Manitoba NDP leadership

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Aristotleded24
Manitoba NDP leadership

The polls are open, and let's not kid ourselves, that there will be a change in leadership for the Manitoba NDP shortly after the ballots are counted. Who should that be?

The immediate problem is that very few Cacus members know what it's like to be in opposition. These few are (assuming they are all re-elected) are Dave Chomiak, Steve Ashton, Eric Robinson, and Jim Malloway. I think it would be wise to pick an interim leader from this group who can draw on their experiences of the 1990s. This will help them steer the the rest of the Caucus and the Opposition will begin to draw blood right out of the gate. Of this group, I think Chomiak and Ashton are good choices. Eric Robinson would also be a good choice, not only to send a positive message to First Nations, but to Manitobans who live outside Winnipeg that their votes and voices matter.

This will allow a time of transition so that the party can find someone who can build on this and win in 2020. Who can win in 2020? Kevin Chief has been discussed a great deal, so no need to speak to that right now. I think Sharon Blady should seriously consider a run, even if she loses her own seat. I saw her at a poverty forum, and she did a bang-up job defending the NDP, which is no easy feat for a government that's been in power with the baggage that's associated with that. How about Nahani Fontaine? Not only would it be great to see a First Nation's women leading this province, but she has the additional benefit of having no personal connections to any of the unpopular decisions the outgoing government has made. Is there someone else we don't know about?

genstrike

Niki Ashton?

I think the problems with the NDP go deeper than just the lease though...

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:
Niki Ashton?

No.

1) The federal party is in crisis to the point that no seat in the country is safe for them. The distraction of a by-election by itself is something the federal party doesn't need, and it will hurt the party even more should the Liberals take the seat, which they would have a good chance of doing.

2) People are tired of the "same old, same old." While Nikki is great on so many issues and has worked so hard, her dad is a prominent provincial politician. That means should she run there will be a public perception that it's just "hangers on" who want to continue in the NDP, and that won't help with the rebuilding.

genstrike wrote:
I think the problems with the NDP go deeper than just the lease though...

Oh yes, there's a great deal of work that needs to be done. The NDP needs to have an open discussions about its shortcomings without responding by saying, "but Tories are BAD, Tories are BAD, Tories are BAD!"

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Wab Kinew does seem to have won in Fort Rouge.  He might be worth looking at in this situation.

quizzical

Timebandit said so......Liberal leader in 3rd

 

Aristotleded24

Looks like everyone who served in opposition in the '90s is out (with the exception of Malloway) so my original strategy wasn't going to work.

genstrike

Aristotleded24 wrote:
These few are (assuming they are all re-elected) are Dave Chomiak, Steve Ashton, Eric Robinson, and Jim Malloway. I think it would be wise to pick an interim leader from this group who can draw on their experiences of the 1990s. This will help them steer the the rest of the Caucus and the Opposition will begin to draw blood right out of the gate. Of this group, I think Chomiak and Ashton are good choices. Eric Robinson would also be a good choice, not only to send a positive message to First Nations, but to Manitobans who live outside Winnipeg that their votes and voices matter.

Looks like Maloway is the only one left standing...

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
These few are (assuming they are all re-elected) are Dave Chomiak, Steve Ashton, Eric Robinson, and Jim Malloway. I think it would be wise to pick an interim leader from this group who can draw on their experiences of the 1990s. This will help them steer the the rest of the Caucus and the Opposition will begin to draw blood right out of the gate. Of this group, I think Chomiak and Ashton are good choices. Eric Robinson would also be a good choice, not only to send a positive message to First Nations, but to Manitobans who live outside Winnipeg that their votes and voices matter.

Looks like Maloway is the only one left standing...

Yeah, what happened up North in Thompson and Keewatinook?

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

Jim Maloway is not fit for NDP leadership. He was within 50 or so votes of losing Elmwood (neighbouring Matt Wiebe in Concordia did much better). There is a reason he was never in cabinet.

Aristotleded24

The Analyst wrote:
Jim Maloway is not fit for NDP leadership. He was within 50 or so votes of losing Elmwood (neighbouring Matt Wiebe in Concordia did much better). There is a reason he was never in cabinet.

He should not have had to conceal his party affiliation to hold on.

This exposes an elephant in the room. Other than Malloway, nobody in the Caucus has the experience of being in Opposition. There are few MLAs who I feel have "the stuff" to lead the Official Opposition, and since they will probably run for leader, that rules them out as interim.

Watch for Pallister to smile to the public while his team crushes the NDP during debates in the Legislature.

Selinger is the third NDP leader to lose the post in 2 and a half weeks. Make no mistake, the NDP is in an existential crisis right now.

Stockholm

Could Selinger hang around as interim leader until a new leader is chosen? There is no need to wait years to do that - why not pick a new leader this fall and get it over with - most people think the job is Kevin Chief's if he wants it - and why wouldnt he!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If the leadership vote is set definitively within the next six months to a year. 

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
Could Selinger hang around as interim leader until a new leader is chosen?

I don't think so. He was the most unpopular of all the leaders, and having just led the party to a massive defeat, he would have no credibility.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/steve-ashton-ndp-leadership-1.356... agree with many of Steve Ashton's proposed reforms:[/url]

Quote:
Ashton said he has firm ideas on how the party can rebuild and is adamant about a desire to change a "seriously flawed" leadership selection.

He wants the party to drop an approach in which unions and constituency associations choose delegates who then vote at a convention. Union leaders for the most part backed Selinger last year. Ashton would like to see every party member have a vote, with some ballots set aside for union officials.

He also wants the party to adopt a leadership review used by the federal NDP and other parties. It allows party members to vote on whether to open up the leader's job to other contestants.

The only way Manitoba NDP leaders currently undergo a job assessment by party members is if an opponent openly runs against them at a convention.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The NDP needs to become democratic in more than just name. That means one member one vote in a mail-in ballot or some other secure method. The last thing they need is a delegated leadership convention where unions get to send a large number of delegates based on the size of the union. With one member one vote all NDP union members will have an equal vote just like anyone else that wants to join the party.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
The NDP needs to become democratic in more than just name. That means one member one vote in a mail-in ballot or some other secure method. The last thing they need is a delegated leadership convention where unions get to send a large number of delegates based on the size of the union. With one member one vote all NDP union members will have an equal vote just like anyone else that wants to join the party.

Krop, I find it ironic that unions talk about workplace democracy when they tend to stand in the way of internal democracy at least in the Manitoba NDP. It was the Manitoba Federation of Labour that lobbied the Manitoba NDP to go back to a delegated leadership convention in the first place. The MFL also had a piece in the Winnipeg Free Press about why Pallister's proposal to drop card check and go to secrot ballot voting was bad. Seriously? Is that the extent of what the MFL was doing, hoping for an NDP government to stay in power forever and ever? Why are they not out there actively engaging their own members and also regular people who aren't sure why union rights are for them even if they aren't unionized? I actually wonder what the MFL got for its trouble. It's still legal to hire scabs in strikes or lockouts, unions still have to sign up 65% of people organizing a workplace for it to be automatic (this was a change brought in by the last PC government under Filmon) and 17 years of NDP government have not reversed the general decline in the percentage of the workforce that is unionized.

Aristotleded24

So reports are out that [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/04/30/after-ndp-loss-in-manitoba... Marcelino has been chosen as an interim leader.[/url] Any thoughts on this? She certainly didn't have a high profile before, and I'm not sure how she is at being in Opposition, let alone leader. I hope I'm wrong, but I have a bad feeling that under her watch that the NDP will be steamrolled in the House. To be fair, however, it's not as if there were very many remaining Caucus members up to the job, and the few that might be are obviously going to go for the permanent post, whenever that is opened.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

If she is the caucus choice for interim leader then she is likely the right person.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
If she is the caucus choice for interim leader then she is likely the right person.

My problem is that I don't have a great deal of confidence in the Caucus that remains to begin with. Nearly all the party's heavy hitters either didn't run or were defeated.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

If she is the caucus choice for interim leader then she is likely the right person.

My problem is that I don't have a great deal of confidence in the Caucus that remains to begin with. Nearly all the party's heavy hitters either didn't run or were defeated.

That is precisely why I have some hope for them. The new faces seem promising and since most of the old guard is gone maybe they can have a real renewal instead of recycling the party's heavy hitters who frankly from afar seem to have done the province little good over the last few years.

Basement Dweller

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Marcelino is the first Filipino leader of the opposition anywhere in Canada.

 

Unionist

Basement Dweller wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Marcelino is the first Filipino leader of the opposition anywhere in Canada.

 

Wait for the rubber-stamp of council.

 

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-ndp-new-leader-2017-1.36... 2017 on your calendars:[/url]

Quote:
Manitoba New Democrats will have a new leader by late next year.

The party's provincial council met Saturday and decided that a replacement for former premier Greg Selinger will be chosen, at the latest, by the end of October 2017.

felixr

Have no fear, Kevin Chief is being groomed by Selinger and Co as his annointed successor. The party will remain in the same hands.

Aristotleded24

felixr wrote:
Have no fear, Kevin Chief is being groomed by Selinger and Co as his annointed successor. The party will remain in the same hands.

What's going on that would make you suggest that?

felixr

Aristotleded24 wrote:

felixr wrote:
Have no fear, Kevin Chief is being groomed by Selinger and Co as his annointed successor. The party will remain in the same hands.

What's going on that would make you suggest that?

Look at the front bench.

Aristotleded24

felixr wrote:
Have no fear, Kevin Chief is being groomed by Selinger and Co as his annointed successor. The party will remain in the same hands.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/kevin-chief-ndp-1.3773208]Or not:[/url]

Quote:
Kevin Chief says he is focusing on spending time with his young family — he has three boys under six — and on serving his constituents in the Point Douglas area of Winnipeg.

Chief was first elected in 2011 and held ministerial portfolios including children and youth opportunities and jobs and the economy.

He had been touted as a possible replacement for Greg Selinger, who announced his resignation as NDP leader when the party lost the provincial election in April.

felixr

Aristotleded24 wrote:

felixr wrote:
Have no fear, Kevin Chief is being groomed by Selinger and Co as his annointed successor. The party will remain in the same hands.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/kevin-chief-ndp-1.3773208]Or not:[/url]

Quote:
Kevin Chief says he is focusing on spending time with his young family — he has three boys under six — and on serving his constituents in the Point Douglas area of Winnipeg.

Chief was first elected in 2011 and held ministerial portfolios including children and youth opportunities and jobs and the economy.

He had been touted as a possible replacement for Greg Selinger, who announced his resignation as NDP leader when the party lost the provincial election in April.

Who will lift the poisoned chalice in his stead?

Aristotleded24

Well, I've heard the names Wab Kinew and Nahanni Fontaine floated about, which I suppose can be a plus considering that neither one has any connection to the government that was just ousted.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/stuck-in-the-mire-with-selinger-3... in the mire with Selinger:[/url]

Quote:
Which brings us to Selinger. Although he resigned his post shortly after getting thumped in the April election, he decided to stay on indefinitely as MLA for St. Boniface. It may not be unprecedented, but it is certainly rare for defeated first ministers to remain in their party’s elected caucus.

This is largely because of the fact vanquished premiers are easy targets for new governments. They are blamed for a wide array of problems — some deservedly and some unfairly. In these scenarios, most former premiers would step aside solely to save their parties the grief of having them around as a political chew toy. Or to ensure there is a clean break, so the remaining elected members can focus their message on the future rather than trying to defend the past.

You can see this manifesting in the NDP caucus. Faced with a relentless onslaught of negative stories about the performance of his government, the NDP responded by trying to defend its policies and actions without even a hint of contrition. That is partly a reflection of the fact the man most responsible for the poor performance is hanging around and has a hand in directing the party’s communication strategy.

I'm starting to suspect that Ken Burch was right about Selinger's motives. He's been at the top, what else is left for him as an MLA? Who is he taking lessons from, Tom Mulcair?

Speaking of leadership, now that he said he for sure does not want it on a permanent basis, is there any way we can sack Marcelino and install Chief as the Interim Leader?

bekayne

Aristotleded24 wrote:

felixr wrote:
Have no fear, Kevin Chief is being groomed by Selinger and Co as his annointed successor. The party will remain in the same hands.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/kevin-chief-ndp-1.3773208]Or not:[/url]

Quote:
Kevin Chief says he is focusing on spending time with his young family — he has three boys under six — and on serving his constituents in the Point Douglas area of Winnipeg.

Chief was first elected in 2011 and held ministerial portfolios including children and youth opportunities and jobs and the economy.

He had been touted as a possible replacement for Greg Selinger, who announced his resignation as NDP leader when the party lost the provincial election in April.

Now he's resigning as an MLA

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/kevin-chief-resigns-1.3896978

Unionist

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Well, I've heard the names Wab Kinew and Nahanni Fontaine floated about, which I suppose can be a plus considering that neither one has any connection to the government that was just ousted.

Looks as if Wab Kinew is going to declare on Monday.

 

Aristotleded24

I am going to preface this comment with 2 caveats:

1) It is still relatively early, and new developments may change the course of things

2) I have not clearly decided which candidate I will support for leader.

My sense is that the NDP Establishment has picked their candidate, that they are backing Kinew, and that we are going to see more of a coronation than anything resembling the kind of vigourous leadership campaign the NDP needs right now. For one, Kinew has the support of people from both Selinger's and Oswald's camps. Let's also remember that the Manitoba NDP chooses its leaders by delegates, with groups like unions having a certain percentage. This was a change back from OMOV that the MFL backed a good number of years ago. In response to the unhappiness around this process, the MFL backed a watered-down OMOV process which itself didn't even make it past the Convention floor. This allows the Establishment to especially pick who they want (remember how Ashton came in third place last time even though he won the constituency delegations?). You really think any candidate without name recognition has the ability to build themselves up and make a serious challenge to the leadership?

The unfortunate thing is that Kinew is a solid enough candidate that he has a realistic chance of winning the leadership in a fairly contested process.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Why is that unfortunate?

Aristotleded24

What I think is unfortunate is that the process described above heavily stacks the cards in Kinew's favour, and that this could cast a cloud over the leadership race even though Kinew is a very solid candidate who deserves serious consideration.

It's the process I take issue with, not the person.

Aristotleded24

And then there was one:

Quote:

Michelle McHale is dropping out of the Manitoba NDP leadership race. 

McHale announced her departure from the race to replace Greg Selinger in an email Saturday, citing personal health concerns. 

...

"I hope the party and its current and future members find a leader who will unify and strengthen our party, and help us be a progressive voice for all Manitobans," said McHale, a staff representative at the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

"We need to acknowledge the reasons why members stepped away from the party, then we can actively grow our tent with new members, and I look forward to being a part of that effort,"

McHale was the first candidate to announce her intention to seek the leadership in March. 

Fort Rouge MLA Wab Kinew has since entered the race. 

"I wish Wab and anyone else seeking the leadership all the best," McHale said in the statement.

So disappointing. I was looking forward to hearing her out and seeing how different leadership candidates propose to make the changes necessary to move the party forward. Unfortunately, I think this is now as good as done.

NDP, meet  your new leader, Wab Kinew.

Aristotleded24

I agree with Dan Lett:

Quote:

In fact, Kinew’s current predicament eerily mirrors the one faced in 2000 by former Tory leader Stuart Murray.

That spring, the Tories began the process of picking a new leader after the resignation of former premier Gary Filmon after the Progressive Conservatives’ loss in the 1999 provincial election. A successful businessman and former political staffer to prime minister Brian Mulroney, Murray had been highly recruited to replace Filmon.

...

The acclamation had several negative impacts on Murray’s leadership. First and foremost, the lack of an actual campaign left many inside and outside the party wondering exactly who he was.

Normally, contenders for a party leadership would be expected to unveil policies, participate in debates and discuss current events with party members and news media. The end result is a good many people would know a little more about who the candidates were and what they stood for by the time an actual vote took place. In politics, that is called "earned media," and it is essential for politicians seeking to build a personal brand.

With no one to press him to make announcements or face him in a debate, Murray coasted through a mostly invisible leadership campaign. Instead of news conferences, Murray spent the summer travelling the province to meet with the executives of the Tory riding associations and other party faithful, saying very little other than the fact he was committed to consulting with members to rebuild the PC brand.

...

If Kinew is going to break free of the curse of the unopposed-opposed leadership candidate, he is going to have to attract a top team of advisers and strategists.

He is going to have to show an ability to raise money. And he is going to have to hit the ground running and demonstrate the advanced political skills needed to lead a party.

Unless he can do all of those things, the final chapter of Kinew’s leadership could echo Murray’s final days: an internal revolt, an insufficient show of support at a party convention and banishment to the political wilderness.

Aristotleded24

So I find Andrew Swan's endorsement of Wab Kinew troubling for 2 reasons:

1) I think it's grasping at straws by the media to pretend there is anything newsworthy happening with the Manitoba NDP leadership replacement. There isn't. Kinew is the party's next leader, and he is not going to face any challengers for that post. Steve Ashton is a name that is floated around. Problem is, not only does the NDP Establishment not want Ashton to win, but what's he going to say? "Vote for me, I lost a safe NDP seat that stayed orange in 1988?" He has nothing to run on, and I suspect he knows it. If he had wanted to go for the leadership, he would have started a campaign by now.

2) Considering how angry some are with Swan's role in the attempted coup against Selinger, I think it would have been wise for him to keep his mouth shut. True, there is no actual competition, but I just can't help but wonder if his words would have a more polarizing effect, depending on which camp you found yourself in.

The worst part is that the NDP now doesn't have to address the hard questions that needed to be asked in the wake of last year's result. Sure Kinew has a lot of great strenghts, one of the most important being the ability to speak without embarassing the party, which can't be said of other MLAs. Still, he is untested in the area of being able to argue his viewpoint and assemble a winning team based around that. I hope I'm wrong, but I see very perilous waters ahead for the party.

Aristotleded24

I need to prepare myself come crow for supper tomorrow. Anybody got some good recipies?

Quote:
The Manitoba New Democrat leadership race is about to get a second candidate.

Steve Ashton, a longtime former cabinet minister, confirmed Tuesday night he is throwing his hat in the ring for the opposition party leadership that will be decided Sept. 16.

He said the official announcement will come Wednesday.

The only other candidate so far is Wab Kinew, 35, an Indigenous rights activist and author who was first elected to the legislature in April of last year.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Wait!  What?!

Is he the father of Niki Ashton?

Aristotleded24

Mr. Magoo wrote:
Wait!  What?!

Is he the father of Niki Ashton?

Yes he is. As a supporter of Niki Ashton, I'm very concerned about what this does to the optics of her campaign and I hope it doesn't have any negative reprecussions for her.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Is this some kind of DYNASTY?

Or is it only a Dynasty if both win?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Is this some kind of DYNASTY?

Or is it only a Dynasty if both win?

OK...what are you trying to make a passive-aggressive point about THIS time?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The idea that TWO Bushs or TWO Clintons or TWO Trudeaus means something is wrong with democracy... but TWO Ashtons does not.

FWIW, geneologically, the Laytons seem to be on the third generation!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

The idea that TWO Bushs or TWO Clintons or TWO Trudeaus means something is wrong with democracy... but TWO Ashtons does not.

I hope you aren't arguing that, in order to be consistent, people who made issues out of dynastic politics should be be insisting that Niki should leave the federal NDP leadership contest-a withdrawal that could only have sad results.  If anyone should withdraw, it should be Steve, a man who has no good reason to be seeking the Manitoba NDP leadership, proved by losing a seat the MNDP should never lose that he has nothing to offer in terms of electoral appeal, and who has to know that he is hurting his own daughter's chances by doing this.

It's clearly not the fault of Niki or her supporters that her dad has made this pointless, reactionary choice(a choice he was most likely pushed into by the "we can't let ANYTHING change" wing of the party).  He's only going to win votes from the sort of Manitoba Dipper who was glad the last MNDP government refused to pass anti-scab legislation-i.e., the sort who doesn't want the MNDP ever to stand for anything again.

BTW Steve's candidacy was just announced, so clearly it's too early to expect a response to it from most Babblers.

I get your point in the abstract, but is it really worth stirring up guano for the sake of stirring up guano?

And are you meaning to imply that Babble has been unfair to the Bush and Trudeau families? 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I hope you aren't arguing that, in order to be consistent, people who made issues out of dynastic politics should be be insisting that Niki should leave the federal NDP leadership contest-a withdrawal that could only have sad results.

The other option would be to not lose their wig if someone from a political family enters politics.  Nobody's shocked if the child of a barber becomes a barber.

There are, in fact, proper dynasties, in countries where the citizens cannot meaningfully vote.  DPRK is also on the third generation now, but I don't think that has anything in common with Mike Layton being elected councillor.

Hunky_Monkey

I wonder if Ashton, like Bush or Trudeau for example, would have been elected without the last name.  Probably not.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

I wonder if Ashton, like Bush or Trudeau for example, would have been elected without the last name.  Probably not.

If she had nothing to offer but her last name, she would never have been re-elected in her riding, as she has been on repeated occasions.  

Why are you being so petty about Ashton?  She's done nothing to deserve your derision, and there's no harm in her seeking the leadership.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
If she had nothing to offer but her last name, she would never have been re-elected in her riding, as she has been on repeated occasions.  

What about Bush and Trudeau?

Pogo Pogo's picture

I would guess the last name didn't hurt getting the first party nomination. But everything after that I would call a wash. She is where she is now on her own merits. Even with Trudeau I would say that his Dad's legacy has little to do with public opinion now.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
If she had nothing to offer but her last name, she would never have been re-elected in her riding, as she has been on repeated occasions.  

What about Bush and Trudeau?

Different circumstances. 

They were standing in areas(Texas and Papineau)where the parties they are allied to never do badly.  And unlike them, Ashton is not a child of wealth and privilege, so her name didn't give her any automatic advantages.

There's really no point in belaboring this.  If Layton's kid ever gets into federal politics(which is what I suspect your thinking of, and it may not be for years, if ever), we'll deal with it then.  

Is it really that important to you to get the NDP to embrace the "it's no big deal-everybody does it" mindset on these things?  What greater good does that serve?

 

 

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