all left wing avowed socialists. My experience is that voters like people of principle. Mulcair has no real principles only mundane talking points designed to intice Liberal and Red Tory voters to vote for him and his safe centrist alternative to the nasty Harperites. It hasn't worked over and over again in this province and the liberal lite strategy has never led to a real breakthough in Ontario where federal governments are build.

robbie_dee

Stockholm wrote:

JKR wrote:

Would the Liberals have been better off if Stephen Dion had remained Liberal leader in 2008?

I think the Liberals would have been better off with Dion a second time in 2011 then with Ignatieff

If the Liberals had kept Dion as leader they would have gone into the next election (possibly in 2011, but possibly earlier or even as late as 2013) as the governing party in coalition with the NDP. Moreover while discussions didn't get that far it is quite conceivable that if the coalition had succeeded it would have implemented some kind of electoral reform by the time of that election. It would have been a whole different world.

Stockholm

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I know Stock its amazing with such a perfect platform and a superb leader they lost seats and fell to third place.  Acoording to you and Mulcair they did nothing wrong.

Don't put words in my mouth. I think lots of was done wrong in the recent election campaign - but I think the mistakes were strategic, notideological. The actual policies the NDP had in its platform were as leftwing and progressive as ever - but I think it was all very poorly communicated - the campaign fell into the trap of almost purposely trying to be as dull as possible, having dull emotionless ads that didnt seem to run in the right markets and there was clearly no contingency plan to deal with the possibility of a Liberal comeback...

I think its absurd to think that if only the NDP had run on a Trotskyist platform of world socialist revolution - it would have swept to victory.  

JKR

Stockholm wrote:
Ultimately, I will only say he should retire if I feel there is a plausible successor to him who is camera ready, perfectly bilingual and well-versed on all the issues.

Nathan Cullen, Peter Julian, Niki Ashton, and Megan Leslie quickly come to mind as people who are camera ready, bilingual, and well-versed on the issues. As well, Mulcair could also run in a leadership contest. I think a lot of NDP'ers would feel reassured if Mulcair came out and said that he supports having a leadership contest in 2017 or 2018 and that he is considering running in that contest to make sure that the best person possible is leading the NDP in the 2019 election.

 

Stockholm

I think Cullen and Leslie could be possibilities (though I doubt if the party would choose a leader with no seat if we were 3.5 years from the next election as opposed to 2 years away). I'm also intrigued by Guy Caron who is an economist and very bilingual and has just been promoted to be Finance critic...there could be others as well...but again they may need time to show their skills.

I think the idea of Mulcair running to succeed himself in a leadership contest is ludicrous, Whoever heard of an incumbent party leader leader resigning and running for his or her own job spontaneously and not after having lost a leadership review? It would be the worst of both worlds and expensive, divisive contest and without even having the renewal that comes from having a wide open contest. I can't imagine a bigger total waste of time and money and political capital than a year long contest that culimates in the NDP narrowly going back to the incumbent leader. It would be like the Manitoba NDP fiasco with Selinger all over again. ...and if the incumbent lost, it would be even more divisive.

If Mulcair wants to lead the NDP in 2019 (and I seriously doubt if he actually does) - all he needs is to have his leadership ratified by convention delegates by a wide margin - period. This is not the US where you have a whole year long primary process every four years to choose a presidential nominee. We pick party leaders more or less for an indefinite period of time until their parties no longer want them - then its someone else's turn. Now if you seriously think the NDP should amend its constitution and decide that after every election there must be a full blown OMOV leadership contest - good luck trying to interest people in that.

Of course if we wante to really speed up the leadership selection process, we could go for the Australian method and having caucus choose the leader - that way you can have a "spill" on 24 hours notice and have a new leader installed within two days! Wouldnt that be fun! We could have a Canadian version of Rudd to Gillard and back to Rudd again

DaveW

good point,

the years-long Mulroney vs Clark, then Chretien vs Turner then Martin vs Chretien trench wars exhausted those parties,

although worth pointing out that every contender above reached the pinnacle as PM, so it did not hurt the brand TOO much ... 

but if Mulcair now is like the hapless Clark of the early '80s for blowing a sure thing, there is still no independent heavyweight a la Mulroney out there to battle for the NDP crown

Debater

Stockholm wrote:

I think the idea of Mulcair running to succeed himself in a leadership contest is ludicrous, Whoever heard of an incumbent party leader leader resigning and running for his or her own job spontaneously and not after having lost a leadership review? It would be the worst of both worlds and expensive, divisive contest and without even having the renewal that comes from having a wide open contest. I can't imagine a bigger total waste of time and money and political capital than a year long contest that culimates in the NDP narrowly going back to the incumbent leader. It would be like the Manitoba NDP fiasco with Selinger all over again. ...and if the incumbent lost, it would be even more divisive.

I think one point you are correct about is that it's very difficult to get rid of leaders in the Canadian system, particularly if the leader doesn't want to go and digs their heels in.

Andrew Coyne wrote a decent piece on this a couple months ago when the Australian PM was removed by his own party.

As Coyne said, perhaps it's better to be able to get rid of a leader too quickly rather than not quick enough.  In our system, once a leader is in, they are able to stay in for a long time unless the delegates or the caucus really work hard to get them out and vote against them in the Leadership Review.

This is how Andrea Horwath, with a poor result in Ontario, was able to still get good numbers at the Leadership Review last year.  And as you said, even someone like Selinger in Manitoba who many New Democrats want out and who has been trailing in the polls for the past 2 years, was able to dig in his heels and hang on.

So you are correct that when there isn't a challenger willing to come forward in a party, the leader is usually able to stay on for a while, even if they have lacklustre support.

josh

Stockholm wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I know Stock its amazing with such a perfect platform and a superb leader they lost seats and fell to third place.  Acoording to you and Mulcair they did nothing wrong.

I think its absurd to think that if only the NDP had run on a Trotskyist platform of world socialist revolution - it would have swept to victory.  

Yes, because those were the only two choices.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Stockholm wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I know Stock its amazing with such a perfect platform and a superb leader they lost seats and fell to third place.  Acoording to you and Mulcair they did nothing wrong.

Don't put words in my mouth.

I think its absurd to think that if only the NDP had run on a Trotskyist platform of world socialist revolution - it would have swept to victory.  

LMAO Really you telling me not to put wordds in your mouth after your red baiting in this thread. Every time you run out of ways to push the central cabals line you go straight to the red baiting. A quick hint for you, someone with a handle of an anarchist is likely not either a Marxist or Trotskyite.

Your marxism comments are a mirror image of Goodwins Law and every time you make them you show the lack of depth to your arguments.

Debater

brookmere wrote:

Well I would doubt that Atamanenko speaks better French than, for example,  Mauril Bélanger.

Good point.

Atamanenko may have been the Anglophone MP in the last Parliament who best spoke French, but I doubt he spoke French as fluently as the Francophone MPs outside Quebec like Mauril Bélanger & Dominic Leblanc.

And there were a few other Francophone MPs outside Quebec in the last Parliament such as the CPC MPs in New Brunswick like Bernard Valcourt & Robert Goguen.  Those CPC MPs were defeated last month, but presumably all of those Francophone MPs grew up with a Native-born French tongue that Atamanenko didn't have.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Debater wrote:

And there were a few other Francophone MPs outside Quebec in the last Parliament such as the CPC MPs in New Brunswick like Bernard Valcourt & Robert Goguen.  Those CPC MPs were defeated last month, but presumably all of those Francophone MPs grew up with a Native-born French tongue that Atamanenko didn't have.

Maybe their problem was that they didn't speak Chiac only French and English.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqL9yAnWMNw

 

JKR

Stockholm wrote:

If Mulcair wants to lead the NDP in 2019 (and I seriously doubt if he actually does) - all he needs is to have his leadership ratified by convention delegates by a wide margin - period.

I also think Mulcair plans to hand off the leadership before the election in 2019.

Mulcair will most likely have his leadership ratified by a wide margin since most of the delegates are likely to be dyed in the wool NDP partisans. I think his chances of winning by a wide margin would be much less likely if the vote was one-member-one-vote.

One thing working against Mulcair may be that Jenny Kwan is a member of his caucus?!?! :b

If the NDP's and Mulcair's numbers remain below 19% in the opinion polls, it is hard to see how Mulcair can hang on until 2019.

scott16

Misfit wrote:
Erin Weir has the charisma of a vegetable.

 

Misfit can you please elaborate on this?

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Mulcair seemed like a good parliamentarian. He didn't have what it took to win an election with the NDP at its best position in its history. He is not the person for the job.

Brachina

montrealer58 wrote:

Mulcair seemed like a good parliamentarian. He didn't have what it took to win an election with the NDP at its best position in its history. He is not the person for the job.

 Agreed, there's no point in having Tom as anything more then interim leader, he had his shot and failed and another shot like that likely won't come for another generation.

 So we may as well have a leader that better reflects our values and who will being innovative ideas to the table.

scott16

I just realized why I want Ruth Ellen Brosseau as leader.

She has the opposite life experiences as Trudeau. She wasn't handed everything she ever wanted, he was. She seems like a real person and he doesn't.

It's a good contrast.

Geoff

I agree that Mulcair will get a relatively easy ride in terms of his leadership, not because the delegates will all be "dyed in the wool NDP partisans", but because there's no rush. Anyone thinking of running is going to need time to organize and raise money, so why pull the plug right away?

Tom can be helpful by putting on a good performance in the House, while getting the party back together in the new "post-election world". Then, he can step down, so we can elect a new leader in time for the next campaign. Hopefully, by then we will have rebooted the party, name and all, if members so choose, and present a new face to the electorate in 2019.

Unionist

scott16 wrote:

I just realized why I want Ruth Ellen Brosseau as leader.

She has the opposite life experiences as Trudeau. She wasn't handed everything she ever wanted, he was. She seems like a real person and he doesn't.

It's a good contrast.

Personally, I've come to judge people by their words and deeds, not their origins. The origins part is good statistically, but not individually. After a lifetime in the workers' movement, I can tell you (as you all know) that my comrades range from communist to fascist, enlightened and progressive to misogynistic homophobic racist scumbags... Yet they're (almost) all working class in origin. Doesn't mean a thing. Not when it comes to picking individuals to represent the people and carry out their wishes.

I know nothing about Ruth Ellen Brosseau, except for having defended her vigorously after May 2011 when she came under scornful attack by vicious arrogant hateful misogynist Conservative types (and no shortage of NDP and Liberal and Bloc types). So I'm not agreeing she should lead anything anywhere anytime soon. Need to know more.

And most importantly, we need to smash the Stalinist leadership cult that infects our society, and the NDP alongside all the others. It's utter bullshit, and it's disheartening to see how many ordinary folks buy into the notion that the LEADER makes a huge difference.

The LEADER makes a huge difference only if the MEMBER agrees to lie down and abandon their voice and their rights.

 

 

Brachina

Unionist wrote:

scott16 wrote:

I just realized why I want Ruth Ellen Brosseau as leader.

She has the opposite life experiences as Trudeau. She wasn't handed everything she ever wanted, he was. She seems like a real person and he doesn't.

It's a good contrast.

Personally, I've come to judge people by their words and deeds, not their origins. The origins part is good statistically, but not individually. After a lifetime in the workers' movement, I can tell you (as you all know) that my comrades range from communist to fascist, enlightened and progressive to misogynistic homophobic racist scumbags... Yet they're (almost) all working class in origin. Doesn't mean a thing. Not when it comes to picking individuals to represent the people and carry out their wishes.

I know nothing about Ruth Ellen Brosseau, except for having defended her vigorously after May 2011 when she came under scornful attack by vicious arrogant hateful misogynist Conservative types (and no shortage of NDP and Liberal and Bloc types). So I'm not agreeing she should lead anything anywhere anytime soon. Need to know more.

And most importantly, we need to smash the Stalinist leadership cult that infects our society, and the NDP alongside all the others. It's utter bullshit, and it's disheartening to see how many ordinary folks buy into the notion that the LEADER makes a huge difference.

The LEADER makes a huge difference only if the MEMBER agrees to lie down and abandon their voice and their rights.

 

 

 You might as well wish for unicorns, people want celebrity, the institution of leadership cults is eternal.

 

 Emperor Julian the Philospher tried to treat the people as human beings, fought corruption, brought in religous freedom, and supported the rights of minorities like the Jews, and began trying to build some sort of welfare state, and fought for his people against greedy merchants willing to let people starve to drive food prices up.

 The peoples response was to mock his beard, appearance, and his humble behavior which was very unemperor like, because he treated people with respect.

 And nothing has changed since those ancient times in that reguard even when so much else has. But I wish you luck Unionist in finding your Unicorn.

 

KenS

A post from another thred very relevant to the discussion here, that you may not have seen:

newvoice.ca wrote:

I have found this to be a fascinating thread.

Geoff wrote:

I would be thrilled to be proven wrong. However, we face a huge challenge, which is re-think the party from the ground up. I don't know if the party's vested interests have the stomach for such a re-think. 

Yes, we need to re-think the party from the ground up, and I agree that the leadership is not interested in doing so.

Unionist wrote:

I agree with everything you said. But I would add: I don't know if the party's members have the stomach for such a re-think. They have shown precious few signs of independent life or thought for many years now.

So, your statement is very insightful, I think. Even a re-think "from the ground up" would require a green light from the heavens down.

I think there are a lot of party members that do have the stomach for such a re-think. And more people who might come back if they see such a re-think occurring.

I think for many members it is not a lack of stomach but of infrastructure to communicate among ourselves. Maybe that won’t be much of an obstacle very longer.

Why do you say that a re-think “from the ground up” would require a green light from the leadership? Is it a capacity issue?  Or do you mean that the re-thinking initiatives will hit the wall of the conformist party culture?

JKR wrote:

With very convenient modern day Internet communication capabilities it would probably be easy to open up many of the NDP's proceedings to the entire membership. This would include the vote on whether to have a leadership convention. Maybe entire NDP policy conventions could be put on the internet where all members could participate? This would allow many people to participate who cannot currently afford to or just don't have the available time.

It would be very easy to do all of that. And not that expensive either.

But this is likely a non-starter with the leadership. I think it is a bit too scary for them to think about opening things up that much. And there are also some arguably valid reasons not to—namely that it might disenfranchise non-technological members.

But, the technology is not going anyway, and for the near future at least, it’s probably getting better and cheaper. If 15 years from now the NDP is still not voting on policy resolutions online then we will be obsolete. For now, there’s enough fear of technology to mask the fact that fear of openness is the real issue.

But, there’s no reason why the exact system you describe couldn’t be accomplished by an enthusiastic membership.

I think there is an issue with the focus as well. The campaign consultants come in a year before the election, and they’re focussed on the campaign. The campaign focuses on identifying supporters and voters, pushing messages out to them, and requesting donations. It’s a top down, one-to-many process, and these top-down people are doing the top-down jobs they were hired to do. Sure, any campaign can be criticized on its own merit, but I don’t see any scenario where the campaign staff are the same people managing the online policy resolution process.

Maybe campaign culture itself is the problem, but I don’t see any scenario where campaigns aren’t important. Appraise the consultants for how well they are doing their top-down jobs, but responsibility for making sure that the grassroots is in control of the party should lie with the membership.

jjuares wrote:

I want a change in leadership but I worry if we focus on that too much other needed changes will be missed. I believe we need to introduce democracy into the NDP. 

Me too, introducing more democracy is necessary.

Caissa wrote:

I don't think another NPI is in the works.

Why not?

Unionist wrote:

But "introduce democracy into the NDP"? Let me know when that's done. I'll be back in full dress colours. This business of changing leaders, or picking different platform promises... that's blowin' in the wind. Give control to the members, and I'll show you a hurricane.

The members need to take control.  I don’t think they will be given it.  I can see a hurricane too.

Democracy is hard work though and can take a whole lot of time. And requires a lot of people engaged. Hopefully you would not wait until it is 100% complete to take part.

DaveW wrote:

in Saturday 14th Star and Globe both Chantal Hebert and Adam Radwanski point out that the NDP has no plans for a thorough election review or leadership assesment

If they’re not going to do it, at least they’re not stopping others.

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Imagine a party with the word democratic in its name actually being a grass roots democratic organization. The NDP has never been a grass roots party. I have seen the party up close and personal in three provinces and the insiders control everywhere.

Sadly, this is also what I have seen, although I have much less experience than you.

jjuares wrote:

For me replacing Mulcair is axiomatic and not really worth discussing. My focus is on the internal democracy or the lack of it in this party. This election I canvassed for two candidates, both of them were good individuals who worked hard and deserved better. From what I see the grassroots is shell shocked and not ready to consider much. The one good thing about this loss is that it might make the membership ready to start questioning some of the decisions made this campaign.

Hopefully.

Unionist wrote:

By the way, I'm going to write to Anne McGrath again and ask whether the party will agree to make the survey results public - and I mean totally public (minus people's names of course) - it's easy to create a quick database linked from the party website where you can browse comments, or search for particular terms, etc.

Don't you think the NDP should do this exercise in public? Would be a good step in the direction of democracy and transparency.

I think that if it doesn't, the public will be doing its own assessment, and it won't be favourable.

Yes, it’s easy to do that.  I do think that this exercise ought to be done openly.

But I think you have set up a false dichotomy. Either the party leadership conducts an open public review or the public will tune out for good. There is middle ground. The review can be done openly and in public without having to be conducted by the leadership. If the members and the supporters are waiting for the party leadership to handle the open review then we may as well roll over.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I agree about the second comment. I disagree with the first becuase I have no faith that the current leadership will do this properly. I now see a change in leadership as a prerequisite to a real examination of what has happened and where we need to go.

A change in leadership may be a necessary condition for a real examination but it is not a sufficient condition. An NDP grassroots powerful enough to oust Mulcair should have the capacity to conduct a real examination. What has happened and where do we need to go?

 

 

 

newvoice.ca wrote:

NDP members and supporters who are interested in participating in an open and public election review are welcome to do so at New Voice.

Here, I've gotten things started off - Which factors were most significant to the NDP coming in third in the election?

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

There is a cabal of NDP insiders. Unless control is taken away from these insiders, the NDP will never be any kind of democratic force. In a last gasp of absolute stupidity, these insiders let the Liberals flank the NDP to the left, and blew a great lead the NDP had going in.

* They kept the people away from the leader
* They kept the leader away from the people
* Everything looked stage-managed (by a cabal) 

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