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NDP Leadership #145

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Hunky_Monkey
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Brad Lavinge has resigned as national director and principal secretary.

dacckon
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Brad Lavigne resigns as NDP's principal secretary



Tis' a shame, I always liked how he threw people out for being morons.


NorthReport
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flight from kamakura
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he resigned a couple weeks ago, while turmel was still leader.  looks like mcgrath will be leaving in june, after a transition period.


Brachina
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The liberals are fucking nuts if they think anointing Bob Rae as leader, with no vote is a good idea. He'll have no mandate from members and his identity will subsume the liberals even more. As it is Bob Rae may as well be the only liberal member in his cacus. No matter who would be annointed, the act of annointing is political suecide. Are the libs really crazy enough to do this or are they just to broke to ran a leadership race?

Brachina
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Winston
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Hunky_Monkey wrote:

He was back in the pack a few weeks ago... and Peggy was in second. There was a shift in recent weeks. Not sure why that happened.

I think that the Broadbent salvo was very effective in resuscitating Topp's campaign as well as in gelling Mulcair's support.  In short, it polarized the debate between the only 2 candidates (in my opinion) that had a hope of solidifying the Québec gains.

In the sense that Mulcair is painted now in the minds of the Canadian public as a "centrist", this will probably help us electorally.

Ultimately, I think the Topp/Mulcair face-off is something that needed to happen for the Party.  Hopefully, this all didn't happen at too much of a cost to the unity of the Party.  It is equally incumbent on BOTH the Mulcair AND the Topp camps to ensure that we continue to be cohesive and united.

Hunky Monkey wrote:
And josh... I don't recall anyone saying numbers like a 65% win for Mulcair. Date extension? There was a date set and it was extended? News to me...

Hunky Monkey and josh:

The leadership race is (very thankfully) finally over.  Let's not scratch at old wounds, shall we?


Boom Boom
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Winston wrote:

In the sense that Mulcair is painted now in the minds of the Canadian public as a "centrist", this will probably help us electorally.

That allows us to campaign from the centre and govern from the left!  Mulcair's grand strategy?


dacckon
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Boom Boom wrote:

That allows us to campaign from the centre and govern from the left!  Mulcair's grand strategy?

 

Hopefully, this is what I have always wanted to happen.

 

Campaign from the centre.

 

Then "accidentally", with pride, govern from the logical left.


Boom Boom
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Like!


Unionist
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dacckon wrote:

Brad Lavigne resigns as NDP's principal secretary



Tis' a shame, I always liked how he threw people out for being morons.

Maybe he did it one last time?


Winston
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Joined: Feb 17 2007

Laughing Damn, you're ascerbic, Unionist!  (But in an absolutely hilarious way!)

Unionist wrote:

dacckon wrote:

Brad Lavigne resigns as NDP's principal secretary
Tis' a shame, I always liked how he threw people out for being morons.

Maybe he did it one last time?


jerrym
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Freedom 55 isn't it time to change your name to Freedom 95 as Harper unveils his budget and plans for pensions. 


Hunky_Monkey
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Awesome picture on facebook of Libby Davies holding up a Thomas Mulcair sign with a big smile on her face :)

Policywonk
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1springgarden wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
So here is my take on what happened:

The race was actually a contest between 2 sections of the party elite, with Topp representing more of the union/old guard wing, and Mulcair representing the Blairite wing. Despite what he may have led people to believe, Topp is not a strong advocate of the party's left-wing. He served under Roy Romanow, one of the most openly Blairite NDP governments Canada has ever elected. The grassroots candidates could not muster the resources to be major contenders, as seen by the fact that Charlie Angus and Megan Leslie didn't even run despite encouragement to do so, the fact that Niki Ashton actually received fewer votes than Martin Singh even though Singh didn't even run a real campaign, and the fact that candidates like Paul Dewar and Nathan Cullen didn't even make it to the final ballot. How else could Brian Topp have done so well, with the party recently electing a record number of seats and Topp not holding one himself, unless Topp had some serious backing from the party establishment? He very clearly played to the core left-wing ideas of the NDP base, and probably would have won if he didn't have a seat.

As for Mulcair? Despite the strong numbers he posted in the end, this is actually a stern rebuke. It took him four ballots to win, which suggests that people aren't so enthusiastic again. He made the mistake of accepting the media's narrative that he was the front-runner and heir apparent, and acted accordingly. While he worked very hard to win new NDP voters in Quebec, he basically took it for granted that the NDP base was going to support him no matter what. He did not show that he really got the NDP culture, and at times came across as being opposed, for example, his remarks about "union bosses." He never clarified what he meant by "modernizing" the party, even though he should have known that that kind of talk sets off alarm bells about shifting the NDP rightward, whether or not that was Mulcair's intent. His comments about "doing things differently" came across as insulting. They would have carried weight if the pattern for NDP seat numbers was either stagnant or in decline, but the NDP seat count increased in every election in the past decade, so what did the party need to do differently now? If he had taken more effort to reassure the NDP base, and even talk to them and show that he was going to listen to their concerns and not take them for granted, the vote may not have dragged on as long, in fact he could very easliy have won on the first ballot.

 

Aristotled24 - Thanks for this. I'm glad Brian Topp let the 4th ballot play out to the narrow 57/43 conclusion. Mulcair ran a campaign that challenged the left of the party and the left rose to that challenge.  I'm glad it was Brian Topp on the last ballot and not Nathan Cullen as the message would have been lost with two "renovators/modernizers" on the last ballot.

The left of the Party is not monolithic. Period.


Policywonk
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Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Brad Lavinge has resigned as national director and principal secretary.

He hasn't been National Director for quite a while.


Jacob Two-Two
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dacckon wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

That allows us to campaign from the centre and govern from the left!  Mulcair's grand strategy?

 

Hopefully, this is what I have always wanted to happen.

 

Campaign from the centre.

 

Then "accidentally", with pride, govern from the logical left.

I hate to say it, but this is a terrible idea. The Liberals and Cons can get away with this sort of behaviour because the establishment, in all their forms, always support right-wing movement. It doesn't work the other way around. If a party turns out right-wing policies that they didn't campaign on, the narrative is "More responsible than we expected. Showing surprising level-headedness. Hurrah!". If they do the same with left-wing policies, it's "Trying to sneak socialism by the back door. They should have campaigned on these policies but were afraid to reveal them because they wouldn't have gotten elected. Deceivers!"

Basically, outside of responding to day-to-day politics, the party should always do what they say they'll do and only do what they say they'll do. No surprises! The NDP has never taken office before and has a loooong way to go to win the public's trust, even after we take government. Canada will only be "trying us out", just as Quebec is. In both cases it would take far less to dissolve that support than it would for more established parties, because better the devil you know, right? One of the key strategic mistakes that the NDP cannot allow is to let themselves be framed as "just like the other parties" (right behind getting framed as incompetent, which is what happened at the convention, which is a whole other matter). Like the old feminist saw goes, we have to be twice as good to get the same reward. Fortunately, that's not difficult. :)

But I do agree that the whole "struggle in the party, left vs. right" story that's emerged from the race, accurate or not, puts us in a good position. Now people who've been paying attention have come away feeling that the NDP just became more centrist, and hence, more electable. Granted, that's a small number, but it includes all the politicos and talking heads that form the opinions of the masses. This totally undercuts all the Cons' traditional methods of attack, since every red-baiting slur will be met with the vauge public notion that the NDP just recently became less extreme, so those things aren't a problem anymore. And it was already undercut by the very modest and centrist campaigns that the NDP ran under Jack, as well as his popularity. Of course, the notion that the NDP is an extreme party to begin with is a right-wing fiction, so Canadians looking at the party closer will find nothing to dissuade them from the notion that the NDP is comfortably in the middle of the road, and that will further reinforce this narrative of a recent shift. Looks like their own framing might come back to bite them.

Another thing that's going to fall flat is this "nasty Mulcair" thing. The first thing that I liked about Mulcair was how well he speaks and presents, especially in terms of radiating that competent authority that the NDP needs to win, but he was lacking a lot as well. What really impressed me was watching how cleanly and professionally he shut down his more aggressive nature to project a uniter's tone for the race. All the candidates had weaknesses, and you saw all of them working on them and improving throughout the race (which was fun) but you saw all of them struggle to overcome those weaknesses as well. All except Mulcair, who knew he was cast as divisive and too much of an attack dog, and from day one presented as a calm, unflappable, elder statesman, even slipping into boring now and again. I could see that this guy will remake himself into whatever is needed to win, and actually has the control to do that. I don't think we'll be seeing as much of nasty Mulcair. I think he knows that he's got to become warmer and more positive, and will do just that. The Cons will keep looking worse and worse as all their attacks miss the mark. I foresee a bad three years for Harper.

 


Jacob Two-Two
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*


laine lowe
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Wow. In the course of a week, the "Mulcair only wants to bring the centre to the left" rhetoric has been replaced with "we can finally compete and be a governing party now that we have a leader moving us to the centre [right]".

That worked out really well for the EU centre left parties.


Jacob Two-Two
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You don't understand. I'm talking about a perception. One that I don't consider to be accurate, but that helps us nonetheless.

To be clear about where I'm coming from, I already consider the NDP to be the center. That is, the ideological center of the Canadian public. Canadian values are NDP values and the party has done this deliberately. The move to the center is old news. We continue to labour under the public perception that we are a left wing party because we incessantly are described that way by the politicos and talking heads.

However, they are also correct in their limited way, because their whole perspective is within the narrow confines of the political class, and the NDP is on the left end of their spectrum. The thing is that the spectrum of the political class is quite a bit to the right of the spectrum of the general public. It's the failure to recognise this dissonance that mixes people up about left and right this way. The NDP continues to be described as a left-wing party, but it would be more accurately seen these days as populist, merely trying to preserve values that were once mainstream, and are still popular, but have been abandoned by the political class. Besides environmental measures, which are a new concern, the NDP don't promote anything more radical than turning the clock back a few years on the rightward crush of the last four decades. It has been a very long time since the NDP intended to change the system. They just promise to run it better.

So what I'm speaking of is specifically those voters who don't follow politics a lot and could be swing voters for us but have been held back by the vauge and sketchy notion that the NDP isn't a serious party that is able to govern. I believe that this is a rather big group, and the polling of second choices in the last election supports this, I think. I'm saying that those voters, under the murky notion that the NDP are "too left" for them, will pick up this meme of a recent centrist shift and it will give them a feeling of peace about the idea of voting for us. Then when they check out the NDP (even if that isn't until election time) they'll like what they see, and their brain will build the story that it's because of that centrist shift they had, that's why they reflect my values so well. It allows them to build a rational argument in their minds that justifies voting NDP. In reality, the party will be promoting all the same stuff as last time, no doubt, and we were always the party that reflected their values best. They just didn't trust that enough to act on it.

Again, this is just that pool of potential swing voters out there who are not very political and don't follow this stuff but absorb little bits of it in the news and such. I think there are tons of people who are like this, and who ultimately vote on their feelings rather than any knowledge of the political circumstances of the election. That's why impressions can be so powerful, regardless of what realities are.

 


Sean in Ottawa
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Wilf Day wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
If he puts all the other candidates into senior critic portfolios and makes them part of his in circle that is the third step.

If he does some good work with Olivia Chow that is the fifth.

Okay, I know you're waiting for someone to ask:

What should the fourth step be?

OK Wilf, thanks for giving me the option between covering up my mistake and pretending it was somegrand plan to hide a question.

Now I am not sure if I just deleted and rewrote soemthign or by mistake deleted a whole item by accident. Sorry it was just a mistake. But surely others can fill in whatever I missed...


Sean in Ottawa
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I don't think the NDP is at or should be at the ideological centre of Canadians.

We are a left of centre alternative.

I do think that the NDP is at the global political centre but that Canada in general is a bit to the right of the global centre.

I think Mulcair is saying we need to convince people of the policies we want to bring not berate them for not agreeing with us.

I don't think it is fair to say he wants to move the party to the right and I don't think that is the objective we are looking for.

Others challenged me by saying that rhetoric was the party. I am not convinced. The party is policies that can change people's lives. Otherwise we would have to then call the Liberals progressive because their rhetoric is progressive. I think we can tone down the unnecessary rhetoric that has no application in policy. Instead we should be looking at the themes and messages of our membership and look to reflect them in our policy and present them to Canadians in the best way we can to convince people to support those ideas and our party. That is not a move to the right. It is a move away from focusing on what we talk about to what we actually do.

So when it comes to labour for example-- we don't need to tell labour how union-friendly we are or fill the air with slogans about us against them and all those words. Instead we should put in place policies to protect collective bargaining, encourage union organizing because everyone has a right to be in a union, and to promote good, well-paying union jobs. I don't want to hear what the NDP has to say about things it has no policies to support. This is where I have at times become frustrated and felt there was some hypocrisy in those statements. I don't need Mulcair to tell me he is a friend of working people in disconnected words. He can tell me in the context of specific policies we want to see adopted. This is what I mean by dropping the rhetoric.

Now, I gave the example of labour but this is extended to everything. Don't talk to me about being the party of peace just in words. I don't need that. Show me specific policies that say this and then I can take a few words of rhetoric. Otherwise can the words that are not associated with actions. Canada has had the Liberal party for many decades and is tired of that.

If this is what people mean by modernization, I'm all for it. This is different than tossing principles and policies overboard for votes.


laine lowe
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Thanks for the thoughtful response, J22. I am not against compromise for stopping Harper and I went with Cullen as a compromise position because I think he had the energy and integrity to bring many people into the fold without sacraficing much. I think Mulcair is not going to be much of a galvanizing force for attracting disaffected youth. And depending how he reacts to two huge events this week alone (the budget and EC report), he may possibly start bleeding left wing support. I hate to say it but Rae has been far more hard hitting on the electoral fraud file than the NDP so it's up to Mulcair to show the same degree of passion and justice to getting to the bottom of electoral fraud. As for the budget, there better be some really compelling and passionate criticism or else I'm afraid that anybody who hates Harper (which could be as much as 60% of the voting population) is going to be terribly disappointed.


Freedom 55
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jerrym wrote:

Freedom 55 isn't it time to change your name to Freedom 95 as Harper unveils his budget and plans for pensions. 

 

Haha! I'm not particularly fond of my screen name, so maybe I should change it. Although, the inane reference to retirement planning was only secondary when I came up with it.


Stockholm
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laine lowe wrote:

I hate to say it but Rae has been far more hard hitting on the electoral fraud file than the NDP so it's up to Mulcair to show the same degree of passion and justice to getting to the bottom of electoral fraud.

We have seen this before from the Liberals. Becauase they agree with virtually all of Harper's economic and foreign policies - they tend to yell and scream a lot about "process issues" like prorogation, Afghan detainees, contempt of parliament, robo-calls etc... If they didn't have these process issues to yell and scream about - they would literally have NOTHING to say. Ignatieff brought the government down a year ago on the pretext of it being about the "future of democracy" and tried to make the whole election campign about "democracy" - while the NDP focused more on bread and butter issues. The NDP took 103 seats to the Liberals 34 - I rest my case as to whoich approach works better.


contrarianna
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Quote:
- they tend to yell and scream a lot about "process issues" like prorogation, Afghan detainees, contempt of parliament, robo-calls etc...- while the NDP focused more on bread and butter issues...


Yes, there is a long history of regimes that resolved "issues" by ignoring the mere "processes" of democracy.

With the NDP right-wing, anyone pointing out the failures of The Party is equally, and bizarrely, likely to be called a "Liberal" or "the hard left".


KenS
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It has been a while since there was a comment about the leadership race anyway.

How about we put this to bed- like leave it to sit until the mods close it?


Life, the unive...
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contrarianna wrote:

Quote:
- they tend to yell and scream a lot about "process issues" like prorogation, Afghan detainees, contempt of parliament, robo-calls etc...- while the NDP focused more on bread and butter issues...


Yes, there is a long history of regimes that resolved "issues" by ignoring the mere "processes" of democracy.

With the NDP right-wing, anyone pointing out the failures of The Party is equally, and bizarrely, likely to be called a "Liberal" or "the hard left".

I'm getting the feeling that many of these people who claim to be progressive really aren't - not at their core.  How can you claim to be progressive without waiting to see how someone behaves and performs in a role before they even start.  Sounds pretty reactionary to me.


contrarianna
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Life, the universe, everything wrote:

I'm getting the feeling that many of these people who claim to be progressive really aren't - not at their core.  How can you claim to be progressive without waiting to see how someone behaves and performs in a role before they even start.  Sounds pretty reactionary to me.

We have alreadly seen how many behave, but , I do stand corrected--my sentence could have been"

"With the NDP right-wing, anyone pointing out the failures of The Party is equally, and bizarrely, likely to be called a "Liberal" or "the hard left" or "reactionary"."

 


NorthReport
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Joined: Jul 6 2008

Well said.

It's bad enough that the Cons attacked him within 24 hours of winning but some of our own people can't wait to hang Mulcair out to dry as well. Jeesh!


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