NDP denies Andrea Horwath set to resign as leader

341 posts / 0 new
Last post
takeitslowly

Well the ONDP should know that the Toronto Star will always be bias against the NDP and attack them ruthlessly.  Unless you are Olivia Chow, who might or might not be an NDPer anymore (that's another story.)

 

 

They should be prepared for it. Thats the end of the story really.

Rokossovsky

Precisely why being respectful of the grass roote organization is so vital, because a strong word of mouth ground game is far superior to any advertizing.

Aristotleded24

[url=http://gensqueeze.ca/wondering-how-the-ontario-parties-stack-up-on-gener... different take on connecting with younger voters?[/url]

Quote:
A new Gen Squeeze study of the Ontario election shows that the Liberal, Conservative, NDP and Green Parties are all campaigning on platforms that will raise government spending for older generations, but do little to help younger generations adapt to pressing new economic and social pressures that are shaping the 21st century.

This election was triggered by the budget tabled by Ontario Liberals May 1 2014. It proposes an annual spending increase of $1.5 billion for Ontarians age 65 and older. This sizable increase for retirees is not matched by any significant increase in spending for the much larger population that is under age 45.

...

The decision of all four contenders in the Ontario election to prioritize spending on retirees with far more urgency than they propose adapting for younger Ontarians is out of step with new economic realities. The rise in housing prices that increased wealth for retirees who bought homes decades ago is weighing down younger generations with heavy debts which they must pay with lower wages, despite greater investment in obtaining credentials through postsecondary education.

All four major parties are effectively asking Ontario voters to accept public policy trade-offs that they wouldn’t support in their own families. We don’t know many parents or grandparents who want governments to adapt to their needs as an aging population at the expense of adapting to new pressures facing their kids and grandchildren.

This trade-off being offered to Ontario electors makes clear that it is increasingly important for young and old alike to organize in advance of elections to shape Party platforms. For this reason, Generation Squeeze is building the political clout of younger generations in order to complement the important generational organizing that the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) has performed for decades.

Skinny Dipper

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Debater wrote:

Personality, charisma & ability to connect with voters matters for a leader.  This is something Tom Mulcair might want to keep in mind next year.

This is of course the wrong forum for discussions of federal politics, but this comment deserves a short answer. If you are really such a political expert, Debater, you should have noticed that Mulcair, while not a matinee idol, conveys an aura of competence and moderation in every public appearance. He has the ability to make people feel he is a safe choice for Prime Minister. These are the qualities which Canadians most want to see in their leaders. They will eventually be the cause of an NDP majority after the next election. It is quite gratifying to me as an NDP supporter that the Liberals seem to be missing this point. When the campaign arrives, they won't know what hit them.

Stephen Harper is not the most charismatic guy.  However, people do vote for him.  I will agree that Mulcair can demonstrate competence and moderation which will help the NDP in the next federal election.

Stockholm

If "debater" is right and all it takes to win is being the most physically attractive then Andrea Horwath should be premier right now. According to polls something like 75% of Ontarians thought she was the most physically attractive leader....let's face it it Tim Hudak with that unsightly zit on his cheek and those huge dark bags under his eye was never much of matinee idol and as for Kathleen Wynne, I find she is a bit of a cross between Princess Anne and Nancy Kulp the actress who played Jane Hathaway on the Beverly Hillbillies, but I find that Canadians often trust politicians who are kind of homely looking over those who look too good. Remember how jean Chretien destroyed Stockwell Day?

zerocarbs

David Young wrote:

Since Andrea has said that she is not stepping down as leader, I therefore respectfully request for one of the moderators to close this thread.

Interesting. You have no wish to discuss an important issue. Fine - go away. But you "respectively" wish to prevent anybody else from discussing it. That's didactic or fascist, and not at all respectful.

Rokossovsky

Yeah, making a request for moderation is "fascist". With this level of analysis, its no wonder that people think increasing corporate taxes, reducing consumption taxes and being opposed to privatization is "right-wing".

 

onlinediscountanvils

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

I've been lurking here for a while, but haven't felt the need to weigh in until the back and forth about the Ontario NDP really struck a nerve.

I bought my first NDP membership around the time that Paul Henderson scored that goal in Moscow. I'm still a member now. I have served on riding execs in various positions (including president). I have organised edays, coordinated volunteers, managed and been a candidate.

I am disgusted with the current leadership of the Ontario party, so no, it is not just Liberals who want Andrea Horwath to resign.  I do, and so do a lot of other members I know. Some of them have more experience than I do.

[...]

I will still be a member in four years, and I will undoubtedly work in one campaign or another in the next election. I just wish there was some reason to believe that the outcome is likely to be better, not worse. There seems to be nothing that can be done about the situation. This is not a leader who is interested in being told she's wrong.  The mechanisms that should ensure that she is held to account are broken.

I kept my counsel through the years of Howard Hampton's ineffectuality. I was willing to give Andrea a chance to grow in the job, in spite of my misgivings about her past behaviour. I'm not prepared to be quiet any more. It is not in the interest of the NDP or progressive politics in Ontario to do so. Those who think that it's time to rally round the leader, yet again, are just plain wrong.

Welcome to babble, Frozen Snowshoe. *exchanges secret Grit handshake* Wink

Frozen Snowshoe

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

Welcome to babble, Frozen Snowshoe. *exchanges secret Grit handshake* Wink

Thanks, Andrea.

onlinediscountanvils

Surprised

Rokossovsky

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

I've been lurking here for a while, but haven't felt the need to weigh in until the back and forth about the Ontario NDP really struck a nerve.

I bought my first NDP membership around the time that Paul Henderson scored that goal in Moscow. I'm still a member now. I have served on riding execs in various positions (including president). I have organised edays, coordinated volunteers, managed and been a candidate.

I am disgusted with the current leadership of the Ontario party, so no, it is not just Liberals who want Andrea Horwath to resign.  I do, and so do a lot of other members I know. Some of them have more experience than I do.

I have serious problems with a lot of what happened in the recent campaign. I'm not going to trot out a laundry list; it would make for a very long post. I think a few of the main points are damning enough.

The manner in which this election was precipitated was bizarre and inept. Ridings were being told that an election call was weeks away while the leader was going in front of the mikes and telling the world that she would be forcing one. Her bluff got called and it was clear that she had no cards. With few nominated candidates, none of the staff and infrastructure in place and a rag bag of policy positions unconnected by a coherent strategic vision, the campaign did a very good impression of a clown show for the first two-plus weeks. When platform planks were released, the lack of a strategy became obvious.

This was as close to a perfect opportunity to make gains as we will ever see. With all due respect to Alice Funk, the message that should be taken away from this election is that in 2014 the PCs were led by an extremist dimwit and the Liberals mired in a pile of their own political dung but the ONDP could do no better than the seat count they went in with and a third place finish. The next election, at least four years away, will involve an experienced Liberal leader thoroughly insulated from McGuinty's scandals and a new, presumably less witless PC leader.  If we couldn't make headway in the circumstances that prevailed in this last election, the chances of doing better next time are slim to none.

Those who point to the success of the party in expanding the party's reach in by-elections  as evidence of growth need to look more closely. These have been almost entirely related to local factors; for the most part, the new ridings were won by superb local candidates fighting tactical battles. The party was, as always, able to provide solid tactical support in these individual elections. When the full slate of ridings is in play, strategic considerations trump the ability to bring a dozen or so tacticians to the field. It's pretty damned clear that there is no strategic thinking of any sort going on in the ONDP, unless its a particular kind of strategic positioning to take down opposition within the party.

As for the leadership review, the deck has been stacked against doing anything about it. At the last provincial council meeting a resolution squeeked through that will allow the party to take back a riding's delegate accreditations if they have not filed delegate names 45 days before convention. That means that every riding will have to have their delegates named by the beginning of October. How many ridings will be able to pull that off after Labour Day? You can be sure that those credentials that aren't assigned locally will be given to solid supporters of the leader. You can be sure that's why the change was made. This is just the latest of an ongoing series of measures that have consolidated power in the leader's office and reduced the ability of members to hold the leadership to account. For all her breezy, cheerful public persona, within the party Andrea Horwath has always been contemptuous of members, manipulative of process and tolerant of those who break rules on her behalf. The Scarborough Rouge River nomination process and the abuse of process that led to the election of Neethan Shan as party president are only the most public expressions of that.

I will still be a member in four years, and I will undoubtedly work in one campaign or another in the next election. I just wish there was some reason to believe that the outcome is likely to be better, not worse. There seems to be nothing that can be done about the situation. This is not a leader who is interested in being told she's wrong.  The mechanisms that should ensure that she is held to account are broken.

I kept my counsel through the years of Howard Hampton's ineffectuality. I was willing to give Andrea a chance to grow in the job, in spite of my misgivings about her past behaviour. I'm not prepared to be quiet any more. It is not in the interest of the NDP or progressive politics in Ontario to do so. Those who think that it's time to rally round the leader, yet again, are just plain wrong.

That's just fine. The party has four years to come up with some kind of strategy for defining an organizational structure that both allows for a flexible decision making process of caucus and leadership, and one that respects the grass roots Constituency Associations.

This is a problem endemic to the party as a whole not just the ONDP.

What I can't abide however, is this crap about Horwath campaigning from the right and other nonsense. The depth of understanding of "first principles" is so poor these days that people were able to challenge the NDP "left" credibility, not on policy, but on purely aesthetic grounds, as if its "right wing" to call the Liberal corrupt, because its "unsportsmanlike", and being "not nice" is right wing.

"Formalizing Consent": It's just not done to call "nice people" like the Liberals "corrupt". They are. It is a fact.

Unionist

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

I bought my first NDP membership around the time that Paul Henderson scored that goal in Moscow.

That's the precise year I tore up my (NDY) card. I've campaigned and voted NDP (much of the time) since then. But I can't join a party which treats its members like sources of money, not opinions, and certainly not of authority and control.

The dictatorial policy shifts of Horwath in this latest campaign is really nothing unusual. What is new, and refreshing, is the number of ONDP supporters who are standing up and calling despotism and betrayal by their true names.

 

 

zerocarbs

Rokossovsky wrote:

Yeah, making a request for moderation is "fascist". With this level of analysis, its no wonder that people think increasing corporate taxes, reducing consumption taxes and being opposed to privatization is "right-wing".

Maybe not the best choice of words. Dictiionary.dot com defines it as "a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism".

Andrea herself is not in power and is not insisting that people not discuss her abysmal campaign. However, she does seem to be utterly unwilling to accept any blame, and there are people here who blame everything on The Toronto Star and want to shut down all debate. Funny, but Rob Ford does the same thing. I've been a loyal foot soldier for years and I resent the fact that certain people think I shouldn't be allowed to express my concerns.

If that in your mind constitutes a moronic level of analysis, tough.

And goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen Snowshoe

Rokossovsky wrote:

That's just fine. The party has four years to come up with some kind of strategy for defining an organizational structure that both allows for a flexible decision making process of caucus and leadership, and one that respects the grass roots Constituency Associations.

This is a problem endemic to the party as a whole not just the ONDP.

What I can't abide however, is this crap about Horwath campaigning from the right and other nonsense. The depth of understanding of "first principles" is so poor these days that people were able to challenge the NDP "left" credibility, not on policy, but on purely aesthetic grounds, as if its "right wing" to call the Liberal corrupt, because its "unsportsmanlike", and being "not nice" is right wing.

"Formalizing Consent": It's just not done to call "nice people" like the Liberals "corrupt". They are. It is a fact.

The leadership of the party is actively promoting changes that diminish membership engagement and control. The removal of member's rights is not a new process, but it has been pursued by the current leadership with a Machiavellian zeal that is unprecedented. With Andrea as leader and Giselle Yanez as her enforcer, "an organizational structure that both allows for a flexible decision making process of caucus and leadership, and one that respects the grass roots Constituency Associations" is not going to happen. That is clear.

I don't disagree with the idea that Liberals are untrustworthy and have behaved in a manner that can fairly be described as corrupt. In fact, I think most Ontarions agreed and were seriously looking for an alternative that they could feel comfortable supporting. It is really astonishing that we (the ONDP) were so hopeless at organizing ourselves and articulating a vision that the people of Ontario preferred to put their trust in the Liberals again. This is the standard against which the current leadership should be measured. They couldn't make headway against a party as tainted as the OLP and at least overtake the Ontario Tea Party as led by Tim Hudak (for Christ's sake). That's all that really needs to be said.

Andrea has to go.

Geoff

Frozen Snowshoe: "It is really astonishing that we (the ONDP) were so hopeless at organizing ourselves and articulating a vision that the people of Ontario preferred to put their trust in the Liberals again. This is the standard against which the current leadership should be measured. They couldn't make headway against a party as tainted as the OLP and at least overtake the Ontario Tea Party as led by Tim Hudak (for Christ's sake). That's all that really needs to be said."

Excellent point, Frozen Snowshoe, but it doesn't stop there. The NDP made the Liberals look more progressive to the electorate. That's even worse than not being able to articulate a vision. The party seems to believe that to beat the Liberals we have to become even more centrist than they are (or claim to be). 

Rokossovsky

Geoff wrote:

Frozen Snowshoe: "It is really astonishing that we (the ONDP) were so hopeless at organizing ourselves and articulating a vision that the people of Ontario preferred to put their trust in the Liberals again. This is the standard against which the current leadership should be measured. They couldn't make headway against a party as tainted as the OLP and at least overtake the Ontario Tea Party as led by Tim Hudak (for Christ's sake). That's all that really needs to be said."

Excellent point, Frozen Snowshoe, but it doesn't stop there. The NDP made the Liberals look more progressive to the electorate. That's even worse than not being able to articulate a vision. The party seems to believe that to beat the Liberals we have to become even more centrist than they are (or claim to be). 

I thought the OFL did that by calling the budget "progressive" and then the media pounded the message in for a month and a half.

On what terms were the Liberals "more progressive" than the NDP on policy?

I have been trying to get an answer to this simple question on policy for two months from people who are saying the ONDP made the Liberals look "progressive" but other than repeating the mantra, no one seems to be able to point to a specific policy issue where this is true.

Maybe you can help.

Rokossovsky

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

That's just fine. The party has four years to come up with some kind of strategy for defining an organizational structure that both allows for a flexible decision making process of caucus and leadership, and one that respects the grass roots Constituency Associations.

This is a problem endemic to the party as a whole not just the ONDP.

What I can't abide however, is this crap about Horwath campaigning from the right and other nonsense. The depth of understanding of "first principles" is so poor these days that people were able to challenge the NDP "left" credibility, not on policy, but on purely aesthetic grounds, as if its "right wing" to call the Liberal corrupt, because its "unsportsmanlike", and being "not nice" is right wing.

"Formalizing Consent": It's just not done to call "nice people" like the Liberals "corrupt". They are. It is a fact.

The leadership of the party is actively promoting changes that diminish membership engagement and control. The removal of member's rights is not a new process, but it has been pursued by the current leadership with a Machiavellian zeal that is unprecedented. With Andrea as leader and Giselle Yanez as her enforcer, "an organizational structure that both allows for a flexible decision making process of caucus and leadership, and one that respects the grass roots Constituency Associations" is not going to happen. That is clear.

Layton was pretty iron fisted with Chow as his enforcer. Questions about that became more muted with the success of the 2011 campaign.

I am all for creating a structure that grows the grass roots. I think it is essential to counteracting "mainstream" spin, an area that the NDP simply does not have the capacity to fight through the traditional media because the establishment simply has no use for a thrid wheel in the Conservative/Liberal "Punch and Judy" show.

That is the big mistake of the Horwath campaign, imo, not the pitch itself. The attempt to position themselves in the mainstream paradigm failed, simply because the media was not willing to accept that, regardless of policy. No one was going to jump up and say: "Oh look how moderate the ONDP is by only asking for a 1% Corporate tax increase... its now safe to vote for them!"

Counteracting the centralizing tendency of any organization is a never ending struggle. I think that identifying the problem as personal, as opposed to systemic, isn't going resolve matters.

Rokossovsky

zerocarbs wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

Yeah, making a request for moderation is "fascist". With this level of analysis, its no wonder that people think increasing corporate taxes, reducing consumption taxes and being opposed to privatization is "right-wing".

Maybe not the best choice of words. Dictiionary.dot com defines it as "a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism".

Andrea herself is not in power and is not insisting that people not discuss her abysmal campaign. However, she does seem to be utterly unwilling to accept any blame, and there are people here who blame everything on The Toronto Star and want to shut down all debate. Funny, but Rob Ford does the same thing. I've been a loyal foot soldier for years and I resent the fact that certain people think I shouldn't be allowed to express my concerns.

If that in your mind constitutes a moronic level of analysis, tough.

And goodbye.

I didn't use the word "moronic". You did.

But as to your point, no "government" or "authorizing power" suggested the thread be closed. Someone made a request. A request is not "forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism".

According to you someone without any power requesting an action that you disagree with amounts to "fascism". Perhaps your choice of wording is appropriate. Sounds like you are the one who wants to prevent people from expressing their opinions, when you disagree with them quite frankly.

 

Rokossovsky

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

That's just fine. The party has four years to come up with some kind of strategy for defining an organizational structure that both allows for a flexible decision making process of caucus and leadership, and one that respects the grass roots Constituency Associations.

This is a problem endemic to the party as a whole not just the ONDP.

What I can't abide however, is this crap about Horwath campaigning from the right and other nonsense. The depth of understanding of "first principles" is so poor these days that people were able to challenge the NDP "left" credibility, not on policy, but on purely aesthetic grounds, as if its "right wing" to call the Liberal corrupt, because its "unsportsmanlike", and being "not nice" is right wing.

"Formalizing Consent": It's just not done to call "nice people" like the Liberals "corrupt". They are. It is a fact.

I don't disagree with the idea that Liberals are untrustworthy and have behaved in a manner that can fairly be described as corrupt. In fact, I think most Ontarions agreed and were seriously looking for an alternative that they could feel comfortable supporting. It is really astonishing that we (the ONDP) were so hopeless at organizing ourselves and articulating a vision that the people of Ontario preferred to put their trust in the Liberals again. This is the standard against which the current leadership should be measured. They couldn't make headway against a party as tainted as the OLP and at least overtake the Ontario Tea Party as led by Tim Hudak (for Christ's sake). That's all that really needs to be said.

That is exactly it. The Tim Hudak picked up a gun and shot himself in the head, and they got trounced. I don't think the ONDP had much to do with it except that maybe they took enough votes away from the PCs in some ridings, and the Liberals ended up with a better vote split than in 2011.

Rokossovsky

Unionist wrote:

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

I bought my first NDP membership around the time that Paul Henderson scored that goal in Moscow.

That's the precise year I tore up my (NDY) card. I've campaigned and voted NDP (much of the time) since then. But I can't join a party which treats its members like sources of money, not opinions, and certainly not of authority and control.

The dictatorial policy shifts of Horwath in this latest campaign is really nothing unusual. What is new, and refreshing, is the number of ONDP supporters who are standing up and calling despotism and betrayal by their true names.

Says the guy who thinks that Horwath wasn't authoritarian enough in dealing with Cheri Dinovo on her stand on Israeli-Apartheid Week, even though the ONDP has no official position on Palestine, let alone Israeli Apartheid week. Apparently on policy positions you agree with the leadership and the caucus opinion is good enough to make up policy as they go along, and then enforce them through a whip, but not when you disagree.

Frozen Snowshoe

Rokossovsky wrote:

Layton was pretty iron fisted with Chow as his enforcer. Questions about that became more muted with the success of the 2011 campaign.

I am all for creating a structure that grows the grass roots. I think it is essential to counteracting "mainstream" spin, an area that the NDP simply does not have the capacity to fight through the traditional media because the establishment simply has no use for a thrid wheel in the Conservative/Liberal "Punch and Judy" show.

That is the big mistake of the Horwath campaign, imo, not the pitch itself. The attempt to position themselves in the mainstream paradigm failed, simply because the media was not willing to accept that, regardless of policy. No one was going to jump up and say: "Oh look how moderate the ONDP is by only asking for a 1% Corporate tax increase... its now safe to vote for them!"

Counteracting the centralizing tendency of any organization is a never ending struggle. I think that identifying the problem as personal, as opposed to systemic, isn't going resolve matters.

The internal workings of the ONDP in 2014 bear no relationship to the leadership of the federal party under Jack Layton. However imperfect the federal party might have been, Layton invested very large amounts of money and effort in building up riding organizations and broadening their input into the affairs of the party. He had plenty of internal resistance to doing it and ultimately failed to reverse the longterm trend toward diminished membership control, but there was nothing even vaguely resembling the cynicism and pettiness of Horwath's crew. Comparing Olivia to Giselle is miles off the mark. Olivia can be bloody-minded, but she is not a nasty piece of work or deliberately divisive.

As I said, there will not be another election in which we confront a two opponents as badly damaged as we saw this time for a very long time. There should have been no way for the Liberals to transcend the mess they made for themselves. With the PCs led by a raving idiot we had the field open to us to be seen as the alternative. We had to present an air of competence, a program that made sense and a vision that resonated. We did none of those things. We held on to the votes and seat count with which we went into the election. In other words, the people of Ontario preferred a party groaning under a burden of corruption and waste AND a party with a lunatic fringe agenda and a blithering fool for a leader. That cannot be characterized as a win however hard you try. It is not the news media's doing. It is not the voters' fault. The failure is the ONDP's.

Writing the failures of the recent election off as systemic and somehow inevitable ignores the fact that control of the planning and execution of elections is placed in the hands of a select few who are granted enormous discretion in the disposition of resources, articulation of positions and every other aspect of the campaign. The ONDP did a poor job at almost every one of these things in this election. Leadership is not systemic, it is personal, as is the failure to lead. Identifying failures of leadership and naming names is not only fair, it is essential to any party that wants to move forward. Accountability matters.

Rokossovsky

I didn't say it was a win. My point is that not winning had little to do with the posturing of the party as left of right, which from an ideological standpoint is what concerns me most.

Frozen Snowshoe

Rokossovsky wrote:

I didn't say it was a win. My point is that not winning had little to do with the posturing of the party as left of right, which from an ideological standpoint is what concerns me most.

OK. I don't think the platform was any great shakes, but I would agree that the final result was mostly (or largely) related to other things.

zerocarbs

Rokossovsky wrote:

zerocarbs wrote:

Rokossovsky wrote:

Yeah, making a request for moderation is "fascist". With this level of analysis, its no wonder that people think increasing corporate taxes, reducing consumption taxes and being opposed to privatization is "right-wing".

Maybe not the best choice of words. Dictiionary.dot com defines it as "a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism".

Andrea herself is not in power and is not insisting that people not discuss her abysmal campaign. However, she does seem to be utterly unwilling to accept any blame, and there are people here who blame everything on The Toronto Star and want to shut down all debate. Funny, but Rob Ford does the same thing. I've been a loyal foot soldier for years and I resent the fact that certain people think I shouldn't be allowed to express my concerns.

If that in your mind constitutes a moronic level of analysis, tough.

And goodbye.

I didn't use the word "moronic". You did.

But as to your point, no "government" or "authorizing power" suggested the thread be closed. Someone made a request. A request is not "forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism".

According to you someone without any power requesting an action that you disagree with amounts to "fascism". Perhaps your choice of wording is appropriate. Sounds like you are the one who wants to prevent people from expressing their opinions, when you disagree with them quite frankly.

It would seem that you think cleverly insulting me will bring me back into the fold. Maybe you should look up the word "goodbye".  I'm done. And I'm serious - I'm really pissed off at the way the NDP is heading these days. As in, why did I bother voting for these guys for the last forty years? I really have had it.

 

 

Rokossovsky

I actually don't give a fuck who you vote for.

You are some guy who thinks apparently that anyone who suggests something that you don't like is a fascist because it is contrary to your opinion.

No. Someone who has absolutely no power to enforce a request "suggesting" that a thread be closed, is not by definition a "fascist". It is someone who suggested that a thread be closed.

Fascists don't "suggest" that people do things. They make people do things.

terrytowel

Rokossovsky wrote:

I actually don't give a **** who you vote for.

Fascists don't "suggest" that people do things. They make people do things.

Rokossovsky watch your language please.

robbie_dee

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

As I said, there will not be another election in which we confront a two opponents as badly damaged as we saw this time for a very long time. There should have been no way for the Liberals to transcend the mess they made for themselves. With the PCs led by a raving idiot we had the field open to us to be seen as the alternative. We had to present an air of competence, a program that made sense and a vision that resonated. We did none of those things. We held on to the votes and seat count with which we went into the election. In other words, the people of Ontario preferred a party groaning under a burden of corruption and waste AND a party with a lunatic fringe agenda and a blithering fool for a leader. That cannot be characterized as a win however hard you try. It is not the news media's doing. It is not the voters' fault. The failure is the ONDP's.

Writing the failures of the recent election off as systemic and somehow inevitable ignores the fact that control of the planning and execution of elections is placed in the hands of a select few who are granted enormous discretion in the disposition of resources, articulation of positions and every other aspect of the campaign. The ONDP did a poor job at almost every one of these things in this election. Leadership is not systemic, it is personal, as is the failure to lead. Identifying failures of leadership and naming names is not only fair, it is essential to any party that wants to move forward. Accountability matters.

Yes.

Skinny Dipper

What did I miss after my two days away from the computer?

Unionist

Skinny Dipper wrote:

What did I miss after my two days away from the computer?

We developed a broad consensus that even though the NDP (provincial, federal) is desperately lurching to the right in order to placate the 1% of the society, Andrea Horwath has earned special and individual contempt for going so much further, with her treacherous inner circle, to discredit progressive politics in Ontario.

If I got that wrong, surely someone will correct me.

 

Skinny Dipper

At the next provincial convention, I think Andrea Horwath will attempt to shore up her social democratic credentials.  I hope that the delegates won't fall for her faux-progressivism.  The big problem for the Ontario NDP in keeping Ms. Horwath as the leader is trying to build a strong volunteer base and getting donations.  I would not be surprised if the delegates vote to keep Ms. Horwath as the leader but with the party not announcing the numerical or percentage results.  Call me "cynical."

Skinny Dipper

Unionist wrote:

Skinny Dipper wrote:

What did I miss after my two days away from the computer?

We developed a broad consensus that even though the NDP (provincial, federal) is desperately lurching to the right in order to placate the 1% of the society, Andrea Horwath has earned special and individual contempt for going so much further, with her treacherous inner circle, to discredit progressive politics in Ontario.

If I got that wrong, surely someone will correct me.

 

Thanks for the update.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I tore up my first NDP card in 1972 on the last day of the Ont. NDP convention. The issue for me was straight forward. The motion on the floor was that only card carrying members of the NDP could sit as delegates.  The vote was very close but we won the vote on the Saturday afternoon. Immediately after the vote Stephen Lewis the Leader went to the heads of the Steelworkers and Autoworkers. I was a few tables over so I have no idea what was said however the next morning, a Sunday, almost every union delegate was in their seat.  The Chair at the commencement of the day held that the vote the day before should have really been two votes and so it had to be revoted. The motion was defeated thus allowing heads of unions who carried Liberal cards to direct their troops from the convention floor. When I moved to BC the next year I was told that it was an Ontario thing but the whole thing left an idealistic 21 year old with a very sour taste.

I stayed away from politics for a decade and have never fully trusted the NDP although I have worked many campaigns a good number of them in winning ridings. Mulroney and free trade brought me back into the game because I knew that if it went through I would be leaving my children a very different and meaner Canada.  We were right but now the NDP supports the same types of corporate rights agreements.

 

Rokossovsky

Unionist wrote:

Skinny Dipper wrote:

What did I miss after my two days away from the computer?

We developed a broad consensus that even though the NDP (provincial, federal) is desperately lurching to the right in order to placate the 1% of the society, Andrea Horwath has earned special and individual contempt for going so much further, with her treacherous inner circle, to discredit progressive politics in Ontario.

If I got that wrong, surely someone will correct me.

 

You did. You just keep repeating the same attack on Horwath, but can show absolutely nothing to support your latest thesis, which is that Horwath "went so much further".

Completely unsupportable, except when clinging to the Liberal band wagon, repeating their talking points, and handing out flyers. As if the distinction between a 2.5% increase in corporate taxes, and a 1% increase in corporate taxes is the difference between "left" and "right".

Yeah, had Tommy Douglas only raised taxes on the wealthy in Saskatchewan by a few percentage points less, he would be Mitt Romney.

Unionist

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

I would advise anybody who cares to make sure that your local riding association holds a delegate selection meeting, nominates a full slate of delegates and files the delegates' names with the centre in time to avoid the credentials going to Andrea's ringers. It wouldn't hurt to also make sure that people who aren't just cheerleaders are willing to be delegates.

I'm not from Ontario, so I'm asking this out of interest:

Are there such people in the riding associations? Do they have names? Are they willing to stand up and say their piece?

That would be awesome.

 

Frozen Snowshoe

Unionist wrote:

I'm not from Ontario, so I'm asking this out of interest:

Are there such people in the riding associations? Do they have names? Are they willing to stand up and say their piece?

That would be awesome.

Awesome indeed.

Riding associations are pretty variable in their make-up. Some ridings have a long history of annoying headquarters on what they call principle, although they sometimes seem to be enjoying themselves far too much while doing it to pass for saints. There are usually at least a few members who are not willing to accept mindless pap or manipulation from leadership. They may or may not be in leadership positions locally. It's one of the reasons that the trend has been for leadership to limit the role of ridings. I know, based on conversations I have had, that there are more than a few very frustrated members (and recently lapsed members) who want a change of leadership in Ontario. They will clearly have to do more than grouse if that is going to happen.

 

 

Aristotleded24

Skinny Dipper wrote:
At the next provincial convention, I think Andrea Horwath will attempt to shore up her social democratic credentials.  I hope that the delegates won't fall for her faux-progressivism.  The big problem for the Ontario NDP in keeping Ms. Horwath as the leader is trying to build a strong volunteer base and getting donations.  I would not be surprised if the delegates vote to keep Ms. Horwath as the leader but with the party not announcing the numerical or percentage results.  Call me "cynical."

The other side of the argument is that if a new leader is chosen, it can be way too easy for the party to say, "well we have a new leader, everything is fine," and all the structural issues remain in place. I'm not necessarily saying Andrea has to stay or to go, but the structural issues are something to keep in mind, and leadership races can often be a distraction on that point.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

The ONDP increased its vote share, yes. It did not lose seats, yes. But it lost the balance of power in Queen's Park, which is far more important in terms of political influence. As an outsider looking at the results, I would say it was a bad move by Horwath and her inner circle. She should at least call for a leadership review.

I am guessing that their internal polls saw the current Liberal surge in the 416 (and in central canada in general, what with Couillard's election and Trudeau's high numbers), so what they decided was to compete for Tory votes, which is the same misguided strategy which just afflicted Mulcair.

 

Stockholm

montrealer58 wrote:

She should at least call for a leadership review.

There is an automatic leadership review at the next convention in November - there is no need to "call for one" since it happens no matter what.

I'm an agnostic about Andrea Horwath continuing as leader - but I don't think there is any point dumping her unless there is an obvious successor to her that is vastly better. It would be pointless to have a divisive leadership coup - just to bring in someone just like Horwath only who is UNphotogenic, INexperienced and UNlikeable.

Skinny Dipper

Stockholm wrote:

I'm an agnostic about Andrea Horwath continuing as leader - but I don't think there is any point dumping her unless there is an obvious successor to her that is vastly better. It would be pointless to have a divisive leadership coup - just to bring in someone just like Horwath only who is UNphotogenic, INexperienced and UNlikeable.

I don't think it should matter if someone is photogenic.  As for being inexperienced or experienced, everyone starts as leader being inexperienced.  In terms of likability, there are politicians I like but I wouldn't support them or their parties.  Put it this way, I think Condoleeza Rice is quite photogenic, likable, and has experience in the political field.  Heck, I would like to have a beer or some wine with her.  Would I ever vote for her for US president (if I could vote)?  No way!

Skinny Dipper

Andrea Horwath may win a leadership review.  However, if she wins with 51% support, her continued presence will hurt the Ontario NDP unless she can somehow convince the other 49% to volunteer and donate to the party.  I don't think that will happen.

Stockholm

I still don't see anyone suggesting who would be a BETTER leader than Horwath - I see no point in changing unless there is a clear candidate waiting in the wings who would represent a vast improvement.

Rokossovsky

Skinny Dipper wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

I'm an agnostic about Andrea Horwath continuing as leader - but I don't think there is any point dumping her unless there is an obvious successor to her that is vastly better. It would be pointless to have a divisive leadership coup - just to bring in someone just like Horwath only who is UNphotogenic, INexperienced and UNlikeable.

I don't think it should matter if someone is photogenic.  As for being inexperienced or experienced, everyone starts as leader being inexperienced.  In terms of likability, there are politicians I like but I wouldn't support them or their parties.  Put it this way, I think Condoleeza Rice is quite photogenic, likable, and has experience in the political field.  Heck, I would like to have a beer or some wine with her.  Would I ever vote for her for US president (if I could vote)?  No way!

As comparatively photogenic as Horwath is, the Toronto Star seemed to have no problems finding the ugliest possible photographs to accompany any story involving Horwath, so even if it might be relevant, it wont make much difference.

Frozen Snowshoe

Stockholm wrote:

I still don't see anyone suggesting who would be a BETTER leader than Horwath - I see no point in changing unless there is a clear candidate waiting in the wings who would represent a vast improvement.

There are good potential leaders in the provincial and federal caucuses. If the only standard you're looking for is more political smarts and a higher ethical standard than the current leadership, it's a pretty low bar; most of either caucus would satisfy that.

Regardless, I don't buy the idea that incompetence and contempt for the membership and the party constitution have to be tolerated until we can definitely name a better option. Generally speaking, employers don't decide on a replacement before they fire somebody who has failed to do their job and behaved disgracefully to their co-workers.

Stockholm

Frozen Snowshoe wrote:

There are good potential leaders in the provincial and federal caucuses. If the only standard you're looking for is more political smarts and a higher ethical standard than the current leadership, it's a pretty low bar; most of either caucus would satisfy that.

Like who? and my standards go far beyond more political smarts and higher ethical standards than the current leadership (if ethics are even the probelm) - I want a leader with an encyclopedic knowledge of all the major public policy files facing Ontario, something with outstanding communication skills who is whip smart and able to crush opponents in debates and can recite 30 second clips and talking points in their sleep and who is brimming with charisma and who the average Ontarian finds pleasant and easy to relate to. Unless you point me to someone like that - I figure better the devil you know than the devil you don't

Rokossovsky

Again, many of the problems you are pointing too are really divorced from the personality of the "leader" or her team. If you are going to confront these issues, its much better to confont them on the level of policy and process, and not the individual, which will only create division that will serve as camoflage for the real meat and potatos issues of centralized control.

I totally support creating a leadership model that addresses your concerns, however, I think it is a mistake to turn it into a battle of personality. Yes, they can be important, but the key issue should be "democratic renewal" in the party, and out of that will come the leadership debate around who is best able to push that agenda forward.

It's easy to look back on campaigns and blame the lack of immediate success on internal factors, and play out superior scenarios, I know I don't have to point out to you that hindsight is 20/20.

Lack of success here, has as much to do with Hudak's total failure to produce a "Conservative" platform that any person would view as sane, and a compliant media ready and willing to cast the election as an epic battle between the "good" Wynne vs. the "bad" Hudak. To say the latter is not to make an excuse of the media, but to point out that the NDP must seek ways to overcome a hostile media climate.

Topp is wrong to say that "voters" don't need a second Liberal party, when in fact it is the establishment that doesn't want one, and media coverage is representative of that fact, Topp's statements included.

Moreover, I also think that Nethan Shan's election to president is a net plus for a party that has had real trouble connecting with immigrant communities, and if the NDP is going to ever have any sway in the rich constituencies of suburban and urban immigrant communities it has to make efforts to represent those communities not just ideologically, but also, in fact, create space for them to represent themselves.

Rokossovsky

Wynne is going to fire a lot of people. She can't help it.

Frozen Snowshoe

Rokossovsky wrote:

Again, many of the problems you are pointing too are really divorced from the personality of the "leader" or her team. If you are going to confront these issues, its much better to confont them on the level of policy and process, and not the individual, which will only create division that will serve as camoflage for the real meat and potatos issues of centralized control.

I totally support creating a leadership model that addresses your concerns, however, I think it is a mistake to turn it into a battle of personality. Yes, they can be important, but the key issue should be "democratic renewal" in the party, and out of that will come the leadership debate around who is best able to push that agenda forward.

It's easy to look back on campaigns and blame the lack of immediate success on internal factors, and play out superior scenarios, I know I don't have to point out to you that hindsight is 20/20.

Lack of success here, has as much to do with Hudak's total failure to produce a "Conservative" platform that any person would view as sane, and a compliant media ready and willing to cast the election as an epic battle between the "good" Wynne vs. the "bad" Hudak. To say the latter is not to make an excuse of the media, but to point out that the NDP must seek ways to overcome a hostile media climate.

Topp is wrong to say that "voters" don't need a second Liberal party, when in fact it is the establishment that doesn't want one, and media coverage is representative of that fact, Topp's statements included.

Moreover, I also think that Nethan Shan's election to president is a net plus for a party that has had real trouble connecting with immigrant communities, and if the NDP is going to ever have any sway in the rich constituencies of suburban and urban immigrant communities it has to make efforts to represent those communities not just ideologically, but also, in fact, create space for them to represent themselves.

Questions of leadership are always personal. They can't be addressed any other way.

The processes by which this could be addressed are under attack by this leadership and have been for some time. They either ignore rules, as they did in Scarborough Guildwood, or change them in stacked meetings to suit their purposes, as has been done with the delegate-selection rules.

Neethan Shan and the current exec were elected in a meeting that was transparently stacked, apparently using party resources, because the previous executive dared to challenge the leader and her crew. In fact, his election was engineered because he was willing to be Andrea's hand puppet at Executive (at which he has been very good, by all accounts), not for any reason related to building the party. I share your concern about the need for the NDP to broaden its engagement with communities outside of our traditional bases. It may well be that Neethan's experience and abilities could have helped the party in that regard. There is no evidence to demonstrate that he has done so. Indeed, he lost votes and vote share in his own riding since 2011. Regardless, none of this justifies the manipulations of the leadership and his part in their collective behaviour.

Call it hindsight if you wish, but you either learn from experience or you keep repeating your mistakes. I have had concerns with Andrea since she served as one of Howard Hampton's outreach people with the ridings after the 2007 election.  She was extremely defensive and was entirely unable to listen to criticisms of the campaign from party members without becoming obviously impatient and arguing. When I mentioned this to others who knew her better than I, they indicated that this was consistent with her behaviour as a Hamilton councillor. I was not thrilled with the choices during the 2009 leadership race and resigned myself to her leadership in terms that were not terribly different than what Stockholm has expressed. I have been appalled by her behaviour and that of the senior people around her ever since. My desire to see her gone has come to a head because of this ridiculously poor effort at an election campaign, but the decision to engage in a public discussion about it is a reflection of deep concerns for the future of the party based on seven years of observations.

Frozen Snowshoe

Stockholm wrote:

Like who? and my standards go far beyond more political smarts and higher ethical standards than the current leadership (if ethics are even the probelm) - I want a leader with an encyclopedic knowledge of all the major public policy files facing Ontario, something with outstanding communication skills who is whip smart and able to crush opponents in debates and can recite 30 second clips and talking points in their sleep and who is brimming with charisma and who the average Ontarian finds pleasant and easy to relate to. Unless you point me to someone like that - I figure better the devil you know than the devil you don't

I'll settle for somebody who doesn't pull crooked crap like the Scarborough Guildwood nomination debacle or campaign like the entire leadership team was stoned for the first three weeks after the writ drops and then stand up in public and seriously tries to claim that coming in third behind the party of eHealth, Ornge, gas plants and deleted emails on the one hand and and Tim Hudak on the other is a big step forward. If that's good enough for some people, so be it. It's not good enough for me or for most of the ONDP members I've spoken with since the election.

I am blown away by how many people don't grasp how huge the opportunity was this time out and how completely it was squandered. Unless Wynne turns out to be something entirely other than what she seems to me to be and carries on with the ineptitude and corruption of the McGuinty crew AND the PCs nominate another libertarian hillbilly as leader, the competition is going to be MUCH tougher next time out. The current leader and her entourage could not make progress under circumstances that should have been a gilt-edged gift to the NDP. They do not deserve another stab at it.

Edited to correct riding name.

Frozen Snowshoe

Stockholm wrote:

There is an automatic leadership review at the next convention in November - there is no need to "call for one" since it happens no matter what.

I'm an agnostic about Andrea Horwath continuing as leader - but I don't think there is any point dumping her unless there is an obvious successor to her that is vastly better. It would be pointless to have a divisive leadership coup - just to bring in someone just like Horwath only who is UNphotogenic, INexperienced and UNlikeable.

As is noted up-thread, Andrea's crew have been messing with the rules to make it even easier to pull the sort of nonesense that went down around the election of Neethan Shan as President (which was entirely about having a tame executive that wouldn't get in Andrea's way), and the Scarborough Guildwood nomination that put Adam Giambrone in as candidate. They have fiddled the game to give HQ a pile of unassigned delegates to use in support of the leader to manufacture the image of a happy party solidly behind Andrea. Unless there is a serious effort to make sure that the riidings have up-to-date lists and all of the rest of what would be required to call, convene and administer delegate selection meetings within the time now available to them, the leader's review will be a sham.

I amnot agnostic. She and the team around her have been divisive within the party, organizationally incompetent and entirely wasteful of an enormous opportunity to build NDP support. Again, it will be a long time if ever before we confront a government with as much baggage as the one just past and a PC party as badly led as that under Tim Hudak. if Andrea couldn't make gains with what she had to work with, she never will.

 

Edited to correct riding name

Frozen Snowshoe

Skinny Dipper wrote:

At the next provincial convention, I think Andrea Horwath will attempt to shore up her social democratic credentials.  I hope that the delegates won't fall for her faux-progressivism.  The big problem for the Ontario NDP in keeping Ms. Horwath as the leader is trying to build a strong volunteer base and getting donations.  I would not be surprised if the delegates vote to keep Ms. Horwath as the leader but with the party not announcing the numerical or percentage results.  Call me "cynical."

If it's not a violation of protocol, I'll quote my own post (#108 up-thread):

"As for the leadership review, the deck has been stacked against doing anything about it. At the last provincial council meeting a resolution squeeked through that will allow the party to take back a riding's delegate accreditations if they have not filed delegate names 45 days before convention. That means that every riding will have to have their delegates named by the beginning of October. How many ridings will be able to pull that off after Labour Day? You can be sure that those credentials that aren't assigned locally will be given to solid supporters of the leader. You can be sure that's why the change was made. This is just the latest of an ongoing series of measures that have consolidated power in the leader's office and reduced the ability of members to hold the leadership to account. For all her breezy, cheerful public persona, within the party Andrea Horwath has always been contemptuous of members, manipulative of process and tolerant of those who break rules on her behalf. The Scarborough Guildwood nomination process and the abuse of process that led to the election of Neethan Shan as party president are only the most public expressions of that."

I would advise anybody who cares to make sure that your local riding association holds a delegate selection meeting, nominates a full slate of delegates and files the delegates' names with the centre in time to avoid the credentials going to Andrea's ringers. It wouldn't hurt to also make sure that people who aren't just cheerleaders are willing to be delegates.

 

Edited for spelling and to correct riding name

Pages