Next Manitoba Premier - Part 2

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Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:

For all I know Ashton may have virtues that would make him "electable". But the fact that his people are good at playing "rent a mob" to win some delegate selection meetings

"Rent a mob?" What the hell are you talking about? The whole idea of selling memberships during leadership and constituency nomination meetings is to pack them in your favour so you win. Many people who sign up in this fashion drift away afterwards. What Ashton has done is not out of the ordinary, and I think the complaints against Ashton signing up ethnic voters is motivated by racism and an "old guard" mentality.

Stockholm wrote:
The people who know him best are the people in caucus and they've rejected him almost en masse. That says something too. In fact I wonder whether if he won (still highly unlikely from what I hear) half the current caucus would not run again and would run for a lifeboat rather than go down with the Titanic.

You're right, any leader not endorsed by the party caucus is a disaster waiting to happen. That Layton guy had the support of only 2 caucus members, and look where the party ended up.

By the way, did it not occur to you that it is possible to endorse one candidate and still respect or think highly of the other?

Stockholm

"This is where we differ.  I don't give a fuck which party is in power, as long as I get good policies."

That's all very well, but do you want to pick a Premier of a leader of a decimated opposition. You won't get much in the way of good policies from a Tory provincial government that will roll back EVERYTHING the NDP has done within a month of being in power. By all accounts the Manitoba PCs are on their hands and knews praying that the NDP will pick Ashton since they are certain that he can't win an election.

If I wanted to get a party from 10% of the vote to 15% maybe I'd go for Ashton. But if i want to retain 45% and win all those swing seats in Winnipeg, then I want someone who seems cool and who has had some major portfolios in government and who has a moderate "style" while in reality being just as progressive as anyone else. It doesn't seem like ideology is what's determining who supports who. There are people from across the ideological spectrum backing both candidates, its seems to be mainly a few backbenchers in caucus back Ashton (they may be outsiders for very good reasons such as lack of talent). Isn't Ashton's campaign being managed by some city councillor who backed the rightwing crackpot Sam Katz for mayor?

I don't know who has necessarily signed up more or less members given that when all is said and done its likely that Selinger will win at least a slim majority of the delegates elected in each riding. Ashton may have exceeded expectations, but he's still behind.

 

ghoris

I'm actually rather pleased with the final two choices on the ballot. Having not lived in Manitoba for any significant length of time since 2001 (or most of the NDP's mandate), I can't really offer any opinion on who is more 'electable' or will have greater resonance with the electorate at large, but I think that the party could have done a lot worse than either Steve Ashton or Greg Selinger. It will be interesting to see who wins on the 17th.

Stockholm

any examples of who would have been worse?

V. Jara

genstrike wrote:

kingblake wrote:

Serious genstrike? You're actually linking to this horseshit? wow. Top-notch research. If it says it on a blog somewhere, it must be true...

 

I think it raises valid questions, in light of how desperate some people are to keep Ashton out by any means necessary.  And considering that this blogger now isn't the only person making these accusations

WTF, $561.05 for 40 cheeseburgers and water?????

ETA: When do babblers think the new NDP leader will look to go to the voters to validate their mandate? I hope they go very early. The winner could even pull a Doer and see the legislature dissolved before he can be sworn as premier. We wouldn't want the NDP to catch Gordon Brown syndrome after a decade in power...

Stockholm

There is a fixed election dates bill in Manitoba that sets the next election in the Fall of 2011, I don't see any reason to break that law.

genstrike

Stockholm wrote:

any examples of who would have been worse?

Andrew Swan, for one

Fidel

Critiques of prairie NDP governments are a little more sophisticated than in Tommy Douglas' day. They know by now that trying to smear the NDP with names like Bolsheviks, reds and commies won't cut it with educated people today. Apparently theyre reduced to likening Canada's provincial premiers to Gordon Brown, a cosmetic leader in Britain. That's sure to strike fear into the hearts of voters everywhere.

genstrike

Fidel, do you have anything to contribute to this thread at all, other than some blanket attack on anyone who isn't a Gary Doer fanboy?

Fidel

What's with all these blank posts?

Aristotleded24

V. Jara wrote:

When do babblers think the new NDP leader will look to go to the voters to validate their mandate? I hope they go very early. The winner could even pull a Doer and see the legislature dissolved before he can be sworn as premier. We wouldn't want the NDP to catch Gordon Brown syndrome after a decade in power...

I personally think a credible argument could be made to seek a mandate ahead of the fixed date sometime in the spring of next year. I wouldn't want it later than that because I don't want the municipal and provincial campaigns to overlap, and it goes later, it might as well happen on the set date in May of 2011.

Stockholm

Apparently the last of the DSMs were held today and it was about an even split with Ashton winning in Fort Whyte and Interlake and Selinger winning all the others around Brandon. That means Selinger goes forward with about 130 delegates ahead and that's not counting all the Swan delegates who can be expected to heavily favour Selinger. The only path to victory i can see for Ashton would be to somehow almost sweep all the "super-delegates" which is highly, highly unlikely.

V. Jara

I wasn't comparing either MB NDP leadership candidate to Gordon Brown, but I think it is always a good move to seek a mandate from the people after you have been elected by your ruling party as the premier designate. That gives you a chance to seek legitimacy at the moment when you are most popular amongst the public (e.g. when you've just come off a win and haven't had a chance to do anything wrong yet). You may also have a campaign machine already in place, and what better way to steel party unity and test the cabinet cred of your former rivals than sending the party into an inspired election campaign. As far as breaking the fixed election law, I say it could be amended to allow new leaders to seek a mandate from the people. I see that as a democratic enhancement, and not a detriment, to the law.

Tractor

Stockholm:  Consider this --

The Manitoba NDP is coming off of 20 years of leadership under Gary Doer.  Doer got into the party leadership on the strength of his lefty union cred.  He took a different path once he got a firm hold of the reins.   As leader, Doer shaped the party in countless ways.  Among other things, he helped to select the folks that would run and succeed as Ministers under him.  Party memberships gradually dwindled.  He also pushed for the current delegate-selection process.  Despite the recent crowing about Doer's popularity and success, polls have thus far indicated that the Manitoba NDP are in a fine position without him.

Doer and Ashton were never best buddies.  It didn't help that Ashton was intelligent, head-shakingly popular with his constituents despite his quirks, and had been around longer than anyone, Doer included.  Doer gave him a sucession of ministerial portfolios which appeared tailor chosen to put him into a difficult spot.  Ask around -- Ashton prevailed in each case.  Everyone he actually worked with speaks about him in glowing terms. 

He undoubtedly ruffled some feathers in helping his daughter turf former MP Bev Desjarlais, but good riddance to bad rubbish, y'know?

There's two Ashtons out there in the media spotlight. The short-term Ashton -- He's playing the table-thumper right now for sure, but that's what he needs to do to get rank-and-file members riled and excited enough to show up and vote for the underdog/outsider. The long-term Ashton does not have a history of being strident, abrasive or polarizing. His colleagues are where they are because of who put them there, and they want to back the winner, which prevailing wisdom says is Selinger. You'll note that the MLAs who weren't on Doer's Christmas list are supporting Ashton.

He's running for NDP party leader right now.  What should he do to have the best shot building on his personal popularity, his historical support in the Indo-Canadian, Filipino, Greek, Northern and labour constituencies?  He needs to play himself up as a clear and distinct choice vs. Doer II over there (Selinger). 

Honestly, you'd be foolish to expect an Ashton-led NDP provincial election to look like an Ashton-led NDP leadership race.  It has never happened that way in the past, and it won't now.  He is probably the most progressive choice, and long-term I'd give him a slight edge over Selinger on electability.  Check out Selinger's campaign videos on youtube -- his tone is cerebral, dense and hypnotic.  Like Ignatieff on downers.

And speaking of Liberals, remember Paul Martin -- how well does the credibility gained from being a good finance minister last?

Stockholm

Paul Martin had problems of his own and he would have been just as much of a flop if he had been Health Minister instead of Finance Minister. Glen Clark was Finance minister under harcourt and he succeeded (initially) when the torch was passed to him.

You make some perfectly valid points, but i don't think its fair to call Selinger "Doer II". That might be a propos for Swan, but from what I've heard Selinger was never all that close to Doer and none of his inner circle are from the Doer braintrust - they all backed Swan.

Aristotleded24

Tractor wrote:
As leader, Doer shaped the party in countless ways.  Among other things, he helped to select the folks that would run and succeed as Ministers under him.

I will go even further and suggest that Doer went very far to seek out "yes men and women," to the point that the focus was on Doer and the local candidate was just there to hold the seat for him. That was reflected in several ads in the last campaign, ads that would extoll Doer's greatness and conclude by saying, "in (insert constituency name) vote (insert candidate name), NDP." I think your assessment about members of Caucus wanting to pick winners is correct, and I've stated earlier how I felt that the Caucus lining up behind Swan and Sellinger, plus the fact that several  high-profile Cabinet ministers initially turned down the idea of running for leader exposed how weak the Caucus is. One glaring example of that weakness with which I am familiar is how Diane McGifford as Minister for Advanced Education accomplished nothing except to frustrate student groups and rationalise the government going back on a promise to keep tuitions frozen post-2007, not to mention her lack of leadership on ancilliary fees and holding the university institutions accountable.

ETA: I also think your assessment of "short-term" and "long-term" Ashton are correct, and that the "long term" is more important. Some politicians are a bit clumsy in the media but people know and respect them because they have such a deep history with the community. Other politicians are great in front of the media but inspire cynicism because "we only hear from them during an election."

Fidel

Tractor wrote:

And speaking of Liberals, remember Paul Martin -- how well does the credibility gained from being a good finance minister last?

About as long as it took for Denis Desautels to accuse the Liberal finance minister of book-cooking in the late 90's to early 2000's.

 

Tractor

I actually agree with you about "Doer II," Stockholm -- it's an exagerration, at least.  I believe Selinger is his own man.  Long term, I expect him to be more progressive than Doer.  A little, anyway.

Really, though, this is Selinger's choice.  On the campaign (i.e., the short-term Selinger, if you will) he is drawing on the credibility gained from his record as Finance Minister for the full ten years of the Doer government, and touting the support of the Doer caucus.  That's fine for the "electability" argument, but if he wants to draw some distinctions between him and Doer, he better get on it!  Until he does, I would expect Ashton, if he's a smart campaigner, to carve out his territory among the more progressive folks who have been itching for Doer to leave, leaving Selinger to play Mr. More-of-the-same.

As for the Paul Martin comparison, I think that's just a warning that a finance minister under a popular leader can't rely too much on his record.  It gives the public the immediate sense of competence, perhaps, but it does little to build the sense that you can set direction and lead on principle.

Ashton's strategy may not be enough.  I expect him to draw a strong youth vote.  However much they might like his positions, the union vote may see Selinger as the best choice to keep the NDP in power, though.  I figured Ashton was a real contender right from the start -- and Ashton will come close -- but I still gotta give the edge to Selinger. 

Tractor

I actually think this battle is good for the party, by the way.  I'm not so sure Doer was coasting to yet another majority.  A new face and a freshly riled-up party might be a good thing!

Stockholm

Ashton was Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. The only other party leader who was previously minister of intergovernmental affairs that i can think of is Stephane Dion. So there you have it - anytime a party picks a new leader who was once MIA minister - they will lose for sure!!

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:

Ashton was Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. The only other party leader who was previously minister of intergovernmental affairs that i can think of is Stephane Dion. So there you have it - anytime a party picks a new leader who was once MIA minister - they will lose for sure!!

Apple, meet orange.

Stockholm

Here is latest from never eat yellow snow:

"elinger took Russell and most of the delegates in the Lac du Bonnet riding yesterday. This wraps up the constituency voting part of the process.

This leaves 752 votes up for grab with 108 going tonight. Because MYND is not voting as a block but based on proportional representation it is not winner take all tonight. Because of this, we are likely going to see both Selinger and Ashton pick up a fair chunk of support.

-108 at MYND (on Tuesday)

-430 at Labour

-214 super delegates

What we can conclude based on the riding vote:

Selinger won a large majority of the ridings and got support in all regions of the province (except maybe the north). He has a lead of over 150 delegates. He was able to translate MLA support into delegate support with the exception of The Maples.

Swan won a few South Winnipeg ridings. Most of his support is expected to go to Selinger. Swan was able to translate MLA support into delegate support in about half of the ridings.

Ashton won fewer ridings but got support in the three largest ones (The Maples, The Pas and Thompson). His support was concentrated in the North, North East Winnipeg, South West Winnipeg and areas with large ethnic communities. Like Selinger, he was also able to translate MLA support into delegate support"

Tractor

Stockholm -- either you're missing my point about Selinger being the Finance minister, or you're just funnin'.  Just because a duck is a bird and a goose is a bird, it doesn't mean a duck is a goose, you know?  Let me try to be a little clearer:

Both Selinger and Martin benefitted from a professed belief that the guy who presides over balanced budgets will make a good leader.  People said that outright in both cases, including pundits and the media.  The argument is crap, in my opinion.  I'm not saying that a former finance minister CAN'T be a good leader, only that being a good Finance minister doesn't MAKE you a good choice for leader.  Frankly, I expect that kind of thinking of the regressive Conservatives, not the NDP.

Nobody is pointing at any particular portfolio held by Ashton and saying "see, he's ready to be leader!"  That would also be crap. 

There may be an argument that being a Finance minister requires a skillset or character that is typically incompatible with that of being a leader -- I can imagine a few good points and it would be fun, but I ain't making that argument because I don't really believe it.

Ashton will be sending delegates to the convention from all over the province and so will Selinger.  In addition, the delegate selection process masks the support that Ashton had in Selinger ridings, and vice versa.  The regional issue is a non-issue in my opinion.  They both had strongholds.  Ashton managed to draw support in Winnipeg where no one expected him to do well, and he managed to do one thing Selinger couldn't do -- he took ridings where the MLA came out to support Swan AND Selinger. 

Stockholm

I was joking.

 

YOur last point is a bit misleading. Since about 80% of caucus backed Selinger its not as if there were all that many ridings where the MLA backed Ashton in the first place where Selinger could have won. If every riding voted for who their MLA backed then Selinger would already have won about 80% of the delegates! The MLAs who backed Ashton were alsmost all from the north where it was clear he was going to sweep anyways. Did anyone think Selinger was going to win the DSM in Flin Flon?

My only point about Selinger being Finance minister is that it shows FWIW that he's experienced in running a MAJOR portfolio. I;d say the same thing if he had been Minister of Health. (BTW: Chretien was also a one time Finance Minister).

Tractor

Well, my point is only misleading if it misled you I guess.  Smile

My point was meant to be simply that Ashton support has got some deeper roots than folks give him credit for.  The argument that he's all new members, regionalism and rent-a-votes, while Selinger is all established members and broad appeal -- that argument just doesn't hold water.

Selinger had one portfolio the whole time?  Well, then he's a one-trick pony.  A number cruncher. An accountant. A robot... blah blah blah I'm the wrong guy to shoot him down.  Like I said before, he may be somewhat sleep-inducing in person, but I quite like the guy.  The biggest problem a winning Selinger would have would be starting off with high expectations.  If Ashton wins, in six months people would be saying "Say, this ain't as bad as I thought..."  It's brilliant really.

Stockholm

In provincial politics in Canada, being "sleep inducing" is not a bad thing from an electoral perspective. Look at Bill Davis, McGuinty, Blakeney, Pawley, Calvert and many others. In most of Canada "bland works"

Tractor

True ... after all, middle-class middle-aged white people -- these are Selinger's peeps.

Stockholm

Ashton looks very white, very male, very middle aged and very middle class well.

Tractor

True dat.  

However, it was Selinger who stampeded the confused grey-hair & reading-glasses set by the dozens into their SUVs to drive to the delegate selection meetings and line up for him.  Goddamn ethnic vote! 

West Coast Lefty

What time is the vote today? When do we expect the results to be announced? I'm assuming Selinger is favoured to win, though Ashton has made it closer than expected.

NorthReport

Don't have the time answers WCL.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Is this article accurate or is it BS?

Race for top job in Manitoba pits centre against left
Two cabinet veterans with contrasting

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/711733--race-for-top-job-in-m...

ghoris

2003 votes cast, 1 spoiled, 2002 valid votes cast, 1002 needed to win.

Selinger 1,317

Ashton 685

Greg Selinger will be sworn in as Manitoba's 22nd Premier on Monday when Gary Doer formally resigns to take up his post as Ambassador to the United States.

Stockholm

so in the end it wasn't even all that close. Selinger took by almost a 2 to 1 margin. There has been some speculation that Ashton tried to position himself as the more activist, leftwing candidate, but that in reality there is almost no evidence that there is any real ideological difference between him and Selinger and he was really just trying to make the race into something other than - "who do you like better as a person Selinger or Ashton?"

I wonder if Selinger will do a major cabinet shuffle etc...

NorthReport

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NorthReport

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NorthReport

Thanks ghoris

Let's get on with taking the province back now before Wall does too much more damage. 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Stockholm wrote:
There has been some speculation that Ashton tried to position himself as the more activist, leftwing candidate, but that in reality there is almost no evidence that there is any real ideological difference between him and Selinger ...

Perhaps so. Where does it show that Selinger supports a tuition freeze and anti-scab legislation? I'm pretty sure Ashton supported those items, perhaps some others, but I can't seem to find where Selinger agrees.

 

Unionist

ghoris wrote:

2003 votes cast, 1 spoiled, 2002 valid votes cast, 1002 needed to win.

Selinger 1,317

Ashton 685

[url=Told">http://rabble.ca/babble/prairies/next-manitoba-premier#comment-1054585][... ya so.[/url]

ghoris

As I understand it, Doer formally tenders his resignation on Monday and Selinger will be sworn in. Doer was planning a big cabinet shuffle this fall anyways, so yes I expect Selinger will shuffle cabinet, possibly as early as this week - but whether it will be 'major' or not remains to be seen.

As I pointed out in another thread, Doer indicated (before his surprise resignation) that some of the more long-in-the-tooth ministers (especially those who weren't going to run again) would get the axe in a fall cabinet shuffle. Interestingly, many of those rumoured to be on the chopping block (McGifford, Wowchuk, Robinson) were some of Selinger's earliest and staunchest supporters so one wonders if he will reward them by keeping them in cabinet. Selinger also can't afford to alienate Swan's cabinet and caucus support - suburban 'young blood' MLAs and ministers like Oswald, Selby and Blady. Obviously he has to reward Swan for his endorsement and smooth over any bad feelings by giving Ashton a major role.  He has to find a place for Bill Blaikie. Finally, there are some ambitious young backbenchers like Altemeyer and Howard who backed Selinger and who are probably chomping at the bit for a cabinet post.

It's going to be a tough job, and he may find that there's not a lot of room to make major changes. One of the difficulties Selinger will face is that Doer never fired anyone from cabinet - the closest he came was not re-appointing ministers like Tim Sale who had already announced their retirements. Even ministers who (in my opinion) deserved to be turfed were simply demoted. Anyone who gets dropped from cabinet now will probably not take it very well.

Stockholm

N.Beltov wrote:

Perhaps so. Where does it show that Selinger supports a tuition freeze and anti-scab legislation? I'm pretty sure Ashton supported those items, perhaps some others, but I can't seem to find where Selinger agrees.

But when someone (i.e. Ashton) spends their entire political career never particularly identifying with "the left" in the party and then all of a sudden they come up with these policies two weeks before the leadership vote people wonder if there is a sincere philosophical difference between him and Selinger. My understanding is that Ashton was never seen as being a leftwing force in cabinet - he was just a bit of a loner who didn't get along very well with his colleagues.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

So you were aware that the two candidates differed on anti-scab legislation and just left that out anyway?

Stockholm

I'm aware of that - but my point is that Ashton's sudden reinvention of himself as a leftwing firebrand after a long career of being a total go-with-the-flow centrist with not very good interpersonal skills seemed a bit "Saul on the road to Damascus"-like and it may not have seemed sincere.

MOst tallies had Ashton and Selinger quite close when it came to the constituency delegates but in the end Selinger blew him out of the water and the only explanation for that would be Selinger getting masive support from the labour and ex-officio delegates. You would think that labour delegates might have rallied to the candidate promising to bring in anti-scab legislation - yet they gave him a big thumbs down. Maybe this is an issue that most union people simply don't feel all that strongly about. Or maybe they saw it as a cynical attempt to pander to them. Who knows?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Former Premier Gary Doer was one of those labour delegates once. And he never supported anti-scab legislation and took great pains during election time - including the 3 or 4 in a row that he won as Premier - to assure the public that he would never introduce such legislation. There's a greater diversity among labour delegates - or shall we say not so much unshakeable pro-working class partisanship as one would expect - than you're letting on here.

The case has been made for anti-scab legislation very strongly for those willing to do a very little investigating. And, of course, there is the experience of - what? - 2 or 3 other provinces - without NDP regimes I might add - in this regard.

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
You would think that labour delegates might have rallied to the candidate promising to bring in anti-scab legislation

You'd think so. Unfortunately the powers-that-be in the labour movement in Manitoba believe that if we keep an NDP government in power, everything would be fine. They don't actively mobilise their members, and they are much easier when the NDP fails them than when the Conservatives do.

Unionist

[url=Tough">http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2009/10/16/mb-doer-last-day-ndp-... act to follow[/url]

Quote:
[Gary Doer's] departure is being mourned not only by party faithful in Manitoba who have him to thank for three majority governments, but by New Democrats across the country who view him as proof that a left-wing party can govern successfully and appeal to white-collar, upper-class voters.

ETA: Sorry, I forgot this key quote:

Quote:
"I'm not selling my home or my cottage," he said.

And I'm not buying.

 

remind remind's picture

Are you saying he has not governed successfully unionist?

genstrike

Stockholm wrote:
You would think that labour delegates might have rallied to the candidate promising to bring in anti-scab legislation - yet they gave him a big thumbs down. Maybe this is an issue that most union people simply don't feel all that strongly about. Or maybe they saw it as a cynical attempt to pander to them. Who knows?

I think a better explanation is that the MFL brass are a bunch of fucking opportunists who don't care about their members (of course, I knew that one already).  It's the only explanation - I talked to CUPE members at the U of M who knew they were going to get scabbed on in 2010 and wanted anti-scab, but hacks like Rebeck and Davidson would rather kiss Greg Selinger's ass than stick up for their members.  Similarly, UFCW often gets scabbed on, but it has been repeatedly shown that the tyrant of local 832 doesn't care about his members and thus decided not to support the guy who supports anti-scab.

A friend told me that one person from the MFL told him that even though Selinger promised not to bring in anti-scab, they will fight for it at convention.  Yeah, how has that been going the past ten years?  Of course, I don't think anyone can possibly be stupid enough to actually believe that this will work, so I would guess that this guy is just hoping for patronage.

The notion that there is no ideological difference between Seligner and Ashton simply doesn't hold water.  Ashton promised to bring in anti-scab, Selinger promised not to.  Ashton promised a tuition freeze, Selinger promised tuition increases.  Once Swan dropped out, the brass and hacks almost seamlessly lined up behind Selinger.  There is a lot more difference between Ashton and Selinger than there was between Selinger and Swan.

The way I see it, NDPers had a choice.  They decided that either they didn't want anti-scab, a tuition freeze, etc., or that kissing the brass' ass was more important than sticking up for whatever halfhearted principles they had.

I don't know how any labour delegates or young people could have possibly voted for Selinger.  I've said it before, but I still don't fucking get it.  They have a literally once in 20 year chance to change the direction of the party and get some of the things they want, and they manage to fuck it all up when it's a pretty clear choice.  The only explanations I can think of are that these people are either opportunists kissing Selinger's ass, or have so internalized the dominant media discourse that they are too left wing that they have lost all confidence in their abilities and have gone beyond bending over on request to bending over at the slightest opportunity.

I predict that now, the cult of personality will take over.  Any concerns about government policies and the direction of the party will be drowned out by chants of Greg! Greg! Greg!

I knew the assholes in power in the NDP didn't deserve my support, but I still had hopes for the rank and file.  But I am forced to revisit that, and assume that most NDPers don't want anti-scab, want higher tuition, and are generally satisfied with the Neutered Democratic Party and their Blairite bullshit.

Old Labour is dead in the NDP.  Selinger is Gordon Brown.

Aristotleded24

genstrike wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
You would think that labour delegates might have rallied to the candidate promising to bring in anti-scab legislation - yet they gave him a big thumbs down. Maybe this is an issue that most union people simply don't feel all that strongly about. Or maybe they saw it as a cynical attempt to pander to them. Who knows?

I think a better explanation is that the MFL brass are a bunch of fucking opportunists who don't care about their members

You're right, that is a better and more concise explanation than what I offered.

genstrike wrote:

I knew the assholes in power in the NDP didn't deserve my support, but I still had hopes for the rank and file.  But I am forced to revisit that, and assume that most NDPers don't want anti-scab, want higher tuition, and are generally satisfied with the Neutered Democratic Party and their Blairite bullshit.

Remember that this was a delegate selection and not OMOV. Originally the leadership decision was to be OMOV, but the MFL decided to go back to the delegate system a couple of years ago (and the explanations they offered were condescending and insulting). Ashton called for a return to OMOV. The delegate selection process can be confusing and I don't see any democratic reasoning for keeping it in. (I think even the PCs choose their leader by OMOV.) Would Ashton have won with OMOV? Who knows, maybe Sellinger would have still won, but I think this question needs to be asked.

And this rank and file NDP member is not satisfied with the "Neutered Democratic Party."

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The Neutered Democratic Party. Smirk. I didn't want to put things the way you have, in regard to the labour leadership, but it's a paradoxical fact that many labour leaders in our own country (at least in English Canada; I don't know Quebecois labour leaders well enough to make such generalizations) are more right wing and conservative on labour issues than others in the NDP who don't have the labour connection. Actually, it's weird when you think about it. Perhaps it's not just opportunism but the long term consequences of pathological anti-communism polluting the labour movement over decades. God knows it drove me nuts when I was an officer, and later President, of my own local.

Incidently, I thought Fuehrer Numbers 1 and 2 at UFCW had retired. Is it still the same show?

jas

genstrike wrote:

I don't know how any labour delegates or young people could have possibly voted for Selinger.  I've said it before, but I still don't fucking get it.  They have a literally once in 20 year chance to change the direction of the party and get some of the things they want, and they manage to fuck it all up when it's a pretty clear choice.  The only explanations I can think of are that these people are either opportunists kissing Selinger's ass, or have so internalized the dominant media discourse that they are too left wing that they have lost all confidence in their abilities and have gone beyond bending over on request to bending over at the slightest opportunity.

Or maybe they have this crazy-ass idea that the party that's in power -- the party that's electable --  gets to decide policy, not the party that's sitting on the sidelines or slipping in popularity. Gosh darned electoral politics -- you actually have to get yourself elected to do the things you want!

Quote:
I predict that now, the cult of personality will take over.  Any concerns about government policies and the direction of the party will be drowned out by chants of Greg! Greg! Greg!

??!?

Quote:

Old Labour is dead in the NDP.  Selinger is Gordon Brown.

Well, this indeed may be true.

 

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