NDP Leadership 53

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Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Oh, and Nicky, your defence of the "uniform swing" theory missed Regina Walsh Acres.  Again, I note that out of 20 seats, your uniform swing was wrong on the winner in 6.  And even where it was right on the outcome, it was generally wrong on the vote tallies.

Stockholm

Yes, but unlike what I've heard about "Link", Mulcair is a good performer and comes across very well on TV etc...Everyone has to believe that whoever they support is ipso-facto the most electable. Malcolm, I assume you think that Nikki Ashton is the most electable.

ottawaobserver

Malcolm, here's a question that's occurred to me after hearing some of your stories about that convention, and after gaming out the possibilities using that demochoice.org poll ...

Is there anything structural about the advanced preferential OMOV balloting system that created that dynamic? I realize that some people may also choose to vote online on March 24, ballot-by-ballot, alongside the convention delegates, but I gather the data suggests that most people will vote preferentially ahead of time.

Yet wasn't it the fact that they had those votes locked in ahead of time that created a barrier to seeing other possibilities, in your view?

I've heard that Layton's campaign wanted to lock in all their support by advanced preferential mail-in or online ballot, and that is a big part of how he could win with over 50% - a result we all now view as the better one.

So, have you given any thought to any tweaks you would make to the way the party has structured the OMOV system, for next time?

AnonymousMouse

Boom Boom wrote:

The world doesn't end if Mulcair doesn't win this thing - important to remember that. Smile

Please, please tell me this was not in response to my posts, because my whole point was that we should try not approach the questions from that (negative) angle.

Or, are you just fucking with me?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Yes, but unlike what I've heard about "Link", Mulcair is a good performer and comes across very well on TV etc...Everyone has to believe that whoever they support is ipso-facto the most electable. Malcolm, I assume you think that Nikki Ashton is the most electable.

 

I think Niki Ashton is electable, that she has the capacity to consolidate the Quebec gains (though possibly not as well as Mulcair) and to rebuild the party in the West. Historically the route to successive majority governments (until the last 20 years) was by winning Quebec and the West.

That said, electability is one of the most significant criteria, but not the only one.

Frankly, in Saskatchewan in 2009, even though I was supporting Meili, I'd've said that Link was the most electable in the sense that Link would give us the best shot at being competitive in 2011.  I never actually believed that (barring a scandal of epic proportions) that 2011 was winnable.  I also believed that Link was the least likely candidate to deliver real renewal within the party.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Certainly the fact that most people voted in advance rendered the convention less relevant.  It seriously hurt Ryan, especially as the least known candidate at the start.  I had many people come up t me at and after convention to say, essentially, "if only we'd known."  I think I've mentioned to you the reports that an exMP you know very well apparently started to weep after seeing Ryan's convention program and speech because he'd concluded he'd made a collossal error in how he'd voted.

Frankly, the tweak I'd most like to see is a requirement that all members vote live by phone or email.  I believe it's doable.  If we'd run 2009 like that, I think it's possible Ryan could have won on the second ballot.  And if we'd run 2003 like that, I suspect that Pierre Ducasse might have been able to push it to a second ballot.

ottawaobserver

By email? Or online. As to the phone suggestion, the Nova Scotia Liberals tried the phone system and made a horrible hash of it, with fraud around the mailing of PIN numbers, though I'd think we'd have less likelihood of those kinds of problems. I think the phone system also crashed, but remember that that was decades ago, and the technology has probably improved significantly since then.

Still, regardless of the methodology, and although I'm always inclined to try and give people more chance to participate than less, I'd still look for a way to at least strongly encourage voting after the convention speeches, or on voting day.

You realize that would devolve into all kinds of tactical voting strategies, of course. Whatev. Nothing's perfect, eh.

Stockholm

What about the two round system the Alberta Tories use. Round one everyone competes, then the three top vote getters go to round two two weeks later and that vote is preferential...though I would NOT go with their process of having new members sign up in between rounds.

Stockholm

I hear Peggy Nash spoke in Edmonton tonight...I will look forward to reports from the Edmontonians who had so much to say about Topp's performance there last week.

ottawaobserver

Just thinking the same thing about Ashton in Montreal, Cullen in Windsor, Ontario, and Saganash in Winnipeg.

ottawaobserver

By the way, here's a very interesting CP story on the tuition side of the Dewar youth plan announced this morning, pointing out that (a) it's the most expensive policy proposal yet in the race, that (b) the costing is not identified yet, and (c) it is going to raise the issue of putting conditions on transfers to the provinces that mandate certain behaviour within exclusive provincial jurisdiction - given the 59-member Quebec caucus we now have.

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Politics/20111216/ndp-leadership-hopeful-paul-dewar-youth-plan-111216/

AnonymousMouse

ottawaobserver wrote:

By the way, here's a very interesting CP story on the tuition side of the Dewar youth plan announced this morning, pointing out that (a) it's the most expensive policy proposal yet in the race, that (b) the costing is not identified yet, and (c) it is going to raise the issue of putting conditions on transfers to the provinces that mandate certain behaviour within exclusive provincial jurisdiction - given the 59-member Quebec caucus we now have.

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Politics/20111216/ndp-leadership-hopeful-paul-dewar-youth-plan-111216/

Well, Brian Topp has succesfully gotten people to focus on how Paul Dewar will "pay for his expensive promises".

Frankly I think Brian Topp would be better off if people were focused exclusively on Paul Dewar's need for expensive French lessons, but that's just me.

AnonymousMouse

I'd like to extend the question to Malcolm about Sask 2009 vs. Fed 2011.

From what I know, there seem to be a lot of lessons to learn from Lingenfelter's candidacy that apply to this race.

My understanding of Lingenfelter is this:

Lingenfelter was the absolute establishment candidate. He had the resume, purely on paper, to make for a great leadership candidate. He did smashingly well on the first ballot. But his resume and establishment support were the crux of his campaign. Other aspects of his candidacy--like say communication skills--were entirely lacking.

In the end, he had a strong showing on the first ballot, but he won by a relatively small margin because he had no room for growth. As Malcolm points out, advanced voting tells us that this wasn't just a matter of a great last minute performance by Meili--too many ballots were cast online or by mail for that to be the explanation. Rather Lingenfelter's entire campaign was built on who he was rather than how he performed as a leader. His communication skills were, shall we say, wooden. If the experience/establishment support wasn't enough to convince you, then you had almost no other reason to vote for him. Hence Meili--who's strengths contrasted almost perfectly with Lingenfelter's weaknesses--became the obvious contender (even though it wouldn't have seem obvious at the start). Meili embodied what people didn't see in Lingenfelter.

Now Topp is the establishment candidate to the degree that there is one.

But Mulcair has got the resume and fits the party.

The interesting thing to me is that the political performance skills are not divided equally between the two. Mulcair's the communicator, not Topp.

Makes me wonder about growth potential on multiple ballots.

Also makes me wonder if there's a Ryan Meili in the race, but I'm sure Malcolm thinks that's Niki Ashton.

Stockholm

There is a very simple solution to the Quebec issue with Dewar's tuition plan. Quebec already has tuitions that are much lower than any other province - so why not simply let Quebec opt out of the program since it has already found a way to offer low tuitions on its own.

Wilf Day

doofy wrote:

As for him (Mulcair) having a temper, not being a team player etc., that too won't stick, as long as the caucus keeps a united front in public. . .

Based on his behaviour since 2007, Mulcair understands the virtues of a united party and will act accordingly.

I keep feeling more comfortable with his performance. I was afraid he would keep saying people were attacking him; he quit. I was afraid he would distance himself from the labour movement; now he brags of his labour support (when he first mentioned Art Kube he called him a leader of a senior citizens' group, which was true, but now he calls him a former BC Fed President.) Now if he would state he has no enemies in the party, and will welcome all those who worked for others to play a major role in the party after March 24 -- and say it strongly enough that everyone will say they believe him -- he might be unbeatable.

doofy wrote:

I have to disagree with those who think the media is not ideologically biased against the NDP.

Most working journalists I know are NDP voters. Those who write on national beats have to be more circumspect, but many of them are too. Of course columnists and Ottawa Bureau Chiefs tend to have positions in line with the stance of their papers, but even then there are some exceptions. All or most NDP MPs and other elected people are quite used to making friends with the press. It's the paranoid streak among gross-roots supporters that makes us generalize. Remember: the reporter does NOT write the headline; the front page is NOT the editorial page; professional journalists don't like having spin applied to their stories (at one time the Toronto Star was famous for losing staff for that reason; I don't know if they have quit that stuff or not.)

Stockholm

Wilf Day wrote:

I keep feeling more comfortable with his performance. I was afraid he would keep saying people were attacking him; he quit. I was afraid he would distance himself from the labour movement; now he brags of his labour support (when he first mentioned Art Kube he called him a leader of a senior citizens' group, which was true, but now he calls him a former BC Fed President.) Now if he would state he has no enemies in the party, and will welcome all those who worked for others to play a major role in the party after March 24 -- and say it strongly enough that everyone will say they believe him -- he might be unbeatable.

doofy wrote:

I'm with you there Wilf, one of my concerns about Mulcair are stories I've heard about him being vindictive towards anyone who doesn't support him and threatening repercussions. I accept that any new leader needs to make room for his or her own people in the inner circle, but I would really like some reassurance that if Mulcair won the leadership, he would reach out to his opponents and not go one mad purge of anyone in the party who hadn't been a supporter of his. We need to circle the wagons and fire out not in!

Wilf Day

Stockholm wrote:

one of my concerns about Mulcair are stories I've heard about him being vindictive towards anyone who doesn't support him and threatening repercussions.

So, will he eliminate those who tell such stories? Or will he demonstrate that love is better than anger?

Shoon wrote:

Niki Ashton: . . . Lt. Urura of the NDP. Now if she can speak Klingon and Romulan she jumps to me top spot.

I just fell in love again.

KenS

Malcolm and OO have been kicking around considerations of what the advance ranking of preferences does to the range of possible outcomes.

[Note on AM offering that Mulcair and Link in Sask not being comparable.That Mulcair does not have the same particular components to the 'inevitability momentum'', or as many of them. Makes no difference. It is the fact of the inevitability momentum that matters- which Mulcair is a long way from consolidating but has the makings of.]

Both noted that the advance fixing of preferential ranking works againat the 'outsider candidate' consolidating a gaining momentum.

I think there is another likely effect. The current race has an acknoweldged 4 top contenders, and the number could easily increase by March. But 4 jockeying, plus the effect of all the others, is already a lot. That is more top contenders than Sk, or any NDP race I know of. Certainly more than 2003 federal [2.5 in the top tier].

If this race does develop an 'inevitability momentum' candidate- and it does not need to be AS dominant as the Link one in SK- in a live real time only participation in rounds of balloting, there are multiple directions that the shifts can break out, change, and re-align. There is the definite possibility of a developing consensus around THE alternative candidate.... enough to beat the 'inevitability momentum' candidate.

You don't need fancy game theory to tell you that outcome is considerably less likely when the ranking of ballots is fixed ahead of time. And yes, that was part of Jack Layton's strategy. [Albeit, for a less complex race because of the fewer candidates.]

Since they all know it, I suspect that it was probably also the 'long game' of the Topp campaign at the ouset- the one that got perceived as 'trying to keep others from entering'. In their wildest fantasies maybe. There was also the immediate need of getting out of the gate fast. [Because obviously it was going to be even from people who admire him "Brain Topp? REALLY?"]

This other more ambitious goal of repeating the Layton strategy occured to me a long time ago. But unless it's part of a discussion like this, something that nuanced has no chance. The discussion back then was the opposite of thoughtful.

Anyway, I think that was the hope of the well organized Topp campaign [considering we were only at the starting gate]. If so, it is a long game abandoned on the road miles behind us.

KenS

 

Stockholm wrote:

one of my concerns about Mulcair are stories I've heard about him being vindictive towards anyone who doesn't support him and threatening repercussions.

 

Wilf Day wrote:

So, will he eliminate those who tell such stories? Or will he demonstrate that love is better than anger? 

You can't eliminate that kind of rap. You work to neutralize it.

I think Stock overstates, and at the same time misses some dimensions.

It isnt just the [obviously negative] 'he's an arrogant jerk' narrative.

To the degree that is part of it, the neutralizing strategy is straightforward, and Mulcair is doing it.

'Not being an arrogant jerk' is in most people's books, also not sufficient for being the leader. So there are lots of people who do not think Mulcair is an arrogant erk, but also do not think he has the qualities to lead Caucus and party.

At the risk of putting out an example that is more distracting than focusing, I suggest Libby Davies would be in this group. What I know of Libby, she would bury the hatchet over the 'Libby Davis and Tom Mulcair incident.' Outbursts happen. Even Jack was not immune to that. Libby would be one of many who cannot see Mulciar doing the necessary leading.

Fair enough to argue that 'how can you say she is seperating the personal from that?' But people do. Especially among political colleagues. And people with lesser hear than Libby manage it.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

ottawaobserver wrote:

By email? Or online. As to the phone suggestion, the Nova Scotia Liberals tried the phone system and made a horrible hash of it, with fraud around the mailing of PIN numbers, though I'd think we'd have less likelihood of those kinds of problems. I think the phone system also crashed, but remember that that was decades ago, and the technology has probably improved significantly since then.

Still, regardless of the methodology, and although I'm always inclined to try and give people more chance to participate than less, I'd still look for a way to at least strongly encourage voting after the convention speeches, or on voting day.

You realize that would devolve into all kinds of tactical voting strategies, of course. Whatev. Nothing's perfect, eh.

 

Yes, I meant online.  Hey, it's late.

I agree that I'm for more participation than less, so I'd probably entertain some means of doing a preferential ballot in advance.  One of the realities of the Saskatchewan race was that ballots were already being mailed back as the Meadow Lake membership scandal was emerging.  Had voting only opened after the time of the report, how would that have affected the outcome?

So, maybe a limited advance voting option.  I don't know.

But I do know that voting in advance will tend to mitigate against new voices, in favour of the (often barren) status quo and will discount late developments.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I don't think one can make a lot of easy parallels to the Saskatchewan 09 race, but there are a few.

  • Both Topp and Mulcair have used some of the the same techniques as Link 09 - a dependence on big name endorsements, a tendency to use social networks and the interwebs for unidirection broadcast communications, an attempt to create an air of inevitability and necessity.
  • I don't think Niki is exactly a Ryan, but she is the most Meiliesque of the candidates - though Saganash and, in some ways Singh, also have some similar characteristics.

KenS

I agree with Malcolm that for broadening participation reasons, advance preferential balloting is necessary.

But we need to do something(s) to mitigate the chilling effect. Too late for this race obviously. People can only be aware that it exists.

For the future, I think we should at least make a BIG effort to publicize the [streamlined] case for real time voting. The people who would probably not vote unless there was advance preferential, fine they stay that way. But becaue we make no effort, there is a HUGE chunk of people engaged enough to make their accumulated contributions to a real time process, who ust send in the advance thingie without realing thinking about it. When you say nothing, that is what happens.

KenS

I like Peter3's list of capabilities a candidate needs to have. [post76]

And its the kind of contribution I pleaded for.

Plus, I still have not answered the question, what are those succesive hurdles I am talking about.... which require the capabilities in Peter's list.

I'm getting there. But there are other contributions I want to work in as well. And I wanted to first partipate in the 'sub-discussions' that are the most real time engaged at the moment.

 

KenS

Malcolm wrote:

Both Topp and Mulcair have used some of the the same techniques as Link 09 - a dependence on big name endorsements, a tendency to use social networks and the interwebs for unidirection broadcast communications, an attempt to create an air of inevitability and necessity.

In my books, the campaigns all have that unidirectional feel. But I agree these two the most. As noted, I think the Topp campaign's attempt to build inevitability is very long gone. So I dont think that is connected.

I think the Dewar, Nash, and Topp campaigns have the saavy and ability to use the social media to 'interactive advantage'. If the others are doing it already, the skeptic says you might be able to do that when there arent many people, we'll see if you have the capability to run with it. [Possible or likely exception: Cullen.]

Topps campaign team thinking might be a bit 'wooden' for that. But Topp himself, despite a lot of people not having had a chance to see it yet and expecting the opposite, is a master of the interactive. Couple that to social media and it can be potent. And the 'wooden' quailties can have thier silver lining for that: a frequent failure of social media campaigns is not being able to sustain and getting lost in gimmeckery. Think Dean campaign. Thats a long time ago in the development of social media. But the dynamic of how easy it is to crash or fizzle keeps looking the same.

Wilf Day

doofy wrote:

For further evidence about Boulerice and Boivin's ambitions, I look to Robin Sears' article in "Policy Options" published last June/july. It was quite nasty towards Mulcair, minimizing his role in the new NDP shadow cabinet & speculating that "some of the new QC recruits", and not Mulcair, would ultimately run to succeed Layton.

http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/jun11/sears.pdf

Interesting read. But its only mentions of Mulcair are:

Quote:

In the office of the new leader of the official opposition, Quebec management will fall under a team led by Raymond Guardia, recruited in the Broadbent era, who in turn recruited many of this year’s improbable young Quebec victors. He and Jack Layton — not, as some pundits have speculated, Tom Mulcair — will now teach them politics.

Layton’s cool caucus management in the last Parliament — holding in check without alienating his monomaniacal Quebec deputy — stands in sharp contrast to the experience of Dion and Ignatieff and their regular clashes with their front bench.

Guardia, of course, is supporting Topp. Is the whole campaign to be poisoned by this?

Sears goes on:

Quote:

what does the future hold? . . .

Layton will have nurtured some of his improbable Quebec brood into fledgling political stars in the same period. He will have nudged most of the existing pretenders to his throne offstage in favour of players from a new generation. He will have cemented in voters and the media’s mind that the federal NDP is a follower of the Prairie tradition of progressive governance as his inoculation against attacks in Ontario over the party’s less successful experience in power there. He will have found a way to marry the soft nationalist aspirations of his Quebec base to the somewhat skeptical New Democrats west of Thunder Bay. In so doing he will truly have built a new national political coalition capable of governing.

Or he won’t.

Looking forward to 2015 — an eternity of almost infinite possibilities of change — several new realities still seem bankable. The first is that each party will be headed by new men or women. And it seems likely that the smart parties will jump a generation in choosing their new leaders.

Jack Layton may now feel compelled to conduct one more campaign, having taken the party so far in less than 10 years. If his health does not interfere, he may join Tommy Douglas and David Lewis in fighting their most successful campaigns at the very end of their careers. He will be working hard to spot and develop leadership talent from among those elected this time, in case events require a handover. Do not be surprised if that small group of pretenders includes more than one first-time Quebec caucus member, and not his current deputy.

If Jack Layton is able to shape a government in waiting similar to the one Allan Blakeney assembled to tackle the fiscal mess left to him by Ross Thatcher, or the strong capable front bench and backroom advisers that Roy Romanow and Gary Doer built as the foundation for their long successful periods in government, he will be well placed to solidify the NDP’s position as the number two party for a decade or more, capable of realistically running for office for the first time in a century of social democracy. If he successfully manages his green and potentially disputatious young Quebec caucus, bringing their ideas and vision into national politics in a manner that reassures English Canadians, he will be following the success of Trudeau, Mulroney and Chrétien in performing such a considerable feat. And if he fails, his caucus will be cut in half, and his stay in Stornoway will be limited to this one unlikely term.

Malcolm wrote:

But I do know that voting in advance will tend to mitigate against new voices . . .

Stating that voting in advance will tend to *militate* against new voices will mitigate confusion in word usage, eh?

wage zombie

AnonymousMouse wrote:

But with Mulcair, people in Quebec are watching to see if we embrace him--and them along with him.

This, I don't like.

AnonymousMouse wrote:

Of course, those are generally not the only qualities we consider in a leadership race, but let's put it this way: if there were a female candidate in the race with the experience, record and political skills that Mulcair has, I think it would be fair to say "If we're interested in electing a female prime minister, we won't get a better opportunity than this. If you expect me to vote for someone else, you better give me a very compelling reason why. This is an opportunity; we have a highly electable female candidate; let's take it."

I've heard a lot of people argue that the desire to elect a female leader led a result-determining number of people to support Audrey Mclaughlin even though--all else being equal--they wouldn't have otherwise thought she was cut out for the job. I don't know if that's true, but I think Mulcair is the opposite. If he can't be elected our first Quebec leader, then who the hell can be?

This, I like.

Can you see the difference?

The idea that, we are dissing Quebec if we don't pick Mulcair, I don't like.

The idea that, with Mulcair we have the opportunity to pick an acceptably competent Quebec leader, I like.

KenS

Sears knows what he is talking about. But he not only has his agendas, he is promoting them. Even if it does not drive his analyis hopelessly, and it has value irregardless of suspected 'tilt'- which I think it does... caution is required.

Seard is talking about an era that was opening but is already gone. Because Jack is gone. So disagreeing with Sear's take is now moot.

But people still put stock in this as a foil to attack, so I'll put in my two cents.

My hunch is that is Sears talking, not what Sears knows is [was] in the mind of Jack Layton. I cannot see Jack Layton putting Guardia in definite charge of the Quebec politcs angle, and even less "I will teach the rookies, not Tom Mulcair."

Thats not Jack Layton at all. Its also not a fair reading of Mulcair by an outsider- as Sears and all of us are- let alone a credible projection of Jack Layton. I think the evidence is pretty strong that Mulcair is a good mentor. And he has a hell of a grasp of politics at least as far as any MP ever needs to have. It would be stupid for anyone to toss that out- and the notion that Jack Layton would be doing it is absurd.

Just goes to show the limits of advice from very smart people that know more tha you do about what is going on.

KenS

wage zombie wrote:

The idea that, with Mulcair we have the opportunity to pick an acceptably competent Quebec leader, I like.

I like it too.

The follow-up of course is the 'acceptably competent' part. But it bears acknowledging that just like you do not HAVE to be the candidate with the BEST retail skills, neither do you have to be the candidate who is the most 'competent' [in the other ways].

Doug

Wilf Day wrote:

I just got the year-end appeal in the mail yesterday. It implied my donation would go into a war-chest to launch a fight-back campaign on day one of our new leader's era. Sorry, no. If it had promised a national tv campaign recruiting for the NDP, I'd have donated to that.

 

It could be both, which would be nice. Having TV ad funding ready when the new leader is elected is essential to answer the public question, "Who is (New Leader)?". The Conservatives will be providing their own answer to that and trying to do to that person what they did to Stephane Dion.

nicky

I have woken up six time zones from home to read a number of inaccurate posts about my various comments. 1 Malcolm, you continue to fulminate that what I say about the uniform swing theory is "idiotic". I really think you should curb your language. The worst I have ever said about you is "wrong" which your arguments abundantly illustrate. Uniform swing is a benchmark. It is not an absolute predictor of every seat but a rough predictor of the overall result. It deals with averages. If a party over performs in one seat it will as a matter of mathematics underperform in another. That is what "average" means. So the NDP losing Douglas Park (with a majority of 2 per cent above the uniform swing) is offset by it's retaining Lakeview with a majority o 3 per cent below. You cite WalshnAcres as refuting my argument, but it is inapplicable because tHe Sask Party did not run a candidate there in 07 and the swing therefore cannot be calculated. If that is tHe best you can do then I think my argument is pretty sound. The fact remains that uniform swing would have yielded 10 NDP seats and it got 9" One more point. If uniform swing is "useless" as you say, why is it tHe standard tool of psephologists in Britain and Austraia where electoral analysis is far more sophisticated Than in Canada? 2. "Blackmail". I am accused of trying to blackmail people into supporting Mulcair because Quebec will rebel against his rejection. I have never used that term. I was agreeing with Doofy's perceptive post 58 about the Quebec media and simply added that it can also be expected to say that the NDP electoral process was unfair to Quebec. I don't see what Stockholm thinks it is so scandalous to expect this reaction. I might also add that I am not a spokesman for the Mulcair campaign so the repeated statements that some of you may not vote for Mulcair because they don't like what some of his "supporters" say is a little petulant. In fact I feel that I am being "blackmailed" into censoring myself because some of you threaten not to vote for Mulcair unless I shut up. 3 Finally, AM, in your otherwise accurate post 88 you cite a long quote from me which I did not say. It may be a loose paraphrase carelessly put in quotation marks but it is significantly more than what I did say.

nicky

Sorry for the numerous typos in the previous post. Where I am the Internet is temperamental and for som reason I can't seem to edit very easily.

Winston

Malcolm wrote:

  • I don't think Niki is exactly a Ryan, but she is the most Meiliesque of the candidates - though Saganash and, in some ways Singh, also have some similar characteristics.

I think you should avoid the term "Meiliesque", or at least hyphenate it to "Meili-esque"; the first time I read it, I thought it read "Milquetoast"!  There may be leadership contestants for whom that particular adjective is apt, but I doubt that Niki is one of them!  :)

 

KenS

Are you back in Ukraine nicky?

Winston

KenS wrote:

For the future, I think we should at least make a BIG effort to publicize the [streamlined] case for real time voting. The people who would probably not vote unless there was advance preferential, fine they stay that way. But becaue we make no effort, there is a HUGE chunk of people engaged enough to make their accumulated contributions to a real time process, who ust send in the advance thingie without realing thinking about it. When you say nothing, that is what happens.

Why? So that a vast proportion of the membership proceeds to miss the balloting day, as many of them will inevitably do?  Hell, I myself have forgotten to vote in by-elections when I was to busy to be involved with E-day.  That's why I ALWAYS vote in the advance polls and encourage everyone to do the same.

But, hey, if the less-engaged (i.e. those among us who aren't on Babble at 3 am on a Friday night) are discouraged from voting in advance, it sure makes it easier for candidates with less broad support to "slip up the middle".  That's the only motive I can see for dissuading our 100,000+ members from voting in advance.

A terrible idea.

JKR

KenS wrote:

But it bears acknowledging that just like you do not HAVE to be the candidate with the BEST retail skills, neither do you have to be the candidate who is the most 'competent' [in the other ways].

Personally I consider "retail skills" as being far and away the most important trait in choosing a leader. Our political system has become so "leader-centric" that the ability of the leader to sell their party, especially during elections, and especially in televised debates, has become the paramount criteria in choosing a party leader.

Right now I think only two candidates have the prerequisite political retail skills required, Mulcair and Cullen. If Cullen can't show that his French is adequate, I think Mulcair should win this hands down.

If Cullen can prove that his French is adequate he has the ability to win as he seems to me to be the most "Layton-esque" candidate in the field. Cullen's sunny, humourous disposition is a winner.

Ashton also has  a sunny disposition but her youth is a major problem because the NDP already has been framed as being "not ready for prime-time." Choosing Ashton would leave the Conservatives with the opportunity of framing the NDP as being not ready for prime-time. The only federal party that could safely choose a 29 year old would be the Conservatives as they have been able to establish themselves as being a stable, mature party that can be trusted.

Of all the candidates, Mulcair is most suited to counter the argument that the NDP is unstable/immature that the Conservatives will most likely make in ad blitzes that will be very difficult to counter because of the Conservatives' financial advantage.

The Conservatives ability to spend millions of dollars airing prime-time commercials during events like the Super bowl, Academy Awards, and the Stanley Cup playoffs should also play a role in picking a leader. Cullen and Nash would seem to be the two candidates who could probably best withstand a Conservative air assault.

KenS

JKR wrote:

Personally I consider "retail skills" as being far and away the most important trait in choosing a leader. Our political system has become so "leader-centric" that the ability of the leader to sell their party, especially during elections, and especially in televised debates, has become the paramount criteria in choosing a party leader.

Note you are not just saying most important, you are in practice saying virually the only criteria. I know you have others, but has impact they do not get stated- even I suggest with your own peronal choices in themselves.

Granted, those 'other skills' have not got much airing here. Though I did open the next thread with just that.

But even easier here is another approach to that question, starting with some words probably familiar to you:

JKR wrote:

In Canada it seems whatever party you vote for, you somehow end up with a Liberal/centrist government that maintains the status quo but with inequality steadily increasing, the time for progressive politics may be at hand.

Which I replied to in that thread.

If you want to continue that, maybe take it to thread 54. ?

 

Ken Burch

Winston wrote:

Malcolm wrote:

  • I don't think Niki is exactly a Ryan, but she is the most Meiliesque of the candidates - though Saganash and, in some ways Singh, also have some similar characteristics.

I think you should avoid the term "Meiliesque", or at least hyphenate it to "Meili-esque"; the first time I read it, I thought it read "Milquetoast"!  There may be leadership contestants for whom that particular adjective is apt, but I doubt that Niki is one of them!  :)

 

I first read it as "Meliesesque"-as in, somehow evoking the personal qualities of Georges Meliese, the early 20th century founder of French cinema-a trait that could, I suppose, be enchanting for fans of old-time film, but might not have that many direct applications in parliamentary debate or on the campaign trail.

KenS

I just noticed this, and it is buried at the end. So I am repeating.

Wilf Day wrote:

Most working journalists I know are NDP voters. Those who write on national beats have to be more circumspect, but many of them are too. Of course columnists and Ottawa Bureau Chiefs tend to have positions in line with the stance of their papers, but even then there are some exceptions. All or most NDP MPs and other elected people are quite used to making friends with the press. It's the paranoid streak among gross-roots supporters that makes us generalize. Remember: the reporter does NOT write the headline; the front page is NOT the editorial page; professional journalists don't like having spin applied to their stories (at one time the Toronto Star was famous for losing staff for that reason; I don't know if they have quit that stuff or not.)

In my experience I rather doubt it is most working journalists- at least any more.

But at least a lot of them.

I was doing a long interview with the Canadian Press on fracking. When that was all done and it came time for pictures of me with the wellhead... he wanted me talking. I was played out. So he starts in on the evils of the oil industry, and away with BOTH go, off about capitalism in general.

And I would have never suspected from the interview- even though like Wilf I know the general sympathies out there.

KenS

 

@ Winston:

You left out from quoting me the immediately above part where I said we do the mail in preferential becuase it is the only way to include more people, AND we encourage people to vote real time.

The part about the 'more engaged' is just acknowledging that lots of people have no interest in being THAT engaged as to what might happen in the race.... but we should at least try to get those who are to think about more than the mail-in being more convenient.

I worked a zillion hours a week job during and for long before the 2003 race, and did not freely make my own schedule. But I voted real time, even having to go to a friends house for the internet connection. I'll bet it was on a weekend, and I bet it is a repeat this time.

Did you set up that misrepresenting quote straw person deliberately or inadvertently?

And by the way, when I did not have time for this, I appreciated following the people who did have it or make it [because I could tell some of them had jobs and lives not unlike mine]. So take your snark somewhere else.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Winston wrote:

But, hey, if the less-engaged (i.e. those among us who aren't on Babble at 3 am on a Friday night) are discouraged from voting in advance, it sure makes it easier for candidates with less broad support to "slip up the middle".  That's the only motive I can see for dissuading our 100,000+ members from voting in advance.

 

I conceded above that it is likely not practical to eliminate advance voting on the preferential ballot.  However I think we can mitigate the inbuild disadvantage to new / outsider voices by shortening the advance period.  If we go so far as to eliminate the postal ballot, we could even structure the voting so that (say) the candidate speeches would be on Saturday earlyish with advance voting (preferential) online starting at (say) noon EST, with ballot by ballot voting opening in real time.  One could even allow prefential ballot voting to continue after the live voting has started (ie, I voted live in ballots 1-4 but now I have to go to work so I submit a preferential vote for the remaining candidates).

If there is a strong need for a mail-in option, you could require members to request it to provide the option but limit the uptake.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Nicky, standard swing is a dubious analytical tool which is wrong as often as not.  For anything beyind a broad take (ie - are we going to be okay or are we about to have our asses handed to us on a plate) it is next to useless.  And even then it isn't particularly reliable.

And during a campaign, you can only look at standard swing based on poll projections.  Using the last poll in the Saskatchewan campaign, the NDP would have won four seats.  In the event, the NDP won nine seats - while losing one of the four projected.

Sure, like any set of numbers it will tell you something.  But it won't tell you much. Projecting a standard swing based on real votes is pointless because you don't need projected results when you have real ones.  Doing it on a poll adds yet one more layer on top of the already significant margins of error.

Wilf Day

Malcolm wrote:

Projecting a standard swing based on real votes is pointless because you don't need projected results when you have real ones.

Unless you are trying to see which candidates ran better than the trend.

With a Mixed Member Proportional system there is no doubt whatever: voters vote for the local candidate and cast a second vote for the party they want in government, so it's instantly clear who ran ahead of the party and who ran behind. In Scotland, Wales, New Zealand and Germany this gives an instant reading on who is a new star, who kept running past their best-before date, who's a rising star, and whose star is declining. In Canada, the best we can do is apply a provincial average swing and then see who did better or worse than the average. Which, of course, may say as much about the candidate who ran four years ago as it says about the current candidate. But it's still interesting.

Gaian

Just offering the observation - before the death of yet another leadership thread - that perhaps the approaching gotterdemerung of collapsing banks and economies this winter will provoke just a bit of interest in the contrasting economic policies of the contestants - where any is evident at all?

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