Federal NDP blocking nominations for political reasons

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remind remind's picture

:rolleyes: @ aka, in total agreement with OO.

 

 

 

aka Mycroft

The answer, of course, is to bar any candidate who has ever written, said, or done anything.

Lord Palmerston

remind wrote:
:rolleyes: @ aka, in total agreement with OO.

That's what you always do when you have nothing substantive to say.

You still haven't answered my question.  You posted links for 4 threads which supposedly give reasons for why the NDP has grounds to bar Stuart Parker as a candidate.  They may be obvious for you, but not to everyone else.  What did Stuart specifically say on babble that necessitates the blocking of his candidacy?

Michael Laxer Michael Laxer's picture

In this context aka Mycroft is absolutely bang on. Saying this about protecting the financial interests of the party membership is inane.

We are talking about the party denying the right of all these hard-working members that we are waxing poetic about, who do indeed donate their time and money, the right to vote for the candidate of their chosing to represent them in the riding in which they live. If we are going to tie together money and democracy than I assume we will be refunding the membership dues of anyone who joined the party to support Stuart's candidacy.

The NDP has had a long policy of thumbing its nose at the opinions of the membership, totally disregarding policies adopted at coventions paid for also by these same members that we have to save from themselves. I suppose we should all take it for granted that federal office knows best?

Why not bring Stuart's comments to light and allow all those who have donated their money in St. Paul's then decide if this is who they want to represent them? Did they not make sacrifices to their personal budgets so that they would have this right?

As a small business owner with three small childen there are many other things I could have done with the thousands of dollars I donated over the last several years...now maybe I will. If we want to make this a financial issue, it cuts both ways.

Why, one might ask, should I make these sacrifices if the party leadership, were I living in St. Paul's, not allow me the right to chose my own candidate, not because he said anything homophobic or racist, but simply because he recently criticized party policy in BC in the early 1990's?

Absurd.

 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

aka Mycroft wrote:

Brian, if the most important thing is the membership and their money why is the party denying members the right to select the nominee of their choice? Given that the NDP is, in practice, subverting the nomination process and not letting the members decide your argument that this is all about the members' hard earned money is faux democratic at best.

As I said earlier, screening out people who've said something racist, sexist, homophobic or promoted some wingnut conspiracy theory is one thing but barring someone because they once said something critical of the party is absurd.

It's important to remember democracy is exercised in different ways within a political party.  A nomination meeting is only one of those ways.

As an NDP member in Edmonton Strathcona, I have no direct input into choosing the candidate in the other 307 ridings.  For the most part, that doesn't matter, except if the leader is sidetracked for a week on the campaign trail dealing with questions about a candidate in some other province.  Then (in the worst case senario) my MP doesn't get the central support she needs and a 400 vote victory turns into a 600 vote defeat.

The democracy cry becomes even more muddled when you consider the fact that over 95% (my best guess) of candidates are chosen by acclimation, so they don't even get vetted through a consest among members in their ridings.

As a member of the party, my democratic rights (to have my MP protected from scandals in other ridings) are exercised by my vote for Leader, and the votes of delegates from my riding to elect a national executive to run the party.

I'd also point out that Mycroft's criteria above of candidates being screened out (racist, sexist, homophobic, or engaging in  consipiiracy theories) would not have filtered out two of the more troublesome candidates from the last election.  If I recall, the candidate in Saanich Gulf Islands left after it was revealed he was engaging in some pretty odd behaviour at a kids camp, and Dana Larsen's candidacy exploded when tapes of him driving while stoned came out. 

I'm just trying to make the point that there are lots of ways a candidate in riding x can sabotoge a candidate in riding y.  And the NDP has to be careful to prevent that from happening.

Having said all this, perhaps the NDP needs to have some kind of appeal process for candidates whos nominations are blocked.  An appeal to the national executive (or a committee of Federal Council), or something might be a fair way to go - as long as provisions for quick action after a writ has been issued are included as part of the process.

remind remind's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:

remind wrote:
:rolleyes: @ aka, in total agreement with OO.

That's what you always do when you have nothing substantive to say.

No...that is what I do when I can't be bothered wasting my time and want to show that I read it and already wasted my time,and actually I did add that I agreed with OO, so a comment was made, why repeat?

Quote:
You still haven't answered my question.  You posted links for 4 threads which supposedly give reasons for why the NDP has grounds to bar Stuart Parker as a candidate.  They may be obvious for you, but not to everyone else.  What did Stuart specifically say on babble that necessitates the blocking of his candidacy?

I did not bother answering your question anymore than I would for someone who saw nothing misogynist  in a link given, and asked what offended.

 

And I said "for starters"..... I did not say just that should block him, but I will add they are  indicative of  an apparent willingness to not give a shit about how his actions and words could  impact upon other candidates across Canada. But perhaps that is what some want, eh?!

Stockholm

...and before anyone jumps to conclusions - we still don't know why Stuart Parker's candidacy was disallowed. He may want to lead is to believe that its because he said something critical about something Ujjal Dosanjh did in 1995 - but as others have pointed out - it seeems extremely unlikely that that is the whole or that it is even any part of the reason. Until we actually know why Parker was rejected its useless to speculate.

ottawaobserver

Folks, I'm a member and this policy indicates that the party *is* listening to me.

I was horrified to see the last campaign derailed for two of the five weeks, one of which was wasted on Elizabeth May's participation in the debate, and one on why anyone would try and defend one of our candidates who had been driving while intoxicated on a hallucigen and bragging about it on videotape on the internet. And I'm far from alone on this score.

The federal party has to explain to Mr. Parker what their reasons are, and they probably have to explain it to the President of the riding association; but they don't have to explain it to me, and remind doesn't have to try and research and recreate their thinking for LP in a thread on Babble, either. Presumably if the comments are that problematic (and I'm assuming, because party officials are intelligent, ethical people, and not morons, they probably originated from after Mr. Parker switched poltical allegiances), there is not much to be gained by publicizing them further.

It is a mark of maturity to accept that you can't always know everything you want to, because it might violate the privacy of others. The fact that a candidate whose authorization was withdrawn would want to make such a case of it, would tend in my mind to reinforce the idea that there might have been some justification behind any such decision in the first place. I'm not clear how much of this is being driven by Mr. Parker however, and how much by people who are bound and determined to find fault with federal office no matter what.

As I said, however, there is no evidence that federal office is *not* following the wishes of the members in being vigilant about candidate search, and no-one here has presented any such evidence beyond their own personal preconceptions. Certainly the party is following my wishes, and I hope they continue to do so.

edmundoconnor

@ Stockholm - Just so. I'm not even going to begin to comment about the affair, because I don't know the full facts of the matter.

I would say though, that the spirit of the speech that Parker gave at the provincial byelection nomination meeting is exactly the kind of one *every* upstart non-incumbent NDP candidate needs to have. By Goddess, he was passionate and articulate. There's more than a few MPs who deserve that kind of both-barrels treatment. I wanted to vote for him, and I was only helping out the riding association.

Michelle

Well, ottawaobserver, the only NDP candidate you can blame for wasting a week of airtime on Elizabeth May in the debates is your party leader (and now my MP, who I will vote for in the next election), who was taking heat for trying to block her.

As for Dana - he was always open about his drug activism, so he wasn't hiding anything - and he got the nomination a really long time before the election was called, if I remember correctly.  So I'm not sure why they didn't vet him better.

I don't think anyone has a problem with the NDP vetting their candidates better.  Many of us were calling for it - especially when it came to that creep out in Durham region who posted a bunch of misogynist and violent crap all over Facebook, and then the NDP refused for days on end to revoke his candidacy.  (BTW, it's also the NDP's fault that that debacle went on so long in the media - if they'd made short work of him the moment they found out about it, that would've been that, and it wouldn't have been controversial in the least.)

So now, because the NDP screwed up and didn't vet their candidates last time for illegal activity, sex scandals, and misogynist ravings on the internet, they're going in the other direction and ensuring that no one under the age of 50 can run for office (since everyone under 50 has used online social media to chat with friends, and likely have some intemperate or critical thing written somewhere out there in cyberspace.)

And the funny thing is, it sounds like Stuart didn't even say anything BAD.  Does that mean that everyone in the ONDP who was upset about the Rae government breaking public sector contracts, and lying about public auto insurance, and said so at some point, should never be able to run for federal or provincial office under the NDP banner ever again?

You're going from not vetting anyone for anything, to vetting people for every word they ever said about the NDP publicly ever?  And every policy discussion they ever had with other NDP members, where they might have varied slightly from NDP official policy?

ottawaobserver

Michelle, again, I respectfully point out that you have no more idea why the decision was made than I do. The people who know are the national director, the director of organization, the candidate search coordinator, the prospective candidate, and probably the riding president.

I think Brian has already pointed out that he had favoured severing ties with the problem candidates such as the guy in Durham much earlier. However, again, on the other matter, it was never Dana's use of marijuana that was the issue for me. It was that bloody video, which was a goddamn embarrassment.

We're probably going to have to agree to disagree on the rest of it.

Slumberjack

Michelle wrote:
You're going from not vetting anyone for anything, to vetting people for every word they ever said about the NDP publicly ever? 

There go my aspirations for a second career.  Oh well, back the want ads.

Lord Palmerston

Excellent post, Michelle.  It seems that the NDP is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

ottawaobserver

No-one will be lining up to use your services as a media relations consultant very soon, LP. You're unable to predict even the most obvious media reactions to common occurences.

Michelle

I have no problem with vetting candidates, believe me.  I don't think anyone does.  There were a lot of avoidable screw-ups last time around, as Brian says.  I think where the disagreement comes in is what criteria is used to vet candidates.  I was sad about the end to Dana's candidacy, but I also understood why it had to be done.

You're right that I don't know all the reasons in Stuart's case.  But I know Stuart personally and like him, and haven't known him to lie about things, by omission or otherwise.  I also know Polunatic, who has said the same thing about Stuart.  I suppose it's possible that they dug stuff up on him that even Stuart doesn't know they dug up.  But in that case, shouldn't they tell him?

Stuart, did you get anything in writing or just a phone call?

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Michelle wrote:

As for Dana - he was always open about his drug activism, so he wasn't hiding anything - and he got the nomination a really long time before the election was called, if I remember correctly.  So I'm not sure why they didn't vet him better.

Dana's drug activism was never the problem. The fact he got behind the wheel while stoned is, however, a HUGE problem for me. That put people's lives in danger, and is completely unnecessary, irresponsible, and stupid.

Perhaps the party could have done a better job vetting him, and they might have found the video tape - I can't recall the details of how the video came out, but it was never his pro-pot positions that did him in.

ottawaobserver

Michelle, if I were in the party's shoes I certainly wouldn't put anything into writing that could turn up in another party's campaign warroom later on, if it were me. I don't know Mr. Parker, either, although he certainly seems congenial and sincere enough here. But then I didn't wade through the St. Paul's threads, either, so don't know what the issues might have been, even assuming they arose there, which we don't know.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Excellent post, Michelle.  It seems that the NDP is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

With respect, it's not a nut.  It's something much bigger than that.

It's not always easy to figure out what will cause a problem and what won't.  Sometimes a situation can be managed, but only in certain circumstances and not in others.  A candidate might get away with something in one election because the opposition doesn't find it, or they find it but don't run with it because they have candidates guilty of the same thing, or because the public or media  mood is forgiving at that time.  In other times, the same situation could cause a campaign meltdown.

More often than not, the situations that arise during candidate search are not black and white.  Nine times out of ten, reasonable people can disagree over criteria to bump or support a candidate. 

So it's not a nut, more like a bomb squad called in to carefully dismantle an explosive device while it ticks away.  It's a delicate operation fraught with peril.

Stuart_Parker

In response to Michelle's question,

I received a phone call from James Pratt of federal office on Monday morning. He stated that the party was rescinding my approval to seek a nomination due to posts I had made on Facebook since the vetting process concluded last fall. I asked him what posts and he said "several but the most egregious" was the one in which I stated that, in the past, the NDP had used back to work legislation and shot at native protesters. I said that if that was the worst, that if the NDP needed not only to sanitize the image of the party in the present but also sanitize the past, they had absolutely made the right decision to block my candidacy because, as a candidate, I would do no such thing. Then I hung up, without finding out which less offensive posts were also on their list.

I feel that if the NDP is to regain the confidence of Canadians, it must be able to admit and discuss its past mistakes. Even Kruschev managed that.

Now, it may be, as Lou and Stockholm have suggested, that I am being naive in taking federal office's statements at face value because it reinforces my personal narrative of my relationship with the NDP. That's a totally fair criticism. So if someone finds out that the real reason was different, I'd love to hear about it.

Sean in Ottawa

Ottawa Observer's comments I think are spot on here in that we do not know and should not expect to know the full story ehre and even with the Candidate being here that does not answer the question since he is not the one who made the decision even if that decision was about him.

I find it interesting that nobody has pointed out that the NDP of all the national parties is perhaps the least involved in local riding candidate selection. The reason is a quesiton of finding that democratic balance and as Lou pointed out it is a combination of respecting the national name and reputation of the party for members and supporters across the country as well as local selection.

As well nobody has pointed out that riding associations have been raided and taken over by new members with an agenda at time-- this has happened to other aprties more than the NDP but the experience does show that there is a balance between the local and national will and control of a national political party. I have trouble therefore with absolutes like the NDP should be represented nationally (as they are with each and every candidate) by whomever is elected locally withotu a say in it).

I therefore agree that, for the most part, ridings should choose their candidates which would then be subject to the potential of a national veto. That veto should be managed carefully but it is not without purpose given that each candidate represents both their riding association to the NDP and the NDP to the entire country as well as their riding.

Having said that I think the NDP does a better job of this than any other party by reputation, perhaps it could be improved. Perhaps we do need a more formal ombudsperson or committee where confidential appeals can be made. Perhaps that committee ought to be elected by members at convention. (I am not familiar with the current system-- perhaps some of this is in place, I don't know).

But the suggestion that the national party would have no right to refuse a candidate under any circumstances does not seem practical or democratic as the party may select candidates locally by election but those people repreent far more than those who select them.

The issue of how to address affirmative action in election slates has also been raised as a candidate can only have one gender, one age, one background, one ethnicity but a slate ought to have a variety. This is another distinction in the difference between a single riding association and a national party. The NDP has found several ways to address this and some other parties even use appointments. those appointments have been criticized and defended along the same lines as arguments made here.

And by the way Fidel's post #23 was superb and so was Lou Arab's #55.

Lord Palmerston

 

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
But the suggestion that the national party would have no right to refuse a candidate under any circumstances does not seem practical or democratic as the party may select candidates locally by election but those people repreent far more than those who select them.

Nobody has suggested that.

ottawaobserver

Stuart, how would you propose that the party respond when it holds a campaign event on the leader's tour where these comments of yours would be quoted back to the leader?

Apart from the fact that the Gustafson Lake issue was very complex, and should not responsibly be reduced to your simplistic characterization, how on earth would you really expect the above situation to unfold?

Michelle

Lou Arab wrote:

Dana's drug activism was never the problem. The fact he got behind the wheel while stoned is, however, a HUGE problem for me. That put people's lives in danger, and is completely unnecessary, irresponsible, and stupid.

Sorry if I wasn't clear.  I understood why he was removed as a candidate.  I thought I had covered it when I said "illegal activity".

Michelle

ottawaobserver, does this mean that no one should be able to run for the NDP if they ever said anywhere that the NDP broke public sector collective agreements in Ontario, or campaigned on public auto insurance and never came through, just in case they were ever quoted back to the leader during a campaign?

Who does that leave to run for office?  Only people who agreed all along with breaking public sector collective agreements, and people who were fine with backing down on public auto insurance and never said boo otherwise?

NDPP

Stuart_Parker wrote:

 feel that if the NDP is to regain the confidence of Canadians, it must be able to admit and discuss its past mistakes. Even Kruschev managed that.

NDPP

Many unions, CFS, the European Parliamentary Green group, the AFN, Audrey Mclaughlin and even some NDp riding associations agree with Stu Parker on the need for a thorough examination of why the Gustafsen Lake situation in 1995 was deliberately escalated for political purposes. And it wasn't just Ujjal. This is a dark chapter in NDP history that still awaits daylight, truthtelling and apology. A political party capable of such things as Gustafsen Lake can never enjoy the confidence of any genuinely progressive social democrat.

Kloch

I cannot overstate my disappointment with the way Stuart's candidacy has been handled by the NDP.  There are two former NDP premiers in the Federal Liberal caucus.  With have a former Quebec Liberal cabinet Minister now serving as a MP from Montreal.  Aka Mycroft touched on the history of the Reform/Alliance and PC parties which spent years fighting each other before merging into one party.  There is plenty of history of people switching sides in parliamentary politics.  As for Brian's comments, with all due respect, if the federal party feels that it lacks the necessary communication skills to manage critical comments made by a candidate in their past, then they are not smart enough to be doing their jobs.

Unless the federal party produces some other reasons for Stuart to be disqualified, then I will have no choice but to conclude that this is simply an exercise in Stalinist behaviour.

ottawaobserver

Michelle, using the phrase "the NDP shot at native protesters" is incorrect and unbelievably provocative. Why should the party accept someone as a candidate who is willing to make such horrible and inaccurate statements.

I'm not able to go into chapter and verse on all the ways that statement is wrong just now, but will come back to it later this evening if you would like. But it's wrong, and an irresponsible thing to say. Why anyone would expect to be approved as a candidate after saying it, is a bit beyond me.

Webgear

I can not recall if the military involved with this Gustafsen Lake incident? I believe there were planning for involvement however nothing never occurred if my memory is correct.

Edit: I maybe thinking of another incident occurring later in the 1990s.

Caissa

Not an academic source but here is the Wikipedia Link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustafsen_Lake_Standoff

Stuart_Parker

ottawaobserver wrote:
Stuart, how would you propose that the party respond when it holds a campaign event on the leader's tour where these comments of yours would be quoted back to the leader?

"Every party in Canada has made mistakes during its time in office. Every party has let the public down in its past. New Democrats are different in that instead of denying our mistakes, we learn from them. Instead of demonizing our critics and shutting them out of politics, we have asked them to join our party to make it better.

And the evidence is clear from the fact that activists like Stuart Parker have rejoined the NDP that progressive people all across Canada have a renewed faith in a renewed NDP. Progressive Canadians, especially those who have supported the Green Party in the past see a new and better NDP, a more courageous, a more progressive and a more inspiring alternative."

Is it a scandal when a Tory MP speaks disparagingly about Brian Mulroney's government and his Reform Party activism at the time? No. Is it a scandal when a Liberal MP speaks disparagingly about the Sponsorhsip Scandal and the failings of the Chretien government? No. I think you are imagining a hypothetical scandal that wouldn't unfold because it would be a complete non-event.

Life, the unive...

Then I hung up, without finding out which less offensive posts were also on their list

1. this speaks to a hot head who probably could not survive the scrutiny of a media barage over comments, or even be able to create a positive team atmosphere.  Being a candidate is a lot more than making a nice, passionate speech, so it is probably better all around, including for Mr Parker, to not be a candidate however it came about

2.  No one on babble knows exactly what was in those posts, only the topic.  Just because you think the topic is fair game, does not mean that the comments were appropriate or not way over the line.  Nor does anyone know on babble what exactly was said to the potential candidate.  We only have one side of a story.  My life experiences suggest that usually the truth often lies somewhere in the middle.

3.  if as has been reported that the person in question said that 'the ndp' shot at people.  He shows a complete lack of understanding of the offensiveness of his words.  I would object if it was the Liberals, or Conservatives refered to in such a way too.  This type of comment suggests that every individual who supports or belongs to the NDP was somehow personally involved, not any of the officals of a government.  If nothing else it demonstrates that the individual involved does not have much sense in terms of using loose language and the potential for other embarrassments to the local campaign team and the party as a whole seem pretty high.

NorthReport

Are we talking about the federal NDP here, or one of the provincial parties? There is a difference.

Lord Palmerston

Yes.  It is the federal NDP that blocked Stuart from getting a nomination because of his criticisms of the actions of BC NDP govts.

NDPP

On Gustafsen Lake

http://noii-van.resist.ca/?page_id=28

"Newly elected Grand Chief of the AFN, Phil Fontaine has publicly declared his support for a public inquiry into the Gustafsen Lake affair. In addition more than 140 Chiefs at the AFN leadership convention have called for an inquiry into "excessive force and attempted murder against the Indian people at Gustafsen Lake.."

http://sisis.nativeweb.org/gustlake/aug0197.html

Polunatic2

Quote:
Stuart, how would you propose that the party respond when it holds a campaign event on the leader's tour where these comments of yours would be quoted back to the leader?

Apart from the fact that the Gustafson Lake issue was very complex, and should not responsibly be reduced to your simplistic characterization, how on earth would you really expect the above situation to unfold?

This thread is spinning so fast I'm dizzy. I wonder what Layton might say if he were asked about why he was auctioneer in chief at a very successful fundraiser for the legal defense fund of the Oka Mohawk Warriors who were arrested after defending their land. 

Unless I'm missing something, it looks like Stuart Parker is being denied the opportunity to run for what he might say in the future and not for anything he's done in the past. Sounds like the party's precogs in the Precrime division are hard at work. 

p.s. - The NDP did better in the last election than they did in a long time.

 

Life, the unive...

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Yes.  It is the federal NDP that blocked Stuart from getting a nomination because of his criticisms of the actions of BC NDP govts.

First of all it is allegedly and secondly you do not know that is was because of 'criticisms' at all or if it was some specific language he used.  But don't let little things like that get in your way for your witch hunt of those evil, nasty people that work for the NDP.  You know when I read some of these comments, it reminds me of ultra-righters complaining about those evil civil servents.  Same exact tone.

ottawaobserver

So, Stuart, the only option for someone to respond is to agree with your presentation of "the facts"?

Because for example I don't agree with one particularly provocative statement you've made, but a person is hard-pressed to explain a complex issue like that in a scrum. (The old maxim: if you're explaining, you're losing.) Particularly to a group of reporters who themselves know very little about the story, in a situation that is ripe for exploitation by the party's opponents. This is what's called a feeding frenzy, and you would have been feeding your leader to the wolves in that situation, causing the campaign to lose at least a day (if it's lucky) to the story. As Brian points out, an $18M national budget over 36 days works out to an average of a half million dollars per day that might otherwise have been able to go towards getting an important campaign message out.

That you don't understand this demonstrates, if you'll permit me to be sincerely but brutally honest with you, that you would have been completely unprepared for politics on the national stage.

Lord Palmerston

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

First of all it is allegedly and secondly you do not know that is was because of 'criticisms' at all or if it was some specific language he used.  But don't let little things like that get in your way for your witch hunt of those evil, nasty people that work for the NDP.  You know when I read some of these comments, it reminds me of ultra-righters complaining about those evil civil servents.  Same exact tone.

You'd make a much better Stalinist commissar than I would.

Polunatic2

Quote:
But don't let little things like that get in your way for your witch hunt of those evil, nasty people that work for the NDP.

First, "witch hunt" is a sexist, misogynist comment. Second, any criticism of Israel, I mean the NDP, is interpreted as an act of treachery and the ravings of a self-hating social democrat. Third, it's not the NDP that got burned here. Nice attempt at turning the tables though. In fact, it's their loss but I'm sure they'll be able to find an acceptable candidate who has never faced controversy. 

Life, the unive...

Well with friends like LP and P2 the NDP sure doesn't need any ememies.  No wonder the left seems doomed to marginalization.

And if witch hunt, a common term for someone who grew up in the age of McCarthy is now considered sexist and even mysoginst I apologize- first I've heard of it. 

Edited to add

Although that seems to be mostly just your opinion and interpretation.  I just spent some time searching around the net, including on femminist websites and found the usage of the term 'witch hunt' pretty widely used and accepted.  However, if it bothers you I apologize.

ottawaobserver

To the contrary, Life-TUAE, its origin makes it anything but sexist, since the term comes from a time when the Puritans in Salem wanted to punish any uppity women in their midst by calling them witches, and sought to get them to turn on each other by naming who the other witches were in order to avoid being burned at the stake themselves.

That's what a witch-hunt was then. And, as you point out, in McCarthyist times it was a hunt for Communists in the film industry, using the same technique of blackmail.

I would suggest the folks at federal office are being convicted without a trial in a similar way, by the very same folks who are accusing you of using this supposedly "sexist" term.

Skinny Dipper

The blockage of Stuart Parker's nomination shows the ills of Canadian democracy.  While we may complain about Harper's dictatorial style, how would Ignatieff or Layton behave if they were prime minister?

In theory, I should be able to become a member of any party (though not at the same time), and vote for any nominated candidate to represent my party in the next election.  That candidate may include myself.  The Conservatives have essentially guaranteed that all current Conservative MPs do not need to face a nomination battle.  Liberal leaders appoint selected candidates to winnable ridings.  The NDP now does not want candidates who may rock the boat or don't have a puritanical past.  We Canadians will end up with plastic Ken and Barbie representatives who as Andrew Coyne describes become members of Parliament in the House of Commons appointed by the leaders of their parties.

By the way, I do know Stuart Parker.  He is definitely not a nut; he's more of a Mounds.

Sometimes, I feel like a nut.

Sometimes, I don't.

Almond Joy's got nuts.

Mounds don't.

Stuart_Parker

ottawaobserver wrote:
So, Stuart, the only option for someone to respond is to agree with your presentation of "the facts"?

Somebody asked me, what, off the top of my head, I would advise the party to say in the event that this alleged scandal was raised in a media scrum. I gave an example of a reasonable response. Anything more than that is you putting words in my mouth.

Quote:
Because for example I don't agree with one particularly provocative statement you've made, but a person is hard-pressed to explain a complex issue like that in a scrum. (The old maxim: if you're explaining, you're losing.)

Hence my proposed answer not containing any attempt to explain a complex issue.

Quote:
As Brian points out, an $18M national budget over 36 days works out to an average of a half million dollars per day that might otherwise have been able to go towards getting an important campaign message out.

If the NDP wants to continue practicing an increasingly discredited and unsuccessful 1990s-era theory of centralized key message management, this kind of logic makes sense. But in an era of social media, micro-targeting and powerful complex, nuanced statements like Obama's race speech, all this kind of logic does is remind us just slow to adapt our party is.

Let me assure you that the message the Obama organizers who spoke to our convention came to convey was not, "Make sure to tightly manage all social media associated with the party and keep your local campaigns as demobilized, uninteresting and non-controversial as possible."

Quote:
That you don't understand this demonstrates, if you'll permit me to be sincerely but brutally honest with you, that you would have been completely unprepared for politics on the national stage.

That you think my post was a statement that the party should explain the complexity of a specific issue during a media scrum, I'm not sure that you're entirely qualified to pronounce on how prepared I am to do anything.

Stuart_Parker

ottawaobserver wrote:
To the contrary, Life-TUAE, its origin makes it anything but sexist, since the term comes from a time when the Puritans in Salem wanted to punish any uppity women in their midst by calling them witches, and sought to get them to turn on each other by naming who the other witches were in order to avoid being burned at the stake themselves. That's what a witch-hunt was then. And, as you point out, in McCarthyist times it was a hunt for Communists in the film industry, using the same technique of blackmail. I would suggest the folks at federal office are being convicted without a trial in a similar way, by the very same folks who are accusing you of using this supposedly "sexist" term.

I'm having a great laugh. I'm blacklisted and then immediately accused of McCarthyism without even a hint of irony. 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Stuart_Parker wrote:

I'm having a great laugh. I'm blacklisted and then immediately accused of McCarthyism without even a hint of irony. 

Actually, it was Lord Palmerston who was accused of the witch hunt.

ottawaobserver

Well, if you think I drew incorrect conclusions, then you ought to give an example of how one would respond in a scrum if one *disagreed* with your statement, and how to do it in a way that would not derail the entire leader's tour for a day or more.

If you don't think the Obama campaign practiced disciplined communications on a national scale, you haven't read much about the functioning of that team. Yes, one can micro-target messages, but not inconsistent ones, as they will be caught sooner or later. Remember, Obama had to jettison Rev. Wright, but he got to take a whole speech to do it, in a LOT longer campaign period. It was certainly an important moment in the campaign, but you'll notice that Harold Ford was never able to get past the "call me" ads in Tennesee, and a finer example of a potential candidate I don't think we've seen in quite some time.

It's narcissistic to think as a candidate one can just unburden oneself of controversial opinions that others will have to wear and explain, with no notice. It's not even democratic actually. But if that's your precondition for being able to run, perhaps the decision that was taken was for the best all around. I think you might have wound up being very hurt in the hurly-burly of the process otherwise.

Unionist

Stuart, if you became a candidate, and were elected, you would lose your freedom of public speech. You would vote as directed. Are you at ease with that prospect? If not, I'm curious as to why you would want to be a candidate? For the right to argue your point in caucus?

aka Mycroft

While I agree the term witchhunt is not sexist I think the term better describes a situation where a person's public statements are scoured and they are barred if any of them bear the slightest hint of anything less than complete loyalty to the Party to the exclusion of any suggestion that anything the Party has ever done was in error.

Or maybe Orwellian is the better metaphor?

remind remind's picture

Quote:
No wonder the left seems doomed to marginalization.

 

Some are working hard at it to keep it that way.

 

ottawaobserver wrote:
"the NDP shot at native protesters" is incorrect and unbelievably provocative. Why should the party accept someone as a candidate who is willing to make such horrible and inaccurate statements.

I'm not able to go into chapter and verse on all the ways that statement is wrong just now, but will come back to it later this evening if you would like. But it's wrong, and an irresponsible thing to say. Why anyone would expect to be approved as a candidate after saying it, is a bit beyond me.

 

Exactly OO, it was nothing to do with the federal NDP and very little to do with the provincial NDP, and everything to do with Ujjal.

 

In fact, it pisses me right off that Mr Parker would say such a thing about me and my family, as that is who he is speaking about when he  broad brushes like that, when indeed we stood, and stand, in solidarity with First Nations over  Gustafsen Lake.

 

Ujjal was  punished by BC NDPers over that and his  other actions, for Mr Parker to give that whole episode such an arrogant short shift indicates to me, alone, exactly why he should be denied.

 

Then of course there is his ties to Julian West to consider, for me. As well, as his statements here.

Lord Palmerston

I don't see the embrassing spectacle of Obama fawning by the party "modernizers" and blocking of Stuart's candidacy in any way inconsistent.

 

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