NDP Leadership Thread - Part 6

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David Young

Wasn't Mulcair born in Ottawa?  West Coast Greeny lists him has a Quebec native.

 

josh

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
genstrike wrote:

Is it just me, or is it solely the ridiculous self-centred Ottawa media "Hill" culture which is promoting people like Belanger and Topp as the next NDP leader?

I see it. I find it interesting that Topp is being touted as a frontrunner... but from every New Democrat I talk to, they're cool to the idea of his candidacy. They like Topp as a strategist but not as leader. Even here on babble you see it. So how is he a frontrunner?

I don't get it either. Seems to be totally media created and driven.

And I see Mulcair's being a drama king. "Either hold a later election or I won't run". So, there.

DaveW

Globe weighs in on Mulclair:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ndp-firebrand-toots-his-own-horn/article2152741/

 some pretty testy stuff about him in the comments thread after article...

 

Mr. Mulcair insisted the party should not opt for a four-month race, because there would be insufficient time to sell memberships in Quebec. Despite the NDP's record success in the province in the last federal election, only 3 per cent of eligible voters for the party leadership reside there.

"I've never shied away from a fight. I don't even shy away from a fight if somebody wants to tie one arm behind my back," Mr. Mulcair said. But I'm not going to go into that same fight if I'm completely hobbled."

He sharply criticized backroom lobbying by unnamed party officials in favour of a convention next January, saying it wouldn't leave enough time for candidates to build support in Quebec and become better known across Canada.

Instead, Mr. Mulcair is calling for a seven- to eight-month campaign, which would mean a vote in April or May, when the NDP federal council sets the convention rules on Friday.

"The important thing is that Quebeckers opted in to Canada for the first time in a generation, and the vehicle for that opt-in is the progressive vision of the NDP," Mr. Mulcair said. "The last thing we can afford to do is to send a signal that now that has been done, the [leadership selection] process ... won't respect that result."

Wilf Day

Surely this is a  misquote:

Quote:
Mulcair said he will decide whether to run after the NDP's federal council meets on Sept. 9 to set the regulations for the race.

He said he thinks the party is ready to change the rules, which in the last leadership race set aside 25 per cent of votes for organized labour.

"If anybody in labour wants to sell cards on the shop floor, that's one thing," he said. "That would be great. In the province of Quebec, we're the most unionized province in Canada. But you don't reserve votes for trade unions, specifically. If members of trade unions want to come and vote, that's fantastic. And if the reality is that trade unions are helping certain candidates to sell cards, that's also fine."

http://www.canada.com/business/Delay+leadership+race+running+Mulcair/5346401/story.html

KenS

I dont understand Wilf, what do you think is a misquote?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Stockholm wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean by "untouchable", the current interim leader of the federal NDP was once a member of the BQ and QS and that didn't stop her from being named interim leader - what exactly do you mean?

Stockholm wrote:

I think the issue is that having a permanent leader who was very recently a member of a pro-Quebec sovereignty party would be like shooting fish in a barrel for the Tories! Can you imagine the attack ads???

You just answered your own question.

Le Papillon De Fer

Wilf Day

KenS wrote:

I dont understand Wilf, what do you think is a misquote?

I'm being an optimist. If Mulcair is really openly campaigning to end the affiliate vote, I don't want to speculate on the consequences.

Le Papillon De Fer

Sorry about the blanks posts. Here’s another G&M article on how the merger talks are “hurting the NDP”: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/merger-talk-risks-splitting...

Is anybody here writing comments or letters to the editor regarding all this kneecapping? I appreciate people here reading between the lines (that in and of itself is not done nearly enough by people) and having a “grain of salt” attitude, but I think more needs to be done. Not that I don’t have faith in you guys, mind you. Quite the opposite.

As far as the Canwest article Wilf Day pointed out, it should be noted that the author works for Postmedia, so I think he has a point about the misquote. Just to be absolutely clear so that we can possibly counteract this article which paints Mulcair as anti-union (At least that was what I read into it), what is his level of support for unions?

nicky

I have written about this before without much of a response. Does anyone else see the mathematics of the leadership vote as a potential disaster for the party?

As matters stand Quebec has only 2% of the voting strength. Mulcair is asking for a longer campaign to maximize the time to sign up new Quebec members. But this will scarcely guarantee that the Quebec percentage will be close to its population. No one suggests there should be a moratorium on new members from other provinces. With looming provincial votes in Man, Sask. PEI and Ont. those provinces will have a greater mechanism to recruit new members. The ROC also has  more entrenched organizations to facilitate recruitment than does Quebec.

So what happens if a plausible Quebec leadership candidate is beaten because Quebec only has 4 or 5% of the voting strength? What will that do to our prospects of re-electing the 59 Quebec MPs? 

The federal council will be making crucial decisions in SIX days. We need to discuss this question thoroughly and suggest alternatives.

One alternative is of course to weight the provinces according to their population or perhaps their seats in the Commons. The NDP is already on record as guaranteeing Quebec a 23% share of the Commons. Should this also apply to the leadership selection? What other measures are available? Let's discuss them here.

Stockholm

What about my idea of giving the federal caucus a 25% weighted vote share in the leadership process? That would give Quebec about 14% more right off the bat since 58% of 25 is about 14.

northendguy northendguy's picture

I just want to second Jeff Wells. There is a huge arrray of talent and at least six or seven credible candidates. In contrast, there are no Liberal prospective candidates at all, as far as I can tell.

I think some of the young new MPs can learn the craft of policitcs as Cabinet members in the first NDP federal government and go on to be great Prime Ministers, so they do not have to jump on this leadership contest. They have time. My view is that the most important order of business is to defeat the Conservatives and form a government, while sinking deep and permanent roots in Quebec. So my criteria is: who can be a credible candidate for all Canadians, especially given that there will be an antagonistic media campaign and, facing facts, a significant level of distrust of the NDP among many Canadians (which hopefully will be displaced after the first term of government but don't count in it - look at rural southwest Manitoba which still distrusts the provincial Maniotba NDP). For this reason, while I love Libby Davis and think she is a great person and politician, I don't think she could be electable as Prime Minister. Just as I said about the young members, so is also the case for people like Libby Davis. How would she do as Minister of Justice, for example? There is a big prize here folks and plenty for all the talented, capable members to do if the NDP wins the government. So my view is think about your non-NDP neighbours and who they are likely to support. (And, by the way, may I add that is was very classy of Brian Topp to post here and nice to know that he is reading the discussion.) 

windsorworker

Aristotleded24 wrote:

David, how do you think a third-place finish for Liberals in Ontario and Newfoundland provincial elections this Fall would impact these "merger" discussions? For that matter, let's throw in a third place finish for the Liberals in Nova Scotia in 2013?

While I'm at it, any idea why the CAW has apparently taken the bait?

300 thousand good paying full time manufacturing job losses in Canada in the last 10 years maybe ? And the fact the Conservatives won a majority with an incredibly low percentage of votes ? Very weak Conservative candidates winning elections  with the help of vote splitting ? How do you think a Liberal minority government propped up by the NDP in Ontario would impact merger talks ? 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

josh wrote:

I don't get it either. Seems to be totally media created and driven. And I see Mulcair's being a drama king. "Either hold a later election or I won't run". So, there.

So you think the current system in place is fair to Mulcair and other Quebec MPs who aspire to run for the leadership?

windsorworker

Boom Boom wrote:

 

So you think the current system in place is fair to Mulcair and other Quebec MPs who aspire to run for the leadership?

  The 20% labour vote also includes Quebec labour . I am wondering if Mulcair thinks he cannot get that vote.

Wilf Day

Federal Party Constitution:

http://xfer.ndp.ca/2011/2011-constitution/2011-06-CONSTITUTION-ENG.pdf

Did the party delete the affiliate carve-out when I wasn't looking?

Quote:
3. Elections and Appointment of Officers

(a) Leader

(i) The Leader shall be elected by secret ballot.

(ii) Every member is entitled to cast a ballot for the selection of the
Leader.

(iii) Candidates for the leadership with the fewest number of votes will
drop off the ballot in subsequent rounds until one candidate
receives 50% plus one or more of the total votes cast in that
round. The Council shall determine other leadership selection
guidelines.

Also, there is no way MPs or ridings or provinces can be given extra weight.

KenS

I beleive that the carve-out was never in the Constitution- that it just stipulates OMOV.

I dont remember now, but it may have always been understood that there would be a carve-out? Which might have been part of why the amendment was able to get over the top to the required 2/3 majority??

The question will arise why it wasnt put in the amendment. I dont know the answer, but getting an amendment passed on such a fundamental issue is HUGELY difficult. If the amendment is not kept simple, it can never pass.

I wasnt at the Convention and dont remember. But we did the OMOV first here in NS, and I was part of getting that negotiated to cllear the floor process.

Hunky_Monkey

Boom Boom wrote:

josh wrote:

I don't get it either. Seems to be totally media created and driven. And I see Mulcair's being a drama king. "Either hold a later election or I won't run". So, there.

So you think the current system in place is fair to Mulcair and other Quebec MPs who aspire to run for the leadership?

The current system is fair... one member, one vote... but more time is needed to level out the playing field... just as Mulcair stated. For years, we had strong sections in BC, Saskatchewan, etc., with the infrastructure to sign up members. Now with our strength in Quebec, it's time to do the same. A leadership race is the perfect vehicle to start that process.

And yes, Quebec candidates will need to appeal to members in BC for example. But let's have a race where BC candidates will have to spend a lot of time in Quebec appealing to the NDP membership there. And while a lot of new members will have signed up for a certain candidate, let's remember it'll be a preferential ballot.

KenS

Boom Boom wrote:

 So you think the current system in place is fair to Mulcair and other Quebec MPs who aspire to run for the leadership?

 

windsorworker wrote:

 The 20% labour vote also includes Quebec labour . I am wondering if Mulcair thinks he cannot get that vote.

Unfortunately, this is a formalistic view that totally misses the realities.

In practice, it is not a labour vote- not even a union labour [in general vote]. The stand-in for that is in practice a votr of the institutions of labour.

In practice that has always been Ontario-centric- the closer you are to Ottawa and the national unions, or at least to the OFL... the more likely you will have the ties to labour that count. This is much exacerbated for the NDP in Quebec- where the unions have never been linked to the party.

KenS

To make that more explicit / blunt:

What counts with the carve-out is not your ability to appeal to some 'labour' in general.

What matters is your appeal and traction- and the start different contenders have with that- on the people who actually exercise where that 25% goes.

Its not difficult to see who is advantaged and disadvanteaged in that.

KenS

The difficulty with this issue of whose vote counts what is that it is framed in abstract principles, but we have candidates with polar differences in how they are effected.

Add to that:

We have a 25% carve out that it is not underpinned by actual membership, but by other strong connections.

Consider that in light of all those people in Quebec who voted for the NDP- not members either. But they do not get any such compensating claim. And even with long time for sign-uos, the membership in Quebec will not reflect support levels.

windsorworker

windsorworker wrote:

 The 20% labour vote also includes Quebec labour . I am wondering if Mulcair thinks he cannot get that vote.

Quote:
Unfortunately, this is a formalistic view that totally misses the realities.

In practice, it is not a labour vote- not even a union labour [in general vote]. The stand-in for that is in practice a votr of the institutions of labour.

In practice that has always been Ontario-centric- the closer you are to Ottawa and the national unions, or at least to the OFL... the more likely you will have the ties to labour that count. This is much exacerbated for the NDP in Quebec- where the unions have never been linked to the party.

Another reason why Mulcair and some others feel the way they do about the traditional Labour voice on leadership elections possibly ?

ottawaobserver

Nicky is right that the membership imbalance between Quebec and the ROC could be a big issue if not handled well.

The thing that gets me is that I've yet to see a New Democrat with any direct or significant indirect influence over the decision be actually quoted as adamantly insisting Jack's letter necessarily meant a January convention. This makes me entertain the possibility that the January thing is a media-driven straw man.

The only (ONLY) advantage I could see to a January convention is that the new leader would be in place for the next budget, which the government will likely now use to make huge devastating changes. And there would be a risk that a leaderless party might be at greater risk of internal division, but people seem quite committed to not allowing that to happen and Jack's letter should help smooth over a few of the rough spots.

As to the labour carve-out, I don't fully understand all the implications of the 2004 changes to the Elections Act, but I think they necessitated some changes to the NDP constitution regarding our relationship with the labour movement.

My preferred solution is to allow enough time to sell memberships to try and rectify the imbalances. Someone made the point that you don't necessarily need a super-long time for that - that a sense of urgency and immediacy can sometimes help with the sale.

But I think Mulcair is also talking about having the time to talk to folks outside Quebec, and vice versa, and here I think he's got a good point. This is an opportunity for the various wings of the party to get to know one another better, and for the country (and the national media) to get to know us a bit better.

 

windsorworker

In Mulcairs instance , How long has been in the NDP ? With that how much longer does he really need to sign up members ?

ottawaobserver

ottawaobserver wrote:

But I think Mulcair is also talking about having the time to talk to folks outside Quebec, and vice versa, and here I think he's got a good point. This is an opportunity for the various wings of the party to get to know one another better, and for the country (and the national media) to get to know us a bit better.

Of course, with all the potential federal leadership candidates available for stumping in the upcoming provincial elections, we'll get a good opportunity to see them in action.

KenS

Wilf Day wrote:

Federal Party Constitution:

http://xfer.ndp.ca/2011/2011-constitution/2011-06-CONSTITUTION-ENG.pdf

Did the party delete the affiliate carve-out when I wasn't looking?

Quote:
3. Elections and Appointment of Officers

(a) Leader

(i) The Leader shall be elected by secret ballot.

(ii) Every member is entitled to cast a ballot for the selection of the Leader.

(iii) Candidates for the leadership with the fewest number of votes will drop off the ballot in subsequent rounds until one candidate receives 50% plus one or more of the total votes cast in that round. The Council shall determine other leadership selection guidelines.

Also, there is no way MPs or ridings or provinces can be given extra weight.

If I am right that constitutionaly speaking the carve-out was always an ad hoc addition- then the same COULD be done for provinces or ridings.

The Constitution says nothing on the issue one way or the other.

OO brought up the changes being connected to 2004 Elections Act requirements. No, they just came in at the same time. The Elections Act only says unions cannot contribute. We are free to do whatever we want with membership, or to say that every officer must be a union member also if we saw fit. [Total carve-out.]

OMOV removed the old basis for labour's [formal] voting power within the NDP, The carve out was a means of not just dropping the subsance.

KenS

Presumably there is some collegial give and take going to come to a satisfactory agreement for addressing all these issues.

You cant do it AT Council- even though that is not as wild as trying to negotiate interests at Convention. A lot of time is and will be going into the compromise presented to delegates next week.

Policywonk

KenS wrote:

Wilf Day wrote:

Federal Party Constitution:

http://xfer.ndp.ca/2011/2011-constitution/2011-06-CONSTITUTION-ENG.pdf

Did the party delete the affiliate carve-out when I wasn't looking?

Quote:
3. Elections and Appointment of Officers

(a) Leader

(i) The Leader shall be elected by secret ballot.

(ii) Every member is entitled to cast a ballot for the selection of the Leader.

(iii) Candidates for the leadership with the fewest number of votes will drop off the ballot in subsequent rounds until one candidate receives 50% plus one or more of the total votes cast in that round. The Council shall determine other leadership selection guidelines.

Also, there is no way MPs or ridings or provinces can be given extra weight.

If I am right that constitutionaly speaking the carve-out was always an ad hoc addition- then the same COULD be done for provinces or ridings.

You are wrong. The 25% carveout was included in the OMOV amendments passed in Winnipeg in 2001. I don't remember when it was removed.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/28843857/Federal-NDP-Constitution-Out-of-Date-...

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Was their not some change made recently to give affiliates their voting power based on the  number of paid-up NDP members they had in their ranks (as opposed to simply the number of members paying dues to the union)?

Wilf Day

KenS wrote:

I beleive that the carve-out was never in the Constitution- that it just stipulates OMOV.

I now think he's right. Does anyone know for sure?

The constitution says "Every member is entitled to cast a ballot for the selection of the Leader" which includes both individual and affiliated members.

The Ontario NDP constitution also says "The Leader shall be elected by a vote of the membership of the Party" but the carve-out is in the constitution:

Quote:
(b) The ballots cast by Party members shall be weighted to a total of 75% of the votes counted in a Leadership election, and the balance, 25% of the votes counted in a Leadership election, shall be allocated among the affiliated members.

http://ontariondp.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/CONSTITUTIONFINALUPD...

By the way, at one time the Ontario NDP allowed affiliated members to vote at nomination meetings (for both provincial and federal candidates) if they lived in the riding. That changed a number of years ago, I forget when, but it was a constitutional change. Only individual members can vote for candidate nominations.

I wish the federal carve-out were as clear.

If the federal "One member, one vote" provisions mean "with the weights of the votes determined by the Federal Council" then we could have the Conservative Party system of equal weight for each riding. Has anyone asked Mulcair if he would support that? Actually, I would (for the 75% individual member votes), now that I see it would be constitutional.

The Ontario PC Party uses it too. The theory is, it prevents the party being dominated by its strongholds. Party members in non-incumbent ridings are already second-class members because they have no MPP. If you want to grow the party to a broader base, you give equal weight to ridings you haven't won yet.

The federal NDP could do the same. Why not?

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

Kady O'Malley asked about all this earlier this week, and got an answer:

 

Just got off the phone with Brad Lavigne, who explained it all -- or, at least, the all that we know so far, the upshot of which is that it is up to the NDP Federal Council to decide what, if any, percent of the votes will be allocated for "affiliated members," as was the case in 2003.  



As the formula is not stipulated in the constitution, the council could decide to stick with the 2003 precedent, and make it 25 percent, but could also reduce it to, say, ten percent, or even choose not to reserve a portion of the total votes for those members at all. Like all the other rules and guidelines for the leadership race, that will be decided in the weeks to come.

Policywonk

Lou Arab wrote:

Was their not some change made recently to give affiliates their voting power based on the  number of paid-up NDP members they had in their ranks (as opposed to simply the number of members paying dues to the union)?

At Convention, the entitlement for affiliates is now the same as for electoral districts (based on Party members, not affiliate members). I remember discussing this a long time ago, as it would encourage sign-ups. If there is to be a carve-out at all, it should not be greater than the total number of affiliate members who are members of the Party, relative to the total membership.

babbler 8

I believe BC requires you to choose between being an affiliate member and a constituency member for convention/voting purposes. Mind you I don't believe we did a carve out in the recent OMOV leadership race we had here.

adma

ottawaobserver wrote:

You forgot Romeo Saganash, WCG.

Not to mention Charlie Angus.

bekayne

David Young wrote:

Wasn't Mulcair born in Ottawa?  West Coast Greeny lists him has a Quebec native.

 

Born in Ottawa, but he grew up in Hull

Wilf Day

Idealistic Pragmatist wrote:
Kady O'Malley wrote: As the formula is not stipulated in the constitution, the council could decide to stick with the 2003 precedent, and make it 25 percent, but could also reduce it to, say, ten percent, or even choose not to reserve a portion of the total votes for those members at all. Like all the other rules and guidelines for the leadership race, that will be decided in the weeks to come.

Just to be clear: in theory the Council could decide to let affiliated members have the full weight that individual members have. In that case the labour vote would be the majority.

Policywonk

Wilf Day wrote:
Idealistic Pragmatist wrote:
Kady O'Malley wrote: As the formula is not stipulated in the constitution, the council could decide to stick with the 2003 precedent, and make it 25 percent, but could also reduce it to, say, ten percent, or even choose not to reserve a portion of the total votes for those members at all. Like all the other rules and guidelines for the leadership race, that will be decided in the weeks to come.

Just to be clear: in theory the Council could decide to let affiliated members have the full weight that individual members have. In that case the labour vote would be the majority.

I remember someone in 2001 suggesting that the 25% should be higher. It will be interesting to see what is decided, but I think it more likely that it will be reduced than increased.

KenS

As I suggested, one hopes, and I cant see anything else working, that some kind of package on voting will be worked out that leaves all concerns reasonably satisfied.

If so, the theoretical possibility that affiliates could get more tan 25%, or nothing at all, is probably out. As is the possibility that the concerns about the balance between Quebec and the ROC will get nothing. And the latter could see some kind of weighting mechanism and/or the longer race.

I cant imagine anyone will feel intransigent about longer than January [and they would be rolled over by the consensus anyway], but if February was still be way too soon to many, the vote weighting could be further tinkered with. Of course, then we would have to live down all the way to the next election the 'special intersts' hysteria over both labour AND Quebec.

The latter concern would certainly weigh on me if I had a role in coming up with an acceptable plan. But I cant see turning the purity of one person one vote into a sacred cow, let alone a hill to die on.

nicky

It seems clear to me that the Federal Council has startlingly wide discretion in deciding the rules for the leadership vote. Clause 3 (a)(iii) says simply: "The Council shall determine other leadership selection guidelines."

This seems to include whether there is an affiliate carve-out at all as well as how large it should be.

The Constitution surprisingly does not provide for OM(or woman)OV. It merely says in 3 (a) (ii), "Every member is entitled to cast a ballot for the selection of the leader." It says nothing about whether those ballots should count equally or be weighted.

Significantly the word "ballot" is used in this clause  but not in clause 3 (a) (ii) which says that the leader will be elected by a majority of the "votes" cast. I suspect that this distinction was meant to provide for an affiliate carve-out at the discretion of the Council. A "ballot" is therefore not necessarily the same thing as a "vote."

But it also appears to empower the Council to weight the ballots between provinces, ridings or even MPs.In other words the Council could decide to give Quebec a quarter of the voting strength.

Is there anyone who has a different interpretation?

I wonder if there are any proposals to have the Council assign wights to various entities including affiliates and provinces. Does anyone know?

 

 

nicky

It seems clear to me that the Federal Council has startlingly wide discretion in deciding the rules for the leadership vote. Clause 3 (a)(iii) says simply: "The Council shall determine other leadership selection guidelines."

This seems to include whether there is an affiliate carve-out at all as well as how large it should be.

The Constitution surprisingly does not provide for OM(or woman)OV. It merely says in 3 (a) (ii), "Every member is entitled to cast a ballot for the selection of the leader." It says nothing about whether those ballots should count equally or be weighted.

Significantly the word "ballot" is used in this clause  but not in clause 3 (a) (ii) which says that the leader will be elected by a majority of the "votes" cast. I suspect that this distinction was meant to provide for an affiliate carve-out at the discretion of the Council. A "ballot" is therefore not necessarily the same thing as a "vote."

But it also appears to empower the Council to weight the ballots between provinces, ridings or even MPs.In other words the Council could decide to give Quebec a quarter of the voting strength.

Is there anyone who has a different interpretation?

I wonder if there are any proposals to have the Council assign wights to various entities including affiliates and provinces. Does anyone know?

 

 

KenS

I doubt we would hear about what is being discussed.

The operative principle would be that all viewpoints are included and weighted fairly in the discussion, but the discussion itself is kept pretty closed: not reaching far enough that the media will hear any more than vague rumours [the 'informed sources'] of the details being concerned.

KenS

Because of yje 2/3 majority required for amendments to the Constitution, and because of bumping up against distribution of power and influence realities, getting an amendment passed- and therefore writing it- is FAR more difficult than passing a resolution.

So tending towards vague and open-eneded is not at all the exception for amendments- otherwise you don't get an amendment. You can see where that was operative in this case: if the language in the Constituion was not left open-ended, the carve-out would probably never have been removed. [And without the original amendment to the amendement ther, OMOV would never have passed in the first place.]

nicky

The Federal Council looks like it will have enormous, even decisive, say in determining the landscape of the leadership contest. it is odd that they seem to be deliberating in such secrecy.

Who exactly is on the Federal Council? How many Quebec representatives?

KenS

We probably cross-posted nicky, as to your questions in the first paragraph.

As to the composition of Council- that does not drive who will bee actively involved in these discussions. Everyone who has a stake will have a meaningful voice.

Council has the final say. But even Council is too unweildly in practice for thrashing this out. They need a proposal presented to them to start with. Then there will be lots of debate. But BEGINNING at Council with debate- the idealistic notion of democracy- would be a non-starter.

Stockholm

I would like to recommend that people read this excellent blog posting about Thomas Mulcair and the apparent campaign by the rightwing media to take him down (I wonder what they're afraid of). Personally, I have not made up my mind about Mulcair - but to tell you all the truth, the more that he appears to be the target of a very blatant smear campign by the Globe and Mail and by all the anti-NDP pundits - the more it makes me think that he would make a great leader!

http://leftistjab.blogspot.com/2011/09/thomas-mulcairs-unfair-criticism....

"I've come across various comments to the effect that Thomas Mulcair is unsuitable to be leader of the NDP. The implications suggests that he is an "opportunistic, not bred-in-the-bone NDPer" , a "schmoozer" and has a large ego. There's also some criticism regarding his vision of the NDP with that of Labour Unions regarding the current arrangement where organized labour have 25% of the voting clout in choosing the next leader instead of a "1 member, 1 vote" system."

"But the charge of him being "opportunistic" is the one that is the most risible. When Mulcair left provincial politics - and we'll get to that shortly - and moved on at the Federal level, he chose the NDP. He ran in a riding that had been a Liberal stronghold since 1935 (with only a minor Progressive Conservative blip as a result of Brian Mulroney's popularity in 1988) and won the seat for the NPD that had scarcely any positive results in the province. The charge of "opportunistic" can be levelled at a Conservative MP in Alberta who is all but but assured a seat in Parliament once he appears on the ballot. In 2007 Quebec, an NDP MP was somewhat of an aberration. Thomas Mulcair didn't hit the jackpot when he chose the NDP as a party, he selected the party whose views aligned best with his own and sought to make a breakthrough for the NDP in the province. It was, by no stretch of the imagination, not a given nor was it "opportunistic"."

David Young

bekayne wrote:

David Young wrote:

Wasn't Mulcair born in Ottawa?  West Coast Greeny lists him has a Quebec native.

 

Born in Ottawa, but he grew up in Hull

Exactly my point.  He is not a Quebec native, therefore he should be correctly referred to as an Ontario native.

 

Stockholm

Topp on the other hand IS a Quebec native. Not that place of birth is the be all and end all.

JeffWells

Stockholm wrote:

I would like to recommend that people read this excellent blog posting about Thomas Mulcair and the apparent campaign by the rightwing media to take him down (I wonder what they're afraid of). Personally, I have not made up my mind about Mulcair - but to tell you all the truth, the more that he appears to be the target of a very blatant smear campign by the Globe and Mail and by all the anti-NDP pundits - the more it makes me think that he would make a great leader!

http://leftistjab.blogspot.com/2011/09/thomas-mulcairs-unfair-criticism....

Thanks Stockholm, that's a good read. No one who was more opportunistic than principled would have run for the NDP in Quebec in 2007.

Right now, of the likeliest candidates, Mulcair is my choice.

flight from kamakura

great discussion. a few things:

- from my personal experience, dewar's french really isn't very good.
- really surprised and pleased to learn that julian went to uqam, and also that topp edited the daily!

and man, like i love mulcair's approach to this whole thing. the guy is totally right that it would be nuts not to seize the opportunity to boost membership and raise profile across the country and especially in quebec. and he's also right to take it to layton's team of backroom dealers trying to hold onto the reins. like seriously, karl belanger for leader? anne mcgrath? brian topp? like how are these things even considered seriously.

personally, i still think that we it comes down to a question of whether there's someone better than mulcair, and i really don't think there is. i love the guy's poise and fight, and i feel like he can bring this baby home. people who aren't from quebec don't realize that he's a very known, very well-liked and respected quality in la belle province. literally, the face of the party, and to a certain extent the best face of anglo canada.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I don't know if anyone has actually declared yet. I gather the deadline for doing so will be set at that meeting in Quebec City?

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