What NDP Politicians Have You Met?

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terrytowel
What NDP Politicians Have You Met?

Do you know any NDP politicians personally? Are you friends with any?

As well which NDP politicians or pundits have you met? Which ones stand out to you as the nicest? Have you ever had an awkward encounter with an NDP politician, maybe caught them on bad day.

Discuss here, cause people would be interested to know how some are away from the cameras!

Regions: 
jerrym

Ignore this fishing expedition for bad stories about the NDP that he can relay to his Liberal party. 

terrytowel

I wasn't asking about bad stories. Just curious if anyone has met an NDP politican, and how nice they were.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I think it's actually a good thread idea, notwithstanding the reputation terrytowel has built for himself.

I've had the good fortune to meet a number of federal and provincial NDP MPs and MLAs. The one who surprised me the most in spite of myself was Nathan Cullen -- apart from the fact that I disagree with a lot of his public statements and policy ideas forwarded during the leadership race, he was the walking definition of "down to earth": super friendly, easy to talk to and willing to share all kinds of things about parliament (when I met him, Vickileaks had just broke and her was cracking all kinds of jokes about the unfortunate and prickish Toewes.)

Two MPs I'd most like to meet but haven't (in person): Alexandre Boulerice and Megan Leslie.

Unionist

Why just NDP politicians? If this is about the personal side of people in political life, what's the point of restricting it to one party? I don't understand the logic here, unless it's really just to unearth seamy stories.

 

Stockholm

Along with many, many NDP politicians i have met - one ex-NDP politician stands out in my mind in a negative way - Bob Rae. Contrary to his public image as a witty patrician who has a great sense of humour etc...in person, I always found him very cold, aloof, humourless and arrogant.

DaveW

I worked as a page at Queen's Park way way back and got to "meet" pretty much the whole ONT caucus in my rounds, from the young Stephen Lewis to then leader Donald Macdonald to transient NDPer Dr Morton Shulman, etc etc.

 I remember Elie Martel at QP back then, late 1960s, and it's always funny think that was his DAUGHTER, Shelley,  later representing Nickel Belt riding ; it was, wasn't it?

Yes: http://www.northernlife.ca/news/localnews/2007/07-17-06-MartelTOP.aspx

in later years, I shook hands a few more times with Stephen Lewis at speeches,  ran into him at an ATM in Manhattan in recent years and left him alone; must be a pain  to be interrupted on daily chores like that

not an MP, but I knew  Brian Topp at the McGill Daily and also later, and then several young candidates

DaveW

Rae certainly had an elite Ottawa/Toronto  background, rooming with Ignatieff, best friends with Graham Fraser (he answered the phone when news of Blair Fraser's death came) , etc etc.

the usual "born on 3rd base, thinks he hit a triple"" phenomenon at work, likely 

anyway, not to finish on a negative note, I have defended his ONT record as best I could over the years

 

MegB

With a few exceptions, I don't have any friends who are politicians. But I've met many, from all over the world, because I've been interviewing them for broadcast and print media for years. I've met a lot of NDP elected officials over the past 20 years, largely because they've been so accessible. Many I've met at conventions and conferences, and political actions and fundraisers that I've helped organize.

It's mostly job-related when I run into politicians, but purely social occasions crop up a few times a year where I meet, through mutual friends, various politicians and glitterati.

If you're looking for names, forget it. Who I work with and who I socialize with isn't fodder for a message board.

terrytowel

Catchfire wrote:

I think it's actually a good thread idea, notwithstanding the reputation terrytowel has built for himself.

I'm trying to fix my reputation. Hopefully this thread will be a good start!

 

Krago

I recently had dinner with a friend who has been around Queen's Park for forty years.  I asked him which politician - whom he has met personally - would he most want to have dinner with, provided that they could not discuss politics at all.

 

His immediate response?  Bill Davis

quizzical

name dropping?????? oh my....way on the outside of kewl!!!!!!

DaveW

Krago wrote:

I recently had dinner with a friend who has been around Queen's Park for forty years.  I asked him which politician - whom he has met personally - would he most want to have dinner with, provided that they could not discuss politics at all.

 His immediate response?  Bill Davis

Davis was a big betting man; he would regularly put $5 on the Argos ...

back to the NDP, forgot running into, literally, Mulcair at NDP convention in March -- he was briskly efficient rushing off the escalator through the crowd to the convention floor; not sure he was aware people were around ...

 

cco

Obviously I've bumped into a ton at conventions and fundraisers, but ones I've had more than a brief conversation/photo op with: Charmaine Borg, Brian Topp, Peter Deslauriers, Tyrone Benskin, Carol Hughes, Niki Ashton. All good folks. Hughes and Ashton in particular are wonderful people. I may be forgetting a couple. As well as a much larger contingent of campaign organizers, staffers, and backroom types including Rabble's own Ethan Cox.

When you get down to it, they're not much different from regular folks. The whole celebrity-cult-bubble-politician type is comparatively rare in Canada, it seems (I'm looking at you, Justin Trudeau).

Outside the NDP, I had a fairly good time talking to Scott Brison, Stéphane Dion, Marlene Jennings, and (once) Paul Martin. No Tories, Greens, or Blocquistes.

I've met a couple of the above on bad days (everybody's human, after all), but gossiping about them online would be poor form.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

quizzical wrote:
name dropping?????? oh my....way on the outside of kewl!!!!!!

You bet! How else will we know which babblers are cool?

terrytowel

So who has met Alexa McDonough? She is my favorite NDP person! Smile

KenS

I know most of the NDP prov and fed NDP politicians to some degree. And a smattering of the other parties. Not surprisingly they run the gamut from friends or people I know I like to people I wouldnt have anything to do with if we were not working together. Not substantially different than my activist world. 

Who is liked / not liked not surprisingly depends on your tastes.

Some who I do like, I'm aware you have to know them to warm to them.

Others are fantastic people liked by virtually everyone. Megan Leslie is definitely one of those.

But I think Alexa MacDonough is the gold standard for human being / politician... tho I think a lot of that was obscure when she was national Leader. A lot might chalk that up to the choices she made [and not being the ideal small 'l' leader]. But I think it was really that her best qualities just got lost. Alexa was not like Jack- who would know how to shine whatever the milieux. Megan had some early rough times figuring out how to fit in- "can I last here?" Jack's indominatable support and boundless confidence certainly helped her with that.

terrytowel

I think with Alexa there was a lot of sexism invloved. She would have gotten twice the coverage if she were a man. One thing that has bugged me is that she has not been appointed to the privy council, thus denying her the title of Honorable

Almost every opposition leader has the title of Honorable, except for her.

I really wish she would write her memoirs, but she has said she has no plans to do so.

I think it would be a facinating read.

 

 

KenS

Who you like and political affinities often do not mix at all.

Darrel Dexter and I would proabably mutually have difficulty assembling a civil himselfconversation of small talk.

But I liked Darrel before he became leader, and doubt that he has really changed that much. I very much dissaprove of the way he deals with party and individuals. But he was never someone full of himself, or other obvious turnoffs.

There are other politicians I really like but find very untrustworthy and/or unreliable, on many levels. Exactly the opposit is also true: politicians I would never choose to spend time with as persons, but in whom I have a lot of confidence and trust.

Its like anything else: it takes all sorts.

KenS

Alexa absolutely thrived on political life- even with the shit that she got tons of.

But I cant see her doing memoirs either. Sort of like, that was then. And life is too short for that stuff.

She absolutely bore the brunt of sexism- especially in the 80s. But personaly, I dont think she ever lacked for coverage.

Yes, when she hit the national level. But she never fit. Politicians have to make their own reps. Especially if you are going to be Leader, there really are no valid excuses. Alexa made her own way against huge odds in Nova Scotia. It just didnt work on the national stage. Of course sexism is part of that. But it didnt stop her from winning people over before, and she was the Leader. You know the rules, and the buck stops with you.While Alexa would also point to sexism, I suspect she would agree that if the media found her uninteresting, that ultimately was her own responsibility.

Stockholm

I've met met Alexa MacDonough very briefly a few times and she seemed nice enough - but i have to say that I have talked to a lot of "insiders" both from Ottawa and Nova Scotia who say she was/is actually not such a nice person at all and that she could be quite ruthless and didn't always treat her own staff very nicely. I can't say myself - but its worth noting that sometimes people make a good first impression and so you think they are this "REALLY, REALLY nice person" and then you get to know them better and you realize that you projected a lot of qualities onto that person that were not really there.

As my grandmother used to say "sometimes an apple can be red and shiny on the outside and still be bitter and rotten on the inside"

Lord Palmerston

Ed Broadbent, Olivia Chow, Kennedy Stewart, Charlie Angus, Andrew Cash, Rosario Marchese, Cheri DiNovo, Peter Tabuns, Paul Ferreira, Steven Langdon, Dick Proctor.

Also Brian Topp and Linda McQuaig I'm not sure if they "count."  I've also talked to Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair very briefly but they probably wouldn't have remembered it.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Bill Blakie, Pat Martin, Davey Orlikow (who was a boyhood friend of my dear departerd mom and dad; blessed be all their memoiries), Stanley KNowles, Judy WL (pronounce it; I can't even spell it, lol), Howard Pawley (also a friend of my dad who my dad recruited to join the NDP when they were in University), Saul Miller (another boyhood friend of my mom and dad's), both of the Cherniaks's, etc....you get the picture. There even was a picture of David Lewis holding me in his arms when I was about two, but can't find the picture). I come from a long line of CCFers/NDPers that goes way back. There it is for what its worth. Remember, the question was asked. I dont' really know how my folks knew so many people, they just did. I guess the commuity was a lot tighter, closer, and smaller then.

Unionist

quizzical wrote:

name dropping?????? oh my....way on the outside of kewl!!!!!!

Word.

KenS

Stockholm wrote:

I've met met Alexa MacDonough very briefly a few times and she seemed nice enough - but i have to say that I have talked to a lot of "insiders" both from Ottawa and Nova Scotia who say she was/is actually not such a nice person at all and that she could be quite ruthless and didn't always treat her own staff very nicely.

Maybe we should not go here. But the number who would say that- and i agree have reason for it- are so limited, that I know who you get that information from. Enough said there. I cant imagine a single long time polictician who did not cross some allies and be nasty with them. [And Alexa was needlessly nasty. 'Ruthless' is different.]

 

Pogo Pogo's picture

For most skilled politicians meeting them is very, very easy, so I don't see much value in the name dropping criticism.  Anyone who wants to meet almost any politician can do so without much work.  As to what they are like, last I checked they were people like everyone else.  All partys have creeps, and all partys have people who believe strongly in the community. The parties that are tied to the money interests tend to attract some whose interest is money. 

TerryTowel if you want to meet politicians I suggest you join a party.  It is pretty simple.

Unionist

Pogo wrote:

For most skilled politicians meeting them is very, very easy, so I don't see much value in the name dropping criticism.

I wholeheartedly agree.

But what's your explanation for why some people are lining up here to list politicians they've encountered, without further comment? Do they feel some social obligation to respond to the OP?

Like... who cares (to put it rudely)?

This is so strange.

 

nicky

Elected New Democrats I've spent more than a couple minutes with:

Stephen Lewis, David Lewis, Dave Barrett, Gary Lauk, Emory Barnes, Norm Levy, Mike Harcourt, Andrew Brewin, John Rodriguez, Derek Blackburn, Lorne Nystrom, Jim Fleming,  John Harney, John Gilbert, David Reville, Marilyn Churley, Jack Layton, Richard Johnson, Max Saltsman, Howard Hampton, Jagmeet Singh, Nicki Ashton, Nathan Cullen, Tom Mulcair. I'm sure there are others. Plus about 20 present caucus members whom I have met during and after the recent leadership campaign.

I can't think that I disliked any of them, but the 3 who impressed me most were Harney, Barrett and Mulcair, all 3 of whom I supported for leader.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Barret would have made a great leader and he would have had a lot of success. He is one o the all time greats.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Unionist wrote:
Like... who cares (to put it rudely)?

Cripes, U. You're being even more curmudgeonly than usual. Who cares indeed? It's Friday. Let the people have their fun.

Unionist

Sheesh, ok. I've met J.S. Woodsworth, Tommy Douglas, Hazen Argue (before he cut and ran), Dave Lewis, and John G. Diefenbaker. Dief wasn't technically NDP I guess (nor was J.S.W.), but compared with his current successor... Well. They were all nice people to talk to, but to my dismay, every one of them turned down my invitation to sign up for babble. I only learned the reason much later: They were scared of being outed.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

OK, I love to name drop in my feeble, insignficant little life. I feel proud from where I came. Its a nice reminiss, and a chance to think about my folks (blessed be their memory).

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

NDP politicians that I have spent signiifcant time with are David and Sophie Lewis, Anne Edwards, Allan Blackenay, Janice MacKinnon, Svend Robinson, Bill Siksay, Libby Davis, Peter Julian, Catherine Bell, Raj Chouhan, Derek and Kathy Corrigan, George Heyman. I've met many more at glad handers.

I would believe that; that's a magnificent list.

kropotkin1951

NDP politicians that I have spent signiifcant time with are David and Sophie Lewis, Anne Edwards, Allan Blakeney, Janice MacKinnon, Svend Robinson, Bill Siksay, Libby Davis, Peter Julian, Catherine Bell, Raj Chouhan, Derek and Kathy Corrigan, George Heyman. I've met many more at glad handers.

terrytowel

Pogo wrote:

TerryTowel if you want to meet politicians I suggest you join a party.  It is pretty simple.

Because I'm an Independent, with no loyalty to any one party. I like being an Independent.

nicky

Terry, just so we can appreciate how "independent" you are, perhaps you can give us a list of the Liberal politicians you know, besides Laurel Broten of course. 

terrytowel

The only politicians I've met are the late Dan Leckie (who was very nice), Olivia Chow and former NDP candidate Winnie Ng, who is a personal hero of mine.

socialdemocrati...

You don't really need to be a member of a political party to meet politicians. If you attend political events, you'll meet them. And even if you don't attend political events, you're liable to run into a local politician at some point.

DaveW

forgot I ran into Sven Robinson once at a human rights session in Geneva, he looked taller and slimmer than on TV, but that is what TV does

Stockholm

TV makes people look about 20 lbs. heavier

DaveW

btw, when I met Pierre Trudeau, once in passing,  I was surprised at how short he was and also how reddish his hair was ... must be from his Scottish mother Grace...

 

Coldwell Coldwell's picture

I met T.C. Douglas at an Alberta election rally in Edmonton in 1975, where he was keynote speaker. I got his autograph, but didn't have a chance to chat with him. 

I met David Lewis on several occasions, the first time being during the 1974 federal election campaign (when I was 12 years old) and then again four years later. In both cases, he was very personable--in contrast to the reputation that has often been attributed to him. I remain a strong admirer of Lewis, not least because he was a powerful and eloquent speaker.

I last heard Lewis speak at a Federal Council meeting in Edmonton in 1980, less than a year before his death. He was still at the top of his game, delivering a barn-burner of a speech. No NDP leader since Lewis has launched such blistering and richly deserved attacks on big business and its domination of politics and society.

I miss David Lewis and the more radical NDP which existed in his day. We need them both now more than ever.

 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Met Peter Julian in 2004 when I volunteered on his first election campaign. I've seen him a number of times since over the years, at election times and on a few other occasions.

Met Libby Davies in February 2010 at an activist panel discussion on the 2010 Olympics. Have seen her at various times since then, at activist events we've both attended. I have her as a friend on Facebook.

Met Jenny Kwan once in January 2005, when I was on the executive of the Burnaby--Willingdon NDP. Jenny came to one of the meetings to make the case for the Burnaby--Willingdon NDP picking Gabriel Yiu as our candidate in the May 2005 provincial election.

Used to Know Mable Elmore through Vancouver's Stopwar coalition. I have her as a friend on Facebook, but havn't seen her since she left Stopwar to become the NDP Candidate and subsequently the MLA in Vancouver--Kensington.

edited to add: Met Svend Robinson in February 2004 at the launch of [url=http://www.sevenoaksmag.com/]Seven Oaks Magazine[/url].

DaveW

some people think that 1972-1974 Parliament was pretty much what we might have got in 2008-09 if the coalition had come through....

Pogo Pogo's picture

To take this in a bit of different direction. Looking at non=NDP politicians who have characteristics I admire.

John Cummins was my MP and I was involved in a number of delegations that met with him. I remember back when he was Reform (or maybe CRAP) the Co-operative Housing Federation was looking for support to fight the Fed's devolving the co-op program to the provinces. Cummins and a Bloc MP sponsored a motion against this. He never took the MP pension until it was forced upon him by the Liberals. While I disagree with almost every principle he holds, I do admire the fact that he is true to his principles.

Geoff Plant was my MLA. He lead a coup to steal the riding from the incumbent and then became Attorney General. During Campbell`s initial cuts he was among the most brutal, removing legal services for people most in need of them. On the plus side he is well read and he when I scheduled meetings he showed up.

Raymond Chan was the MP for Richmond during the Chretien government. IYCSANASDSAAA.

Malcom Brodie (Mayor of Richmond). I met him once and then a year later walking by he said hi by name. Very impressive. Also able to provide support in such a way that it is clear that he is passionate about your cause, though clearly nothing will get done.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I've net a lot of politicians in my life and I guess my favourite was Dan Heap in Toronto - met him a lot of times at Trinity College and at Holy Trinity church behind the Eaton Centre.

 

ps: I have high speed internet just for a few days during a hospital visit to Sept-Iles...

pps: my current MP and I are Facebook friends and we message a lot.

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:
quizzical wrote:

name dropping?????? oh my....way on the outside of kewl!!!!!!

Word.

Starting in 1960 I have met more than I can count. And certainly more than would remember meeting me.

On Friday I met one of the most talented members of our Quebec caucus for the first time. She knows who she is.

Unionist

Wilf Day wrote:

Starting in 1960 I have met more than I can count.

I can count more than I have met.

Quote:
And certainly more than would remember meeting me.

A few of them remember me very well. We probably won't be meeting again.

Quote:
On Friday I met one of the most talented members of our Quebec caucus for the first time. She knows who she is.

[emphasis added]

Let's hope her name recognition expands beyond that narrow circle by 2015.

Oh crap, I forgot to mention M.J. Coldwell in my earlier list! But I see he's posting here these days. Maybe a reunion is in order!

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

@Boom Boom, sorry to hear that you are in hospital (never fun) but that is pretty much balanced out by the chance to say, good to see you again. Hope all goes well for you.

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

terrytowel wrote:

Pogo wrote:

TerryTowel if you want to meet politicians I suggest you join a party.  It is pretty simple.

Because I'm an Independent, with no loyalty to any one party. I like being an Independent.

It is pretty easy, especially come election time, to meet politicians at political events provided they aren't CONs (who generally shy away from mingling with plebs like me).

The Analyst The Analyst's picture

I've met the following politicians

  • Niki Ashton (NDP MP - Churchill, MB) 
  • Carole Hughes (NDP MP - ON)
  • Irene Mathyssen (NDP MP - ON)
  • Romeo Saganash (NDP MP - QC)
  • Jinny Sims (NDP MP - BC)
  • Steve Ashton (NDP MLA - Thompson, MB)
  • Greg Selinger (NDP Premier - MB)
  • Doug Martindale (former NDP MLA - Burrows, MB)
  • Rob Altemeyer (NDP MLA - MB)
  • Nancy Allan (NDP MLA & Education Minister - MB)
  • Brian Pallister (PC Leader & MLA - MB)
  • Kelvin Goertzen (PC MLA & Education Critic - MB)   
  • Kevin Lamoureux (Liberal MP - MB)
  • Jon Gerard (Liberal Leader & MLA - MB)    

I don't know most of these people that well. I literally ran into the Premier after going to a bank, for instance, and most of the people I've just seen or spoken to at rallies or other political events. 

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