NDP Leadership 61

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KenS

Idealistic Pragmatist wrote:

What I haven't heard, interestingly enough, is people who disagree with [Cullen] about the plan but are choosing to support him anyway. Does anyone know of anyone who fits into that category (prominent or no)?

I have heard it somewhere in my travels. Not here. But where, cannot remember.

I talked to someone in Nathan's campaign who seemed genuinely floored when I praised him, but said I would not consider him for #2. "Just for that!?"

That said- |I have sort of waffled.

If I'm not comfortable with anyone else [given the number of choices, how likely is that come March?].

Or even if I am, but Nathan is showing an outstanding ability to connect with people.

In principle.... I'll listen and reserve judgement about the possibility of a big fudging of his plan.

Mind you, I dont get what he is on about in general and haven't paid much attention. But if I'm looking at Nathan Cullen in March, its a safe bet that I am re-eaxaming everything [again].

So who knows.

But the more I understand how the idea behind his planseems to  suffuse his whole approach, the less I can see how he can chalk it up as best left behind, and still maintain a cohesive campaign message.

Have I managed to cover all the bases there? Run back and forth on them too.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Gaian wrote:
Could it be that that is the limit of her knowledge of "rural issues ?"

 

That would be an indictment of her capacity to lead a national party.

Ironically though, claiming to have no idea about rural issues would have been a better answer than the one she gave.

Say:

Quote:

I think that you have far more and far better ideas about how to reach out to rural voters in western Canada.  I'd really like to hear what you think.

writer writer's picture

Call me what you will, but I prefer this answer:

Quote:

I have a message for rural Canadians. I get it. I’m on your side. And I’m ready to fight for your future.

Let’s not beat around the bush, rural communities here across this country are under threat. They need someone to stand up for their rights and interests.

Look at the lack of investment in basic infrastructure: roads, water, hospitals and health care, schools and libraries, the list goes on.

Look at the lack of jobs, forcing young people to go to the cities. The family farm and the small ranches are disappearing.

It is the hollowing out of rural Canada.

Traditional family farmers, organic farmers and smaller ranchers can’t compete for a livelihood, because the playing field isn’t level. You’re fighting with one arm tied behind your back.

This isn’t news to you of course. You’ve known this has been going on for quite a while.

 The Hollowing Out of Rural Canada

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Gaian:

That is exactly it. I think Jack (blessed be his memory), understood this and was able to frame it in a way that people got without feeling threatened. I haven't watched all the debates, read every thread here, gone and read everything on the web that I could, but still, I just get the impression listening to everyone here that no one seems to be able to hit this chord and speak to this with a way that reaches out grabs people. I mean it is on thing to preach to the choir, but it is another to try and recruit more singers, so to speak. Someone earlier posted something about wanting someone with "sizzle". I think this could be a defining issue that would separate us from the Libs. Has anyone heard enough to offer some thoughts on this? Thanks.

writer writer's picture

You mean like the very charming video of Romeo Saganash saying he'd invite Stephen Harper over for a beaver dinner once Romeo became PM, though perhaps Stephen wouldn't go for beaver, in which case Romeo would serve caribou?

Or the really charming interview where Romeo Saganash describes what happened when he moved into Justin Trudeau's former office, and the telling, good-natured exchange that followed between him and Justin?

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Well, that is exciting to hear. Where can I read about Romeo's encounters? I don't know how he could be so gracious. I hate to say it, but it just isn't in me. I clearly couldn't walk behind Mr. Sagnash in his footsteps. That is a real statesman and leader.

writer writer's picture

Here's the clip where he talks about inviting Stephen over for dinner. WARNING! You will be charmed!

http://www.canada.com/life/Saganash+vows+fight+Canadians/5911948/story.h...

The other story is from a feature that clocks in at close to 1/2 an hour. I've posted it on babble a couple of times now. Would be happy to do so again if there is real interest. Here's my transcript of the part about Trudeau:

 

Quote:

"... the person in this office before me was Justin Trudeau, Pierre Trudeau's son. He said to me, 'Romeo, are you the one throwing me out of my office?' I said to him, 'No, the people did, and threw me in instead!' We get along very well."

— Romeo Saganash, from "Running with Romeo"

 

Hunky_Monkey

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Well, that is exciting to hear. Where can I read about Romeo's encounters? I don't know how he could be so gracious. I hate to say it, but it just isn't in me. I clearly couldn't walk behind Mr. Sagnash in his footsteps. That is a real statesman and leader.

That he is... although being a leader/statesman isn't the same as being a great politician. Sadly, I think Saganash leaves much to be desired in that area.

Slumberjack

M. Spector wrote:

From the questions to Romeo thread:

Dear Romeo:

On June 14, 2011 you voted with the Conservative government in favour of extending Canada's aerial assault on Libya for a further 3½ months, notwithstanding that it was by that time crystal clear that NATO forces were not abiding by the limitations of the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to take action only to protect civilians, but were in fact embarked on a military campaign in support of one side in a civil war that was attempting to overthrow the government of Libya, and were killing civilians in the process. How do you explain to First Nations people, who themselves have been the object of assaults and oppression by European and Canadian imperialists, why you chose to support today's European and Canadian imperialists in their aggression against a North African people?

Charmed...I'm sure.  And why wouldn't Harper accept Saganash's invitation to a hunting expedition after all? He'd only be returning a favour.

writer writer's picture
doofy

It looks like Topp is now directly saying why he doesn't want Mulcair as leader:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/topp-drops-his-gloves-to-ta...

The argument is a familiar one (we've seen versions of it on this board for a while), but Topp's rationale is so weak that I am wondering if he really believes it. I'm still not convinced that it's "Mulcair's centrism" that spurred Topp, backed by Broadbent & co., into the race.

Here are just a few points from the article that obviously don't stand up:

1) “[Mr. Mulcair] wants to move our party to the centre, which is entirely consistent with his background and his experience as a principal architect of the early Charest government, which was very conservative."

If Mulcair had such a "tarnished record" from his time in the Charest cabinet, why did Mr. Layton go out of his way to recruit him, make him his deputy, e.t.c..? Seems to me everyone loved to have Mulcair on the team, becasue anybody who knows anything about QC politics understands that the two main parties (Liberals & PQ) are coalitions of left & right. Once the Charest gov't began to seriously go off the rails ( the Orford development,  destruction of wet lands for e.g.), Mulcair resigned from cabinet.

2) “I don’t think [Mr. Mulcair’s] approach is why Quebeckers sent 59 [NDP] MPs to Ottawa, or why they would do so again,”

Then why is the entire social-democratic media in QC (such as it is) rooting for Mulcair? 

**

I am a bit surpised that Topp would come out with this.  Since he always maintained a magnanimous tone, would this suggest that his campagin is in trouble? Are the rumours actually true?

In any case, this will defintely make the race more intressting (and possibly more dangerous). Hope to see fireworks at the next debate.... I expect Mulcair will challenge Topp's assertions; will be fun to watch Topp defend himself. Judging by the article, this could have been a bit of a hail-mary pass, no?

Slumberjack

Gaian wrote:
 An anarchist brings what to this site with this optimistic statement: "It'll likely resemble the same one fingered answer people have been getting everywhere it seems. A not unexpected statement from the book of Eeyore, of course. :)

As much as I appreciate the response, I hope I don't come off sounding like too much of an ingrate in saying that this barely represents a step up from having my comments routinely treated as if they contained all the flavour of fresh road kill, with nary a look back in the rear view mirror offered up for confirmation.

Gaian

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Gaian:

That is exactly it. I think Jack (blessed be his memory), understood this and was able to frame it in a way that people got without feeling threatened. I haven't watched all the debates, read every thread here, gone and read everything on the web that I could, but still, I just get the impression listening to everyone here that no one seems to be able to hit this chord and speak to this with a way that reaches out grabs people. I mean it is on thing to preach to the choir, but it is another to try and recruit more singers, so to speak. Someone earlier posted something about wanting someone with "sizzle". I think this could be a defining issue that would separate us from the Libs. Has anyone heard enough to offer some thoughts on this? Thanks.

Yes indeed. For instance, here is Bruce Anderson, today, laying out the concerns of Conservative and Liberal readers for NDP positions on the role of Canada globally. You notice the complete absence of discussion regarding the difficulties that a pricier loonie, caused by the inflow of foreign capital investing in commodity production and safer bonds, is causing for eastern manufacturers, the heart of Mulcair's economic concern:

"» The economy is hugely topical, but Canadians see the economy as a more complex, more global matter than ever before. Thoughtful mainstream voters are finding themselves following decisions being made not only in Ottawa, but also in Rome, London, Paris, Athens, Berlin, Dublin, Brussels, and Washington. Policy in Beijing matters too. The NDP candidates haven’t been talking much about these global crosswinds, but voters will ultimately want a government led by someone who looks ready to play on that stage.

"» Canada’s economy has held up relatively well in a challenging word, in no small part because of our ability to sell our products abroad. There’s not much talk among the candidates about expanding trade, a fair bit of dismay about past trade agreements, and plenty of talk about applying the brakes to some of our exports. These arguments may strike a chord with NDP stalwarts, but others might wonder if there isn’t more nostalgia and ideology than sound planning for tomorrow.

"» Canada is struggling with the largest deficit in the country’s history. Ontario has a worrisome imbalance. Everyone knows big cuts in government spending are coming. Simultaneously, pressures to find the money we will need to keep health care available and education affordable are growing more intense. These choices are topical, current and if ever there was a moment when the NDP must demonstrate that it has a handle on the math, not just the compassion, it is now. So far, the candidates have talked relatively little about fiscal issues, and when they have, the focus has largely been on increasing taxes.

"As a group the leadership discussion seems often to be about greening the economy and making it fairer more than about growing it. Good ideas, of course. But recession-nervous voters want to know that ideas for greening the economy are pragmatic and achievable, not just a wish list. That case hasn’t been made yet. On the equity question, a sizeable group of Canadians feel marginalized – but nowhere near 99 per cent of the population. It’s actually closer to the size of the core vote of the NDP. Most people want a focus on more growth and more equity. They believe “all boats can rise” rather than see the economy as a zero sum game, where for one person to do better another must do worse."

But Mulcair is making the case for raising capital for the federal treasury by a sysgtem of cap and trade, not income taxes...for tackling the monetary issue that is making industrial exports uncompetitive, a two-economy issue.

And the Conservative hack is not about to point to this in his nicely balanced and biased article...that someone among the New Democrat contenders IS meeting the objections of those readers, AND doing it greenly, without directly raising individual taxes.

AnonymousMouse

Oh God, Topp goes negative again.

We've gone from can't win outside Quebec to can't win inside Quebec.

What will they think of next?

Marvel at the strategic brilliance!

As doofy points out above, if Thomas Mulcair is what Topp claims he is, then Jack Layton really created a monster by putting so much trust in the guy.

And what's with calling Mulcair an "early architect" of the Charest government when everyone knows the two didn't get along and when Mulcair famously resigned from Charest's cabinet after three years as environment minister?

Come on. At least make sure your sleazy attacks have some modicum of credibility.

theleftyinvestor

I'm in the middle of reading that Topp article. Something else that stands out to me:

Another contender in the NDP leadership race, MP Peggy Nash, said it’s normal for candidates to try to differentiate themselves at the halfway point in the race, but that her goal is to eventually lead a party that includes both Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Topp.

“My record is one of being a bridge-builder,” she said in an interview. “I’m the candidate who can unite the caucus, unite the party and unite the country. That’s what I’m offering.”

And she's hit the nail on the head. If Topp wins, he has to lead a party that includes Mr. Mulcair. And until Topp made these statements, I could at least say to myself, "Well, Mulcair would still be a proud member of Topp's caucus and would figure prominently in the campaign to re-elect their Quebec members". But now... he's insulted the intelligence of Quebec NDP voters, and lambasted someone he would need to have onside. I don't see how Topp is helping his campaign at all. Mulcair, for his part, would probably respond as usual: "I'm not planning to bring the NDP to the centre; I want to bring the centre to the NDP." Topp is also at odds with the national NDP message about "running a positive campaign".

 

mtm

LOL @ Topp.

If he thinks this is going to endear him to New Democrats, yeesh.  Flimsy, easily refutable argument that most members know is untrue...

I give him a lot of credit for being a brilliant strategist - he knows that this blowback will definitely hurt him more than his intended target - what's his motivation or end game?!

Gaian

It just seems an inconguous situation for an anarchist to be jousting with nasty little spears while all around him people are into a serious game of football played in the real world where, if knocked down, party and player CAN pick oneself up and play again in the spirit of something called democracy. WE could go further into discussion of the meaning of that concept if you ever showed some interest in it - but in another thread, of course. Say... anarchy 101? :)

There, we would not have to go through this old, old, familiar scene where you repeatedly say that, hey, you don't mind the repartee. But just the same, for me, this shit happens.

Always

Sj: "In keeping with the holiday spirit of this thread, I thought it might be the appropriate place to deck this one out:

Quote:
Gaian, your comments about "ancient cultural baggage" and your needling of Slumberjack with personal jibes -- all of these things earn you a day off.

Just for the record, no alarms were sounded here. I would have preferred not to have been implicated in the decision."

Sure :)

And with this: "having my comments routinely treated as if they contained all the flavour of fresh road kill," you're not inviting OG to go to bat for poor old Sj who just happened to wander provocatively into this thread, sporting his ancient political baggage which, of course, has equal legitimacy hereabouts...in its own bailiwick. :)

DSloth

Resembles nothing so much as a kamikaze attack. Topp can't think he'll pull ahead with an attack line that might actually damage the party in Quebec were he to win.

Bookish Agrarian

Well speaking for myself Brain Topp has gone off my ballot altogether with this negative, demeaning and dismissive attack.  Mulcair isn't even in my top 3 or 4 at this point, but Topp has disquailfied himself as a leader in my mind.  It seems to me as little more than typical locker room politiics- and that's the last thing that will move us forward as far as I am concerned.  As my father always said, you rarely fill up a hole by digging deeper.

writer writer's picture

I also liked how Romeo Saganash responded ...

Oh, wait a minute! He's from Quebec, fluent in French, second to announce his candidacy, and still not worth having his name even mentioned. Because the Globe's pundit ouija board for leftist politics deemed it unnecessary. Martin Singh as well: too many letters in that name to squeeze it in!

Ah, the Globe and Mail and the battle-of-the-titans smearfest now before us. It has its charms, I suppose.

JeffWells

doofy wrote:

It looks like Topp is now directly saying why he doesn't want Mulcair as leader:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/topp-drops-his-gloves-to-ta...

...

I am a bit surpised that Topp would come out with this.  Since he always maintained a magnanimous tone, would this suggest that his campagin is in trouble? Are the rumours actually true?

I'm surprised, too. One thing I thought Topp had going for him was a strategist's good sense, but it seems entirely wrong-footed for him to go after Mulcair with this broad brush. IMO, things must be going very poorly for the Topp campaign for such sniping to be considered wise. I also believe that by throwing down the gauntlet, Topp'z sending the message that the party can't expect to elect Mulcair leader and keep the backroom that Jack built. (Especially after this, I doubt Mulcair would be inclined to.)

How Mulcair responds will be interesting.

theleftyinvestor

And ultimately, the fact that every winner should be able to include the other strong voices in the party... it gives me confidence that each candidate's "blind spots" can be filled in with keen eyes. If Nash wins and rural issues are her blind spot, she can sit down with Saganash, Cullen, Angus, Ashton and many others. Any non-Quebec winner (except, perhaps now, Topp), if they are perceived as weak on Quebec, can sit down with Mulcair, Saganash and others, and develop a strategy. Any Eastern winner can sit down with Ashton, Cullen, Duncan and the rest of the Western caucus to develop a Western strategy. And so forth.

If Topp wins, expect Conservatives or the Bloc to air clips in Quebec of Topp denouncing Mulcair and insulting Quebecois voters. This is the number one reason why leadership candidates avoid attacking each other too harshly - every sound bite is fodder for political folly. At least in the BCNDP race, Farnworth and Dix were very subtle about the way they argued with each other. Dix very artfully talked about how (paraphrase) "some might say the NDP should edge a little closer to the Liberals to pick up some votes. I say we don't need to do that, because we can engage the people who are not voting today and bring them to the NDP, because demographically these are people who believe in what we believe in." And you know the subtle undertone was that Farnworth would be the guy to edge a little closer to the Liberals, but they were both so collegial about it. And the result is, Farnworth is a functional and valuable member of the team today, even if Dix isn't running things exactly the way he would have.

Also, Topp said he wants to eventually run for a seat in Quebec. Will this sound bite haunt him so deeply that he never acheives that goal?

Hunky_Monkey

Apparently, reports of his level of support must be accurate. Also heard some of his endorsers regret backing his campaign.

Find it a bit rich as well that Mr. Third Way from Saskatchewan is saying Mulcair is the big bad centrist.

AnonymousMouse

JeffWells wrote:

Topp'z sending the message that the party can't expect to elect Mulcair leader and keep the backroom that Jack built. (Especially after this, I doubt Mulcair would be inclined to.)

There are dozens of key staff in the party. Let's not pretend the world revolves around Brian Topp.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

The elephant in the room is lack of Quebec numbers. BC can almost decide this thing. The membership really needs to wake up. There needs to be an expansion.

And I think all of us can agree. That should be everyone's #1 priority.

Solidarity folks. May the leadership spring us forward.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I've always found it odd that Brian has tried to cast himself as the antithesis to the caricature of an irritable and arrogant loner and centrist Mulcair.  Certainly Brian was never Mr. Sweetness and Light when he was working for Roy Romanow.  Granted, it was his job to be RJR's enforcer and neither sweetness nor light are going to be dominant characteristics.  But he certainly appeared to relish the tough guy persona that went with the job and he could be positively nasty in his dealings.  My one in person encounter with him in those days was certainly not one to draw me to him.

Mulcair's line about moving the centre to us is exactly what the Layton led NDP has been working on for the past seven years - with Brian as an integral player through much of that.  And frankly, it is the mirror image of the strategy the American right have been using for 50 years with significant effect.

mtm

The thing is, he was willing and ready to go into a coalition with the Liberals not two years ago, and was so resolute in that positionthat he wrote a book on it.  

He also led the messaging of the NDP to the centre under Layton.  This new "defender of all things left" persona he's trying to craft is just not Brian Topp.  He worked for the openly centrist Sask NDP in its heyday!

He'd be better off just saying what he really is and what his record shows him to be. 

wage zombie

I think this is poor execution by Topp and he will lose support because of it.

But--I do not see this as insulting to Quebec voters, and I think there was some truth there.  The Orange Crush in Quebec was not about electing Liberal Lite--so to the extent that Mulcair would be Liberal Lite, it's a fair point.

I have yet to see that Mulcair = Liberal Lite, though.  And making that attack as explicitly as he did is likely going too far.

Topp needs to do something to get some momentum but I think his time would be better spent preparing for debates as he clearly needs to work on this.

I don't know what his daily routine is but I imagine Topp would really benefit, as a leadership candidate, from physical workouts and/or meditation (something to get himself back in his body).  It would certainly help with the swayying and bobbing.

I don't think Topp is weak on Quebec, and I think his tax-the-1% plan is the boldest left policy so far--so I don't find it at all rich that Topp is attacking Mulcair as the centrist.

As far as the "early architect" comment...I just don't know.  But Mulcair resigning doesn't disprove in any way that claim about Mulcair.  I trust that Topp knows his stuff, and so I assume there is truth to the comment.  One of Topp's strengths is his knowledge of recent political history (imo)--and so he would have more to lose than other candidates by making inaccurate claims.

ETA: Can anybody comment on the credibility of Rabble blogger Pierre Beaudet?  He has been consistently saying that Mulcair is not sufficiently left enough to fit in the NDP, that Quebeckers voted for Jack, not Mulcair, and that Mulcair being the public face of the NDP in Quebec is a problem (I realize there are some contradictions there).  I don't know how much weight to put on his opinions--but he is a political blogger from Quebec on the Rabble roster.

AnonymousMouse

Malcolm wrote:

Mulcair's line about moving the centre to us is exactly what the Layton led NDP has been working on for the past seven years - with Brian as an integral player through much of that.  And frankly, it is the mirror image of the strategy the American right have been using for 50 years with significant effect.

Absolutely. On all counts.

The American right excels at framing their positions as though any common sense American would agree with them (and as if their opponents were somehow freaks and traitors). Mike Harris had three key staff and MPPs (including Tony Clement) with major connections to the American right-wing who help introduce these same tactics to conservative parties--though they haven't always been successful in doing so.

Sometimes you have to take unpopular positions in order to move the outer bounds of the debate in hopes that an idea will grow in popularity and become achievable later on. Third and fourth place parties with no immediate hope of forming government do A LOT of that.

But the most successful parties spend most of their time convincing people that what the party believes in is, in fact, the reasonable middle. That's not just how you get elected, it's how you move the playing field permanently in your direction.

Look at what we've done on Medicare in the last forty years rather than just the thirty before that. Medicare is now accepted as necessary and beneficial program across the political spectrum to the point that opponents can only succeed at weakening it by stealth. And with that victory it also became anathema to be openly hostile to government in general as appearing to be so would throw into question whether ou were hostile to programs like Medicare.

Mulcair is excellent at this sort of thing. One can disagree with the strategy, but it shouldn't be used to attack him as a centrist when there is no evidence to support that claim.

theleftyinvestor

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Malcolm wrote:

Mulcair's line about moving the centre to us is exactly what the Layton led NDP has been working on for the past seven years - with Brian as an integral player through much of that.  And frankly, it is the mirror image of the strategy the American right have been using for 50 years with significant effect.

But the most successful parties spend most of their time convincing people that what the party believes in is, in fact, the reasonable middle. That's not just how you get elected, it's how you move the playing field permanently in your direction.

That's an excellent way of putting it. A line came up a few days ago on Power and Politics where essentially the Liberal messaging is, Canadians don't want politics to be the Occupy Movement versus the Tea Party (i.e. exaggeration of NDP versus Conservative), they want it to be pragmatic and to get things done. But if the NDP, without compromising its principles, can be sold as already being the reasonable middle, that's prime political real estate.

wage zombie

AnonymousMouse wrote:

But the most successful parties spend most of their time convincing people that what the party believes in is, in fact, the reasonable middle. That's not just how you get elected, it's how you move the playing field permanently in your direction.

Agreed.  And because of the rightward drift Canada's experienced over the last 30 years, we are well positioned to do this.  The NDP's "leftist" policies were in the centre 30 years ago.  Currently, Canadian values are NDP values.

Quote:

Mulcair is excellent at this sort of thing. One can disagree with the strategy, but it shouldn't be used to attack him as a centrist when there is no evidence to support that claim.

I do hope Mulcair is excellent at this sort of thing.  It's the strategy I feel we should be pursuing.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

wear protection

wage zombie

mtm wrote:

The thing is, he was willing and ready to go into a coalition with the Liberals not two years ago, and was so resolute in that positionthat he wrote a book on it.  

So what?  I was wanting the coalition to work too...and I'd like to see a bold left NDP.  The coalition was IMO the best choice at the time, and so I donn't fault Topp for pursuing it.  Additionally, I think our demonstrated willingness to do so won us a lot of votes.  I don't see how pursuing the coalition is somehow centrist.

AnonymousMouse

wage zombie wrote:

But--I do not see this as insulting to Quebec voters, and I think there was some truth there. The Orange Crush in Quebec was not about electing Liberal Lite--so to the extent that Mulcair would be Liberal Lite, it's a fair point.

I have yet to see that Mulcair = Liberal Lite, though. And making that attack as explicitly as he did is likely going too far.

Mulcair is wildly popular in Quebec and was seen as a hero by many after the Mont Orford dispute.

All my Quebecois friends (even those not supporting Mulcair) think that if Mulcair lost and formed a provincial wing of the NDP to run against Charest, then the next provincial election would immediately become a two way race (with the PQ firmly in third) and that Mulcair would probably win even leading a brand new party.

Regardless of whether any of that is true, when you have a leader with that kind of popularity and someone who has been living outside the province for 25 years comes along arguing to an English newspaper that Quebecers don't actually like the guy all that much, you're damn right it is going to be seen as insulting. It's claiming to speak for someone and then not telling the truth about what they think.

wage zombie wrote:

As far as the "early architect" comment...I just don't know. But Mulcair resigning doesn't disprove in any way that claim about Mulcair. I trust that Topp knows his stuff, and so I assume there is truth to the comment.

No, this is completely untrue. First of all, Mulcair was in cabinet for three of Charest's eight years in power before resigning in protest. How early an architect could he have been? Secondly, Charest and Mulcair were known rivals long before the Liberals won government in 2003. Topp simply knows that while most New Democrats know that Quebec parties are organized along federalist/sovereignist, everyone in English Canada knows Charest is a conservative and they don't know the complete history between Mulcair and Charest. That's the only reason Topp can get away with a comment like that.

wage zombie wrote:

ETA: Can anybody comment on the credibility of Rabble blogger Pierre Beaudet?  He has been consistently saying that Mulcair is not sufficiently left enough to fit in the NDP, that Quebeckers voted for Jack, not Mulcair, and that Mulcair being the public face of the NDP in Quebec is a problem (I realize there are some contradictions there).  I don't know how much weight to put on his opinions--but he is a political blogger from Quebec on the Rabble roster.

On the question of whether Mulcair is "left enough" to fit into the NDP, I would suggest any individuals opinion is meaningless, because it is not just a question of whether their assessment of Mulcair's ideology is correct, but also of "how left" they think someone needs to be to fit into the NDP. Instead, look at Mulcair's record and the fact he ran for the party when there was no political advantage in doing so.

On the question of whether Jack Layton, not Mulcair, was responsible for the Orange Wave, I would make two points.

First, the Orange Wave was a product of people connecting with Layton and no one would claim anyone deserves more credit than him. The question then becomes would Layton have been able to connect if he hadn't had Mulcair laying the groundwork day in and day out--doing media, crafting policy, being Quebec's voice in the party and its face in Quebec. I don't htink he could have. But, regardless, it doesn't really matter because Jack Layton is no longer available to lead us in Quebec in the next election, so we have to pick the best alternative.

On that score, my second point. This Angus-Reid poll taken early in the leadership race suggests the party would get 52% in Quebec with Mulcair as leader. Not only 21% ahead of where the party would be under Topp (much less Nash or Dewar), but 9% ahead of where we were under Jack Layton in the last election. So whether Jack Layton was entirely responsible for the Orange Wave or not, Mulcair clearly has the support to maintain those gains if not build on them.

ottawaobserver

I'm reserving comment on this whole brouhaha for now, but to cite those silly hypothetical public domain polls in support of any leadership candidate really does not help one's case, once you remember that Kim Campbell and Paul Martin were similarly leading such hypothetical polls in their day.

Really, people.

AnonymousMouse

ottawaobserver wrote:

I'm reserving comment on this whole brouhaha for now, but to cite those silly hypothetical public domain polls in support of any leadership candidate really does not help one's case, once you remember that Kim Campbell and Paul Martin were similarly leading such hypothetical polls in their day.

Really, people.

I disagree. Polls shift over time, but they are still more accurate than anecdote.

Mulcair could win the leadership and then squander the capital he has in Quebec, but if you're wondering (as wage zombie honestly seems to be) whether Mulcair really does have significant capital in Quebec, I think that poll answers the question. That his name can move 21% of the population on top of the 31% supporting us under a largely unknown candidate who speaks fluent French is evidence enough for me on that simple point.

In your case OO, I doubt you are starting out in the same place wage zombie is and probably already believe Mulcair is very popular in Quebec. Correct me if I'm wrong on that part.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Mulcair needs the membership in Quebec. Where's the numbers?

Otherwise, he's done in the rest of Canada. Just throwing that out there. I hope the membership numbers bounce, that should dbe the goal!

Hunky_Monkey

RevolutionPlease wrote:
Mulcair needs the membership in Quebec. Where's the numbers?

Otherwise, he's done in the rest of Canada. Just throwing that out there. I hope the membership numbers bounce, that should dbe the goal!

So no one in BC will vote for someone outside of BC? Is that the point you're making?

While there is an element of supporting the local candidate, it's not the entire story.

ottawaobserver

AnonymousMouse wrote:

In your case OO, I doubt you are starting out in the same place wage zombie is and probably already believe Mulcair is very popular in Quebec. Correct me if I'm wrong on that part.

I believe Mr. Mulcair has been very visible in Quebec, and was the only face of the NDP besides Jack prior to the May election. He is a known personality there. That's as much as I would feel comfortable in assessing his popularity there.

Many people in the Quebec commentariat have mixed feelings about him, though most of them would hardly be classified as NDP-friendly. However, I am forced to ask myself why those same pundits are so keen to now make the leadership race a question of "support Mulcair or it's a slap in the face to Quebec". Admittedly Mulcair himself should not wear the consequences of all their framing of this, except to the extent that his campaign trumpets it as part of the inevitability meme.

I do feel there will be other faces and personalities emerge from our Quebec caucus over the coming 3 years, who may be just as popular as he, or perhaps eventually more so. What do I know. I'm watching from the outside and not as closely as I'd like to had I more time.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Trying to isolate a single cause for the Orange Crush in Quebec is like trying to pass off one ingredient of the eponymous soft drink as being the beverage.

We swept Quebec because of a constellation of factors, including Jack's cultivated relationship AND because of Mulcair's credibility AND because of Mulcair's organizational work AND because of the previous organizational work by folk like Ray Guardia, Pierre Ducasse and others AND because Duceppe and the Bloc decided to jump the shark on referenda AND because of no small part of dumb luck.

To suggest that the Crush was all about any one of those or not about any one of those is a mug's game and it is frankly foolish for anyone, including Brian, to go there.

If the comments attributed to Brian are halfway accurate, then this is a blunder on the part of the Topp campaign.

wage zombie

AnonymousMouse wrote:

Mulcair is wildly popular in Quebec and was seen as a hero by many after the Mont Orford dispute. All my Quebecois friends (even those not supporting Mulcair) think that if Mulcair lost and formed a provincial wing of the NDP to run against Charest, then the next provincial election would immediately become a two way race (with the PQ firmly in third) and that Mulcair would probably win even leading a brand new party.

WOW.

Quote:

Regardless of whether any of that is true, when you have a leader with that kind of popularity and someone who has been living outside the province for 25 years comes along arguing to an English newspaper that Quebecers don't actually like the guy all that much, you're damn right it is going to be seen as insulting. It's claiming to speak for someone and then not telling the truth about what they think.

I understand if you think it is splitting hairs but Topp didn't say that Quebecers don't like Mulcair, he said that Quebecers weren't voting for a centrist approach.  And he implied that the way to keep Quebec was not via a centrist approach.  I can understand that you don't appreciate Topp attacking Mulcair as a centrist--and I agree that it is divisive to attack so explicitly--but I'm also under the impression that Quebecers didn't vote NDP for a centrist approach.

Quote:

This Angus-Reid poll taken early in the leadership race suggests the party would get 52% in Quebec with Mulcair as leader. Not only 21% ahead of where the party would be under Topp (much less Nash or Dewar), but 9% ahead of where we were under Jack Layton in the last election.

Quote:

Mulcair could win the leadership and then squander the capital he has in Quebec, but if you're wondering (as wage zombie honestly seems to be) whether Mulcair really does have significant capital in Quebec, I think that poll answers the question. That his name can move 21% of the population on top of the 31% supporting us under a largely unknown candidate who speaks fluent French is evidence enough for me on that simple point.

I agree with OO that such polls offer us very little (especially about Topp's appeal), but I agree with you that it does at least demonstrate Mulcair's popular appeal.

I totally get that Mulcair has significant capital in Quebec.  But I'm finding it hard to gauge how much capital he has within the Left in Quebec.  Especially with the lack of a traditional NDP membership base there, and with the provincial focus being the sovereignty question rather than the left/right divide.

Thanks for responding to my questions.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
ottawaobserver

Could I ask that people posting links to things please say what they are first. I don't like to miss anything, but do not want to click on something that could launch a virus. Lots and lots of letters in a URL are probably benign, but not always.

Hunky_Monkey

You're not missing a thing, OO. Just stupid music videos...

jerrym

 

AnonymousMouse commented about Peggy Nash "And, boy, is it ever flat. I can't believe anyone would point to those clips as an example of why she should be leader. Great MP. Not great in those Question Period exchanges." So I decided to look at a number of clips for myself because my impression is that she is often flat although I have seen her perform well a couple of times. I agree that QP is only part of the picture, so I looked at a variety of speaking situations. For those who say it is unimportant, I strongly disagree. We are no longer in the Mackenzie King era when a shrewd strategist can win despite poor communications skills. I have also seen the party suffer dearly in BC with leaders who had poor communication skills (Bob Skelly who was chosen because he was more left-wing, despite the fact many of his supporters in the leadership knew he suffered from stage fright at times, and Ujjal Dosanjh who had been a party bureaucrat who bored his audience with his bureaucratic style. At the same time we wandered in the political desert for ten years federally. When Alexa McDonough, whose detailed answers were appreciated by an academic like me, was asked why Layton had been so much more successful than her (well before the 2011 election) she answered that he could give a great short clip that would make the news while her more detailed answers would either not make the broadcast or be ignored by the audience. Layton took his ability to an even higher level during the election because having faced death he reached an even higher degree of comfort in his own skin and appreciation of life and others than the already exceptionally high level he had attained. Leadership is more than having good communication skills, but those skills are very important ingredient of success, especially today. I also decided to do this because I am tired of reading arguments and want to look at evidence. 
For what its worth here are my impressions of Peggy on YouTube. I strongly recommend you look at a broad cross-section of clips of candidates yourself because in 40 years of teaching I have had students tell me everything from I was the best teacher they ever had to the worst they ever had and  everything in between. So make up your own mind.
Peggy Nash Debates Conservative Tax Cuts (Power and Politics discussion): speaks in monotone with some stammering
Nash on Conservative  2011 Budget (CBC: Federal Budget): asked sharp questions with some passion
Peggy Nash Takes on Conservatives on G8-G20 (CTV Power Play): speaks in monotone, stammers and repeats some words
Peggy Nash Debates Corporate Tax Cuts (Power and Politics discussion):  speaks in monotone, stammers and repeats some words
Peggy Nash on Iraq War Resistors (taped statement): speaks with conviction on issue
Peggy Nash on Bill C-51 on Food and Drug Act (Parliament): mostly monotone and continually glancing at notes 
Peggy Nash, Profile and leadership thoughts (interview); speaking in low voice, little sense of confidence, body language suggests discomfort, says "uh" often, voice trailing off
Peggy Nash on Diesel Trains in West Toronto (community rally); strong forceful speech against expansion of rail service
Peggy Nash Nomination Acceptance Speech: spoken with some force but often reading prepared speech
Peggy Nash Eulogy for Julius Deutsch: some good use of humour and good speaking style at start, but looking down more and more and reading as speech continues and voice drops off 
Peggy Nash Statement on Junction Shulman Synagogue (Parliament); bland monotone reading (very little looking up) of statement

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Understood, OO. I'm ok for links, frickin youtube ads forthcoming. My bad.

wage zombie

If the link starts with http://www.youtube.com/ then you shouldn't need to worry about viruses.

jerrym

By the way I' m leaving for Cuba for 8 days on Saturday, so if Fidel or Raul endorse anyone, I'll let you know when I return.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
You're not missing a thing, OO. Just stupid music videos...

Do you have anything more substantive than that? I think these music videos show a little bit of what you folk have to learn?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lexLAjh8fPA&feature=autoplay&list=AVGxdCw...

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