NDP Leadership 67

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NDP Leadership 67

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Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Matters for the previous thread.

 

@ Unionist

Dion Tchorzewski didn't run.  Like mos of those who had been encouraging him, I ended up supporting Ryan Meili.

 

@ Winston and Howard

Do you actually think that being condescending and contemptuous helps your candidate's case?

The point of my analogy to the SNDP leadership race in 2009 was NOT to suggest that the situations are precisely the same.  That, frankly, is an idiotic interpretation.

My salient point was that people who claim to know for certain what will happen in politics two to four years hence are usually full of shit.

Neither you nor I know what is going to happen in four years regardless of who wins.  Clearly you believe that Mulcair is in the best position both to consolidate the gains in Quebec and to make further gains elsewhere.  Fine.  Argue it.  Make your case.

However what has been happening from a handful of Mlcair supporters over the past couple of threads - especially FFK and implicitly in your posts - has been a far less compelling argument which might best be paraphrased: "If you don't agree with our prognostications then you are an idiot who is out to destroy the NDP."

Might I suggest that this is not the most persuasive approach.

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

 

Winston wrote:

 
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.

 

Starting on page 163:

 

Is it necessary to hold a referendum to change the electoral system? There is no constitutional impediment to changing the electoral system without a referendum. Indeed, in the past, electoral reforms at various levels of government in Canada have been adopted by the simple passage of legislation. More recently, in Quebec, for example, the government of Jean Charest has pledged to introduce some element of proportional representation into the system within two years of its election. Such a move would have widespread support in the electorate, since both the Parti Québécois and the Action démocratique du Québec have publicly endorsed electoral reform and the Estates-General have already conducted extensive public consultations on the issue.

Recommendation 19

 

The federal government should prepare draft legislation on a mixed member proportional electoral system as proposed in this Report. After drafting the legislation, a Parliamentary committee should initiate a public consultation process on the proposed new electoral system.

Recommendation 20

 

The public consultation process should be broadly representative and adequately resourced. It could consider the option of holding a referendum.

 

Recommendation 21

 

Elections Canada should be given at least a two-year preparation period before an election under the new electoral system is held.

 

6.2 Support for Democratic Participation

After Electoral Reform

 

Electoral reform legislation should include a provision for formal review of the new system after a period of time, perhaps following two or three elections conducted under the new system. Such a review would examine how the new electoral system is functioning, and determine whether any improvements or modifications are necessary.

 

 

http://www.fairvote.ca/sites/fairvote.ca/files/VotingCountsElectoralReformforCanada.pdf

 

 

The Law Commission of Canada concluded that legislation can be introduced to replace first past the post with proportional representation, specifically recommending Mixed Member Proportionality for Canada. (Holding a referendum is optional, as the Conservatives, some Liberals, and of course all of the anti-PR talking heads, pundits and those within the media could completely distort and confuse the issue for the electorate).

 
(Unless I've missed something here, perhaps Wilf Day could make a correction).

NorthReport

In the last election the Cons crushed the NDP 72 seats to 15 seats, with 5 seats going to the also-rans in Western Canada.  With power shifting dramatically to the West in Canada, and better later than never coming to the party I suppose for Chantal Hebert, the NDP to stay politically relevant must address this, more than 4 seats to 1 seat against the NDP, huge political deficit. Now that Mulcair has firmly established a beachhead for the NDP in Quebec, many NDP voters will be watching his forays into Western Canada with increased hope and interest. The endorsement of Leonard Krog, who is one of the major hitters within the BC NDP, and the comments today of Western Canada Rabble blogger djclimenhaga provides us with indications that Mulcair is having an excellent beginning.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/djclimenhaga/2012/01/first-impressions-n...

quizzical

From Winston in the other thread:

 

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.  

I have been reading all these leader threads with a lot of interest. Only other information available from the inside, sort of, is from my mom, who just says `Peggy Nash', or if I want a contemporary of mine is `Niki Ashton', and `Mulcair over my dead body'.
Not that I have a membership and can vote for a new leader, I do feel I have a vested interest in who that leader may be. That is why I am reading with interest.
Your words hit the closest to how I see what should be happening so the NDP can win in 2015.

The reality is the Peoples of this Turtle Island cannot have another 5 years under the Conservatives and I believe that the new NDP leader is critical to that win and the removal of the harmful force in Canada.

1. Peoples of Turtle Island cannot have a leader of the Opposition that does not have a seat in the House, it stretches the absurbity of Canadian politics over the last few years into 2012. And having just experienced it again with Ms Clark it just re-enforced to me the reality that a leader, no matter if they eventually do go on to win a seat has no hope in leading hearts and minds of a larger swath of the voters. There just is no sustaining credibility. That leaves Mr Topp out.

2. The people of Canada need a representative that will lead in a manner that attracts, not bores, nor alienates vast segments of diversity in voters across Canada.

We also need a leader of The Opposition that is an already known person, not someone just entering federal politics, or has yet to enter even. The last Liberal leader's enormous failure to reach voters, who was an unknown, dramatically exemplifies why the Official Opposition needs someone who can start the job immediately and not play catch up. at a later date.

edited to say; the new leader also needs to speak great English and French.
It is really important to me at least that things are different after 2015. And I hope that NDP members really look beyond their own pure hobby horse of ideology, or party nepotism, and actually do what is best for the greater amounts of peoples residing on this land.
The endorsement by Mr Krog speaks volumes to me about the reality that Mr Mulcair is, at this time in this reality, the only person who can lead the Oppositon against the Conservatives. And more importantly lead the larger community of voters to reject another Conservative term.

Winston

Malcolm wrote:

Matters for the previous thread.

@ Winston and Howard

Do you actually think that being condescending and contemptuous helps your candidate's case?

Geez, Malcolm!  I keep getting the impression that you are condescending the rest of our arguments (by belittling them, calling them "bullshit" and so on) and showing contempt for the rest of us.  Perhaps I have been responding in kind: if that is the case, I sincerely apologize, and will endeavour to raise the level of discourse.

Malcolm wrote:

The point of my analogy to the SNDP leadership race in 2009 was NOT to suggest that the situations are precisely the same.  That, frankly, is an idiotic interpretation.

My salient point was that people who claim to know for certain what will happen in politics two to four years hence are usually full of shit.

Well that is exactly how your post came across initially.  Thank-you for the clarification, but can we refrain from calling anyone else or their interpretations "idiotic"?  It seems to me that displays exactly the sort of "contempt" and "condescention" you are accusing others of.

Malcolm wrote:

However what has been happening from a handful of Mlcair supporters over the past couple of threads - especially FFK and implicitly in your posts - has been a far less compelling argument which might best be paraphrased: "If you don't agree with our prognostications then you are an idiot who is out to destroy the NDP."

Nobody has said that or implied it, as far as I can tell.  In addition, my interpretation is that FFK has delivered some of the most reasoned, rational and persuasive comments (granted, it helps that I agree with him).  The fact that he is very conversant with respect to the political culture in Québec gleaned from years of living and working there is not to be dismissed out of hand, as you have been doing repeatedly, whether or not you happen to agree with his interpretations.

Malcolm wrote:
 

Might I suggest that this is not the most persuasive approach.

Your automatic dismissal of others' arguments is certainly not a very persuasive approach either.

As an aside: am I the only one who longs for the days of NDP Leadership 59 when we all agreed and were in harmony and the leadership race proceeded without discord? 

Howard

With Mulcair's recent forays into Atlantic and Western Canada, I haven't felt as excited about an NDP candidate since Jack Layton was running for and then elected leader.

The things that excited me about Jack were that he had lots of interesting policy ideas, he was willing and interested in picking a fight over the Iraq War and actually winning (on the side for peace), he had the inspiration and the drive to go after Québec when the conventional wisdom was it was a huge waste of money and time and he explained how he wanted to do it (1. by building credibility 2. by connecting with Québeckers progressive values), and he wanted to make the party more professional (e.g. better media strategy, signs, trainings, advertisements etc).

Mulcair's latest comments about gunning for the Conservatives in Alberta by pointing out how poorly they have performed on the economy (and fiscally I presume) reminds me of Adrian Dix in BC, Ed Schreyer in Manitoba, and Jack Layton in Québec, especially with the way he is reaching out to non-NDPers like Naheed Nenshi, kind of like Jack Layton reached out to Québec non-NDPers like Régis Lebeaume. Mulcair's strong support in the NDP's very weak places of the maritimes (i.e. Joe Byrne & Herb Dickieson in PEI, Dominic Cardy in NB, and Dale Kirby in NFLD) also encourage me and his rhetoric about giving those regions more play in an attempt to win more seats excites me.

Brian Topp has talked about the NDP winning 55 more seats but he hasn't really specified where they would come from. I am sure Brian has a plan, and I am just wondering if his plan is to win those seats in Ontario (GTA+?, Southwestern Ontario?). I wouldn't mind to see Brian start to play his cards in this regard by pounding the pavement in those next 55 seats he wants to win and giving the other NDP candidates a run for their money in terms of the endorsements he picks up in the ridings that he thinks could represent an NDP path to victory. Doing so would indicate two things to me as a voter: 1) he has a plan 2) the plan could work because (at least some) people that live in those 55 ridings like the plan. To give Brian some due credit, here is where I have seen him pick up support in areas that might be able to produce more seats for the NDP: Saskatchewan (i.e. Romanow, Calvert), the BC interior? (i.e. the support of Harry Lali; Mulcair on the otherhand has the support of prominent Cariboo, North Vancouver and Vancouver Island North new democrats= a lot more seats the NDP does not currently hold).

Winston

Howard wrote:

Brian Topp has talked about the NDP winning 55 more seats but he hasn't really specified where they would come from. I am sure Brian has a plan, and I am just wondering if his plan is to win those seats in Ontario (GTA+?, Southwestern Ontario?).

When he was out here in Winnipeg, he seemed to suggest that victory would have to come from Ontario (and to a lesser extent, BC).  He was very blunt with the crowd that a majority government could not be won from seats in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (although those would clearly help).  I was actually quite impressed with his articulation that our base was largely urban now, and that we would have to make forays into the suburban areas of Toronto and Vancouver in order to win.

Wilf Day

Replying to points in the previous thread about Mulcair and proportional representation:

ottawaobserver wrote:

Quote:
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.

Lou Arab wrote:

Quote:
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.

And the report I posted was from a full-time NDP staffer active in Fair Vote Canada who was very concerned:

Quote:
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.

This is the kind of thing that can kill our credibility. Here's a reaction from a non-partisan:

Quote:

Forgive me if I sound skeptical as discouragement sets in, but the possible interpretations of Mulclair's statements are:

1) He sincerely doesn't even know enough basics about PR to know he doesn't need a constitutional amendment

or

2) He's vocalizing in front of a large audience that a constitutional amendment is required as a tactic to mislead people and give himself an excuse not to act on PR as future leader of the NDP.

Some very sincere and well meaning NDP members are of the opinion that if we want electoral reform, people just need to vote the NDP into a phony majority. This shoots a hole in that idealistic theory nicely. If we want success in the next few years, we need the Liberals on board (or the Conservatives, less likely), we need the parties to cooperate, and the NDP needs to elect someone sincerely in favour of PR.

Winston wrote:

Quote:
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.

No. Post #2 above is precisely right. The number of MPs per province would not change unless you allocated PR seats nationally and ignored the fact that all MPs come from a province, which NO ONE has proposed. No studies by Fair Vote or anyone else have said we may require constitutional tinkering to implement PR. In theory someone might advocate "pooling" New Brunswick and PEI in order to get enough seats in a region for better proportionality, otherwise the Green Party would never win a seat in PEI; but I have never even seen a Green Party member advocate that, because that could not be done without provincial consent, which no one wants to have to wait for.

On the left wrote:

Quote:
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.

Right again.

Winston

quizzical wrote:

Not that I have a membership and can vote for a new leader, I do feel I have a vested interest in who that leader may be. That is why I am reading with interest.

Your words hit the closest to how I see what should be happening so the NDP can win in 2015.

Welcome to the thread, quizzical.  I am glad you happen to agree!  You really should consider getting a membership in the Party; that is really the best way to make your voice heard.

quizzical wrote:

The reality is the Peoples of this Turtle Island cannot have another 5 years under the Conservatives and I believe that the new NDP leader is critical to that win and the removal of the harmful force in Canada.

Absolutely!  I think this is the prime imperative.  We in the NDP have to be thinking about Canada, not just our ideological purity - we need to have the courage to what we need to win.  I don't think this has to be about abandoning our principles, rather it means having the maturity to focus on the achievable through incremental progress.  I think this is a perfect continuation of the track that Jack set us upon.

quizzical wrote:

And I hope that NDP members really look beyond their own pure hobby horse of ideology, or party nepotism, and actually do what is best for the greater amounts of peoples residing on this land.

The endorsement by Mr Krog speaks volumes to me about the reality that Mr Mulcair is, at this time in this reality, the only person who can lead the Oppositon against the Conservatives. And more importantly lead the larger community of voters to reject another Conservative term.

A lot of us agree wholeheartedly, but there are a lot of people who don't.  The best way you can help is by taking out a membership.  You can do so online: Join the NDP

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Wilf Day wrote:
Lou Arab wrote:

Quote:
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.

And the report I posted was from a full-time NDP staffer active in Fair Vote Canada who was very concerned:

Quote:
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.

This is the kind of thing that can kill our credibility. Here's a reaction from a non-partisan:

Quote:

Forgive me if I sound skeptical as discouragement sets in, but the possible interpretations of Mulclair's statements are:

1) He sincerely doesn't even know enough basics about PR to know he doesn't need a constitutional amendment

or

2) He's vocalizing in front of a large audience that a constitutional amendment is required as a tactic to mislead people and give himself an excuse not to act on PR as future leader of the NDP.

Some very sincere and well meaning NDP members are of the opinion that if we want electoral reform, people just need to vote the NDP into a phony majority. This shoots a hole in that idealistic theory nicely. If we want success in the next few years, we need the Liberals on board (or the Conservatives, less likely), we need the parties to cooperate, and the NDP needs to elect someone sincerely in favour of PR.

Exactly Wilf, you nailed it. Mulcair's apparent position so far on proportional representation could kill our credibility, which if true, is extremely disappointing and unfortunate.

Stockholm

"Jack Layton made electoral reform and proportional representation a major priority for the party"

As I recall, people on babble were constantly attacking Layton for not championing PR enough. People claimed he betrayed them for not demanding PR in the coalition negotiations with the Liberals in 2008 and for not making tinkering with the electoral system the CENTRAL PLANK of the entire NDP election campaign!

Howard

Winston wrote:

Howard wrote:

Brian Topp has talked about the NDP winning 55 more seats but he hasn't really specified where they would come from. I am sure Brian has a plan, and I am just wondering if his plan is to win those seats in Ontario (GTA+?, Southwestern Ontario?).

When he was out here in Winnipeg, he seemed to suggest that victory would have to come from Ontario (and to a lesser extent, BC).  He was very blunt with the crowd that a majority government could not be won from seats in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (although those would clearly help).  I was actually quite impressed with his articulation that our base was largely urban now, and that we would have to make forays into the suburban areas of Toronto and Vancouver in order to win.

Thanks for the info. I don't agree with Topp's approach as you've characterised it because I feel like it concedes ground (i.e. the rural areas) that the NDP doesn't have to concede. The gap between the NDP and the Conservatives in Ontario is also massive. If you look at the 2nd place finishes the NDP pulled off there in 2011 they are still light years behind first place in most seats. The gap is a lot smaller almost everywhere else (Atlantic Canada, some BC ridings, the prairies). I would like the party to focus on those seats/regions where the distance from second to first is not as great. Also, even if the NDP might not win more than a handful of seats in Alberta in the best of circumstances, I want the party to put the Conservatives squarely on the defensive going in to any campaign. The Conservatives have almost nothing to gain (1 seat) and everything to lose (27 seats) in Alberta, so if the NDP lets them, they won't spend a moment's effort on Alberta during the next campaign. The same goes for many other places in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and BC. If the NDP lets the Conservatives off the hook in these places, then the Conservatives will concentrate their firepower on the Ontario & BC seats that Topp wants and Québec (to force the NDP on the defensive; Québec is the NDP electoral equivalent of what Alberta is to the Conservatives these days). The NDP can't win in an unbalanced fight like that (where the Conservatives are able to take so many seats for granted and can thus just focus on preserving a few battleground seats and forcing the NDP to act defensively [in Québec]) as such, the next leader must find ways to turn the Conservatives strengths (the economy, regional power bases) into weaknesses, and fight the election on the NDP's own strategic terms.

Howard

Stockholm wrote:

"Jack Layton made electoral reform and proportional representation a major priority for the party"

As I recall, people on babble were constantly attacking Layton for not championing PR enough. People claimed he betrayed them for not demanding PR in the coalition negotiations with the Liberals in 2008 and for not making tinkering with the electoral system the CENTRAL PLANK of the entire NDP election campaign!

lol. I remember that too. Even so, I want a leader that is committed to PR. If Mulcair is wrong about needing constitutional changes, he should fess up to the error, and return to current party policy, which is to support PR, without excuse-making.

That being said, I would be amused if a national referendum was held on PR and it failed. Then maybe Stockholm could do his best impersonation of a Cameron-Clegg hydra and say "I told you so!"

Smile

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Stockholm wrote:

As I recall, people on babble were constantly attacking Layton for not championing PR enough. People claimed he betrayed them for not demanding PR in the coalition negotiations with the Liberals in 2008 and for not making tinkering with the electoral system the CENTRAL PLANK of the entire NDP election campaign!

If people were constantly attacking Layton for not championing PR enough, perhaps they will be just as or even more upset about Mulcair's apparent position.

I thought Jack did a tremendous job on this issue:

"There's something wrong with the system, when a party, the Bloc Quebecois for example, has 1.3 million votes and gets 50 seats in the House. And we've got the Green Party that gets 900,000 votes, not that far behind the Bloc, they get zero seats. It's time that we had proportional representation in this country, so that we have a proper representation of everyone's point of view when it comes to that House of Commons." - Jack Layton, English Leaders' Debate, April 12, 2011

 

"I think proportional representation is the model for Canada, because we have a multi-party system and have had for a very long period of time in this country. It's part of our political culture here, going back many decades, and different parties come and go as a part of that process. But what we haven't had is an effective way to translate that process into seats in the House and reflect the democratic will of the people."

"So let's have an electoral system that gives effect to the will of the people instead of standing in the way of the will of the people. Three elections in a row now-in fact, I think we can say four, if we add in the year 2000, maybe even ...more, but certainly those four-we've had less than forty percent of the people voting for a government, and yet that government gets the power. It's absurd, wrong, and totally undemocratic. Let's grab a hold of this-people can now see how dysfunctional it is-and let's bring proportional representation to Canada, so that political parties can run, they can lay out their program, people can vote for those parties, and their vote will not get essentially cast aside and disrespected by a result that puts in power the very party that was explicitly not the choice of the majority."

"We should change our electoral system and then people can vote for what they want and what they believe in, the platform and program they like best, and then parties work together. That's how most mature democracies function today."

http://www.fairvote.ca/en/FVC-news/jack-layton-on-proportional-representation

 

Come on Thomas, you need to get on board!

 

Wilf Day

Stockholm wrote:

"Jack Layton made electoral reform and proportional representation a major priority for the party"

As I recall, people on babble were constantly attacking Layton for not championing PR enough. People claimed he betrayed them for not demanding PR in the coalition negotiations with the Liberals in 2008 and for not making tinkering with the electoral system the CENTRAL PLANK of the entire NDP election campaign!

Not me.

I did note that Brian Topp's book does not explain what happened to PR in the fast coalition negotiations, which were done at warp speed (it took over three weeks to negotiate the Liberal/NDP Accord in 1985 in Ontario.) But he does note that a lot of items were dropped from the first shopping list, and obviously PR was one. With a three-way negotiation including the Bloc, Dion (who once supported PR) would have had trouble selling it to some of his caucus, it would have been complicated. Duceppe supported PR in theory, the Bloc and the PQ used to support it, but the PQ had shifted to saying "only after independence," and it wasn't until last March that the Bloc decided to firmly support the NDP's March 3 motion for PR.

Howard

To be less snarky, my point is that I think PR is like Layton's idea to open up the constitution to include Québec. Did he propose new constituion negotiations or the basis on which they would occur? no. Instead he said he was willing to do it and that what he wanted to achieve first were the "winning conditions" for Québec in Canada, before opening up any debates or setting any ink to paper. I would be happy if Mulcair said the same thing: we need to create the "winning conditions" for PR and then find a way to implement it (by legislation, referendum, etc).

NorthReport

In the last election the NDP won 33.4% of the seats with 30.6% of the vote so perhaps PR is not the burning issue it once was, eh. lol

 

Wilf Day

Howard wrote:

I want a leader that is committed to PR. If Mulcair is wrong about needing constitutional changes, he should fess up to the error, and return to current party policy, which is to support PR, without excuse-making.

That being said, I would be amused if a national referendum was held on PR and it failed. Then maybe Stockholm could do his best impersonation of a Cameron-Clegg hydra and say "I told you so!"

Smile

I should point out that the NDP's March 3 motion in the House last year did NOT suggest a referendum on PR. Here it is, deleting the Senate abolition parts:

Quote:
Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP) moved:

That: (a) the House recognize the undemocratic nature of the current form of representation in the Parliament of Canada, specifically . . . a House of Commons that does not accurately reflect the political preferences of Canadians;

(c) the House appoint a Special Committee for Democratic Improvement, whose mandate is to (i) engage with Canadians, and make recommendations to the House, on how best to achieve a House of Commons that more accurately reflects the votes of Canadians by combining direct election by electoral district and proportional representation, and

(d) the Special Committee for Democratic Improvement shall consist of 12 members which shall include six members from the government party, three members from the Official Opposition, two members from the Bloc Québécois and one member from the New Democratic Party, provided that the Chair shall be from the government party, and

(1) that in addition to the Chair, there shall be one Vice-Chair elected by committee members, who shall be from an opposition party;

(2) that the members to serve on the said Committee be appointed by the Whip of each party depositing with the Clerk of the House a list of his or her party's members of the Committee no later than three days from the passage of this motion;

(3) that the quorum of the Special Committee be seven members for any proceedings;

(4) that membership substitutions be permitted to be made from time to time, if required, in the manner provided for in Standing Order 114(2);

(5) that the Committee have all of the powers of a standing committee as provided in the Standing Orders; and

(6) that the Committee shall report its recommendations to this House no later than one year from the passage of this motion.

Howard

PR is the right thing to do, whether you win 5% of the vote or 55%. It better reflects voters viewpoints, it requires governments that better reflect voters viewpoints. It doesn't punish voters by electing their last choice (i.e. the Conservatives) when they vote for their first choice (i.e. ABC). It forces the parties to cooperate to govern, forming coalitions just like Westminister system does now and has done in the past.

Stockholm

From a purely academic point of view - I think some form of PR makes sense - but the fact is - once you get beyond about half a dozen electoral reform wonks (who probably make up about 50% of the people who post regularly on babble), these process issues like reforming the electoral system are of zero interest to Canadians.If you want a fast ticket to resounding defeat in the next election my advice is to start spending a disproportionate amount of time preaching to Canadians about dicking around with the electoral system...

That being said, it is simply incorrect to say that PR requires constitutional reform when it doesn't. Mulcair should acknowledge this and move on. He may well be less passionate about PR than so me other candidates - but quite frankly I have not heard any of the candidates talk about PR all that much.

CanadaApple

So just to be clear, we don't need to change the Constitution to have Electoral Reform? Because I've heard people say that elsewhere.

If Mulcair is trying to drop Electoral Reform from party policy, I find that worrying. Of course, it's not clear here if he s trying to do that, or if he just made a mistake (unless he's right, which I'm not sure). But the reason I find it so worrying is that the fact that the NDP was probably the biggest supporter of electoral reform of the 3 big parties was one of the reasons I decided to vote for and eventually join them.

This makes me ask another question, does anyone here know what the other candidates have said about electoral reform? I know Nathan Cullen and Brian Topp have said they both support it, and I think someone mentioned in the last thread here that Peggy Nash does as well, but beyond them and now Thomas Mulcair, I'm not sure. 

Wilf Day

NorthReport wrote:

In the last election the NDP won 33.4% of the seats with 30.6% of the vote so perhaps PR is not the burning issue it once was, eh. lol

What is precisely what the cynics and our enemies in the media will say if this issue is not clarified.

In fact it's not true outside Quebec.

Saskatchewan voters cast enough NDP votes to deserve 5 MPs, and elected none.

Alberta voters cast enough NDP votes to deserve 5 MPs, and elected only one.

Manitoba voters cast enough NDP votes to deserve 4 MPs, and elected only two.

New Brunwick voters cast enough NDP votes to deserve 3 MPs, and elected only one.

Ontario voters cast enough NDP votes to deserve 27 MPs, and elected only 22. They were shortchanged in the GTA, Eastern Ontario and even in South Central and Southwestern Ontario.

In BC, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador NDP voters elected a fair share of NDP MPs. In Quebec they are over represented, yes.

Winston

Howard wrote:

Thanks for the info. I don't agree with Topp's approach as you've characterised it because I feel like it concedes ground (i.e. the rural areas) that the NDP doesn't have to concede. The gap between the NDP and the Conservatives in Ontario is also massive. If you look at the 2nd place finishes the NDP pulled off there in 2011 they are still light years behind first place in most seats. The gap is a lot smaller almost everywhere else (Atlantic Canada, some BC ridings, the prairies).

I am not a Topp supporter, but I am sure he has considered, understands (and probably agrees with) your points.  I don't for a second think he ws suggesting we "abandon turf".  Rather, he was simply pointing out numerical reality:  there are 81 seats we don't hold in Ontario, there are 26 in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  Even if we sweep SK and MB (the chances of which in this political climate are zero), that still only gets us a third of the way to government.

Yes, the margins in much of Ontario are huge, but if we want to win, we must surmount them.  Certainly, I don't get the impression Topp was suggesting we don't funnel resources to the lowest hanging fruit (wherever it may happen to be), rather he was acknowledging the reality that we have to put a lot of attention into areas we traditionally ignore (especially the suburbs).

writer writer's picture

If you are undecided and want to join the party and not be associated with a particular campaign: https://secure.ndp.ca/membership_e.php

On each candidate's site, there should be a link to join as a kind of endorsement. If there is a candidate you prefer, just take a moment to find the correlating link.

I'd like to touch on something that was mentioned in passing in the prior thread. Romeo Saganash was associated with Oka. Of course, as a French-speaking First Nations representative, I am sure he commented on the situation, and the roots that caused it. But it is important to acknowledge that Romeo is Cree, and represented the Cree of James Bay at the time. He is not Mohawk.

It is also worth noting that Turtle Island is a name for all of North America, and not just this one corner now called Canada. It is an important way of understanding how this landmass is interconnected and interdependent, and that we cannot survive in isolation.

Of course, we do have a candidate who understands this very, very well. Speaking of whom:

Quote:

Canada likes to fall back on the principle that this is a country that respects the rule of law. I began with the explanation that the rule of law has always forced Indigenous Peoples to concede their lands and rights. I, too, would praise the rule of law if it meant that every conflict would be resolved in my favour, for that is its effect whenever there is a conflict between Indians and Canadian governments.

Here we have someone who understands deeply how the state can be used as a tool of oppression. Who understands how law can be used to marginalize, disenfranchize and magnify social injustice. And this very person wants to bring such an understanding to government. Wants to counter Harper's law-and-order lies, Harper's divisions, Harper's love of pitting us against each other. Who wants to move forward with an approach to law that is centred in human rights and respect for other.

This, in part, is what Romeo Saganash brought to, and from, the conflict in Oka. At that time, it was a Liberal government in Quebec City. It was a Conservative government in Ottawa. Romeo was a rare, French-speaking First Nations leader in the province. He spoke to the divide, not as a Mohawk (he is Cree), but as a human being who has challenged injustice throughout his life.

 

Wilf Day

CanadaApple wrote:

So just to be clear, we don't need to change the Constitution to have Electoral Reform? Because I've heard people say that elsewhere.

If Mulcair is trying to drop Electoral Reform from party policy, I find that worrying. Of course, it's not clear here if he s trying to do that, or if he just made a mistake (unless he's right, which I'm not sure). But the reason I find it so worrying is that the fact that the NDP was probably the biggest supporter of electoral reform of the 3 big parties was one of the reasons I decided to vote for and eventually join them.

Relax. He misspoke. If you have heard anyone say we need to change the Constitution to have Electoral Reform, please quote them, and they can be corrected (although that is more often said by opponents who will ignore the correction.)

Here it is again:

http://www.fairvote.ca/sites/fairvote.ca/files/VotingCountsElectoralRefo...

Stockholm

If the NDP can come out of no where to win Sacrborough-Rouge River and almost win Bramalea-Gore-Malton (and win it provincially) - it says to me that there are many more suburban seats in places like Scarborough, Brampton and Mississauga that could go NDP if they were prioritized and if the NDP was regarded as a serious contender.

Winston

Wilf Day wrote:

Relax. He misspoke. If you have heard anyone say we need to change the Constitution to have Electoral Reform, please quote them, and they can be corrected (although that is more often said by opponents who will ignore the correction.)

Here it is again:

">http://www.fairvote.ca/sites/fairvote.ca/files/VotingCountsElectoralRefo...

Thanks, Wilf for your clarifications and I stand corrected.  Smile

Winston

Stockholm wrote:

If the NDP can come out of no where to win Sacrborough-Rouge River and almost win Bramalea-Gore-Malton (and win it provincially) - it says to me that there are many more suburban seats in places like Scarborough, Brampton and Mississauga that could go NDP if they were prioritized and if the NDP was regarded as a serious contender.

I think that was exactly what Topp was trying to intimate.  If he's reading, perhaps he can confirm?

Howard

Ok, clearly there is a lot of confusion about Topp's strategic plan for winning the 55 seats the NDP needs to form government. Would someone be so kind as to ask him point blank where those 55 seats are at his next event and report back on his answer? Thanks in advance.

Hunky_Monkey

One thing I like about Mulcair is not writing off any area of the country especially Atlantic Canada. 32 seats here and we hold six... with a lot of growth potential.

NorthReport

The NDP supports PR and so do all the candidates for leadership, as I have not heard one of them oppose it. What's not to like?

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

NorthReport wrote:

The NDP supports PR and so do all the candidates for leadership, as I have not heard one of them oppose it. What's not to like?

 

 

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.

 

Wilf Day wrote:

And the report I posted was from a full-time NDP staffer active in Fair Vote Canada who was very concerned:

Quote:

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.

 

This is the kind of thing that can kill our credibility. Here's a reaction from a non-partisan:

Quote:

Forgive me if I sound skeptical as discouragement sets in, but the possible interpretations of Mulclair's statements are:

1) He sincerely doesn't even know enough basics about PR to know he doesn't need a constitutional amendment

or

2) He's vocalizing in front of a large audience that a constitutional amendment is required as a tactic to mislead people and give himself an excuse not to act on PR as future leader of the NDP.

Some very sincere and well meaning NDP members are of the opinion that if we want electoral reform, people just need to vote the NDP into a phony majority. This shoots a hole in that idealistic theory nicely. If we want success in the next few years, we need the Liberals on board (or the Conservatives, less likely), we need the parties to cooperate, and the NDP needs to elect someone sincerely in favour of PR.

 

Hunky_Monkey

I would be curious to know whether Mulcair was including the issue of Senate reform when discussiong electoral reform.

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Stockholm wrote:

From a purely academic point of view - I think some form of PR makes sense - but the fact is - once you get beyond about half a dozen electoral reform wonks (who probably make up about 50% of the people who post regularly on babble), these process issues like reforming the electoral system are of zero interest to Canadians.

An EKOS Research poll conducted in December 2009 found that proportional representation is the public's second choice for improving voter participation, which closely followed online voting.

Proportional Representation also seems to resonate in British Columbia. For instance, the 2005 B.C. referendum required a 60% vote in favour of reform in order for electoral reform to succeed. The "Yes" vote, or those who voted for electoral reform, was 57.69%. An Angus Reid poll conducted a few months prior to British Columbia's 2009 referendum found that 65% of respondents favoured reform, with support at 74% for those between the ages of 18 and 34, but awareness of the referendum polled at 44% (just like in Ontario, sneaky underhanded Liberal governments promising referendums on the issue, but doing nothing to inform the electorate).

Stockholm wrote:
If you want a fast ticket to resounding defeat in the next election my advice is to start spending a disproportionate amount of time preaching to Canadians about dicking around with the electoral system...

The NDP does not have to spend "a disproportionate amount of time preaching to Canadians about dicking around with the electoral system." Just like in the 2011 federal election, all we have to do is mention electoral reform and PR a few times, pointing out how FPTP elects false Conservative and Liberal majorities while the Greens get screwed, and include it in the platform.

Stockholm wrote:
That being said, it is simply incorrect to say that PR requires constitutional reform when it doesn't. Mulcair should acknowledge this and move on. He may well be less passionate about PR than so me other candidates - but quite frankly I have not heard any of the candidates talk about PR all that much.

Agreed about Mulcair.

As for the other candidates, they have been talking about it.

Nash:

"I also think that an important element is proportional representation. The first-past-the-post system in a complex federation like Canada - a multi-party democracy - is better served by some form of proportional representation. We'd get a better balance of diversity in that kind of electoral system."

http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/2011/12/11/peggy-nash-nets-ndps-top-endorsement-laytons-finance-critic?page=0%2C0

At the end of yesterday's appearance on CTV's Power Play, Nash advocated for PR and abolishing the Senate:

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

Topp:

"I think we should abolish the Senate for sure and we should have a mixed House, combining the MPs that we've got with an additional tier who are elected proportionally." - on CTV's Power Play

http://watch.ctv.ca/news/#clip596696 

Dewar:  

"I find what's more typical with people is not necessarily having more MPs in the house, but how MPs get there." Dewar supports moving to a mixed member proportional system of representation, where the House of Commons better reflects parties' percentage of the popular vote, a position in keeping with the NDP's platform."

http://thetyee.ca/News/2011/12/14/Paul-Dewar-Profile/

Cullen:

"As for his plans upon becoming prime minister, Cullen said he would immediately hold a first ministers meeting on energy and climate change and a referendum on proportional representation."

http://www.canada.com/news/race+Free+thinker+Cullen+cookie+cutter+candidate/5914435/story.html#ixzz1ioQPIOTG

 

 

Hunky_Monkey

OnTheLeft... even the quotes you pointed out said Mulcair supports PR. Drop the witch hunt.

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

This isn't a "witch hunt". Please don't try to characterize it this way. I don't care who is running for the leadership - if they're not on board with PR, that's a huge problem. This is a huge issue for not only many New Democrats and those who are members of Fair Vote Canada, but those who really want to see our democratic institutions reformed. 

In fact, if you've read my posts, you'll see that I've been careful to point out that this is what Mulcair apparently said. I've been using that term to be careful, just in case if those who attended the Mulcair misunderstood what Thomas said. I also said in post #14 "Come on Thomas, you need to get on board!", as I know the man is very intelligent and well informed. Mulcair should know that you don't need to open up the constitution in order to replace first past the post with proportional representation.

 

Again, I don't care who it is - Peggy Nash, Charlie Angus, Libby Davies, Olivia Chow etc - if they're not on board with PR, or if they fail to understand that you don't need to open up the constitution in order to replace FPTP with PR, that's a huge problem.

Hunky_Monkey

OnTheLeft wrote:

This isn't a "witch hunt". Please don't try to characterize it this way. I don't care who is running for the leadership - if they're not on board with PR, that's a huge problem. This is a huge issue for not only many New Democrats and those who are members of Fair Vote Canada, but those who really want to see our democratic institutions reformed. 

In fact, if you've read my posts, you'll see that I've been careful to point out that this is what Mulcair apparently said. I've been using that term to be careful, just in case if those who attended the Mulcair misunderstood what Thomas said. I also said in post #14 "Come on Thomas, you need to get on board!", as I know the man is very intelligent and well informed. Mulcair should know that you don't need to open up the constitution in order to replace first past the post with proportional representation.

 

Again, I don't care who it is - Peggy Nash, Charlie Angus, Libby Davies, Olivia Chow etc - if they're not on board with PR, or if they fail to understand that you don't need to open up the constitution in order to replace FPTP with PR, that's a huge problem.

"Come on Thomas, you need to get on board" would mean he doesn't support electoral change. If accounts are accurate, that's not what he said. You really love playing games on here, don't you?

Hunky_Monkey

I think PR and electoral reform are important. I support a MMP system for Canada.

That said, I agree with Stockholm. It's not a burning desire out there. Last referendum in BC had 39% in favour with regard to the single transferable vote system.

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
That said, I agree with Stockholm. It's not a burning desire out there. Last referendum in BC had 39% in favour with regard to the single transferable vote system.

An EKOS Research poll conducted in December 2009 found that proportional representation is the public's second choice for improving voter participation, which closely followed online voting.

Proportional Representation also seems to resonate in British Columbia. For instance, the 2005 B.C. referendum required a 60% vote in favour of reform in order for electoral reform to succeed. The "Yes" vote, or those who voted for electoral reform, was 57.69%. An Angus Reid poll conducted a few months prior to British Columbia's 2009 referendum found that 65% of respondents favoured reform, with support at 74% for those between the ages of 18 and 34, but awareness of the referendum polled at 44% (just like in Ontario, sneaky underhanded Liberal governments promising referendums on the issue, but doing nothing to inform the electorate).

Results from EKOS Research poll:

Best method for improving voter participation:

¤ 33% online voting

¤ 29% proportional representation

¤ 23% mandatory voting

¤ 16% public education campaigns

http://www.ekospolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/full_report_december_171.pdf

 

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
"Come on Thomas, you need to get on board" would mean he doesn't support electoral change. If accounts are accurate, that's not what he said. You really love playing games on here, don't you?

No, I do not "really love playing games"

What I meant was that Mulcair needs to get on board in that you don't need to open up the constitution to replace FPTP with PR.

(In fact, I think that both Nash and Mulcair could easily lead the NDP to a majority government in 2015. I think Charlie Angus could as well, who sadly decided not to run - my original and #1 choice to be NDP Leader).

Wilf Day

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
I think PR and electoral reform are important. I support a MMP system for Canada.

That said, I agree with Stockholm. It's not a burning desire out there. Last referendum in BC had 39% in favour with regard to the single transferable vote system.

It's clearly not a top of mind issue for the majority of voters. But it's not far under the surface. Every time a Conservative claims to have a mandate from the majority of voters, someone pops up to say "39.6%." (When someone points to the Clarity Act and says "if 50% plus one is a clear majority, what's an unclear majority?" the obvious answer is "39.6%.")

As for the 39% for BC-STV, STV is a hard sell if you haven't seen it at work nearby, and we're nowhere near Ireland or Tasmania. But a poll after the referendum showed that 44.3% of those who voted for first-past-the-post in the referendum responded they are in “favour of replacing first-past-the-post with a voting system in which the percentage of seats a party gets in the legislature is more in line with their percentage of the popular vote.” That makes 66% of BC voters in favour of some proportional system.

http://www.fairvote.ca/sites/fairvote.ca/files/news%20release%20-%20july...

And across Canada polls have repeatedly shown a strong majority of Canadians (around 70%) believe that the portion of seats a party wins in the House of Commons should reflect the portion of the votes they receive. A poll showed 68% mostly recently in February 2010.

http://wilfday.blogspot.com/2011/01/poll-results-on-canadian-public-supp...

ottawaobserver

Could I ask NR a question about the BC MLA endorsements: how are they breaking down along the lines of the 13 versus the loyalists as between the various federal leadership candidates?

Am I right to think that Claire Trevena and Leonard Krog were both in the 13? Are any of the 13 endorsing other candidates? Which of the MLAs has endorsed whom out your way?

DSloth

I will be very disappointed if some of the charicterizations of Mulcair's comments turn out to be true but I'm definitely going to wait on a source that isn't second hand.  PR is an important issue to me and one where there actually is some daylight between the candidates. There is absoultely no needfor a referndum or opening up the bloody constitution, those are defintiely losing conditions.

Hunky_Monkey

Wilf Day wrote:
Hunky_Monkey wrote:
I think PR and electoral reform are important. I support a MMP system for Canada.

That said, I agree with Stockholm. It's not a burning desire out there. Last referendum in BC had 39% in favour with regard to the single transferable vote system.

It's clearly not a top of mind issue for the majority of voters. But it's not far under the surface. Every time a Conservative claims to have a mandate from the majority of voters, someone pops up to say "39.6%." (When someone points to the Clarity Act and says "if 50% plus one is a clear majority, what's an unclear majority?" the obvious answer is "39.6%.")

As for the 39% for BC-STV, STV is a hard sell if you haven't seen it at work nearby, and we're nowhere near Ireland or Tasmania. But a poll after the referendum showed that 44.3% of those who voted for first-past-the-post in the referendum responded they are in “favour of replacing first-past-the-post with a voting system in which the percentage of seats a party gets in the legislature is more in line with their percentage of the popular vote.” That makes 66% of BC voters in favour of some proportional system.

http://www.fairvote.ca/sites/fairvote.ca/files/news%20release%20-%20july...

And across Canada polls have repeatedly shown a strong majority of Canadians (around 70%) believe that the portion of seats a party wins in the House of Commons should reflect the portion of the votes they receive. A poll showed 68% mostly recently in February 2010.

http://wilfday.blogspot.com/2011/01/poll-results-on-canadian-public-supp...

I agree that Canadians support electoral reform when asked or polled. I think it important. Just don't think it's a burning desire with so many other pressing concerns out there.

NorthReport

I'm not yet up to speed on who all is supporting who, but Topp has an excellent organizer out here in Gerry Scott who was the campaign chair who organized for Dix to win the recent BC NDP leadership. But on the other hand provincial executive member Heather Harrison was a loyalist who is now organizing for Mulcair.

ottawaobserver wrote:

Could I ask NR a question about the BC MLA endorsements: how are they breaking down along the lines of the 13 versus the loyalists as between the various federal leadership candidates?

Am I right to think that Claire Trevena and Leonard Krog were both in the 13? Are any of the 13 endorsing other candidates? Which of the MLAs has endorsed whom out your way?

NorthReport

Here an article about who the dissidents are and thank goodness for them. But try to ignore some of the comments attributed to Mason who is obviously clueless.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/12/04/13NDPDissidents/

NorthReport

3 of the 4 MLAs supporting Cullen were dissidents:

Gary Coons

Robin Austin with whom he shares an office in Terrace

Norm Macdonald

And the 4th is:

Doug Donaldson

 

And from Mulcair's website:

http://www.thomasmulcair.ca/site/2011/12/11/mulcair-picks-up-support-at-...

 

And Topp's website:

http://briantopp.ca/endorsements

 

mtm

So of the dissidents, those 3 are with Cullen, Trevena and Krog are supporting Mulcair, and Popham with Topp.

Seems quite split up.  Kwan hasn't endorsed anyone yet to my knowledge, but I could be wrong.

NorthReport
ottawaobserver

Thanks, NR. It looks like it breaks down this way, so far:

"The 13"

Ashton - Guy Gentner

Cullen - Robin Austin, Gary Coons, Norm Macdonald

Mulcair - Leonard Krog, Claire Trevena

Topp - Katrine Conroy, Harry Lali, Lana Popham, Doug Routley

Undeclared - Jenny Kwan, Michael Sather, Nicholas Simons

Other BC MLAs

Cullen - Doug Donaldson

Dewar - Mable Elmore

Topp - Harry Bains, Dawn Black, Jagrup Brar, Raj Chouhan, Kathy Corrigan, Scott Fraser, Sue Hammell, John Horgan, Carole James, Maurine Karagianis, Michelle Mungal, Bruce Ralston, Bill Routley

Undeclared - Adrian Dix, Mike Farnworth, Rob Fleming, Spencer Chandra Herbert, Shane Simpson, Diane Thorne

So, in summary:

---------- | the 13 | 21 others
------------------------------
Ashton -- |  1  |  --
Cullen --- |  3  |  1
Dewar --- |  --  |  1
Mulcair -- |  2  |  --
Topp ---- |  4  |  13
Undeclared |  3  |  6

I don't know what Bob Simpson's status is with the party anymore, so I'm not counting him.

So, Topp has the most of anyone, but is weighted more towards the side of the 21 others. Ashton, Cullen and Mulcair are weighted the other way, but in Cullen's case 3 of them are up his way geographically so that's not really surprising, and there are 9 undeclared (including Dix).

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