NDP Leadership 66

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Slumberjack

I think he may very well be your leader one day soon.

ottawaobserver

Yes, Wilf, I saw something like that on Twitter as well.

NDPP

the perfect guy for the job too...

AnonymousMouse

Let's keep in mind that the guy who tweeted this (if we're referring to the same tweet) is an avowed opponent of Mulcair and used the words "likened" and "on par with" constitutional change, not that Mulcair claimed it would actually require a constitutional change.

Presumably a politician from Quebec is gonna be pretty attuned to the idea that there might be problems passing PR at the federal level without consulting with the provinces and that those consultations could create problems.

Obviously suggesting that passing PR may be more difficult than we think may not sit well with everyone, but the description of Mulcair's remarks that I saw seemed to suggest that he was referring to a hurdle we would face in trying to pass PR not an objection to it or misunderstanding of it.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Winston wrote:

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.

 

Might I suggest that a few Mulcair supporters around here should take this advice by the bucketful.  Their current histrionics are not helping their candidate in the least.

Hunky_Monkey

Malcolm... wow... you really still got issues with that leadership race, huh? lol

I'll say again... under Meili, you may have received the same result... maybe even a worse result if that could have been possible.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Winston wrote:

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."

 

Now why does that sound familiar to me?

Oh yeah.

 

Quote:

Go out and talk to average voters - see what they think.  They will tell you that they have no idea who Ryan Meili or Yens Pedersen is.

Progressive voters (not necessarily Party insiders) want Brad Wall gone in 2011.  They expect us to credibly show we can do that.  If you can honestly see Ryan Meili or Yens Pedersen (seriously!!!) defeating Wall, then power to you.  No go out door-to-door with average folk (not Party members)...and not in Riversdale or North Central...out to the suburbs in Silver Springs or Lakeridge or South Regina - 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" or from the ones that are following it, "you guys would have to be idiots not to select Lingenfelter."

That's why it sounds so familiar.

And that, at the end of the day, is why I think it's a bullshit argument that does no justice the the very real strengths of Mulcair as a candidate.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Anything is possible, HM.  But the koolaid drinkers all assured us that Link was a sure bet.  Turned out the koolaid drinkers were all full of shit.  And it came out pretty much like the rest of us predicted.  (Actually, worse than most of us predicted.  Plus we put off any serious work on party renewal by at least two years.)

Hunky_Monkey

I can understand the concerns a lot of New Democrats have regarding Quebec. It's a precious gift that gave our party real legitimacy. We don't want to throw it away and we can if we pick the wrong leader. That leads many to Mulcair for logical reasons. You yourself Malcolm have said he's probably the best suited to maintain our new support in Quebec if I'm not mistaken. For me, it's that he'll sell the best in Quebec... and for the same reasons he'll sell the best in the rest of Canada. He's the best communicator... the best in debate... wants to continue Jack Layton's work in reaching out to Canadians who haven't supported us in the past... and quite frankly, has the gravitas to be Prime Minister.

BTW... other candidates have that important quality though not all. I think Nash does for example however she falls short in other categories. It's essential especially now that we're picking the leader of the official opposition and prime minister-in-waiting.

E-flat

In Calgary Thursday Mulcair also said, yes we should fight for PR, but realistically it's not going to happen, because it would involve opening constitutional renegotiation.  And he said there is a long list of older constitutional grievances that would need to be dealt with first (or words to that effect).  

Technically it may be true that some forms or PR would require constitutional amendment - see http://www.fairvote.ca/sites/fairvote.ca/files/VotingCountsElectoralRefo... (Thanks Wilf) - but clearly other forms would not.

So this comment perplexed and disappointed me somewhat.  Perhaps he has a majority on his mind?

Hunky_Monkey

He basically said we should fight for it but it's not going to happen?

Think we should wait for an exact quote or statement :)

ottawaobserver

Yeah, there are varying stories about what was said on my Facebook feed, too. It sounds like he compared it to abolishing the Senate or something. Too many versions of what was said to take any one of them at face value, for now.

Winston

Malcolm wrote:

Go out and talk to average voters - see what they think.  They will tell you that they have no idea who Ryan Meili or Yens Pedersen is.

Progressive voters (not necessarily Party insiders) want Brad Wall gone in 2011.  They expect us to credibly show we can do that.  If you can honestly see Ryan Meili or Yens Pedersen (seriously!!!) defeating Wall, then power to you.  No go out door-to-door with average folk (not Party members)...and not in Riversdale or North Central...out to the suburbs in Silver Springs or Lakeridge or South Regina - 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" or from the ones that are following it, "you guys would have to be idiots not to select Lingenfelter."

Malcolm:

I would have supported Ryan Meili had I been living in Saskatchewan at the time (as it is, I sent his campaign a cheque for $100 and I was living in Manitoba).  The reason I thought he was the best choice is because I saw in the Saskatchewan NDP a Party that had been in power for a very long time, had become accustomed to it and had been recently (and resoundingly) defeated.  A strong dose of renewal was required for the Party, but unfortunately those in high positions in the Party, much as had the Federal Liberals, thought they were entitled to power and that there was a quick fix to get them there.

I think (hope?) we can agree that the circumstances facing the Federal Party are markedly different.  To wit, we are not in power, nor have we ever been - no sense of entitlement there.  We have already gone through a significant amount of "renewal": that all started in the 90s and culminated with the selection of Jack Layton as our leader, who continued the renewal bringing in new faces (one of whom happens to be a very prominent MP from Montréal), as well as engaging, bringing in, developing and hiring young people.

I am sorry about the rut you all are in in Saskatchewan - I really am, but many of us in the rest of the country are optimistic about the future for our federal Party, which is currently on an ascendent path, and see no need to go through the 10 or so years of introspective navel-gazing that is more than likely in store for the Saskatchewan NDP.

I guess my point is that I did not think several years back that the SK NDP had any hope in hell of winning in 2011, so I figured it would be best to choose the leader that would renew the Party over several election cycles.  By contrast, I think the Federal NDP CAN win in 2015, and I think we need a leader who can bring us there.  It's not a slight against Niki, who I found very impressive in the debates, but I don't think the Canadian public will look at her right now and say, "there's a Prime Minister."  You may very well disagree, but there it is.  I think Pierre-Luc Dusseault is an incredibly sharp and intelligent young MP - he has been absolutely brilliant when I have heard him on the radio. Should we make him leader?  Sure his English needs work, but he could always shack up with his tutor over the holidays! 

And another thing, you may wish to look up "histrionics" in the dictionary soon.  It is a word you have hurled about no fewer than 3 times in this thread alone, and some of your posts definitely seem to verge upon it.

Policywonk

Malcolm wrote:

 

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.)

Basken was also President of the Alberta NDP within the past decade.

Howard

Background on Krog: strong constituency MLA, former cabinet minister, current justice critic, runner-up to Carole James for the BC NDP leadership

incidentally, he won in a riding that had been redistributed to be majority BC Liberal (based on 2005 results) in the 2009 election.

Howard

Malcolm wrote:

Winston wrote:

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."

 

Now why does that sound familiar to me?

Oh yeah.

 

Quote:

Go out and talk to average voters - see what they think.  They will tell you that they have no idea who Ryan Meili or Yens Pedersen is.

Progressive voters (not necessarily Party insiders) want Brad Wall gone in 2011.  They expect us to credibly show we can do that.  If you can honestly see Ryan Meili or Yens Pedersen (seriously!!!) defeating Wall, then power to you.  No go out door-to-door with average folk (not Party members)...and not in Riversdale or North Central...out to the suburbs in Silver Springs or Lakeridge or South Regina - 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" or from the ones that are following it, "you guys would have to be idiots not to select Lingenfelter."

That's why it sounds so familiar.

And that, at the end of the day, is why I think it's a bullshit argument that does no justice the the very real strengths of Mulcair as a candidate.

Lingenfelter was the head of lobbying for an Alberta (energy) company. He had been out of politics for decades. He ran a campaign completely about rallying the establishment around him. Sound like anyone in this race?

Howard

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Howard

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KenS

I'll bite and say the obvious: sounds like your read of Topp.a surprising amount to do w

Not that you have any basis for seeing Topp going after the current membership proportionately over anyone else.

I can think of a number of reasons that his campaign would not do that.

The one reason I think it might be true, is if Topp's campaign lives up to his reputation and does a really good job in contact work- without which I cannot see him winning... there is a great deal of work in that and tuning of organization. Database you work with has a surprising amount to do with that. Working with a database you are building, both takes more resources par contacts made [the prep work in assembling a list of who to contact is neither obvious or trivial], and things just do not go as well. You dont get as much done, and the quality of the contact work can be poor.

And what is the ready to go database?

Which has nothing to do with the reason you attribute for Topp being likely to go to the existing membership.

The same is true for the Dewar campaign- who we have pretty good information has already done a lot on the ground. I'd be curious to be a fly on the wall and see how their work is distributed between existing and new memberships. [And BTW, a great deal of the 'new' members are lapsed people still in the party's database.] 

Building your contact base is a long term project- which this leadership race is not.

Howard

KenS wrote:

I'll bite and say the obvious: sounds like your read of Topp.a surprising amount to do w

Not that you have any basis for seeing Topp going after the current membership proportionately over anyone else.

I can think of a number of reasons that his campaign would not do that.

The one reason I think it might be true, is if Topp's campaign lives up to his reputation and does a really good job in contact work- without which I cannot see him winning... there is a great deal of work in that and tuning of organization. Database you work with has a surprising amount to do with that. Working with a database you are building, both takes more resources par contacts made [the prep work in assembling a list of who to contact is neither obvious or trivial], and things just do not go as well. You dont get as much done, and the quality of the contact work can be poor.

And what is the ready to go database?

Which has nothing to do with the reason you attribute for Topp being likely to go to the existing membership.

The same is true for the Dewar campaign- who we have pretty good information has already done a lot on the ground. I'd be curious to be a fly on the wall and see how their work is distributed between existing and new memberships. [And BTW, a great deal of the 'new' members are lapsed people still in the party's database.] 

Building your contact base is a long term project- which this leadership race is not.

I agree that this point I made is irrelevant, and that is why I removed it from my post.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

ottawaobserver wrote:

Yeah, there are varying stories about what was said on my Facebook feed, too. It sounds like he compared it to abolishing the Senate or something. Too many versions of what was said to take any one of them at face value, for now.

I was there. The reports are largely accurate. Mulcair said PR is worth fighting for, but that because it requires constitutional change it's a fight not likely to be won anytime soon.

Unionist

Malcolm, I seem to recall you favoured Dion Tchorzewski for Sask leader. Where did he end up?

More to the point:

Ashamed to say I haven't been following the nuances of the leadership race too closely, so just wondering: Has any of the candidates made PR a personal priority?

 

 

 

Stockholm

Lou Arab wrote:

I was there. The reports are largely accurate. Mulcair said PR is worth fighting for, but that because it requires constitutional change it's a fight not likely to be won anytime soon.

Is that even accurate? I was under the impression that a simple vote in the House of Commons and Senate would be all it would take to change from FPTP to PR for federal elections and that it would not require anything constitutional. BTW Lou, what were your impressions of Mulcair overall?

Stockholm

BTW: PR is one of those issues that brings to mind the old saying "be careful about wishing for something - it might happen". Let's face it - if Canada had PR nationally, the most likely result would be centre-right UK-style Tory-Liberal coalition governments for eternity. The powers that be would lean HEAVILY on the elitist Bay St. types in the Liberal Party to NEVER let the NDP anywhere near power and we would have Cameron-Clegg style government until the end of time.

Winston

Stockholm wrote:

BTW: PR is one of those issues that brings to mind the old saying "be careful about wishing for something - it might happen". Let's face it - if Canada had PR nationally, the most likely result would be centre-right UK-style Tory-Liberal coalition governments for eternity. The powers that be would lean HEAVILY on the elitist Bay St. types in the Liberal Party to NEVER let the NDP anywhere near power and we would have Cameron-Clegg style government until the end of time.

Perhaps...but I doubt it.  I agree with you that the Liberals would most likely be the Tories coalition partner, but I don't agree that we would face Tory/Lib coalitions "until the end of time".  Likely, more and more left Liberals would bleed to us in that scenario, to the point where we would usually be the largest Party in the House, whether or not we were in government (as is the case with many of the European Labout/SocDem parties.

Most of the European systems where PR is in place have 2 or more principal parties after the big two - each "side" has its typical coalition partners.  In most of these countries the conservative parties have liberal/free democrat coalition partners, while the social democrats usually have green or left (i.e. reconstructed communist) parties as coalition partners.

I had this long discussion last year with a friend of mine who was arguing for a 2-party system on the basis that that would be the "only" way we ever defeat the Tories.  I hate 2-party systems (the only thing worse than them is 1-party system).  My main reason for disliking them is that they function largely based on vote suppression.  If I live in the U.S. and get disillusioned with the Democrats, then my options are typically to vote Republican (which I would never do) or stay home.  

In a PR-based system, on the other hand, voters are given other options.  If I ever tired of the Swedish Social Democrats, I can always choose to cast my ballot for the Left Party or the Greens.  If I was a conservative who tired of the Moderate Party, I could always cast for the Liberals or the Centre Party.

It is conceivable, likely actually, that were PR implemented in Canada, we would see a similar set-up with Green/NDP and Liberal/Tory axes.  It already seems to be happening in BC (in spite of the lack of PR).

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yeah, because FPTP has worked out so well. Wink

 

(I'd love to see an NDP majority, but will it ever happen?)

Unionist

What is Mulcair on about? Even [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/946842--hebert-ndp-taking-wro... Hébert[/url] recognizes that PR doesn't need a constitutional amendment. Why would he say such a thing if it's so easily discredited?

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Changing our voting system from first past the post to PR would be very simple. All it would require is for an amendment to be passed to the Canada Elections Act, replacing FPTP with PR. This could be accomplished with an NDP majority, or even perhaps an NDP minority government with some votes from the Liberals and Bloc.

I disagree with Stockholm that we would end up with a centre-right UK-style Tory-Liberal coalition. The majority of the Liberal Party's base prefers coalition or cooperation with the NDP. Liberal coalitions with the Conservatives would be disastrous for the Liberal Party.

Nonetheless, this is extremely troubling to hear from Mulcair. Jack Layton made electoral reform and proportional representation a major priority for the party, with PR now in our federal party's platform, and even bringing it up in the 2011 English Leaders' Debate, citing how FPTP screws the Green Party (which is unparalleled, one federal party sticking up for another - way to go Jack!). But now Mulcair is apparently brushing this major issue aside? WTF! This is the biggest problem with Canadian politics and our democracy, this is why Harper is doing whatever he wants, bringing a Republican style government to Canada. This is why voter turnout is so low and the Liberals and Conservatives have no credibility when it comes to reforming our democratic institutions, which are stuck in the 19th century! If all of the accounts so far are accurate, than Mulcair has fallen even further on my ballot now.

Winston

I don't know that implementing PR would be as simple as passing a statute; it may indeed require some changes to the Constitution - specifically the bits (legacies of the BNA Act) relating to the number of seats to which each province is entitled and the ratio of Senate seats to Commons seats.  While in principle, PR could be easily implemented in those provinces with a high number of seats, it would be less easy in smaller provinces, which may need to be "pooled" in order to provide a large enough number of seats to implemented.  There have been other studies (by Fair Vote Canada, etc) that said we may require some Constitutional tinkering to implement PR.

Will the implementation of PR require Constitutional amendment? Perhaps.  Would it be worth it, though?  Absolutely.

MegB

Closing for length.

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