NDP leadership race #128

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Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

KenS wrote:

Firsdt order of business is a whipping for calling Ed Broadbent brain dead.

I couldn't agree more. What was he thinking? Did he sense a sinking ship and use his gravitas to try and deploy the water wings? WTF?

duncan cameron

Debator wrote:

"As they said on At Issue tonight on CBC, it's unprecedented for a former party leader to rip into the frontrunner in a leadership race."

Stock makes a good point about this quote not applying to Quebec.

The panel is pretty weak on parliamentary history, to mention only that subject. Dief had to run for his own job against Standfield, he threw mud and so did others (at him mosttly) and when he lost Dief spend most waking hours trying, as former leader, to undermine not just the front runner ( that had failed) but the leader. 

Past leader Trudeau took on his entire party over Meech Lake, burning two leaders in the process, Turner and Chrétien. He won a ton of support so people forget where things stood before PET took up the fight. When Turner ran to replace him, Trudeau was not above making fun of him.

Dion would have fought Ignatieff if MI had not strategized himself out of a job by forceing an election the Libs were slated to lose, before Dion could do it. Dion did make a speech at the Convention that annointed IGGY, saying what he knew had to be done (sub-text, I should still be leader.

Pearson let people know how unhappy he was with Trudeau saying Canada needed a foreign policy, and slighting the FP Pearson had formulated and had won a Nobel Prize.

It will be fun to see how Rae reacts to his successor should he be denied the real leadership, the one without interim in front.

The NDP spedializies in bad blood towards the new leader from adversaries or visa versa. Argue quit the party and joined the Libs after losing to Tommy in 1961. Lewis worked to expell Laxer and Co. from the party, once he had bested Jim for leader. Dave Barrett caused Audrey problems, and one could go on.

Boom Boom we need you here, please re-consider.

Howard

Brian Topp wrote:
 How do ordinary people react to such breeches of faith?

By not voting any more. By despairing....

And, alas, by turning to clever, simple-sounding, simple-minded demagogues and charlatans.

Howard

Brian Topp wrote:
 There is a lesson here for candidates for the leadership of any progressive party (and, perhaps, for any conservative or other party founded on more than the pursuit of power for its own sake). Party members and supporters will (or should) take it for granted that candidates will do what they have to do to win power, or a share of it. 

socialdemocrati...

Boom Boom wrote:

 (edited) I'm out of here until after the election.

Sad to lose you, but I would be lying if I wasn't thinking the same thing.

Howard

Brian Topp wrote:
 The cynics have the right to believe what they want. And they’re probably better off in the Liberal Party.

But it’s not what I believe. And I know you don’t either.

...

I believe by working together, not against each other, a better Canada is possible.

 

I believe that a hopeful, optimistic politics is not just a flash in the pan. It is the only way we can unite this country and start to move Canada forward.

...

 

Don’t listen to the cynics. Together, let’s get the job done.

...

We can build a strong, united Canada – one where we tackle our challenges together.

Jack Layton showed us the way. And he left us an incredible team that’s ready to get the job done. I look at our team and I know that the change this country needs is possible. I see in each of their eyes the same dream for a stronger, greener, fairer Canada. That’s why I’m running to be leader of Canada’s New Democrats.

And that’s why I want you on board. Let the other parties have their cynics. Let’s you and I bring real change to this country – starting now.

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages."

wage zombie

Howard wrote:

Brian Topp wrote:
 It is to say that it is time to fight the bad guys on the real battlefield. It is time to take on their big ideas with better big ideas, point for point.

Like fellow New Democrats with factual infelicities and unvarnished innuendo. "Tis not too late to build a better world!"

I think this is a great Brian Topp quote and frankly I think he has amply demonstrated his better big ideas.

Howard
Howard

"So let me offer you this cheery thought, all political careers end in tears...now most political campaigns and speeches end in promises, but mine is going to end with a threat."

Brian "Bomb the bridge" Topp Closing Statement, March 11th, 2012 Vancouver Debate

"CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH AND NEW CANADIANS"

Howard

One of Brian Topp's many apologia for austerity, so long as neo-liberal austerity regimes are perpetrated by true "social democrats."

 

josh

NorthReport wrote:

I have heard this theory said before concerning Harper so nothing new here. The only thing I say to the PM is be careful what you ask for, as you are probably going to be receiving it.

Thomas Mulcair would bring Harper’s dream of Liberals’ demise closer to reality

 

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/15/michael-den-tandt-thomas-...

f anyone still has a shot at becoming the “anybody but Mulcair,” compromise candidate, it may be Nash. More likely though, observers say, is that Mulcair wins either on the first or second ballot. Cullen’s supporters are deemed likely to go to Mulcair as a second choice. Martin Singh’s supporters, we now know, have been asked to do likewise. (Keep in mind, much of this will have been decided before the convention March 23-24, since most of the party’s 125,000-plus registered members will have voted in advance.)

But let’s assume, for the sake of discussion, that the smart money is correct, and Mulcair wins. And let’s further assume he names Cullen, a fellow centrist and a popular British Columbia MP, as his deputy in English Canada, perhaps with a strong female Quebec MP — foreign affairs critic and former diplomat Helene Laverdiere has been mentioned — as Quebec deputy. What then?

Mulcair has taken great pains to avoid open comparisons with former British prime minister Tony Blair, who held power in the U.K. from 1997 to 2007, after jettisoning the most impossible of the British Labour Party’s socialist policies. But the parallels are clear. A couple of weeks ago, I asked Mulcair about the NDP’s reputation as a party that doesn’t understand kitchen-table economics. “To concede the point,” he said, “we’ve always been very conscious of the fact that a majority of Canadians share most of our goals and values. It’s been difficult in the past to convince them that we can provide good, competent, confident public administration.”

His solution, he said, would be to demonstrate while in Opposition that “we’re capable of running a G7 country.” Reading between the lines, in my judgment, that means he intends to pull a Blair.

Small wonder then, that there’s more than a whiff of fear, in Liberal ranks, at the prospect of a Mulcair victory. Should he transform the NDP into a mass-market party, as Blair did to New Labour, what remains of Liberal support could easily bleed away, permanently. In that event, a merger — say in 2014, after the smoke of the Liberals’ own leadership race has cleared — would be more akin to a takeover.

How would this benefit the Conservatives? Gerry Nicholls, a conservative consultant who worked alongside Harper at the National Citizens Coalition, holds that this PM would love nothing better than to do politics in a two-party system. That’s because, in a standup fight between a socially moderate party of the centre-right and a party of the centre-left, this PM believes Conservatives will win every time — because most Canadians, while socially moderate, are economic conservatives. The Liberal party, because of its chameleon-like ability to mould its ideology as needed, will always be a threat to the Conservatives. But a Liberal-Democratic Party, with the history of the NDP embedded in its DNA? Perhaps, not so much.

It’s an interesting theory and, I think, plausible, with this caveat: It only works if the Tories avoid becoming reviled and disrespected, by the time 2015 rolls around.

 

Thank you NR. Here I am arguing that Mulcair is a third-way Blairite, and you post a column saying that he is a third-way Blairite.

Michelle

algomafalcon wrote:

I don't know if any of you watched "At Issue" where they discussed this. They certainly seemed to suggest that Broadbent's comments could be damaging to the NDP and efforts to unify the part behind the next leader. All seemed to agree that Broadbents intervention was "unprecented" for a past party leader. Usually they stay neutral and above the fight, but to actually go so far as to attack the front runner - they thought that was totally unprecedented.

Yes, this is quite unusual, I agree.  Ed always endorses people - and to tell you the truth, I'm not always crazy about his endorsement choices, and endorsements from party royalty don't impress me much anyhow - but I don't think I've ever seen him or any other former leader give such a caution about other candidates before.  I'm surprised that it doesn't give people more pause to wonder just what it is about Mulcair that would inspire even someone like Broadbent, who has never done something like this before, to warn people about him. 

The signs were all there before, people - it's just that everyone explained them away.  I'm going to say it again - the way Mulcair attacked Libby Davies (and has never once acknowledged that there was anything wrong with the way he attacked her) speaks directly to his character and how he treats people within the party that he disagrees with.  All his supporters here have brushed that off and said, oh gosh, no, you're exaggerating, you have no proof that he has treated her badly, he didn't do anything wrong, blah blah blah.  So then someone who really is an insider and in a position to know what he's like and to hear what's going on inside with staff and caucus comes out and says that he has these issues, and then you all write Broadbent off too. 

I think it's hilarious and amazingly hypocritical that the same people who have no problem with the way Mulcair led a sustained political and media attack on one of his colleagues that resulted in a week of denouncements of his colleague in the House (which he supported) and weeks of sexist and homophobic social media attacks on her (which he was completely silent about - and I'm sorry but silence = complicity when you instigated the whole thing that led to them) are now whining over Broadbent's comments which are mild compared to the way Mulcair attacked Libby.  Doesn't feel so good when the shoe is on the other foot, does it?  Boo frigging hoo.

Basically, nothing will be convincing enough for you, and I get that, because it's the heat of the race and you like the guy and you want to see him win.  But there are people who will be devastated if he wins, and for good reason, and trying to urge everyone to shut up and support dear leader when he wins, and write off anyone who doesn't do so, isn't going to work.

nicky

It is very disspiriting to wake up this morning to read these threads. There is far too much to respond to so I will not even try to be comprehensive.

Some of you think that Ed B has just engaged in some gentle criticism of Mulcair. I wish that were so. I fear he has descended into some pretty bitter personality attacks which will colour the rest of this race and hurt the party long after it is over. There can be little doubt that it was deliberte and instigated by Topp with little regard to the consequences for the party. I fully expect Topp to continue in this vein for the next week.

I am encouraged that Alexa has distanced herslf from Ed's remarks. I would hope that the other candidates do so too. 

It is one thing for Ed to criticize M over revisionist policies (although he notably refrained from specifics). It is quite another to promote these personal slurs:

1. Mulcair never did anything to win Outrement. It was all Raymond Guardia who is now with Topp. Watch the video of Chantel Hebert who pointed out tht she is a resident of Outremont and found Broadbent's suggestion to be absurd.

2. Mulcair unfairly criticized "Laurier St" in the debate . Mulcair only said that the central office failed to particularize its message to Quebec in the erly stages of the campaign.

3. Mulcair's personality is divisive with "90%" of the caucus that worked with him opposing him. The numbers have been dealt with eleswhere. Mulcair has as many of the veterens in his corner as anyone. And just because an MP has Nash, for example as his first choice, doesn't mean he "opposes" Mulcair. Bruce Hyer said yesterday that Cullen is his first choice and Mulciar his second. Brodbent's contorted arithmetic would place him in the "90 % " who supposedly cringe at Mulcair's leadership. I venture to say that perhaps half of the MPs who have declared for others would end up in Mulcair's camp if their favourite were eliminated. How many would go for Topp?

Mulcair to his credit has not risen to the bait. He is displaying a level of leadership and poise that is absolutely beyond Topp. In my view Topp has disgraced himself with these internecine attacks. He is simply unworthy of being considered for the leadership.

 

Rakhmetov

Wow, Broadbent deserves a lot of praise for coming out like that, and his analysis is pretty sharp, even if I don't agree with his first choice.  Though he's not sticking his neck out like that just for Topp, but for the party.  He's quite right that a Mulcair NDP could be absolutely catastrophic.  Mulcair could win on the perception that he's the strongest in 2015, but this is the same kind of baseless analysis that turned out to be completely wrong about Dix.  I hope this doesn't happen because he could very well win the leadership, but Mulcair could be so weak in 2015 that Dewar would ironically hold on more seats in Quebec.  Mulcair is the most divisive politician in the NDP, maybe in the entire Left, and will not unite the party when he imposes an unpopular "renewal."  Moving the party to the right and alienating the base as he already may have done will lead to a collapse across the country including Quebec.  And the Tories will rip him to shreds with a negative campaign that will stick where he's a crypto-Separatist beholden to Quebec above the rest of the country, especially the West.

Fortunately, it seems less and less likely that Mulcair is going to win, given unusual developments like Broadbent's tirade, indicative of how hostile the heart and soul of the NDP is towards TM.  Mulcair has been very disciplined throughout the race in many respects (like not attacking other candidates), but on the whole I think he's run an awful campaign, i.e. the failed organizing drive in Quebec, his duplicitous narrative where he tries to have it both ways when talking about moving the party to the right, outright insulting the Leftist membership of the party, dismal fundraising in the 2 most important provinces where 60% of the members are, strongly antagonizing the establishment, etc.. etc.. He's going to lose because of all of this.  If he hadn't disingenuously talked about moving the party to the Right, the Anybody-But-Mulcair crowd may have been unable to find an issue to galvanize opponents together against him.

Ironic given all the commentary on Topp's "shock and awe" campaign, it turns out that Mulcair's campaign was the paper tiger: all it is is a bunch of hype, bullying, and endless endorsements from prominent New Democrats you've never heard of.

babbler 8

I really can't wait until we stop burning bridges and start building them again. I think people will be surprised by the results. Regardless it would be a disaster to not recognized that every candidate that gets over 20% or so represents a signicant portion of the party. If any one of them is demonized or excluded from things going forward that will be devestating to the party. I have my faith that the winning candidate will be smart and saavy enough to know this, but I fear the zealots may distract from that, which will only benefit Harper.

Rabble_Incognito

KenS wrote:

Firsdt order of business is a whipping for calling Ed Broadbent brain dead.

I knew I'd like this place.

Jacob Two-Two

Yes Rakhmatov. It is clearly the front runner who is having the worst campaign. Thanks for more of your valuable insight.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I get some of us are annoyed with others of us here. I know I have on occasion really gone over the top on some things, but have worked hard to get a better grip on myself as we used to say in the Navy (we used to say a lot of things in the Navy by the way, much of it I can't repeat here, lol). But, I know I am doing better and having said this before, I want to say again, lets try to remember one importatn things, that we almost all are social democrats,and thus all have very much in common. How about we try to turn the temperature down a little bit?

Boom Boom, I am with Duncan, please don't go away. I have said it before as w ell, and will say it again, when we need an adult,  you always show  up.

Debater, I get you are a Lib, but how about you simply stop posting only when you want to say something inflamatory, such as your quote above, or rub our collective noses in the latest Lib postive poll? And I don't give me this everyone else does it stuff, for once, I 'd really appreciate it your taking responsibility for your own actions. You are certainly welcome here, and it isn't up to me to decide anytihng regarding your participation, but just once, I really wish  you would hear yourself, hear us, and frankly, at least make a feignt towards acting in a way that would lead us to assume you are least congnizant of what we are trying to tell you. I haven't seen you reallly do that yet. It would be nice to think you could show a little more empathy. You can be right, but there are ways to be right that don't involve obviously implying everyone else is wrong.

Again I say it to everyone, remember who we are and why we are here. I welcome all of the debate that has occurred, am glad we have had so much interaction, and look forward to days upcoming.

Cheers!

Charles

Rakhmetov wrote:

 He's quite right that a Mulcair NDP could be absolutely catastrophic.  

 

I'll leave most of your assinine, pedantic and simply wrong post aside but to this point, this is why we have leadership races - see, I believe a Topp leadership could be absolutely catastrophic. I think under him we lose all the QC base we built up and in failing to inspire the rest of country return to 4th party status. He's Audrey McLaughlin born again. Peggy Nash was my strong second choice at the beginning of the campaign, competing hard for first but from what I've seen during the race, I now feel her leadership could put us in the exact same position as Topp for much the same reasons, even though she has campaigned at a higher, more honourable level than has Topp. I voted for Cullen third but worry his leadership could potentially be "absolutely catastrophic" too risking everything we have in Quebec with no clear path how we pick up seats elsewhere to balance that loss. etc etc. See, anyone can play that game. That's not to bash candidates (for all that I still voted Nash 4th on my ballot and still think she's a hell of a person and a wonderful MP) - I'm simply pointing out if you take the hyperbolic extreme position based on nothing but hearsay and bullshit you can position things however you like. 

 

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

I think it's hilarious and amazingly hypocritical that the same people who have no problem with the way Mulcair led a sustained political and media attack on one of his colleagues that resulted in a week of denouncements of his colleague in the House (which he supported) and weeks of sexist and homophobic social media attacks on her (which he was completely silent about - and I'm sorry but silence = complicity when you instigated the whole thing that led to them) are now whining over Broadbent's comments which are mild compared to the way Mulcair attacked Libby.  Doesn't feel so good when the shoe is on the other foot, does it?  Boo frigging hoo.

I agree, Michelle. And I believe I started every one (or almost) of the "Stand up for Libby" threads when this was happening in summer of 2010. Several people here, unfortunately, were saying "it's not a big deal", or outright attacking Libby for her comments.

So, I've had a lot of time to reflect about this, and here's my question for anyone who wants to answer:

Mulcair attacked Libby, relentlessly, unforgiveably, and has never recanted in any way.

Who stood up for her? Topp? Nash? Ashton? Cullen? Dewar?

Broadbent?

Layton?

Libby?

It was a shameless performance on all sides. It showed much more about the NDP (IMHO) than it did about Mulcair. I already knew what Mulcair was on this front. Others, it seems, did not.

In short, Michelle, I hope you'll understand why I can't take sides in this ugly disgusting race. And why I won't remain silent when an asshole like Broadbent shows his true colours - just like Mulcair did.

People who are on the same side should not sneer and humiliate and attack each other in public.

If they're not on the same side, they should stop the fucking pretence.

I believe in unity. Which is why, when Nathan Cullen (or so many others) suggest we should find progressive people ready to unite against Harper - no matter how they vote or how they describe themselves - I nod my head. Only Cullen doesn't really mean it, unfortunately (cf his "federalist" bullshit). But we need to unite even with people that don't agree with each other about anything at all, except the main game.

Wilf Day

Gerry Caplan:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/gerald-capla...

Quote:
But who’s the least flawed, and who’s the most natural leader? Having watched closely for all these interminable months of campaigning, my conclusion is that the first question is a toss-up, but the second is clear enough.

Of course like his opponents he has his flaws, and the campaign has been abuzz with many of them. Yet he can answer these rumours readily. He can immediately reassure the entire party in two critical ways. He can in his acceptance speech give voice to those magnificent social democratic ideals and principles – equality, social justice, peace – for which the New Democratic Party has always existed. And he can show his magnanimity in victory and his understanding of the need for a strong, united, inclusive movement by embracing not only his worthy opponents but their talented and committed workers as well.

My support explicitly assumes him doing exactly that.

Certainly no one should doubt the precariousness of the NDP’s present status under any new leader, including Tom Mulcair. But he offers new possibilities in the way no one else does. Sure it’s a risk. But it’s a risk well worth taking at this singular moment. And the rest will be history.

Michelle wrote:
So then someone who really is an insider and in a position to know what he's like and to hear what's going on inside with staff and caucus comes out and says that he has these issues, and then you all write Broadbent off too.

What a fascinating couple of days!! First Ed gets headlines for Topp, then Gerry Caplan endorses Mulcair, at the very moment Stephen Lewis is on TV saying why he's undeclared. Their usual teamwork.

Caplan and the Lewis clan know what's going on inside as well as Broadbent. And have reached different conclusions.

Mucker

Michelle wrote:

Yes, this is quite unusual, I agree.  Ed always endorses people - and to tell you the truth, I'm not always crazy about his endorsement choices, and endorsements from party royalty don't impress me much anyhow - but I don't think I've ever seen him or any other former leader give such a caution about other candidates before.  I'm surprised that it doesn't give people more pause to wonder just what it is about Mulcair that would inspire even someone like Broadbent, who has never done something like this before, to warn people about him.

That's a fair point, but I think this is where my trouble with his comments lies.  If you're going to be that scathing, it's incumbent upon you to be specific.  If you really believe he's going to move the party the centre or further, what evidence have you to back up that claim?  This broad innuendo and hints are vindictive.

Quote:
The signs were all there before, people - it's just that everyone explained them away.  I'm going to say it again - the way Mulcair attacked Libby Davies (and has never once acknowledged that there was anything wrong with the way he attacked her) speaks directly to his character and how he treats people within the party that he disagrees with.

What does his relationship with Libby Davies have to do with where he'd take the party on the political spectrum?

Skinny Dipper

I just finished reading Gerald Caplan's column.  I have to agree with him about Thomas Mulcair having that value-added quality as a leader.

Originally, I was going to support Paul Dewar as my first choice for leader.  However, his responses in both French and English during the debates seemed quite shallow.  I don't think he will be able to take on Stephen Harper.

Brian Topp: since he has never run for a seat in Parliament and he doesn't have one now, the NDP will be in the rebuilding process until Mr. Topp gains a seat and gets used to the functioning of Parliament.  The NDP does not have the time to wait for its leader to get ready.  The new leader needs to be ready now!

Peggy Nash embodies a strong commitment to social democracy.  However, I didn't see anything during the campaign where she would be able to attract support from Canadians who have not traditionally supported the New Democratic Party.

Nathan Cullen has floated his idea of having some cooperation agreement between the NDP and Liberals to run only one candidate in order to defeat Harper's Conservatives.  It's an intriguing idea.  Unfortunately, I don't know how the two parties could come to an actual agreement to run an NDP or Liberal candidate in each riding.  Which party would get to run candidates in winnable ridings?  Also, a cooperation agreement would give Canadians the feeling that the NDP is really a weak party.

Thomas Mulcair embodies strength.  He may be able to make the NDP's perceived weaknesses on an issue like the economy into strengths.  Likewise, he may be able to make Harper's perceived strength on the economy into a weakness.  Mr. Mulcair could be the leader who will go after traditional Conservative voters.  While health care and the environment are traditional NDP strengths, it might we wise to campaign on the parties perceived weakness on the economy and make it into a strength.  The most important value-added thing about Thomas Mulcair is that he will be ready as a leader on day one.

NorthReport

Why Mulcair should be the next NDP leader

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/gerald-capla...

Finally, the choice this time is unusually complicated for the NDP since it’s also seeking a quality the party really never had to take seriously before. New Democrats want someone who can win. When the NDP was formed in 1961 from the ruins of the CCF, there was a tacit assumption that what its first leader, Tommy Douglas, had succeeded in doing in Saskatchewan for so many years – winning – he would soon repeat again for Canada.

He never came close. Nor did David Lewis, Ed Broadbent, Audrey McLaughlin, Alexa McDonough or, until his fourth campaign, Jack Layton. In fact, the simple truth is that until election night last May, the NDP never formed the Official Opposition, was sometimes reduced to ignominious fourth-party status, and never received more than 20 per cent of the vote. Usually it got less, often far less, occasionally crashing to single-digit territory.

So until now, electing NDP leaders was never an exercise in choosing the next prime minister of Canada, much as it was of course obligatory to introduce that person at all party rallies as “the next prime minister of Canada.”

Jack Layton’s historic legacy was to change all that. 

NorthReport

For all his perceived strengths Broadbent is a loser politically. Always has been. There are some of us who would prefer to take Harper down and win the next election as opposed to left wing purity tests because half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. And quite frankly Ed needs to move out of the way as his time in the sun is over, it is a new era within the NDP, and hopefully we will be forming government in the not too distant future. Nathan Cullen may well be the NDP's first prime minister in 2019. Who knows.  

Politics, no matter who you are, is never ever 100% what you, and only you, want. It is the art of compromise. There is always going to be give and take. You run an election campaign, accept the resuls, and make the best of it. That's all anyone or any political party can do. But we are not going to get all our policies adopted, and that's a given. 

writer writer's picture

Quote:
"Mr. Broadbent focussed his comments on Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Topp, whom he believes are the most likely candidates to reach the final ballot in the seven-member race."

Gosh, what a winning way for the Topp team to encourage #2 or even #3 ranking amongst the other candidates' supporters. But then I guess the feeling is they're all so insignificant in number, it doesn't matter whether they are shown respect. We'll see next Saturday how that works out.

As for Broadbent and the other early-bird insiders who backed Brian Topp before other candidates stepped forward: I will give the endorsement as much sober, respectful consideration as they managed themselves.

Otherwise, what Unionist said.

socialdemocrati...

The only way we lose is if we let comments in a leadership race divide us after we're done.

Candidates (and their surrogates, and the mouthpieces in the media) are going to criticize other candidates, especially as the voting day finally comes. It's a strategic necessity to position yourself in contrast to a rival candidate, no matter how small the difference. We're now having a referendum on small differences.

You can play into this by acting like Topp vs Mulcair vs the alternative is the battle of the century, a turning point for the party, a potential disaster if we get it wrong. You can vow right now to hold a grudge over things that you had to know were inevitable.

Or you can promise to promote unity, hold the leader to account, encourage the big names in the NDP coalesce around the leader after the convention, and be hopeful and optimistic that our new leader will carry on the work of Jack Layton.

Unity isn't just a token phrase. It does require that you actually do things you might not like.

Michelle

Unionist wrote:

Mulcair attacked Libby, relentlessly, unforgiveably, and has never recanted in any way.

Who stood up for her? Topp? Nash? Ashton? Cullen? Dewar?

Broadbent?

Layton?

Libby?

It was a shameless performance on all sides. It showed much more about the NDP (IMHO) than it did about Mulcair. I already knew what Mulcair was on this front. Others, it seems, did not.

I wasn't happy with the fact that Layton didn't do more to stand up for her at the time, and I said so then.  But here is the question I would ask you.  Would Layton have started the media shitstorm to begin with about her the way Mulcair did?  (And yes, Mulcair STARTED it.)  Would any of the other people you named? 

No, they wouldn't have, and in fact, they didn't.  Although Dewar deserves a dishonourable mention for having piled on slightly in one interview in the media where he made a patronizing remark about how Libby knows now that she should leave comments about foreign affairs to the critic, or something like that.  I don't particularly want to see Dewar win the leadership either, but there isn't much chance of that anyhow.

Jack didn't do a great job of damage control afterwards, for sure, but he did at least tell the media and the other parties that he was not going to remove Libby from her post, while Mulcair was standing up with Bob Rae, Marc Garneau and Stephen Harper who were demanding her resignation.  But Layton assured me (as one of his constituents) and others who wrote to him in support of her that Libby had a place within the caucus. 

Libby apologized for her remarks under extreme pressure and as a measure of damage control because of the situation that MULCAIR CREATED.  Yes, she probably could have just stood by her remarks in the face of constant attacks from within her party and the opposition, and all the abusive e-mails and social media attacks she was receiving.  I, however, tend not to blame the victim for reacting to an attack in a way that is less than perfectly defiant.

That whole thing would have blown over if Mulcair hadn't run to the media to denounce his colleague right from the start.  The rest of them weren't stellar in their reaction to his media shitshow, but I'm pretty sure none of them would have instigated it as he did.

Now, imagine a situation where, once he becomes leader and has more power than he did then, a principled person like Libby or someone else takes a progressive stand that he doesn't like on something.  Imagine what he would do.  Had he been leader during that previous situation, I would bet a year's salary that Mulcair would have had her gone sooner than he could say, "I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances."  He stood with the very people who were calling for her resignation at the time.

Wilf Day

NorthReport wrote:

For all his perceived strengths Broadbent is a loser politically. Always has been.

That's ridiculous. If you are supporting Mulcair, you do his campaign discredit. Ed not only always won in Oshawa, but he took the NDP to record heights in the 1980s and was, for a while, leading all other parties. "Once more popular than Trudeau."

Unionist

I agree with everything you just said, Michelle. It's hard to "what if", but I agree that only Mulcair would have initiated this ugly attack in the way that he did. In fact, if you recall, he actually admitted that he saw the infamous video, then made a point of squealing on Libby to others in the party.

But I'm coming from a slightly different place. I see it all as a matter of degree, not kind. That's why I pointed out that no one defended Libby - including Libby herself - and indeed since then, she has been silenced on that whole question.

That's not Mulcair who did that. It's the party. The same party that allowed Layton to discipline Bill Siksay for his defiance of a whipped vote on Harper's first omnibus crime bill - and ultimately demoralized him so much that he left electoral politics. The same party that stood by as Alexa McDonough crapped on Svend Robinson twice - once for showing a tiny bit of openness and understanding about the Palestinian viewpoint, and another when he presented a petition from his constituents suggesting that it was not appropriate to have "God" in the national anthem and the constitution of Canada.

And yeah, pardon my age, but I remember what they did to the Waffle in the 1970s. And much else besides.

So in the final analysis, what is the conclusion? Mine is that the party needs fixing. I can't get excited about THE LEADER being the one who will do that.

ETA: Forgot to say: Jack kept Libby as Deputy Leader in the face of much pressure in both directions. If you can explain to me what "Deputy Leader" means in Libby's case, I'll end up that much smarter.

 

Wilf Day

Rakhmetov wrote:

If he hadn't disingenuously talked about moving the party to the Right, the Anybody-But-Mulcair crowd may have been unable to find an issue to galvanize opponents together against him.

Despite your innuendo, Broadbent did NOT say "Andybody-but-Mulcair." If he had wanted to say "Topp is my first choice, or Nash, stop Mulcair" he would have said that a week ago before any ballots were cast. He didn't. He didn't say it yesterday either.

Stockholm

...in fact the only person Broadbent took a more veiled shot at was Paul Dewar what with his comment about how essential it was to be fluent in French etc...

MegB

North Report, your personal attacks are getting odious in the extreme.  Dial it back please.

Island Red

Two more endorsements for Mulcair today, these ones from NDP veterans in Saskatchewan and Yukon. I note that many longtime New Democrats climbed aboard the Mulcair bus this week, including Jack Harris who was first elected as an MP in the late '80s when Broadbent was leader. These committed New Democrats have concluded that Mulcair is both trustworthy and electable - and that victory in 2015 can be achieved under Mulcair without making the NDP a Liberal clone.

NorthReport

Nice to see the NDP solidly in 2nd place in the latest poll, eh.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

NDP Leadership: Thomas Mulcair draws on experience as Quebec environment minister

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/1147466--ndp-leadership-thom...

Mulcair says his ability to take on the government of the day — which he did as deputy House leader while the Liberals were the opposition to the Parti Québécois government — is something the NDP grassroots should seriously consider when casting their ballots.

“(The PQ) were very similar to Stephen Harper’s Conservative majority government,” says Mulcair, who was dubbed “The Grizzly” in the National Assembly, a nickname that has stuck to this day.

“They both believe that they serve a higher purpose and that the normal rules don’t apply to them. The only way to take them on was to be at work at 5 in the morning, to build a very tough, structured, determined, organized Official Opposition.”

 

NorthReport
JoshD

For Ottawa Babblers - Tuesday night there will be a rally/meet and greet with Thomas Mulcair. 6pm at Hooley's Pub, 292 Elgin Street. Cya there!

mark_alfred

I've been away for a while -- I decided to ban myself for a bit. 

Anyway, I did finally watch the last two debates on CPAC.  It'll be interesting to see how things work on the convention floor.  My feeling is that Nash, Topp, Ashton, and Cullen are one grouping, whereas Mulcair, Dewar, and Singh are the other grouping.  A pretty even split.  So, if it's Topp and Mulcair in the end, then I'd expect Dewar and Singh to go with Mulcair, and Ashton, Nash, and Cullen to go with Topp.  Same for other scenarios (IE, if it's Nash and Dewar in the last round, then I'd expect Mulcair and Singh to back Dewar, and Topp, Ashton, and Cullen to back Nash).  I draw this conclusion on the basis of policy similarities, and on the basis of what I've seen at the debates -- the demeanor of candidates toward one another.  Other factors could always come into play, though.  It'll be interesting to see.

I was a bit surprised by Singh.  I had always liked his focus on pharmacare, but his exchange with Ashton was telling -- IE, that he opposes a public system similar to what's laid out in the Canada Health Act.  Also, he seems a bit of a loose cannon in his rants against Topp and Nash.  Weird.

Hunky_Monkey

Quote:
Buckley Belanger, NDP MLA for Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Constituency, today endorsed Thomas Mulcair’s campaign for leader of the Federal New Democratic Party, saying that Mulcair was best positioned to win back seats in Western Canada, and attract progressive voters across the country to support an NDP government in the next election.

Belanger added that Mulcair’s determined, progressive approach was finding support in his own province of Saskatchewan and in his own riding of Athabsaca. “Tom understands the diverse needs of our country,” said Belanger. “I appreciate his plan to improve physical infrastructure in Northern and Aboriginal communities, including housing, drinking water facilities, roads and other key services,” he continued.

mark_alfred

A former Mulcair endorser, Sana Hassainia, a Quebec MP, has switched to Topp.  I think this is the first time someone has switched camps in this leadership race.  I think Sana Hassainia is the MP who was in the news a while ago for bringing her baby to the House of Commons and the Speaker asked her to leave.

flight from kamakura

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

There is a division that goes beyond policy here-- Broadbent believes that Mulcair would be an unmitigated disaster and is doing what he can to protect the party from that. Those who support Mulcair feel that he represents either the only or the best opportunity for the party to win and it would be a disaster to not take that opportunity.

I accept that each side is not being selfish and both are acting out of what they see as the best possible direction for the party-- faced unfortunately with the belief that the alternative is an abyss.

I wish I could be absolutely certain of my choice. I would not want to bet anything valuable that I have it right. I suspect one side is though-- either Mulcair is an option we cannot pass up or a complete disaster. I am not surprised to see a tone of desperation as people confront that huge difference of opinion.

Frankly I have never seen anything like this. normally when I am unsure, I at least get to think well both are probably not that bad. But in this case I feel that it is hard to make a choice and the wrong one could be a disaster. I think most of us are acting based on what we have heard or believe or hope or fear but without enough first hand information to be really sure.

I am sorry to see the division but the panic does reflect how crucial I think this vote actually is and how frustratingly difficult it is.

bingo.  and i'm a mulcair supporter, but i've become less stridently so as i've come to understand the other view, but i'm still confident that what we need is to absolutely discredit the cpc and lpc from all perspectives, so that we can get a shot at power.  i'm happy getting into government as the "least unpopular" party, because from there we consolidate, and i don't see topp (or nash) as able to get us there.

TheArchitect

flight from kamakura wrote:

bingo.  and i'm a mulcair supporter, but i've become less stridently so as i've come to understand the other view, but i'm still confident that what we need is to absolutely discredit the cpc and lpc from all perspectives, so that we can get a shot at power.  i'm happy getting into government as the "least unpopular" party, because from there we consolidate, and i don't see topp (or nash) as able to get us there.

There's a reason you're the Mulcair supporter on Babble for whom I have the greatest respect, FFK; you're willing to express your position in a reasonable, nuanced way, as you have here.

I can see if one is okay with the idea of being elected as the "least unpopular" party, there might be some good arguments for Mulcair.  A couple of months ago, I would have said that Mulcair, while I had doubts about him, was probably the candidate with the best chance of winning in 2015.  I no longer think that, as Mulcair's recent debate performances—featuring him reading his closing statements from notes—have, in my opinion, been weak, while Brian Topp, who I thought was a weak choice a few months ago, has really improved in his public performances to the point where I think he's stronger.  Still, though, a reasonable argument could be made that Mulcair has the best chance in 2015.  (In all honesty, I think that the Conservatives will probably win another majority regardless of who we choose.)

The true difference I have with your position is that I don't think that we'd be able to "consolidate" in government if we did not enter government from a position of strength.  My fear is that if the NDP forms government under the wrong conditions, we would not only be uneffective but also become hugely unpopular (similar to the way the Rae government became unpopular in Ontario) and would likely set up a Conservative victory not only in the subsequent election but in election after election to come, with the NDP possibly being reduced to third-party status (as in Ontario).  Any short-term benefits from such a government would be outweighed by the long-term consequences.

I also don't think Mulcair would be able to "discredit the cpc and lpc from all perspectives," because I think he's someone who would, to too great an extent, play the traditional Ottawa game, and while he would play it very well, I think we would lose some of the narrative that differentiates the NDP—the traditional outsider party—from the insider CPC and LPC.

TheArchitect

The other point I should make is that I think it's a lot harder for left-wing parties to be elected as "least unpopular" than for right-wing parties.  This is because left-wing parties tend to benefit from higher voter turnout, while right-wing parties benefit from lower voter turnout.  (Think about the Cons' voter suppression schemes.)  An election where people are voting for the "least unpopular" party is not likely to be an election that will inspire high turnout.

New Democrats need to increase voter turnout to win.  And we can't do that just by making people hate the Cons.  We have to put forth a clear message about how we'll change the country and inspire Canadians not merely to vote against the Cons but to vote for the New Democrats.

JaneyCanuck JaneyCanuck's picture

Oh my! This is the 1st time in a very long while I am unsure who will be my no 1 choice. There is something about Mr. Topp that annoies me but I do not know him and am all too aware that TV does not show the real person. That said, he comes across possibly as too much of a WASP maybe? Unsure about the P part - I could care less what his religion is really. (unless it is some sectarian zealotry that will harm women and minorities and deprive ppl of their rights). I do think the final two will be Mulcair and Peggy Hash and I think Peggy has done well - I do not know (a rhetorical comment) why Mulcair does not go on these interview shows like everyone else- I think it would humanize him. I admittedly do not care if he has a temper, the better to get back at the govt and if he the Liberals feel threatened by him, that shd be seen as a good sign. I do miss the days when socialist, feminist and oppression were heard and think really, we do need to heed our CCF begininngs even IF the times have changed so hence my hesitation. I also think we need to win and do not like running a candidate from another party. We did it in Quebec, we can do it in Canada with time, the correct (do not want to say right) combination of leader and candidates. Let's try to be a little kinder to ach other, PLEASE! 

howsannie

All of you Topp supporting/Mulcair hating brothers and sisters should take a look at ROI Capital Fund on whose Board of Directors Mr. Topp has sat for several years. He is one of eight members of that Board which includes such notoble social democrats as Bay Street lawyer John Langs, CML Industries's Claude Theberge or Trimark Investments' Brad Badeau. In any event, Mr. Topp's participation on that Board raises serious questions as to all of the bluster and rhetoric about his social democratic authenticity and causes me, at least, to wonder whether his direct and indirect attacks on Mulcair's record as a former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister are merely disingenuous or actually a manifestation of self righteous hypocrisy and demagoguery. Lets look at some of the socially responsible investments made by this Fund and which are included in its top investments:

1) Canadian Natural Resources whom many of you will remember was bringing into Alberta Chinese guest workers, forcing them to work in unsafe conditions(three fatalities) for sub-standard pay and whose work force is represented by CLAC(the company union par excellence);

2) Noble Corporation who owns and operates a major oil field in Tamar Israel and does major business with major Israeli private and government entities (this is for you Israel Apartheid week supporters of Topp);

3) Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold who owns the largest copper mine in Indonesia (the Grasberg Mine) and who pays the Indonesian military and police to ensure "security"at the mine. The New York times and Amnesty International have reprted repeated violations at that mine of worker's basic human and labour rights as well as brutal repression;

4) British American Tobacco: 'Nuff said.

  Since Mr. Topp and his proxies have repeatedly asked Mulcair what positions he took while in the Liberal cabinet, I believe it is fair to ask Mr. Topp the following questions:

1) What was his position as a member of the Board of RIO if and when the above investments were discussed. Did he articulate his principled social democratic objections to such investments?

2) As a holier than thou paragon of social democratic values, how is he able to sit on the Board of a venture capital fund that has made and continues to make investments into such morally dubious companies? I guess the salary is pretty good.

TheArchitect

I'm curious, howsannie: Did you only recently become aware of these issues?  If not, why have the issues not been raised previously?

(Welcome to Babble, by the way.)

howsannie

Thanks for the welcome. I have always been suspicious of systematic, sanctimonious,self righteous indignation so after enduring months of these criticisms and seeing them become more and more direct I decided to put Mr. Topp through the holiness test. I really didn't think I'd find anything interesting because I really was giving him the benefit of the doubt. Imagine my surprise when researched his bio and discovered his little mentioned board seat on ROI Capital. A little bit of digging into ROI turned up the info I mentioned above. Personally, as one of many ordinary NDP members to whom Topp has been lecturing about the purity of the NDP and his social democratic values, I would like him to explain his activies on that board and answer my above questions.

 

TheArchitect

howsannie wrote:

Thanks for the welcome. I have always been suspicious of systematic, sanctimonious,self righteous indignation so after enduring months of these criticisms and seeing them become more and more direct I decided to put Mr. Topp through the holiness test. I really didn't think I'd find anything interesting because I really was giving him the benefit of the doubt. Imagine my surprise when researched his bio and discovered his little mentioned board seat on ROI Capital. A little bit of digging into ROI turned up the info I mentioned above. Personally, as one of many ordinary NDP members to whom Topp has been lecturing about the purity of the NDP and his social democratic values, I would like him to explain his activies on that board and answer my above questions.

I think you raise some very important issues, and I'd like to see Brian Topp answer them.  After spending most of the race undecided and a bit disappointed by what I continue to regard as a weak field of candidates, I, after mostly leaning toward Nash, decided to back Topp after the final debate.  I think that you've raised important questions about Topp, and while maybe there's something that I'll learn that will make me feel comfortable with Topp's role in all this, I think that if these issues are not addressed, he may lose the top spot on my list to Peggy.

Howard

I agree that what happened to Libby was terrible and I hold Mulcair partly responsibly.

mark_alfred

JaneyCanuck wrote:

Oh my! This is the 1st time in a very long while I am unsure who will be my no 1 choice. There is something about Mr. Topp that annoies me but I do not know him and am all too aware that TV does not show the real person.

If you're in Toronto there's a meet and greet with Brian at Ciros tonight (Friday March 16), so you could meet him in person there.  Peggy had a meet and greet there last night.  Ciros has a great selection of international beers, but it also has a good working class feel to it. 

If you're interested in meeting any of the candidates, they generally post dates for meet and greets on their sites.

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