Mulcair-led NDP (thread #8)

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Sean in Ottawa

I think Mulcair should ignore it-- others of course can and should respond

I did on twitter. (Welcoming Rae to Fantasy Island)

Howard

Arthur Cramer wrote:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/28/bob-rae-thomas-mulcair_n_1461679.html?ref=canada

Anyone have thoughts on this? How serious should we take Rae, and how if at all should Mulcair react if at all?

Talk is cheap. Until Rae does anything other than talk, these are just the musings of an interim leader. The musings of an interim leader that doesn't command the respect let alone control of a submergent party. Rae is "weak, weak, weak." Hearing Rae talk about the Liberals being the party of ethics is laying it on rich and thick. The Liberals are a party of the sycophantic, power hungry. Their voters are not that way, but the party is. Why would anyone want to get involved in building that mountain of turd? There isn't even corporate money to prop it up anymore. Lastly, if the Liberals think they have a stronger model than the NDP, then what is that model? What do they stand for? Do they believe in anything at all? It's hard to tell these days. All I see is a pro-life, we-voted-with-Harper over a 100 times before the NDP displaced us (including votes shredding pay equity, Kyoto (something the Libs have admitted to being a bs public relations exercise on their), etc), and we started most of the items that now constitute the Tory agenda (like the playbook for austerity, the downward plunge of corporate income tax rates, a race to bottom on trade relations, etc) party. The Liberals have written themselves into irrelevancy. They are the old Conservatives, they are the new New Democrats, they are a party without a place or a purpose. I suggest they change their motto to "PEI is great!"

Sean in Ottawa

The Liberals main claim is to power and that is gone.

Now they have to find a political constituency and Harper may give them one. They have to find ground between the Cons adn the NDP-- as the Cons become more and more radical there is in fact room opening up for a moderate right of centre party. Arguably the Liberals are that party. The key to success for them may be to stop pretending they are New Democrats and take the space on the right that Harper is giving up. If they did this well they could eliminate the Harper Conservatives by giving voice to the more moderate majority of the Con voters. However, as long as they pretend to be centre or left the NDP will chew them up. Of course this means that Rae has no place in their party and they should be looking at something like a western Joe Clark or Jim Prentice assumign that such a person exists in the current generation. If they did this then Harper would be gone.

If you want to know what is truly scary for Harper's party? It is this narrative:

Rae lead Liberals.

Harper lose to NDP.

Allison Redford after one term deciding she will lead the federal Liberals in a slight but decisive move to the right.

Then the next election would be between a small reform party, the Redford Liberals, and the NDP.

I think the NDP would likely win but that would complete the realignment of federal politics between one slightly to the right and one slightly to the left party.

I think the Conservatives are in trouble actually. It is a pity that Harper won't pay the price as he will retire just before the party goes off a cliff but I don't think it will survive him. It would not shock me to see Redford holding the blade.

Interestingly Redford is the first premier of Alberta to sound like a Prime Minsiter of Canada. I doubt that she herself has failed to notice this or does not realize the potential.

Very Far Away

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The Liberals main claim is to power and that is gone.

Now they have to find a political constituency and Harper may give them one. They have to find ground between the Cons adn the NDP-- as the Cons become more and more radical there is in fact room opening up for a moderate right of centre party. Arguably the Liberals are that party. The key to success for them may be to stop pretending they are New Democrats and take the space on the right that Harper is giving up. If they did this well they could eliminate the Harper Conservatives by giving voice to the more moderate majority of the Con voters. However, as long as they pretend to be centre or left the NDP will chew them up. Of course this means that Rae has no place in their party and they should be looking at something like a western Joe Clark or Jim Prentice assumign that such a person exists in the current generation. If they did this then Harper would be gone.

If you want to know what is truly scary for Harper's party? It is this narrative:

Rae lead Liberals.

Harper lose to NDP.

Allison Redford after one term deciding she will lead the federal Liberals in a slight but decisive move to the right.

Then the next election would be between a small reform party, the Redford Liberals, and the NDP.

I think the NDP would likely win but that would complete the realignment of federal politics between one slightly to the right and one slightly to the left party.

I think the Conservatives are in trouble actually. It is a pity that Harper won't pay the price as he will retire just before the party goes off a cliff but I don't think it will survive him. It would not shock me to see Redford holding the blade.

Interestingly Redford is the first premier of Alberta to sound like a Prime Minsiter of Canada. I doubt that she herself has failed to notice this or does not realize the potential.

 

Interesting ideas. However, I don't understand why Redford will choose to be the leader of federal Liberal Party instead of federal Conservatives. With this scenario, it`s easier for her to target federal Cons, not Liberals. No?

Sean in Ottawa

By the next election the damage to the Liberal name may be more insignificance than anything else-- the party may be more of an empty shell that a new leader could shape.

The federal Conservatives I think could brand themselves for a generation as a party of extremists, cheaters and autocrats. The federal Liberals might be an easier fit-- and perhaps more importantly they would be more likely to accept her.

Put another way-- the Liberals will be more desperate, less damaged and a better fit while the Cons may feel less desperate than they should while actually being more damaged.

I suspect that when Harper goes one of his cabinet members will take over with largely the same outlook even if the style is a shade different-- Moore or Kenney etc. That party is not going to embrace a red tory like Redford. The Liberals will be desperate enough to take anyone who offers hope and may have come to realize their best bet is displacing an extremist party on the right with a centre right moderation than a highly electable NDP.

If the Liberals are smart, Redford is the kind of person who could save them from obilvion. Redford is a figure that fits well in the old federal PC party rather than the new Reform incarnation of the Cons. They might want Danielle Smith...

Sean in Ottawa

I know this is an NDP thread but all leadership has context.

It is highly likely that Mulcair will never fight an election against Harper. If his popularity continues with current trends they will have a leadership vote before 2015. Having won re-election with a majority and governed for a decade I don't see Harper having a purpose in fighting an election he is very likely going to lose.

The NDP may well have the challenge of Harper doing all the worst stuff and then a new leader from outside the current Con caucus could come in without it all sticking to that person. In fact, no doubt that is what the NDP should fear the most. Without a leadership change the next election likely would see the NDP as the favorites but a new fresh leader from outside could change things for the Cons. Still I don't see that new fresh face to be a centrist -- rather some other right winger.

BTW- watch for Redford's French if it is decent or starts improving then...

mark_alfred

Highly likely?  I think the odds of Mulcair not facing Harper due to Harper resigning are very low.

Howard

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I know this is an NDP thread but all leadership has context.

It is highly likely that Mulcair will never fight an election against Harper. If his popularity continues with current trends they will have a leadership vote before 2015. Having won re-election with a majority and governed for a decade I don't see Harper having a purpose in fighting an election he is very likely going to lose.

The NDP may well have the challenge of Harper doing all the worst stuff and then a new leader from outside the current Con caucus could come in without it all sticking to that person. In fact, no doubt that is what the NDP should fear the most. Without a leadership change the next election likely would see the NDP as the favorites but a new fresh leader from outside could change things for the Cons. Still I don't see that new fresh face to be a centrist -- rather some other right winger.

BTW- watch for Redford's French if it is decent or starts improving then...

No offence Sean, but at this early date, I think such speculation is getting a little ahead of events. Mulcair is in a honeymoon period. History suggests these things don't last. What will matter is what the different parties settle into once the honeymoon is over.

NorthReport

Harper's been coasting the last few years with a near-death official opposition.

Everything changed last year when the NDP took over that role.

People always underestimated Harper before he became prime minister and to do so again would be a mistake.

Harper's ego will get the best of him, and he loves a good fight. He is also a man on a right-wing mission so rest assured he'll be around for the next next election.

6079_Smith_W

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

 Having won re-election with a majority and governed for a decade I don't see Harper having a purpose in fighting an election he is very likely going to lose.

 

If he were a normal human being I would agree with you. On the other hand, him sharing the same fate as Maggie Thatcher is an end I find much more likely. He has done everything he could to surround himself by toadies, and thwart any possible successor. 

6079_Smith_W

Maybe you're right KenS

But things like him taking down all the pictures of other PMs and replacing them with his own speak very loudly. Somehow I don't think the transition is going to be quite that simple or easy.

 

KenS

mark_alfred wrote:

Highly likely?  I think the odds of Mulcair not facing Harper due to Harper resigning are very low.

Probably because a lot of you carry too much of a notion of Harper as the quintesential Bad Guy.

And of course the Bad Guy, who leads the Bad Party, will be sticking around forever to make sure things go His Way. And since He has the power, He will do it.

 

Harper will be long in the tooth by 2015, even if he wasn't so controversial. And pay attention to what he and Flannagan have said: the mission is to re-make the country, not wield personal power.

Like Sean said- he can get all the really ugly initial work done. Leave the consolidation for a kinder gentler more than a sweater.

KenS

I'm sure it isnt easy for such a control freak to step back.

But Harper has made it clear he has an enormous amount of discipline. Now whether there will be anyone he listens to telling him it is getting to be that time....

If he does stick around, I'm pretty sure we will benefit.

Sean in Ottawa

I think he is extremely arrogant and very much has his eyes on history. I cannot imagine him humiliating himself by running in an election that he could not win after having had a majority. Very few make that mistake.

I do think that instead of waiting for the party to blow apart and get picked off by someone he does not like he will had it over to someone he believes will preserve his place in history which is why I said Redford won't get that party. I think once it is clear he cannot win he will hand the party to a hand-picked successor.

The Margret Thatcher story only supports this argument. Thatcher is an idol to these people. Don't think that any Conservative in power does not think about what happened to her. Her experience makes this more likely not less. That said Thatcher did not lose an election either-- she was booted by her party. None of the big ones that outlasted their welcome were unable to see they would not win one more: Chrétien, Mulroney, Tony Blair, all got out of dodge before they went on a ballot they could not win. Arguably, all would have lost if they had gone for one more. Only Trudeau in 1979 failed to see he was going to lose -- and he did not lose by a lot and managed to come back the following year to redeem himself.

I don't see Harper letting himself get defeated. He will resign first and control the leadership convention.

Stockholm

Also, Harper's number one idol in thr world is former Australian PM John Howard who was PM there for 11 years, then ran in one election too many and was defeated in 2007. That being said, Howard was expected to lose in 2002 and in 2004 before he finally lost in 2007. Harper is probably so full of himself that he is totally convinced he can win over the NDP and Mulcair - no matter what the polls will be saying at the time.

janfromthebruce

I think both Sean and Stock are right which is either/or! hah. It's because examples of both are true. So recently in Ontario we had an election in which McGuinty Liberals were to lose and they ended up with one seat short of a majority. Looking to Manitoba and I don't believe the NDP was suppose to win that election but it did so.

So beyond the leadership matters in an election contest, so does the environment, and so does the leadership of the other contestants.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Jan, I wasn't surprised when we won here. I was of the feeling we were going to get at least 32 seats. I think the memory of the Filmon Tories just keeps hanging aroudn their necks. The MTS privitizaton steal isn't forgotten, and reminding people about Manitoba Hydro being possibly privitized by the Tories was simply an albatros Hugh McFayden couldn't shake. He'd have done it for sure. It was a great victory. But, I was REALLY surprised by the size of the majority.

Mucker

This is an interesting discussion.  I can see both sides of the speculation re: Harper calling it quits before the election, but I think the only way he seriously considers it is if the polls show a substantial, stable trend toward the NDP.  I can't see him stepping down even if the NDP is polling high enough to expect a minority win.  There are too many unknowns:

1) The NDP has never won popular support, so it's difficult to tell how, say, 40% popular support translates into seats;

2) A lot can change throughout an election campaign (as we saw with the NDP surger in 2011).  So unless it's clear that he NDP's lead in the polls is insurmountable far enough in advance of an election to change leaders (more than 1 year, say), then I doubt he's gone.

3) An NDP minority win is not necessarily an NDP government.  Harper would have no problem flip-flopping on the coalition issue if the Liberals are willing to prop him up.

All of these unknowns make it extremely unlikely that an NDP majority government is a certainty sometime in early 2014.  And unless that outcome is a certainty, there's no way Harper pulls the chute.

6079_Smith_W

Not to mention that I wouldn't assume its seats in Quebec are at all a stable base. Hopefully they are, but I wouldn't assume anything. 

And Harper, well he may be smart, but like many people, particularly ones with a very large ego, he sometimes fails to use those smarts at crucial times.

 

Sean in Ottawa

I think if the bad news on this government continues he won't want the abuse from his own party as well-- he very well knows he leads a fragile coalition since he was instrumental in busting it up before 1993. I'm not at all convinced that he can keep the lid on his party if the Cons start to chronically poll below first.

Also what more is there for him? The law of diminishing returns applies here.

I think he may choose the freedom of deciding to not run again so that he will no longer have to care what people think. So long as it is not tested he can maintain any fiction of being able to win again but if he actually runs he could get drummed out.

Nothing would please me more than to see him run again since I think in 2015 he will be a significant liability. I think that party's best hope is also someone outside caucus as well who can clarify a new direction although Cons seem to like Moore.

At the very least the opposition (both formal and informal) should not over personalize the attacks so that they are in a position to face a new leader with the Conservative record rather than find themselves fighting a bogeyman who has left the stage.

Sean in Ottawa

I think the NDP MUST be prepared to fight a new leader of the Cons-- someone who may in fact wear fuzzy sweaters more attractively. Otherwise we are setting a trap and planning for an election that, I, for one, believe is unlikely to ever happen.

This is not to say Harper will definitely go-- I am just saying that if trends continue it is more likely that he will go (pushed or of his own accord) before the next election. At least we need to avoid building our plans assuming he will still be there.

6079_Smith_W

@ Sean

It's kind of hard not to, since the party IS Harper. There is no conservative party any more. Whatever comes afterwards is going to be completely different. There is no way around that.

But even the brand isn't a sure target, because we have seen enough cases of parties dissolving when they become too toxic and re-emerging as something "new".

finois finois's picture

Sean, i speculated the concept of an early end to Harper a few months ago. I believe it is not so much about how the CONS are polling althought that is key. It is about how badly Harper is polling.

i believe we need certain conditions to develope that may casue an early election

1) Harper's polling continues to fall and he personally polls consistently lower than the cons themselves:

2) A split occurs on his right side whcih bleeds even a few % of votes

3) The NDP gradual increase in the polls

4) The loss of B.C. over the pipeline and the concept of the Cons picking sides over alberta vs b.c.. Some of these con  caucus meetings as this develops should be interesting

5) The maritimes continues the shift to the NDP. i expect the liberal seats and votes will collapse here and this will also cause some conservatives sets to fall

6) If Obama wins in November and has 4 years without any chance of running again watch him become very friendly with the moderate leader from Canada who advocates similar tax policies. Obama has much more in common with Mulcair.  obama remembers Canada's awkard involvement by the cons to assist republicans and mccain in the last election as well as embarasing him pver pipeline.. Obama might like to give Harper a good slap for old times sake

i Still believe Harper will resign amidst growing disallusionment and the cons will be forced to call an election bye summer 2014.

Here's hopin'

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

I think an early election is not likely but certainly Harper going is.

@6079 I think the key is to talk about failed Conservative ideology as well as personalizing Harper governemnt etc.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, that works for us, but not for the many people here in Saskatchewan who spit when they hear the name "Grant Devine" but who think Brad Wall is cute as a button.

And I don't see Harper letting anything stop him completely other than the courts. In my opinion he crossed the Rubicon when he quashed legislation passed by the House with his unelected majority in the Senate. Stalls and reversals to legislation are one thing, but I can't imagine anything that would compel him to go of his own free will.

 

 

Stockholm

finois wrote:

Sean, i speculated the concept of an early end to Harper a few months ago. I believe it is not so much about how the CONS are polling althought that is key. It is about how badly Harper is polling.

i believe we need certain conditions to develope that may casue an early election

1) Harper's polling continues to fall and he personally polls consistently lower than the cons themselves:

2) A split occurs on his right side whcih bleeds even a few % of votes

3) The NDP gradual increase in the polls

4) The loss of B.C. over the pipeline and the concept of the Cons picking sides over alberta vs b.c.. Some of these con  caucus meetings as this develops should be interesting

5) The maritimes continues the shift to the NDP. i expect the liberal seats and votes will collapse here and this will also cause some conservatives sets to fall

6) If Obama wins in November and has 4 years without any chance of running again watch him become very friendly with the moderate leader from Canada who advocates similar tax policies. Obama has much more in common with Mulcair.  obama remembers Canada's awkard involvement by the cons to assist republicans and mccain in the last election as well as embarasing him pver pipeline.. Obama might like to give Harper a good slap for old times sake

i Still believe Harper will resign amidst growing disallusionment and the cons will be forced to call an election bye summer 2014.

Here's hopin'

 

I would add to this:

7) The federal Liberals continue to disintegrate and Liberal voters in Ontario start a stampede to the NDP as the only party that can beat Harper and polls in Ontario start to consistently shift from the current CPC 38/39, NDP 28/29, Libs 26/27 to a new paradigm of CPC 37/38, NDP 35/36, Libs 18/19

janfromthebruce

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Jan, I wasn't surprised when we won here. I was of the feeling we were going to get at least 32 seats. I think the memory of the Filmon Tories just keeps hanging aroudn their necks. The MTS privitizaton steal isn't forgotten, and reminding people about Manitoba Hydro being possibly privitized by the Tories was simply an albatros Hugh McFayden couldn't shake. He'd have done it for sure. It was a great victory. But, I was REALLY surprised by the size of the majority.

thanks Arthur. I had another babble poster who suggested initially that the NDP would lose because leading into the election the polling was better for the Conservatives.

6079_Smith_W

So on the one hand when we talk about the Liberals it is as if they are no better than the Harperites. Yet when we think about the prospect of the party dissolving all of a sudden all the rats are going to jump ship over to the NDP. 

Sorry if I am a bit sceptical.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Will the Cons use the "Bob Rae Days" as a boogeyman to scare voters away from the NDP?

quizzical

what are Bob Rae days?

 

Howard

If Harper were to step down because he didn't want to lose, whoever inherited his mantle would be expected to lose, kind of like Christy Clark. Trying to dig yourself out from under that political perspective is pretty tough.

Fidel

quizzical wrote:

what are Bob Rae days?

 

 

12 unpaid holidays a year for civil service workers in the 1990s. Excluded were those earning less than $30,000 annually.

So they threw out the NDP in 1995 and elected Tories. Harris' Tories permamently laid off 10,000 nurses and ran the deficit up borrowing $35 billion from private sources to finance tax cuts for rich people.

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