NDP Leadership 23

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Gaian
NDP Leadership 23

coming up

JeffWells

Very interested to see, and not a little surprised, that James Laxer is backing Mulcair. Recent tweets:

"Tom Mulcair is the obvious choice for NDP leader. Let's get to know him."

"I"m leaning toward Mulcair. What's your take?"

"Mulcair is NDP's Wilfrid Laurier, who can lead party out of Quebec to victory in whole country, and change Canadian politics"

http://twitter.com/#!/jameslaxer

Gaian

I watched CPAC for more than a day as young New Democrat MPs and old, right across all of the ridings, stood in Parliament and argued passionately regarding the unfairness of a government that would allow the locking out of postal workers and then denial of their bargaining rights.

Would the people bleating about the anti-union tenor of some elements in the New Democratic Party please cut the anti-NDP rhetoric? It is becoming a bit bloody much. Keep your remarks positive and about the person you support. That's the Layton way. Shove up your derriere the remarks about a candidate where you are apparently willing to damage the party in the process. Do not say again that you are only out to reform the party and expect it to be believed if you are ready to damage the party in the process.

Howard

A trip down memory lane

I'm surprised by how terrified the media, Liberals, and Conservatives seem to be of Mulcair's candidacy. One Conservative strategist called Mulcair's communications skills "dangerous" as in dangerous to carry the NDP in to power. He said that if Mulcair wins the leadership the Tories will attack him as being "unhinged" and if Topp wins they will attack him as an "elitist." Screw the Tories, Liberals, media, etc. who do New Democrats want as leader?

Vansterdam Kid

Howard wrote:

A trip down memory lane

I'm surprised by how terrified the media, Liberals, and Conservatives seem to be of Mulcair's candidacy. One Conservative strategist called Mulcair's communications skills "dangerous" as in dangerous to carry the NDP in to power. He said that if Mulcair wins the leadership the Tories will attack him as being "unhinged" and if Topp wins they will attack him as an "elitist." Screw the Tories, Liberals, media, etc. who do New Democrats want as leader? [Emphasis Mine]

True that.

flight from kamakura

across quebec today, loads of articles on mulcair's candidacy, including interviews with regional ndp mps.  the most interesting and tenor-setting will come on saturday (tomorrow) when vincent marissal publishes a long-form article on thomas mulcair.  this will likely be big, and cover everything about the guy, good and bad, so we'll get a sense of what sticks thenceforth.

Vansterdam Kid

One line of attack that I find odd is the Topp camp's attack on Mulcair for only having been in the party for five years. Quelle horreur! But traditionally the NDP's base has been 15-20% of the voting population. You're not going to form a government with that sort of a base, so it stands to reason there will be crossover from other parties not only in voters, but in activists and elected officials/candidates. Especially in Quebec. It's a pretty lame canard and it isn't going to sway me. Besides, with all those young MP's I'd have to wonder how long some of them in the 20-22 year old range have been in the party? Does someone need to have been in the party for thirty years to be considered for a leadership position? Is this the old unionist 'seniority' argument shining through or something?

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

flight from kamakura wrote:
across quebec today, loads of articles on mulcair's candidacy, including interviews with regional ndp mps.  the most interesting and tenor-setting will come on saturday (tomorrow) when vincent marissal publishes a long-form article on thomas mulcair.  this will likely be big, and cover everything about the guy, good and bad, so we'll get a sense of what sticks thenceforth.

FFK, could you post a link to this when it appears? Yes, despite the language barrier. Thanks!

AnonymousMouse

Howard wrote:

One Conservative strategist called Mulcair's communications skills "dangerous" as in dangerous to carry the NDP in to power. He said that if Mulcair wins the leadership the Tories will attack him as being "unhinged"...

I laugh every time I hear Tories say they're gonna attack Tom Mulcair for having a temper the way they attacked Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff on other fronts. The Cons keep feeding that line to the media, but I think they know Mulcair is dangerous precisely because it'll be next to impossible to make that line stick in any meaningful way.

That may seem like an odd conclusion, but consider this: they could frame Dion as bumbling because he bumbled; they could frame Ignatieff as aloof because his mannerisms were aloof. Whether or not it's true, Mulcair comes off as a pretty affable guy the vast majority of the time. If he has a temper, it's not a predominant characteristic of his public persona. And, frankly, it's a lot easier to be a little more mindful of not snapping at people in debates than it is to totally change your personality as Ignatieff or Dion would have to have done.

Yes, there was the Howard Dean Scream, but that was a chance occurance that had a lot to do with his mic being set to cancel out all the ambient sound in the room (if you look at other footage of the same event it feels entirely different). And we don't operate in a presidential primary atmosphere where candidate come and go by the minute. Canadians are gonna see our next leader on a daily or weekly basis for four years.

The simple fact is it's gonna be a lot harder to define someone based on an occasional show anger like Mulcair, than a consistent part of their personality as was the case with Ignatieff and Dion.

Vansterdam Kid

AnonymousMouse wrote:

Howard wrote:

One Conservative strategist called Mulcair's communications skills "dangerous" as in dangerous to carry the NDP in to power. He said that if Mulcair wins the leadership the Tories will attack him as being "unhinged"...

I laugh every time I hear Tories say they're gonna attack Tom Mulcair for having a temper the way they attacked Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff on other fronts. The Cons keep feeding that line to the media, but I think they know Mulcair is dangerous precisely because it'll be next to impossible to make that line stick in any meaningful way.

That may seem like an odd conclusion, but consider this: they could frame Dion as bumbling because he bumbled; they could frame Ignatieff as aloof because his mannerisms were aloof. Whether or not it's true, Mulcair comes off as a pretty affable guy the vast majority of the time. If he has a temper, it's not a predominant characteristic of his public persona. And, frankly, it's a lot easier to be a little more mindful of not snapping at people in debates than it is to totally change your personality as Ignatieff or Dion would have to have done.

Yes, there was the Howard Dean Scream, but that was a chance occurance that had a lot to do with his mic being set to cancel out all the ambient sound in the room (if you look at other footage of the same event it feels entirely different). And we don't operate in a presidential primary atmosphere where candidate come and go by the minute. Canadians are gonna see our next leader on a daily or weekly basis for four years.

The simple fact is it's gonna be a lot harder to define someone based on an occasional show anger like Mulcair, than a consistent part of their personality as was the case with Ignatieff and Dion.

Not to mention the fact that Stephen Harper isn't the most affable guy around and yet it hasn't stopped him from winning. I've always thought the left's weakness is that it's too nice and that their leaders have a certain weakness about them as a result. I want someone who isn't afraid of getting their elbows in the air.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Vansterdam Kid wrote:
One line of attack that I find odd is the Topp camp's attack on Mulcair for only having been in the party for five years.

Yeah, that's ridiculous - hasn't Mulcair already won three elections while in the NDP? Wasn't he Layton's Quebec Lieutenant and responsible to a degree for the NDP's success in Quebec? How many times has Topp been elected??? Sounds like sour grapes from the Topp folks. If Mulcair's credentials were good enough for Layton, they should be good enough for everyone else in the NDP! Quit the pettiness, already.

Wilf Day

In thread 22 someone asked:

Quote:
Is the NDP the party of the working class or the middle class?

The most interesting answers were in the debate on the postal workers lockout bill:

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/new-ndp-stars-cont

Quote:
Mr. Alexandre Boulerice: In this debate, it is also important to remember that attacks on unionized workers are attacks on the middle class.

I want to go back a little bit. We can easily argue that the middle class is a creation of the union movement.

When industrialization began in England first and then in other western countries, continental Europe mainly, peasants left the countryside in droves and moved to the city. There were large factories producing the first manufactured products under extremely difficult working conditions: six or seven days of work a week, 10, 12, 14 hours of work a day, child workers, completely appalling health and safety conditions, pitiful wages. All these people could hope for was to survive and that their children would live in the same terrible conditions.

What happened over the course of decades and centuries? These workers got organized. They created trade associations, trade guilds. They fought to make gains and change their working and living conditions. Then as these fights were fought by women's groups, community groups and especially unions that changed the work organization and signed collective agreements, workers obtained salary increases and created things that did not exist before: health and safety committees, paid leave, sick leave, the fact that a child must not work in a mine or a factory. All of this meant that the average quality of life and working conditions improved.

When we look at what constitutes the middle class these days, we see that much of the middle class is made up of small-business owners, entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, convenience store owners, florists, hair stylists, and so on. They form a good portion of the middle class, but another big part of the middle class is made up of unionized workers with good working conditions. People who work in mines have good working conditions. It is a tough job, but they have good working conditions, because they are unionized. People who were lucky enough to work in forestry in the past-there are fewer and fewer unionized workers in that industry-and in the oil industry were unionized.

Everyone who works in the public service, the teachers who teach our children, are also unionized workers. Nurses in hospitals are also unionized. When the Conservative government attacks unions, the fundamental right to associate and collective bargaining rights, it is attacking all of these workers.

An attack against the union movement is an attack against the middle class. We are here to defend families, workers and the middle class. That is important to us. That is our priority and we will not abandon it.

Guy Caron:

Based on the figures, whether it be those of Statistics Canada or of the research institutes, those commonly called think tanks, the middle class in Canada is gradually disappearing. It is the ordinary people who joined forces to form unions that created the middle class. Before unions came into existence, people who demanded rights were oppressed. There was a have class and a have not class, those who had financial resources and those who lived from one day to the next not knowing what would happen to them the following day. It was when the right to form unions was granted that the middle class emerged. Coincidentally, as attacks continue against unionization in Canada and attempts are made to eliminate bargaining power, we are witnessing the gradual disappearance of the middle class and the emergence of the same economic disparities as existed at the turn of the century.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Excellent, Wilf.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Thats what I said, Unions are middle class and we should stand up for them by protecting collective bargaining

But Azana was arguing that Mulcair was anti-labour and the working class and I was simply saying that Unions are not the working class, they are the middle class just like Boulerice said there

KenS

Vansterdam Kid wrote:

One line of attack that I find odd is the Topp camp's attack on Mulcair for only having been in the party for five years.

Sounds petty for sure. But I've only heard something similar [and not that in particular] a bit on Babble, and not from the Topp camp at all.

Howard

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

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

Gaian

Howard

Btw, I found that news about Julius Grey on the punditsguide website. It has been by far the best way to follow news and movement on the NDP leadership race thus far (barring babble of course Wink)

nicky

The NDP women MPs have been much slower in endorsing leadership candidates than the male MPs. Deducting Chow and Turmel , who have said they will stay neutral, there are 100 MPs. Half of the men, 31 of 62 have made endorsements but only 14 of 38 women.
Are some woman MPs remaining uncommitted in case Nash or Ashton jump in? Or is there another explanation beyond mere coincidence?
Incidentally, Mulcair has 24 male MPs backing hiim and 10 women. Topp has 4 and 3. Saganash himself and one woman. Dewar and Cullen just themselves.
I would be interested in how you assess the endorsement of Mulcair by Wayne Marston. He is of course the former long time president of the Hamilton and District Labour Council and obviously has close Steelworkers ties. Perhaps Topp does not have the Steelworkers' votes tied up after all.

Howard

Idealistic Pragmatist wrote:

flight from kamakura wrote:
across quebec today, loads of articles on mulcair's candidacy, including interviews with regional ndp mps.  the most interesting and tenor-setting will come on saturday (tomorrow) when vincent marissal publishes a long-form article on thomas mulcair.  this will likely be big, and cover everything about the guy, good and bad, so we'll get a sense of what sticks thenceforth.

FFK, could you post a link to this when it appears? Yes, despite the language barrier. Thanks!

In the meantime here is today's article by Vincent Marissal, who did a great job of chronicling the NDP's surprising rise in Québec last federal election.

robbie_dee

nicky wrote:
I would be interested in how you assess the endorsement of Mulcair by Wayne Marston. He is of course the former long time president of the Hamilton and District Labour Council and obviously has close Steelworkers ties. Perhaps Topp does not have the Steelworkers' votes tied up after all.

Marston's certainly on friendly terms with the Steelworkers and has received support from them throughout his union and political career. But his labour background was as a longtime Bell Canada telephone technician and member of the CEP, not USW. So you can't really say Marston speaks for the Steelworkers or vice-versa. CEP certainly has a profile in the NDP as well, we'll see where they come down in the leadership race.

KenS

nicky wrote:
Perhaps Topp does not have the Steelworkers' votes tied up after all.

Nobody said Topp has the Steelworkers' votes tied up. And that is available to no one.

Top has the considerable weight of the Steel leadership. That's tied up, with a bow.

Lord Palmerston

knownothing wrote:

Thats what I said, Unions are middle class and we should stand up for them by protecting collective bargaining

But Azana was arguing that Mulcair was anti-labour and the working class and I was simply saying that Unions are not the working class, they are the middle class just like Boulerice said there

Why are trade unions not representatives of the working class?  Please don't say union members make too much money and are therefore "middle class."

knownothing knownothing's picture

Ah cmon thats not what I am saying. I support unions. And collective bargaining. I am just saying there are plenty of working folks worse off than Unionized workers and we need to stand for them too

Lord Palmerston

Of course.  And strengthening trade unions would be one of the ways of doing that  

flight from kamakura

on the soleil de quebec's website, pierre-paul noreau has a brief analysis piece on mulcair's entry into the race, de-accentuating the clash of values and framing the choice as one between jack's legacy team and mulcair's record of electoral success - finishing with the point that jack layton never became prime minister, and that maybe mulcair has what it takes to get there, but that any rate, ndpers who want a candidate who will fight fire with fire in the battle with harper now have a candidate.  which sounds about right for what the quebec political pundits would sort it into - topp is old ndp, mulcair is new ndp.  nationalist echoes on the 'return to canada' track, but also a lot of truth.  and obviously we'll have to wait a few days still to get a sense of how much the quebec media gets behind mulcair's candidacy.  remember that regardless of whether the race in quebec turns into one in which mulcair's support becomes monolithic, the more coverage this guy gets, the more interest the race generates, the more members we sign up, mulcair partisan or not, the more this campaign serves to consolidate the quebec gains.  even if a topp, who is not intuitively appealing to quebecers, takes the leadership, people will have that much more invested in the party, and will be more likely to stay with it than had mulcair not got them motivated to sign up.  it's great.

and will definitely post the marissal link tomorrow with non-mechanical translations of choice extracts.  also, there was a somewhat interesting video segment i caught this morning featuring jean lapierre and don macpherson, during which macpherson described topp's early campaign of demonstrating overwhelming strength as one intended deliberately to scare other candidates out of the race, particularly mulcair.  it seems more right than not, but also to reflect a dyad that makes much more sense to the quebec mind than to the that of the average ndper.  people in quebec really are looking at these leadership candidates as future prime ministers, not as opposition leaders or parties of conscience, and topp's strength just seems incredible (in the literal, latin sense of the word) to many french canadians just now informing themselves of the contours of the race.

dacckon dacckon's picture

How can you define old and new? What are the differences? Are they economical? social? Any specifics?

If Topp purposly diluted his campaign strength, wouldn't that show that he is uncapable of doing what it takes to win? Would it show that he is reluctant to lead?

I have yet to see any hatred between Topp and Mulcair like Chretien vs Martin. One must be careful of assumptions. The leadership candidates must also be careful of not turning media spin into a self-fullfilling prophecy.

 

David Young

Howard wrote:

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

A potential Minister of Justice?

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

Does he live in Westmount-Ville Marie?

Then again, with boundary changes due to come into effect in 2015, where he runs would have to wait untill then, wouldn't you think?

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Maybe there will be conflict between the 'old' and 'new' - however defined, maybe not. Someone on P&P made a comparsion between Mulcair/Topp and Chretien/Martin, but that's a stretch. Probably trying to stir up sh*t. Laughing

theleftyinvestor

And the first mass e-mail to NDP members comes from... Brian Topp.

 

 

Dear friend,

A few weeks ago I put my name forward as a candidate for Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada.

I'm pleased to see that an excellent and growing list of colleagues, including (so far) Romeo Saganash, Paul Dewar, Nathan Cullen, Martin Singh and Tom Mulcair, have also stepped forward. You're going to have a difficult choice!

So, as a small contribution to helping you with that choice, I hope you don't mind if I write you from time to time. I thought I'd start, in this letter, with a summary of my background and basic priorities.

To begin, I have been a committed member of our party for almost three decades.

I'm a leader in the labour movement, in the credit union movement, and in the business community. I'm executive director and CEO of ACTRA Toronto, a film and television industry union. I chair the board of Creative Arts Savings and Credit Union. And I'm a director on the board of ROI Fund, a labour-sponsored venture capital fund, part of a highly successful fund family that has grown over the past decade from a start-up to a $1.3 billion business.

I've also been one of our party's leaders. Delegates elected me to be President of our party at our most recent convention. I worked at the heart of all of Jack Layton's national campaigns (twice as national campaign director), and handled some tricky files for him. For example, I co-chaired the NDP's negotiating team during the 2008 coalition negotiations that came so close to ridding Canada of the Harper government.

And before that: I was a senior vice president in the national office of Canada's credit union system. I served as deputy chief of staff to Premier Roy Romanow in the Government of Saskatchewan during the 1990s. I worked on Parliament Hill as a researcher and legislative assistant.

I'm married to Rebecca Elbourne. We have two teenaged sons, Simon, 16, who is studying acting, and Alex, 14, who is studying filmmaking -- an example of two children rebelling against their father by insisting on joining his union. I asserted at the start of this campaign, and do so again, that our family's orange cat, Tigger, is more charismatic than Stephen Harper. And so one of my duties if elected will be to be at least as charismatic as our cat by 2015.

Speaking of which:

We must and we will defeat Stephen Harper in 2015.

Our party made excellent progress in the past nine years under Jack Layton, growing from 13 to 103 MPs and from 6% of the vote to 30%. And our breakthrough in Quebec was historic. I was born in Quebec and have deep roots there. And I know first hand how hard so many people worked for our success.

That’s why I don't want to start another building cycle, from square one. I want us to build from our current base, and to win a governing mandate next election. I worked at the heart of our past four national campaigns and (as I've been trying to demonstrate in my leadership campaign) I know how to campaign nationally.

The style of our next campaign may emerge as a point of debate in this leadership race. In my view, we won't defeat Mr. Harper by "taking him on", by "hammering" him, or by "facing him down". Angry, negative campaigning works better for Conservatives than for social democrats, because it motivates conservative voters while persuading progressives not to vote. Jack Layton demonstrated a better approach: "propositional" campaigning, that twins every problem statement with a positive, practical, progressive solution. As Jack said, by being hopeful and optimistic, we can change the world. I think that's also how we are going to change the government of Canada.

And then we must govern well.

Winning a first mandate will be a poisoned chalice if we aren't competent in office. The next leader of our party will, I am confident, be our party's first Prime Minister. We therefore need to draw deep from our best governing traditions. Managing a government isn't a skill easily learned on-the-job -- trying to do so is like learning to pilot an airplane in mid-flight. We elected our first CCF-NDP government in Saskatchewan. Our governments there have done some of our party's best work. I served under Premier Romanow at the heart of that government for the better part of a decade. I know how to lead a competent NDP government. There is much in the prudent, practical, determined and principled records of our successful governments that we should apply to our federal work.

And then, finally, we need to govern for a purpose.

We don't need to become Liberals to win -- or to succeed in office. We can win, and do well, while pursuing our party's own principles, values and goals (keeping an open mind to cooperating with others in Parliament when circumstances justify it).

Our specific policies are well-detailed in our election platforms and party resolutions. We're for more jobs in a value-added economy; for tax fairness; for an end to child poverty; for gender and racial equality; for access to public transit and affordable housing; for creating jobs by building a green economy. We're for better public health care, and better public pensions. We're for a better future for rural, resource and remote communities. We're for restoring Canada's good name in the world, and for taking up the cause of peace instead of war. And much more.

What is the common element, the fundamental purpose of all of these policies? It's time we debated that, and I know my answer: it is to work, in everything we do in office, to build a much more equal society. Economically and socially more equal societies are fairer, healthier, and more stable. Increasingly unequal societies look like ... well, like North America in 2011, brought to you (along with gross income inequality and many other growing problems) by a long string of conservative-minded governments. A string it is time for us to break.

To win the next election. To govern well. To govern for a purpose. Those are my basic priorities as leader.

Like to know more?

You can learn more about me and my campaign at www.briantopp.ca.

I've been writing a regular column published at www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/ and at www.rabble.ca which I invite you to take a look at (the Globe has a two-year archive of these articles on its website). I published a short memoir about the 2008 coalition crisis you might also like to check out (it's entitled How We Almost Gave the Tories the Boot, James Lorimer 2010, available in print and as an ebook on kobo.com).

I'll be writing you with some additional thoughts as this campaign unfolds.

Please forward this letter to any friends or family members you think might be interested.

And please consider supporting my campaign as a volunteer or financial contributor (you can sign up or donate at my website).

All the best,

Brian Topp

P.S. In addition to my website at briantopp.ca, you can reach me at
[email protected]; on Twitter at @briantopp, and on Facebook.

 

theleftyinvestor

Combine this with Rosemary Barton's comment yesterday that Mulcair needs to get on Twitter... If Team Mulcair wants to build the right kind of momentum they need to get on board with technology too.

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

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

theleftyinvestor

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

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

AnonymousMouse wrote:

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

 

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

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

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

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

dacckon dacckon's picture

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

Lord Palmerston

David Young wrote:
A potential Minister of Justice?

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

Does he live in Westmount-Ville Marie?

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

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

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

dacckon dacckon's picture

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

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

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

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:

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

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

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

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

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

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

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

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

AnonymousMouse

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

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

AnonymousMouse

Malcolm wrote:

AnonymousMouse wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stockholm

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

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

KenS

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

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

KenS

Malcolm wrote:

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

......

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

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

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

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

Hunky_Monkey

Howard wrote:

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

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

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

Hunky_Monkey

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

I thought... sweet!

Stockholm

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

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