NDP Leadership 86

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OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

The NDP position has been to renegotiate it. Mulcair told Elizabeth Thompson of iPolitics that he supports it and defended its environmental provisions.


OnTheLeft wrote:

The NDP position has been to renegotiate it. Mulcair told Elizabeth Thompson of iPolitics that he supports it and defended its environmental provisions.

Except, of course, he never used the word "support"--that was Elizabeth Thompson's word.

Just let people read Mulcair's words above without any further framing.


OnTheLeft wrote:

Right, and he supports it.

Québec, interestingly enough, is probably the most pro-NAFTA province in Canada (according to polling). Quebeckers often see NAFTA as key to their economic autonomy (having "open" access to the US market). Québec is additionally the most heavily unionised province in Canada.



John Baird in the Jerusalem Post, NDP’s Saganash critical of trip




Meanwhile, NDP MP and leadership candidate Romeo Saganash released an essay on peace in the Middle East, critical of the Baird-Flaherty tag team trip through the region.

This week, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, waded into the issue of Israel-Palestine relations by choosing to lecture only one of the two sides about how it must be the one to change, and then about the error in a unilateral approach. It is hard to imagine a worse approach to building peace or a more hypocritical position for Canada.


As a practitioner in the field, I am entirely committed to international law and to the rule of law more broadly. I demonstrated that commitment and learned a great deal about how to make the process work through twenty-three years of negotiations on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

My own history as a member of a colonized people has taught me that respect for the rule of law is a condition that must be self-imposed if it is to be expected of others. Above all, that means a commitment to peace. In situations where ongoing violence has continually interrupted the peace process, a firm commitment to non-violent negotiation is a minimum requirement for progress.

Good to see a little attention to Saganash. Since his perspective on the Middle East is one of his distinctives in the race, I hope this finds him some traction.


duncan cameron

The party has policies, and it has election platforms done by a committee, and it has leaders who speak for the party. Does one lead to another in sequence so that the third can be traced back to the first? Not always in my experience in observing the NDP. 

Which candidate has proposed a Canadian Invesment Bank? Does that matter? It does if you live in de-industrializing Ontario. Which one was a minister in a government that endorsed P3s for every public investment, even if that is anethema to public service unionists? Some clarification would be in order, if only for union leaders deciding who they want to support. Who thinks entering Libya on one side in a civil war equalS R2P?Who want to re-think the role of Nato as the new UN security force?

Not all party policies are written in stone, in fact they can be re-written at convention. Leaders like to bring new ideas to council and convention. What would they look like? Once in government leaders seem to go off on their own. Having a "mandate from the people" not just the party has been mentioned often in history by leaders of UK Labour, or socialists parties in Europe. Knowing their stated ideas helps to know what their tendencies are.

Some party members, and perhaps leadership candidates among them, are not happy with alll party policies on all subjects. Some will call for changes. Members are asking candidates to disagree with party policy on cap and trade or Nafta. What answers are we getting from candidates? This is not of interest? 

i liked the way Romeo Saganash explained his differences with John Baird. Perhaps writer does as well. When he spoke, he spoke for me; meaning he expressed what I wanted to hear expressed at that time. That is why he is a great candidate for leader, and would make a great minister or prime minister. His policy statements are of interest to me, and I would think many others. 


OnTheLeft wrote:
I think there are some major policy differences and approaches to the economy between the candidates (Nash's progressive or arguably Nordic model inspired economic policies, Martin Singh repeating right-wing Republican talking points like "grow the economy", Cullen practically gushing over the private sector and business, Mulcair supporting NAFTA and praising the Doer government for lowering small business tax rate to zero). I also think there are similaries between 2012 and 2003. There are different factions in the party and these could be made much worse with more polarization if a uniter like Jack isn't elected, and instead go with a "my way or the highway" type. 

I think those differences in "policy" are actually differences in emphasis.

  • Re: "Nordic model": Hasn't every candidate talked about refining oil into gas right here in Canada, investing more in infrastructure, R&D, and so on?
  • Re: "growing the economy". As tone deaf as Singh's plea is, at least half the candidates have talked about how to grow the economy. (No one wants to shrink it.)
  • Re: "working with business". I've heard everyone from Peggy Nash to Brian Topp to Romeo Saganash talking about reaching out to the private sector.
  • Re: NAFTA, hasn't the whole NDP (including Jack) accepted that NAFTA is here, and at best we can just reform and renegotiate it? (I say that as an anti-globalization kind of guy.)

Most of this stuff is really just differences in tone and emphasis. I know it's tempting to twist these into major policy differences, but if you listen closely, no one is really proposing anything radically different from one another. (Except maybe Cullen's joint nomination strategy, and the fact that Brian Topp is the only candidate to say anything significant about taxes thus far.)


Anyone know of any good places to read up on all the candidates biographies?


Mulcair has now been endorsed by John Rodrigues, long time MP for Nickel Belt and mayor of Sudbury. John was widely regarded as one of the most left-wing MPs in the caucus.

Those who have trouble getting past the fact that Tom was once a "Liberal" should take note.


Good list nicky.

Some guesses/hunches.

At this point, I think endoresements- whoever they are- will have less effect. Virtually none beyond some marginal effect on members who hold the new endorser in particular and specific regard [more than just the endorser has high profile].

No gang up on Mulcair, even in modest form of candidates dropping out to get behind a perceived best opponent. If anything, more chance of the opposite, but I anything the chances of either are close to nil.

Very little to nil regional loyalties, except to whatever extent Mulcair and Quebec [not necessarily that much].

I'm curious to see how many new memberships the candidates will get... which I dont think we will really know until its over and no one cares. There will be continous lots of talk, which may be mostly just that. Even numbers the party releases are not terribly reliable and/or consistent. And there is no reason to believe what the campaigns say. You cant even be sure that one of them isnt underplaying their sign-up numbers.

Entering the field of the more contentious: I think Cullen might be able to go very far. But that anchor he loves will keep him from winning. I think it would be weird, but I guess possible, if he could make it to the last round. Which would be pretty anti-climactic.

All the campaigns sufficiently organized to make deliberated choices of where to put resources will be gauging bang for buck: for a given amount of work, how many identified check marks versus contacting existing members versus organized effort signing up new members [with guesstimates of how likely each type is to vote]. I think the campaigns will make their choices according to what is working, not according to an early strategy decision.

writer writer's picture

There is also the art of the possible, KenS. When a campaign operates 100% on volunteer effort, there is only so much that can be done. The rich and middle-class have the luxury of deciding where to put resources. Whithout resources, the question is moot.

Kind of like discussing wallpaper for a shack in Attawapiskat.


As tweeted by Alice from punditsguide.ca here's a blog that breaks down how to predict the leadership race, mostly in response to threehundredeight's prediction method.




Pretending endorsements can be objectively classified by their "value" is one of the silliest things I've ever seen.  


A week from today is the all French Quebec City debate. I think that will help separate the wheat from the chaff.

writer writer's picture

I wish an all-French debate had happened sooner than this.


I don't think the principle is that "endorsements lead to votes". I think the principle is that endorsements indicate who has the momentum among the rank-and-file. (Correlation.)

That being said, I don't expect this NDP race to resemble any race in the past. Our circumstances are very different now, and the disconnect between the grassroots and the actual politicians has never been greater. The members are figuring it out on their own, with very little regional or local trends.


I wasn't trying to suggest endorsements don't matter (although they are probably overemphasized), just that I think pretending their worth can be empircally tabulated is beyond ridiculous. It's as worthless a predictor of outcome as 308's silly Federal Election model overreliance on past outcomes. 


Yeah, 100% agreed.

Most of the predictions (by polls, by endorsements, by fundraising) have Nash/Topp/Mulcair in the top 3 in some sort of sequence, with Dewar sometimes coming up. But I don't think you need to be Sir Isaac Newton to tell us that much.


So the Sudbury leadership debate is underway now?


No livestream. Only twitter.


NorthReport wrote:

So the Sudbury leadership debate is underway now?

Punditsguide says around 2EST, but there is apparently no stream, video will be up later this evening.  

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