NDP Leadership Thread - Part 2

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Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture
NDP Leadership Thread - Part 2

And we're off..

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Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Does Libby Davies speak French?

artemmedv

It was asked in the 1st thread whether Linda Duncan was bilingual. As far as I understand, she speaks little to no French.

Bookish Agrarian

I think we need to review a bit of history here.   Jack stumbled some early on and didn't always find the right tone in those early days.   Jack was also no Tommy as Tommy was no Jack and Ed was neither one of them.   If we try to re-create from whole cloth the Jack Layton of recent years we are going to fail.  

 

I am looking for someone who is singular in their vision, in their understanding of the regions of the country and regions within the regions.  Someone who understands, trusts and respects Canadians and can articulate a coherent vision of our shared potential and future.   

We will all miss Jack's leadership, drive, vison and presence.  But as sad as it is, we need to replace Jack, not re-create him.

 

So I will wait, listen, watch and engage and see who comes forward with a vision for our party and our country that I think will move us forward.   I did that in 2002-3 and it worked out pretty darn well.

Wilf Day

Note this continues Part 1.

artemmedv

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

 If we try to re-create from whole cloth the Jack Layton of recent years we are going to fail.  

Exactly.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

A few observations.

I'm not sure how much stock we should put in the issue of Mulcair's alleged temper or surliness.  His job, as Quebec Lieutenant, was to play the bad cop to Layton's good cop, and his alleged surliness may just be part iof that role.  I don't know.

Robert Chisolm is the only candidate under discussion (apart from the daft suggestion of Bob "I've now destroyed two parties" Rae) with party leadership experience - but more importantly, he led the NSNDP through a situation very similar to the current situation in the federal party - having come from nowhere to be the Official Opposition, consolidating that support so the NSNDP wasn't quickly relegated to third again as happened a decade earlier in Alberta.

On Monday night, some of the people I was with suggested that the next leader should be under 40.  While I have no issue with that (I was Meili's comms director, after all), I responded that I wasn't sure "under 40" was absolutely necessary, but that it would be good if the next leader was younger than me.  Turns out Brian Topp is younger than me by 27 days.  I'm also a little baffled by the emergence of his name as a leadership contender, but it seems he has most of the advantages of Mulcair (from Quebec, fluently bilingual, pragmatic strategist) with the additional advantage of better connections with labour and with the party outside Quebec.

Hunky_Monkey

I know that former Nova Scotia NDP leader Robert Chisholm has been taking French lessons in Quebec. Someone to watch down the road for sure.

Trevormkidd

Lou Arab wrote:
I love Charlie Angus, and if he can speak French - I think he could be a real contender for my vote. However, I worry that I'm looking at him as part of the NDP membership, and not seeing him as regular Canadians might see him. Is he someone who only speaks to the choir? As a part of that choir, I'm not sure I'm objective enough to know.

I am far from objective when it comes to Angus, but he is certainly my favorite. As to whether he can appeal beyond the choir, I can't say for sure. However, in his riding he has picked up and held a lot of votes that were not traditionally NDP - while voting to keep the gun registry which many thought would hurt him. He has made a couple issues his own which I think have support outside the NDP. He always come across as honest and decent. Macleans awarded him the best constituential representative a couple years ago and I think that he is the strongest voice that Northern Ontario has had in my lifetime.

For those reasons - and being only 48 - I really hope he runs. Not sure how strong his french is. However, running alone will give the issues he has fought for more attention.

 

JeffWells

That was very sound advice, Bookish Agrarian.

I don't believe Libby Davies speaks French, and I don't expect she'll contend. However, I am going to give a lot of consideration to whomever she throws her support.

 

 

Anonymouse

x

samuelolivier

How about David Miller? Is there any possibility he could run?

And I am curious to know, as an outsider, what is your point of view on the following:

 

- Peter Julian

- Roméo Saganash

- Megan Leslie

- David Miller

- Linda Duncan

- Anne McGrath

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

In the previous thread, someone asked about candidates out of Saskatchewan, including some specific names.

Ryan Meili - Ryan generated a lot of excitement in the 2009 Saskatchewan NDP leadership race, and put together perhaps the most effective campaign team.  Considering that he started late and as a virtual unknown, the fact that he was able to survive to the second ballot at all was an achievement, let alone that he garnered 45% in second ballot support.  Ryan does speak French, although I can't personally attest to the quality of it.  His wife is Quebecoise.  Having withdrawn from a provincial nomination race in Saskatoon Sutherland, a future leadership run either federally or provincially would have to overcome that (not insurmountable) perception problem.  However, as a new father, this may not be the best time for him regardless.

Nettie Wiebe - Nettie performed well on the 2000 Sask NDP leadership race, but has since run and lost four federal elections.  She's 62, which would mitigate against any longterm leadership and would be something of a handicap.  So far as I know, she speaks no French.

Roy Romanow - Roy was the oldest premier in Saskatchewan history at the time he retired - and that was more than a decade ago.  He speaks no French.

Lorne Calvert - Lorne has a similar "nice guy" image to Jack's, but without the extroverted bonhommie.  To my knowledge, he speaks no French.

Lorne Nystrom - In his third leadership bid, Lorne failed to offer a compelling answer to "why are you running again?"  He's 65 and hasn't been an MP for several years.  I just don't see it happening.

Noah Evanchuk - Had Noah won Palliser (and he did get our highest ever vote in the riding) he could have been a reasonable dark horse.  I don't know the quality of his French, but he is young enough a) to develop fluency and b) to run down the road.

Apart from Meili, the current provincial papabilli from Saskatchewan (ie, Trent Wotherspoon or Cam Broten) would be considered longshots in a federal leadership race and are more likely to stay focussed provincially.

So at the end of the day, I think Brian Topp is likely the strongest Saskatchewan candidate.

adma

Malcolm wrote:
Robert Chisolm is the only candidate under discussion (apart from the daft suggestion of Bob "I've now destroyed two parties" Rae) with party leadership experience - but more importantly, he led the NSNDP through a situation very similar to the current situation in the federal party - having come from nowhere to be the Official Opposition, consolidating that support so the NSNDP wasn't quickly relegated to third again as happened a decade earlier in Alberta.

If Jack Harris was mentioned in any of these threads, he'd count on "party leadership experience" grounds, too--even if hopes to "grow" the elected base never got off the ground.

Then again, the same could have been said about Alexa in 1995.

Anonymouse

samuelolivier wrote:

How about David Miller? Is there any possibility he could run?

And I am curious to know, as an outsider, what is your point of view on the following:

 

- Peter Julian

- Roméo Saganash

- Megan Leslie

- David Miller

- Linda Duncan

- Anne McGrath

I don't think Miller speaks French, also his very public (and needless) decision to lapse his NDP membership in 2007 would raise some questions, moreso with people outside the NDP is my guess. It was heartening to see his polling numbers pick up near the end of his last term, after the media had really whipped up a mob of anger at him for not being "tough enough" in the city garbage strike.

Anne McGrath ran for the Communist Party of Canada in Edmonton-Strathcona in 1984 receiving 0.25% of the vote, I kid you not. At some point she went on to work for/with? the Liberals. While I find her an effective presence on TV and she has had successes in the backrooms, I don't expect she will run for leader.

I believe others have commented on the other candidates you bring up, earlier in the thread.

adma

Trevormkidd wrote:

Lou Arab wrote:
I love Charlie Angus, and if he can speak French - I think he could be a real contender for my vote. However, I worry that I'm looking at him as part of the NDP membership, and not seeing him as regular Canadians might see him. Is he someone who only speaks to the choir? As a part of that choir, I'm not sure I'm objective enough to know.

I am far from objective when it comes to Angus, but he is certainly my favorite. As to whether he can appeal beyond the choir, I can't say for sure. However, in his riding he has picked up and held a lot of votes that were not traditionally NDP - while voting to keep the gun registry which many thought would hurt him. He has made a couple issues his own which I think have support outside the NDP. He always come across as honest and decent. Macleans awarded him the best constituential representative a couple years ago and I think that he is the strongest voice that Northern Ontario has had in my lifetime.

For those reasons - and being only 48 - I really hope he runs. Not sure how strong his french is. However, running alone will give the issues he has fought for more attention.

As such, I think there may also be an eccentric argument on behalf of Angus as the most "Preston Manning-ish" of the contenders--and don't cringe, because that may be critical in repatriating a lot of that "pre-93" party base.  (And nothing to do w/ideology, either.)

babbler 8

A few comments on this thread:

Lou, how's Rachel's french?

I take exception to that article that called Libby the lunatic fringe. Being ahead of the curve on public policy, particularly health and addiction does not make one a lunatic. If you want lunatic fringe look at the tinfoil hat crowd of the green party. That said, it's hard to see Libby going for it, I think being leader will tie her hands when it comes to being ahead of the curve and standing up for the Eastside. I don't see her running, but I'd have a hard time not supporting her if she did.

I like Megan Leslie as a candidate, I think age is the only thing that can work against her but I think she is more mature than her years. I don't think she'd be easy to ignore either having made a name for herself already. I don't agree with the Alexa comparison, and even if I did an Alexa right now would be more effective than an Alexa when she was leader. We have to remember this is not the same NDP that existed pre-Jack. Whoever we choose has to be seen as a Prime Minister beyond anything else and the leader chosen cannot and will not be ignored. 

Our time line has changed now, whoever takes the lead is not looking for longterm growth as much as straight up winning the next election. This opens the doors to some of the older candidates too. I think a Stephen Lewis or even a David Suzuki type leader shouldn't be ruled out. This is a race for PM in four years so we may actually be able to attract a high profile candidate that we wouldn't have in the past.

Another guy I like is Jack Harris. I don't know about his french but he is loved in Newfoundland to the same degree as Layton is across the country.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

What about Nathan Cullen?  I've heard his French is good and as a Westerner he might help the party in Sask and B.C., both of which were areas where the party underperformed in the last election, and Manitoba as well perhaps.

Nathan also showed considerable durability in surviving targeted campaigns by the gun crazies over the registry issue.

theleftyinvestor

Regarding Saganash, I want to say he's a great candidate, but the reality is I saw him speak at the federal convention and I feel he's just not the kind of orator who can really take on a party leadership and spar with Canada's meanest and loudest. I hope that his time in Parliament will do him some good and power up his voice, but I couldn't see him as leader.

nicky

A number of estimable potential leaders have been suggested who are not presently MPs. Douglas, McDonough and Layton were all chosen as leader even though they were not sitting MPs. In fact in 1975 I voted for John Harney at the leadership convention in Winnipeg even though he had recently lost his seat because I thought he was the best candidate.

But things are different now. In each of those races the caucus was much diminished, 8, 9, 12 or 16 after 1974. Now we have 102 after Jack's death. There is much less reason to look outside the caucus and we potentially run a serious risk if we do so. Ever since the last election the party has been met with some degree of scorn in the MSM about the supposed lack of depth in the caucus. If we cannot find a leader in a caucus of 102 we will feed the false narrative that our MPs are a bunch of lightweights.

ottawaobserver

What I liked about Malcolm's post was that he did a solid rundown of the likely and not-so-likely names from his province.

I wonder if others might be willing to do the same for us from their corner of the country.

(p.s., Robert Chisholm has said on Facebook that he's currently in Saint-Jean working on his french)

VW61 VW61's picture

OK, Just throwing this out there:

Alex Boulerice, Quebec MP; seems like a strong performer in Question Period and a younger member...in his 30's...leadership material?

Elizabeth Weir, former NB NDP Leader and Saint John Harbour MLA, then later President of Efficiency NB; it's probably not likely to happen, but would love to see her firebrand style in the house again...I  bet she could hold Harper's feet to the fire.

Thoughts?

Threads

Ken: Cullen represents a geographically large, geographically peripheral riding, and I don't think a single flight at any of the airports in that riding leaves British Columbia.  A leader from a large riding is fine, and a leader from a peripheral riding is fine; but a leader from a riding which is at once both large and peripheral?

(Disclaimer: I am from another riding which is both large and peripheral, albeit neither as large nor as peripheral as Skeena—Bulkley Valley.)

Hunky_Monkey

ottawaobserver wrote:

What I liked about Malcolm's post was that he did a solid rundown of the likely and not-so-likely names from his province.

I wonder if others might be willing to do the same for us from their corner of the country.

(p.s., Robert Chisholm has said on Facebook that he's currently in Saint-Jean working on his french)

An important distinction... he's *learning* French. I could be wrong though but I don't recall Robert being bilingual.

Anonymouse

Alex Boulerice is definitely leadership material but maybe of Québec provincial party, because he is very clear about being a sovereigntist.

Elizabeth Weir would be great, I wish she would get re-involved in politics at any level.

Hunky_Monkey

VW61 wrote:

OK, Just throwing this out there:

Alex Boulerice, Quebec MP; seems like a strong performer in Question Period and a younger member...in his 30's...leadership material?

Elizabeth Weir, former NB NDP Leader and Saint John Harbour MLA, then later President of Efficiency NB; it's probably not likely to happen, but would love to see her firebrand style in the house again...I  bet she could hold Harper's feet to the fire.

Thoughts?

I'd love to see Weir run in Saint John but not so much as national leader.

Was Boulerice one of the "targeted" MP's on the issue of sovereignty by the media?

Hunky_Monkey

Anonymouse wrote:

Alex Boulerice is definitely leadership material but maybe of Québec provincial party, because he is very clear about being a sovereigntist.

Elizabeth Weir would be great, I wish she would get re-involved in politics at any level.

I thought he was a sovereigntist but is now an "autonomist"?

VW61 VW61's picture

Not sure of Boulerice's history, perhaps someone has more info?

I think if Weir ran in Saint John Federally this last election, she more than likely would have been elected, but she was still President of Efficiency NB then, unfortunately.

Stockholm

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

I think we need to review a bit of history here.   Jack stumbled some early on and didn't always find the right tone in those early days.

 

I see what you're saying, but the stakes are much higher this time. In 2003 the NDP was a fourth party with 13 seats and we could afford the luxury of having a new leader who might not have been totally "ready for prime time" because all we cared about was regaining our core support and getting back to 20-something seats and we had a three or four election strategy for getting there! The current context is totally different. We are the official opposition and who we pick as leader has at least a 50% chance of being the next PM of Canada. We can't afford to do on the job trining.

klexo

If someone gave me 3 to 1 odds on Peter Julian right now I'd take that. Superficially he strikes me as an almost perfect NDP leadership candidate. If Topp and/or Mulcair try to red-bait him, they'll rue the day, I'd guess. Does anyone know how deep his Quebec NDP ties go? 

As for the Cullen I can't believe the size of the riding is a relevant consideration. If his French meets the necessary high standard, he would be a formidable candidate too.  

 

Centrist

Ken Burch wrote:
What about Nathan Cullen? 

Nathan had twins last August and that's the reason he decided not to enter the BC provincial leadership race earlier this year (after several coaxings). Count him out.

The only BC contender that I see right now is Peter Julian but I still believe that the leadership ring is Mulcair's to lose.

 

samuelolivier

I would love to see someone for the "new" generation running. Who do you think would be the strongest candidate between Niki Ashton and Megan Leslie?

As for Boulerice, he's been pretty clear in the past about being sovereigntist, I don't know if he is now more an automonomist, but that would make perfect sense.

I see a lot of good feedback and opinions on Peter Julian over here and outside rabble. I think it would be really nice to have him running.

 

Bookish Agrarian

Stockholm wrote:

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

I think we need to review a bit of history here.   Jack stumbled some early on and didn't always find the right tone in those early days.

 

I see what you're saying, but the stakes are much higher this time. In 2003 the NDP was a fourth party with 13 seats and we could afford the luxury of having a new leader who might not have been totally "ready for prime time" because all we cared about was regaining our core support and getting back to 20-something seats and we had a three or four election strategy for getting there! The current context is totally different. We are the official opposition and who we pick as leader has at least a 50% chance of being the next PM of Canada. We can't afford to do on the job trining.

 

I don't disagree, but at the same time EVERY new leader of EVERY party has to have the potential to grow in the position.  The ones who fail, see Michael Ignatieff, are the ones who can't.  I think Jack was signaling that with his letter and the suggestion of get it done now with time before the next election.   So expecting a Jack, Tommy, or Ed on day one and only focusing on what they have right at this momemt, but ignoring their ability to grow or not into a fullerr potential, and thus get us to the next level of defeating the Conservatives, will be a recipe for it not happening.

samuelolivier

klexo wrote:

If someone gave me 3 to 1 odds on Peter Julian right now I'd take that. Superficially he strikes me as an almost perfect NDP leadership candidate. If Topp and/or Mulcair try to red-bait him, they'll rue the day, I'd guess. Does anyone know how deep his Quebec NDP ties go? 

As for the Cullen I can't believe the size of the riding is a relevant consideration. If his French meets the necessary high standard, he would be a formidable candidate too.  

 

Julian is perfectly bilingual, he's been involved in the NDP Quebec section in the 90's, he's married to a Quebecker, he studied at Université du Québec à Montréal. I show some clips to some oh my friends (5) who are wondering who might be the next leader (Topp, Cullen, Leslie, Dewar, Davies, Chisholm, Nash) just out of curiosity. Julian got the best respond by a mile...

Nothing scientific and it's not prooving anything, but I got the impression his smilling and positive attitude would be a really nice added value for people who voted for the NDP and Layton to get a more positive, collaborative and optimistic approach in canadian politics. Plus the fact his French is perfect and smooth and the fact he knows Quebec and he's married to a Quebecker will most def help him with the voters from Quebec.

 

klexo

What do we make of the time and manner of Topp's name being floated as a "front-runner"?

I read it initially as a stark rejection of the notion of Mulcair as leader by Topp and those who I take as being with him (including McGrath, USW and perhaps Jack and Olivia (?)).  But maybe Topp is the stalking horse for Mulcair? the straw horse opponent whose support in Ontario and elsewhere among english "moderates" Mulcair will need to win in the end.  

Either way I have a tough time seeing how Peggy Nash or Peter Julian, just to name two, would not handily win a vote among the members against either one. And isn't it so, at least now before the campaign has started, Nash + Julian (+Leslie ?) > Topp + Mulcair. 

By the way, does anyone know what the rules of this contest are? Surely Topp will have no role in deciding same. 

 

 

meades meades's picture

Given Layton came in from outside the House of Commons and that many people will be looking to see if the NDP can expand on its 103 seats, even take seats away from the Conservatives, it wouldn't be surprising to me to see faces come into the race from the provincial, or even municipal arenas. That said, the NDP is in nowhere near the same position it was back in 2002/3.

It's already apparent that all eyes are on Mulcair. His surliness that's been referenced here and in a couple articles so far, may be an issue (simply because we all seem to be talking about it) but it really is part of what makes him such a strong communicator. He is able to pick apart his opponents' arguments quickly, and dash them unforgivingly. It's actually really impressive to see (I'm thinking of some of his appearances on Power and Politics with Evan Solomon). What I think will be the biggest issue for him is his ability to articulate a social democratic vision that will resonate with the membership. While I don't think the vision that has to be promoted by the next leader needs to be in lock step with that articulated by Layton, I don't think the party has the appetite to deviate too far from it either. The reason I have my doubts here are simply because I haven't seen him do it yet - that could be because I don't follow his career particularly closely, or it could be because this just isn't the role he's had to fill in the party so far. 

As an aside, I think it's worth remembering that campaign messaging and the vision that gets articulated in a campaign or between campaigns isn't something that is typically thought up by one person (unless your organization is REALLY small, and ours is not). They are created by teams, and though the leader is a central part of these teams, there are also a number of staff people (and others) that will be there after the new leader is selected and assist them in building these skills.

As for areas the NDP could expand on, Saskatchewan and the rest of the prairies certainly stand out. I don't think past failed leadership contenders will fly as serious candidates for the federal leadership, however, so I would look at past or current cabinet members from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. From Manitoba, perhaps someone like Gord Mackintosh or Theresa Oswald might throw their hats in the ring. Of course with an election coming up, from a personal perspective it would be a good time to make the leap to Federal politics (no need to worry about by-elections and any backlash that might come from triggering one) it might also not be looked at as a sign of confidence in the Selinger government's ability to be re-elected. In Saskatchewan the transition would be a bit smoother. Pat Atkinson is retiring from provincial politics, but her explanation according to CBC was "I liked to be in the thick of things. And at the moment I'm not in the thick of things [...] I think it was just time for me to do something, something else" Click! Reading that article now, I'd be more surprised if she didn't run. Again, with BC going into an election very soon as well, it would likely be a very hard decision for an NDP MLA to decide to make that leap, especially as there's a very real shot at forming government. Of course the argument could be made there's a shot at forming government federally as well. Regardless I'm not familiar enough with their MLAs to make any comments.

Overall, I think bilingualism will be a bigger issue than it has ever been in an NDP leadership vote. 

I didn't read the other thread, but there are some names from the current caucus I was surprised not to see.

Pat Martin has the profile, experience, and ego (and I don't necessarily mean that in a negative way) to make a run, and has the benefit of coming from the Prairies. I don't know what his French is like, but I'm assuming it's not very good. Also his habit of red-baiting will definitely not endear him to much of the membership. One of Layton's strengths as leader was not moving the party to the left or the right, but growing the tent. Martin's habit of calling people "loonie-lefties" doesn't sit well for those looking to continue that trend. Of course, his strong performance in a number of portfolios has gained him a considerable amount of respect as well.

Peggy Nash is a strong MP, has had a number of high profile roles in the party and public life generally, and I'm not sure how her French is, but I'm under the impression she works at it. She has deep roots in the labour movement, she was a strong supporter of Jack's since the last leadership election, and most people I know have a positive impression of her. Being from Toronto could be a downside, having just had a leader from there, but it's hardly a rule that leaderships have to rotate geographically.

Françoise Boivin is the only other member from Québec I could see running for the leadership, unless someone runs to raise their profile or advance an issue. She has experience as an MP, but even as a Liberal she only served one term. Nonetheless, she's also been a big part of building momentum in Québec since she joined the NDP in 2008. Her past experience as a Liberal and switch to the NDP could be seen as an example of a principled move that many Liberal-turned-NDP (or soon to be liberal-turned-NDP) voters can empathize with, however it could also yield some distrust from within party circles. 

Charlie Angus will likely run, I'm guessing. He has many of the same qualities as Pat Martin, without having alienated the left of the party. It's been a while since I've taken note, but last time I checked his French wasn't good. I think he is working on it, though.

Another Northern Ontario MP, however, that I don't think gets nearly enough attention is Carol Hughes. Carol is Francophone, has deep roots in the labour movement, has done well on constituency issues that the MPP has bungled (i.e. closing of Dubreuiville), is personable and at ease in either a crowd or a small gathering. She's also very helpful and quick to respond to requests from constituents (speaking from experience), and is completely down to earth. Whether she's interested in the leadership or not is another question. If she is, I think she'd do a stellar job at continuing Jack's legacy. 

The Star has produced a number of mildly offensive pieces on the leadership now (one asking if Olivia Chow would be a credible candidate, or whether she has just "hung from Jack's coattails" - mega barf. I'm shocked by both the indecency of even bringing up the prospect before she has had any time to mourn by herself, as well as the complete, flagrant idiocy of suggesting Olivia has clung to anyone's coattails). They've suggested Paul Dewar, Libby Davies, Tom Mulcair, Brin Topp, Joe Comartin and Peter Julian. I agree with past assessments that Davies likely won't seek the leadership, though it would be nice if she did. I also agree with the Star that Comartin chance at the top job has passed. Peter Julian is an interesting prospect, however, and he is bilingual. Others have mentioned Linda Duncan, and I also think she'd be a very interesting, positive candidate to have in the mix. 

 

samuelolivier

I would be really happy if some star candidates jump in the race too, it would put the spotlight on the leadership race and get people interested in it.

As an NDP supporter, I would be really happy if Thomas Mulcair, Peter Julian and a youngster (Megan Leslie or Niki Ashton) decide to run.

The more I think about it, and the more I think Michaelle Jean would be an amazing candidate. Dunno how her GG past would be received with the NDP members, though. Thoughts?

nicky

How can any of you be serious about Michaele Jean? She allowed Harper to prorogue Parliament without demonstrating he had the confidence of the House. She struck an enormous blow against Canadian democracy which resu;ted in perhaps seven more lean years of Harper in government. Have you forgotten that?

Newfoundlander_...

Hoang Mai, I saw him on tv one night and he seemed pretty good.

 

Some media have reported that the party will likely have a high entrance fee so that only very serious candiadtes enter, and I guess so there are no embarrassments.

ottawaobserver

Given that the party has not set the rules yet, I think that particularly story was pure speculation.

Anonymouse

Michaelle Jean made Harper wait for two hours before she would prorogue. During that time the so-called coalition letter was being held up, and hadn't been delivered to Jean, by none other than Michael Ignatieff who was dragging his heels about signing.

Her constitutional responsibility is/was to accede to the wishes of the government. She was in the unique circumstance that the government wanted one thing, but it wasn't clear if they had the confidence of the House of Commons. Had she denied Harper's request to prorogue and the government had survived a confidence vote, she would have been in breach of her constitutional responsibilities and definitely in line for a sacking. I think she made the right choice for the wrong reason, and that is that she granted Harper the prorogation because she couldn't be confident that he had lost the confidence of the House of Commons. As history would have it, she was right. The Liberals folded like a cheap tent, voted confidence, and Harper demolished them in the next election.

As for Julian, I agree he has a lot of strong qualities, but what I have never liked about him is I see him as a man of opposition, very good at identifying problems, but less forthcoming with solutions. It is my understanding that his involvement in the NDP in Québec goes well before the 90s to the Broadbent era, when he was an organiser for the party. 

Leslie also seems like a much stronger candidate to me than Ashton. Due to her charm, polish, and organisational skills (which both of them seem to have). Leslie would be 41 or 42 in the next election.

klexo

"Given that the party has not set the rules yet, I think that particularly story was pure speculation." 

Surely the Party has some rules on the books about how leadership contests are conducted? Or is it a whole  new game every time?

Do we even know if the 25% weighted vote for labour, which was in place 2003, is still in effect? FWIW, wikipedia is contradictory on that basic point and good luck trying to find the parties' governing documents on-line.  

 

Anonymouse

Boivin is a talent. She is fluently bilingual and quite smart. That being said, she doesn't strike me as a particularly strong speaker and she doesn't really look the part (which I don't care about but I suspect the public would Frown).

Newfoundlander_...

ottawaobserver wrote:

Given that the party has not set the rules yet, I think that particularly story was pure speculation.

It was speculation, though ifnormation may have come from insiders, but the NDP likely will not have a $7,500 entrance like they did in 2003. 

David Young

Since the last convention was in Vancouver, I think we can conclude that the Leaderhip Convention location will come down to 4 places:

Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg.

Winnipeg is the historic choice, Toronto the sentimental choice to honour Jack Layton's memory, Ottawa gets the most political mileage, and Montreal would signal that the Party really wants to consolidate its support in Quebec.

Where does everyone think the Convention will take place?

 

 

ottawaobserver

[Regarding any entrance fee:] Well, for one thing, the last leadership convention was conducted before the Election Act amendments that put certain new responsibilities and restrictions onto leadership candidates, particularly regarding their financing. The party will probably restrict spending, as it did before, but it also has to set the beginning and end dates to satisfy Elections Act requirements, as I understand it. The Conservative government could also re-introduce their legislation prohibiting candidates from obtaining loans from anyone but a registered financial institution, which would affect how much money a leadership candidate could realistically be asked to put down as an entrance fee.

New Brunswick had a clever rule which required leadership candidates to sign up XX number of new monthly pre-authorized contribution members in order to qualify for the race - as obviously their focus was on party building.

I just think they have to think through all the relevant laws and timing, before they lock those things down, and I highly doubt given the exertions of this past week to pull off a state funeral and do everything else, that they've had time to think that far ahead.

Newfoundlander_...

Anyone know where the party constitution can be found?

Anonymouse

One thing to consider in this leadership race is it will be 3-4 years before there is an election so the new leader will need a seat in the House of Commons. There is only one currently available, Toronto-Danforth. Otherwise, a leadership contender would need a sitting NDP MP to step down for them to run. This makes it seem more plausible to me that the next leader needs to come from the current caucus, or if not, to immediately address the question of who would step down for them to run (if they don't/can't run in Toronto-Danforth).

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

adma wrote:

Malcolm wrote:
Robert Chisolm . . . led the NSNDP through a situation very similar to the current situation in the federal party - having come from nowhere to be the Official Opposition, consolidating that support . . .

If Jack Harris was mentioned in any of these threads, he'd count on "party leadership experience" grounds, too . . .

I'd forgotten about Jack Harris, but again, I think the strongest argument for Chisholm is the particular parallel of consolidating advances.  He is the only living ex-leader, federally or provincially, to lead the party to this kind of breakthrough and then effectively consolidate the gains . . . even if it was left to Dexter to take them to power. 

klexo

For the record, wikipedia has P. Julian as the Provincial Secretary for the NDP-Q in the 1990s, not a mere "organizer" in the 1980s. This guy bleeds orange. He also appears to have a credible history as an activist which has some positive parallels with Jack and contrasts well with Topp/Mulcair. How he presents and speaks, I don't know, that is critical of course.  

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Threads wrote:

Ken: Cullen represents a geographically large, geographically peripheral riding, and I don't think a single flight at any of the airports in that riding leaves British Columbia.  A leader from a large riding is fine, and a leader from a peripheral riding is fine; but a leader from a riding which is at once both large and peripheral?

 

There is another risk involved.  In the '95 leadership race, a number of us working for Nystrom discussed the advisability of him seeking to take back Yorkton-Melville or to try for a Regina seat.  The most passionate advocate of a Regina seat had previously worked for Grant Notley. 

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