NDP Leadership 66

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Winston

Peter3 wrote:
KenS wrote:

Translation of Greek:

Decent MOE is a necessary, but by no means sufficient, condition for poll accuracy.

Precisely.

Yeah...your sampling techniques have to be valid as well!

My only criticism of your comments, KenS, was that the number of leadership contestants is irrelevant to the accuracy of any putative poll.

That said, will there be polling of members done on this campaign?  Only by the campaigns.  Will we plebes (i.e. not insiders on any of the campaigns) get to see polling results of members by the various campaigns?  Probably not.

Winston

flight from kamakura wrote:

so that's where i'm coming from.  one can put it into terms of mulcair saving quebec seats or whatever, but the real issue is that we just don't have anyone near as trusted by the quebec people to safeguard their interests, across all segments of society.  in effect, he's the guy.  jack's breakthrough in quebec was astonishing for how wide-ranging it was across francophone society, how many different sorts of people jumped on board.  you types who feel like all we need is a social-democratic message and that the bq and lpc will just fade away, that's not at all how it works.

Thank-you, FFK (that's "kamakura", not "kamouraska" Wink) for indicating your view of the situation in Québec, which definitely jives with my own and that of the people I know there.  There is a shocking amount of deafness to the Québec reality in many English Canadian circles, and I certainly don't think the NDP is immune to it.

The party needs to take this into consideration when we make our selection.  Does it need to be the only consideration?  Certainly not, but it had better be a significant one!

KenS

It is.

I do not personally know a single person who does not agree with the criteria and backround.

On the assessments of the different candidates- naturally there is just as much disagreement on that.

Wilf Day

nicky wrote:
Wilf seems to be making the point that Mulcair has relatively fewer supporters among the Quebec MPs who were elected with the greatest majorities.
If this is so, the other side of the coin is that he predominates among those Quebec MPs who are more electorally vulnerable.
Perhaps this to some extent reflects their perception of which leader will best help them retain their seats.

I suspect nicky is correct. On the other hand, I think someone (Boivin?) said Topp would be better outside Quebec. So any pattern (and the numbers are a bit small to be very significant) may reflect that those who are more confident of their seats can take a wider view.

Actually the endorsement I find most fascinating is Francine Raynault, of Niki Ashton.

Quote:
Ms. Raynault says the Manitoba MP is better able to understand the reality and challenges of the rural farming community, referring to the constituency represented by Ashton (Churchill, Manitoba), and her fight against the dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) whose monopoly was recently abolished by the federal government. With one voice, the two MPs deplore the schism created by Stephen Harper between rural and urban communities, and doubt the promise by the latter to protect the system of supply management for farmers.

. . . Francine Raynault adds that the protection of the agricultural sector can only be beneficial to the entire population, the relationship of interdependence is undeniable: "If agriculture is going well in our riding, Joliette is fine too. We must remain autonomous." Both the New Democratic allies agree on the collateral damage that the weakening of the rural sector would generate, both in job losses and in health and education, a reality which the current the federal government seems to ignore.
. . . Ms. Raynault insists that she is happy with her role as an MP, and has not thought of standing for election as party leader.

http://www.laction.com/Actualites/Politique/2011-12-04/article-2824410/Raynault-et-Ashton-dune-meme-voix-pour-les-communautes-rurales/1

Although Raynault didn't get into the 50% range -- she got 47.3% against the 34% of Pierre Paquette -- she was a giant-killer (Paquette was House Leader and Duceppe's heir-apparent), had run in 2008, and had quite a pedigree: great-niece of Adhémar Raynault, mayor of Montréal (1936–1938, 1940–1944), a founding member of the Syndicat des agricultrices de Lanaudière, a founding member of the local section of the Union des producteurs agricoles, regional president and provincial vice-president of the feminist group AFEAS (Association féminine d’éducation et d’action sociale). ("Afeas practices a "social egalitarian feminism." This type of feminism aims for women to obtain their own identity, equal status, freedom of choice, and autonomy in relation to the persistent inequalities in our society. Afeas, by its work, aims to modify all laws and codes that maintain gender inequality.") Our Quebec caucus is youthful, but Raynault was born in 1945, is president of a regional seniors' group, and has eight grand-children.

If it matters, she owns a hobby farm, and her partner (retired teacher Jacques Trudeau) was the NDP candidate in Joliette in 1979 (when still a student), 1980, 1981 (byelection), 1984 in a different riding, 1997 in Joliette, 2004 and 2006.

By the way, Joliette is a riding with a proud history: its MNA from 1936 to 1960 was Antonio Barrette, Minister of Labour under Duplessis who became Premier in 1960 for six months (and he may have been some sort of Red Tory, since he was district secretary of the Machinists Union in 1932-3 and later president of the labour council.) Its MP from 1945 to 1950, Georges-Émile Lapalme, went on to become provincial Liberal leader to 1960 and then Lesage's Deputy Premier. Its MP from 1968 to 1988 was Roch Lasalle, a Minister under Mulroney, who was also briefly the last leader of the old Union Nationale in 1981. Its MNA from 1976 to 2002 was Guy Chevrette, PQ leader from 1987 to 1989 and a minister under Parizeau, Bouchard and Landry.

So asking Francine Raynault if she had considered running for leader was not really a joke.

By the way also, the federal riding of Joliette is 36% the City of Joliette, another 12% small towns, and 52% rural.

Winston

Mulcair seems to be getting a lot of support from (former) labour leaders! First Wayne Samuelson, Art Kube and now this:

Reg Basken supports Thomas Mulcair

 

Wonder why it's not covered in the Alberta Press.

ottawaobserver

Reg Basken was the president of the Energy Chemical Workers Union in the 1980s, when Art Kube was the president of the BC Federation of Labour.

KenS

FFK makes the point about the uniquness of the Quebec situation, the role that plays in the May breakthrough, and what is drawn from that as far as what we need going forward.

This is very analogous to the more modest 1997 breakthrough in NS and NB. Modest, but also virtually from out of nowhere. We didnt even have a base of one MP and similarly, the results surprised even the wildest optimists.

Also analogous: a distinctive regional and political culture that had a great deal to do with creating the conditions for tossing out all the carrer NS Liberal MP's and most of them in NB.

We also had the perfect Leader for maintaining that in 2000: Alexa again, on whose coatails everyone rode the 1997 wave... and who was far more popular than Mulcair is in Quebec.

It still was not enough. What did we lack?

Aside from the in the riding organizational defincies already pointed out [same conditions we have to correct in Quebec now], what we lacked was a sufficiently relevant NDP vision at the national level... which no amount of favourite daughter Leader could correct for.

[And to her credit- recognizing that we lacked that vision/agenda with traction, was a big reason why Alexa stepped down as Leader after only two elections, and only one underperforming election.]

Winston

ottawaobserver wrote:

Reg Basken was the president of the Energy Chemical Workers Union in the 1980s, when Art Kube was the president of the BC Federation of Labour.

He was also president of the Alberta Federation of Labour for some time too back in the 80s-90s

Winston

KenS wrote:

We also had the perfect Leader for maintaining that in 2000: Alexa again, on whose coatails everyone rode the 1997 wave... and who was far more popular than Mulcair is in Quebec.

It still was not enough. What did we lack?

The credible ability to win a federal election.

I firmly believe that we will hold the bulk of our Québec seats if we can:

1) Choose a leader that connects immediately with Québecers on a level like Jack did; and

2) Ensure that we are capable of putting together a credible challenge to wrest control of the Government from PMSH in 2015.

Both of these are essential pre-requisites.  If we fail to show that we can win, Québec will abandon us.  Likewise if we select a leader that doesn't have a strong connection with and understanding of the Province they will abandon us.

Interestingly, if point #1 fails to come to pass, then point #2 becomes moot.  If we do not hold Québec then our likelihood of forming a government becomes zero.  Despite all of the hoopla about the importance of the prairies, on a perfect day with all of the stars aligning we win 10 seats in AB, SK MB combined.  Ontario will only vote for us if we carry Québec and are ahead of the Liberals nationally.  The Atlantic provinces are similar in this respect too, I think.

BC...well good ol' BC will do what it wants (as they always do).  There is not a doubt in my mind that we could lose every seat we have in the country and BC would choose that election to send 25 New Democrats to Ottawa just to thumb their noses at the rest of the country!  :)

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

AnonymousMouse wrote:

 

You have also repeatedly responded to things I've written sentence by sentence while ignoring that the blocks of text in question are only intend to make an important point when taken together. You also repeatedly offered responses such as "Whatever." or accusing me of "spinning" or of becoming emotional. If that's all you have to say in relation to a point I've made, please do not feel that you are under any obligation to respond to each and every thing that I've written.

But that's just it, you're not making any points. You're just projecting your own spin while downplaying and ridiculing everything about Nash and her campaign.

AnonymousMouse

Winston wrote:

Mulcair seems to be getting a lot of support from (former) labour leaders! First Wayne Samuelson, Art Kube and now this:

Reg Basken supports Thomas Mulcair

 

Wonder why it's not covered in the Alberta Press.

And don't forget Michael Fraser former head of the UFCW and former Vice-President of the CLC.

KenS

... following Winston, post before last...

 

And it is also true that if it is apparent in the run-up to 2015 that the NDP is headed for only doing so-so nationaly against Harper, the Leader also being the favourite son of Quebec isn't going to be enough in Quebec, let alone in the rest of the country.

In other words- and agreeing with you- it is equally essential to be strong in both parts of Canada.

So countinuing to recast in new words that having the best possible Leader for Quebecs needs as the overiding criteria is the same stale bunk it has been for this discussion of several thousand posts.

To be the choice, Mulcair has to be the best choice for leader of Canada's NDP. Period. And if he isnt, then being better than the rest for the purposes of maintaining our standing in Quebec, is just not good enough.

 

It is no coincidence that the people continuing to strain us all with this "we NEED Tom as Leader for Quebec" also just happen to think he is the best overall choice for Canada's NDP.

Fine.

Say THAT. and cut the the histrionic pleading.

doofy

Almost fully agree with FFK on his analysis of the QC scene. However, I am more optimistic for Saganash (he negotiated la Paix des braves and has gained respect even in PQ circles. I heard Josee Boileau of "Le Devoir" saying how good it was that he got elected to parliament. That was just after the election) and more pessimistic for Nash. I've said this before: she reminds me of a left-wing Joe Clark. Someone QCers might respect, but not vote for.

writer writer's picture

Thanks to FFK and doofy for your perspectives. I am always much more interested in reading things from others' perspectives than assuming I know what folks have to say. I find I learn so much more that way!

flight from kamakura

there's no dichotomy.  that mulcair would be the candidate who would give us the best shot of holding/growing the quebec base is basic to his appeal as leader, something quite apart from his position as our best communicator and parliamentarian.  plus the beard!  who doesn't trust a beardo?

Winston

KenS wrote:

It is no coincidence that the people continuing to strain us all with this "we NEED Tom as Leader for Quebec" also just happen to think he is the best overall choice for Canada's NDP.

He is.  Hell, he even managed to convince my mom, a perennial Green Party candidate in Ontario (much to the chagrin of the rest of the family) to rejoin the NDP.

I think that the more people who get to meet Tom and hear him speak, it will become clear to them that we NEED Tom Mulcair for CANADA.

KenS wrote:

cut the the histrionic pleading.

Meow!  (You needn't get as negative on us as Brian Topp has on the other candidates!  Laughing)

Winston

flight from kamakura wrote:

plus the beard!  who doesn't trust a beardo?

How true that is!  Look what the moustache accomplished for us - imagine what a full beard will do!!  Laughing

Winston

And for those who think we in English Canada all know best and that we can select any leadership candidate and all will be rosy, I urge you to take a read of this article in Le Devoir:

S'indigner pour contrer l'arrogance

It gives a pretty good account of the feelings of many of our voters in Québec last election. These were not votes FOR the NDP; rather they were strategic votes AGAINST Stephen Harper. The Liberal meme that our surge was responsible for Harper getting his majority, while clearly bullsh*t, is getting a foot hold in Québec (read some of the comments after the article). I would like point specific attention to one of the paragraphs in the article:

Claude Gélinas wrote:

Quitte à le redire, dans ce contexte de danger appréhendé, il faudrait donc parler davantage d'un vote stratégique fondé sur la raison plutôt que sur le rejet du Bloc québécois dont l'option serait pour certains devenue obsolète. Il est donc raisonnable de penser que malgré la présence de députés au Québec, mais en l'absence de racines, le choix du NPD ne sera qu'un feu de paille puisque les Québécois reviendront au parti qui peut le mieux défendre leurs intérêts à Ottawa.

Québecers are already turning from the NDP - we are dropping precipitously in the polls - and we urgently need to make the case that we are ready to take on Harper and win. In spite of the bleating of many people that name recognition doesn't matter and we will have 4 years to fine-tune our new leader and build the name recognition, this is clearly not the case. We do not have the luxury of having a leader with zero name recognition and the need for leadership coaching to prepare for 2015 - especially when it comes to Québec. We need a leader who is a known quantity and ready from day 1 to have a strong media presence, and begin presenting our plan to take government.

This is not a sky-is-falling argument; it is a statement of fact.

Now, there's still 2 months left in the leadership race and I anticipate there will be a lot more media coverage of the race as we approach March. That will provide the other candidates (esp Nash and Topp) the opportunity to increase their profiles. But failing that, I can't see that Peggy Who? or Brian Who? can sustain the momentum.

ottawaobserver

nicky wrote:

Malcolm is almost certainly right that the Skinny Dipper poll is being skewered by certain camps. He is also right that it doesn't mean very much but it is fun.

....

Dewar seems to be the worst offender for stacking the poll. His total has more than doubled in only four days. His supporters also tend to plump for him, indicating that they just cast a fast vote for him and make no second preferences. When he is eliminated on the second last ballot he had 1596 votes, of which 835 expire without a further preferance. Generally speaking the expiry rate for other elimianted candidates is only about 20%.

So Paul, if you are reading this, you are not fooling anyone.

Of course, now that Dewar has pulled ahead, we see that Mulcair's support drops off as follows:

852 - None of these
512 - Nash
367 - Dewar

Hmmm. Pot meet kettle?

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Nash on CTV's Power Play. At the end, Peggy advocates proportional representation (Mixed Member Proportionality) for the House of Commons, and abolishing the Senate.

http://watch.ctv.ca/news/powerplay#clip596688

 

(Slightly off topic - Don Martin is so much tolerable than Evan Solomon).

Winston

OnTheLeft wrote:

(Slightly off topic - Don Martin is so much tolerable than Evan Solomon).

Very much so!!!

Winston

ottawaobserver wrote:

Of course, now that Dewar has pulled ahead, we see that Mulcair's support drops off as follows:

852 - None of these
512 - Nash
367 - Dewar

Hmmm. Pot meet kettle?

At least a few dozen of those were mine (although that's largely because my second, third, fourth and fifth choices had already dropped off).

Wink

How many of Dewars' are yours, OO???  Tongue out

algomafalcon

OnTheLeft wrote:

...

(Slightly off topic - Don Martin is so much tolerable than Evan Solomon).

 

I also agree. There is something almost tortuously constipated about the way Evan slyly inserts his spin into the preface to almost every "question" he asks his guests. Or am I the only one who sees this?

Anyways, I think Don Martin just seems more polite to his guests and does seem to listen and respond to them rather than always eagerly trying to take the "dialogue" in the direction he wants to (a la Evan Solomon)

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

KenS wrote:

Which is why organizational depth and capability in Quebec is as important as the person of the Leader.

It may well be more important - at least in those seats where we are running incumbents.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

KenS wrote:

Translation of Greek:

Decent MOE is a necessary, but by no means sufficient, condition for poll accuracy.

 

Indeed, a poll is accurate if it is within the margin of error.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

flight from kamakura wrote:

i think that many of you folks making some of these assumptions are transposing your experiences and expectations in other parts of canada onto a polity significantly different from anywhere else in the country.  quite apart from never having visited, you've never sat around a dinner table, you don't spend your summers on the magog, you don't have any friends or co-workers from saint jerome or east montreal, you didn't go to school with kids from chateauguay and saint lambert.  you haven't been servers in restos or cafes, you don't watch quebec television or listen to rad-can.  essentially, given the deafness to the quebec reality and assuming that every one of us wants the ndp in power, i can only guess that you're basing all of your assessments on the odd article that you happen across (almost always excerpted from the english canadian media), a few polls (ask gilles duceppe about how useful those are even a month out of an election), the odd post on rabble here, and a few simplistic assumptions about voting behavior.  and then you're calling my anaylses vitriolic and simplistic.

so here's why i think the way i do about quebec (putting the rest of canada aside for now):

1) broadly speaking, it has been a truism for some time, roundly and soundly accepted by virtually everyone in the province, that the quebec people are profoundly unsatisfied with the current state of political discourse, they're apathetic generally, and specifically, they don't feel represented in the current structure of party competition.  this is a general statement, and it holds true for a majority of the low to middle information voters out there, though not necessarily for the very high information voter, and certainly not for the activists.  on the one hand, this is why we've seen such absurd splintering along the sovereignist axis, and on the other hand, why you'll see individual quebec mps making choices that run against both their personal electoral interests and the best interests of the party both in quebec and canada (supporting ashton or saganash, for instance).

2) quebec voters are extremely attuned to identity.  it's present in every single aspect of daily life in quebec, and as much as reasonable accommodation has proved attractive to the media as a flashpoint, the basic and overriding issue is the french language.  it's the touchstone, and it manifests itself in different ways in different discourses.  in some iterations, it's economic, in some it's purely cultural, in others, it's racial.  different strands in quebec society feel empelled toward different lines.  anyway, for the purposes of parsimony and topical relevance, this is why dewar was never even remotely on my radar: he can't even jump the first hurdle.  and still, there are significant differences between communicating and connecting along these different lines and iterations, across the various segments of quebec society.  jack sort of lucked out, in that, the quebec people didn't really look at him all that much outside of the campaign window, and most people liked what they saw in him personally.  the accent was good even if the french wasn't; the platform didn't matter so much; the media was calling him quebecois; he had mulcair on teevee and radio every single day, all over the province (to the point that i'm pretty sure most people just assumed that jack spoke french as well as mulcair, and that he had roughly the same background, which he obviously didn't).  the next leader will be the de facto quebec voice in canada's parliament, and a major presence in the quebec public discourse.  this is someone who'll be spending a huge amount of time in quebec over the next three years, and it's critical to the ndp's success in quebec (and thus, our success nationally) that the leader connect with the various segments of quebec society that jack sort of lucked into.

3) now the candidates.  ashton has no hope of doing any of this, basically, she's too young and way too different from what quebecois expect in a politician.  i'm very much primed to her message, and still even i don't find her compelling or charismatic, she's a poor speaker in french and she's a full generation away from being effective in the province.  dewar's appalling french disqualifies him immediately.  saganash has some very weird baggage with oka and that, but beyond it, he's been an opposition figure his whole life, he's not a maka kotto type, he's been a confrontational, somewhat anti-quebec (qua integral polity) activist for his entire career.  topp alternates between smirky, uncharismatic, devious and overly earnest - he's just not ready for prime-time.  cullen's french disqualifies him.  the less said about singh the better.  nash, i don't know.  she could go over well, i can't know for sure, but my visceral reaction is that she doesn't have that personal magnetism.  mulcair, he's already the most popular politician in the province.

so that's where i'm coming from.  one can put it into terms of mulcair saving quebec seats or whatever, but the real issue is that we just don't have anyone near as trusted by the quebec people to safeguard their interests, across all segments of society.  in effect, he's the guy.  jack's breakthrough in quebec was astonishing for how wide-ranging it was across francophone society, how many different sorts of people jumped on board.  you types who feel like all we need is a social-democratic message and that the bq and lpc will just fade away, that's not at all how it works.

Y'know, length and substance aren't the same thing.  You could just have written "the sky is falling" and it would have been equally substantive.

It all comes down to you making an assumption that electing anyone but Mulcair would be a disaster.

Apparently several Quebec MPs don't agree with you since they've endorsed candidates who (shockingly) aren't Tom Mulcair.

I guess those MPs don't understand Quebec, are transposing their experiences and expectations in other parts of canada onto a polity significantly different from anywhere else in the country, have never visited Quebec, have never sat around a Quebec dinner table, have never spent their summers on the magog, have no friends or co-workers from saint jerome or east montreal, didn't go to school with kids from chateauguay and saint lambert, haven't been servers in restos or cafes, don't watch quebec television or listen to rad-can, are deaf to the quebec reality yadda, yadda, yadda.

I'm calling your "anaylsis" vitriolic and simplistic because it is.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Winston wrote:

That said, will there be polling of members done on this campaign?  Only by the campaigns.  Will we plebes (i.e. not insiders on any of the campaigns) get to see polling results of members by the various campaigns?  Probably not.

 

If one of the more well-funded campaigns comes up with some stunningly good poll numbers, they might well leak them.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

 

Like many of Mulcair's highish profile nominations outside Quebec, Reg Basken was most prominent and influential a generation or more ago.

(By way of odd connections, I conducted the funerals of both of Reg's parents in the late 1980s.)

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

flight from kamakura wrote:

there's no dichotomy.  that mulcair would be the candidate who would give us the best shot of holding/growing the quebec base is basic to his appeal as leader, something quite apart from his position as our best communicator and parliamentarian.  plus the beard!  who doesn't trust a beardo?

 

And y'know, I don't think anyone has disputed that.  Mulcair is probabl in the best position to consolidate the gains in Quebec.

Where we disagree is your histrionics about how the election of any other candidate will ensure that we lose the vast majority of the 59 Quebec seats at the next election. It's possible we'd lose those seats with (say) Dewar as leader.  It's also possible we'd lose them with Mulcair as leader.  There are (whether you are prepared to admit it or not) other variables at play.

Stick to your lines from this post.  They are useful cntributions. 

The other crap (especially juvenile sexist references) are not helping your candidate.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

KenS wrote:

But it's not 'theoretical'. We have seen this before. The 1997 Alexa coatails Atlantic breakthrough produced a more modest version of MPs who had no expectation of winning. Peter Stoffer was among those. Whatever people here think about Peter, he learned very fast and is a very capable politician. Some of the others were duds or worse.

 

It was a little funny in the last thread (or was it the thread before) when someone tried to spin this example using the observation that both Stoffer and Godin have become fixtures in their constituencies to prove that leader coat tails aren't important - completely missing the fact that neither Stoffer nor Godin would likely have won in 1997 without Alexa's coat tails.

In fact, the Atlantic breakthrough of 1997 is an excellent model to discuss the way the Quebec breakthrough is likely to play out.

In 1997, we won eight seats in a region where we had never won an aggregate of eight seats in the previous 65 years.  To a greater or lesser extent, the other seven were all elected on Alexa's coat tails.  I don't really know how many of them were poteax maritime, but here's how it worked out:

  • Two MPs (Dockerill and Vautour) turned out to be highly ineffective.
  • Two MPs (Earle and Mancini) developed reputations a effective MPs but were unable to get re-elected.
  • Two MPs (Stoffer and Godin) turned their constituencies into personal fortresses - though we don't yet know the party's prospects when they eventually step down.
  • One MP (Lill) successfully held the seat for as long as she continued as the candidate, but the party lost the seat once she stepped down (only regaining it in the Orange Surge)
  • One MP (McDonough) continued to hold the seat against strong Liberal challenges, and the party continued to hold the seat after her retirement.

Now, had the NDP been on the ascendency in 2000, it's reasonable to assume that Mancini and Earle would have had a much better chance of holding their seats, and that the NDP might have been better placed to hold Dockerill's and Vautour's seats, albeit possibly with new candidates.

ottawaobserver

Malcolm wrote:

In 1997, we won eight seats in a region where we had never won an aggregate of eight seats in the previous 65 years.  To a greater or lesser extent, the other seven were all elected on Alexa's coat tails.  I don't really know how many of them were poteax maritime, but here's how it worked out:

  • Two MPs (Dockerill and Vautour) turned out to be highly ineffective.
  • Two MPs (Earle and Mancini) developed reputations a effective MPs but were unable to get re-elected.
  • Two MPs (Stoffer and Godin) turned their constituencies into personal fortresses - though we don't yet know the party's prospects when they eventually step down.
  • One MP (Lill) successfully held the seat for as long as she continued as the candidate, but the party lost the seat once she stepped down (only regaining it in the Orange Surge)
  • One MP (McDonough) continued to hold the seat against strong Liberal challenges, and the party continued to hold the seat after her retirement.

Now, had the NDP been on the ascendency in 2000, it's reasonable to assume that Mancini and Earle would have had a much better chance of holding their seats, and that the NDP might have been better placed to hold Dockerill's and Vautour's seats, albeit possibly with new candidates.

Dockrill was a poteaux. Vautour had been a high profile critic of EI cuts in that area, when folks were mad at the Liberals. She later crossed to the PCs.

Both Earle and Mancini were in very heavily Liberal ridings, and got elected because of how mad people were at the Libs, and also at least in Hfx West, because it was the first election where the Reform Party ran candidates out east, which cut into various people's votes in an unpredictable way.

Lill had won on a 3-way split. It was going to be hard to beat a Savage in Dartmouth after the fallout from municipal amalgamation, until the Liberals were marginalized in the province.

Stoffer still canvasses every single week, and personally telephones everyone in his riding who writes him a letter. He has never turned on a computer, but has bar none the best constituency skills of anyone I've seen in Parliament since George Baker. He may get vote shares in the sixties, but he never takes any of it for granted, and works like a demon, and that's why he gets them.

Godin is an Acadian institution by now, but more and more francophones up that way have been voting NDP more and more often by now.

ottawaobserver

Winston wrote:

ottawaobserver wrote:

Of course, now that Dewar has pulled ahead, we see that Mulcair's support drops off as follows:

852 - None of these
512 - Nash
367 - Dewar

Hmmm. Pot meet kettle?

At least a few dozen of those were mine (although that's largely because my second, third, fourth and fifth choices had already dropped off).

I have experimented with that poll a little bit, but I always mark all 8 or 9 preferences. The exercise has helped reconfirm my desire to vote one ballot at a time on voting day, though, I can tell you.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Winston wrote:

OnTheLeft wrote:

(Slightly off topic - Don Martin is so much tolerable than Evan Solomon).

Very much so!!!

Solomon has done a great job with his Attawapiskat coverage - really going after the Cons and in particular John Duncan. And he has mocked the Cons purchase of the F35s - bringing in the PBO to back up the case that the F35s are overpriced and under-budgetted. I find Martin dull and boring.

 

flight from kamakura

Malcolm wrote:
Y'know, length and substance aren't the same thing.  You could just have written "the sky is falling" and it would have been equally substantive.

It all comes down to you making an assumption that electing anyone but Mulcair would be a disaster.

Apparently several Quebec MPs don't agree with you since they've endorsed candidates who (shockingly) aren't Tom Mulcair.

I guess those MPs don't understand Quebec, are transposing their experiences and expectations in other parts of canada onto a polity significantly different from anywhere else in the country, have never visited Quebec, have never sat around a Quebec dinner table, have never spent their summers on the magog, have no friends or co-workers from saint jerome or east montreal, didn't go to school with kids from chateauguay and saint lambert, haven't been servers in restos or cafes, don't watch quebec television or listen to rad-can, are deaf to the quebec reality yadda, yadda, yadda.

I'm calling your "anaylsis" vitriolic and simplistic because it is.

you don't get it.  there's a massive divide betwen the activists and the general populace.  a fluke mp from abitibi is someone who occupies a place in the political spectrum nowhere near the median.  i can't emphasize this enough: being left is not the route to consolidating the quebec gains.  the way to consolidating those gains is to choose a leader who quebecois from all social strata can feel will represent their interests.  and the very first place this starts in quebec is language.  the second is political discourse.  we have a situation in quebec where a right-wing (/"non-ideological"/"common sense"/ras-le-bol) party is poised to sweep aside the pq.  for me, this is astonishing, like to a point where i'm following it every day.  what new democrats don't understand is how little the actual ideology has to do with layton's "orange crush".  it was about presenting a credible alternative to the three parties that quebecois felt no longer represented them, and it was about lucky timing (unlike the three years that the next leader will have to present herself/himself to the quebec people) and it was about a certain baseline set of personal characteristics that appeal to a broad number of people who don't spend a lot of time thinking about things political.  my "analysis" is borne of the fruit of knowing quebec and the people.  new democrats can choose whoever they want, but i'll be damned if i won't do everything i can to make sure that people are making their decisions fully informed of exactly where the quebec seats stand.

the atlantic comparison is a pretty good one, but inexact - the cultural divide is far far more vast in this case, and the stakes are much higher.  quebecois didn't vote for us because of the governments cuts to regional subsidies, and they didn't vote for us because of a favorite son effect (though that was a critical component), the voted ndp because they trusted ndp on a certain set of issues immutable, issues that we as a party can't really understand because we haven't ever really cared, because quebec has been irrelevant to ndp electoral fortunes.  again, i'll just say that i'm just so glad that we have a mulcair, who is so effective in both languages, instead of a dion who appeals to the base but very few beyond.

anecdotally, i have a story i'll relate.  i have a friend, very active with the lpc at mcgill, undergrad and grad, and he was a hardcore dion organizer in montreal.  if that convention had been held anywhere else, i'm sure that count iggsley would have won it handily.  my friend brought every single dion partisan possible, rigged every delegate selection meeting, etc. to give his man the best possible position.  the point is that he (a perfectly bilingual francophone) just believed in his candidate.  he couldn't see the full view of who the party needed to win government, he couldn't see the path to power, he assumed ontario seats, and so forth.  we worked on opposite sides of the mulcair by-election.  anyway, that's what we can't do.

Unionist

Flight from kamakura's impressionistic account very much resembles my own perception of where many Quebecers are at. I disagree with him slightly when he says it's "not about ideology", because I believe that "ideology" is something very different from partisan platforms and electoral promises. Many Quebecers shared and exhibited an "ideological" abhorrence of Harper and the values he represents, when they sought an effective alternative and thought they had found one in the NDP. Likewise, Quebecers are responding to polls saying they'll support the just-founded CAQ, without having the minutest clue what its "ideology" is.

But overall, I think what FMK says ought to be listened to carefully by anyone who wants to do serious organizing in Québec.

Bookish Agrarian

FFK   I am curious why you seem to dismiss Romeo Saganash so out of hand.  Admittedly my Quebec contacts are limited to farmers, but your abject dismissal seems odd to me.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

ottawaobserver wrote:

Stoffer still canvasses every single week, and personally telephones everyone in his riding who writes him a letter. He has never turned on a computer, but has bar none the best constituency skills of anyone I've seen in Parliament since George Baker. He may get vote shares in the sixties, but he never takes any of it for granted, and works like a demon, and that's why he gets them.

 

I think Stoffer phones everyone who sends him a letter or an email (even if it's his staff who read the email).  I emailed him about an issue and got a call on my cell a couple of days later.

Winston

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

FFK   I am curious why you seem to dismiss Romeo Saganash so out of hand.  Admittedly my Quebec contacts are limited to farmers, but your abject dismissal seems odd to me.

I don't know how FFK will respond, and don't presume to have nearly the finger on the pulse of Québec that he does, but my impressions of Roméo were greatly tarnished by his abortive foray into the Québec national question, challenging as he did some of the key points of the Sherbrooke Declaration (i.e. specifically the 50%+1 tenet) and the "divisibility" of Québec.  While Roméo's points no doubt merit consideration from a legal perspective, he was so entirely off-message from what the Party is trying to convey, and what I think the general consensus is in francophone Québec that I concluded he wasn't quite ready for prime time.

My view is that Roméo would be perceived in Québec much the same way as the Chrétien/Dion Liberals were: i.e. we would remain competitive in areas with a high anglo/allo population, but write off large sections of the "bluet" ROQ.

Wilf Day

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Admittedly my Quebec contacts are limited to farmers, but your abject dismissal seems odd to me.

Do we have any MPs from Quebec who were/are active in farm organizations other than Francine Raynault?

Are her reasons for supporting Niki Ashton (see post #54) shared by any of your contacts? If not, why not? I want to know what factors are at play.

ottawaobserver

Yes, exactly, Malcolm. Same thing happened to me with Stoffer's office.

Winston

Malcolm wrote:

ottawaobserver wrote:

Stoffer still canvasses every single week, and personally telephones everyone in his riding who writes him a letter. He has never turned on a computer, but has bar none the best constituency skills of anyone I've seen in Parliament since George Baker. He may get vote shares in the sixties, but he never takes any of it for granted, and works like a demon, and that's why he gets them.

I think Stoffer phones everyone who sends him a letter or an email (even if it's his staff who read the email).  I emailed him about an issue and got a call on my cell a couple of days later.

Same here.  I sent his staff an e-mail for a friend with a Veteran's Affairs question and he called me back within a day (I don't even live anywhere near Nova Scotia.

I have the utmost respect for the man, in spite of what I suspect are some rather large differences on policy.  The man is exactly what a politician is meant to be - a strong advocate for his/her constituents and a tireless worker on their behalf.  I have seen people from all parties that exhibit these characteristics, but they are such a rarity that they should be cherished wherever they happen to appear. 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

My problem with FFK is that he isn't paying attention to a damned thing anyone else says, and then rages at them for an assortment of things they didn't say.

Nobody has said that who wins the leadership is irrelevant.

Few posters (if any) have said that Mulcair isn't in the best position to consolidate the gains in Quebec.

Nobody has said that holding the bulk of those seats is a sure thing.

Yet FFK keeps railing on about things that clutter up his darkest imaginings.

And he offers up a completely unproven (and unprovable) hypothesis that any candidate but Mulcair ensures the loss of the vast majority of seats, following it up with the equally unproven (and unprovable) theory that the mere election of Mulcair insulates us from virtually everything that could go wrong.

Perhaps if he bothered to read what other people said, his responses wouldn't be so bloody infuriating (or so bloody vapid).

And while no comparison is ever exact, the fact that the reasons for the Atlantic sweep of 97 and the Quebec sweep of 11 happened in different contexts and for different reasons does not invalidate the fairly limited lessons people have atempted to draw from them - including (and especially) the fact that "favoured son" coat tails are not sufficient to replicate a sweep.

 

flight from kamakura

sure, it's anecdotal, but i'm right.  and i read the other responses, and what i say isn't vapid, at least i hope it isn't.  the point, globally, is that we need to lock down a huge number of quebec seats to win government, because there just aren't that many ndp seats to be won across the country.  if we win 60 quebec seats + 40 ndp-leaning seats, we're 55 (or 67 if the new parliament comes in there) away from government.  i support mulcair because i'm sure in my heart that he's the one who gets us victories in those extra seats we need, and i'm anti-everyone else because i see them losing the quebec seats we need even to be competive.

what was it jack said about radical pragmatism?

Winston

Malcolm wrote:

My problem with FFK is that he isn't paying attention to a damned thing anyone else says, and then rages at them for an assortment of things they didn't say.

I haven't found FFK to be anything close to raging.  Others on this board, perhaps (maybe even myself!), but not him.  If anything, it appears to me that he presents very well-thought-out, reasoned and thorough (lengthy?) arguments.

Malcolm wrote:

Yet FFK keeps railing on about things that clutter up his darkest imaginings.

That's rather unfair, don't you think?

Malcolm wrote:

And he offers up a completely unproven (and unprovable) hypothesis that any candidate but Mulcair ensures the loss of the vast majority of seats, following it up with the equally unproven (and unprovable) theory that the mere election of Mulcair insulates us from virtually everything that could go wrong.

He offers up a compelling case that many of (myself included) have come to agree with.  Electing Mulcair doesn't insulate us from anything, but he is so clearly head and shoulders above the rest vis à vis Québec (almost anyone who reads the francophone press would come to that conclusion - I guess that's just my opinion, but I've been reading Le Devoir every day for years) and it would be utter folly not to take that under serious consideration. 

Malcolm wrote:

Perhaps if he bothered to read what other people said, his responses wouldn't be so bloody infuriating (or so bloody vapid).

I'm sure he does, and the fact that others responses seem to be so blind or dismissive to all of his (what I think are perfectly valid) points makes him rather frustrated.

Someone else (not FFK) said in one of the threads that he/she felt like the Party was cruising straight for another "1989" in this leadership race.  It is a comparison that frightens me but one that I also worry is troublingly apt.

I am not an insider; I am only a donor/voter/erstwhile volunteer. I waited until after the debates to make a decision, but it seems so clear (and clearer with every passing day) to me that Mulcair is "the one" to lead us to victory in 2015.  I am so certain that my work colleagues and friends and everyone else on the progressive spectrum (our voters, and the Green and Liberal voters we need to win over) see it the same way that it absolutely floors me that so many actually in the Party don't.

Go out and talk to average voters - see what they think.  They will tell you that they have no idea who Peggy Nash or Brian Topp is, or worse yet they will explain to you how they are the "old" (i.e. pre-Jack) NDP. 

Progressive voters (not necessarily Party insiders) want Stephen Harper gone in 2015.  They expect us to credibly show we can do that.  If you can honestly see Niki Ashton or Paul Dewar (seriously!!!) defeating Harper, then power to you.  No go out door-to-door with average folk (not Party members)...and not in Wolseley or the Annex...out to the suburbs in Brampton or Maple Ridge or South Winnipeg - places where we need to win seats and go and try to convince them.  Because what I'm hearing from those suburban folk whom I work and spend my days with is that they are not following the race because "the whole thing is a joke" (they usually cite the sheer number of candidates) or from the ones that are following it, "you guys would have to be idiots not to select Mulcair."

Hunky_Monkey

Winston wrote:

I've heard the same thing from my Tory friends. Actually, one Red Tory friend from Ontario asked me if we were nuts because of the media stories about Topp being the frontrunner. Said he'd even be open to voting for us with Mulcair as leader...

I know everyone has their own criteria and such for selecting a leader and I respect that but it baffles my mind how some determine their choice. Reminds me again of the Republicans in the US... shoot themselves in the foot because they want to be "pure" or find the most right-wing candidate... while the only one in the race who could possibly defeat Obama is at the back of the pack.

Winston

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Winston wrote:
I've heard the same thing from my Tory friends. Actually, one Red Tory friend from Ontario asked me if we were nuts because of the media stories about Topp being the frontrunner. Said he'd even be open to voting for us with Mulcair as leader... I know everyone has their own criteria and such for selecting a leader and I respect that but it baffles my mind how some determine their choice. Reminds me again of the Republicans in the US... shoot themselves in the foot because they want to be "pure" or find the most right-wing candidate... while the only one in the race who could possibly defeat Obama is at the back of the pack.

One of my Liberal friends expressed the faint hope that if we "reject" Mulcair (her words), he would jump over to lead them!  If that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is.

My mom was telling me today about how she was trying to drum up support with her Green Party friends in suburban Toronto.  This one friend of hers told her, "Patti, I accept the fact that I will have to vote for Mulcair to get rid of Harper, but I'm not going to buy an NDP membership to make him leader!" 

AnonymousMouse

Winston wrote:

My mom was telling me today about how she was trying to drum up support with her Green Party friends in suburban Toronto.  This one friend of hers told her, "Patti, I accept the fact that I will have to vote for Mulcair to get rid of Harper, but I'm not going to buy an NDP membership to make him leader!" 

We're all going to have to get used to being on the "winning side" strategic voting-wise. I can only imagine how painful it must be for hardcore Liberal patisans to hear this sort of stuff after decades of being on the other side.

Winston

AnonymousMouse wrote:
We're all going to have to get used to being on the "winning side" strategic voting-wise. I can only imagine how painful it must be for hardcore Liberal patisans to hear this sort of stuff after decades of being on the other side.

Hopefully we accept this new reality with a modicum of humility, as well as a renewed committment to democratic reform - the Liberals didn't - and see where it got them.

NorthReport
Wilf Day

A friend says he was at a Q&A session with Thomas Mulcair in Edmonton. There were about 150 people
in attendance.
He was asked about his position on PR and his answer was that he
understands that PR is a good principle but said that it would require amending
the constitution and that he does not want to bother with constitutional
amendments.

Was anyone else here at that meeting? Did he really say that? That's terribly dismaying.
First, I suspect he knows better, but just wanted to change the topic (why?). Alternatively, he really thinks PR would require amending the constitution, in which case he has failed to find out anything about it.

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