Nova Scotia Election Campaign- discussion continued

94 posts / 0 new
Last post
KenS
Nova Scotia Election Campaign- discussion continued

.

KenS

I saw thes announcements in Megan Leslie's e-newsletter.
26 May

  • CANDIDATES DEBATE: "CLIMATE CHANGE AND OUR ENERGY CHOICES"

27-28 May

  • 4th annual Renewable Energy Conference 2009 :Emerging Opportunities

 Anybody have links or info for these? First one must me election related. Second I know what it is from last year, but have no info.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Here's a perspective from the South Shore (Queens, Lunenburg West, Lunenburg).

First, you can't tell much from the NDP results in Queens and Lunenburg West last time.  The Liberals missed the nomination deadline in Queens, giving Vickie Conrad a direct shot at the PCs.  Her best initiative, to modernize the school bus system by replacing the old Blue Birds with modern buses and running a proper rural transit system with at least one night run plus the two school runs, hasn't been taken up by the NDP as a party, despite the fact that almost all students on the South Shore will soon be bused to their schools.  A lot of people shudder to think of all those trips in all that weather for all those years - a tragedy is all but inevitable given the older buses and the diluted maintenance schedules of running a separate school and everyone-else transit system, they have to be unifed.

If this becomes an issue in the campaign, Conrad will likely hang on.  if not, expect the PCs to retake Queens.

In Lunenburg West the provincial NDP ran Bill Smith last time but he shifted to the Liberal federal nomination in 2008, coming third.  Any momentum from this race was lost.  Gary Ramey of the NDP has decent support, is an educated guy with a PhD but unknown to a lot of rural people.   Carolyn Bolivar-Getson is a known quantity, has held many cabinet posts, and quite likely to retain her seat here.  Mark Furey, the Liberal, has nowhere near the campaign organization of the others, and will likely run third.

An issue that affects both Lunenburg West and Queens is the deployment of the fixed wireless "universal broadband" network based on Motorola Canopy 900MHz.  It's been very difficult to get any answers from Eastlink, the contractor, about the service, or the province about the contract - no one can find out for instance if there is a guaranteed minimum latency (for VoIP or gaming or virtual private networks) in that contract.  The election will be over long before anyone finds out, but politicians that didn't ask or do not seem to care about the rural regions emptying out will find it hard to win re-election. 

Power outages in these regions are also very common due to weather, and Liberal leader McNeil has made a huge issue of this.  If he can keep raising the issue of Nova Scotia Power's primitive eyeball-and-truck methods of maintenance, which are a joke compared to the modern Aliant XWave network deployed by NB Power and NL Hydro (the latter including phone and data to homes as part of the power offering), he can win Liberal votes here.  Since the NDP are either clueless or silent about what they'd do to modernize the power grid, and Dexter has publicly taken the position that government's duty is to keep even dirty coal power cheap, the odds that the NDP would force any re-investment in the power grid are low.  This is an issue the NDP could well lose two seats on - they are outclassed by McNeil who has made a big point of emphasizing his visits to NL to work on a power corridor with Danny Williams, and his insistence on using tax revenues from taxing coal power to ensure that the grid gets quickly modernized.

In Lunenburg the PCs lost Michael Baker but residual PC energy will likely elect Peter Zwicker, a well liked Councillor.  Gerald Keddy, the Conservative MP, has lent some staff to this effort.  Keddy's wife, Judy Streatch, showed up at Zwicker's campaign launch.  The strategy here is to be tactical:  Put up new signs every few days, add stickers to them, keep Zwicker's name top of mind, and so on.  Zwicker won the nomination over another candidate who promotes active lifestyles, running Iron Man marathons in his 60s, so expect at least some of the Lunenburg race to focus on health and lifestyle promotion issues.  This may include promoting the rural bus system, if only to head off the NDP and allow people to bicycle and walk more, and to keep seniors living in their homes longer.  Another issue the PCs are well aware of is the trend to local food, which is benefitting Lunenburg immensely due to it's active farmer's market, thriving local specialty food businesses, and keeping the lobster fishery alive in a time of very low prices.

NDP are running Pam Birdsall who is from Mahone Bay, where she headed a sustainability committee, but it's a smaller community so her base is narrow compared to Zwicker.  Since the Greens have nominated in Lunenburg (there was some concern among them that they wouldn't have anyone, it was one of the last ridings they filled) her chances have diminished a bit.  The Liberal is however not well known so she probably gains more back from that.

All three of these races are basically viewed as NDP vs. PC races with the Liberal as the spoiler.  The struggle is for Liberal votes from all four directions (NDP, PC, Liberal, Green) so expect the issues McNeil raises to be the ones that these seats are won or lost on.  The first debate suggests also that McNeil is running a positive issues-based campaign while Dexter and MacDonald attack each other on "trust".  So while MacDonald says "take the bus" and Dexter attacks him for it, McNeil actually announces $10M for rural transit systems.  It's really not surprising that the Liberals moved from third to second place, and the PCs are back in third, but the NDP can't break through to majority position.  Even the things MacDonald did very well (like conservation focused electricity policy, or e-waste, or improved sewer systems, or rural broadband networks) he can't seem to string together into a coherent single narrative.  Dexter's story, while mostly a pile of pandering drivel about "today's families" and cheap dirty coal power as a good thing, and hatred of Conservatives, is at least consistently appealing to a single segment of the population, the clueless poor who are too scared to think about next year, let alone climate change or economic development in new industries.  MacDonald may well get burned for bad timing, as his most visible initiatives (like rural broadband) won't be actually felt until September in this region, and his most effective ones (like Halifax's new sewage system, or Conserve Nova Scotia, or the level playing field between newly generated and conserved power) have all been obscured or gone temporarily awry by scandals in implementation, personnel issues (like Conserve NS being run by his former mistress and Chief of Staff) or incompetence at NS Power / HRM.  It's an inept campaign, which you can evaluate for yourself at http://riskyndp.ca - meanwhile his candidates don't all have twitter or facebook pages?!? Ow.

PCs are trying to attack carbon "tax" again, as if there's any choice about joining Obama's cap and trade system.  Well there isn't, and oil is 1/3 the price it was when this strategy worked for Keddy and Harper, and McNeil wants to knock a penny off the gas tax, so this is likely to fail.  People worried about fuel costs are already looking for smart grids so they can charge electric vehicles, it's not like they don't watch the news.  They are way more likely to respond to McNeil's plan to deal with this, than mutual attack ads.

The NDP candidates, and McNeil at least, are making very good use of facebook, especially to coordinate their own teams.  See

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-McNeil/19853187485

It's really quite striking how substantive the Liberal campaign is, and how focused on infrastructure, power, transport and other very basic issues.  If the NDP and PCs don't wake up and start responding on substance, McNeil could well end up as Premier on June 9.

South Shore people are waking up to the fact that Halifax Regional Municipality, and the Annapolis Valley, have things like working transit systems and universal wired broadband that we don't have.  And we're losing population, especially young, because of that.

Relatively simple strategies could work for either the NDP or PCs:  McNeil says smarten up the grid, fine, either Dexter or MacDonald could talk about deploying gigabits to every AC outlet with powerline networking, paying for it with energy conservation as they are now doing in Australia.  McNeil says $10M for transport, fine, either Dexter or MacDonald could lay out a shared car or flexible car insurance scheme that would eradicate uninsured drivers and people forced to leave their homes due to high car insurance prices (a huge issue in the last election).  McNeil says improve vehicle inspection, either Dexter or MacDonald could take junkers off the road as they have in California.  McNeil wants the HST left on electricity, either Dexter or MacDonald could take it off of peak levelling and renewable power, while increasing the price on dirty coal power and devoting it to even more radical improvements to home design.  This election is all about infrastructure and basic policies to take Nova Scotia out of the recession.  It's actually sad that only one of the three major parties seems to have any ideas worth extending or copying, while the others let their own good candidates' ideas rot and engage in endless attack ads.

KenS

It is now illegal for MPs to 'lend staff' to provincial campaigns. That is with the 2006 changes to election financing: provincial parties or their various campaigns are ot allowed to take monetary or in kind contributions from a federal entity.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

KenS wrote:

It is now illegal for MPs to 'lend staff' to provincial campaigns. That is with the 2006 changes to election financing: provincial parties or their various campaigns are ot allowed to take monetary or in kind contributions from a federal entity.

I suppose anyone who really wanted to inconvenience Keddy, Streatch, Zwicker and MacDonald would report this to Elections Nova Scotia and trigger yet another scandal around Keddy and Streatch who broke Cabinet rules regarding vehicles resulting in a crash by Streatch's teenage son. 

It's no secret, Streatch announced the lending of staff from Keddy to Zwicker's campaign at Zwicker's campaign launch on May 14th.  If anything "illegal" is going on, in their minds, they would not have announced it.  But ignorance of changes in the law is no excuse, and federal/provincial money sharing is an unfair advantage when a rich federal party gets to subsidize a provincial one, or even vice versa.

alisea

"Gary Ramey of the NDP has decent support, is an educated guy with a PhD but unknown to a lot of rural people.   Carolyn Bolivar-Getson is a known quantity, has held many cabinet posts, and quite likely to retain her seat here. "

I don't buy this at all, and it makes me wonder about the rest of this analysis. Gary Ramey is well-known throughout Lunenburg West. He worked for the Community College in Bridgewater for a number of years, running a successful joint program with the local high schools. In his other life, he plays in the local rock group Twist of Fate, which has performed at pretty well every volunteer fire hall and community centre up and down the LaHave. 

Bolivar-Getson made a hash of Environment and was hastily shuffled out. She was a fiasco at Immigration - the business mentorship scandal reached its apex under her. She was hastily shuffled out. She was kept in Cabinet after a fall caused a serious concussion and ongoing neurological problems, but demoted to Minister of several minor offices and agencies. After the January shuffle she went into Natural Resources, where insiders say she has been the weakest Minister in memory over the past few months, and the Department has been entirely under staff control.

People working on Ramey's campaign report widespread disgust with the MacDonald government. If she were one of the couple of capable ministers like Karen Casey, or had a huge base of popularity - someone like NDP Maureen MacDonald in Halifax Needham, who had over 60% last time - it might be different. 

But I very much doubt B-G will survive. 

As for the rest of the anti-NDP vitriol in this post - not worth the electrons. Someone's clearly very, very scared.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

alisea wrote:

"Gary Ramey of the NDP has decent support, is an educated guy with a PhD but unknown to a lot of rural people.   Carolyn Bolivar-Getson is a known quantity, has held many cabinet posts, and quite likely to retain her seat here. "

I don't buy this at all, and it makes me wonder about the rest of this analysis. Gary Ramey is well-known throughout Lunenburg West. He worked for the Community College in Bridgewater for a number of years, running a successful joint program with the local high schools. In his other life, he plays in the local rock group Twist of Fate, which has performed at pretty well every volunteer fire hall and community centre up and down the LaHave.

If you think working in town and playing rock gigs down the river gets you votes among fishers and farmers, you are very confused. 

Quote:

Bolivar-Getson made a hash of Environment and was hastily shuffled out. She was a fiasco at Immigration - the business mentorship scandal reached its apex under her. She was hastily shuffled out. She was kept in Cabinet after a fall caused a serious concussion and ongoing neurological problems, but demoted to Minister of several minor offices and agencies. After the January shuffle she went into Natural Resources, where insiders say she has been the weakest Minister in memory over the past few months, and the Department has been entirely under staff control.

There is no contradiction between these facts and what I said.  If you think a serious concussion and neurological problems is a reason to fire someone from their job, you may be out of touch with the labour movement's own attitudes about such things.  And while I agree she's a weak Minister, most voters reasonably expect that all Departments would be "entirely under staff control" due to the conflict of interest between a party backed by public sector unions and their bosses.  MacDonald is playing on this hard, and it's got a lot of traction.  Right or wrong, people perceive Bolivar-Getson sympathetically and as a local businessperson and one who is not easy for the public service to bully.  She didn't stay in any one post long enough for any of those scandals to really stick to her, so if you want to continue this attack ad approach you would be best off restating this more sympathetically like "she needs a rest".

Quote:

People working on Ramey's campaign report widespread disgust with the MacDonald government. If she were one of the couple of capable ministers like Karen Casey, or had a huge base of popularity - someone like NDP Maureen MacDonald in Halifax Needham, who had over 60% last time - it might be different. 

But I very much doubt B-G will survive.

As with both the PC and NDP attack ad based campaigns you are reporting rumours as fact, after talking only to your own friends.  I suppose we should be grateful you're not simply making up fake people as the PC "riskyndp.ca" campaign does.  There's just as much "widespread disgust" with NDP pandering and unfulfillable promises probably, if you want to win elections in the South Shore you will have to learn there's a difference between listening and rumour-mongering and in rural areas people respect the former not the latter.  Most people in rural areas have been victims of vicious smear campaigns at one time or another, and it's not going to win the NDP any friends if they start sanctioning that kind of tactic regarding their opponents.  If you want to say "Carolyn should have done this in that post" or "Carolyn shouldn't have done that" or "Carolyn should have spoken up when...", great, go ahead, it would be a huge advance for politics on the South Shore.

Quote:

As for the rest of the anti-NDP vitriol in this post - not worth the electrons. Someone's clearly very, very scared.

Given the lack of response to the substantive policy issues including even Vickie Conrad's bus plan, total lack of acknowledgement of the reasons for the Liberal surge or McNeil's success in the debates, habit of engaging in more attack ad posturing, it should be fairly obvious why the NDP will not be returning more than one member to the legislature from the South Shore.  It may well be Gary Ramey, but if so, he certainly would not be helped by clowns such as yourself degrading commentators and accusing them of fear or being worthless or engaged in "vitriol".

One wonders similarly about the people answering questions on Ramey's facebook page who certainly are not keeping up to the standard one would expect of a PhD - some of what they write is barely coherent drivel and calling it "propaganda" would be an insult to propaganda.  The only groups Gary's campaign has joined on facebook are to twin the 103 highway, which is just another way to empty out the region and turn it into a commuter shed for Halifax.  Local people get removed from his facebook friends list for asking reasonable questions.

If Gary wins it will be despite of, not because of, his stupid promoters and campaigners, present company included, sad to say.

Now grow up and read something other than an attack ad and internal smear sheet.

The only person who is discrediting Gary here is you.

 

David Young

I was the one who recruited Vicki Conrad to be the Queens NDP candidate in the 2003 election, and after coming just 421 votes short that time, I was one of a dedicated crew that worked hard in-between the 2003 and the 2006 elections.  Even though the Liberals were so incompetant prior to the 2003 election their (parachute) candidate forgot to sign his nomination papers, and was ruled ineligible to run, I believe Vicki would have won in 2006, even with a Liberal on the ballot.  (In case you didn't know, more people voted in Queens in 2006 WITHOUT the Liberal on the ballot than did in 2003 with one!)

Now that I've moved to Lunenburg, I've felt the same 'vibe' here that I felt in Queens in 2006.

Peter Zwicker may be well known in the Lunenburg area, but not nearly as much outside of it.  And a lot of people voted for Michael Baker, the person, not necessarily because he was P.C.

I think the result is going to be the same, a history-making NDP victory.

Stay tuned!

Michelle

Can we not call other babblers "stupid promoters and campaigners" please?  That would be fabulous.  You don't need to personally attack other babblers to make your point.

David Young

I see the 'Musical Chair Party' A.K.A. The Greens have their full slate of 'names on the ballot'.

Let's see who's back again, but in a different riding:

                              2006                                          2009

Chris Milburn            Cape Breton Nova                        Cape Breton North

Rebecca Mosher        Halifax-Atlantic                            Antigonish

Margaret Whitney      Queens                                      Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley

Stuart Simpson         Lunenburg                                  Queens

Michael Milburn         Cape Breton West                        Cape Breton North

Leona MacLeod         Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley    Halifax-Chebucto

Danny Melvin            Dartmouth South-Portland Valley   Cumberland South

Chris Alders              Kings North                                 Cape Breton Centre

Brendan MacNeil        Lunenburg West                          Kings South

I hope these candidates like whatever tune they are playing Musical Chairs to, (Kermit The Frog's 'I'm Glad To Be Green'?), because they won't be coming close to winning any 'seats'.

remind remind's picture

Why would they change seats to run in? It seems very weird, name recognition alone plays a factor in getting votes. No actually it doesn't come to think of it. Paper candidates can be put anywhere, and of course the Green Party is not about actually getting elected, just about playing the spoiler.

KenS

It was guaranteed the NSGreens were going to have a full slate.

Thats a minimum condition for protecting their $11,000 per month subsidy.

KenS

Some of those people are actually on their 3rd election and third different seat- because they fill in wherever they can't get anybody else to lend their name for the ballot.

Chris Alders for example is the provincial organizer and has no connection to Cape Breton [Valley boy].

remind remind's picture

So out in Nova Scotia too, the Green Party and its members are all about filling their pockets, as opposed to being actually  about something!

KenS

Thats not the only thing, or the most likely, that protecting a subsidy suggests.

alisea

Ah, but they bring VISION to the campaign. No budget, no actual priorities, but loads of vision - http://thechronicleherald.ca/Election/1123458.html

The cynicism is staggering. I have no problem with small parties - I was an NDP activist back when Alexa McDonough was our sole sitting member. And every party has places where there's going to be a name on the ballot. But now that public funding is in place, and you get your $$$ per vote, there's a huge incentive for fringe parties to run names on ballots to pump up their revenues.

JaneyCanuck JaneyCanuck's picture

KenS, re the topic you mentioned, here are the details:

Climate Change and our Energy Choices  When: Tue., May 26, 7 p.m.
Price: free Hear candidates debate renewable energy, Nova Scotia's dependence
on coal, energy efficiency and their visions for our energy future. Sponsored by the EAC and the Dalhousie College of Sustainability. In Theatre A.

  • Sir Charles Tupper Building              5850 College
JaneyCanuck JaneyCanuck's picture

and thx for all the info Dave. Here I thought going postal in Canada was voting NDP, lol  I hope Vicki wins again - and Lunenbrg sounds VERY interesting. I think ppl genuinely liked Mr. Baker and his wife who as a nurse worked with so many ppl, but it is different with him gone now. (Sad to see anyone die that way whoever they vote for) I just want the riding to go NDP- this IS the riding you mean?

David Young

JaneyCanuck wrote:

I hope Vicki wins again - and Lunenbrg sounds VERY interesting.  I just want the riding to go NDP- this IS the riding you mean?

Yes, JaneyCancuk, I do mean Lunenburg.

I was in Queens on Friday, and Lunenburg West on Saturday, and the same thing was happening there.  Both NDP candidates started off the campaign with 500 signs each, and both have had to order more with more than 2 weeks left in the campaign because so many people were asking for signs; many for the first-time ever!

Stay tuned!

 

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:

Can we not call other babblers "stupid promoters and campaigners" please?  That would be fabulous.  You don't need to personally attack other babblers to make your point.

Then tell them not to project their own legitimate fears of their own inadequacy ("someone is very, very scared") onto commentators who can back up what they say.  If you want someone never to be called stupid, tell them not to tell other people about their own inner experience or motivations.  Someone who pretends to this kind of insight or telepathy can legitimate be called abusive, stupid, ignorant, manipulative, hypocritical, and so on.  It's not personal.  It's fine to doubt my conclusions but don't tell me the opinion is worthless, based on nothing, or based on fear, and don't tell me not to call someone stupid if they pretend to such magical powers.

Speaking of hypocrisy, NDP supporters in general have no right to criticize vote-splitting by Greens.  In dozens of elections both provincial and federal since the 1950s, NDP candidates with no chance to win have ensured wins for Conservatives.  This is something the NDP has done far more of than the Greens, historically.  In the 2008 federal election, as every Nova Scotian knows, the NDP campaigned heavily to defeat Elizabeth May and refused deals that would have given it a nearly certain shot in South Shore or some other riding(s) in exchange.  There was never any question that May would run at least second, but, NDP supporters including former candidate Alexis MacDonald and then candidate Lorraine L'Orefice simply made up an imagined second-place poll position, and convinced many thousands of people to split their votes and re-elect MacKay. How is this different from what the GPNS is doing?  GPC has grown up under May, the NDP and provincial GPNS should grow up too.  Everyone who participates in these deliberate vote-splitting campaigns is at best sabotaging their own values and electing Conservatives like MacKay or Keddy, it would be more charitable to call them simply stupid.

As for the NS policy of paying huge subsidies to "full slate" parties only, it should be challenged in the Supreme Court.  Federally the 2% threshold for federal funding was thrown out, and any "full slate" requirement would be clearly prejudicial against regionally based parties (like the Bloc).  Should it be impossible to start a Cape Breton party, or a First Nations party, or a rural or urban party, that runs only in some of the ridings?  That's a hell of a case to try to make in a democracy.  I give the NS funding policy two years.

It's not hard to see the toxic negative influence of per-vote financing on the federal parties.  First all the anti-Harper parties refuse to co-operate before the election, each fearing that strategic voting will cost it cash, unable to challenge their own fulltime insiders whose salaries are secured by those subsidies.  They keep refusing to deal after election night, weakening their coalition potential, especially that of the only man who could have led it legitimately, Dion (51% of Canadians voted for him or federalist party that said it had no serious objection to working with him, i.e. GPC, NDP).  Only once Harper announces cuts to per-vote funding do party staff insiders in the Liberals, NDP, Bloc and Greens get so terrified they'll lose their jobs that the political leaderships can actually cut a deal.

The second Harper backs off and ceases to threaten pulling the per-vote subsidy, however, the coalition dynamics change and party fulltime staff take over again, each pushing their own selfish interests in petty competition with each other, and we lose the coalition.

The combination of first past the post voting and per-vote subsidies and fulltime staff in left wing parties (who seem to think they have a right to their power and influence) could keep the Conservatives in power provincially in NS and federally - for a long time.

What's needed in both the NDP and the Greens is a systematic elimination of every official and candidate who opposes vote-swaps and seat deals.  These reciprocal arrangements, unlike "strategic voting" calls in the mass media, don't reduce the overall vote for these parties, they just efficiently redistribute the votes so that the progressive parties end up with the balance of power instead of whining rights.

KenS

Wow.

David Young

I'm beginning to think that Marritimarr has a little too much time on his hands.

Either that, or he's a P.C. supporter who sees the writing on the wall about the up-coming demise of the Nova Scotia Conservative

Party in the June 9th election and he's venting his frustrations ahead of time.

If it's the latter, bring on the election!

Stay tuned!

 

KenS

The substance of his hash is impossible to disentangle.

But I can tell he's inclined Green and likes the looks of the Liberals too. And the NDP sucks.

alisea

Ken, you forgot the "giant warty toads through very small straws" part, right after "NDP sucks." Laughing

I never realized I had such deep-seated fears of my own inadequacy. Did you?

janfromthebruce

KenS wrote:

Wow.

Double Wow.Surprised

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

JaneyCanuck JaneyCanuck's picture

Coastal, as long as it is NOT postal! Smile

Here is more info on the eco debate at Dal for those interested

The event is co-sponsored by Dal's College of Sustainability and the Ecology Action Centre.

Candidates slated to take part in the debate are Brendan MacNeill (Green), Jane Spurr (Liberal),

David Morse (Conservative) and Howard Epstein (NDP). The moderator will be Silver Donald Cameron.

 

Personally, I think Howard (who used to be involved with the EA Centre) will win this hands down

- the NDP always come out ahwad of the Green party on env issues but then again, I am biased. It shd

be interesting however to hear what the Libs and Tories have to say.

 

 

 

 

janfromthebruce

I guess KenS this individual likes paper in name only green candidates.

KenS

For those away from the Blessed Coast- in that panel David Morse is the Enviro Minister. I hope Howard doesn't stand in the way of Morse making a fool of himself.

Howard is a treat to watch for those who haven't seen him in a situation like this. Very knowledgable and persuasive, never bombastic. Deliberate.

[Mind you, we don't see much of bombastic in Nova Scotia anyway.]

Peter3

Hey, this is starting to get the same feel as the discussions of the BC election campaign. Can we describe this sort of discourse as going coastal?

Vansterdam Kid

Hey folks, does anyone know of any high-quality blogs, alternative or independent media following this election?

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Which is worse, telling other people what their motives and feelings and political inclinations are, or just making snide remarks that demonstrate disinterest in the actual issues and constituents?  The NDP is not breaking through on South Shore because it does not listen and does not put its own candidates' ideas up front, instead subordinating them to some marketing analysis done in Halifax.

Rather than psychoanalyze your critics and sneering at them, you might consider actually responding to the real issues that they raise.

You won't get anywhere in politics by disregarding people critical of you.  Quite the opposite.  Anyone intelligent reading the above would realize that it actually handed a lot more useful advice to the NDP than it did to the other parties about how to win in South Shore.  Too bad that the NDP motto is "groupthink good, non-NDP bad" (don't ask, read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/groupthink ).

Since you seem so interested in what I really think of the NDP, I'll tell you.  Like any objective observer, it's not all positive or negative.

The NDP has plenty of talent coast to coast.  Many good community activists join the NDP and do great constituency work.  It's just sad how they get treated by their own leadership - that good sincere policy people like Bill Blaikie and Alexa McDonough and Pat Martin and Howard Epstein get shoved off into ineffective support positions while hypocrites like Layton and Dexter and James take over and run campaigns that just don't listen to anyone, pander to dirty old industries, have no vision of the future, and are run by the same people every time.

"The NDP always come out ahwad of the Green party on env issues"?!?!  Well at least you admit you're biased, but how exactly is dropping the HST on coal power and not funding a bus plan that the Tories (Zwicker, Bolivar-Getson) favour, that an NDP incumbent (Conrad) wants to push even harder, and twinning highways to encourage commuting instead of rolling out broadband to speed up telework, while doing nothing about car insurance (*the* issue in the last election), add up to "greener than the Greens"?  The NDP is the *least* environmental party in this election, and that's not a biased view, it's obvious.  But the differences between the three parties, or even these and the Green Party of NS, are minimal compared to the differences federally or elsewhere in the country, so who cares?  This isn't Ottawa, none of the three major NS parties is really anti-environment:  MacDonald has a conservation-first energy policy and e-waste fees and sewage cleanup to his credit, McNeil is the only credible leader on the power grid issues, and Dexter would probably have to listen to Epstein and compromise by leaving HST on coal power in a minority government.  If the NDP loses votes to the Greens or Liberals, it's all their own fault.  MacDonald scored a very sticky point on Dexter today by saying removing HST from electricity was a subsidy to people heating swimming pools, since MacDonald spent that HST money on genuinely needy people. 

But this isn't about the policy itself, it's about the NDP abandoning its base and its values in this election - sad to see.  They've descended into a mud-pit with the PCs, running an attack-ad-focused campaign. How can you say, by the way, that I must be a PC supporter when I am more critical of the PC campaign than the NDP's?  The same way the NDP can say "take the bus" is an insult but never mention real buses!  Because, according to Dexter, everyone who *does* take or want to take a bus is a loser?  Because Dexter only cares about drivers?  Don't you think a senior who can no longer drive is going to stick with the PCs, given that attitude?

The good old CCF actually stood for something under Tommy Douglas:  Helpless people, poor people, seniors, veterans, youth in need of opportunity.  They would not have left it up to Carolyn Bolivar-Getson and Jerry Zwicker, both of whom have stood firmly in favour of the rural bus plan for the South Shore and who have done everything in their power to facilitate the feasibility study for it and the funding for it ($3M earmarked by PCs, $10M by Liberals, unclear if any commitment at all has been made by the NDP yet).

Howard Epstein is certainly more qualified on any environment or energy or transport issue than Dexter and hopefully after this last dopey campaign Dexter will be gone, and Epstein in.  It is a lot like the BC election where the NDP-BC (unlike all other parties in this country the NDP forces federal and provincial memberships together) ran their campaign against Campbell's carbon tax and thus alienated Greens and swing voters who didn't feel like subsidizing fuel wasters - losing to a third majority by Campbell.  Dexter may well repeat that experience.

Dexter has two weeks and one debate to get a majority by listening instead of pandering to entrenched interests.  If he gets a minority, McNeil or MacDonald will be rewriting his policy book anyway, and next election the NDP will be back in third place - the best you can get if you never listen to anyone outside Halifax.  This used to be the Liberals' problem, now it's the PC's problem, next time it'll be the NDP's problem.

Don't say you weren't warned.  The NDP-NS could have had a majority government in this campaign, if it had only learned to listen, and hadn't betrayed its values and core supporters, leaving plenty of room for McNeil, other Liberals, the Greens, to eat their lunch.

Peter3

Marritimarr wrote:

Rather than psychoanalyze your critics and sneering at them, you might consider actually responding to the real issues that they raise.

You won't get anywhere in politics by disregarding people critical of you.  Quite the opposite. 

Gee, what great advice. Who writes your stuff?

Stockholm

Oh spare me the crocodile tears. We see this in every election. These same old hacks with a pathological hatred of the NDP who suddenly decide that if only the NDP would go back to being the principled party it was under - take your pick: Tommy Douglas, JS Woodsworth, Ed Broadbent, Alexa MacDonough etc...of course its so convenient to say that because when the NDP was led by these people it wasn't nearly electorally successful as it is today and if we time travelled back 20, 30 or 40 years, these rightwingers who like to tell us how "unprincipled" everyone from Jack Layton to Carol James to Darrel Dexter are - would all be telling us how horrid Broadbent and Douglas etc,..were and how they were betraying principles (what principles??? I assume the principle that the NDP should roll over and play dead and help Liberals win elections).

The idea that the so-called green party is going "eat the NDP's lunch" (sic.) is the dead give away. If there is one thing we don't havew to worry about in Nova Scotia its the utterly moribund Green party which will be lucky to get 2% of the vote.

alisea

ROTLMAO. Seriously. "that good sincere policy people like... Alexa McDonough .. get shoved off into ineffective support positions"

Alexa was leader of the NDP for 13 years at the provincial level, then federal leader for 7. If that's getting shoved off into ineffective support positions, that's a helluva new definition of 'ineffective'.

KenS

Went to sleep last night puzzling over that unlikely troika of Bill Blaikie, Howard Epstein, and Pat Martin.

Pat Martin?......

 

Did Pat ever have a beard?

genstrike

Marritimarr wrote:
It's just sad how they get treated by their own leadership - that good sincere policy people like Bill Blaikie and Alexa McDonough and Pat Martin and Howard Epstein get shoved off into ineffective support positions

Pat Martin?  Really?  Those aren't exactly the words that come to mind when I think of Pat Martin.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:
Tommy Douglas, JS Woodsworth, Ed Broadbent, Alexa MacDonough etc...of course its so convenient to say that because when the NDP was led by these people it wasn't nearly electorally successful as it is today

?!!?? Planet, please? The NDP was more successful under Layton than under Broadbent, on planet Earth, where rabble.ca is located according to DNS records.  Provincially, the NDP ruled Ontario fifteen years ago, BC until eight years ago, could have ruled NS if Alexa had remained.  Where are they in these places today?  Certainly not further ahead.

On the rest, definitions:

1. "ineffective", "support":

1a. McDonough as leader of the federal NDP rather than as Premier of Nova Scotia, which she would have been had she remained in provincial politics.

1b. Bill Blaikie not being the NDP leader, instead ending up Speaker of the House

1c. Pat Martin not running a provincial party or the federal NDP himself

2. "eat lunch" = take a thin 2-5% of the vote directly away from people who pretend to the same values, but whose policies alienate people with those values, like opposing carbon taxes or tax shifting onto waste.

 

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:

Quote:
Marritimarr
wrote:

Rather than psychoanalyze your critics and sneering at them, you might consider actually responding to the real issues that they raise.

You won't get anywhere in politics by disregarding people critical of you.  Quite the opposite.

Gee, what great advice. Who writes your stuff?

If it's great advice, why don't you follow it?  Not one of the substantive policy points I brought up has been addressed by any of you.

"Troll" = one who wins arguments on the Internet.

 

 

Stockholm

"1a. McDonough as leader of the federal NDP rather than as Premier of Nova Scotia, which she would have been had she remained in provincial politics."

 

This is almost laughable. First of all, Alexa MacDonough - for all her merits - led the Nova Scotia NDP to the following seat counts - 1, 3, 2 and 3 and never more than 16% of the vote. Then she left and in every election since the NDP has had 30% or more of the vote and been on the brink of power. Are you seriously trying to argue that some "sinister powers" forced her to quit as NS NDP leader and become federal NDP leader all as part of a mad conspiracy to prevent her from being Premier of Nova Scotia???

I don't know why I'm even wasting time arguing with someone with such utterly delusional theories. Were the freemasons, the catholics, the Jews and Queen Elizabeth part of the plot as well?

David Young

Why are people so up in arms about Marritimarr's opinions?

He has every right to express them, just as we do.

We just have to put the opinions of such people in context.

I make it a rule not to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent like Marritimarr.

Nor should other people bother.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:
Hey folks, does anyone know of any high-quality blogs, alternative or independent media following this election?

Here's some Genuine Progress Indicator questions from GPI Atlantic

http://www.novanewsnow.com/article-335430-ELECTION-09-10-Questions-on-Ho...

Here's NDP answers to the CFIB questions, ideological opponents answering each other's questions is at least not cronyism

http://www.cfib.ca/legis/novascot/pdf/NDP_SurveyResponse.pdf

Some stuff about transport

http://www.cresthalifax.org/archives/conserve-ns-great-on-homes-but-wher...

Here's a generic news feed with other items

http://www.metronews.ca/halifax/keyword/Nova_Scotia_Election

This seems to be a tracker but not always working

http://nsrtkelection08.blogspot.com/

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Here's a story about carbon offsets - looks like Greens and Liberals offset, NDP and PCs don't (I guess ideology saves the climate)

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Election/1121351.html

And some quotes from the first debate

http://www.metronews.ca/halifax/local/article/231571--notable-quotes-fro...

What's happening to indymedia.org?  It reports invalid security certificates in Firefox.  Strange.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:
Alexa MacDonough - for all her merits - led the Nova Scotia NDP to the following seat counts - 1, 3, 2 and 3 and never more than 16% of the vote. Then she left and in every election since the NDP has had 30% or more of the vote and been on the brink of power. Are you seriously trying to argue that some "sinister powers" forced her to quit as NS NDP leader and become federal NDP leader all as part of a mad conspiracy to prevent her from being Premier of Nova Scotia???

So, you don't think Alexa was responsible for exponential growth in the NDP's popular vote? If she was so hapless, why do you think she was elected federal NDP leader?  Which is it?  Was she extremely effective and destined to become Premier, after breaking a two-party system apart, or was she ineffective, in which case, the federal NDP was sabotaging itself to elect her?  "The brink of power"?  What does that mean?  Is that where the NDP-NS is now?

Conspiracy?  Never explain with conspiracy that which can be better explained by stupidity.  In this case, the blind belief that federal is "better" than provincial or municipal politics and should always steal the talent.  Thankfully a few wiser people, like David Miller, stick to the arena where they can actually be effective rather than let themselves get booted upstairs to where they will be on the sidelines forever.

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:

 eco debate at Dal for those interested

The event is co-sponsored by Dal's College of Sustainability and the Ecology Action Centre.

Candidates slated to take part in the debate are Brendan MacNeill (Green), Jane Spurr (Liberal),

David Morse (Conservative) and Howard Epstein (NDP). The moderator will be Silver Donald Cameron.

JaneyCanuck, is someone going to capture video or audio of this and post it to YouTube or bittorrent or eMule or somewhere else easily accessed?  Shame if no one did, MSM rarely covers such issue debates adequately.

JaneyCanuck JaneyCanuck's picture

Re my comment re the Greens. Even the Sierra Club rates the NDP plan as better environmentally. The scientist in me refuses to quote anything not so even if I want it to be. I like Elizabeth very much actually and have had numerous debates with her and other mutual friends, all friendly, over whether her party is taking votes from the NDP. (for the record, it is hard to say yes. I suspect many former former Red Tories at the fed level vote Green as do protest votes and possibly new voters or those who are unsure.)

I am aware the prov Greens seem not to have a complete package and I can recall when we had to find candidates. I almost became the candidate in Guysborough once, lol (and I'd been there once) Thank God I said no and smarter heads prevailed. I thought the idea absurd to be honest but we were getting desperate and it was when four members was  a great victory! We always did have a good platform however and that is one area the Greens seem to not be clear on and this is not a bias - I sort of want them to at least look good as someone who has personally but my money and principle where my mouth (or computer) is and taken a chemical company to court (and won on appeal). So it does sadden me to see them not as good as some of their contemporaries in Europe - Ireland, Israel, etc. In Israel when I was working to help elect Tzipi Livni, the Greens came to US to make a deal - their excess votes, since there was no way they would get two per cent of the vote(the amt req to be recognized as a party), they would give us their votes. Parties can do that there if both agree. Parties who do not specify where their votes do not go simply loose them. (as so many do here).

For decades now (and I am not THAT old, lol), I have been saying one does not loose one's vote if one votes for one's belief but in reality, we do actually lose a vote. They are helpful under various vote for money laws like the PPFA in NB and the one in NS and so forth but that is not what comes to my mind when I go to vote. I do think if an NDP candidate does well in one election, it does bode well for a future one but that is not always true either. I have sometimes seen votes go down - often due to circumstances out of the candidate's control.

I actually doubt Alexa would have become Leader - it would have been wonderful BUT the fact she was federal Leader gave impetus to so many federal seats in the Maritimes and I do think in that way she is largely responsible for what we see today! With so many federal MP's and more resources, people started to take second and third looks at our party! At all levels! And that was Alexa's doing!

On a final note, I do think we can debate without so much criticism and rancour. I loathe snarky comments- it says more about the writer than the comment and never wins anyone to one's cause.

 

Peter3

Marritimarr wrote:

Quote:

Gee, what great advice. Who writes your stuff?

If it's great advice, why don't you follow it?  Not one of the substantive policy points I brought up has been addressed by any of you.

 

Actually, my point was that you might want to follow it yourself.

-edited to remove technical jargon-

Marritimarr Marritimarr's picture

Quote:

JaneyCanuck wrote:  We always did have a good platform however and that is one area the Greens seem to not be clear on

It's true.  And they keep throwing away every solid policy they ever agreed on, and every method of creating a solid platform.  The original Nova Scotia green platform in 2004 was the Halifax municipal platform called "Imagine Halifax" (you can still find some of that material on the web).  In 2005 the Green Party of Nova Scotia expanded that collaboration to cover a lot of rural and provincial policy areas.  Then when they were formally formed in 2006, they basically *threw all this stuff away* (?!!) and let a tiny group rewrite the policy book, resulting in nothing good.  They have done that again, twice since, usually with noisy departures (like when leader Ken McGowan quit the party).  GPNS 2008 policies weren't even ratified, and the 2009 ones were written by another group. 

The federal Greens were no better - their 2004 platform was written in a wiki called Living Platform with participation from over a hundred experts (not all of them Green Party members).  They expanded this approach to run the party using social media, but then in 2005 some hired insiders took over, *shut down* Living Platform, and the party collapsed (many elected officers quit with nasty resignation letters, there were even some lawsuits), and (what a surprise) a tiny group rewrote the platform.  They threw away all the momentum that the Greens had achieved with the more democratic approach.  So they were tossed out in turn and Elizabeth May's group was elected.  Meanwhile the entire Internet got sued.  It's really quite amazing the lengths the Green Party went to, to be undemocratic.  They probably had a five year lead on every other party in social media, today they're probably five years behind.

Not sure why, but the Canadian Green Parties do not seem to be capable of actually collaborating on writing and costing policies that fit together.  They pass separate resolutions that aren't well costed or reconciled in conventions - ignore what they passed, let their leaders contradict it in speeches, then they fight over that in public.  A lot of international Green Parties have commented on this lack of discipline and incoherence.  It may just be that you can't attract serious disciplined people into a party until it has the ability to win seats, which won't happen for the Greens in Canada until electoral reforms kick in (someone better invent some soon that the public will pass).  While on paper the Green Party policy approval system is superior to the NDP's (the "Bonser method", ratifying all convention decisions with a followup vote), the lack of collaboration before resolutions go to the membership, lack of followup and of accountability makes it all useless.  In practice the Green Parties are just leader-run parties like Liberals or Conservatives.

Quote:

Peter3 wrote: Actually, my point was that you might want to follow it yourself.

Drooling incomprehension and mindless sneering does not constitute criticism.  To become a critic, you must criticize something specific.  If you actually wanted to debate a policy point, I'd owe you respect.  If you don't, I owe you contempt for wasting everyone's time for posting comments that make no policy nor any process point.  Notice JaneyCanuck gets respect and agreement while you get what you deserve.

Vansterdam Kid

Quote:

You won't get anywhere in politics by disregarding people critical of you.  Quite the opposite.  Anyone intelligent reading the above would realize that it actually handed a lot more useful advice to the NDP than it did to the other parties about how to win in South Shore.

Thanks for the links, especially since you were the only one to answer my question.

But as to your criticism of why the NS NDP isn't doing well on the South Shore and how they ought to listen to their critics... well, I'd give them the benefit of the doubt seeing as they're, barring a spectacular collapse, probably going to be forming the first NDP government east of the Ontario-Quebec border regardless of what happens on the South Shore. While I'm more than willing to criticize the NDP when its being ineffective and lame, just take a look at my posts on the BC NDP and its leader Carole James extremely incompetent strategy in the run up to and during the election, I believe that success speaks for itself. And seeing as the NS NDP seems to be solidly ahead in the polls, seems to have all the campaign momentum, seems to have the most Premier-like leader and seems to have a well-oiled ground game I don't see why they'd need your advice.

Debater

Marritimarr wrote:

Quote:
Tommy Douglas, JS Woodsworth, Ed Broadbent, Alexa MacDonough etc...of course its so convenient to say that because when the NDP was led by these people it wasn't nearly electorally successful as it is today

?!!?? Planet, please? The NDP was more successful under Layton than under Broadbent, on planet Earth, where rabble.ca is located according to DNS records. 

Yeah I'm not quite sure what some people mean on this thread when they say that the NDP is more successful under Layton than Broadbent.  Obviously that is not the case.  Jack Layton has not yet acheived the seat count (43) or the popular vote (20%) that Ed Broadbent did.  Jack's best result today is 37 seats and 18% of the vote.  Ed still holds the record.

Peter3

Marritimarr wrote:

Drooling incomprehension and mindless sneering does not constitute criticism.  To become a critic, you must criticize something specific.  If you actually wanted to debate a policy point, I'd owe you respect.  If you don't, I owe you contempt for wasting everyone's time for posting comments that make no policy nor any process point.  Notice JaneyCanuck gets respect and agreement while you get what you deserve.

My goodness, but aren't we erudite this evening.

So, to be clear, I think anybody who would even consider the words ""consistently appealing to a single segment of the population, the clueless poor" cannot then write "Rather than psychoanalyze your critics and sneering at them, you might consider actually responding to the real issues that they raise" without looking like a complete arse.

In case that wasn't sufficiently clear, I just called you a complete arse. But don't worry, it's not personal, just like it's not personal when you call people "abusive, stupid, ignorant, manipulative, hypocritical, and so on" if they dare offend your tender sensibilities.

Me, I am not above calling someone an arse. Hell, that's actually tame compared to what I get on about by times. But I don't whine about it when people fire back. 

As for commenting respectfully on the content of your posts, post something that isn't pretentious gas and I'll give it a go. In the meantime I'll just continue having some fun as I dodge the pearls you cast before us swine. It's not just entertainment; whether you understand it or not, sticking pins in puffed up blowhards is a public good.

Stockholm

Broadbent only achieved 20% and 44 seats in his fourth election (when there were only three parties as opposed to the current four) and after THIRTEEN YEARS as NDP leader - and on top of that when he first became NDP leader, the party had won 15.5% of the vote. Jack took over when the party had won 8.5% and he has already almost matched Broadbent's record in 1988. I might add that for all the lionization we see of Broadbent, we should remind ourselves that he became leader in 1975 and was generally regarded as an embarrassing liability for the first none years of his leadership (ie: until the 1984 campaign). I'm old enough to remember how he was dismissed for years as a loquacious political philosophy professor from Oshawa wwho was SUCH a let down compared to larger tha n life NDP leaders like Douglas and Lewis. By early 1984, the NDP was in single digits in the polls and there was talk of dumping him as leader. Western NDPers hated him for going along with the constitution repatriation and the left of the party thought he betrayed all principle for not wanting Canada to immediately withdraw from NATO and for being too moderate etc... Its funny how now, people retrospectively write about him as if he was the gold standard of what an NDP leader should be.

I'm 100% certain that 10 or 15 years from now when the NDP is led by someone or other who is probably now in their 30s, we will see all the editorialists and pundits and malcontents crying crocodile tears about how the NDP had strayed from its roots back when they had a larger than life fantastic leader like Jack layton and blah blah blah...

Pages