DiNovo: ONDP Must Acknowledge Election "Debacle"

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JeffWells
DiNovo: ONDP Must Acknowledge Election "Debacle"

Cheri DiNovo throws down the gauntlet.

 

The Ontario New Democratic Party needs to reclaim the socially progressive values it abandoned in the recent provincial campaign, according to one of its own MPPs. In an interview on Sunday, about a month after election day, Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo blamed the NDP’s poor results in Toronto—including the loss of three MPPs—on her party’s lack of focus on poverty, child care, housing, and education. “It was a debacle from the beginning, from day one,” DiNovo told us at a cafe within the riding. “When I would hear at the door, ‘We love you, but…’ I knew we were in trouble.”

...

DiNovo says that while Horwath has been widely criticized for the party’s campaign and platform, the NDP faces broader leadership challenges: “Whatever happened is not the leader’s issue alone…. This a problem of leadership generally, and there’s a whole strategic team involved in that.” In reference to the departure of Yanez and Anderson, DiNovo said, “You can change the strategists, you can change the chief of staff … those are probably good things to do. But at the end of the day it’s about who we are as a party and what we stand for that we need to look at as New Democrats.”

...

DiNovo says the NDP will not regain frustrated supporters by portraying the recent election as progress, which has been the official line—focusing on the fact that the party improved its share of the popular vote by one per cent, and that efforts to attract voters outside of Toronto yielded gains. “It’s important for our voters in Toronto to know that we did not see that campaign as a success,” DiNovo says. “I think voters appreciate honesty.”

“I understand that we were trying to appeal to Conservative voters outside of Toronto, but we can’t ever give up our core values and principles,” DiNovo continued. “To do it is to become another Liberal party, which is the last thing I want.” She promised to keep fighting for what she sees as critical progressive issues in her riding, including housing, the electrification of the Pearson Airport rail link, and Toronto’s ongoing struggles with the Ontario Municipal Board.

“We’ve lost the ability to talk about investment across party lines,” said DiNovo. “But that we’ve lost the ability to speak about it in the New Democratic Party … that’s not us, and that shouldn’t be us.”

http://torontoist.com/2014/07/cheri-dinovo-ontario-ndp-must-acknowledge-...

Aristotleded24

This is a very Toronto-centric analysis that is not reflective of the wider reality. For one, coming out of an election with the same number of seats as you had going in is not great, but is it really what one would call a "debacle?" To also dismiss NDP gains in Windsor, Sudbury, and Oshawa, are you now saying that voters in these areas don't count?

As for issues of poverty, child care, housing, and education, these are issues that people across Ontario face. And there were a variety of factors that went into what happened in Toronto. I remember in 2011 Olivia Chow was on a political panel and she said then (as Marchese was barely hanging onto his seat) that demographics in Trinity-Spadina were changing as new condos were being built. I highly doubt those new condo owners are concerned about the lack of affordable housing in Toronto. Plus the media campaigns intended to pump up the Liberals at the expense of the NDP. Now, I'm not saying there weren't mistakes and that things couldn't improve. One of the things I've said that the NDP should do better is have understandings of the issues in each region and weave them together, and it appears on this front that they need to better understand Toronto issues, some of which Di Novo mentions. At the same time, I feel that people in Toronto need some perspective, they need to understand that there is a world outside of their urban environment, and that what works in Toronto may or may not work outside the city whereas a different approach might. Making it all about, "this strategy failed in Toronto, therefore it's bad and nothing else counts" only serves to discredit any legitimate problems the NDP has in dealing with Toronto's issues.

terrytowel

Quote:
DiNovo: ONDP Must Acknowledge Election "Debacle"

Horwath must discipline DiNovo for these remarks, probably by stripping her of her critic portfolio and banishing her to the back benches.

Otherwise Horwath looks weak, which is another nail in her coffin in regards to her leadership.

takeitslowly

Before the election was called, various polls showed that Horwath and her party had huge support, she could become a preimer. When we look at it from that context, she did underperform by quite alot.

takeitslowly

terrytowel wrote:

Quote:
DiNovo: ONDP Must Acknowledge Election "Debacle"

Horwath must discipline DiNovo for these remarks, probably by stripping her of her critic portfolio and banishing her to the back benches.

Otherwise Horwath looks weak, which is another nail in her coffin in regards to her leadership.

She can do that if she wants to lose more votes from Toronto.

Geoff

Aristotled24, I like your suggestion that the NDP should have 'a better understanding of the issues in each region and weave them together'.  Of course, that includes the Big Smoke, and I think Cheri therefore zeroed in on what she knows best. 

On the other hand, I know our seat count was the same, but that is small comfort when we lost the balance of power.  We would have been further ahead, had we lost a few seats but in another minority government. 

Ultimately, I have to agree with DiNovo that the election was a significant failure for the NDP, so it's back to the drawing board for us.  Maybe New Democrats will all take up 'weaving' and, in doing so, understand more clearly the issues outside our own backyard.  Who knows, such a process might lead to the 'greater vision', which many of us felt was missing in the campaign. 

Aristotleded24

Geoff wrote:
I know our seat count was the same, but that is small comfort when we lost the balance of power.  We would have been further ahead, had we lost a few seats but in another minority government.

I get that it's frustrating to lose the balance of power, but that happened because Hudak imploded very badly. Even if the NDP had held its 3 Toronto seats on top of Sudbury, Windsor, and Oshawa, the Liberals would still have a majority. If you're suggesting that a better campaign by the NDP might have taken even more Liberal seats away that's one thing. But even a minority government requires the Liberals to have fewer seats than the PCs and NDP combined, and I'd guess that more Liberal seats were vulnerable to the PCs than to the NDP, so maybe if Hudak had done better the Liberals would have even fewer seats.

It's very complicated. There's much to sort through, and as I said elsewhere, the results are not a clear-cut indictment or vindication of NDP strategy.

Stockholm

Yeah "debacle" is a very strong word to use in the context of an election where small gains were made. I think DiNovo would be on more solid ground if she made the same criticism but put it more in terms of "the election had mixed results for us but we could have done sooo much better".  I also totally disagree with this notion that its impossible to have a message that appeals to downtown Toronto that also appeals to the rest of Ontario. Do you think that people in Beaches-East York are so radically different from people in Kitchener? Under Hampton the NDP managed to hold more support in Toronto even though he was the guy from Kenora who also did well in the north. There are a lot of policies the ONDP could have championed throughout this minority parliament and in the campaign that would have been crowd pleasers in Toronto and that would not have turned off a single solitary person anywhere else.

I think Cheri DiNovo makes some very valid points here - but by calling the whole election a "debacle" she discredits herself

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Cheri DiNovo kept a seat for the NDP in Toronto while others lost theirs. Even then, she just squeaked through. Her margin dropped by 10%. When a party with social democratic roots tries to compete with the chauvanists and right wingers in the outlying areas, it provides poor competition and alienates its base. When you try to pretend to be another party, people vote for the other party.

The Liberals get social activists to bark against the Tories when they are in opposition, but when they get into power they put them in a box.

For the ONDP to find its feet again, it has to let people like Cheri speak. Punishing her for saying what a lot of people would agree with would not go over well.

Geoff

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Geoff wrote:
I know our seat count was the same, but that is small comfort when we lost the balance of power.  We would have been further ahead, had we lost a few seats but in another minority government.

I get that it's frustrating to lose the balance of power, but that happened because Hudak imploded very badly. Even if the NDP had held its 3 Toronto seats on top of Sudbury, Windsor, and Oshawa, the Liberals would still have a majority. If you're suggesting that a better campaign by the NDP might have taken even more Liberal seats away that's one thing. But even a minority government requires the Liberals to have fewer seats than the PCs and NDP combined, and I'd guess that more Liberal seats were vulnerable to the PCs than to the NDP, so maybe if Hudak had done better the Liberals would have even fewer seats.

It's very complicated. There's much to sort through, and as I said elsewhere, the results are not a clear-cut indictment or vindication of NDP strategy.

Yes, I get that the math didn't add up, regardless.  I just meant that the NDP is in a much worse position now than it was before the election, no thanks to Tim, as you say. 

I'm not sure that disciplining Cheri DiNovo will help the party's fortunes; we need all hands on deck.  Anyway, she's only reacting to the "pollyanish" analysis of the party's performance.  Better to let everyone vent, then get on with building (weaving?) a party that is distinct from the Liberals.   

Geoff

Geoff wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Geoff wrote:
I know our seat count was the same, but that is small comfort when we lost the balance of power.  We would have been further ahead, had we lost a few seats but in another minority government.

I get that it's frustrating to lose the balance of power, but that happened because Hudak imploded very badly. Even if the NDP had held its 3 Toronto seats on top of Sudbury, Windsor, and Oshawa, the Liberals would still have a majority. If you're suggesting that a better campaign by the NDP might have taken even more Liberal seats away that's one thing. But even a minority government requires the Liberals to have fewer seats than the PCs and NDP combined, and I'd guess that more Liberal seats were vulnerable to the PCs than to the NDP, so maybe if Hudak had done better the Liberals would have even fewer seats.

It's very complicated. There's much to sort through, and as I said elsewhere, the results are not a clear-cut indictment or vindication of NDP strategy.

Yes, I get that the math didn't add up, regardless.  I just meant that the NDP is in a much worse position now than it was before the election, no thanks to Tim, as you say. 

I'm not sure that disciplining Cheri DiNovo will help the party's fortunes; we're in a pretty weak position to start sending our MPPs to sit in the corner.  Anyway, she's only reacting to the poobahs' "pollyanish" analysis of the party's performance.  Better to let everyone vent, then get on with building (weaving?) a party that is distinct from the Liberals.   

Rokossovsky

montrealer58 wrote:

Cheri DiNovo kept a seat for the NDP in Toronto while others lost theirs. Even then, she just squeaked through. Her margin dropped by 10%. When a party with social democratic roots tries to compete with the chauvanists and right wingers in the outlying areas, it provides poor competition and alienates its base. When you try to pretend to be another party, people vote for the other party.

That's the theory, but no one has been able to present any conclusive evidence to that effect.

There was no major "defection" of NDP votes in Trinity Spadina and Davenport. Rosario's hold on Trinity Spadina was tenuous at best, and the 2000 vote he didn't get this time, would not have changed the result -- he would have lost by 5000 votes, instead of 9000. In fact he would have lost every election since 1999, based on the gross number of votes that the Liberals got in this election.

Election night 2011 was a long one for Marchese, when the lead went on and off between him and challenger Sara Thompson, who he only beat by 1500 votes.

In Davenport Schein only got 200 less votes than last time, and he would have lost the last election had the Christina Martins gotten the vote share that she got this time. She came in at the last minute in the last election when the incumbent Liberal suddenly resigned, but went into this election fully prepared to exploit her connections with the Portuguese community in the riding.

Neither of these ridings should ever be considered NDP "safe seats". Indeed, it took Olivia Chow two elections to break in against Tony Ianno federally, who can be charachterized as the one of the biggest pieces of dead wood ever fielded by the federal Liberal party.

Only in Beaches East is it reasonable to say that the loss of the seat was likely due the campaign.

Rokossovsky

Geoff wrote:

Aristotled24, I like your suggestion that the NDP should have 'a better understanding of the issues in each region and weave them together'.  Of course, that includes the Big Smoke, and I think Cheri therefore zeroed in on what she knows best. 

On the other hand, I know our seat count was the same, but that is small comfort when we lost the balance of power.  We would have been further ahead, had we lost a few seats but in another minority government.

The ONDP did not lose the balance of power, the Progressive Conservatives did. Even with the lost seats in Toronto the NDP would still not hold the balance of power.

Complete collapse of the Conservative base in favour of the Liberals was not on anyone's radar when the write was dropped, and not under the control of the ONDP.

It was not Horwath's idea that Hudak should campaign of firing 100,000 people on the premise that it would help create a "million" fantasy jobs.

cco

I guess the question here is what the NDP's goal is. Is merely coming out equal in seat gain a "win"? And how useful, in practice, is the balance of power under our system?

A party that is content to come out in third place, election after election, because "at least we didn't lose any ground", is exactly the kind of party the Liberals and Tories want opposing them. Which isn't to say that the NDP need to move even further to the right under the misguided apprehension that that's a path to victory.

Rokossovsky

The discussion point, however is if more focus on "social justice" politics would have changed the outcome, not if a better outcome was possible or plausible.

Hudak taking a political revolver out of his pocket and putting it in his mouth, and pulling the trigger certainly didn't help in terms of maintaining the balance of power, which I guess would be the minimum election objective. That was entirely beyond the control of the ONDP.

takeitslowly

I found it hard to believe Howarth did not believe her campaign was a failure. She shifted her tone after the election and it is only now that she is attacking Wynne for her austerity/privatization budge. she obviously knew whatever she was doing was not working, hence the change of strategy.

takeitslowly

To add insult to the injury, my facebook message on Horwath's page was deleted because I criticized her election strategy for not attacking Wynne's budget during the election campaign. I voted for her as well. Shameful, I can't believe it. I notice one other similar message from another user was deleted.

Rokossovsky

takeitslowly wrote:

I found it hard to believe Howarth did not believe her campaign was a failure. She shifted her tone after the election and it is only now that she is attacking Wynne for her austerity/privatization budge. she obviously knew whatever she was doing was not working, hence the change of strategy.

Yeah, I would have preferred if the campaign was more forthright on meat and potatos issues like privatization and austeriry. A missed opportunity for sure.

That said, there seems to be this idea that the other parties are simply stuffed dummies standing on the ice, and if the ONDP had simply stickhandled better they would have won. I don't buy that.

Frozen Snowshoe

And I so meant to retire gracefully. Oh, well...

Rokossovsky wrote:

That said, there seems to be this idea that the other parties are simply stuffed dummies standing on the ice, and if the ONDP had simply stickhandled better they would have won. I don't buy that.

I don't think anybody has said any such thing, and there has been a great deal said that is rather more specific, if less charming, than that.

The PC campaign was a disaster, led by a fool. The Liberals were saddled with the corrupt, wasteful, inept legacy of Dalton McGuinty. These were optimal conditions for a well organized, professionally run campaign espousing clear policies predicated on a coherent vision to achieve good things. Not great, maybe, at least without a bit of luck, given where we were starting from. But good things, for sure. We may never see such a sweet confluence of circumstances again. What we got from Horwath and her team was an awfully organized, amateurishly run campaign, built around ad hoc populist policies, nothing that hinted at a vision and a third place finish. We're number 3. Yay.

I've lost count of the number of federal, provincial and municipal campaigns I've volunteered and/or worked on. It's not a small number, and it includes the one just past. If this one was not a debacle, it was at least one of the most profoundly incompetent I've suffered through. That was our doing. Not Tim Hudak's, not the news media's, not anbody else's. I am tired of excuses for this sort of fumbling ineptitude. I am tired of people trying to feed me transparently false crud and intimating that I'm disloyal if I don't swallow it.

Horwath's hubris is absurd. There is nothing whatsoever about this campaign for the ONDP to be proud of. Nada. Zip. Relieved? Sure. Feeling a bit lucky? I guess. But proud? Not even close. Everything, from prematurely stating the party's refusal to support the budget, to not having a platform ready (at least for internal use), to not having materials, staff or transportation in place, to running around like fools for three weeks, to not communicating with the ridings was botched. Badly. Repeatedly. To the bitter end. This is the reason that Dinovo and other re-elected incumbents ditched the central campaign material and went local.

So to return to your hockey metaphor, the stickhandling was not so much the issue as arriving late at the rink, without the equipment and half the support staff, then putting the puck in our own net every ten minutes or so, even though the opposition wasn't scoring any on us. It was a bad campaign. Awful. Ridiculous. Appalling, really.

Debacle? Sure.

And to extend your metaphor a bit further, if the PC team had showed up with a coach who understood that you have to play by the existing rules, not make up your own, and if the Liberals had not all been playing with sacks of newspaper clippings about gas plants and missing emails and de-Gaussing equipment for wiping hard drives strapped to their backs, we woulda been creamed. Well, more than we were, I mean. Although I guess there is no fourth place in this tournament.

Sean in Ottawa

Stockholm wrote:

Yeah "debacle" is a very strong word to use in the context of an election where small gains were made. I think DiNovo would be on more solid ground if she made the same criticism but put it more in terms of "the election had mixed results for us but we could have done sooo much better".  I also totally disagree with this notion that its impossible to have a message that appeals to downtown Toronto that also appeals to the rest of Ontario. Do you think that people in Beaches-East York are so radically different from people in Kitchener? Under Hampton the NDP managed to hold more support in Toronto even though he was the guy from Kenora who also did well in the north. There are a lot of policies the ONDP could have championed throughout this minority parliament and in the campaign that would have been crowd pleasers in Toronto and that would not have turned off a single solitary person anywhere else.

I think Cheri DiNovo makes some very valid points here - but by calling the whole election a "debacle" she discredits herself

I don't like your comment at all. It is insulting to say that an opinion that you happen not to share discredits a person. Why not just say you disagree strongly-- without insulting people here who you know have said similar things? I think it was a debacle and I don't think it is discrediting myself to categorize it as such. Almost no change is failure when you are a distant third that has been even in the polls for much of the last couple years and widely considered to be a contender right up until the campaign began.

The reason is the loss of opportunity. It is rare to have a government tainted by scandal, a population clearly unenthused by them and the official opposition discredit itself with a program that not only gets basic math wrong in a highly public way but presents a vision the majority oppose. In this context for the NDP to come out basically even in seats and a tiny bump in popular vote -- it is a debacle. A spectacular reversal of a trend the party had been on for the previous couple years. If the same type of campaign is repeated without the advantages the NDP had this time the party could lose quite a few seats and perhaps the opportunity of a generation.

Agree with it or not but debacle is a fair comment, a valid opinion and can be supported by argument.

I wish you would be more cautious about insulting other people here since that is clearly what you did. Many of these people you are disagreeing with are supporters of the party you support and want to make it better.

Rokossovsky

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

And I so meant to retire gracefully. Oh, well...

Rokossovsky wrote:

That said, there seems to be this idea that the other parties are simply stuffed dummies standing on the ice, and if the ONDP had simply stickhandled better they would have won. I don't buy that.

I don't think anybody has said any such thing, and there has been a great deal said that is rather more specific, if less charming, than that.

That is precisely what DiNovo. She is saying that the "tack" of the party away from "social justice" issues is what created the "debacle". The "debacle" being the loss of downtown core seats.

Whatever the merits of your arguments vis organization, logistics and election preperation that can hardly be applied to the three incumbents who lost their seats in Toronto, since all had very strong local riding associations, and incumbent advantage. I know for a fact that the Trinity Spadina organization was more than ready for this election, and disorganization can hardly be blamed for the loss there.

For example, I was canvassed three times and called twice on election day.

And again, that is not what DiNovo is saying. She is saying that these losses were a result of the move away from "social justice" politics, and echoing much of the (mostly Liberal) criticism of the ONDP. I don't buy it.

I live here, I vote here. And while Rosario wasn't exactly given a big lift by the ONDP campaign, the fact is that the hold on Trinity Spadina has always been tenuous, at best. It had little to do with the "position" of the party.

Frozen Snowshoe

You said this:

Rokossovsky wrote:

That said, there seems to be this idea that the other parties are simply stuffed dummies standing on the ice, and if the ONDP had simply stickhandled better they would have won. I don't buy that.

I responded to that. You said this:

Rokossovsky wrote:

That is precisely what DiNovo. She is saying that the "tack" of the party away from "social justice" issues is what created the "debacle". The "debacle" being the loss of downtown core seats.

Whatever the merits of your arguments vis organization, logistics and election preperation that can hardly be applied to the three incumbents who lost their seats in Toronto, since all had very strong local riding associations, and incumbent advantage. I know for a fact that the Trinity Spadina organization was more than ready for this election, and disorganization can hardly be blamed for the loss there.

For example, I was canvassed three times and called twice on election day.

And again, that is not what DiNovo is saying. She is saying that these losses were a result of the move away from "social justice" politics, and echoing much of the (mostly Liberal) criticism of the ONDP. I don't buy it.

I live here, I vote here. And while Rosario wasn't exactly given a big lift by the ONDP campaign, the fact is that the hold on Trinity Spadina has always been tenuous, at best. It had little to do with the "position" of the party.

With respect, no.

Dinovo is clearly talking about the central campaign, not local ones which were, no doubt, all striving mightily to pull off wins. She is clear about the fact that local campaigns were put in the position of having to run against the central campaign. This was not just happening in Toronto. I don't think you need a PhD in political science to understand that such a situation severely limits the chances of winning tight races.

Whatever else Dinovo might be (and there is lots I don't agree with in her politics), she is not stupid. She figured out before this interview how far she was prepared to go in her criticisms, picked her shot and said her piece. I haven't spoke to her, but I strongly suspect that she was as disgusted with the ineptiptude of the central campaign as everybody else who had to deal with it. There is nothing to suggest otherwise in the article.

Rosario held Trinity Spadina since before some of the people who post on this site could read, so "always tenuous" is a stretch. There is no question that his margins have diminished in recent elections. This is precisely the sort of circumstance where an incumbent would be very negatively affected by lack of coherence in messaging and inept campaigning on high. It is exactly the sort of riding that can be expected to lose if the people running the provincial campaign screw up. It is exactly the kind of riding that could squeek out a win on the bounce from a strong, charismatic, visionary leader of the party and a platform that siezes people's imaginations.

The yap going around about how there was some sort of resonance outside Toronto is not borne out by the reality on the ground. People talk about there being a slight gain in popular vote. This was actually nothing more than barely holding the net vote gains of by-elections since 2011, and some of that was lost in some ridings. The Sudbury and Windsor gains since 2011 are federally held seats with strong local associations; two of them ran popular municipal politicians as candidates. London West was the result of an exceptionally strong local candidate beating out a pathetic Liberal campaign in the by-election with massive support from teacher unions and managing to hold on in the 2014 vote. Kitchener was a similar story. As was Oshawa, although in the main event, not a by-election. With the exception of London and Kitchener, where the gains were about strong candidates and building winning coalitions, the gains are all ridings in which we should have a shot every time out. We gained a few swing seats, we lost a few. This is not progress.

I don't know to what extent and exactly how the garbled messaging hurt us in each and every riding, but in an election that was so starkly drawn as a contest between competing visions for the future, having no vision to speak of hurt the ONDP. The specifics of the party's positions were less important than the fact that we didn't seem to stand for anything in particular, at all.

The baseline we should be measuring our success against is not how we did last time, but what kind of opposition we faced this time. Against quality competition it would have been impossible for the Liberals to have shed their legacy in government and won a majority. Against the loopiness of the PCs there should have been no way to finish in third, assuming we ran a coherent, competent campaign. Well, the Liberals got a majority. We finished in third.

As for this "mostly Liberal" thing you keep claiming, I know a lot of NDPers in a lot of ridings who think that Horwath and her team have campaigned as opportunists (albeit not very good ones) and have damaged the party's longterm interests. Most of them are like Fred Hahn, who was quoted in the Globe last week saying something about keeping the discussion in the party. I'm past that. I've watched this crew manipulate and weasel and divide for too long to believe that anything but a frontal assault will dislodge them.

Stockholm

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I don't like your comment at all. It is insulting to say that an opinion that you happen not to share discredits a person. Why not just say you disagree strongly-- without insulting people here who you know have said similar things? I think it was a debacle and I don't think it is discrediting myself to categorize it as such. Almost no change is failure when you are a distant third that has been even in the polls for much of the last couple years and widely considered to be a contender right up until the campaign began.

I think you are missing my point. I agree with much of what Cheri DiNovo says here and i hope that others will take it to heart. She doesn't discredit herself in my eyes - but my concern is that my overstating her case and by taking such a Toronto-centric view of the election, she is making it easier for the "Protean Guard" around Andrea to discredit the rest of her argument.

The quickest way to make sure that Andrea Horwath and her people maintain control for the foreseeable future is if the opposition to her is easily dismissed as being from a few downtown Toronto malcontents plus some "concern trolls" who have columns in the Toronto Star. 

DaveW

out of curiosity, I see Stockholm quoted in some posts above, but no post by him...

did he have 2nd thoughts and delete his contribution?

Rokossovsky

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

You said this:

Rokossovsky wrote:

That said, there seems to be this idea that the other parties are simply stuffed dummies standing on the ice, and if the ONDP had simply stickhandled better they would have won. I don't buy that.

I responded to that. You said this:

Rokossovsky wrote:

That is precisely what DiNovo. She is saying that the "tack" of the party away from "social justice" issues is what created the "debacle". The "debacle" being the loss of downtown core seats.

Whatever the merits of your arguments vis organization, logistics and election preperation that can hardly be applied to the three incumbents who lost their seats in Toronto, since all had very strong local riding associations, and incumbent advantage. I know for a fact that the Trinity Spadina organization was more than ready for this election, and disorganization can hardly be blamed for the loss there.

For example, I was canvassed three times and called twice on election day.

And again, that is not what DiNovo is saying. She is saying that these losses were a result of the move away from "social justice" politics, and echoing much of the (mostly Liberal) criticism of the ONDP. I don't buy it.

I live here, I vote here. And while Rosario wasn't exactly given a big lift by the ONDP campaign, the fact is that the hold on Trinity Spadina has always been tenuous, at best. It had little to do with the "position" of the party.

With respect, no.

Dinovo is clearly talking about the central campaign, not local ones which were, no doubt, all striving mightily to pull off wins. She is clear about the fact that local campaigns were put in the position of having to run against the central campaign. This was not just happening in Toronto. I don't think you need a PhD in political science to understand that such a situation severely limits the chances of winning tight races.

Whatever else Dinovo might be (and there is lots I don't agree with in her politics), she is not stupid. She figured out before this interview how far she was prepared to go in her criticisms, picked her shot and said her piece. I haven't spoke to her, but I strongly suspect that she was as disgusted with the ineptiptude of the central campaign as everybody else who had to deal with it. There is nothing to suggest otherwise in the article.

Rosario held Trinity Spadina since before some of the people who post on this site could read, so "always tenuous" is a stretch. There is no question that his margins have diminished in recent elections. This is precisely the sort of circumstance where an incumbent would be very negatively affected by lack of coherence in messaging and inept campaigning on high. It is exactly the sort of riding that can be expected to lose if the people running the provincial campaign screw up. It is exactly the kind of riding that could squeek out a win on the bounce from a strong, charismatic, visionary leader of the party and a platform that siezes people's imaginations.

The yap going around about how there was some sort of resonance outside Toronto is not borne out by the reality on the ground. People talk about there being a slight gain in popular vote. This was actually nothing more than barely holding the net vote gains of by-elections since 2011, and some of that was lost in some ridings. The Sudbury and Windsor gains since 2011 are federally held seats with strong local associations; two of them ran popular municipal politicians as candidates. London West was the result of an exceptionally strong local candidate beating out a pathetic Liberal campaign in the by-election with massive support from teacher unions and managing to hold on in the 2014 vote. Kitchener was a similar story. As was Oshawa, although in the main event, not a by-election. With the exception of London and Kitchener, where the gains were about strong candidates and building winning coalitions, the gains are all ridings in which we should have a shot every time out. We gained a few swing seats, we lost a few. This is not progress.

I don't know to what extent and exactly how the garbled messaging hurt us in each and every riding, but in an election that was so starkly drawn as a contest between competing visions for the future, having no vision to speak of hurt the ONDP. The specifics of the party's positions were less important than the fact that we didn't seem to stand for anything in particular, at all.

The baseline we should be measuring our success against is not how we did last time, but what kind of opposition we faced this time. Against quality competition it would have been impossible for the Liberals to have shed their legacy in government and won a majority. Against the loopiness of the PCs there should have been no way to finish in third, assuming we ran a coherent, competent campaign. Well, the Liberals got a majority. We finished in third.

As for this "mostly Liberal" thing you keep claiming, I know a lot of NDPers in a lot of ridings who think that Horwath and her team have campaigned as opportunists (albeit not very good ones) and have damaged the party's longterm interests. Most of them are like Fred Hahn, who was quoted in the Globe last week saying something about keeping the discussion in the party. I'm past that. I've watched this crew manipulate and weasel and divide for too long to believe that anything but a frontal assault will dislodge them.

My initial comments were not directed at you. For some reason, you seem to think they are. They were specifically directed at the grouping that seems to believe that the "pitch" was central to lack of success. Again, DiNovo is of this camp. She is not articulating a critique based in organizational failure as you pose it.

The central leadership are responsible because they abandoned core principles. She says: “I understand that we were trying to appeal to Conservative voters outside of Toronto, but we can’t ever give up our core values and principles,” DiNovo continued. “To do it is to become another Liberal party, which is the last thing I want.”

You are conflating the issue of "position" with an argument of "logistics and organization".

If you were actually reading what I have been saying you would notice that I haven't actually been contesting the issue of "logistics and organization", in fact saying that it is principle problem with the ONDP. Indeed, I go further, saying that it is an intrinsic structural and systemic problem with the NDP as it steps further and further away from grass roots organizing and politics.

In fact, DiNovo, in my view is making the exact same mistake that the central leadership made, in discussing the entire issue in the frame of mainstream media perceptions and marketing "pitch", as if making poverty issues central to the campaign would have been decisive in winning a plurality in the election.

If the NDP had pitched left, they would have been dismissed as irrelevant "radicals". They have been doing that for years, without success. Howard Hampton campaigned on Public Auto Insurance and Public Power, and ended up finally returning the party to double digits in his last campaign, after 10 years.

NDP needs to look much more deeply into its structure if it is ever going to be able to square the circle of doing progressive politics against the grain the reigning ideological hegemony.

5000 condo dwellers did not flock to the Liberal Party in Trinity Spadina because Horwath wasn't calling for big increases on the minimum wage and social assistance. We know this because the Liberals weren't calling for big increases in the minimum wage and social assistance either, yet the capped Marchese by 9000 votes.

You have yet to even try to confront the statistical reality that there was simply no huge errossion of core ONDP vote in Davenport and Trinity Spadina. If NDP core voters were so disturbed by the "pitch" of the party, then there is no way that Schein should have been able to hold onto his 2011 vote. He did, but for 200 votes.

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/07/08/andrea_horwath_admits_... Horwath admits election was 'bittersweet'[/url]

MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto Danforth) echoed DiNovo’s sentiments.

“I would say that the party’s got a lot of reflecting to do on what happened in that campaign,” Tabuns told reporters on Tuesday.

“We had a very difficult time in Toronto. I don’t think our message was one that was crafted for Toronto. We need to have a message here that makes sense here in Toronto,” he said, noting the party’s transit plan didn’t get much attention.

“People were very concerned that they didn’t hear a Toronto voice. They didn’t hear a strong message on transit. We put out a message on transit, we didn’t get coverage on it.”

But unlike some NDP loyalists, who have been complaining about the press, Tabuns emphasized it wasn’t the media’s fault the party did not win.

Frozen Snowshoe

Rokossovsky wrote:

My initial comments were not directed at you. For some reason, you seem to think they are.

I assumed that since they were posted in the open forum and not as a private message that they were addressed to the whole group. I disagreed and responded.

Rokossovsky wrote:
They were specifically directed at the grouping that seems to believe that the "pitch" was central to lack of success. Again, DiNovo is of this camp. She is not articulating a critique based in organizational failure as you pose it.

The central leadership are responsible because they abandoned core principles. She says: “I understand that we were trying to appeal to Conservative voters outside of Toronto, but we can’t ever give up our core values and principles,” DiNovo continued. “To do it is to become another Liberal party, which is the last thing I want.”

You are conflating the issue of "position" with an argument of "logistics and organization".

No. I said, pretty clearly, that this is unlikely to be a full accounting of what's got her annoyed. I'd be astonished if someone who told the central campaign to get lost and ran her own show has much good to say about any aspect of the central campaign. I think she picked her shots and chose her words very carefully.

Rokossovsky wrote:
If you were actually reading what I have been saying you would notice that I haven't actually been contesting the issue of "logistics and organization", in fact saying that it is principle problem with the ONDP. Indeed, I go further, saying that it is an intrinsic structural and systemic problem with the NDP as it steps further and further away from grass roots organizing and politics.

You're right. I missed that.

Rokossovsky wrote:
In fact, DiNovo, in my view is making the exact same mistake that the central leadership made, in discussing the entire issue in the frame of mainstream media perceptions and marketing "pitch", as if making poverty issues central to the campaign would have been decisive in winning a plurality in the election.

What she had to say was a shot across the bows. I wouldn't read much into the actual content of her remarks. It's the fact that she made them that's telling.

Rokossovsky wrote:
If the NDP had pitched left, they would have been dismissed as irrelevant "radicals". They have been doing that for years, without success. Howard Hampton campaigned on Public Auto Insurance and Public Power, and ended up finally returning the party to double digits in his last campaign, after 10 years.

The thing is, Public Auto and Public Power were pages from the old NDP hymn book, not populist, ad hoc appeals to the pocketbook. They were condemned as old-style socialism by everybody you'd expect to say that.

Rokossovsky wrote:
NDP needs to look much more deeply into its structure if it is ever going to be able to square the circle of doing progressive politics against the grain the reigning ideological hegemony.

Sure. What exactly do you have in mind?

Rokossovsky wrote:
5000 condo dwellers did not flock to the Liberal Party in Trinity Spadina because Horwath wasn't calling for big increases on the minimum wage and social assistance. We know this because the Liberals weren't calling for big increases in the minimum wage and social assistance either, yet the capped Marchese by 9000 votes.

No, although I'm pretty sure that the fact the Liberals had an identifiable vision and a program to carry it out while the NDP did not contributed, maybe a lot, to the loss of support.

Rokossovsky wrote:
You have yet to even try to confront the statistical reality that there was simply no huge errossion of core ONDP vote in Davenport and Trinity Spadina. If NDP core voters were so disturbed by the "pitch" of the party, then there is no way that Schein should have been able to hold onto his 2011 vote. He did, but for 200 votes.

Respectfully, so what? By core vote you seem to mean raw vote, which means little. His share of the vote fell sharply. Unless you believe that 100 percent of the NDP base voted in both elections the comparison is not very informative.

currents

The debacle is the drift to the right of this NDP. Yesterday, Horwath in commenting on the Ontario budget in the legislature used the downgrading of Ontario's credit rating by Mooney's to attack the Ontario budget. What is happening here? The NDP using the opinion of credit rating agencies to support their policies? I thought that a negative reaction of the credit agencies would be seen as a good sign that austerity not triumph all.

 

Unionist

DaveW wrote:

out of curiosity, I see Stockholm quoted in some posts above, but no post by him...

did he have 2nd thoughts and delete his contribution?

Of for crissakes, Stockholm's posts have disappeared - in [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/ndp-has-move-to-centre-done-mo... thread also[/url]! Same thing that happened to my posts over a period of years in many many threads, till Catchfire fixed it a few months ago... There was never any explanation for what went wrong.

I'll contact the mods. Geez, this place is going down.

 

zerocarbs

Nice of Cheri to speak truth to power (even if 3rd place with a hopeless platform can be considered power). I was debating whether to go over and say hello, having always had the utmost respect for her. She has a whiff of the old Peter Kormos clarity of purpose. When you vote for her, you feel you're voting for something concrete, even if you don't necessarily agree with everything (she's a priest, Im an atheist).

Rokossovsky

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

My initial comments were not directed at you. For some reason, you seem to think they are.

I assumed that since they were posted in the open forum and not as a private message that they were addressed to the whole group. I disagreed and responded.

Rokossovsky wrote:
They were specifically directed at the grouping that seems to believe that the "pitch" was central to lack of success. Again, DiNovo is of this camp. She is not articulating a critique based in organizational failure as you pose it.

The central leadership are responsible because they abandoned core principles. She says: “I understand that we were trying to appeal to Conservative voters outside of Toronto, but we can’t ever give up our core values and principles,” DiNovo continued. “To do it is to become another Liberal party, which is the last thing I want.”

You are conflating the issue of "position" with an argument of "logistics and organization".

No. I said, pretty clearly, that this is unlikely to be a full accounting of what's got her annoyed. I'd be astonished if someone who told the central campaign to get lost and ran her own show has much good to say about any aspect of the central campaign. I think she picked her shots and chose her words very carefully.

Rokossovsky wrote:
If you were actually reading what I have been saying you would notice that I haven't actually been contesting the issue of "logistics and organization", in fact saying that it is principle problem with the ONDP. Indeed, I go further, saying that it is an intrinsic structural and systemic problem with the NDP as it steps further and further away from grass roots organizing and politics.

You're right. I missed that.

Rokossovsky wrote:
In fact, DiNovo, in my view is making the exact same mistake that the central leadership made, in discussing the entire issue in the frame of mainstream media perceptions and marketing "pitch", as if making poverty issues central to the campaign would have been decisive in winning a plurality in the election.

What she had to say was a shot across the bows. I wouldn't read much into the actual content of her remarks. It's the fact that she made them that's telling.

That isn't what I am reading here. I am reading a reiteration of the Reg Cohn "the ONDP has lost its moral compass" line, which more or less dominated the Liberal press.

I can only go buy what I see. She is "confirming" for a willing press what the Star has been saying all along in its editorials, most of which amounted to "concern trolling" from the right.

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:
If the NDP had pitched left, they would have been dismissed as irrelevant "radicals". They have been doing that for years, without success. Howard Hampton campaigned on Public Auto Insurance and Public Power, and ended up finally returning the party to double digits in his last campaign, after 10 years.

The thing is, Public Auto and Public Power were pages from the old NDP hymn book, not populist, ad hoc appeals to the pocketbook. They were condemned as old-style socialism by everybody you'd expect to say that.

Public Auto Insurance was a massive populist "pocket book" issue promising to save motorists thousands of dollars. That is why it was popular in 1990, and why the electorate was so pissed off when it was retracted.

When all is said and done, the ONDP platform of 2014 was no more "right-wing" that the mode in which it governed in the 90s, shorn of the populist "socialist" planks, which the NDP did not deliver on, anyway.

The NDP, in all of its variants, no longer campaigns on any socialist nationalization programs anywhere in the country.

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:
NDP needs to look much more deeply into its structure if it is ever going to be able to square the circle of doing progressive politics against the grain the reigning ideological hegemony.

Sure. What exactly do you have in mind?

There are numerous areas where the ONDP (and in fact the NDP as a whole) needs to improve, in particular in its relationship to the constituency associations. I found the way that executive and caucus leadership ran rough-shod over the Scarborough-Guildwood association high-handed and ill conceived. Same with the Barry Weislader nomination cancellation.

The party should look at structuring its bylaws to prevent such thing. At the very least the riding association president and vice president should sit on the committee that reviews nominations, so that the riding association is in the loop, and can argue for the defense of a nominated candidate, or a potentially nominated candidate.

Any new leadership contender needs to address the issue of making the constituency association the core building block of the party, and commit to democratic renewal in the party. Horwath or otherwise. I think it is a mistake to get into too much of the politics of "leadership" alone, with addressing the fundamental structural issues.

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:
5000 condo dwellers did not flock to the Liberal Party in Trinity Spadina because Horwath wasn't calling for big increases on the minimum wage and social assistance. We know this because the Liberals weren't calling for big increases in the minimum wage and social assistance either, yet the capped Marchese by 9000 votes.

No, although I'm pretty sure that the fact the Liberals had an identifiable vision and a program to carry it out while the NDP did not contributed, maybe a lot, to the loss of support.

What we can say is that Rosario got 2000 less votes than last time, had they voted for him, he would have only lost by 5000 votes. Whatever bleed there was, was not decisive. DiNovo's theory seems to be that if the campaign had focussed on "social justice issues" that appeal to the NDPs traditional base, and that this would have resulted in convincing more than half of the remaining 5000 to vote for the NDP. I don't buy that.

The riding had a whopping increase in voter turnout at 20% -- these are entirely "new" voters here in Trinity Spadina, not "traditional" NDP types, and that is where the majority of massive Liberal vote share seems to have come from, not defecting NDPrs.

"Stop Hudak" is pretty identifiable as a vision, I'll give you that. That was what 80% of the identifiable position of the Liberal Party was during the whole affair. In Toronto this was aided and abetted by a willing media that relentless assailed the NDP without mercy.

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:
You have yet to even try to confront the statistical reality that there was simply no huge errossion of core ONDP vote in Davenport and Trinity Spadina. If NDP core voters were so disturbed by the "pitch" of the party, then there is no way that Schein should have been able to hold onto his 2011 vote. He did, but for 200 votes.

Respectfully, so what? By core vote you seem to mean raw vote, which means little. His share of the vote fell sharply. Unless you believe that 100 percent of the NDP base voted in both elections the comparison is not very informative.

The raw vote suggests that as many voters as Schein lost, he gained, and ended up with more or less the same vote total. The Liberals were simply not prepared in 2011, and they were in 2014. They are not standing still.

How can you claim that getting precisely the same votes as in the last election indicates anything at all? We can theorize that with a dream platform, the ONDP should have mobilized to retain the seat, but, the seat which was a long time Liberal seat was not by any means a "safe" seat.

Let's not pretend that it was.

Pogo Pogo's picture

It would be interesting to see which polls generated the higher turnnout in TS.

Frozen Snowshoe

Rokossovsky wrote:

That isn't what I am reading here. I am reading a reiteration of the Reg Cohn "the ONDP has lost its moral compass" line, which more or less dominated the Liberal press.

I can only go buy what I see. She is "confirming" for a willing press what the Star has been saying all along in its editorials, most of which amounted to "concern trolling" from the right.

The concern that the party is drifting to the right has been widely expressed within the ONDP membership for some time. It did not begin with "the Liberal press". The other substantial body of critical opinion within the membership is that the party has become purely opportunistic in its expression of policies. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive points of view.

I have encountered this within my own riding, regional bodies and among the membership at large. It is a real concern held by many people with impeccable credentials as NDP partisans in this province. Blaming this perception on new media bias is anti-historical.

Rokossovsky wrote:

Public Auto Insurance was a massive populist "pocket book" issue promising to save motorists thousands of dollars. That is why it was popular in 1990, and why the electorate was so pissed off when it was retracted.

When all is said and done, the ONDP platform of 2014 was no more "right-wing" that the mode in which it governed in the 90s, shorn of the populist "socialist" planks, which the NDP did not deliver on, anyway.

The NDP, in all of its variants, no longer campaigns on any socialist nationalization programs anywhere in the country.

Public Auto was a textbook example of the socialist platform of nationializing key industries. It was not anything else, and it is revisionism to suggest otherwise. The pocketbook advantages were an important part of the campaign, but that does not make it any less a "socialist nationalization program", to use your term.

It was popular with voters, and they were angry when Bob Rae welched on the promise - as much because they felt that they had been lied to as anything else.

I have a hard time imagining a Horwath government introducing anything as progressive as Bill 40.

Rokossovsky wrote:

There are numerous areas where the ONDP (and in fact the NDP as a whole) needs to improve, in particular in its relationship to the constituency associations. I found the way that executive and caucus leadership ran rough-shod over the Scarborough-Guildwood association high-handed and ill conceived. Same with the Barry Weislader nomination cancellation.

The party should look at structuring its bylaws to prevent such thing. At the very least the riding association president and vice president should sit on the committee that reviews nominations, so that the riding association is in the loop, and can argue for the defense of a nominated candidate, or a potentially nominated candidate.

Any new leadership contender needs to address the issue of making the constituency association the core building block of the party, and commit to democratic renewal in the party. Horwath or otherwise. I think it is a mistake to get into too much of the politics of "leadership" alone, with addressing the fundamental structural issues.

And again, when the leadership is actively undermining the role of ridings and members,the politics of "leadership"  is a critically important aspect of the issue.

Rokossovsky wrote:

What we can say is that Rosario got 2000 less votes than last time, had they voted for him, he would have only lost by 5000 votes. Whatever bleed there was, was not decisive. DiNovo's theory seems to be that if the campaign had focussed on "social justice issues" that appeal to the NDPs traditional base, and that this would have resulted in convincing more than half of the remaining 5000 to vote for the NDP. I don't buy that.

The riding had a whopping increase in voter turnout at 20% -- these are entirely "new" voters here in Trinity Spadina, not "traditional" NDP types, and that is where the majority of massive Liberal vote share seems to have come from, not defecting NDPrs.

"Stop Hudak" is pretty identifiable as a vision, I'll give you that. That was what 80% of the identifiable position of the Liberal Party was during the whole affair. In Toronto this was aided and abetted by a willing media that relentless assailed the NDP without mercy.

For somebody who says "I can only go buy what I see" you are pretty broad in your speculations as to why voters did what they did.

"Stop Hudak" was half of what passed for the NDP vision. The other half was "Stop Wynne", without offering any compelling reason to actually support the NDP. You may not have liked the Liberal vision, but they did a very good job of presenting themselves as a clear alternative to the PCs, and of presenting Wynne as a capable, trustworthy leader. The vision was "Investing in Ontario" or some variant on that. The second part of this achievement should have been impossible, and would have been if they had faced anything vaguely resembling a competent campaign.

Every riding is unique in some ways. These can have impacts on results that are difficult to tease apart. This is true in all ridings. It is disingenuous to suggest, as some have, that the individual "gains" of the campaign in ridings outside Toronto, were the result of some grand plan, but the losses in Toronto had nothing to do with the campaign. If people want to look at local explanations for riding results they have to do it everywhere, not just where it supports their agenda or pet theories.

Rokossovsky wrote:

The raw vote suggests that as many voters as Schein lost, he gained, and ended up with more or less the same vote total. The Liberals were simply not prepared in 2011, and they were in 2014. They are not standing still.

How can you claim that getting precisely the same votes as in the last election indicates anything at all? We can theorize that with a dream platform, the ONDP should have mobilized to retain the seat, but, the seat which was a long time Liberal seat was not by any means a "safe" seat.

Let's not pretend that it was.

I can claim that getting "precisely the same number of votes as in the last election" means little because it is useless for the sake of statistical comparisons when the number of votes cast was significantly different in the two elections. Unless you know something about what proportion of each party's supporters voted in each election, references to the raw vote are inevitably misleading, at best. This is a matter of basic statistical theory. You asked for comment on the "statistical reality".

And again, if the individual circumstances in Davenport are so critical to understanding what happened there, the same is true in Oshawa, Windsor and London. Writing off Toronto losses as local problems while crediting the central campaign with pick-ups elsewhere is indefensible.

josh

currents wrote:

The debacle is the drift to the right of this NDP. Yesterday, Horwath in commenting on the Ontario budget in the legislature used the downgrading of Ontario's credit rating by Mooney's to attack the Ontario budget. What is happening here? The NDP using the opinion of credit rating agencies to support their policies? I thought that a negative reaction of the credit agencies would be seen as a good sign that austerity not triumph all.

 

^^^^^^^^^

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Rokossovsky wrote:

When all is said and done, the ONDP platform of 2014 was no more "right-wing" that the mode in which it governed in the 90s, shorn of the populist "socialist" planks, which the NDP did not deliver on, anyway.

A great description of why the NDP across the country is totally irrelevant.

Rokossovsky

Kropotikin, the point is that the ONDP platform of 2014 was smack dab in the mainstream of what the NDP has been offering for the last 20 years. There has not been some sudden "lurch to the right'. In the case of the last general election this was essentially Liberal spin used to backstop their claim as the true "progressive" alternative.

Take it or leaves it, that is what it is.

PrairieDemocrat15

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

When all is said and done, the ONDP platform of 2014 was no more "right-wing" that the mode in which it governed in the 90s, shorn of the populist "socialist" planks, which the NDP did not deliver on, anyway.

A great description of why the NDP across the country is totally irrelevant.

Yup, might as well shut the whole party down and hand the country over to the Cons and Libs. Unless, of course, you're anticipating a groundswell of support for the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist) in 2015.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

PD15

You are so stupid you think a leftie with the handle of Kropotkin would want a Marxist government. It puts an exclamation point on your understanding of left wing politics.

abnormal

So it looks like the ONDP is faced with a simple question (two actually).

Should the party campaign on a platform it believes in or should it campaign on a platform that might get it elected?  And if the latter, given that it campaigned on a platform for the simple reason that is what it took to get elected, should the party govern from there or should is simply say "we had to deceive you" and govern from where the party came from.

 

youngsocialist

The loss in Beaches East York has less to do with campaign. People were refusing to take a Prue sign.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

abnormal wrote:

So it looks like the ONDP is faced with a simple question (two actually).

Should the party campaign on a platform it believes in or should it campaign on a platform that might get it elected?  And if the latter, given that it campaigned on a platform for the simple reason that is what it took to get elected, should the party govern from there or should is simply say "we had to deceive you" and govern from where the party came from.

The MSM will attack the NDP no matter what it does but IMO voters hate politicians who do bait and switch.  I can just imagine the field day the press would have every day from the first announcement til the end of the next campaign: the NDP are liars. 

Aristotleded24

montrealer58 wrote:
Cheri DiNovo kept a seat for the NDP in Toronto while others lost theirs. Even then, she just squeaked through. Her margin dropped by 10%. When a party with social democratic roots tries to compete with the chauvanists and right wingers in the outlying areas, it provides poor competition and alienates its base. When you try to pretend to be another party, people vote for the other party.

I hope you're not implying that people in outlying areas don't care about social justice, because that is the kind of thing that keeps left-wing support confined to large cities and makes it hard to win over swing voters in key mid-sized and small-town swing ridings. You need to speak to all areas of the province, and find a platform that resonates. Running the table in a few Toronto seats is not going to win you much influence.

shartal@rogers.com

IMHO the strength of any party is its ability to inspire a coherent view of the world. I believe people for more than concrete demands. Overall I believe that today the NDP does not inspire. If there is no vision beyond the moment I see no reason to vote for any party. The Ontario liberals message that government matters in peoples lives, particularly when set against the Tory slash and burn, had a vision. The NDP was a collection of policies and "anti" To my mind it was hard to see it inspire.

Rokossovsky

I believe the movement that inspired the likes of the NDP is no longer ideologicaly coherent.

When the NDP was founded the movement was dominated by people who were for Communism, or Socialism, which offered clear and coherent models of social organization as an antidote to capitalism. Today the most radical elements of the left have no such "positive" world view, and as such, have to content themselves with being "anti-capitalist".

Pogo Pogo's picture

asb

Pogo Pogo's picture

asb

autoworker autoworker's picture

The ONDP needs to reinvent itself, beginning with the socialist factions leaving, and forming their own party. Far left politics will never become mainstream in Canada-- not even in Quebec. It's time for a redefinition of progressivism.

shartal@rogers.com

I think that all parties need to be able to articulate a vision of the world and a vision of the role of the state. the Liberal government spoke clearly about government being a positive force in peoples lives and the Tories spoke about big wasteful government. The NDP did not project very much. I also think that in this neoliberal world the NDP needs to derive its bigger articulation of a view of the state within the demistifying of neoliberal retoric; like questioning if THE Crisis and the need for austarity is real.

Stockholm

autoworker wrote:
The ONDP needs to reinvent itself, beginning with the socialist factions leaving, and forming their own party. Far left politics will never become mainstream in Canada-- not even in Quebec. It's time for a redefinition of progressivism.

Most of the tiny number of people in the ONDP who were "far left socialists" have already left and formed ther Socialist Party of Ontario. The ragtag handful of people in the so-called "socialist caucus" who are still in the NDP make up at most about 1% of the party and are essentially a fringe group.

Rokossovsky

Wrong thread.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I said the ONDP was trying to compete for blue votes in the rural areas, not necessarily that a progressive agenda would not work there. There are a lot of progressive ideas which could work for suburban and rural voters; however the winning party has to have the muscle to deliver. I think the "strategists" helping the ONDP saw a decline of the Tory vote as 'low-hanging fruit'.

How are we going to attract doctors? How are we going to get public transit working more effectively? Why not more social housing? There is a lot more rural terrain to cover, and it is a lot easier to propose something which might benefit 1,000,000 people than for 10,000.

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