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NDP Leadership 23

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Idealistic Prag...
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Joined: Aug 29 2011

Huh. Did any other members not get Topp's mass mailing?


theleftyinvestor
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Joined: Jun 6 2008

I'm a BC member if that's of any significance. I started receiving e-mails from the BCNDP leadership contenders shortly after I joined to vote in that race last January.


Malcolm
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Joined: Mar 14 2004

AnonymousMouse wrote:

Yes, there was the Howard Dean Scream, but that was a chance occurance that had a lot to do with his mic being set to cancel out all the ambient sound in the room (if you look at other footage of the same event it feels entirely different).

 

I don't think the Howard Dean scream (as a story) was a chance occurance at all.  The media know about feeds that cancel out ambient sound, and they knew exactly what was going on.

Over the previous couple of weeks, Dean had started getting traction by talking about the dangers of corporate media concentration.  Then the corporate media took him down.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

The NDP got my $5 last summer and acknowledged that in an email, but I never got my membership card, and the only correspondence I've received is the occasional email of NDP information. Same thing happened when Pierre Ducasse was running for MP here. I think the NDP have a really shitty Quebec organization.


dacckon
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Joined: May 19 2011

Maybe you have to subscribe at his website? I should as well get along to doing that with all the candidates.


Lord Palmerston
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Joined: Jan 25 2004

David Young wrote:
A potential Minister of Justice?

If Mulcair can gain the support of a slate of impressive new candidates for the 2015 election like Julius Grey, no wonder the Conservatives are so scared of him becoming Opposition Leader.

Does he live in Westmount-Ville Marie?

He would make a great justice minister.  The NDP would certainly benefit from having more civil libertarians like Julius Grey.  Hopefully they'll re-think their support for mandatory minium sentences and "tough on crime" measures. 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

But the NDP web page had a button to click to buy a membership. That's where I got mine. Surely someone is getting their membership cards from there!  They'd better get this fixed because it's bad publicity for a party to be this messed up.


dacckon
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Joined: May 19 2011

Supposedly(this is what i've heard on the internetz), you are officially a member and you can vote. BUT, you won't be getting a card for a long time.


Malcolm
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Joined: Mar 14 2004

A couple of people in the previous thread (including a couple who should know me well enough to know better) seem to have taken my comments about labour to imply that individual trade unionists who were members of the party moved as a monolith.  Of course, that would be stupid thing to say and has no resemblance to anything I ever said.

I was talking about the institutional leadership of the labour movement.  While Duncan and others will be able to point to one off individuals, the institutional leadership of the labour movement has behaved with absolute consistently in every one of the six leadership contests we've had to date.  One candidate emerges, usually very early, as the labour candidate and that candidate then receives the endorsement of virtually every union that endorses (and usually the tacit support of those who don't overtly endorse).  In the old days that meant a block of votes and a pot of cash.  It also meant (and still means) some number of volunteers with often significant campaign experience.

It also means that local union oficials will not usually buck their national endorsement.  Bill Blaike was apparently very disappointed that the quiet assurances of personal support from local union leaders virtually never resulted in any kind of ublic endorsement, but that's not how labour generally operates.  Once the decision is made, people are expected to support the decision.

(I don't question the reports that Hamilton Steelworkers broke solidarit in the last ONDP leadership campaign to support Andrea Horwath.  I do, however, want to point out how unusual that really was.)

Labour doesn't even necessarily choose the most obvious candidate either.  In Saskatchewan, trade unionist Deb Higgins was passed over in favour of Dwain Lingenfelter - including by her own union.  (That's gotta hurt.)  Link had no track record in Cabinet of being aggressively pro-union.  He had been loudly critical (from private life) about Higgins's attempt to push for the implementation of available hours legislation.  Yet it was Link, and not Higgins, who was anointed by the House of Labour.  Yes, you can point to individual trade unionists who supported Higgins (and Meili and Pedersen), but the institutional leadership either endorsed Link or stayed quiet.

Labour's endorsement certainly means less now than it did.  They can't control how their individual members vote in a secret ballot.  But having seen the same thing over six leadership campaigns, it is not unreasonable to expect to see it yet again.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Ha. I never got a card from my previous membership purchase through the NDP website, I think it was 2007.


Malcolm
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Joined: Mar 14 2004

Lord Palmerston wrote:

The NDP would certainly benefit from having more civil libertarians like Julius Grey.  Hopefully they'll re-think their support for mandatory minium sentences and "tough on crime" measures. 

Perhaps (he said mishievously) they'd also rethink the idea of supporting gun registry legislation that abolished the requirement for search warrants.  Just sayin'.


Malcolm
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Joined: Mar 14 2004

I don't think there need be any mystery as to why Mulcair didn't have a wider organization in place, especially outside of Quebec.  It comes down to four things.

1. From the day he was elected in the Outremont byelection until May 2, Mulcair had a different job to focus on.  Unless his personal leadership in Quebec produced some results, there was no point looking a the national leadership.  And for some time after May 2, he was working on ensuring that the new Quebec MPs (in particular the "accidental" MPs like REB) got some solid mentoring and no small amount of handholding.

2. He thought he'd have at least some more time - like at least a year.

3. Any post-Layton leadership planning he did would (if discovered) run the risk of being spun as an attempt to undermine Layton.

4. Mulcair likely expected that HE would be the establishment candidate.  I certainly did.


AnonymousMouse
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Joined: Sep 19 2011

Malcolm wrote:

AnonymousMouse wrote:

Yes, there was the Howard Dean Scream, but that was a chance occurance that had a lot to do with his mic being set to cancel out all the ambient sound in the room (if you look at other footage of the same event it feels entirely different).

I don't think the Howard Dean scream (as a story) was a chance occurance at all.  The media know about feeds that cancel out ambient sound, and they knew exactly what was going on.

Over the previous couple of weeks, Dean had started getting traction by talking about the dangers of corporate media concentration.  Then the corporate media took him down.

Oh, I completely agree with that. There were similar "he has a temper" lines being pushed about Dean from the beginning of his campaign and both the media and his opponents were looking for an opportunity to tag him with that criticism.

My point was that there was only a single incident they found that they could use to reinforce that narrative and that even that incident only came about as a chance occurence--as opposed to the far more persistent personality traits that made it easier for the Cons to promote equivalent narratives about Ignatieff and Dion.

UPDATE: Here's a great report from Diane Sawyer that details the Dean events. It's even self-critical of the media, though, it doesn't go as far as to point out the obvious fact that this incident was only of such note to media outlets in the first place because it fed into the pre-existing narratives of Dean's opponents.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxZVKAzTCT4


AnonymousMouse
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Joined: Sep 19 2011

Malcolm wrote:
3. Any post-Layton leadership planning he did would (if discovered) run the risk of being spun as an attempt to undermine Layton.

I think that's the one you just can't get away from. No matter how minimal, any meaningful conversations about running for leader would have risked playing into the narrative the media were actively trying to promote that there was leadership tension between Layton and Mulcair.

Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

One thing about Mulcair - for a guy who was supposedly angling for the leadership - it seems to be that he has never really gone out of his way up to now to be visible among New Democrats outside of Quebec. I don't see him having any presence on facebook or twitter, I have never heard of him speaking at NDP gatherings outside Quebec. I never hear about him campaigning for the NDP in provincial elections. I go to a lot of NDP social events and conventions and Mulcair is never "present". In fact he is the only person running (along with Saganash) for leader who i have never so much as shaken hands with. If i didn't know any better i would think he was a bit reclusive.

I'm not trying to say that anyone who doesn't go out of their way to meet Stockholm - is somehow not being serious about running - but i have heard the same from other people. Whatever some people say about Brian Topp - he does "get around" and that is worth something. Even the fact that he occasionally posts here on babble I think is something that speaks well of him.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

I have never ruled out people I have never heard of or who like Stock said, I know do not get around. But before I seriously consider them, I have needed an explanation for that, and/or that the presence they are showing does not require a history of it.

When Jack Layton's name was being circulated, I'd never heard of him being in Nova Scotia, let alone run into him myself [though I found out later he was here as FSM Pres]. But I had heard that he does circulate, so that was covered. I dont expect prospective leaders to have circulated in the same circles as I frequent. Just that they do circulate.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Malcolm wrote:

I don't think there need be any mystery as to why Mulcair didn't have a wider organization in place, especially outside of Quebec.  It comes down to four things.

......

4. Mulcair likely expected that HE would be the establishment candidate.  I certainly did.

True. I thought so too. There was not an establishement candidate for the whenever future, but it was reasonable for Mulcair to expect it would be him.

I would add a 5th item- that I have mentioned before.

Like Malcolm said, Mulcair was and had to be wholly consumed with succeeding in Quebec; and after the election with some heavy mentoring and hand holding. Add to that the fact he clearly thrived in and loved the role he had, with Jack Layton out front. "Yes I think I want to be leader later, but here and now, this is a blast." Even leaders have the human 'later for that other stuff'. Jack's death was a blow for everybody. But I got the sense that Mulcair was in shock.


Hunky_Monkey
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Joined: Jun 11 2004
Howard wrote:

Julius Grey was at Mulcair's launch endorsing him but what I didn't realise is that he also told the media he wants to run for the NDP next federal election!

Looks like it could be an interesting nomination in Westmount-Ville Marie next time if either Julius Grey or Anne Lagacé-Dowson (who has been commenting from an NDP perspective in the media) run there. I'd be happy to see the Liberal MP there re-retire from politics.

I was wondering about Anne Lagace Dowson last night. I wonder if she'll make another run?

Hunky_Monkey
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Joined: Jun 11 2004
I only saw Mulcair blow his temper once. That was when he was asking about the deportation of a gay man back to his rather homophobic country. The man feared for his life if deported. One or more Tories started making jokes or something about it and Mulcair started yelling at them. I thought... sweet!

Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

The problem in Montreal is that the NDP already has almost every winnable seat - so there are not a lot of places for new stars to run in 2015 - though i suppose that some of those ethnic Liberal ridings like St. Leonard-St. Michel and Bourassa and St. Laurant Cartierville would have to be top targets next time.


algomafalcon
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Joined: Oct 14 2011

Malcolm wrote:

I don't think there need be any mystery as to why Mulcair didn't have a wider organization in place, especially outside of Quebec.  It comes down to four things.

1. From the day he was elected in the Outremont byelection until May 2, Mulcair had a different job to focus on.  Unless his personal leadership in Quebec produced some results, there was no point looking a the national leadership.  And for some time after May 2, he was working on ensuring that the new Quebec MPs (in particular the "accidental" MPs like REB) got some solid mentoring and no small amount of handholding.

2. He thought he'd have at least some more time - like at least a year.

3. Any post-Layton leadership planning he did would (if discovered) run the risk of being spun as an attempt to undermine Layton.

4. Mulcair likely expected that HE would be the establishment candidate.  I certainly did.

I think those are all pretty valid points. I for one was very surprised the way the Brian Topp leadership bid was launched so suddenly after Jack Layton's sudden death. (At least Jack Layton's death seemed very sudden to the general public. Maybe the caucus and NDP staff had more knowledge about Jack's health).

I'm curious if anyone can remember if there have been any provincial NDP leadership contests where an unelected party staffer or organizer became leader? Actually, just asking the question, I am thinking there might be at least one situation where an organizer/staff member was elected leader. I'm thinking of Grant Notley, a former leader of the Alberta NDP. I believe he was a party organizer before he was elected leader of the Alberta NDP in 1968. But Grant had run twice for the NDP (1963 and 1968). And the other obvious point is that at the time, the Alberta NDP had no elected MLAs.

I am glad that the NDP will have a fairly long leadership campaign as it will give the members more time to evaluate the different candidates. This should also provide a good opportunity to build party membership, especially in those provinces where the membership numbers are weak (such as Quebec).

 


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Brian Topp wrote:
And so one of my duties if elected will be to be at least as charismatic as our cat by 2015.

 

One shouldnt parse partially tongue in cheek comments much. And for that matter, parse promo pieces.

That said, I'm left wondering if Brian is setting the stage for too low a bar on this.

Brian doesnt need to be charismatic, or even close.

And the new leader will have some time to develop their full public personna.

But I have to see the basics before the leadership race.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

algomafalcon wrote:

I'm curious if anyone can remember if there have been any provincial NDP leadership contests where an unelected party staffer or organizer became leader? Actually, just asking the question,

I think its pretty clear that the situating of Brian's campaign is very unusual.

But my view on that is that all leadership races have their unique settings- which can lead to just about anything.


algomafalcon
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Joined: Oct 14 2011

KenS wrote:

algomafalcon wrote:

I'm curious if anyone can remember if there have been any provincial NDP leadership contests where an unelected party staffer or organizer became leader? Actually, just asking the question,

I think its pretty clear that the situating of Brian's campaign is very unusual.

But my view on that is that all leadership races have their unique settings- which can lead to just about anything.

Yes. I agree that it is unusual. I think there is no other federal leadership contest in Canadian history which was launched under similar circumstances. The dramatic breakthrough of the general election with the NDP sweep in Quebec, folllowed by Jack's announcement that he was stepping aside to resume cancer treatment and then his sudden death. 

But I don't know if Brian Topp's rather unusual candidacy is derived from the circumstances of the contest. I'm sure that a lot of the membership is wondering why so many key figures from within the party have rushed to endorse a candidate who has no parliamentary experience. It just seems so truly odd. 


dacckon
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Joined: May 19 2011

Perhaps there are international examples... anywho

 

NDP.ca wrote:
Joe Comartin will be stepping in as House Leader, working alongside Helene Laverdiere as Deputy House Leader. Jack Harris will take on the Justice file, with David Christopherson taking over as Defence Critic.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I guess maybe they felt his time has come. I confess to being a mite curious as to whether Brian had ever voiced an interest in running for parliamentary office before?  I guess we'll never know. Anyway, I liked his letter in post#29, and that's a great photo - charismatic, even! And Brian has a low key sense of humour, which comes out in the letter. I hope ll the candidates send something out.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

The fact that it is different does not make it 'odd'. And I dont think that is just word play.

Keep in mind that those key figures from within the party were not "rushing". They know Brian. And in the case of one person at least- I am very confident that Libby Davies thought about Brian Topp as leader before Jack Layton HAD to be replaced. So go others presumably.

It all surprised me- each step of it. But I can understand how it would not surprise those who had a chance to mull it over. A hasty circling of the wagons by the inner circle is just one possible explanation- and frankly, not the one that makes the most sense to me... even though I had no idea of what was to come.


Lord Palmerston
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Joined: Jan 25 2004

Stockholm wrote:

The problem in Montreal is that the NDP already has almost every winnable seat - so there are not a lot of places for new stars to run in 2015 - though i suppose that some of those ethnic Liberal ridings like St. Leonard-St. Michel and Bourassa and St. Laurant Cartierville would have to be top targets next time.

It depends how much more they can squeeze out from the Liberals and Bloc.  Westmount-Ville Marie is the most obvious target, that was a close call.  They should run seriously in Papineau also.  And what about the Bloc-held Ahuntsic?  Even Mount Royal could be a possibility assuming Cotler retires (but maybe he won't!) as Mulcair represents a neighboring riding and has strong ties to the Jewish community.  

And again, if the Liberals look like a spent force (i.e. not just 85% certain as it now), you may see the likes of Stephane Dion switch.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

algomafalcon wrote:

But I don't know if Brian Topp's rather unusual candidacy is derived from the circumstances of the contest.

What I said before on that.

I agree that his candidacy is not derived from the circumstances. In other words, he intended to run before Jack's health got questionable.

Nonetheless, that Brian's unusual candidacy is a product of the unusual circumstances. In other words- he was going to run someday, and there was presumably some plan for preparing for it, however tight or loose that may have been.... and it probably would have looked fairly normal.

But then Jack died. So for Brian and the few people who knew he wanted to do it, it became 'this isnt what we had in mind, and its definitely going to look different and not be easy... but its still the same question: go for it, or not.'

Something like that.


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

I'd just like to remind babblers that the interest the NDP leadership race is going to incite across the NDP membership and elsewhere, will surely bring more people to babble to discuss it. It will make for a nasty and acrimonious discussion (not to mention a difficult job for the moderators) if more established or veteran babblers make insinuations or assumptions about new posters' motives. So: please welcome new babblers with grace and aplomb before you demolish their foolish arguments in favour of the weakest candidate in the race only a political naïf would consider supporting.

Ta!


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