NDP Leadership 72

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Wilf Day

Next Wednesday is the long-awaited Toronto debate. Will it be available on-line?

http://www.facebook.com/events/346897928653788/

mark_alfred

laine lowe wrote:

Based on these leadership threads, most here seem to think it's down to Mulcair and Topp. Well that's very disappointing in my view. I can't see either one exciting people outside the fold. They are both very conservative choices with one veering more to the left than the other. I think our political climate requires far more risk taking than the tried and true NDP supporters are even stopping to consider. I guess with official opposition status comes more cautious choice as opposed to the "we have nothing to lose by testing someone new" attitude that elected Jack Layton.

Perhaps, but if you go through these threads you'll find a number of different posters who are advocating for all the other candidates.  Different sections of the NDP Leadership threads have opinions in favour of each of the candidates.  It's still an unknown race.

socialdemocrati...

Track record does matter. Someone like Peggy Nash or Nathan Cullen both have long public records that makes it easier to know where they stand, and harder to distort what they might do. Topp's record is private/speculative. Mulcair's is more provincial than anything. Mind you, that's better than the record of someone like Singh.

All these factors matter. Anyone who decides their top pick based on a single issue or a single attribute isn't thinking hard enough.

Hunky_Monkey

laine lowe wrote:

Based on these leadership threads, most here seem to think it's down to Mulcair and Topp. Well that's very disappointing in my view. I can't see either one exciting people outside the fold. They are both very conservative choices with one veering more to the left than the other. I think our political climate requires far more risk taking than the tried and true NDP supporters are even stopping to consider. I guess with official opposition status comes more cautious choice as opposed to the "we have nothing to lose by testing someone new" attitude that elected Jack Layton.

I don't think it is, laine lowe. I think the race will come down to Mulcair and Nash in the end. I think Nash has a lot rank and file support. It would surprise me if Topp was in the top three. I also think people underestimate Dewar.

ETA: I think Ashton and Saganash will do quite well and suprise a lot of people. I don't see them breaking into the top tier though.

Hunky_Monkey

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Track record does matter. Someone like Peggy Nash or Nathan Cullen both have long public records that makes it easier to know where they stand, and harder to distort what they might do. Topp's record is private/speculative. Mulcair's is more provincial than anything. Mind you, that's better than the record of someone like Singh.

All these factors matter. Anyone who decides their top pick based on a single issue or a single attribute isn't thinking hard enough.

I'd like to add that one reason I'm wary of a Saganash leadership is the same reason Topp shouldn't be elected leader... lack of experience in elected politics. He's still a rookie. And yes, he has a lot of experience outside office. But elected politics is a completely different world. So, do I want an MP in office less than year becoming Leader of the Opposition? No. Do I want someone who has never been elected to pubic office in his life becoming leader? No.

mark_alfred

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

It also sucks a little that picking Topp means we won't have a permanent leader in Parliament until 2013. Just saying.

Layton likewise did not have a seat when he was first elected leader.  This turned out to be a plus, since it allowed him time to focus on the media and get our message out there.  So, from past experience, it may not "sucks a little".  In fact, it could be a plus.  Topp does seem to know his way around the media.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

It also sucks a little that picking Topp means we won't have a permanent leader in Parliament until 2013. Just saying.

There's no guarantee he'll win that byelection, either. If he becomes leader, and loses the byelection, he'll probably have to ask another MP to step aside. Is that kosher?

Hunky_Monkey

mark_alfred wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

It also sucks a little that picking Topp means we won't have a permanent leader in Parliament until 2013. Just saying.

Layton likewise did not have a seat when he was leader.  This turned out to be a plus, since it allowed him time to focus on the media and get our message out there.  So, from past experience, it may not "sucks a little".  In fact, it could be a plus.  Topp does seem to know his way around the media.

Jack was elected in 2003 to lead the 4th party in the House that had 14 seats when an election was expected the following year. It's quite different today. We're the Official Opposition. We need our leader in the House of Commons.

Bacchus

Happens all the time Boom Boom including with Jack Layton who won the leadership in Jan 2003 but waited until the 2004 election to seek a seat. But many parties have had leaders elected who then have to have someone step aside for a by election

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Exactly, HM.

mark_alfred

Ah, here's more carry-over from the last thread (I'm including links from most of the member's quotes to try to make all of our profound points as easy to follow as possible):

Following quote:

doofy wrote:

I need to respond to post #27 propgating the myth that "the NDP surged last election in spite of the media coverage".

There are several problems with that assessment:

1) There was no NDP surge in English Canada. There was only a small uptisck once the QC surge took hold.

2) In Quebec, Jack Layton and Thomas Mulcair always got very good press coverage.  [..]

That's why I can't just make a simple "substance over style" decision, like the one Mark Alfred is suggesting. All the substance in the world will not help if we are back in third place in 2015. Yet, w/o a leader who can stand up to the blatantly  anti-NDP media in English Canada, and the scpetical media in Quebec, that's exactly where we will end up.

The idea of "substance over style" is the crux of the campaign between Topp and Mulcair, I feel (and perhaps between Mulcair and Nash or Dewar).  For instance, Topp's site emphasizes policy whereas Mulcair's site is more focussed on how cool Mulcair is (he has the best looking site of all the candidates).  Mulcair's proposed policies, along with his subtle attacks and ideas about how to win, are mixed in a sea of news releases, which does allow his followers to both promote his policies and deny that any attacks on others and/or any idea that may not sit well with some is attributable to Mulcair himself (IE, that's just from a news article, so it's the journalist's perspective, not Mulcair's).  This may be good strategy, or it may not.  But it's there.  For instance:

from an article on Mulcair's website wrote:
We have seen what happened when members of a political party elected as their leader someone they liked, because he or she was highly intelligent, appeared to be honest and had good ideas, but a candidate who nonetheless had “limitations”, whether it was a painful inability to understand or speak one of the official languages, or someone who was obviously uncomfortable and did not communicate well with the electorate, someone who was doing good work in his or her riding but who had no “appeal” on the national scene, or in some cases someone who was definitely not ready for a serious fight. Party members knew about those limitations, they had to know, but for some reason they went ahead anyway and elected these politicians to become their leaders. Once there was no air left in the balloons and the drinks had been consummated, troubles started almost immediately, the leadership was questioned and their party went down in ugly defeat.

It's an obvious reference to Dion.  But, the fact is Dion, as uncharasmatic as he was, came close to winning.  It really was the botched CTV interview that did him in.  People were ready to dump the meaningless unprincipled Cons and go with Dion (who at least had some principles), but got freaked out by that interview.  He still did surprisingly well, considering they had far less money than the Cons did.  Neither Topp nor Mulcair would ever repeat such a thing with the media (though Mulcair may blow his stack, which is actually a style argument that is also worth looking at). Ignatieff, their imagined sunshine boy, did even worse.  That's another thing we may want to consider.

The fact is that Harper has been lucky.  People do not feel particularly warm about him.  They do, however, feel that he is competent (sure, a bully, but at least he's competent in running things -- or so people feel).  So, the idea that we need someone whom people feel warm about -- "hey, that guy's cool and suave and tough") is not necessarily the case.  All we need is someone who will truly look competent, and will not appear to be of the same asshole brand that Harper is.  I feel that Topp comes closer than Mulcair in meeting that need.  Dion, as I mentioned previously, failed the competency test, and Ignatieff failed to provide anything of real substance for people to vote for (he just seemed to be trying to find a winning path -- like Mulcair is proposing for us now).

Also, Bob Rae is going to be the leader of the Liberals.  At their upcoming convention, they'll allow him to run.  Bob's suave and flexible and experienced, which are most of the arguments that Mulcair followers use to try to get Mulcair selected for leadership.  So, would it be better for Topp to face Rae and Harper, or for Mulcair to face Rae and Harper?  I feel most people, including those in Quebec, would potentially go with Rae as the alternative to Harper if Mulcair, rather than Topp, were the choice.  Maybe not, but if fighting on simply who would be the more personable and likely alternative, rather than on actual policy and experience differences, then Rae may appeal to more than would Mulcair (Quebecers may also agree with your assertion that "There was no NDP surge in English Canada" and would therefore opt for the Libs in an anyone but Harper contest).  With Topp campaigning on the economy from the perspective that he was part of a a fiscally responsible NDP government (unlike Rae) who took over from a reckless Conservative government (similar to Harper's Cons), then there's truly a campaign to be made.  A campaign of substance.  If it's just style, we'll lose.  But we could win a campaign of substance, I feel.  A campaign based on substance, and competance (with a bit of style) will win.  A campaign simply on substance, where we shy away from our differences from the Cons and allow them to dictate the terms upon which we make our arguments (be it coalitions, taxation, foreign policy, economy, etc) is a loss, I feel.

socialdemocrati...

Yeah, we had nowhere to go but up when we picked Jack. Do you honestly think the caucus can stay unified with a full year of Nicole Turmel?

Just another angle.

Bacchus

Then an MP has to setp aside from a safe seat, as is often the tradition, to have a by election to let the leader win a seat. We cannot limit the leadership to sitting MPs only. Or say we deont but never elect anyone but a sitting MP. Especially since we havent in the past (ala Jack or mc donough for that matter who waited and got the NDP a breakthru in atlantic canada)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

But her term only runs until the convention, yes?

 

Howard

Bacchus wrote:

Then an MP has to setp aside from a safe seat, as is often the tradition, to have a by election to let the leader win a seat. We cannot limit the leadership to sitting MPs only. Or say we deont but never elect anyone but a sitting MP. Especially since we havent in the past (ala Jack or mc donough for that matter who waited and got the NDP a breakthru in atlantic canada)

Agreed and I have full faith that Topp would be able to get an MP to open up a seat for him in Québec. For a candidate without a seat in Parliament, he has a lot more MP endorsers than some of the MPs in the race. Not to mention, in 2003 the NDP could have chosen Blaikie (the dean of the NDP caucus, Mr. experience himself), but they didn't.

Hunky_Monkey

Bacchus wrote:

Then an MP has to setp aside from a safe seat, as is often the tradition, to have a by election to let the leader win a seat. We cannot limit the leadership to sitting MPs only. Or say we deont but never elect anyone but a sitting MP. Especially since we havent in the past (ala Jack or mc donough for that matter who waited and got the NDP a breakthru in atlantic canada)

Fine... but they should at least have elected experience. Layton was a Toronto municipal councillor and Deputy Mayor of Toronto. McDonough was the former Nova Scotia NDP leader and had been elected to the Nova Scotia legislature four times. Topp? Zip.

The office of Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister-in-waiting isn't an entry level position.

Howard

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Yeah, we had nowhere to go but up when we picked Jack. Do you honestly think the caucus can stay unified with a full year of Nicole Turmel?

Just another angle.

I've never taken Federal NDPers for king-killers, but times change. Just look at the BC NDP ("Baker's Dozen", "Rise of Glen Clark", "Ujjal").

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
The office of Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister-in-waiting isn't an entry level position.

Okay, here's where I depart from that argument. Topp has a hell of lot of experience in areas other than actually being elected - but at the same time fully a part of electoral politics. That will serve him in good stead. And he's smart - sharp as a tack in my opinion.

Howard

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Bacchus wrote:

Then an MP has to setp aside from a safe seat, as is often the tradition, to have a by election to let the leader win a seat. We cannot limit the leadership to sitting MPs only. Or say we deont but never elect anyone but a sitting MP. Especially since we havent in the past (ala Jack or mc donough for that matter who waited and got the NDP a breakthru in atlantic canada)

Fine... but they should at least have elected experience. Layton was a Toronto municipal councillor and Deputy Mayor of Toronto. McDonough was the former Nova Scotia NDP leader and had been elected to the Nova Scotia legislature four times. Topp? Zip. The office of Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister-in-waiting isn't an entry level position.

To paraphrase Brian Topp, if Topp pulled it off, he would hardly be the first Brian from Québec, to pull off such a feat.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Thank you, Howard. I appreciate you commenting on the other candidates. I have lots of concerns and I don't think any one candidate is perfect but I am leaning towards one more than the others at this point and none of the discussions here are making me reconsider my choice.

Hunky_Monkey

Boom Boom wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
The office of Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister-in-waiting isn't an entry level position.

Okay, here's where I depart from that argument. Topp has a hell of lot of experience in areas other than actually being elected - but at the same time fully a part of electoral politics. That will serve him in good stead. And he's smart - sharp as a tack in my opinion.

Boom Boom... it's a totally different set of skills needed. Why most don't make it from the backroom.

And regardless what you thought of Brian Mulroney and his government, he was an exceptional politician. Quite a unique case. This may sound great to New Democrats... Brian Topp is no Brian Mulroney lol... but it's not a compliment ;)

Howard

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Boom Boom wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
The office of Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister-in-waiting isn't an entry level position.

Okay, here's where I depart from that argument. Topp has a hell of lot of experience in areas other than actually being elected - but at the same time fully a part of electoral politics. That will serve him in good stead. And he's smart - sharp as a tack in my opinion.

Boom Boom... it's a totally different set of skills needed. Why most don't make it from the backroom. And regardless what you thought of Brian Mulroney and his government, he was an exceptional politician. Quite a unique case. This may sound great to New Democrats... Brian Topp is no Brian Mulroney lol... but it's not a compliment ;)

That qualifies as a backtrack and how unique is he really? Iggy tried to pull off the same thing. Political parties frequently draw someone in from outside. If I had the time and patience, I could probably go back through confederation and find several other individuals that pulled such a transition off, just not recently.

mark_alfred

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Finding our version of Stephen Harper means finding a leader that Canadians will trust to run a G7 country. Finding our version of Stephen Harper means electing a leader that Canadians outside the NDP bubble can vote for because that candidate has the "royal jelly" to be Prime Minister. It's about finding a candidate that can communicate what the NDP is all about to voters who haven't voted for us in the past. That is NOT Brian Topp. I know lots of people who voted for Harper not because he was some right-winger but they trusted him and the Tories with governing Canada. Some of these voters would even classify as progressive on the issues of the day. We need a leader on the left who can appeal to Canadians in the same way. That is Thomas Mulcair.

Topp is the antithesis of Harper.  Harper is not a good prime minister, and I feel Topp is smart enough to call him on this and establish that an NDP gov't will not be another flavour of "Harperland" in any way whatsoever.  No NDP leader should attempt to "appeal to Canadians in the same way" as Harper.  If Mulcair does in fact intend to pull tactics akin to Harperland, then count me out.

Howard

laine lowe wrote:

Based on these leadership threads, most here seem to think it's down to Mulcair and Topp. Well that's very disappointing in my view. I can't see either one exciting people outside the fold. They are both very conservative choices with one veering more to the left than the other.

I've heard that echoed elsewhere and I think it is a valid concern. This is why I have not ruled out Roméo Saganash. To me he is someone who's life story inspires, but so far, his oratory has not. His mild manner works. He comes across as a bridge-builder, although at times he sounds like he's full of himself. He's penned some interesting editorials on policy. Nothing too meaty, but decent nonetheless.

I haven't felt the same way about Niki Ashton. She is always peppy. She is always prepared with a quick platitudinous soundbite. And am I allowed to say on this board that she is pretty too? (Someone said it about Nash, also true, and I know some babblers that have said Jack was "hot" but I digress) But she is soft on policy, gravitas (her default is to be so excited and earnest that every media answer sounds like someone's first 15 seconds of fame; how about aiming for...happy? and reasoned?) Anyways, I'm wasting time...I don't feel like Niki Ashton has ever wanted my support! To appeal to incorrigible wonks like me, you need policy and strategy. Either these are not Ashton's strong points or she has no interest in humouring the likes of me. Either way, I currently like her for MP but not for leader.

socialdemocrati...

Boom Boom wrote:
But her term only runs until the convention, yes?

But how long will it take to get Topp or Singh to parliament? Even if the logistics of getting an MP to resign are taken care of by April... it's up to Harper to call the election. Do you think he'll be speedy and efficient? In all fairness, don't the other parties need time to have nominations to contest the seat? There's a good chance we'll end up with a lame duck leader in parliament until October.

Howard

janfromthebruce wrote:

I totally agree with that observation OO. We were all pretty shelled shocked and Topp has the connection and gravis to do a letter which smoothed the waters and put into perspective for members, supporters and others our NDP position and positively moving on. He righted the ship and we were able to sail on without taking on too much water nor get stuck on the rocks. Yeah, that is leadership. He reminded me of Jack but then that is probably the stuff he did naturally as president and also as the behind the scenes guy.

 

ottawaobserver wrote:

All I know is that there was a great big communications void in the last 48 hours for the NDP as a party, and the only leadership candidate to step in and fill that void (and do so very effectively) was Brian Topp with his open letter. Someone has to be keeping an eye on the big picture, and I think we all expect that of our leadership.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

I didn't read Topp's letter, because the post that flagged it started like this: "The cynics..."

and continued like this "have the right to believe what they want. And they're probably better off in the Liberal Party..."

i) depressing (starting off by talking about cynics, on an already sad event, sad day)

ii) negative

iii) hyperpartisan ("and they're probably better off in the Liberal Party...")

It just had sour grapes written all over it.

Then I started getting all the emails "They voted for Jack" and people were saying how great his comment was, and I tried to actually read it, and I just couldn't. It took several tries. I mean:

"many of us felt that just maybe, a new dawn was breaking."

What is Brian Topp saying, that the NDP brought the Englightment? The Messiah returns? Yes, this appeals to hyperpartisans, but to the public? puh-lease.

"Jack showed us that a new kind of politics is possible...an optimistic politics"

Then why the negative message? Then why the talk about cynics and how wronged we were by LSD? If a new kind of politics was truly dawning, we wouldn't care about her. Her defection would not elicit such handwringing and gnashing of teeth because it was irrelevant to the real goings-on.

"The moment we shared was a temporary spark. The change on the horizon a fleeting dream."

Back in to depression mode again.

"When asked about the plurality of voters in your riding who voted..."

mmm...nerdy! I like!

"...she simply shrugged,"

good alliteration!

""They voted for Jack Layton. Jack Layton is dead."

How maudlin! Back to depression mode.

"yada, yada....more stuff"

and then, lest we forget the rallying cry:

"Let the other parties have their cynics."

depressed

"Let's you and I bring change to this country- starting now."

slightly less depressed.

This note to me was classic NDP pre-Layton. Depressed lefties. Going on about how terrible the world is. Going on about how nothing would ever change, unless the NDP won, which they knew it wouldn't. Going on as if there was never hope, except for fleeting moments, and then the rallying cry: eventhough the world sucks, let's charge into the cannons, who's with me!

Layton changed that. He was always optimistic. There was never a suggestion that he couldn't win. Or that he didn't think he was going to win. Or that anything that happened to the party could be counted as more than "two steps forward, one step back." He was going to win g-d- it and that's just the way it was. Life was beautiful. He saw a baby, he picked it up and kissed it. He waved its hand. He made faces and played with it. He saw random person x, he smiled. He heartily shook their hand, as if he was shaking the hand of an old colleague and friend. He exuded warmth and optimism and happiness. The only time I didn't see Jack peppy and happy was before the show (when he would sometimes appear nervous or insecure offstage) or after the show (when he would be completely exhausted), but on stage he was always happy, happy, happy. He enjoyed his job. He was a winner. That is a game-changer my friends. If he had any doubts, Jack never let the PUBLIC see it. He was always happy, happy, happy. And he was always working hard to come off as a winner, even when he lost. Jack was brilliant.

Howard

Boom Boom wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

It also sucks a little that picking Topp means we won't have a permanent leader in Parliament until 2013. Just saying.

There's no guarantee he'll win that byelection, either. If he becomes leader, and loses the byelection, he'll probably have to ask another MP to step aside. Is that kosher?

It can spell the beginning of the end (e.g. John Tory as Ontario PC leader) or nothing at all (Tommy Douglas had to run in byelections after losing his seat as leader).

Howard

mark_alfred wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Finding our version of Stephen Harper means finding a leader that Canadians will trust to run a G7 country. Finding our version of Stephen Harper means electing a leader that Canadians outside the NDP bubble can vote for because that candidate has the "royal jelly" to be Prime Minister. It's about finding a candidate that can communicate what the NDP is all about to voters who haven't voted for us in the past. That is NOT Brian Topp. I know lots of people who voted for Harper not because he was some right-winger but they trusted him and the Tories with governing Canada. Some of these voters would even classify as progressive on the issues of the day. We need a leader on the left who can appeal to Canadians in the same way. That is Thomas Mulcair.

Topp is the antithesis of Harper.  Harper is not a good prime minister, and I feel Topp is smart enough to call him on this and establish that an NDP gov't will not be another flavour of "Harperland" in any way whatsoever.  No NDP leader should attempt to "appeal to Canadians in the same way" as Harper.  If Mulcair does in fact intend to pull tactics akin to Harperland, then count me out.

What do you call Topp's smears on Mulcair (e.g. Mulcair=Charest, Mulcair=right wing)? How would you like it if Mulcair started saying Topp=Paul Martin because of Topp's praise for Greek austerity and participation in the Saskatchewan extension of Paul Martin's austerity during the Romanow years? I would be pissed if Mulcair did that, just like I'm pissed that Topp is painting Mulcair with the same brush as a man Mulcair isn't on speaking terms with, risked his political career to break with, and had no choice but to work with (if he wanted to be in a federalist Québec provincial party). That is low. Need I go on?

socialdemocrati...

Brian Topp comes off as particularly unlikeable in this exchange:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3LAVQaBDUI

Which is too bad, because I think he's smart to demonstrate that we won't rack up a huge debt. His delivery and approach though... he really needs to work on it.

socialdemocrati...

On the other hand... Brian Topp's prepared written remarks are very much on point. Well reasoned. Dare I say, the speech even sounds engaging:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/01/10/a-fiscally-responsible-economically-l...

The question is if he can learn to deliver that speech with more personality than a doorknob. If he can't, then he should stick to being a strategist and an aide.

NorthReport
Howard

-

Hunky_Monkey

mark_alfred wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Finding our version of Stephen Harper means finding a leader that Canadians will trust to run a G7 country. Finding our version of Stephen Harper means electing a leader that Canadians outside the NDP bubble can vote for because that candidate has the "royal jelly" to be Prime Minister. It's about finding a candidate that can communicate what the NDP is all about to voters who haven't voted for us in the past. That is NOT Brian Topp. I know lots of people who voted for Harper not because he was some right-winger but they trusted him and the Tories with governing Canada. Some of these voters would even classify as progressive on the issues of the day. We need a leader on the left who can appeal to Canadians in the same way. That is Thomas Mulcair.

Topp is the antithesis of Harper.  Harper is not a good prime minister, and I feel Topp is smart enough to call him on this and establish that an NDP gov't will not be another flavour of "Harperland" in any way whatsoever.  No NDP leader should attempt to "appeal to Canadians in the same way" as Harper.  If Mulcair does in fact intend to pull tactics akin to Harperland, then count me out.

You completely missed my point. Regardless what political stripe a candidate for Prime Minister is, voters look for certain qualities and a level of gravitas. Mulcair has it. I think Nash has it. I think Dewar has it. I don't think Topp has it. If you can't see that, I guess we'll be heading back to the 40 seat range.

Hunky_Monkey

Howard wrote:

That qualifies as a backtrack and how unique is he really? Iggy tried to pull off the same thing. Political parties frequently draw someone in from outside. If I had the time and patience, I could probably go back through confederation and find several other individuals that pulled such a transition off, just not recently.

It's happened... although I note that Mulroney ran twice for the leadership before winning it. Regardless of his politics, he was quite a gifted politican and yes, quite unique.

Howard

Jean Lapierre is a BQ turned Liberal and the professor has always struck me as a Chantal Hébert Liberal. As such, I take their advice with a grain of salt. Especially, Lapierre. He was down-talking the NDP's chances until the dying days of the 2011 campaign.

The "Saganash is invisible" bit is partly because the media treats Saganash like a total also ran. If Saganash had a better debate performance, maybe they would have to pay attention to him. It also doesn't help that Saganash has not received as many endorsements from his colleagues in the House of Commons or elsewhere. He's got to make his own luck, if no one else is willing to take a risk on him. 

Hunky_Monkey

Howard wrote:

Jean Lapierre is a BQ turned Liberal and the professor has always struck me as a Chantal Hébert Liberal. As such, I take their advice with a grain of salt. Especially, Lapierre. He was down-talking the NDP's chances until the dying days of the 2011 campaign.

The "Saganash is invisible" bit is partly because the media treats Saganash like a total also ran. If Saganash had a better debate performance, maybe they would have to pay attention to him. It also doesn't help that Saganash has not received as many endorsements from his colleagues in the House of Commons or elsewhere. He's got to make his own luck, if no one else is willing to take a risk on him. 

Even though it's a somewhat positive spin on Mulcair, I take what LaPierre says with a grain of salt.

He also said all the new Quebec MPs were invisible and not doing their jobs.

I don't care for the man ;)

ottawaobserver

By the way, just because a leader wouldn't sit in Parliament, doesn't mean they wouldn't have an office in Ottawa, and lead the strategy, the caucus meetings, run the show, attend the scrums, etc., etc. But there would be a Parliamentary leader in the House as well (what Blaikie was when Jack was a leader without a seat), to handle Question Period and the House business.

Wilf Day

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
The office of Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister-in-waiting isn't an entry level position.

To which Topp always references the other Brian from Quebec.

So far I haven't seen him reference any other examples. The only one I can find is Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, the last person to be Prime Minister of Great Britain (1894 - 95) without ever having been elected to anything. Anyone else?

ottawaobserver

Howard wrote:

Jean Lapierre is a BQ turned Liberal and the professor has always struck me as a Chantal Hébert Liberal. As such, I take their advice with a grain of salt. Especially, Lapierre. He was down-talking the NDP's chances until the dying days of the 2011 campaign.

The "Saganash is invisible" bit is partly because the media treats Saganash like a total also ran. If Saganash had a better debate performance, maybe they would have to pay attention to him. It also doesn't help that Saganash has not received as many endorsements from his colleagues in the House of Commons or elsewhere. He's got to make his own luck, if no one else is willing to take a risk on him. 

OK, never mind that you're risking the wrath of Maysie here, but for one thing you're completely wrong that Saganash has no endorsements from caucus colleauges (Christine Moore from the neighbouring Abitibi riding, and Pierre Dionne Labelle from the north shore, who is the real deal - the Charlie Angus of Quebec, if you ask me).

Secondly, what is this "he's got to make his own luck" tut-tutting? And after everything we've just gone through here. People (lots of them) encouraged Saganash to run because of what he could do for his party and for his people and frankly for the country. He has been visiting schools and remote communities and inspiring young people to see themselves in this process and in a new light (with his compelling narrative of an amazing personal story). I mean if you don't follow the campaign closely enough to know where he's going and what his campaign is doing, where do you get off making a judgemental comment like that?

socialdemocrati...

I don't think he was making a judgmental comment. I think a lot of people would like to see Saganash succeed, but they realize the current narrative of the current frontrunners is holding him back. Saganash needs a game changer.

Ken Burch

Howard wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

It also sucks a little that picking Topp means we won't have a permanent leader in Parliament until 2013. Just saying.

There's no guarantee he'll win that byelection, either. If he becomes leader, and loses the byelection, he'll probably have to ask another MP to step aside. Is that kosher?

It can spell the beginning of the end (e.g. John Tory as Ontario PC leader) or nothing at all (Tommy Douglas had to run in byelections after losing his seat as leader).

While Tommy Douglas was a great social democratic premier and an exemplary federal party leader, there was never any point during his federal leadership at which the NDP was actually considered a serious contender for power. Therefore, the NDP didn't really have anything to lose from his being out of the House for a few months in 1962 and 1968, especially since, in the second instance, the Liberals had an outright majority and there was no prospect whatsoever of a snap election.

KenS

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

 [The Mulcair campaign] said they will add a section on the website for policy statements. Want me to write back and ask the font they're going to use as well? *wink*

Adding a section to the website is easy. But there has to be some policy statements to put in them.

Since existing stuff that was put out in news releases is being called policy by the campaign, pardon my skepticism this will ever happen.

But that does remain to be seen.

And it is more likely if they feel some pressure about it, that it does not look good. IMO, there is not that kind of pressure so far.

KenS

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I like Topp. One of the best things about him is you know he had such a big role in crafting strategy and policy over the past few years, a vote for him is a vote to continue the same priorities as Jack Layton.

But here's the problem. We're not just electing a platform or a strategy. We're electing a leader. We're electing a spokesman. I'm not gonna play up the big media narrative that the NDP won purely on Jack Layton's cult of personality. But I can't dismiss the fact that we had an exceptional leader in Jack Layton. Not just a guy who understood policy and strategy. A guy who knew how to communicate and debate. A guy who was good in an interview and good in question period.

Brian Topp hasn't proven to me that he can be that leader. I'm willing to give him time. (I'm stupified at the number of people who say the race has dragged on too long, or that the candidates are short on announcements, considering the average Canadian is just starting to pay attention now.) But he has a huge deficit to overcome. His attacks on Dewar in the debate just seemed completely uncalled for. His attacks on Mulcair were off base. In interviews, he's dull at best. Worst case, he just has this smug, arrogant manner.

I'm not saying I can't support Topp. He might be the least likeable of the candidates (at this point in the race), and I'm STILL willing to put him in my top 3. He just has to work as hard at messaging, branding, and presentation as he works at policy and strategy. If he doesn't, I'll fight his nomination tooth and nail.

It also sucks a little that picking Topp means we won't have a permanent leader in Parliament until 2013. Just saying.

I agree that Topp has to prove himself. You can bet he is working hard as he can at presentation- like Dewar with his French. We'll see whther he gets there.

FWIW, given his lack of ever having been in the limelight, I had thought it quite possible he could fail miserably when he got out there. He didn't. Which means he gets to keep trying. He started out performing not very well to small audiences- including when I saw him. But he seemed to get that down quickly. So I think he has good prospects for getting the rest of the way- which will show or not in the debates [and if it is possible for a candidate to find another venue where ability with the 30 second clip shows].

Here is my take on the bar he has to clear. The candidate we pick to be Leader does not have to be as good or comfortable on stage as Mulcair or Cullen. The only gravitas Harper has is the fact of being Prime Minister. He had none when he became PM. He still has zero charm. And he is not the only success with just adequate presence. Dexter is another. [He has become very confident looking. But he connected long before he got that.] What Harper and Dexter had was the capacity to convey message that you mentioned Brian has to show on stage.

Frankly, I think the actual negative reactions to Topp [going after Dewar, sounding arrogant?, etc] is prissy inside the NDP stuff. Boring on stage, yes. So far at least. And maybe because of that, the other things loom larger. I think a more apt description of going after Dewar is that it did not work. A lot of that has to do with the insipid format. But its still Brian's responsibility. Bottom line is that he has to present himself in a way that works.

The business of not being in the House is piffle. As Leader of the Opposition he'll be able to get in the media a lot more often and more easily than those clips from the pathetic circus of disrepute we call Question Period. QP is for political junkies only [and not even all of us, I think its just plain stupid]. The junkies matter, but their inclinations are not the drivers of Canadian politics. In fact, I can see developing a permanent 'party agenda presentation method' that leaves much more of the House side of it to others than the Leader. Since Jack was so good at it, there was no reason to go there. But it can have its merits. Public leadership styles should differ.

JKR

Wilf Day wrote:
Hunky_Monkey wrote:
The office of Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister-in-waiting isn't an entry level position.

To which Topp always references the other Brian from Quebec.

So far I haven't seen him reference any other examples. The only one I can find is Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, the last person to be Prime Minister of Great Britain (1894 - 95) without ever having been elected to anything. Anyone else?

That settles it, Brian Topp is the left-wing version of Brian Mulroney.

JKR

ottawaobserver wrote:

By the way, just because a leader wouldn't sit in Parliament, doesn't mean they wouldn't have an office in Ottawa, and lead the strategy, the caucus meetings, run the show, attend the scrums, etc., etc.

Brian Mulroney was not in Parliament when he won the PC leadership. That couldn't have hurt his party too much as they went on to win 211 seats.

Could Topp be the left-wing version of Brian Mulroney? Surprised

KenS

He is much more comparable to Stephen Harper.

Unlike Mulroney and Topp, Harper had elected experience before he became Leader. But elected experience is not a qualifier in itself. 

And if you break it down by qualities that go into leading a national party contending to govern, there is a lot in common between Harper and Topp. Vision of where you want to go. Will to get there. Starting with only modest capabilities to communicate the message beyond the base....

KenS

Harper shifts the political terrain

Quote:

Extraordinary discipline, relentless messaging and a methodical management style have helped Stephen Harper build Canada's most successful Conservative dynasty since Sir John A. Macdonald.

I dont think it is the 'relentless' nature of the messaging that makes it effective. Calling it relentless is the ever-present journalistic need for the grabbing phrase.

But the messaging is very focused AND has always been guided by a plan of where you are going, with policies and initiatives being the building blocks.

MegB

ottawaobserver wrote:

Howard wrote:

Jean Lapierre is a BQ turned Liberal and the professor has always struck me as a Chantal Hébert Liberal. As such, I take their advice with a grain of salt. Especially, Lapierre. He was down-talking the NDP's chances until the dying days of the 2011 campaign.

The "Saganash is invisible" bit is partly because the media treats Saganash like a total also ran. If Saganash had a better debate performance, maybe they would have to pay attention to him. It also doesn't help that Saganash has not received as many endorsements from his colleagues in the House of Commons or elsewhere. He's got to make his own luck, if no one else is willing to take a risk on him. 

OK, never mind that you're risking the wrath of Maysie here

Just don't, okay?

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Rebecca, really, what does that mean? I am like pretty much everyone else here. in thinking Malcom shouldn't have been suspended. For my money, I don't appreciate your comment above.

Slumberjack

There's no particular need to keep taking runs at people Arthur.  Rebecca is right to want a stop put to it.

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