NDP Leadership 23

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algomafalcon

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.

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.

I think those are all pretty valid points. I for one was very surprised the way the Brian Topp leadership bid was launched so suddenly after Jack Layton's sudden death. (At least Jack Layton's death seemed very sudden to the general public. Maybe the caucus and NDP staff had more knowledge about Jack's health).

I'm curious if anyone can remember if there have been any provincial NDP leadership contests where an unelected party staffer or organizer became leader? Actually, just asking the question, I am thinking there might be at least one situation where an organizer/staff member was elected leader. I'm thinking of Grant Notley, a former leader of the Alberta NDP. I believe he was a party organizer before he was elected leader of the Alberta NDP in 1968. But Grant had run twice for the NDP (1963 and 1968). And the other obvious point is that at the time, the Alberta NDP had no elected MLAs.

I am glad that the NDP will have a fairly long leadership campaign as it will give the members more time to evaluate the different candidates. This should also provide a good opportunity to build party membership, especially in those provinces where the membership numbers are weak (such as Quebec).

 

KenS

Brian Topp wrote:
And so one of my duties if elected will be to be at least as charismatic as our cat by 2015.

 

One shouldnt parse partially tongue in cheek comments much. And for that matter, parse promo pieces.

That said, I'm left wondering if Brian is setting the stage for too low a bar on this.

Brian doesnt need to be charismatic, or even close.

And the new leader will have some time to develop their full public personna.

But I have to see the basics before the leadership race.

KenS

algomafalcon wrote:

I'm curious if anyone can remember if there have been any provincial NDP leadership contests where an unelected party staffer or organizer became leader? Actually, just asking the question,

I think its pretty clear that the situating of Brian's campaign is very unusual.

But my view on that is that all leadership races have their unique settings- which can lead to just about anything.

algomafalcon

KenS wrote:

algomafalcon wrote:

I'm curious if anyone can remember if there have been any provincial NDP leadership contests where an unelected party staffer or organizer became leader? Actually, just asking the question,

I think its pretty clear that the situating of Brian's campaign is very unusual.

But my view on that is that all leadership races have their unique settings- which can lead to just about anything.

Yes. I agree that it is unusual. I think there is no other federal leadership contest in Canadian history which was launched under similar circumstances. The dramatic breakthrough of the general election with the NDP sweep in Quebec, folllowed by Jack's announcement that he was stepping aside to resume cancer treatment and then his sudden death. 

But I don't know if Brian Topp's rather unusual candidacy is derived from the circumstances of the contest. I'm sure that a lot of the membership is wondering why so many key figures from within the party have rushed to endorse a candidate who has no parliamentary experience. It just seems so truly odd. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I guess maybe they felt his time has come. I confess to being a mite curious as to whether Brian had ever voiced an interest in running for parliamentary office before?  I guess we'll never know. Anyway, I liked his letter in post#29, and that's a great photo - charismatic, even! And Brian has a low key sense of humour, which comes out in the letter. I hope ll the candidates send something out.

dacckon dacckon's picture

Perhaps there are international examples... anywho

 

NDP.ca wrote:
Joe Comartin will be stepping in as House Leader, working alongside Helene Laverdiere as Deputy House Leader. Jack Harris will take on the Justice file, with David Christopherson taking over as Defence Critic.

KenS

The fact that it is different does not make it 'odd'. And I dont think that is just word play.

Keep in mind that those key figures from within the party were not "rushing". They know Brian. And in the case of one person at least- I am very confident that Libby Davies thought about Brian Topp as leader before Jack Layton HAD to be replaced. So go others presumably.

It all surprised me- each step of it. But I can understand how it would not surprise those who had a chance to mull it over. A hasty circling of the wagons by the inner circle is just one possible explanation- and frankly, not the one that makes the most sense to me... even though I had no idea of what was to come.

KenS

algomafalcon wrote:

But I don't know if Brian Topp's rather unusual candidacy is derived from the circumstances of the contest.

What I said before on that.

I agree that his candidacy is not derived from the circumstances. In other words, he intended to run before Jack's health got questionable.

Nonetheless, that Brian's unusual candidacy is a product of the unusual circumstances. In other words- he was going to run someday, and there was presumably some plan for preparing for it, however tight or loose that may have been.... and it probably would have looked fairly normal.

But then Jack died. So for Brian and the few people who knew he wanted to do it, it became 'this isnt what we had in mind, and its definitely going to look different and not be easy... but its still the same question: go for it, or not.'

Something like that.

Lord Palmerston

Stockholm wrote:

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.

It depends how much more they can squeeze out from the Liberals and Bloc.  Westmount-Ville Marie is the most obvious target, that was a close call.  They should run seriously in Papineau also.  And what about the Bloc-held Ahuntsic?  Even Mount Royal could be a possibility assuming Cotler retires (but maybe he won't!) as Mulcair represents a neighboring riding and has strong ties to the Jewish community.  

And again, if the Liberals look like a spent force (i.e. not just 85% certain as it now), you may see the likes of Stephane Dion switch.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'd just like to remind babblers that the interest the NDP leadership race is going to incite across the NDP membership and elsewhere, will surely bring more people to babble to discuss it. It will make for a nasty and acrimonious discussion (not to mention a difficult job for the moderators) if more established or veteran babblers make insinuations or assumptions about new posters' motives. So: please welcome new babblers with grace and aplomb before you demolish their foolish arguments in favour of the weakest candidate in the race only a political naïf would consider supporting.

Ta!

dacckon dacckon's picture

Topp in BC + Another Topp article (warning:contains slight media exaggeration)

Ruth-Ellen Brosseau (not an endorsement)

Mulcair Endorsements, Ravignat, and Pierre Jacob

Lachine Scot

dacckon wrote:

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.

Hm, interesting. I signed up after the election as well and never heard anything beyond that same e-mail Boom Boom describes.

I was starting to think that maybe I had imagined "joining"..

Policywonk

theleftyinvestor wrote:

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.

I never recieved Topp's message either. I would direct him to the 2000 election results. Jack did not start from 6%;  Alexa got 8.5% in that election. Even in the 1993 election our popular vote was 6.9%.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Just had a light go off inside my head - I'll take my request online to my new NDP MP. Laughing

Wilf Day

Idealistic Pragmatist wrote:

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

I didn't either, yet. Did anyone outside BC get it yet?

Wilf Day

Policywonk wrote:

I would direct him to the 2000 election results. Jack did not start from 6%;  Alexa got 8.5% in that election.

Topp is unlikely to have made such a mistake; so I assume we dropped in the polls from 8.5% to 6% at some point before Jack won the leadership. You'd expect Topp's website to explain this, though.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

algomafalcon wrote:

 

I'm curious if anyone can remember if there have been any provincial NDP leadership contests where an unelected party staffer or organizer became leader? Actually, just asking the question, I am thinking there might be at least one situation where an organizer/staff member was elected leader. I'm thinking of Grant Notley, a former leader of the Alberta NDP. I believe he was a party organizer before he was elected leader of the Alberta NDP in 1968. But Grant had run twice for the NDP (1963 and 1968). And the other obvious point is that at the time, the Alberta NDP had no elected MLAs.

 

The most recent leadership race in New Brunswick would be much the same as that.

Unionist

Vansterdam Kid wrote:

Is this the old unionist 'seniority' argument shining through or something?

Personal attack!!!

Cool

 

algomafalcon

Catchfire wrote:

I'd just like to remind babblers that the interest the NDP leadership race is going to incite across the NDP membership and elsewhere, will surely bring more people to babble to discuss it. It will make for a nasty and acrimonious discussion (not to mention a difficult job for the moderators) if more established or veteran babblers make insinuations or assumptions about new posters' motives. So: please welcome new babblers with grace and aplomb before you demolish their foolish arguments in favour of the weakest candidate in the race only a political naïf would consider supporting.

Ta!

That is rather nicely stated. And just to add to that, it is highly unlikely that anyone from the 1% elite is going to actually bother to register here, although I suppose there is always the possibility they might hire someone to do their bidding. ;-)

I think it is likely that long time disengaged persons may choose to join in the discussion and I hope that those who have been here for a long time don't consider that to be a bad thing. (I must add that the main reason I have joined this site is that it seems to be the main site which is discussing these issues.)

Aristotleded24

Stockholm wrote:
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

I'm thinking about heading down to Nathan Phillips Square on the weekend to announce my candidacy for leadership of the NDP. Would you like to meet for coffee beforehand?Wink

theleftyinvestor

dacckon wrote:

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

I never subscribed anywhere other than giving my e-mail address to the BCNDP upon signup. But they all seem to have my e-mail address.

In the time since I joined, I've been contacted by the BCNDP communications officer, the leadership campaigns of Horgan, Farnworth, Simons and Dix, various personal endorsements from said campaigns, a targeted message from Dix to my provincial riding (as well as a targeted message from my MLA Jenny Kwan supporting Farnworth)... followed by an invitation to a Metro Vancouver Jack Layton rally, a call for volunteers on David Eby's Vancouver Point Grey campaign... a provincial riding newsletter, and a barrage of Stop HST e-mails. I've also gotten a few calls for donations from Jan O'Brien, the provincial secretary (the one in late August containing a footnote regarding condolences for Jack). And then this Topp e-mail was the first pertaining to the federal leadership.

Maybe the BCNDP is just very well-organized in terms of communication? Although it looks like my e-mail address was pulled by the Topp campaign onto their own listserv system rather than using the BCNDP's system. This is the first NDP e-mail I've received at that particular address that did not explicitly mention the BCNDP.

Vansterdam Kid

Unionist wrote:

Vansterdam Kid wrote:

Is this the old unionist 'seniority' argument shining through or something?

Personal attack!!!

Cool

 

Your arguments never get old.Smile

ottawaobserver

Speaking of jumping all over newly-joined Babble members, which I suppose some folks believe I did to Azana over comments she dug up from Mulcair during his time in Quebec City that were marshalled to argue he is anti-labour ...

I thought it might be worthwhile to dig up his speech on the June filibuster motion, because I remember at the time Peggy Nash tweeting that he had just given a barn-burner.

Here is the introduction and wrap up (and follow this link for the full thing). Tell me if it sounds anti-labour to you.

Thomas Mulcair in the House of Commons, June 23, 2011 wrote:

Mr. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP):      Mr. Speaker, sometimes debate influences a government's actions and also public perception.

     If Canadians initially had the impression that the Conservatives were a heartless and untrustworthy bunch who flouted human rights and freedoms, well, the government's actions are now giving credence to this perception.

     If there is one area where good faith must prevail, it is labour relations. The Supreme Court has told us that labour relations are guaranteed by the charter because they constitute a subset of our economic rights, our freedom of expression, and our freedom of association.

     What have we seen over recent weeks from this Conservative government? Why does Canadians' mistrust of the Conservatives now appear justified?

     Let us consider the government's concrete actions, and the response we have heard here today. To begin with, this is a crown corporation. The government owns the corporation on behalf of all Canadians, and it has the last word when it comes to what Canada Post Corporation does. Throughout the bargaining process-with the government on one side, and employees and their union representatives on the other-everything was going along swimmingly. There were a number of attempts by the employees-legitimately and according to their rights-to voice their point of view through rotating strikes, for example, which did not significantly affect service to the public.

     That was one way for the employees, who had the right to strike, to say that the bargaining process had gone off track, and to give us a sense of the steps they intended to take to make management see reason.

     What happened then? The very same Canada Post Corporation, owned by the government, locked out its own employees. They locked their doors, with the employees on the outside. The government, through one of its own bodies, a crown corporation, has shut its employees outside and is keeping them there. Then they turn around and look at the situation they just created and pretend to be surprised, saying, "For God's sake, this cannot go on like this. Look, these people have stopped working." That is how one of the Conservative backbenchers just put it.

    "We have to bring these people back to work".

    Those creeps, those things, as if they were not citizens endowed with all due rights, which they are exercising in a calm, practical way under legislation duly passed by the House of Commons. That is what we are talking about here. These are people who exercised a right guaranteed by legislation passed by this House. Not content just to trifle with this, showing their usual bad faith, the Conservatives are going so far today as to tell us that they are not only going to throw these people out but they are going to lock the doors and come up with a solution to the problem they just created themselves by throwing these people out. Special legislation will be passed to deprive them of their rights, even though those rights are guaranteed under the Charter and in legislation passed by the House of Commons.

     This is not a new way of doing things. My colleague from Vancouver East already showed us how the very same thing was done in 1997 by a Liberal government. It was very interesting the other day to hear certain leading lights of the Liberal Party pretending to be outraged by the tactics employed by the Conservatives when they are a carbon copy of Bill C-34 passed by a Liberal government in 1997.

     Governments change but the tactics remain the same. When it comes to showing respect for working people and their rights, what the Conservatives are doing is clearly in line with all the social and economic policies of the Conservative government. It is as if we were in the early 1980s, in the Reagan era with the air traffic controllers. What could be better for a government of the far right than to flex its muscles at the expense of working people, look at its Reform Party base and say, "Finally you can see why you supported us from the beginning. We will put working people in their place". The Conservatives will do that, even though the bad faith is as obvious as it is right now.

     It is the Conservatives who are imposing a lockout, bolting the door themselves, throwing everybody out, and saying how terrible it is that these people are not working anymore. But it is the Conservatives who locked them out, and now because they are not working any more, the Conservatives want special legislation to force them back to work. The funny thing is that the Conservatives are even going so far as to copy from the Liberals' legislation the part where the Liberals lowered the salary offers already on the table. Several of my colleagues, including the hon. member for Chicoutimi-Le Fjord, asked about this. But as we all heard, there was no answer.

    They cannot answer because this makes absolutely no sense. If the objective is to settle a dispute between an employer and its employees, they would have at least put on the table what the two parties had already agreed on. But no, the Conservatives are rubbing salt in the wounds of workers who were just locked out and telling them not only that they are the bad guys for getting locked out, but also that they are being punished and getting less than they managed to agree on with the employer. They are being told they should have been happy with the crumbs they had been offered. Now even the crumbs are being taken away, because they did not appreciate the fact that their employer is a good employer and they should have accepted whatever they were offered. So it is their fault.

....

    At the beginning of my speech, I said that the right to negotiate working conditions, the right to join forces with other workers to negotiate working conditions, and the right to collectively withdraw the offer of work in accordance with the law when the collective agreement has expired and all other conditions have been met are rights that are guaranteed under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and recognized by courts across Canada.

    There was initially some indecision in this regard, particularly in terms of the RCMP's right to unionize, but all these issues are currently being upheld by the courts. These rights are a subset of the rights guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I am thinking of our freedom of association, our freedom to work with others to ensure that these same rights are respected and our freedom to speak out when those conditions are not met.

    The moment the government enters into the negotiations, a major conflict of interest is created. When that same government controls the employer and the tools through a majority government in the House, it is a complete conflict of interest. The basic obligation to demonstrate good faith in all negotiations is even more important when this clear conflict of interest exists.

    Rather than rising above the fray, the Conservative government is playing a shamelessly partisan game. That is why the New Democratic Party, which has always understood the role it plays in defending the rights of workers, will stand up and do everything in its power to stop this despicable and draconian bill from passing.

[emphasis added]

I went to this trouble not because I support Mulcair as leader at this stage, but because I want a fair and dispassionate consideration of all the leadership candidates. Dig up a couple of clippings if you like, but don't stop there in your research. There are a number of trade unionists in our Quebec caucus supporting Mulcair (and some not, or not yet). I'm assuming they wouldn't be doing so if they thought he was anti-labour.

ottawaobserver

As to the Topp email, I read in a story late tonight on the Globe and Mail website that it has so far gone to 30,000 of the party's members. There are at least some mechanics involved in distributing very large bulk emails, so I'm hoping that it's just a function of the time it takes to get these things fully distributed, or some issue with the party being able to make those email addresses all available.

AnonymousMouse

Wilf Day wrote:
Policywonk wrote:

I would direct him to the 2000 election results. Jack did not start from 6%;  Alexa got 8.5% in that election.

Topp is unlikely to have made such a mistake; so I assume we dropped in the polls from 8.5% to 6% at some point before Jack won the leadership. You'd expect Topp's website to explain this, though.

We were in the low teens in the polls when Jack Layton became leader.

Gaian

OO: "Speaking of jumping all over newly-joined Babble members, which I suppose some folks believe I did to Azana over comments she dug up from Mulcair during his time in Quebec City that were marshalled to argue he is anti-labour ..."

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"

Thanks for that extract OO. I'd missed him, but had to sleep sometime during the filibuster. You were not unfair, just demanding of fairness.

Policywonk

AnonymousMouse wrote:

Wilf Day wrote:
Policywonk wrote:

I would direct him to the 2000 election results. Jack did not start from 6%;  Alexa got 8.5% in that election.

Topp is unlikely to have made such a mistake; so I assume we dropped in the polls from 8.5% to 6% at some point before Jack won the leadership. You'd expect Topp's website to explain this, though.

We were in the low teens in the polls when Jack Layton became leader.

That's what I remember too.

KenS

Somewhere upthread [or another thread?] there was the question of whether there is precedent of backroom to front room for someone who became leader of a section, and the recent one of Dominic Cardy as NBNDP Leader was mentioned.

First thing that came to mind was that job has been pretty much available to anyone who is willing to take it on.

But when thinking about the question...

Dominic Cardy is a friend. And back when we had few elected members in Nova Scotia, Dominic always saw himself as running for office himself. I wouldn't say he just fell into being an organizer and the backrooms... but that was what was there, and he did it well. And one thing leads to another, and then an organization from outside electoral politics sees your talents and hires you, so thats your day job. Then another, and....

 

dacckon dacckon's picture

A little history b/w Topp and Rae
Martin Singh and the need for more innovation in Canada
Speech by Dominic Cardy and Lorne Nystrom

Edit: Not sure if this Saganash story was posted or not

KenS

rabble.ca to host interactive forum with Libby Davies on the NDP leadership race

 

This has been on Rabble for at least a couple days, but I didnt see it.

 

Its going to be interesting how Libby handles the pace of the discussion- which I'm sure will move faster than she can think, let alone type.

 

Which may be true for any of us trying to both follow and speak.

 

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

Stockholm wrote:

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.

Yeah, I feel similarly. He's the only current leadership candidate who's not at the Alberta provincial convention this weekend, for example. Heck, even Niki Ashton is there, and she's not even a candidate (yet).

Now, I'm not paranoid enough to think this is a deliberate snub; he almost certainly had something else planned for that night at the point he was invited. And I'm sure he'll reach out to the (surprisingly-not-small) Alberta membership in another way soon. But the optics aren't good, and you can bet there will be those who will remember that he was the only candidate who wasn't there.

ocsi

KenS wrote:

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.

 

It would have been bad news for the NDP if Mulcair would have been the establishment candidate.  He would have just slipped into the job.  No real leadership contest.  No real debate.  No MSM exposure.  No free publicity.  No involvement by the membership.  And worst of all, Harper's team would have defined Mulcair before Mulcair could define himself.  Bad all around.

Now, if I was a strategist for the NDP entrusted with the job of getting the NDP to form the government after the next election, I would have insisted on a real, open, democratic leadership contest.  Hell, I would even throw my name in if it helped.

A leadership race means months of free publicity and (hopefully) thousands of memberships sold.  Canadians would be able to get to know the NDP much better, etc..

So, I doubt there's an overarching hidden agenda here but we are in for a great contest.

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

ocsi wrote:

It would have been bad news for the NDP if Mulcair would have been the establishment candidate.  He would have just slipped into the job.  No real leadership contest.  No real debate.  No MSM exposure.  No free publicity.  No involvement by the membership.  And worst of all, Harper's team would have defined Mulcair before Mulcair could define himself.  Bad all around.

Now, if I was a strategist for the NDP entrusted with the job of getting the NDP to form the government after the next election, I would have insisted on a real, open, democratic leadership contest.  Hell, I would even throw my name in if it helped.

That was the first thing that occurred to me, too, when I found out Topp was running.

I don't think that was the only reason he chose to do so by any means, but I'm sure it was part of the consideration alongside all the other factors.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Idealistic Pragmatist wrote:

ocsi wrote:

It would have been bad news for the NDP if Mulcair would have been the establishment candidate.  He would have just slipped into the job.  No real leadership contest.  No real debate.  No MSM exposure.  No free publicity.  No involvement by the membership.  And worst of all, Harper's team would have defined Mulcair before Mulcair could define himself.  Bad all around.

Now, if I was a strategist for the NDP entrusted with the job of getting the NDP to form the government after the next election, I would have insisted on a real, open, democratic leadership contest.  Hell, I would even throw my name in if it helped.

That was the first thing that occurred to me, too, when I found out Topp was running.

I don't think that was the only reason he chose to do so by any means, but I'm sure it was part of the consideration alongside all the other factors.

Yeah remember after Jack got sick and before Topp announced, everybody here talked about how bad it would be if Mulcair had a coronation. Well thanks to Topp that idea is out the window. Are you suggesting Topp's leadership candidacy is meant to avoid a Mulcair coronation? That sounds pretty selfless and conspiratorial. I think there is an actual power struggle going on.

ocsi

knownothing wrote:

Yeah remember after Jack got sick and before Topp announced, everybody here talked about how bad it would be if Mulcair had a coronation. Well thanks to Topp that idea is out the window. Are you suggesting Topp's leadership candidacy is meant to avoid a Mulcair coronation? That sounds pretty selfless and conspiratorial. I think there is an actual power struggle going on.

 

I don't know why Topp is in the leadership race.  But, because he's in, there's a real race.  I'm not convinced there would be a real race without him.  In any case, a Mulcair coronation would have looked as bad as an Ignatieff coronation.  And possible a similar result!

knownothing knownothing's picture

I feel at a loss because I don't understand how the power structure of the party works. The party takes stances on issues that aren't settled at conventions or in federal caucus so who makes these decisions?

Is it the party president? Secretary to the Leader? Ed Broadbent? Unions? Can someone explain this to me?

dacckon dacckon's picture

http://xfer.ndp.ca/2011/2011-constitution/2011-06-CONSTITUTION-ENG.pdf

This lays out how the party functions, you should pay attention to parts such as the council, executives, and officers.

Why are you clueless? Its because there is no publized power struggle for these positions. Usually, people are put into these positions by landslides by delegates. This provides stability and calm as opposed to other socio-democratic parties who's left and centre flank begin tearing each other apart and trying to constantly capture party positions.

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

knownothing wrote:

Idealistic Pragmatist wrote:

ocsi wrote:

It would have been bad news for the NDP if Mulcair would have been the establishment candidate.  He would have just slipped into the job.  No real leadership contest.  No real debate.  No MSM exposure.  No free publicity.  No involvement by the membership.  And worst of all, Harper's team would have defined Mulcair before Mulcair could define himself.  Bad all around.

Now, if I was a strategist for the NDP entrusted with the job of getting the NDP to form the government after the next election, I would have insisted on a real, open, democratic leadership contest.  Hell, I would even throw my name in if it helped.

That was the first thing that occurred to me, too, when I found out Topp was running.

I don't think that was the only reason he chose to do so by any means, but I'm sure it was part of the consideration alongside all the other factors.

Yeah remember after Jack got sick and before Topp announced, everybody here talked about how bad it would be if Mulcair had a coronation. Well thanks to Topp that idea is out the window. Are you suggesting Topp's leadership candidacy is meant to avoid a Mulcair coronation? That sounds pretty selfless and conspiratorial. I think there is an actual power struggle going on.

If you read the words actually written by both ocsi and myself, you can see that neither of us is "suggesting" anything other than what we already wrote.

Of course there's a power struggle going on! It's a freaking leadership race! But that's not inconsistent with Topp also thinking it's better for the party if there's a real race so that the party can get lots of media attention and new members. No matter who wins, that's a good thing.

knownothing knownothing's picture

dacckon wrote:

http://xfer.ndp.ca/2011/2011-constitution/2011-06-CONSTITUTION-ENG.pdf

This lays out how the party functions, you should pay attention to parts such as the council, executives, and officers.

Why are you clueless? Its because there is no publized power struggle for these positions. Usually, people are put into these positions by landslides by delegates. This provides stability and calm as opposed to other socio-democratic parties who's left and centre flank begin tearing each other apart and trying to constantly capture party positions.

Thanks

scott16

Yeah I'm a newbie but I have been reading rabble for over a year. I have had my membership card since I was 16. I live in Brampton. It took about a week or two.

 

Does anyone know each candidates position on welfare and disability support? (Like ODSP, etc.)

Also are there any candidates from Saskatchewan and/or the prairies?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Idealistic Pragmatist wrote:

. . . and you can bet there will be those who will remember that [Mulcair] was the only candidate who wasn't there.

 

And you can also bet that there will be those very quick to remind anyone who forgot.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

scott16 wrote:

Also are there any candidates from Saskatchewan and/or the prairies?

 

Churchill (MB) MP Niki Ashton is widely expected to run.  Otherwise the closest thing to a prairie candidate would be Brian Topp, who was deputy chief of staff to Roy Romanow for several years.  Brian was born in Montreal and lives in Toronto.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

knownothing wrote:

The party takes stances on issues that aren't settled at conventions or in federal caucus so who makes these decisions?

A lot of it depends, of course, on how fast and unexpectedly an issue emerges.  Sometimes the party's position ends up being established by the leader (or sometimes the caucus spokesperson) almost on the fly - and sometimes they get it wrong.

On a fast emerging issue, if the leader (or whoever) responds too quickly, it can be very difficult to change course if it becomes necessary or appropriate.

Best example of this, I think, was Ed Broadbent's ill-advised decision to support the Trudeau constitutional package in the early 80s without having consulted anyone at all.  There was no need for an immediate response.  Broadbent would have looked sage and statesmanlike to say "I'm going to examine the proposal in more detail and consult with party leaders from across Canada."  Within a matter of days he could have consulted fairly broadly and (ideally) come to an agreed position.  And even if an agreed position wasn't possible, we could have dealt with the division with far less acrimony.

Instead, the caucus, the party president and the only NDP premier in the country ended up finding out "our" position" from the news media.  We got a split betwen the federal leader and the only NDP premier in the country, with the "gang of four" in caucus (Nystrom, Anguish, Hovdebo and deJong) bucking the leadership.  At convention, we ended up in a position where the party membership split approximately 60/40 (with at least some of the 60 motivated by the desire to support the leader rather than a clear position on the substantive issue).

(The most annoying part was the end of the convention debate, where one particular SOB from the ONDP decided to make it an issue of who did or didn't love Canada.  Nice way to alienate 40% of the membership.)

Had Allan Blakeney's leadership at the ensuing first ministers conferences not resulted in an alternative deal (which, of course, created its own problems), the NDP might well have been irrevocably split between a populist west and a synicalist ONDP.

ottawaobserver

This Q-and-A profile with Mulcair in Le Soleil uncovers the fact that in his private law practice, when he took on labour issues it was always on the union side.

Wilf Day

knownothing wrote:
I feel at a loss because I don't understand how the power structure of the party works. The party takes stances on issues that aren't settled at conventions or in federal caucus so who makes these decisions? Is it the party president? Secretary to the Leader? Ed Broadbent? Unions? Can someone explain this to me?

The late great Harold Winch, in a rare cynical moment in the 60's, once described the policy resolution process to a bunch of young New Democrats as follows: "The convention refers it to the Council. The Council refers it to the Executive. The Executive refers it to the Table Officers. The Table Officers refer it to the Caucus. And the Caucus refers it to the wastebasket."

flight from kamakura

Stockholm wrote:

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.

the guy was all around doing events for the ontario election, and anyway, as we've all said before, he's a household name in quebec... because he has been ndp on in quebec 24/7 for 5 years.  i've never seen libby davies or nathan culllen or even pat martin in quebec.  you know, there were a lot of mps working to get mulcair elected in 07, but like 3 of them spoke french. just saying.

flight from kamakura

ottawaobserver wrote:

Speaking of jumping all over newly-joined Babble members, which I suppose some folks believe I did to Azana over comments she dug up from Mulcair during his time in Quebec City that were marshalled to argue he is anti-labour ...

I thought it might be worthwhile to dig up his speech on the June filibuster motion, because I remember at the time Peggy Nash tweeting that he had just given a barn-burner.

Here is the introduction and wrap up (and follow this link for the full thing). Tell me if it sounds anti-labour to you.

Thomas Mulcair in the House of Commons, June 23, 2011 wrote:

Mr. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP):      Mr. Speaker, sometimes debate influences a government's actions and also public perception.

     If Canadians initially had the impression that the Conservatives were a heartless and untrustworthy bunch who flouted human rights and freedoms, well, the government's actions are now giving credence to this perception.

     If there is one area where good faith must prevail, it is labour relations. The Supreme Court has told us that labour relations are guaranteed by the charter because they constitute a subset of our economic rights, our freedom of expression, and our freedom of association.

     What have we seen over recent weeks from this Conservative government? Why does Canadians' mistrust of the Conservatives now appear justified?

     Let us consider the government's concrete actions, and the response we have heard here today. To begin with, this is a crown corporation. The government owns the corporation on behalf of all Canadians, and it has the last word when it comes to what Canada Post Corporation does. Throughout the bargaining process-with the government on one side, and employees and their union representatives on the other-everything was going along swimmingly. There were a number of attempts by the employees-legitimately and according to their rights-to voice their point of view through rotating strikes, for example, which did not significantly affect service to the public.

     That was one way for the employees, who had the right to strike, to say that the bargaining process had gone off track, and to give us a sense of the steps they intended to take to make management see reason.

     What happened then? The very same Canada Post Corporation, owned by the government, locked out its own employees. They locked their doors, with the employees on the outside. The government, through one of its own bodies, a crown corporation, has shut its employees outside and is keeping them there. Then they turn around and look at the situation they just created and pretend to be surprised, saying, "For God's sake, this cannot go on like this. Look, these people have stopped working." That is how one of the Conservative backbenchers just put it.

    "We have to bring these people back to work".

    Those creeps, those things, as if they were not citizens endowed with all due rights, which they are exercising in a calm, practical way under legislation duly passed by the House of Commons. That is what we are talking about here. These are people who exercised a right guaranteed by legislation passed by this House. Not content just to trifle with this, showing their usual bad faith, the Conservatives are going so far today as to tell us that they are not only going to throw these people out but they are going to lock the doors and come up with a solution to the problem they just created themselves by throwing these people out. Special legislation will be passed to deprive them of their rights, even though those rights are guaranteed under the Charter and in legislation passed by the House of Commons.

     This is not a new way of doing things. My colleague from Vancouver East already showed us how the very same thing was done in 1997 by a Liberal government. It was very interesting the other day to hear certain leading lights of the Liberal Party pretending to be outraged by the tactics employed by the Conservatives when they are a carbon copy of Bill C-34 passed by a Liberal government in 1997.

     Governments change but the tactics remain the same. When it comes to showing respect for working people and their rights, what the Conservatives are doing is clearly in line with all the social and economic policies of the Conservative government. It is as if we were in the early 1980s, in the Reagan era with the air traffic controllers. What could be better for a government of the far right than to flex its muscles at the expense of working people, look at its Reform Party base and say, "Finally you can see why you supported us from the beginning. We will put working people in their place". The Conservatives will do that, even though the bad faith is as obvious as it is right now.

     It is the Conservatives who are imposing a lockout, bolting the door themselves, throwing everybody out, and saying how terrible it is that these people are not working anymore. But it is the Conservatives who locked them out, and now because they are not working any more, the Conservatives want special legislation to force them back to work. The funny thing is that the Conservatives are even going so far as to copy from the Liberals' legislation the part where the Liberals lowered the salary offers already on the table. Several of my colleagues, including the hon. member for Chicoutimi-Le Fjord, asked about this. But as we all heard, there was no answer.

    They cannot answer because this makes absolutely no sense. If the objective is to settle a dispute between an employer and its employees, they would have at least put on the table what the two parties had already agreed on. But no, the Conservatives are rubbing salt in the wounds of workers who were just locked out and telling them not only that they are the bad guys for getting locked out, but also that they are being punished and getting less than they managed to agree on with the employer. They are being told they should have been happy with the crumbs they had been offered. Now even the crumbs are being taken away, because they did not appreciate the fact that their employer is a good employer and they should have accepted whatever they were offered. So it is their fault.

....

    At the beginning of my speech, I said that the right to negotiate working conditions, the right to join forces with other workers to negotiate working conditions, and the right to collectively withdraw the offer of work in accordance with the law when the collective agreement has expired and all other conditions have been met are rights that are guaranteed under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and recognized by courts across Canada.

    There was initially some indecision in this regard, particularly in terms of the RCMP's right to unionize, but all these issues are currently being upheld by the courts. These rights are a subset of the rights guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I am thinking of our freedom of association, our freedom to work with others to ensure that these same rights are respected and our freedom to speak out when those conditions are not met.

    The moment the government enters into the negotiations, a major conflict of interest is created. When that same government controls the employer and the tools through a majority government in the House, it is a complete conflict of interest. The basic obligation to demonstrate good faith in all negotiations is even more important when this clear conflict of interest exists.

    Rather than rising above the fray, the Conservative government is playing a shamelessly partisan game. That is why the New Democratic Party, which has always understood the role it plays in defending the rights of workers, will stand up and do everything in its power to stop this despicable and draconian bill from passing.

[emphasis added]

I went to this trouble not because I support Mulcair as leader at this stage, but because I want a fair and dispassionate consideration of all the leadership candidates. Dig up a couple of clippings if you like, but don't stop there in your research. There are a number of trade unionists in our Quebec caucus supporting Mulcair (and some not, or not yet). I'm assuming they wouldn't be doing so if they thought he was anti-labour.

honestly, what's not to love?

dacckon dacckon's picture

Any online streams about today's meeting in alberta?

dacckon dacckon's picture
Azana

ottawaobserver wrote:

Speaking of jumping all over newly-joined Babble members, which I suppose some folks believe I did to Azana over comments she dug up from Mulcair during his time in Quebec City that were marshalled to argue he is anti-labour ...

I thought it might be worthwhile to dig up his speech on the June filibuster motion, because I remember at the time Peggy Nash tweeting that he had just given a barn-burner.

Here is the introduction and wrap up (and follow this link for the full thing). Tell me if it sounds anti-labour to you.

Thomas Mulcair in the House of Commons, June 23, 2011 wrote:

Mr. Thomas Mulcair (Outremont, NDP):      Mr. Speaker, sometimes debate influences a government's actions and also public perception.

 

    At the beginning of my speech, I said that the right to negotiate working conditions, the right to join forces with other workers to negotiate working conditions, and the right to collectively withdraw the offer of work in accordance with the law when the collective agreement has expired and all other conditions have been met are rights that are guaranteed under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and recognized by courts across Canada.

    There was initially some indecision in this regard, particularly in terms of the RCMP's right to unionize, but all these issues are currently being upheld by the courts. These rights are a subset of the rights guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I am thinking of our freedom of association, our freedom to work with others to ensure that these same rights are respected and our freedom to speak out when those conditions are not met.

    The moment the government enters into the negotiations, a major conflict of interest is created. When that same government controls the employer and the tools through a majority government in the House, it is a complete conflict of interest. The basic obligation to demonstrate good faith in all negotiations is even more important when this clear conflict of interest exists.

    Rather than rising above the fray, the Conservative government is playing a shamelessly partisan game. That is why the New Democratic Party, which has always understood the role it plays in defending the rights of workers, will stand up and do everything in its power to stop this despicable and draconian bill from passing.

[emphasis added]

I went to this trouble not because I support Mulcair as leader at this stage, but because I want a fair and dispassionate consideration of all the leadership candidates. Dig up a couple of clippings if you like, but don't stop there in your research. There are a number of trade unionists in our Quebec caucus supporting Mulcair (and some not, or not yet). I'm assuming they wouldn't be doing so if they thought he was anti-labour.

Thanks for this OO. I find it somewhat reassuring that Mulcair is in the right party. I'm still not convinced he's the best candidate for leadership given what he has said in the past.

I was feeling particularly attacked on babble. Not so much from you. I found Gaian's comments way off base and considered reporting her comment as inappropriate. Instead, I'll repeat them here:

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.

Gaian, that is an unfair and total mischaracterisation of what I said. I don't find the NDP to be anti-labour at all. That would be insane. I was as proud as you when I heard the Commons debate on the postal worker question. My concern is with one leadership candidate.

It is not anti-NDP to question a leadership candidate's earlier statements. Mulcair was denounced by the CSN for his anti worker statement. It is a fact that I did not make up. I have every right to wonder, here on babble, if he'd be good or bad for the party. Am I, and everyone else here, supposed to silence ourselves on significant concern out of fear we will damage the party? And do you actually think anthing that a person like me says here can possibly damage the party? If thats true, then thank you. You have a greated opinion of my abilities than I do.

There have been plenty of negative comments about candidates here. It's not un-Layton like to bring them up in a way that's honest and not insulting. It is perfectly appropriate for someone to voice their concern that Brian Topp doesn't have the experience that they think is necessary for the job. It's a negative comment, but a reasonable one that Brian has to take seriously. I believe my comments about Mulcair's history was in the same, perfectly acceptable, vein. I never invited him and his supporters to shove anything anywhere. I never claimed that people who have the audacity to question Brian Topp's ability are attacking and harming the NDP.

By the way, my intention is not to reform the party. The party is great the way it is. I don't want a leader who may damage the party by reforming it down to its core beliefs.

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