NDP Leadership 78

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Hunky_Monkey

Lord Palmerston wrote:

nicky wrote:

It is getting a little tiresome to read over and over that Mulcair is anti-union because he opposed the 25% labour carve-out. This idea has been refuted repeatedly on Babble but Topp's apologists keep resurrecting it with a pejorative spin.

I'm not at all saying that supporting OMOV makes one "anti-union" or even saying Mulcair is anti-union.  I'm criticizing his crass opportunism in playing into the "too dominated by the unions" line of the MSM, which is one of the biggest right-wing smears agains the NDP.

It's an opinion shared by many New Democrats.

Lord Palmerston

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Bob Rae was an incompetent Premier all around. An example of a good politician being a bad leader :)

So it would have been better if Rae had balanced the budget faster (and inflicted even more pain in a recession)?

Policywonk

Lord Palmerston wrote:

nicky wrote:

It is getting a little tiresome to read over and over that Mulcair is anti-union because he opposed the 25% labour carve-out. This idea has been refuted repeatedly on Babble but Topp's apologists keep resurrecting it with a pejorative spin.

I'm not at all saying that supporting OMOV makes one "anti-union" or even saying Mulcair is anti-union.  I'm criticizing his crass opportunism in playing into the "too dominated by the unions" line of the MSM, which is one of the biggest right-wing smears agains the NDP.

I don't think Topp or Mulcair covered themselves with glory with their comments on the labour carve-out (Topp in favour and Mulcair against when both should have stayed out of the discussion as potential candidates).

Lord Palmerston

nicky wrote:

It is getting a little tiresome to read over and over that Mulcair is anti-union because he opposed the 25% labour carve-out. This idea has been refuted repeatedly on Babble but Topp's apologists keep resurrecting it with a pejorative spin.

I'm not at all saying that supporting OMOV makes one "anti-union" or even saying Mulcair is anti-union.  I'm criticizing his crass opportunism in playing into the "too dominated by the unions" line of the MSM, which is one of the biggest right-wing smears against the NDP.

nicky

If you go back and read the original story, Mulcair is quoted as saying,"Why not let the membership decide?"

Can anyone explain how that is "anti-union"?

Unionist

Lord Palmerston wrote:

 

I'm not at all saying that supporting OMOV makes one "anti-union" or even saying Mulcair is anti-union.  I'm criticizing his crass opportunism in playing into the "too dominated by the unions" line of the MSM, which is one of the biggest right-wing smears against the NDP.

LP - I get it. It's a point. It's not a very big point. How Mulcair, or any of the other candidates, deals with workers remains to be seen. It cannot IMO be sussed out by what may or may not be an opportunistic remark early in the campaign. The Charest government (of which Mulcair was a minister) and the Romanow government (of which Topp was a strategist) both did pretty bad things to the unions and the workers. This race, like elections generally, is unfortunately a "least of evils" contest. As such, it's important to neither overstate nor understate reality. Just my 2 cents.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

stevebrown wrote:

The more I think about it the more I believe Romeo is the right choice for the NDP. It just seems to make sense that a party that considers itself to be progressive would want to have a First Nations person living in 24 Sussex. Forget about worrying about Harper and his band of bullies, and remain true to the spirit that the NDP purports to contain.

Seriously?

Yeah, forget about worrying about Stephen Harper when you forget about the marginalized. There will be many more Stephen Harper's and many more marginalized until we all do something about it.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Let's hope it doesn't come down to a "least of evils" contest :-(

That seems to be too common in western democracies these days. And with that, it's no wonder so many people refuse to vote.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I'm unsure how you can be so flippant about Mulcair's anti-union broadside, Unionist? Seems you're holding some candidates to their words more than others?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

laine lowe wrote:

Let's hope it doesn't come down to a "least of evils" contest :-(

That seems to be too common in western democracies these days. And with that, it's no wonder so many people refuse to vote.

Amen.

Unionist

RevolutionPlease wrote:
I'm unsure how you can be so flippant about Mulcair's anti-union broadside, Unionist?

Quote, please.

Quote:
Seems you're holding some candidates to their words more than others?

Quote, please.

Look, with all due respect, don't call me "flippant" and don't accuse me of hypocrisy or inconsistency. Don't talk about me at all, ok? Just deal with what I say. Thanks very much.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

New angle. Who's most positioned to appeal to the Nation of Quebec and the Rest of the Nations of Canada?

Who's highly appealing to disaffected voters?

Who's not been born with the silver spoon?

Who, really, represents "New Politics"?

Unionist

laine lowe wrote:

Let's hope it doesn't come down to a "least of evils" contest :-(

What are you expecting - an inspiring candidate that will turn the NDP into a totally different kind of party that can lead thoroughgoing social change, protect the environment, act in solidarity with people around the world... I'll settle for defeating Harper and what he represents, thanks.

Quote:
That seems to be too common in western democracies these days. And with that, it's no wonder so many people refuse to vote.

Convince people that there is a credible movement to Stop Harper, and you'll get them to vote - even if they know little or nothing about the absolute merits of the person or party they're voting for. I saw that happen last year. That's not cynicism. It's profoundly inspiring. Build on that, and you'll get somewhere.

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Unionist wrote:

Lord Palmerston wrote:

 

I'm not at all saying that supporting OMOV makes one "anti-union" or even saying Mulcair is anti-union.  I'm criticizing his crass opportunism in playing into the "too dominated by the unions" line of the MSM, which is one of the biggest right-wing smears against the NDP.

LP - I get it. It's a point. It's not a very big point.

That's my flippant point. And it ties into my remark about holding some to their words. You want Romeo held to his comments on hypotheticals but want Mulcair let off.

Please don't lecture me on what I may post. I'll leave that to the moderators. I responded to what you typed. I'm entitled to an opinion and won't be bullied.

You've been taking Monsieur Saganash to task about some old, vague remarks but present a non-plussed apology for Mulcair about his anti-union remarks.

I don't itch for fights Unionist but trying to lecture me is really low.

Unionist

RevolutionPlease wrote:
Unionist wrote:

Lord Palmerston wrote:

 

I'm not at all saying that supporting OMOV makes one "anti-union" or even saying Mulcair is anti-union.  I'm criticizing his crass opportunism in playing into the "too dominated by the unions" line of the MSM, which is one of the biggest right-wing smears against the NDP.

LP - I get it. It's a point. It's not a very big point.

That's my flippant point. And it ties into my remark about holding some to their words.

If you have one single anti-union statement by Mulcair - a real one - quote it and I'll condemn him for it. Meanwhile, I'll only condemn him for the things he has actually said and done - like his unabashed pro-Israel attack-dog actions of last year.

Quote:
You want Romeo held to his comments on hypotheticals but want Mulcair let off.

If Romeo doesn't change his tune on what you call his "hypotheticals", he will be justly condemned as the enemy of the Québec people's right to self-determination. What he said on this, and repeated, is public knowledge and has been quoted here.

You can't cover up for him just because you like him, you know. Life doesn't work that way.

Quote:
Please don't lecture me on what I may post. I'll leave that to the moderators. I responded to what you typed. I'm entitled to an opinion and won't be bullied.

I've told you not to engage in personal characterizations. You consider that "bullying"? Cool.

Quote:
You've been taking Monsieur Saganash to task about some old, vague remarks but present a non-plussed apology for Mulcair about his anti-union remarks. I don't itch for fights Unionist but trying to lecture me is really low.

Please quote Mulcair's "anti-union remarks" [whoops, don't mean to sound "bullying"], because accusations like that are a dime a dozen - and it appears to me that you have no idea what Mulcair actually said. Do you?

As for Saganash, I support him. That's what gives me full rights to call on him to correct his ways. He has no special rights to equivocate on the issue of Québec.

Unionist

RevolutionPlease wrote:
New angle. Who's most positioned to appeal to the Nation of Quebec and the Rest of the Nations of Canada? Who's highly appealing to disaffected voters? Who's not been born with the silver spoon? Who, really, represents "New Politics"?

Niki Ashton?

 

Gaian

nicky wrote:

It is getting a little tiresome to read over and over that Mulcair is anti-union because he opposed the 25% labour carve-out. This idea has been refuted repeatedly on Babble but Topp's apologists keep resurrecting it with a pejorative spin.

For hopefully the last time, let me explain what happened:

1. The previous convention voted overwhelmingly to abolish the carve-out in favour of a purely one-member-one-vote system.

2. At the Federal Council meeting in September to set out the rules for the leadership vote, Topp's forces attempted to resurrect the carve-out, relying on some ambiguous wording in the party constitution that arguably gave the Counil power to determine the voting procedure.

3. Mulcair and most of the Council opposed this and it failed to pass.

4. Topp wanted to do this because he perceived that an enhanced labour vote would be to his advantage.

Topp was attempting a sort of coup to overturn the democratic decision of the convention. When he lost, his people put out the misleading narrative that Mulcair is anti-labour because he stood behind that democratic decision.

It was the same kind of smear as Topp's people attempted in propagating the narrative that Mulcair doesn't play welll with others. False, misleading and politically motivated.

Happily, these tactics have deservedly hurt Topp much more than Mulcair.

Right on.

Working people who are organized are seen to be coming on board the Mulcair campaign. What they want is someone who has demonstrated the capacity to defend their hard-won gains. They understand forceful and knowledgeable argument as the most likely to win their case. Given the need for strong social democratic action and argument to defend what's left of a welfare state in the face of a relentless Conservative campaign that never lets up, I don't understand - and neither must the organized - the appeals to Marquess of Queensbury rules. Remnants of childhood reading of Tom Brown's Schooldays? Play up, play the game? Omnia Vincet Amour?

Steve must smile at it all.

CanadaApple

KenS wrote:

He isnt going to be called a sovereignist by the Cons or the MSM.

And you have to stop thinking that this is an argument as in a court of law or a seminar room.

It's simple:

We WILL be vulnearble on the Clarity Act and the SD. And thats with our supporter universe... not the Cons base who are not part of the discussion.

Winning that is not going to be easy. And if Mulcair is Leader there will be no need to label or even imply him a sovereignist. Or appear to be opposed to Quebec [in the ROC]. The popular predisposition is towards the Clarity Act. It just makes sense to most people. The Liberals crafted it well as a wedge.

Okay KenS, you've suggested two things over the past few threads (both the leadership threads, and the one about SD you yourself made). One is that no matter who the NDP picks as leader, they are going to be attacked on the SD in relation to the CA. Two is that you think Mulcair is vulnerable to the attack. I'm not sure if you think he is the most vulnerable, but you have pointed him out instead of any other specific candidate (that I have seen, anyway). Yet you have also said you think the attack will be "managable". However, I don't think you've said how it can be managable, or which candidate running you think would be the best at doing so.

Maybe you don't know, and that's fine since I don't either. But it's just seem to me that if you're going to such great lengths to point out a problem, you should have some idea about the solution.

AnonymousMouse

Lord Palmerston wrote:

nicky wrote:

It is getting a little tiresome to read over and over that Mulcair is anti-union because he opposed the 25% labour carve-out. This idea has been refuted repeatedly on Babble but Topp's apologists keep resurrecting it with a pejorative spin.

I'm not at all saying that supporting OMOV makes one "anti-union" or even saying Mulcair is anti-union.  I'm criticizing his crass opportunism in playing into the "too dominated by the unions" line of the MSM, which is one of the biggest right-wing smears against the NDP.

Except Mulcair didn't say the NDP is "too dominated by the unions", or imply that in any way. All he said was that by keeping OMOV we would ensure the next leader would not be beholden to anyone, but the membership.

Ironically, given the context of your comment, it was an MSM journalist who chose to portray Mulcair's comments the way that you are now.

Mulcair is obviously aware that the NDP is frequently attack for being "beholden to unions"--whether that's true or not. When one candidate--the executive director of a union, no less--is trying to re-insert a (mostly) union carve out against the clear will of the party membership (having amended the party constitution), it is absolutely fair game to point out that that would play into our opponents attacks against us.

Pointing that out is not anti-union. If it were, Mulcair wouldn't have a laundry list of labour presidents supporting him. Mulcair is a former labour lawyer and and union secretary for Christ's sake. This argument is just nonsense.

socialdemocrati...

Is anyone actually still talking to each other? Because I see a lot more strawmen than anything.

IM TIRED OF PEOPLE SAYING WE CANT PICK ROMEO BECAUSE HE GROWS A LOUSY MOUSTACHE

IM TIRED OF PEOPLE SAYING WE HAVE TO PICK MULCAIR BECAUSE HE HAS A BEARD

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

:) @ U

Do I really need to dig up Mulcair's anti-union digs. No, I don't. He prevented the labour carve out. And you know what? I agree.

Fig leaf Unionist. I really like Mulcair. The Toronto debate I watched, he was pretty darn good. He is definitely the best at firing off many words very wittily and succinctly.

But we have an opportunity to reach out to all of Canada. I've heard too much about Quebec this, ROC that. How about someone who's got way more on the line and has been there, done that?

It's insulting but the States did something different.

We really need a new way of doing politics.

Apologies Unionist if I don't stick to the politics, I try.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Gaian wrote:
nicky wrote:

It is getting a little tiresome to read over and over that Mulcair is anti-union because he opposed the 25% labour carve-out. This idea has been refuted repeatedly on Babble but Topp's apologists keep resurrecting it with a pejorative spin.

For hopefully the last time, let me explain what happened:

1. The previous convention voted overwhelmingly to abolish the carve-out in favour of a purely one-member-one-vote system.

2. At the Federal Council meeting in September to set out the rules for the leadership vote, Topp's forces attempted to resurrect the carve-out, relying on some ambiguous wording in the party constitution that arguably gave the Counil power to determine the voting procedure.

3. Mulcair and most of the Council opposed this and it failed to pass.

4. Topp wanted to do this because he perceived that an enhanced labour vote would be to his advantage.

Topp was attempting a sort of coup to overturn the democratic decision of the convention. When he lost, his people put out the misleading narrative that Mulcair is anti-labour because he stood behind that democratic decision.

It was the same kind of smear as Topp's people attempted in propagating the narrative that Mulcair doesn't play welll with others. False, misleading and politically motivated.

Happily, these tactics have deservedly hurt Topp much more than Mulcair.

Right on.

Working people who are organized are seen to be coming on board the Mulcair campaign. What they want is someone who has demonstrated the capacity to defend their hard-won gains. They understand forceful and knowledgeable argument as the most likely to win their case. Given the need for strong social democratic action and argument to defend what's left of a welfare state in the face of a relentless Conservative campaign that never lets up, I don't understand - and neither must the organized - the appeals to Marquess of Queensbury rules. Remnants of childhood reading of Tom Brown's Schooldays? Play up, play the game? Omnia Vincet Amour?

Steve must smile at it all.

Yep, Steve smiles with your regurgitation of the welfare state and working people. What's these rules you speak of?

What don't you understand? You're never going to get anywhere courting the middle class.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

Is anyone actually still talking to each other? Because I see a lot more strawmen than anything.

IM TIRED OF PEOPLE SAYING WE CANT PICK ROMEO BECAUSE HE GROWS A LOUSY MOUSTACHE

IM TIRED OF PEOPLE SAYING WE HAVE TO PICK MULCAIR BECAUSE HE HAS A BEARD

 

I've been trying to point this out. Thanks sdm.

Unionist

RevolutionPlease wrote:
:) @ U Do I really need to dig up Mulcair's anti-union digs. No, I don't. He prevented the labour carve out. And you know what? I agree.

So do I. I don't like parties beholden to organizations (even unions), and I don't like unions that line up behind parties. I like parties that represent everyone (because they ultimately seek to govern everyone), and unions that represent all workers, irrespective of what some individual worker's political preferences may be. That doesn't mean a party can't support a union's struggle, nor that a union can't decide to support and finance a particular party at a particular time.

Quote:
How about someone who's got way more on the line and has been there, done that? It's insulting but the States did something different. We really need a new way of doing politics. Apologies Unionist if I don't stick to the politics, I try.

Well, that's why I like Saganash. It's also why I take some time to comment on his statements (you won't find me doing that with any of the other candidates, by the way - because I can't stand their political posturing). And you don't need to apologize to anyone, RP. Your heart and soul are on the side of the people. That's good enough for me. I'm sorry if I got all defensive. I just thought you were looking for partisan motives behind my criticisms.

AnonymousMouse

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Mulcair has attacked from the right ("can't run the night shift at Burger King.")  

Stuff like this is, to me, the biggest problem the NDP has today.

Not a fundraising deficit. Not a biased media. Stuff like this.

How does saying someone couldn't "run the night shift at Burger King" qualify as "attacking them from the right"?

I'm no centrist. I don't want to move the party to the right. I think in many ways we should actually work more closely with unions. Income inequality is the issue that drives my political beliefs more than anything else.

But if we as a party consider managerial competence a right wing attribute, then it's no wonder Canadians don't trust us to form a government.

Luckily, I don't think most New Democrats believe that. I don't even think New Democrats who write things like "he attacked him from the right by saying he couldn't run the night shift at a Burger King" actually believe that.

But I do think there are a lot of people who immediately assume that anyone who thinks it's important to have credibility with the public on such issues, must be a sellout or mustn't be a real progressive. (Note that I said "credibility with the public", not with the progressive choir.)

Being able to manage a government is important. Being able to manage the economy is important. Being able to reassure people that you are practical and pragmatic as well as bold and idealistic is important.

If we don't get that, we won't win. What's more, if we don't get that, we don't deserve to win.

socialdemocrati...

Yep. Competence is not a right-wing attribute. And if we cede it to the right-wing, we've already lost.

 

Gaian

RP "What's these rules you speak of?"

Back in the early days of boxing as a sport, the good marquess wrote some rules about things like "no gouging", no swinging "below the belt," etc. etc.It's all up for googling. The point is, Steve doesn't go by the book. :)

And google has corrected me. "Love conquers all" is "omnia vincit amor" , a phrase I remember only because it was the title of a book I read many moons ago.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

What pisses me off is that it seems to be a de facto belief that only those to the right know how to manage the economy. This is not a slam on babblers but a comment on how the public are led to perceive things. The worst deficits seem to come from the most conservative governments. How is it that this myth persists?

Even in the private sector, you only have to look at Nortel to say WTF. How are these so-called captains of industry supposed to be considered the best economic managers? Let's just look at the latest international banking fiasco and ask how these people are considered experts.

You want to see good economic managers, than go to successful small businesses who have managed to survive against the odds of multinational intrusions into the market place. Take a look at any non-profit arts organization that manages to survive for many decades on shoe-string budgets. Make no mistake that large captial industries are important in making it possible to pay people decent wages because of the profits they can generate but that does not necessarily make them great managers when they manage to bring a company to its knees.

Anyway, I just think that it's time that the public be educated on what is sound fiscal and economic policy and it isn't pandering to investors.

Lord Palmerston

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Except Mulcair didn't say the NDP is "too dominated by the unions", or imply that in any way. All he said was that by keeping OMOV we would ensure the next leader would not be beholden to anyone, but the membership. Ironically, given the context of your comment, it was an MSM journalist who chose to portray Mulcair's comments the way that you are now. Mulcair is obviously aware that the NDP is frequently attack for being "beholden to unions"--whether that's true or not. When one candidate--the executive director of a union, no less--is trying to re-insert a (mostly) union carve out against the clear will of the party membership (having amended the party constitution), it is absolutely fair game to point out that that would play into our opponents attacks against us. Pointing that out is not anti-union. If it were, Mulcair wouldn't have a laundry list of labour presidents supporting him. Mulcair is a former labour lawyer and and union secretary for Christ's sake. This argument is just nonsense.

Alright, let me first clarify my views on OMOV, the union block vote, etc.  I defer to Sam Gindin, former research director at the CAW:

"What makes this issue so difficult to deal with simply is that on the one hand, there IS a problem with the special union status - voting should be by equal individuals and union leaders  use the special status to ignore actual mobilization of workers politically. On the other hand, those leading the fight to end the special status are generally not acting on principle or to increase the mobilization of rank-and-file workers but but to opportunistically distance themselves from unions. The 'right' position -  one member one vote, no special organizational status AND a greater orientation to the working class - is hard to inject in the debate in news clips..." 

socialdemocrati...

There are two reasons the hard right has such a poor track record of balancing budgets.

The first is convenience. Tax cuts are an easy sell, but spending cuts aren't. Everyone likes the sound of lower taxes. No one likes the sound of shittier health care, or halfway pensions.

The second is strategy. It's easier to convince people to slash their favorite social program if the state is having a financial crisis. In that sense, bankruptcy is desirable for true conservative idealogues. (Grover Norquist - "Starve the beast.")

Some people will say that bankrupting the government on purpose is a poor strategy, because voters kick poor fiscal managers out of power. But remember that conservatives make more money in the private sector as lobbyists than they do in government. They don't care about re-election. What's even better for them is they leave the mess to their opposition, who will be too busy trying to fix the budget to actually improve services. And in 4 to 8 years, the right-wing gets another shot at power, and they can do it all over again.

Lord Palmerston

Here is the Globe article in question: 

Quote:
Mr. Mulcair said the union issue is a clear differentiator between himself and the perceived frontrunner in the NDP leadership race, Brian Topp. The former party president is a union director and has won the support of the United Steelworkers.

In an interview with The Globe, Mr. Mulcair recounted how he informed the Canadian national director of the Steelworkers, Ken Neumann, that he opposed a reserved voting block for unions at the NDP leadership convention in March.

It was quite clear he wasn’t used to being told ‘no’ by anyone in the NDP. And I said ‘no.’ I said, ‘Why not let the membership decide?’” Mr. Mulcair said of the “cordial” conversation that occurred last month.

Mr. Mulcair added the issue has set him on a collision course with Mr. Topp, who favoured a system similar to the one in place at the previous leadership convention in 2003. In the end, the party sided with Mr. Mulcair by going for a one-member, one-vote selection process.

“So that is a defining difference because I want to work with the unions, but I’m never going to be beholden to anybody other than the people who voted me there, which will be the membership of the party,” Mr. Mulcair said.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/mulcair-dra...

Again, Mulcair stated that this union leader wasn't used to not getting his way, but under his leadership, he'd have the guts to say no.  This plays right into the right-wing "frame" of "beholden to the unions."

 

 

 

AnonymousMouse

Lord Palmerston wrote:

"What makes this issue so difficult to deal with simply is that on the one hand, there IS a problem with the special union status - voting should be by equal individuals and union leaders  use the special status to ignore actual mobilization of workers politically. On the other hand, those leading the fight to end the special status are generally not acting on principle or to increase the mobilization of rank-and-file workers but but to opportunistically distance themselves from unions. The 'right' position -  one member one vote, no special organizational status AND a greater orientation to the working class - is hard to inject in the debate in news clips..." 

Hogwash.

Are there a small number of New Democrats who support distancing the party from unions? Sure.

Did they fight against the union carve out in 2006? Absolutely.

But that's because they knew it was a fight they could actually win, whereas the typical NDP member (quite obviously including Thomas Mulcair who has said as much) has no interest in "distancing the party from unions".

Conflating the acknowledgement that there's a perception problem with regard to the NDP being too close to unions--or even just vigorous support for OMOV--with wanting to distance the party from unions is nonsense.

And let's remember what happened here. A top party official publicly suggested the carve out could be re-inserted. Brian Topp claim out in favour of re-inserting it. The Steelworkers, which later endorsed Topp, came out in favour of re-inserting. This despite the fact it had clearly been removed from the party constitution by a vote at convention. The language being used to suggest that it could be re-inserted was so pathetic that the very suggestion constituted a cheap joke.

Suggesting now that because Mulcair fought back against such a blatant attempt disenfranchise the party membership means that he's one of those who want to "opportunistically distance [the party] from unions", is also a cheap joke.

How can the guy who fought back against an attempt to disenfranchise the party membership be the one in the wrong here?

Lord Palmerston

laine lowe wrote:
I just think that it's time that the public be educated on what is sound fiscal and economic policy and it isn't pandering to investors.

I agree.  And as far as I can tell, the candidates who have been talking about a different approach to the economy have been Nash (who has the support of many of the country's most notable progressive political economists) and to a lesser extent, Topp.  Certainly not Mulcair, who seems to accept the more orthodox approaches to economic management and public administraton:

"Above and beyond anything else, I'm a public administrator and a manager. I chaired Quebec's largest regulatory agency and reduced staff there and brought in management schemes to make things more effective... When I was minister of the environment, I reduced by 15 per cent the budget of the ministry." 

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/10/24/NDP-Leadership-Race/

And returning to the "attacking Rae for incompetence is not right-wing" line - I ask, should he have made balancing the budget a higher priority?  At what cost?

Mulcair could have used this opportunity to clarify his pro-union bondafides, and could have attacked Rae for ripping up public sector collective bargaining agreements.  Instead, he decided to attack the Rae govt. for being "fiscally irresponsible," which echoes the right-wing critique.   
 

AnonymousMouse

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Again, Mulcair stated that this union leader wasn't used to not getting his way, but under his leadership, he'd have the guts to say no.  This plays right into the right-wing "frame" of "beholden to the unions."

That's it? Are you kidding?

We've gone from "Mulcair is anti-union" to "Mulcair once said something about a specific union leader that played into the right wing framed about the NDP-union relationship just after that union leader publicly led an effort to overturn a party constitutional amendment in a dubious attempt to get Mulcair's top leadership rival elected"?

I agree that was bad phrasing on Mulcair's part, but can you see the difference between that and "being anti-union" or "making anti-union digs"?

socialdemocrati...

For a guy who allegedly hates unions, he sure has a lot of them endorsing him.

Mulcair has a perception problem within the NDP because he's a former Liberal. I hear a few paranoid people say he's the next Bob Rae, but I haven't seen the fire. I haven't even seen the smoke, actually. It's all unreliable blogs saying Palestine this, anti-union that...

I'm not saying the Mulcair police are wrong. I'm only saying the Mulcair police have shitty evidence. Paranoid people can be right -- sometimes.

Part of that is the shitty debates we've been having. It's impossible to find out anything more than -- yes -- all eight candidates support the official NDP platform. (And yes, at the debate I heard a lot of positive things about unions, many of them from Mulcair.)

Lord Palmerston

AnonymousMouse wrote:
That's it? Are you kidding?

Yes, that's "it."  Were you expecting a silver bullet?  

I never said "Mulcair is anti-union."  I said he was opportunistically playing into the right-wing/MSM line about the NDP being "beholden to unions."

Pretty disappointing for a guy who supposedly stands head and shoulders above all the other leadership candidates for his political "street smarts." 

socialdemocrati...

I dunno. Publicly proclaiming that unions will have no special status with you, and then still getting their endorsements... strikes me as the best of both worlds. What candidate wouldn't want that?

AnonymousMouse

Lord Palmerston wrote:

And as far as I can tell, the candidates who have been talking about a different approach to the economy have been Nash (who has the support of many of the country's most notable progressive political economists) and to a lesser extent, Topp.  Certainly not Mulcair, who seems to accept the more orthodox approaches to economic management and public administraton.

Where are you getting this stuff?

Saying that you have experience as a "public administrator and a manager" is not the same thing as "accept[ing] the more orthodox approaches to economic management and public administraton."

You seem to be basing your take on the race on preconceived notions about "who the candidates are" rather than what they are actually saying.

First of all, other than Topp's tax plan, both Topp and Nash have proposed little if anything that's substantially different than existing NDP party policy. I don't have any problem with that--I'm a New Democrat because I actually like the party's policies--but repeating party policy doesn't tell us much about the candidates other than that they are all good, mainstream New Democrats.

But Mulcair has made two policy proposals both of which would be profound, if pragmatic, economic reforms.

-He's proposed to extend cap and trade to cover all major sources of emissions (not just the biggest polluters responsible for 50% of emissions)

http://www.thomasmulcair.ca/site/2011/12/08/mulcair-announces-new-compre...

-He's proposed a plan to give every Canadian access to a guaranteed/defined benefit pension

http://www.thomasmulcair.ca/site/2012/01/11/mulcair-announces-retirement...

Mulcair may emphasize managerial competence and implementing policy in a responsible manner, but if you've actually been listening to what he says he clearly isn't overly tied down to any orthodoxy.

AnonymousMouse

Lord Palmerston wrote:

AnonymousMouse wrote:
That's it? Are you kidding?

Yes, that's "it."  Were you expecting a silver bullet?  

I never said "Mulcair is anti-union."  I said he was opportunistically playing into the right-wing/MSM line about the NDP being "beholden to unions."

Pretty disappointing for a guy who supposedly stands head and shoulders above all the other leadership candidates for his political "street smarts." 

You are attributing "opportunistic"--and therefore deliberate--motives to Mulcair based on one sentence utterly in response to a totlly over the top effort to ignore party rules while you conveniently ignore all the evidence that Mulcair supports unions and therefore suggests that this was not an "opportunistic" or deliberate dig.

That's so biased its hard to gauge.

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I'd just like to go one thread where we can talk about the good qualities of the candidates without someone getting all indignant about how "OH AND MY CANDIDATE DOESNT HAVE GOOD QUALITIES? HOW DARE YOU"

I'm really happy with our slate of choices. That being said, I haven't made up my mind yet. And I wish people weren't so hurried to make up their minds.

When some of you guys back a candidate, you become real assholes.

Amen. And that goes for people both on and off babble. There are candidates I don't want to see win, but none of them have come anywhere as close to disappointing me as my fellow New Democrats in the trenches. Seriously disheartening.

Wilf Day

nicky wrote:

If you go back and read the original story, Mulcair is quoted as saying,"Why not let the membership decide?"

Can anyone explain how that is "anti-union"?

Simple: affiliated members are members too. In Ontario, Andrea Horwath was elected with good support from the affiliates. Defining them as non-persons, or at least non-members, when labour was one of the party's founding partners, is profoundly ignorant of the party's history, and offensive. I like almost eveything else about Mulcair a lot. That line of Mulcair's was, I thought, an early mistake, not a reason to rule him out as leader. I still don't rule him out, and may well end up voting for him. However, when he repeated that line last week, and even seemed proud of it, it gave me very serious pause.

Unionist wrote:
If you have one single anti-union statement by Mulcair - a real one - quote it and I'll condemn him for it.

That's his only one, as far as I know. But it's a big one, to me.

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Mulcair didn't say the NDP is "too dominated by the unions", or imply that in any way. All he said was that by keeping OMOV we would ensure the next leader would not be beholden to anyone, but the membership.

That's just as bad. Affiliated unions are part of the NDP. Their members are no longer voting members federally, but they are built in as part of the structure right up to the federal executive. Saying Andrea Horwath is "beholden to the unions" is a very anti-labour remark.

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Here is the Globe article in question: 

Quote:
Mr. Mulcair said the union issue is a clear differentiator between himself and the perceived frontrunner in the NDP leadership race, Brian Topp. The former party president is a union director and has won the support of the United Steelworkers. "It was quite clear he wasn’t used to being told ‘no’ by anyone in the NDP. And I said ‘no.’ I said, ‘Why not let the membership decide?’” Mr. Mulcair said of the “cordial” conversation that occurred last month. "So that is a defining difference because I want to work with the unions, but I’m never going to be beholden to anybody other than the people who voted me there, which will be the membership of the party,” Mr. Mulcair said.

If I end up not voting for Mulcair, that will be why.

AnonymousMouse

Wilf Day wrote:

That's just as bad. Affiliated unions are part of the NDP. Their members are no longer voting members nationally, but they are built in as part of the structure right up to the federal executive. Saying Andrea Horwath is "beholden to the unions" is a very anti-labour remark.

I would guess Mulcair doesn't have all the party lingo--that "affliated organizations" are called "affliated members"--at his finger tips. And the whole way he phrased this was bad. No argument there.

But saying "I will only be beholden to individual members" IS NOT THE SAME THING as saying "the party is beholden to unions". Trying to conflat the two doesn't add up.

Based on his union credentials and his support from labour, I think it's also increasingly obvious that he was talking about a perception problem.

Bad phrasing, yes; substantive issue, no.

(BTW, I'm pretty sure the members of affliated organizations are NOT considered members of the NDP under the party constitution, but rather that the organizations themselves are "members". This makes the lingo much more confusing. It would be one thing if all the individual organization members were also considered members of the party--as used to be the case with Liberal clubs--but I don't think that is the case.)

Gaian

quote: "And as far as I can tell, the candidates who have been talking about a different approach to the economy have been Nash (who has the support of many of the country's most notable progressive political economists) and to a lesser extent, Topp. Certainly not Mulcair, who seems to accept the more orthodox approaches to economic management and public administraton"
---------------

The "notable progressive political economists," like Nash and Topp, understand the historical need for social democrats to carve out some support for the welfare state, but folks on Mainstreet today are expecting some answer to the need for growth of the pie, not just its distribution. They are becoming more protective of their portion, out of fear, and they respond to the siren song of the right. We have to reassure them that social democrats are about more than re-distribution. Three people have made excellent arguments for this in this thread. They are all calling for a better understanding of the economics of growth than New Democrats have offered in the past.

And recognition of the dual nature of the Canadian economy and making proposals for dealing with that, as Mulcair has done. does not fit any "orthodox" economic model that I know of. In fact it can only make old "firewall Steve" very uncomfortable. :)

Hunky_Monkey

Wilf Day wrote:

If I end up not voting for Mulcair, that will be why.

So, Wilf... Mulcair essentially backing up what the membership already decided at convention is a bad thing?

Apparently it's not in the eyes of several union leaders who have endorsed Mulcair.

Lord Palmerston

AnonymousMouse wrote:
Where are you getting this stuff? Saying that you have experience as a "public administrator and a manager" is not the same thing as "accept[ing] the more orthodox approaches to economic management and public administraton." You seem to be basing your take on the race on preconceived notions about "who the candidates are" rather than what they are actually saying.

You seem to have some characture of me as some frothing ideologue.  I'm not in anyway knocking Mulcair's experience in public administration. Far from it.  I'm saying his *approach* to public management is orthodox (boasting about trimming bureaucracy and cutting the budget of his ministry 15%, etc.)  

Now you say, it's unfair to call his approach "orthodox" and his pension and environmental plans are evidence of that.  And to that I say, maybe you're right.  I'll look at them tomorrow.

Wilf Day

AnonymousMouse wrote:
"I will only be beholden to individual members" IS NOT THE SAME THING as saying "the party is beholden to unions". Trying to conflat the two doesn't add up.

"I’m never going to be beholden to anybody other than the people who voted me there, which will be the membership of the party,” Mr. Mulcair said.

He will, I hope, be beholden (accountable) to the party. The idea that the caucus can defy the Federal Council is what gave us trouble over the Clarity Act. (And in Ontario it gave us the Rae Days.)

Federal Council:

Quote:
Labour

UFCW Andrew MacKenzie

UFCW Michelle Masserey

SEIU Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas

USW Mike Piche

USW Paula Turtle

CEP Gaétan Ménard

CEP Barb Dolan

CUPE David Michor

NUPGE Derek Fudge

PSAC Robyn Bensson

PSAC Louise Laporte

IAMAW Louis Erlickman


http://www.ndp.ca/federal-council

And the leader is also accountable to the convention, which sets party policy.

The Convention includes many delegates from affiliates, and from the CLC, two from each provincial federation of labour, and two from each local Labour Council. That's a lot of delegates.

"I’m never going to be beholden to anybody other than the people who voted me there, which will be the membership of the party." In Ontario, that sounds like an anti-labour statement. Wayne Samuelson has concluded he didn't really mean it. In that case, I wish he would stop saying it.

socialdemocrati...

I've also heard Mulcair use that "I'll only serve the public interest" argument when contrasting with Steven Harper. I don't think it's a terrible thing.

The most important thing is to get all the candidates on record about what they see as the role of unions in the economy, going forward.

mark_alfred

Clearly Hunky_Monkey loves Mulcair.  Well, gotta respect such unquestioning devotion. 

In fact, after the Toronto debate, I met Mulcair at Duffy's, and he seemed a cool guy.  Likewise, I met Topp at Bar Neon, who also seemed a cool guy.

The choice is do we feel it's better to soft-sell social democracy to "bring the centre to the left" or do we feel it's better to present a clear social democratic alternative to the right-winged Liberal and Conservative Parties in the next election.  It's as simple as that, I feel.

KenS

Unionist wrote:

So, why are the candidates proposing policy... 

Mainly, they are not proposing policy in the sense you speak of it: creating new policy.

Most of what they propose are initiatives for putting existing policy to the road.

Or even re-stating as their own what is existing policy- when that includes detailed initiatives, as with 'Mulcair's' cap and trade policy.

The main thing they are doing is signalling what they want and/or think needs featuring the most. Existing NDP policy- wherever it originated- covers a huge terrain. Picking and choosing among it is a de facto political choice... and speaks to a suggested direction for the party [or should].

KenS

"Withstanding a negative Harper attack campaign best" tends to be treated as if it is some set of personal characteristics and public presentation skills.

Success at withstanding attacks comes from all around political skills. Mulcair has never demonstrated that he has those skills beyond presenting himself in public. Neither have a lot of the other candidates either. But Mulcair has given ample reason to question his political judgement. 

Being well spoken and obviously having more political sense than Dion and Ignatieff is not sufficient.

 

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