ONDP leadership V (plus Ginger)

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aka Mycroft
ONDP leadership V (plus Ginger)

The leadership race continues. Meanwhile, the Ginger folks are raising platform issues for the cotest. Come out to the Toronto Ginger Project Meeting on Wednesday:


Subject: Reminder: Toronto Round Two is at Hand!!!

Round One was a great success, with a varied and interesting discussion, a terrific turnout, new additions to the platform, and new thoughts on our direction.

Now is time for Toronto Round Two!

Join us again at The Library Pub (upstairs at The Imperial) and help us create a Socialist Platform for the NDP. This is located at 53 Dundas St. E. in downtown Toronto. (Just east of Dundas & Yonge and about a 1 minute walk east of Dundas subway station).

If you were at the last meeting, come again to see the unveiling of new planks and to assess our progress. If you missed it, now is your chance to contribute.

Together we can push the new leader of the Ontario NDP and the upcoming NDP convention to adopt an agenda that signifies a left-shift and a new street based politics!

Whether you are a member of our group or not, invite your friends (on and off Facebook) and come on out and enjoy an evening of debate, discussion, democracy and drinks!

This time we are meeting Wednesday, January 14th at 7:30 pm.

See you there.


Speaking of Leadership News Peter Tabuns recently had his leadership campaign website updated. This style represents the next generation in ONDP technology.



Big news today from Nickel Belt. The Nickel Belt Riding Association has
formally endorsed Gilles Bisson. Here is the press release:

Nickel Belt Riding Association Endorses Gilles Bisson for Leader

The first executive meeting of 2009 for the Nickel Belt NDP Riding
Association held last night proved to be one of the livelier and more
exciting meetings for some time, according to President Don Morin. “One
of the main orders of business on our agenda last night was to decide
if we would endorse a leadership candidate”, said Morin.

The Ontario New Democratic Party will be choosing their next leader at the
2009 convention to be held in Hamilton , on the March 6th weekend. The
Leadership candidates include Gilles Bisson, Andrea Horwath, Michael
Prue and Peter Tabuns. The successful candidate will replace the
current and very popular leader Howard Hampton.

Morin said “We debated for well over an hour whether we would endorse a candidate or
leave it up to individuals”. In the end, the group overwhelmingly
decided that they would endorse, and that endorsement went to Gilles
Bisson, MPP for Timmins James Bay.

“With over 1000 voting members, our riding is a decisive factor in choosing the next leader”
said France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt. Each member of the Ontario
NDP is eligible to cast a vote by mail, phone, internet, or as a
delegate at convention.

We believe Gilles Bisson has the knowledge, experience and vision to move the party forward” said Morin.


Champion of Nothing1

Not very surprising.


A strong showing for Bisson and most telling. There is a large and often overlooked NDP presence in the North.  Also noteworthy is the fact that he has the most experience in the legislature and is know to have quite a magnetic personality.  We'll have to see if any of the other candidates receive endorsments of this stature. 


If Bisson has so much experience why did he forget to put the "Authorized by the CFO" for his leadership campaign mail out.

Also, Bisson has no Union bug I wonder what message that sends out?


Um....help a newbie out here would yah..... what is a union bug? Is that some sort of listening device? or perhaps a v.d.? please advise.


A union bug is a stamp of approval that union shop printed the piece. The New Democrats always aim to obtain Union shop items as we believe in the quality standards that they provide to their employees.

Champion of Nothing1

scarboroughnative wrote:
A strong showing for Bisson and most telling. There is a large and often overlooked NDP presence in the North.  Also noteworthy is the fact that he has the most experience in the legislature and is know to have quite a magnetic personality.  We'll have to see if any of the other candidates receive endorsments of this stature. 

I don't think anyone has ever doubted the presence of the NDP in the North.

Also, it's funny you bring up that Bisson has the most experience, yet he has run on a non-existent platform. Surely, a man with his political experience should have sort of comprehnsion that any campaign should be run on some sort of platform. Going out and talking about re-distributing funding to riding associations probably won't catch the eye of many members who realize that the party needs to be re-branded.

Now, it's not to say he isn't a great MPP and doesn't represent the party and his constituents strong in the legislature, but I don't think he provides much in terms of what is needed in a leader.



Gilles piece was printed in a Union shop. He has the strongest union roots of all the candidates in this race so to try to suggest that he skirted the tradition of using a union shop is just wrong and sullies the discussion that this race is supposed to be.

As for his platform, what exactly do you think he's been talking about at debate after debate for the past few months??? The colour of the clouds in the sky??? He's been taking his ideas straight to the people, and in the mail out that just went out he has laid out some of his ideas quite well. Plus, it's early in the day still. All of the candidates haven't released all of their ideas yet.


Ok so I am not saying that Gilles union support is any less than any of the candidates. The bug indicates more than just union support, it indicates that the peice was printed by a union shop which does have financial implications. I mean any person could have printed that piece off without and insignia on it? Couldn't they?

With that said thats not the debate. The debate is that Gilles forgot BOTH the bug and the "Authorized by CFO...". To his credit he was not the only person that forgot that.... Michael did as well. Aren't there rules about that?

As for his platform it is just simply a reactionary statement to make a comment like that NWL, if you actually believe that everyone has been to a debate yet (even if they have been hosted in their riding, as the case in Kingston, which you know because you were there) I think that you are being a little naive. 

Even so, if someone has questions about the possibilities or ideas presented at the debate or the implementation, planning process of said ideas in each debate, then they might just be out of luck without that follow up information avaliable.

Right now a sad truth is that almost all of the membership have no idea what is being asked, or answered at these debates. Other than the ONDY debate (which is avaliable at http://www.ondy.ca) which was streamed live for the public to see none of the other debates have been able to be seen anywhere. That is a problematic point on the count of the process.

I mean that just plain silly to think that everyone has all the information to make a reasonable choice at this point. Another sad thing turly is that, really no one has been paying attention to the leadership race. Certainly the people on rabble have been paying attention, but we don't represent the broader membership by any stretch, this is an isolated pocket of persons.

V. Jara

The best part of Peter Tabuns' new website is the endorsements page.


Yah it looks like he posted a list of all the people he signed up as members. Quite a number!  J Masse: Thanks for the info on the union bug stuff. That is interesting although I must admit as a casual observer I wouldnt even be phased by oversights like omittting to mention this and that and whose is whose.  I suspect those who are not campaign team insiders wouldnt either. btw I have heard from a few guys a work that Bisson came out of the United Steelworkers originally and I suspect he would have some support from them.  Horwath appears to be getting some union support and everything I have heard says that Tabuns has had his problems with organized labour in the past.  Does anyone no anything else? I heard something like he locked his employees out or something like that.  Any truth to this? J Masse you might be able to field this question since you appear to be knowledgable on the Tabuns story .


Scarb and others, you may find the following edifying.





The former provides a fairly decent overview of both sides. The latter demonstrates just how out there the story really is. A simple google search of the terms "peter tabuns" greenpeace and lockout brings up a veritable embarassment of riches.

So yes, there is quite a lot of 'truth to that'.

 One of several reasons why I won't be supporting Mr. Tabuns.




JMasse... A reactionary comment now??? Pointing out a candidates basic statement of principals is somehow reactionary??? My point is that no one has a complete platform, because a complete platform involves touching just about every single topic with policy. But, as has been pointed out, the party comes up with that, not just the leader alone.

By the way, I wasn't stating that everyone has been to a debate. What I was saying was that by the comments that you are making, I'm assuming that you have been to at least one, and I've been to a couple myself. I know what I've heard in those meetings and every candidate there laid out basic principles, so those people attending those meetings did get that information. Also, every single member is getting pamphlets and information sent to them, along with the guaranteed outreach that all of the campaigns will be doing. Plus, as you pointed out (and I believe I have before), these are early days and they have approximately 2 months to get this information across. So I am not being naive, I'm just not over reacting Wink


I could perhaps go on at some length about the hilarity of the supporters of a guy with a well-documented track record of union-busting casting stones at another candidate for missing the bug on a piece of literature.

 But I won't.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

So today I received a telephone call from Peter Tabun's leadership campaign.   I told them I hadn't made up my mind yet...which is true.

So...to those partisans of the various leadership contenders, who should I vote for and why?

There's a vote to be won here. :) 




Well radiorahim, I have been following the race since its inception and what I have learned points me to the following conclusions:

Tabuns and Prue will steer the party further left, pander to the special interests, further drive moderate left voters towards the liberal party thus leaving the party at best where it is now and at worst at non offical party status.

Horwath and Bisson both appear to have more moderate voter appeal. I believe that if the NDP is to make gains we must attract voters back from the liberal party (center/left center voters who have become disenchanted with the NDP) and attract other Ontarians who might buy in to a social democratic approach that doesnt seem too far fetched.

Bisson and Horwath both seem to offer the appropriate oppourtunity.  Both are known grass-roots organizers who are thought to be tireless workers and organizers.  However, Horwath appears to be peaking a little too early. She is quite young as compared to her colleauges and many people who have stuck with the party over the lean years might sense that she is a bit premature in her desire to become leader. I personally feel that despite her talent she hasnt paid her dues with respect to time in service to the party.  She might be a good pick once the next NDP leader has had two terms to take a shot but not before that.

Bisson on the on the other hand has been around a long time and I think is still relatively young.  He has paid his dues. served in govt and opposition and would appear to be due for his shot.  He has said some stuff in the Leading Edge about party reform that leads me to believe he has the right mindset to get the job done.  Also the north is an NDP powerhouse right now (see fed election results) and I have to believe that he must have been a big part of that. 

So my feeling is to build from strength which would mean supporting Bisson.

So right now I like Bisson  to win.

Good luck with your decision making process.




Champion of Nothing1

I'm a bit skeptical on the whole Greenpeace issue, so I won't make my decision on Tabuns only based on that. Also, look at his endorsements page, he has the backing of John Cartwright , CUPE 1, Toronto Steelworkers, among others. Also, the fact that he has the backing of Unite HERE local 75 impresses me. They've done a lot of positive work within many at risk communities, particularly up in Rexdale, where they have mobilized a diverse group of people in response to the Woodbine Live! development.

I've also heard from a LARGE amount of people that, of all the leadership candidates, Peter is the only one who listens and seems interested in what people have to say.

I still haven't made my decision on who I am supporting, but I think Tabuns has a lot of good qualities that should not be easily dismissed, or ignored.

Maysie Maysie's picture

scarboroughnative wrote:
 Tabuns and Prue will steer the party further left, pander to the special interests, 

Can you tell me what you mean by "pander to the special interests"? I'm truly curious for some examples too.

And I'm undecided as well. 



Maysie, IMO, 'special interests' as they relate to electoral politics are any person or group of persons. Every campaign decries them, and just about any campaign worth its salt accuses their opponent of them, but in the end, 'special interests' are anyone who is supporting your opponent.

Champ, I respect your commitment to basing your decision on ALL the facts. Having said that, Greenpeace is one of several dealbreakers for me. Maybe it's my cantankerous nature, but each of them (I think there are about five right now, but the number seems to growing as the campaign grinds on) on their own are dealbreakers.

Greenpeace, however, is the biggest dealbreaker for me personally. A collective agreement is a contract. If you've ever locked out your employees (a few weeks before Christmas is an especially nice time, I might add) when they have more than a year left on their collective agreement, you've lost my vote. Forever. That's my personal reasoning, but I don't expect others to necessarily share my sentiment.

I come from a labour family (dads, uncles, granddads, etc., etc.), and while many things are open for negotiation (conducted of course, by the duly elected representatives of your bargaining unit), but contract stripping and union-busting (harsh words, I know, but it keeps coming back to that whole business of locking out your staff when they have a year left on their contract for me. It's basically saying you don't care that you have a legally-binding contract) were not up for negotiation. They were and are Rubicons the NDP must never cross.

If Tabuns and his surrogates believe that such labour practices are in fact acceptable, they should state it outright and explain the circumstances under which they believe contract-stripping and union-busting are permissible. We ought to expect no less from any candidate seeking the leadership of the party that claims to be a party--the party--of labour in Ontario.

As for Tabuns' support from the locals you've mentioned, it's hard to say. Somehow, I don't think Team Tabuns spends much time trumpeting the fact when they are seeking endorsements. I share your admiration for the great work UNITE HERE 75 does, in Rexdale and many other places, but that doesn't necessarily mean they've made the right choice here. Maybe it's a failure of doing due diligence on a candidate. Maybe, like you, they've decided they can live with it, and based their choice on whatever factors went into their decision making.

But those are maybes, just speculation.



So how many new memberships have the NDP sold during this leadership race?

I would expect each Leadership Candidate would have signed up thousands....ok maybe hundreds.... who knows.... of new memberships while on their hustings.

Endorsements don't mean alot. New Members who vote are a sign of growth, freshness and organizational strength.

How hard is it to outshine "John Tory" ?

He is getting more press by having a women step down to give him a hand up :)




According a piece in the Hamilton Spec, 5,000 new members were signed up during the run up here. I haven't seen any numbers on who signed up the most people, but I suspect that each candidate knows where they stand in that regard and that it's only a matter of time before those numbers come out.

I agree though that signing up new members is a great sign of growth, momentum and organizational strength. Also, I would say that those new members are more likely to vote, as they did go out of their way to join the party assumeably in order to be able to vote.



Re John Tory.

That whole woman stepping down to give him a hand up thing is so lame.  There actually seem to be people out there who think that Tory is agaisnt feminism with that move.  As a feminist I find that approach to be totally ridiculous.  Lauriee Scott is an oppourtunist who made a deal and did some "politicing." To suggest otherwise debases her intellect and implies that a man can steam roll over her. That in itself is anti feminist in nature.  Funny though how things get spun.  I for one am happy he got a seat. That way he can self destruct in the next election all over again! 


foxymoron: Your rendering of the Greenpeace situation seems a little unkind at best and disingenuous at worst.  I don't think it Tabuns' proudest moment, but there's no question he's a trade unionist and a supporter of organized labour.

I do think the endorsements he's received from Labour are salient and significant. Tabuns has been dogged by the lockout (people who follow the provincial NDP well know the history, not to mention Tabuns' opponents popping up everywhere to remind anyone who'll listen) and I'm sure those endorsements come with full knowledge of Tabuns' labour history.

I believe there's a lot to recommend Peter Tabuns for the leadership and possibly some things that work against him. Again, I don't think the lockout is Tabuns' proudest moment, but I'm also not sure in itself it should be a "dealbreaker". NOW magazine seems to have gotten past the "lockout" issue. NOW in fact voted Peter Tabuns the best MPP in 2006.

On the other hand, Tabuns is tireless. He is very articulate and intelligent. He's urban, he's a credentialed advocate for the environment and the new energy economy. He's connecting with our youth and young adults (a group we've increasingly been ceding to the Green Party). ONDY has endorsed Peter Tabuns. Tabuns has also engaged very vibrantly the diversity that marks our great country (from new Canadians, to the LGBT community). He's very principled, competent, and likable.  


To Maysie: I think your decision should hinge on your vision for the provincial NDP.  This is actually an opportunity for you to have a say in what you'd like the NDP to become (it's pretty obvious that whatever we're doing now is not working for us).

For example above it was stated that Tabuns would steer the NDP to the left and pander to interest groups, as if it self-evidently a bad thing. But, if by "left" we mean a return to our democratic socialist roots and taking principled positions even if they're not popular. And if by "pander to interest groups" we mean listening to Labour, ONDY, the Ginger Project, and the Socialist Caucus, engaging leftist social movements and becoming generally more democratic, THEN, a left turn pandering to interest groups might not be such a bad thing.

Anyways seems like the obvious starting point would be to visit each of the candidates websites, ask around, and see which candidate best matches your vision for the future of the Ontario NDP. 


After reading this thread for some time, this particular post has prompted me to join for the purposes of countering some of your spin.

1. The paper trail about how Tabuns treated staff at Greenpeace clearly reveals a duplicitious character. Tabuns tried to get rid of unionizied staff who were exceeding their quota while keeping non unionzed canvassers in other locations. The Ontario Labour Board ruled against his claim that the locked out staff had  no case.

2. Significant labour leaders are not supporting him. Wayne Samuleson from the OFL are supporting Andrea Horwath. Leah Cassleman as well.

3. Staff earn MPPs the NOW nod. Something that Peter Tabuns has acknowledged in the past. But then again, he goes around these days claiming he wrote the 2007 environmental platform alone. I guess he is counting on all the people who were actually coming up with ideas, the policy, as invisible. Or he follows the tactic say anything as long as you dont think you will get called out on it. Like a liberal.






As I said, Synth, union-busting and contract-stripping are dealbreakers for me. Everyone should have at least one deal-breaker in their world-view.

As I also said, it is one of several deal-breakers, regarding Tabuns' candidacy. I'm happy to go on, if you'd like.


scout: astounding that no other discussion around here even smelled to you of spin and suddenly this thread has forced you to take such umbrage that you've gone out of your way to join the rabble rousing. I'd rather you simply tell us who you're supporting and why.

btw calling Tabuns a Liberal, well that's simply a cheap shot. You have no code, do you?Laughing

foxy: I respect that you draw hard and fast ethical lines in the sand. As far as that goes I think union busting is a pretty good one. I simply wondered if the interpretation of Tabuns' actions was a generous and fair one.

I also woudn't want to see this thread degenerate into an acrimonious  attack on the candidates. I think we all know that none of the candidates is squeaky clean. Again, I'd rather the discussion here remain positive and allow readers to glean the relative merits that each candidate brings to the leadership. As to whether you go on with your laundry list of dealbreakers against Tabuns, that's for you to decide, not me. Peace...


behaving like a Liberal is deserving of being called a Liberal.  
disingenious: downplaying the hard evidence - the documented background, the labour board ruling, and then shifting attention to others



Synth, the infraction is grave, so generosity and fairness on my part require contrition and candour on the perpetrator's part. I've seen nothing from Tabuns and his surrogates that even comes close.

And to be shocked--shocked!--that spin takes place among lefties in babble in the midst of an NDP leadership race conjures an image of Claude Rains in Casablanca upon learning there was gambling going on at Rick's.Laughing

And don't forget Synth, even Capt. Renault did the right thing in the end, so there's hope for you yetTongue out




I contemplated renewing my membership right up to the last minute but I found the candidates and their messages so singularly uninspiring I just couldn't see the point.

None of the candidates has put forward any kind of strategic direction for where the new votes and organization the party requires will come from. Nor have I seen any significant policy ideas beyond borrowing money to pay for infrastructure and social services. 

What I see is an issue-free race focusing on a set of lacklustre personal credentials of the candidates. 

So it is absolutely no wonder that this discussion is heading towards minutia and negativity. What else is there to talk about?


Speaking of labour, Prue has received a fairly major endorsement from the Toronto local of the ATU. Link: http://tinyurl.com/7vlbu4


"As I said, Synth, union-busting and contract-stripping are dealbreakers for me."


I guess that eliminates Bisson. He is the only candidate who was an MPP during the Rae years and he supported the social contract. 


To not renew one's NDP membership because one does
not feel inspired by the field of leadership candidates is pretty sad. 
Sadder still is the idea that the next ONDP leader must be possessed by
the ghost of Tommy Douglas and have the magnetism of Barack Obama.    Check around. Most political parties dont have superstar
leaders either. In fact most leaders match the reality of
politics...slow moving, complicated and a touch boring. See Harper,
Dion, Iggie, Rae, Harris, McGuinty, Peterson to name a few. Even Layton failed to inspire as a
former municipal politician turned fed until he had a few years under
his belt.  Heres a plan to grow theNDP that works. Sign a membership, get on monthly payments and help support the party financially so they can develop candidates and try to win ridings.  Its slow tedious and important work that must be done. Leaders will develop as time goes by.  (Had to make a Casablanca reference since thats in vogue!)


scarboroughnative wrote:

    Check around. Most political parties dont have superstar leaders either.

Sure we do. His name is Pinocchio McGuilty. And Bay Street bought for Pinocchio 22% of registered voter support; 66% of legislature seats; and 100% of power in Ontariariariao. And like that other 22 percenter in Ottawa, Pinocchio has broken dozens and dozens of election campaign promises



I'm not looking for a "superstar" "possessed by the ghost of Tommy Doublas" with "the magnetism of Barack Obama." Feel free to put words in my mouth if it helps you to justify the lameness of the campaign and the inability of the party to justify its existence but I'm not making any such outrageous demands.

For many people here, being a member of the NDP is an end in itself. For me it is a means to an end. When I join a party, I have to be able to imagine what it is that doing so will achieve. None of the present candidates has been able to do that. 

In the federal leadership race, I found Blaikie, Layton and Ducasse all to be candidates I would have felt good about supporting and I renewed my membership to vote for Layton. But I don't see any of the political courage and creativity I saw in that campaign in this one.

Maysie Maysie's picture

foxymoron wrote:
Maysie, IMO, 'special interests' as they relate to electoral politics are any person or group of persons. Every campaign decries them, and just about any campaign worth its salt accuses their opponent of them, but in the end, 'special interests' are anyone who is supporting your opponent.

foxy, I know what the right means when they use this term, I was hoping that scarboroughnative would explain his/her use of this term. Left or right I find it's often code for anyone who isn't white and male and is used to denote those who are seen to detract from the "real" agenda.

The fact that some on the left use this term isn't a surprise to me, but it is a bit jolting to see it used in a thread about the Ontario NDP leadership. Is anyone aware of the diversity of the province of Ontario? Don't make me quote Stats Can, because I will. Smile

I'l vote for one of them. And whoever wins I will support. McGuinty's got to go, or at least be challenged with a minority government or something.


I'm not sure about scarborough native but I can tell you that when I think pandering to special interest within the NDP I hear things like this:

1. anti nuclear movement

2. anti catholic school funding movement

both of which are proven to be unpopular topics  with voters.  ASK john tory(self destructed over this) and stephane dion(environment not the ticket to run on.) 

What is so frustrating as a NDP supporter is that despite the proven failures of these issues to garner mainstream NDP support, people within the NDP (including potential leaders) insist on championing these lost causes.  End result being the average voter sees the NDP as radical and not something they want to be a part of.  The NDP should speak the language of the electorate. Jobs, health care, services, infastructure and not the language of the special interests. All the while stick to honest campaigns, social democratic beliefs and the promotion of fairness, equity and progressivism.  Those special interest voices can be sounded out after the NDP achieves electoral success.  In short, the NDP needs to move from a strategy of picking up the issues that resonate with the minority and trying to force it on the majority and instead should try visa versa. 

btw....I don't know how the last poster got on the whole white male angle based on scarbs comments but I suspect it reveals a underlying psychosis.  Or perhaps proves my point about some of the NDP supporters who hurt the cause.

Also as a fellow scarberian I have to say that anyone who was raised in our beloved scarborough is well aware of the diversity of ontario..  Hell we lived the diversity and loved it.   Long live scarborough!!!   (but its too late for deamalgamation) 


ndpman wrote:
The NDP should speak the language of the electorate. Jobs, health care, services, infastructure and not the language of the special interests.

I agree. The NDP has campaigned on winning policies in all those areas, and I think that with this economic meltdown, those issues will become all the more important to Ontarians over the next few years.

On the federal scene, this Harper government is not transparent. And there was a bailout to the banks about two weeks after the election to the tune of $75 billion. The Harpers will have to finance those handouts through one of two ways, according to Michel Chossudovsky in Ottawa:

1. by selling bonds on the open market resulting in federal debt with interest owing, or

2. further reductions in federal transfers to province - more neoliberal austerity and paring down of social spending, and more privatizations and selloffs of crown assets to corporate friends at "very reasonable" prices

And it sounds like all the premiers except for Charest are saying this is no time for politicking with the feds. "Stable government is more important", they say. I think the provinces need a fairer shake from Ottawa, and kow-towing to the Harpers will not work for the unemployed or to refund social programs gutted since the 1995 federal budget.


funny how afraid ndpman and everyone else who spout off the usual 'anti-catholic' horse puckey are so afraid of letting rank-and-file new democrats decide whether an issue should come to, and be decided on the convention floor. why is the respectable establishment wing of the ndp so afraid of that?

for the record, i spent the better part of my young life serving mass, during some stints on a daily basis, so that 'anti-catholic' claptrap ain't gonna work with me. this is not about anti-catholicism.

this is about an ossified party hierarchy that would prefer to bask in the contentment of having beat down the waffle more than 30 years ago and thinks rank-and-file members should just be good little brothers and sisters and vote on what they're told to vote on.

some people within the party would like to have a debate, and one candidate (Prue) thinks the party rank and file, the ones who remit 90 cents of every dollar their riding associations raise, are grown up enough to decide for themselves whether or not to have that debate.

what dion's campaigning on the environment has to do with religious school funding (or the actual issue, which is about the right of party members to debate issues), is a complete mystery to me, so i won't even go there.

for the life of me, i don't see how challenging the party establishment to have a debate in any way compares with a well-documented example of contract-stripping and union-busting. guess my priorities must be out whack.Sealed


Liberative or Conservabral, one or the other and prolly both.Innocent


I think Foxymoron just proved NDPman's point about how some new democrats cant seem to see the forest through the trees.  My take is this.  Sure we should open the debate on all issues. But in a time of crisis (read few MPPs in the house and third party status) the NDP should focus their attention on issues that resonate with the majority of the electorate.  This means putting aside special interests like the anti catholic funding wing of the party and instead focusing the attention of the debate on ways to grow the party membership by appealing to center left voters so the ndp can form government and actually get behind the wheel of this province again.  Unwinable issues like catholic education while deserving of debate are a distraction from the real battle in this war for furthering the cause ofsocial demcoracy.  Every time the media picks up a story of the ndp arguing about education funding the liberals must laugh their heads off.   Theres a saying I heard once. "fool me once shame on you. fool me twice shame on me." There are ndp supporters who are being fooled six times over at this point. I'd bet that John Tory has learned his lesson on this third rail issue.  Why cant you.




The economy, jobs, social and environmental issues are this 22 percent government's(Pinocchio McGuilty-Harper both) soft under belly right now more than ever. Like piranhas to wounded trout.

V. Jara

The Parry Sound-Muskoka NDP has some videos of candidates giving speeches around the kitchen "table" that are little more colourful than your average all candidates debate.


I really like what all of them are saying Good people all around. What Prue promises for winning in 2011 sounds very good. And Bisson sounds like a Swede on the economy. Our province is bigger than Sweden and have more resources and people. So why cant Ontario be as competitive, as resourceful, and as fair?


For what it's worth, I guess it comes back to the notion that while most things are up for negotiation, some things are not. My views on union busting are pretty well known, so I'll avoid flogging that particular horse for the time being. The right of people to debate issues, even if they make some people uncomfortable, is also not up for negotiation in my books. It's how you evolve.

Here's the thing--based on Scarboroughnative's criteria (few MPPs, 3rd party status), we have been in 'crisis' for three election cycles now in Ontario. In two consecutive elections, we lost official party status.

One constant throughout this unfortunate time in the ONDP's history has been a pretty distressing fear of debate, and that's a sign of a political movement in its death throes. The policy process is so managed as to be irrelevant, with everything disappearing into the black hole that is the 'resolutions committee', never to be seen again if there is even the remotest whiff of controversy. There are days where I wonder if we'll start seeing resolutions urging the members to hug bunnies and kittens, or whether that would be too controversial to discuss.

I might not be able to see the forest for the trees, but is there just the remotest possibility that we've been in crisis for the better part of a decade precisely because we're so afraid of debating big issues? From where I sit, it sure looks that way.

For that matter, given that our very talented party establishment has given us such superb results in the past decade by deciding (with token, at best, input from the party rank-and-file) they know best which issues are going to resonate with the majority of voters, I'm sure the best approach to secure a majority of seats is to just sit quietly and be good little boys and girls and do (and think) what daddy and mummy tell us the right things to do and think are. It's worked so well these past three elections!

It's been such a great strategy that we've been gunning for a majority by writing off 80 per cent of ridings before the writ even gets dropped.

At least we got to have a vote on whether we could wear deodorant at convention. I'm sure that'll be a winner at the polls.


I was at the debate in Hamilton yesterday, and it was more lively than others I've been to so far, but it's interesting that scarboroughnative mentions the real politics of that one issue, because that's precisely what Mr. Bisson was saying yesterday. He told the crowd there that in an upcoming election where we know the issue is going to be the economy, the Liberals would love nothing more than for us to pull a John Tory. During the debate yesterday Mr. Prue was asked by both Mr. Bisson and Mr. Tabuns about when resolutions on that very topic gets to the convention, how he would vote on them. He refused to answer. When asked about the possible resolution, he said he wouldn't answer "hypothetical questions", and when Mr. Bisson asked him his view on the very principle of it, Mr. Prue wouldn't answer. I won't speculate as to why, but that's what I heard and saw.

And Fidel, I agree with you about the comparison between Sweden and here. I've heard Mr. Bisson talk about how we can promote Social Democratic values and issues without going down the Tony Blair road, and Sweden is one of the examples that I've heard him bring up. 


I'm sure Mr. Prue will make his opinions known when the other three candidates make their opinions known on whether they feel rank-and-file New Democrats should have the right to debate issues at convention that matter to them.

Partisans from all the camps are free to misrepresent the issue as much as they want. Prue has said on a number of occasions, and I'm pretty sure he said it yesterday as well that whatever the outcome, he would abide by the membership's democratic will, as reflected through a fair and open vote on the convention floor. Do Gilles, Andrea and Peter share that commitment to a central tenet of democracy?

Certainly, that commitment is shared by the Parkdale-High Park riding association, home to Peter's chief surrogate, Cheri Di Novo. At their meeting last week, they voted in support of bringing a resolution forward to convention on the issue.

And Synth, since this new paragraph suddenly popped up in your maiden post, I feel compelled to revisit the issue of Mr. Tabuns' somewhat abysmal record on labour-management relations...


I do think the endorsements he's received from Labour are salient and significant. Tabuns has been dogged by the lockout (people who follow the provincial NDP well know the history, not to mention Tabuns' opponents popping up everywhere to remind anyone who'll listen) and I'm sure those endorsements come with full knowledge of Tabuns' labour history.


Maybe they are salient and significant, but we may never know the reasons for their salience and significance. The notion that Peter's opponents have been 'popping up everywhere' with friendly reminders is quite laughable. A few people in fora here and there have periodically asked about the story, and whether there was anything to it. The Tabuns camp's silence on the issue was far more telling. Their strategy seems to have been to stay quiet and hope the issue goes away. It seemed to be working for a time, but now there's a paper trail for people to look at. In case you weren't paying attention...



He has hardly been dogged by this, until just very recently. Your edited post still doesn't address the issue of whether or not Peter has acknowledged that locking out workers (extra bonus points for doing it a few weeks before Christmas!) when they have more than a year left on their contract is a bad thing for someone who purports to be a New Democrat to do, especially when they want to be leader.

It's very simple--if Peter would just visit this thread or somewhere else, and state words to the effect of 'Locking out my employees while they had more than a year left on their contracts was wrong, and I'm sorry I did it. I promise to do better for working people, particularly the ones who work for me, in the future.'

Maybe he would get some closure on the issue if he just could admit he did something wrong, but the record suggests such introspection is not in his DNA.



foxymoron: So you've finally played your hand. You're here shilling for Prue. I really had hoped the thread could have steered away from attacks of candidates, but I guess in the name of love and family and full disclosure and all that, you feel compelled to continue discrediting candidates rather than pumping up candidates. Now that I know you're shilling for Prue, it's easy to see why. Not much to pump up.

I'm not sure what you mean by a new paragraph suddenly appearing in my maiden post, but I stand by those comments. Anyone who has followed the ONDP closely during the last decade knows the story. Certainly NDP insiders, labour leaders, political junkies all know the story. The story is almost seven years in the past. Many have moved on. Labour leaders like John Cartwright have moved on. NOW magazine has moved on. It voted Peter Tabuns best MPP in 2006. I remain confident that Tabuns is an strong ally to organized labour. Period.

As far as Tabuns' detractors popping up everywhere. The story appears on babble, on New Democrats Online, on some blogs, Prue made sure it was the subject of a question called into Goldhawk Live a few weeks ago to stir up controversy. Seems to me the story is in the air. Question is, is it a dealbreaker? Speaking of dealbreakers...

Here are a couple of "dealbreakers" for me when it comes to Michael Prue.

First, Prue's involvement tacit or otherwise in the scurrilous attacks on Bob Hunter is way beyond the pale of conduct befitting a New Democrat. Yes, the NDP got the win, but at what cost? By not distancing himself from those vile attacks (he denied involvement but never denounced the tactics), Prue and his campaign irredeemably lost my respect. What was done to Bob Hunter's reputation, Liberal or not, was baseless and inexcusable. A true lowlight in the history of the NDP.

And while McGuinty couldn't say so, I'm sure the Ontario Liberals were thinking retribution when they shamelessly attacked Cheri DiNovo in a similar manner.

Second, when it was his duty to vote against, if not to have himself thrown out of the legislature like Kormos did, the outrageous salary increases proposed for MPP's, Prue absented himself (as did other caucus members); and thereby showed he was tacitly in favour of those increases.  Tabuns and others were outraged and immediately voted against McGuinty's bill which was insult to all Ontarians and an obvious ploy to divide the NDP caucus. Prue and others fell for the ruse.

Poor judgment and unscrupulousness, dealbreakers for me. Unfortunately there's no "closure" for that.

p.s. calling Cheri DiNovo a surrogate to Tabuns is gauche and insulting. Wonder if you'd ever refer to Paul Miller as Prue's surrogate. 



synthome wrote:

NOW magazine has moved on. It voted Peter Tabuns best MPP in 2006. 

It voted Peter Tabuns the best MPP in Toronto in 2006.  NOW limits it's "best of" lists to Toronto restaurants, politicians, organizations, and the like.  It may be hard for many Torontonians to conceptulaize that there are MPPs beyond Toronto, but there are... 

synthome wrote:

First, Prue's involvement tacit or otherwise in the scurrilous attacks on Bob Hunter is way beyond the pale of conduct befitting a New Democrat.

I have always believed that someone involved with one of the Liberals not allowed to run for the Liberal nomination in the Beaches-East York by-election was the most likely source for the fact that Hunter's book was in the biography section of the Toronto library, and not in the fiction section, being anonymously sent to the media.  I remember angry locals at the time.  I have nothing to base that upon other than my belief.  At least I acknowledge that, rather than make bald-faced statements of "truth" about what happened when no one to this day knows what happened.

Suggesting that Prue or any other New Democrat was "involved tacit or otherwise" is what is scurrilous.

V. Jara

This is the most passionate I seen people about the ONDP leadership race since it started Laughing


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