ONDP Leadership thread III - discuss, debate, post news here!

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ONDP Leadership thread III - discuss, debate, post news here!
Lord Palmerston

It's so uninspiring...

aka Mycroft
wage zombie

from the Rabble profile wrote:

When asked about messaging and specifically about the "Get Orange" slogan used in the last election, Horwath, who was co-chair of the NDP's 2007 election campaign, bristled and answered defensively.

"You know what, to be fair in terms of the last campaign - we could have stood on our heads and spit golden nickels and we would not have cut through the faith-based school funding issue. We could have had the most perfect campaign in the world and it still wouldn't have gotten through the Liberal's brilliant move to pull that piece out of the Tory playbook and ram it like a wedge."

Asked directly what she thought the party's message should be in an election, Horwath refused to speculate.

"You can't develop your message now. The message gets developed in the context of the environment as you're leading up to the campaign. I have no idea. I don't know, I mean how deep is the recession going to be, how long is it going to last? ... It's absolutely impossible to do the messaging on a campaign when you have no idea what the environment is going to look like and what the variables are." 

This seems pretty weak to me. 

Lord Palmerston

Quote:

On Michael Prue's suggestion of re-examining Separate School funding

"I co-chaired that [last] campaign and I watched that train wreck up close and personal and I don't believe we need to spend our time shooting guns at each other on the convention floor. I'm sure there will be some kind of resolution we'll debate but I believe that we need to look at education from the perspective of where are the common pieces and a common piece is the fact that we're still operating under the Harris funding formula; a common piece is that we know that there isn't enough ESL being provided in our schools, there's not enough special ed teachers for kids with special needs, our schools are physically crumbling as we speak, the closure of community schools instead of reopening them to the community so they can become hubs of recreation, of public health and all kinds of other services; the closing of rural schools, pulling out the last bastion of any kind of community activity from these rural communities. Those are the kinds of things that we have common ground on; those are the kind of things that we can build from on common purpose as opposed to the politics of division which I'm so sick and tired of. After Harris and now even McGuinty he's following in the same footsteps in terms of the politics of division that Harris had except maybe a little bit more subtly. I've gotta tell you I don't have time for the politics of division; I have time for the politics of building."

I'm sure those who don't want to debate this "stupid, divisive, non-pressing issue" think this is a brilliant statement.   I think this statement sucks.

Wilf Day

"we could have stood on our heads and spit golden nickels and we would not have cut through the faith-based school funding issue. We could have had the most perfect campaign in the world and it still wouldn't have gotten through the Liberal's brilliant move to pull that piece out of the Tory playbook and ram it like a wedge."

Although the government (though Elections Ontario) made sure most people had no idea what the referendum was about, some people opposed MMP on the grounds that a Muslim Party could win seats since 3% of Ontario are Muslims. The faith-based schools issue not only hijacked the election, it even hijacked the referendum. The Ontario PC Party started to rip itself apart on the issue. The NDP stayed focussed on our issues, even though the media were busy chasing the red herring. That was the right and only messaging. But Howard should have gotten mad at the media circus earlier than he did.

Which proves the point: you have to adapt your election messaging to the context of the time. I think anyone who has fought a campaign knows this.

 

janfromthebruce

 That's right Wiff, and a third party does not get to set the context or the dominant message unless it happens to be "different." The liberals set that campaign theme as soon as tory said he would run on "fund all religious schools." The media just followed along. Nothing in "get orange" fit that election frame.

The only way the NDP could have "shifted the frame" was to start in the "dominate frame" and shift from there. To do this the NDP needed to differentiate its education message from the liberals, but alas it's education message was "liberal lite" and thus got lost. Even if the NDP had strategically suggested that an NDP govt would setup a panel on education funding would have gotten some media attention, and thus provided the segway to "talk about their issues." But they remained "silent" and thus irrelevant. 

Getting "angry" did not change that reality and nor would getting "angry now" or in the future would be good politics. Saying to Ontarians that this issue is not important, when obviously a lot of Ontarians expressed keen interest showed they were not "in touch" with them. 

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

madmax

Faith Based funding killed the Tories and won the Election for the Liberals. Anyone who wishes to fight the Liberal Party on the Education front, no matter what position they take will lose and lose BIG.  The Liberals will do everything in their power to fight an election on Education. I can see the strategists rubbing their hands and thinking.... "Go ahead Make My Day". Project a 3 peat, because if the NDP are that naive to go attacking on the education front, the Liberals will have a field day at the NDP and NDP new leaders expense, and ironically SideLining John Tory, who won't fight an election on education again.  So the only party to play the education ball with is the NDP.

The Liberals OWN education.  And they own it in the Public and the Separate school system. Thousands upon thousands of teachers donate money, time and organizing to the Liberal Party.  

IF the NDP wishes to engage in political suicide. I will miss them.

 

 

 

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

wage zombie wrote:

This seems pretty weak to me. 

It seems pretty smart to me. Do you really want to develop the campaign strategy and message two-and-a-half years in advance.

And, even though Andy labels her response on the last campaign as "defensive", that seems to me to be bang on as well. Whatever mistakes were made by the NDP campaign (and there were plenty of them), we simply weren't going to get through the facade that was school funding debate.

Hislop

"You know what, to be fair in terms of the last campaign - we could have stood on our heads and spit golden nickels and we would not have cut through the faith-based school funding issue. We could have had the most perfect campaign in the world and it still wouldn't have gotten through the Liberal's brilliant move to pull that piece out of the Tory playbook and ram it like a wedge."

I’m sorry, but to me, this is evidence that Horwath comes from the “no, we can’t”, Howard Hampton wing of the Ontario NDP.

Was there anything we could have done to win government in the last election? No, maybe not. But, we had a Liberal government with a record of broken promises and a Conservative leader whose campaign self-destructed. We should have been able to grow our seat total, popular vote and claim a victory, of sorts.

I really think we need to get as far away from this defeatist attitude, that has permeated the ONDP, as possible.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

No, it's evidence that she's realistic about what happened in the last campaign. But, the new leader doesn't have to run in the last campaign (that's already over); she or he needs to run in the next campaign (and that's what we can still do something about).

It's like noting that the Liberals won 65% of the vote in Hamilton East in 2003. It's just a fact -- and acknowledging it didn't stop Andrea from winning 65% in the by-election held six months later.

Andrea's commitment to double the party membership by 2011 (to give just one example) certainly doesn't sound like a "no we can't" attitude to me.

madmax

The NDP taking on the Separate school funding isn't defeatist, it is the "charge of the light brigade". 

Perhaps people here, and they are few, have very short memories of that horrific campaign that ended with Liberals Laughing and not having to defend their record because they could scream "education" at the top of their lungs. It was the only voice they had. Their trump card to counter a pathetic record in office.  After the election, well, the issue no longer exists. Surprise.

The Federal Liberals will not campaign on a GreenSHift ever again. These are lessons learned.  Infact, the Federal Liberals are unlikely to campaign on environmental issues for the next decade because of the stink of the last campaign.

But I have my eyebrows raised when I read on these forums that people believe that this issue on Education is going to could win them a single seat.

I think, you might be lucky to have a single seat left, if you choose this issue as part of the next election cycle.   Religious school funding was a minor, minor, and near insignificant plank of the Tory Platform. But it was that plank he nearly walked off of heading into EDAY. 

Charge of the Light Brigade, it's not defeatist, it isn't victory either.

 

 

 

 

madmax

Just started to check out the Leadership websites.

Micheal Prue webpage loads and crashes.

Peter Tabuns site isn't working at all.

Andrea Horwath Site is up.

And Gilles Bisson site works.

Well that's 50% with a Website to meet the masses.

aka Mycroft

All four candidates are on TVO's "The Agenda" tonight.

foxymoron

Max, Prue's site loads okay for me, although there have been times before where it failed to do so. Another try usually seemed to make it go.

 

Tabuns site loads, but a lot of images aren't loading.

 

 

aka Mycroft

The New Democrats Online site has been down as well producing the same error message as Tabuns' so perhaps it is a problem with a common server?

wage zombie

Scott Piatkowski wrote:
wage zombie wrote:

This seems pretty weak to me. 

It seems pretty smart to me. Do you really want to develop the campaign strategy and message two-and-a-half years in advance.

And, even though Andy labels her response on the last campaign as "defensive", that seems to me to be bang on as well. Whatever mistakes were made by the NDP campaign (and there were plenty of them), we simply weren't going to get through the facade that was school funding debate.

So oh well i guess the Liberals had the trump card last election and there was nothing we could've done.  Gee, i sure hope the Liberals don't have a trump card next election too or there will be nothing we can do.  That's the attitude that seems weak to me.

Because that might happen right?  The Liberals (or the Conservatives) may have another trump card and we'll be caught flatfooted again.  It's not that i want to decide on an election campaign 2 1/2 years from now--it's that i want to see proactivity and an ability to control the message.

There are plenty of major obstacles to the NDP getting government and i want to see leaders talking about how we can overcome those obstacles, rather than giving those obstacles as the reason why "there was nothing we could've done".

I still think she's the best candidate but the passage i quoted strikes me as defeatist, uninspiring, and, well, weak. 

adma

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

It's like noting that the Liberals won 65% of the vote in Hamilton East in 2003. It's just a fact -- and acknowledging it didn't stop Andrea from winning 65% in the by-election held six months later.

Actually, Dom Agostino won only a little over 52% in 2003--1 1/2 points *lower* than in 1999, despite the McGuinty landslide.  The NDP's Bob Sutton, meanwhile, grew his share by over 10 points.  So the signs of the future were there.

 (Among other victorious Liberals with a lower share in 2003 than 1999 was Caroline DiCocco in Sarnia--who went on to be one of the few defeated Liberal incumbents in 2007.)

Stockholm

Gerald Caplan has written an article about the race and I am very much in agreement with his analysis:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090227.WCaplan28/BN...

 "I can't say the race has been inspiring, and I've spend much scarce time deleting oceans of unwanted emails and phone messages. But I'm probably not untypical of many weary party members. Here's what I see.

Gilles Bisson was in the caucus when I was briefly research and strategy director a decade ago and was very much an outsider. He hasn't exactly become a household name since, and I know little more about him now than I did then. I am assured he's grown in various ways, but for me he remains a remote figure.

The last time I encountered Michael Prue, he offended me deeply. But my lasting view of him was cemented when he wrote a provocative opinion piece calling for the party to reopen the separate school question — as daffy a piece of advice as could be conceived — and then failed to say which side he was on. Pure attention-grabbing opportunism, so far as I was concerned, and a strategic suicide bomb.

That brings us to Peter Tabuns - a competent, pleasant man with a wealth of knowledge about the environment, one of the great issues of our era. He'd be my choice, except…

There's Andrea Horvath - a new face, a young face, a Hamilton face. A woman. Community-based.

Friends I respect who are closer to the scene are split between the Mr. Tabuns and Ms. Horvath. Each side thinks its candidate is more likely to grow, and maybe one is capable of finding the royal jelly.

For the sake of my dimming party and our troubled province, let's hope that candidate is the winner."

 

Sunday Hat

While I agree with Gerry Caplan's conclusion (or at least half of it) his lazy analysis (complete with typos) and his ongoing tendency to pimp himself out as an "NDP pundit" when it's been over a decade since anyone sought his advice leaves me more annoyed than anything else.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

It's hard to blame Gerry, though, when the reality is that the Globe and other media simply haven't updated their rolodexes in 20 years (and, yes, they probably still use rolodexes). Maybe they should have soliited a column from one of his "friends ... who are closer to the scene" to get their take on the leadership race. 

adma

Scott Piatkowski wrote:
Thanks for the correction on the 2003 numbers (I was going from memory). But it was still a 32 point spread, so I think my larger point stands.

22 point, actually--a 10 point gain placed Bob Sutton a notch below 30%.

Stockholm

"Maybe they should have soliited a column from one of his "friends ... who are closer to the scene" to get their take on the leadership race. "

The trouble is that any of those people are almost certainly involved in one of the campaigns and would not be able to give much of an overview. Caplan is writing an article from the point of view of someone with unimpeachable NDP loyalties who has a vote in this race like any other NDP "grunt" and who has the same dilemma as the rest of us.  I have no problem with that.

foxymoron

for an ndp 'grunt', he seems to be a rather delicate flower. shame he's let some personal animus colour his judgement.

 did anyone watch 'the agenda' on tvo last night?

Stockholm

Our personal views colour all of our judgment. and so they should.  How else do you choose a leader other than by expressing your personal view of the candidates on offer.

If I had met any of the candidates and thought that one of them was a total asshole - I would definitely not vote for that person.

Sunday Hat
Stockholm

The main thing I disagree with in Blizzard's article is that she writes about the NDP leadership process as if it was going to be an old-fashioned delegated convention - when its NOT. She quotes France Gelinas talking about the Nickel Belt members deciding who to support after the first ballot if Bisson gets knocked off. She writes about a potential "anyone but Tabuns" movement on a final ballot.

She is living in a fantasy world. This is a OMOV mail-in preferential ballot. While there may be some negligible number of junkies who will watch the convention and vote in real time between ballots - the overwhelming majority of people will have already filled out their preferences long before the actial convention. Horwath (or any of the others) may well win - but it will not be as a result of some dramatic "kennedy goes to Dion" gesture - it will be because thousands of people sat at their kitchen tables this past week and filled in their preferences (more often than not almost randomly IMHO).  

Stockholm

Actually Tabuns is 58 not 60 - but why quibble.

scarboroughnative

re: TVO and blizzard article

Blizzard chimes in with her sage wisdom as a tool of the media plot to destroy the ndp.

Observations as follows.

Bisson is 51 compared to Tabun's 60 and Prue's 57.

I'd put him at barely grey versus moderate grey versus definitely grey

Horwath was sporting a new hairdo.  Not too shabby for 45!

btw it occured to me that last time i checked the majority of women in this world are attracted to men so wouldnt it seem logical that if the ndp wanted to attract women it would be best to market a male product as leader?

Was funny when Tabuns got  slapped around by the interviewer a bit!

Also liked when Bisson commented that the young demographic isnt the only group the NDP should be targeting but one of many that deserve attention. 

Everyone on the panel looked tired and a bit worn out.

Otherwise boring format but hey its TVO.

scarboroughnative

Oh so is it prue that is 60? i thought one of them was 60?

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

Thanks for the correction on the 2003 numbers (I was going from memory). But it was still a 22 point spread, so I think my larger point stands.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

And Horwath is 46, as she hastened to point out to the host.

Re. the Blizzard column. I have no illusions that Blizzard cares any ore about the future fortunes of the NDP than the Toronto Star editorial board. But, sometimes observers of the political process are able to see the obvious in spite of their biases. There is a trend here, and it's undeniably in Horwath's favour.

Stockholm

Blizzard is - oddly - one rightwing pundit who always given Hampton very good press. She wrote some surprisingly glowing articles about him (not that it did much good). She's a rightwing populist, but i think that because of her working class English background - she has a bit of a soft spot for "rough-hewn" politicians like Hampton. But dating back to her days covering municipal politics in Toronto - she seems to have a bit of a hate-on for the Toronto municipal left types (which would include Layton, Chow, Tabuns, Churley etc...)

madmax

The Toronto SUN  is   Was read by many working class joes, who regularly voted Conservative, read the Conservative Sun.  But guess what, they have just lost nearly 300,000 readers who no longer pick up a Sun on the way to work, because their ain't no work to go to.

Current Governments aren't going to be popular, and Ironically, I have seen more NDP articles, and NDP headlines in NewPapers. Unfortuneately all media is losing their Add Revenues and Subscribers.

They may be joining the ranks of the Proletariat soon ;) 

aka Mycroft

And having seen Bisson's "I'm second youngest" quip which someone commented on before, it's clear he was being tongue in cheek. 

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

aka Mycroft wrote:

And having seen Bisson's "I'm second youngest" quip which someone commented on before, it's clear he was being tongue in cheek. 

Really? It just struck me as... well, odd.

aka Mycroft

It was clear to me he was trying to be funny. Now whether he succeeded or not is another question:)

Wilf Day

Stockholm wrote:
  While there may be some negligible number of junkies who will watch the convention and vote in real time between ballots - the overwhelming majority of people will have already filled out their preferences long before the actual convention.

Probably true, but unfortunate. Jack Layton would have won the federal leadership under any scenario, but Pierre Ducasse would have done a whole lot better if more people had heard his speech before they voted.

I expect Andrea to be in the final count, so I doubt my second preference will ever matter .. but I'll vote round-by-round in real time, just in case of the unexpected. Either online or in person (I haven't decided whether to attend.) 

aka Mycroft

Two thirds of the membership vote in the federal race were cast in advance mail-in balloting. I think people have a bit more confidence in doing things online these days so that proportion might be lower this time.

Also, don't forget that the labour vote, which is weighted at 25% of the overall vote, is cast by union delegates on the floor so in a close, multi-ballot convention decisions made on the day between ballots (and in the wake of candidates dropping off and endorsing one of their rivals) still have some potential to influence the final outcome - though much less so, obviously, than in a situation where there are no advance votes. 

Ciabatta2

I thought the TVO show was relatively interesting.  There wasn't anything there to bring in new voters, but I really doubt anyone watching TVO is the type to be an undecided voter.  I mean, it's a pretty small viewer pool.  So the show wasn't earth-shaking, but it wasn't as snoozy as I expected.

Bisson's age comment was definitely a joke.  It may have been unfunny, but I suspect anyone who found it "odd" is looking for a reason to find it odd.

I thought Andrea was the best, clearest, most passionate, very level headed and relatable.  Community focus was a welcome deviation from the general politician script.  Gilles I would say came in second, as he was also relatable and deviated the most from the standard candidate/NDP schpiel (sp?), but I'm not sure he had the policy/ideas to back it up (I assume he does, just that it didn't show this time around.)

I thought Prue looked extremely weak on the school issue (Paikin made his intentions show through on that) and I thought his attempts to refute some of the other candidates comments about him made him look a bit petty.  There's a fire there within him, he just needs to make it show a bit more. While I agree that Tabuns got 'slapped around' a bit by Paikin, he did better than I expected.  Came across as very informed, but not inspiring.  But then again, rating the candidates at the end of a leadership race based on a pretty quiet show with a mundane format is a bit of a useless exercise.

Paiking is a terrible host and interviewer.  Without fail, he always finds a way to make the show about him, and not about the guests or subject at hand.  He seems to have mistaken hard-hitting/bold for snarky and devious.  It's not becoming, and doesn't add to the show whatsoever.  Maybe it's my own bias, but I thought I felt a general sense of dislike emanating from the candidates toward the interviewer.  Or maybe they're just tired. :)

Sunday Hat

Stockholm's right that Blizzard doesn't seem to understand the difference between the OMOV system and the traditional delegated convention.

That said: I do think Bisson's support will overwhelmingly go to Horwath if he's off the ballot. So, while he can't "declare" for Andrea he could easily be the kingmaker through strategic withdrawl.

It's possible that Bisson's support would be split between the other candidates but based on what I've seen and heard I assume - like Blizzard - that most people with Bisson have Horwath as their second choice.

Ciabatta2

Agreed Sunday Hat.  And the surprise of the convention could be that Bisson's support is strong enough to make her a winner very early in the voting.

northwestern_lad

What I'm finding amusing here is that some people here are saying that Bisson's support is so strong, yet somehow believe that he won't get to the last ballot. That's why I couldn't help but get a chuckle out of the Blizzard piece because she seems to make the same assumption (on top of the fact that, as has been said here already, she didn't seem to have a grasp on the OMOV set-up). Bisson is a lot of other people's second choices too, from what i've been seeing and hearing, so it's just as likely that when others go off the ballot that a lot of those people will go to him too.

But hey folks, just a week until the suspense is over and all questions will be answered Laughing

alphasix actual

I found that the TVO program on the candidates was for the for most part not half bad. Greenpeace was mentioned, the misinformation about the school question was covered, at least for those intelligent enough to be rational. Gilles was some what restrained and Andrea seemed somewhat more comfortable when asked direct questions.

Michael seemed to have the most presence as the future Premier of Ontario.

aka Mycroft

It's a shame that no one replied to Steve Paikin's statement that he'd heard people around the province say that the NDP is sanctimonious by saying "That's funny, I've heard people say the exact same thing about you, Steve."

Sunday Hat

We won't know for sure until it's over but I do think Gilles' inability to attract any MPP or MP support south of North Bay; or the support of major trade union leaders, etc. indicates that he's running very strong in Northern Ontario and not so strong in the rest of the province.

Northern Ontario is vitally important to the NDP (a third of our provincial caucus and a fifth of our federal caucus are from here) and vitally important to this race so Bisson's dominance here is significant - but support in the North is not enough to win. Unless Gilles is doing a lot better than I think he is in the Rest of Ontario (ROO) then he can't win this.

Stockholm

"I do think Bisson's support will overwhelmingly go to Horwath if he's off the ballot. So, while he can't "declare" for Andrea he could easily be the kingmaker through strategic withdrawl."

I'm not sure what you mean by "strategic withdrawal"? If he's fourth his votes get redistributed among the top three and then if he's third his votes get redistributed among the top two. Once the votes are cast - he really has no say.

Lord Palmerston

Oddly enough, I think Gilles Bisson did well on The Agenda - in terms of presenting the case for rightwing social democracy.  Of course that doesn't stop him being my last choice.

Sunday Hat

Ouch LP!

I've gotta say - from a purely tactical point of view - Gilles' decision to paint himself as "business friendly" makes little sense. Gilles could join the Conservatives and people still wouldn't trust him to "manage the economy". He's just not that kind of politician. Gilles could have built a strong case that he's a real working class guy who will stand up for real working class people. That would have been credible and, within the NDP, a pretty compelling argument for support. Instead, he's trying to cast himself as a Premier in waiting who can build bridges with big business. It's not too credible.

I can only conclude he actually believes it - which is kind of sad. From the look of his donor list he's been spending way too much time getting schmoozed by mining executives and their lobbyists. If anyone has a better reason why he's banging the "tax cuts" drum I'd love to hear it.

It makes me wonder about some of his supporters - people like Tony Martin and Charlie Angus who, I had always assumed, were on the left of the party. Is there partisanship to the north trumping their political beliefs? It's really weird.

I don't want to run down Gilles too much because he is a very good MPP and the work he's done - particularly for First Nations - is something that makes me proud to be a New Democrat. But his campaign doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

And Stockholm, Gilles has some noteworthy union support (UFCW) that will be voting on the floor. And they've pledged to go to Andrea Horwath if and when they can't vote for Gilles.

Sunday Hat

Those Steelworker endorsements seem a lot more significant now.

Which CAW locals are still affiliated?

aka Mycroft

Two CAW locals and one retirees local reaffiliated in recent months. Not sure which ones.

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