Toronto Centre by-election

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autoworker autoworker's picture

Now, if Margaret Atwood would run for the Greens, we could have a book festival. Any thoughts on who the Cons might shortlist for Toronto's newest literary prize? Libertarians? Marxist-Leninists? Pirates?

Stockholm

I keep urging the Tories to get Barbara Amiel to run on a pro-plutocrat platform, but they won't listen to me.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Hollett is more of an Obama Democrat. 

That is a major insult to any progressive politician.  Is that sort of like a Blairite but with less principles?

Lord Palmerston

"She currently consults on digital projects, and works with The Leading Change Network to train community activists with Marshall Ganz, who designed the 2008 grassroots strategy for Barack Obama. She lives in, and loves, Toronto Centre and feels it captures the best of the city and country."

http://jenniferhollett.com/about/

Stockholm

I think we should copy EVERYTHING we possibly can about the Obama campaigns grassroots strategy. In fact, I would be happy to copy everything possible about Harper's "grassroots" strategy...(at least anything legal and ethical). Using state of the art campaign techniques have nothing to do with policy or ideology. I trust that whoever is the NDP candidate in TC - Hollett or McQuaig - will be equally eager to get whatever help they can from a mastermind like Marshall Ganz

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Adopting Obama's style of lying about issues to get into power is of course what all parties should do. Wait isn't that what the Liberal's always do.  Getting elected is of course worth more than any principles the Liberal's pretend to have.  So I guess if power is the only goal the NDP should follow suit. It would also help if the NDP could get a cadre of billionaires behind it just like Obama.

wage zombie

Stockholm wrote:

I think we should copy EVERYTHING we possibly can about the Obama campaigns grassroots strategy. 

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Adopting Obama's style of lying about issues to get into power is of course what all parties should do.

These are two different things.

Lord Palmerston

Stockholm wrote:

I think we should copy EVERYTHING we possibly can about the Obama campaigns grassroots strategy. In fact, I would be happy to copy everything possible about Harper's "grassroots" strategy...(at least anything legal and ethical). Using state of the art campaign techniques have nothing to do with policy or ideology. I trust that whoever is the NDP candidate in TC - Hollett or McQuaig - will be equally eager to get whatever help they can from a mastermind like Marshall Ganz

So are you saying that the old CCF-NDP vision of building a new society is outdated?  Because you're not going to do that with quick soundbites and catchy slogans. 

adma

Whatever the case, I doubt the outcome of this nomination will be acrimonious or divisive in the manner of Giambrone vs Chhabra--however, of the two, I reckon that McQuaig's got more invested in this here present nomination, while Hollett's more likely to use it as a springboard for the future even if she loses...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

wage zombie wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

I think we should copy EVERYTHING we possibly can about the Obama campaigns grassroots strategy. 

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Adopting Obama's style of lying about issues to get into power is of course what all parties should do.

These are two different things.

Stockholm said adopt EVERYTHING not just some things. Obama lies and he gets his main "grassroots" campaign funds to lie with from billionaires.  That is encompassed in the EVERYTHING about Obama's style.  I expect that to be the Liberal's strategy but I guess it is just one more indication that the NDP wants to be the new liberal party without the baggage of the name.

janfromthebruce

stockholm, I believe meant the how to campaign within the grassroots and not the other stuff. But let's not get side tracked and stick with TorCen contest.

It's exciting having two very progressive candidates vying for the nomination. Both have different styles and we don't need to put down one in order to build the other.

 

David Young

janfromthebruce wrote:

It's exciting having two very progressive candidates vying for the nomination. Both have different styles and we don't need to put down one in order to build the other.

Well said, Jan.

I just hope that Mulcair, or someone else in the NDP Executive, puts the idea in the ear of whomever doesn't get the nomination that since in two years there will be new boundaries, there will be a place for both candidates of such high quality when it really becomes time to 'Heave Harper' in 2015!

 

janfromthebruce

David Young wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

It's exciting having two very progressive candidates vying for the nomination. Both have different styles and we don't need to put down one in order to build the other.

Well said, Jan.

I just hope that Mulcair, or someone else in the NDP Executive, puts the idea in the ear of whomever doesn't get the nomination that since in two years there will be new boundaries, there will be a place for both candidates of such high quality when it really becomes time to 'Heave Harper' in 2015!

 

I agree.

pookie

Seen on twitter - Susan Gapka just announced that she is also seeking NDP nomination.

Stockholm

pookie wrote:

Seen on twitter - Susan Gapka just announced that she is also seeking NDP nomination.

She will get literally 1 or 2 votes in total one of which would be her own. I think this is an example of someone running just so that they get to give a speech at a nomination meeting likely to have 100s of attendees. Nothing more.

janfromthebruce

I'm glad that Susan threw her name in the hat - the more the merrier.

Summer

Stockholm wrote:

pookie wrote:

Seen on twitter - Susan Gapka just announced that she is also seeking NDP nomination.

She will get literally 1 or 2 votes in total one of which would be her own. I think this is an example of someone running just so that they get to give a speech at a nomination meeting likely to have 100s of attendees. Nothing more.

Yikes!  negative much?  

 

I like what I read in this profile from the Star: 

Comparing the above profile with the Hollet profile in the Grid (see post 86), Gapka seems to have better experience than Hollet.  

nicky

I am a member of the TC riding assocaiation and have not yet decided whom I will support for the nomination.

I have admired Linda McQuaig for many years and have read many of her columns and one of her books. I would be very happy to work for her in the by-election.

I want to say however that some of you on Babble seem to be selling Jennifer Hollett short. I have only spoken with her twice, once in person and once when she canvassed me by phone. I have been impressed. 

She is certainly no piece of fluff as some have suggested. She is very personable, energetic and articulate. When we spoke by phone I asked a couple of fairly esoteric questions about criminal law policy and she was very knowledgable. She was keen to talk about policy in other areas as well. I actually had the impression she was something of a policy wonk. This may become more apparent as the nomination contest progresses.

I don't think you get a degree in government from Harvard without some smarts, nor make as strong a run as she is making without some organizational ability.

So keep an open mind about Jennifer and have a good look. 

Lord Palmerston

She probably is smart.  But don't be too taken in by her "masters from Harvard."  The program she attended is a 9 month program with an over 50% acceptance rate and it's not an academic degree in political science or government, it's more of a networking-type degree.  Probably the easiest program to get into at Harvard and a total cash cow for the university (though I'm not saying she didn't learn a thing or two from the "mastermind" Marshall Ganz, but it's a pretty high price tag).  In fact, a two-year MPA degree at any Canadian university would be more rigorous and have higher academic standards. 

More importantly though, it's the way her campaign is presenting itself:  young, hip, tech-savvy and "progressive", with little about policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholm

To what extent do we or should we expect candidates for nomination in a byelection to put out detailed policy prescriptions? Ultimately the party as a whole at conventions, plus the leader and his campaign team will determine NDP policy and an individual candidate will have limited permission to freelance and put forth whatever positions they feel like.

I assume that whoever ends up being the NDP candidate will sing out of the party hymn book. My only concern is who has the best chance of getting elected - and I am still not sure if that person is Linda McQuaig or Jennifer Hollett (I have already ruled out Susan Gapka on that front)

DaveW

Stockholm wrote:

pookie wrote:

Seen on twitter - Susan Gapka just announced that she is also seeking NDP nomination.

She will get literally 1 or 2 votes in total one of which would be her own. I think this is an example of someone running just so that they get to give a speech at a nomination meeting likely to have 100s of attendees. Nothing more.

nothing the matter with drawing some attention to the process ...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Stockholm wrote:

pookie wrote:

Seen on twitter - Susan Gapka just announced that she is also seeking NDP nomination.

She will get literally 1 or 2 votes in total one of which would be her own. I think this is an example of someone running just so that they get to give a speech at a nomination meeting likely to have 100s of attendees. Nothing more.

OK...i'll bite...Ms Gapka may or may not have any chance of getting this nomination...but why are you being contemptuous about the very idea of her seeking the nomination?  Is she going to do the party harm just by giving a speech at a well-attended nomination meeting? 

(I know nothing at all about Ms. Gapka, but it's clearly that she's already registered a high reading on your personal Disdain-O-Meter)

At this point, it sounds like you're pissing on her candidacy for no real reason. 

(on edit)OK, so she's transgendered.  You got a problem with that, Stocks?  It's not going to be something anybody who'd even think of voting NDP would be bothered about anymore, if that's what you're thinking  Anybody who's a gender fascist is going to be Harperite on everything else as well.

Stockholm

There are lots of articulate, talented, presentable, intelligent people in the world who happen to be transgendered...and if one of them wanted to run for an NDP nomination (or any party's for that matter) - that would be a wonderful thing.

I have no issue with Susan Gapka personally. I just think that people who run for nominations should be serious candidates who are seriously in it to win...not just running for the sake of running and cluttering up the contest so they can give a speech in front of audience to satisfy their narcissism and trying to be be some NDP version of John C. Turmel or Harold Stassen (running in every single election for 50 years and getting fewer votes every time).

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Who decides who is a "serious candidate" and who isn't?

And how can you be sure Ms. Grapka can't possibly BE a "serious candidate"? or that she's not articulate, presentable, or any of the other things you implied that she isn't? 

I would be fine with either of the other candidates, but it can't be a good thing for any center-left party to be making a point of saying that some people have no business even to be seeking a nomination.

It's only right-wing parties that are supposed to be elitist about who is and who isn't worthy of even seeking a nomination.  The left and the "center-left" aren't supposed to be in the business of dismissing people, or of creating an "in-crowd" and an "out-crowd" in party ranks.  The NDP is supposed to be a party that cares about the voices from below...that empowers those voices...not that takes the same view of who should and who shouldn't be heard that the Conservatives and Liberals take.

And what, might I ask, are you so worried that Ms. Gapka will SAY if she gets to speak at the meeting?  Is she really at all likely to do anything that will harm the party or express any views that the vast majority of NDP supporters wouldn't back?

If she isn't seen as the best candidate by those there, then your concerns would take care of themselves.  If she were, somehow, to make a stronger-than-expected showing or even to win the nomination, wouldn't that indicate that she was, in fact, a better candidate than you think she'd be?

I think you could have made your point without sounding like quite so much of a verbal bully.  It's not as though the NDP''s chances in Toronto-Centre hinge on Susan Gapka being kept silent in the nomination meeting.  Once again, you're being far more heavy-handed than necessary in discussing this.

 

Stockholm

Its a free country and she has as much right to run for a nomination as anyone else. But a "serious" candidate doesn't suddenly decide to run AFTER the deadline to sign up any new members has passed. It won't matter one way or the other. I'm just saying that I don't think she is in it to win. She just wants a platform to give a speech in front of lots of people. That's fine - the same could be said for each of the people running against Justin Trudeau for the federal Liberal leadership.

theleftyinvestor

I've met SG peripherally. I think we have mutual friends but I didn't meet her until after I moved west from Toronto. I respect her work in the party and in community organizing. I don't get the sense she would be a particularly strong speaker in a political context, but I don't see the harm in her running.

adma

And in the end, to grouse about how Susan Gapka shouldn't run seems more like a NDP-nomination version of Liberals grousing about how the NDP shouldn't run in "no-hope" ridings...

janfromthebruce

this doesn't matter.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Chrystia Freeland on CTV

Note they say that Jennifer Hollett is running for the NDP

felixr

knownothing wrote:

Chrystia Freeland on CTV

Note they say that Jennifer Hollett is running for the NDP

They also talk about how Chrystia's mother ran for the Federal NDP in Edmonton-Strathcona in 1988, getting one of the NDP's best results ever there.

Chrystia says her main difference with the NDP is an abiding belief in capitalism or something like that, wtf? and "I'm not going to apologise for" my great career lived somewhere else and I'm just so excited about the way Justin Trudeau talks about how politics doesn't have to be this ooey, gooey, nasty stuff- vote for me!

I know it is Toronto Centre, but can someone please defeat this candidate.

janfromthebruce

felixr wrote:

knownothing wrote:

Chrystia Freeland on CTV

Note they say that Jennifer Hollett is running for the NDP

They also talk about how Chrystia's mother ran for the Federal NDP in Edmonton-Strathcona in 1988, getting one of the NDP's best results ever there.

Chrystia says her main difference with the NDP is an abiding belief in capitalism or something like that, wtf? and "I'm not going to apologise for" my great career lived somewhere else and I'm just so excited about the way Justin Trudeau talks about how politics doesn't have to be this ooey, gooey, nasty stuff- vote for me!

I know it is Toronto Centre, but can someone please defeat this candidate.

except that finally Linda Duncan, NDP finally won the riding, 2x but yeah, the libs won't be mentioning that. Back in 1988 it was during the free trade debate and the NDP under Broadbent has it's best showing in seat count until Layton's NDP big win in 2011.

I loved your term: this ooey, gooey, nasty stuff- vote for me!

Make no mistake, Trudeau will get into the gutter. I've seen him turn personally as he has a thin elitest skin when challenged on his contradictions: saying one thing and doing another.

Lord Palmerston

Here's my take on the TYND debate tonight:

Went to the TYND debate tonight for the TC NDP nomination. Here is my take. First of all there was only one mention of Mulcair in the whole debate. Linda McQuaig was superb, hammering away on the inequality issue and austerity and the failure of the neoliberal agenda over the past 3 decades. She also stressed the importance not of winning for winning's sake but getting the progressive agenda into the debate. Identified with "Jump You Fuckers!" sentiment. And she really handled the predictable not just reformism/Keynesianism question well by stating that we do need to have discussion about capitalism, but policy outcomes matter (i.e. the Nordic model vs. the Anglo-American model) and that contrary to the "worse before it gets better" analysis, good policy outcomes encourage people to demand more. It is in times of austerity, of diminished expectations, militancy decreases. 

Jennifer Hollett frankly struck me as a PR hack leading a focus group, but she was pretty good at articulating that kind of "vision" for the party. She started off by saying "politics is very personal" (i.e. the personal is political line). I'm not as contemptuous of this line as many other radicals are, but it kind of set off alarm bells for me. She did invoke class (even said "we're a country of working people" and talked about her Irish-Catholic working class/social justice background) but more was more about inclusion/consultation than about articulating an alternative to neoliberalism and austerity: i.e. "we need to bring people to the table." She invoked the "I'm fighting for what TYND is fighting for" but I don't think she'll be getting it.

 

Hunky_Monkey

A Tory friend from Ontario mentioned the Liberals are infighting in TC.  Many of the local Liberals don't want Trudeau's choice, Freeland.  

Anyone hearing that?

nicky

I haven't heard anything directly, HM, although I live in Toronto Centre, but indirectly I have heard:

1. Smitherman is pissed at being shouldered out.

2. There are grumblings about Trudeau parachuting in a candidate, particulary after his posturings about open nominations, etc.

3. there are substantial campaigns being mounted behind Freedand's two main challengers for the nomination.

Lord Palmerston

Aren't Liberals used to this sort of thing?

janfromthebruce

Affirms the rumours: A tale of two Trudeaus — one we like and one we don’t

The Toronto Centre contest, which really isn’t one, recalls the bad old days of the once-great Grits, when earnest and hard-working locals were pushed aside — and out-of-touch aristocrats made their entrance, trumpets heralding their arrival, and the leader’s minions throwing rose petals ahead of them.

The aristocrat, in this case, isn’t Michael Ignatieff, although you could be forgiven for remembering him right about now.

It is Chrystia Freeland, who (like Ignatieff) has lived and worked for years in the U.S., who (like Ignatieff) passed some time at Harvard, who has written books (like Ignatieff) about Russia and the plight of people from a lower station in life, and who (like Ignatieff) is being heralded as a political star by the finest minds of deepest Rosedale.

Trudeau claims, with a straight face, that he is not attempting to engineer the nomination for Freeland — who does not even live in Canada, let alone Toronto Centre. But there is not a Liberal alive who believes him.

snip

All except Freeland, that is, whose book Trudeau rather fancied.

She therefore gets to have one of the most coveted Liberal nominations in the country. Without, you know, even living in the country.

snip

What we don’t need, at all, is Michael Ignatieff in pearls — and Trudeau looking the other way, while some of his BMW-driving fixers maul democracy to orchestrate her debut in Parliament.

Early impressions are important, in politics as in life.

snip

Meanwhile, the impression left by the sordid manipulations in Toronto Centre? It all stinks.

And for that, Mr. Trudeau, we say shame on you.

In the end and what I've seen so far is idea that double standards are okay: there are two sets of rules and do as I say and not what I do. So elitism and entitlement rules.

felixr

janfromthebruce wrote:

Affirms the rumours: A tale of two Trudeaus — one we like and one we don’t

The Toronto Centre contest, which really isn’t one, recalls the bad old days of the once-great Grits, when earnest and hard-working locals were pushed aside — and out-of-touch aristocrats made their entrance, trumpets heralding their arrival, and the leader’s minions throwing rose petals ahead of them.

The aristocrat, in this case, isn’t Michael Ignatieff, although you could be forgiven for remembering him right about now.

It is Chrystia Freeland, who (like Ignatieff) has lived and worked for years in the U.S., who (like Ignatieff) passed some time at Harvard, who has written books (like Ignatieff) about Russia and the plight of people from a lower station in life, and who (like Ignatieff) is being heralded as a political star by the finest minds of deepest Rosedale.

Trudeau claims, with a straight face, that he is not attempting to engineer the nomination for Freeland — who does not even live in Canada, let alone Toronto Centre. But there is not a Liberal alive who believes him.

snip

All except Freeland, that is, whose book Trudeau rather fancied.

She therefore gets to have one of the most coveted Liberal nominations in the country. Without, you know, even living in the country.

snip

What we don’t need, at all, is Michael Ignatieff in pearls — and Trudeau looking the other way, while some of his BMW-driving fixers maul democracy to orchestrate her debut in Parliament.

Early impressions are important, in politics as in life.

snip

Meanwhile, the impression left by the sordid manipulations in Toronto Centre? It all stinks.

And for that, Mr. Trudeau, we say shame on you.

In the end and what I've seen so far is idea that double standards are okay: there are two sets of rules and do as I say and not what I do. So elitism and entitlement rules.

This just makes it even more important that the NDP nomination be a clean contest. In the past, Liberal coronations have been fertile ground for defections of pink liberals to the New Democratic Party. I love how in the National Post story about Freeland several weeks back they cropped the cover of her book so that all you could see was her name next to the private jet parked in someone's driveway. The article then opened by talking about how she was a fly-in (parachute) candidate. I can't wait to see all the "we American" quotes Ignatieff 2.0 has on her illustrious CV. Short of her being a dual citizen, I think this shows the way her true political colours fly: whichever way the wind blows.

felixr

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Here's my take on the TYND debate tonight:

Went to the TYND debate tonight for the TC NDP nomination. Here is my take. First of all there was only one mention of Mulcair in the whole debate. Linda McQuaig was superb, hammering away on the inequality issue and austerity and the failure of the neoliberal agenda over the past 3 decades. She also stressed the importance not of winning for winning's sake but getting the progressive agenda into the debate. Identified with "Jump You Fuckers!" sentiment. And she really handled the predictable not just reformism/Keynesianism question well by stating that we do need to have discussion about capitalism, but policy outcomes matter (i.e. the Nordic model vs. the Anglo-American model) and that contrary to the "worse before it gets better" analysis, good policy outcomes encourage people to demand more. It is in times of austerity, of diminished expectations, militancy decreases. 

Jennifer Hollett frankly struck me as a PR hack leading a focus group, but she was pretty good at articulating that kind of "vision" for the party. She started off by saying "politics is very personal" (i.e. the personal is political line). I'm not as contemptuous of this line as many other radicals are, but it kind of set off alarm bells for me. She did invoke class (even said "we're a country of working people" and talked about her Irish-Catholic working class/social justice background) but more was more about inclusion/consultation than about articulating an alternative to neoliberalism and austerity: i.e. "we need to bring people to the table." She invoked the "I'm fighting for what TYND is fighting for" but I don't think she'll be getting it.

Thanks for the recap LP.

mark_alfred
janfromthebruce

pretty exciting as following various people on twitter feed, particularly @punditsguide.

Hamiltonian

Gosh I wish they would hurry up!! Holding breath for McQuaig!

felixr

McQuaig won.

janfromthebruce

Congratulations @LindaMcQuaig !! #NDP #TorCen candidate! It was so exciting to watch. McQuaig gave barnburning, gave boilerplate NDP speech and rocked the room. Said elsewhere, the lib candidate is in the race of their lives.

janfromthebruce

Also had fundraiser with Andrew Cash and Charlie Angus - raised 10 grand in 10 minutes. Opened with duet song - money.

janfromthebruce

McQuaig: delighted Liberals have finally discovered income equality; too bad they haven't yet acknowledged their role in creating it.

Pundit's guide tweeting thank you speech.

janfromthebruce

McQuaig got front page pic on Sat. Globe and Mail.

Unionist

Good news!

jerrym

McQuaig - what the NDP needs more of - an eloquent fighter who takes on issues front and centre.

toaster

Unfortunate.  I hope Hollett tries again after the redistribution.  I guess the positive is that I can now I can rest and just watch the race from afar, and not worry so much about the Byelection results.

janfromthebruce

The riding is being redistributed and so Jennifer has a clear shot at the other new riding. It was an excellent race and McQuaig is an excellent candidate. One of her flyers sitting on the seats in the hall stated that 40 economists supported her candidacy. That speaks volumes to McQuaig's understanding of progressive economic and social politics. And also a deep knowledge of international/global economic politics.

Linda McQuaig and Chrystia Freeland clinch Toronto Centre nominations

Linda McQuaig poses for a portrait in Regent Park in Toronto, Ontario, September 13, 2013.

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