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NDP leadership race roundup

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Welcome to rabble.ca's new weekly feature, a roundup of this past week's news, rumours and predictions of the marathon NDP leadership race, as brought to you by babble, rabble.ca's online discussion forum.

First off the mark is yesterday's leadership debate held in Sudbury, Ontario. As babbler NorthReport points out, Romeo Saganash was unable to make the debate, which, curiously enough, the CBC didn't see fit to cover. It's Superbowl Sunday, after all! That didn't stop Paul Dewar from taking today's debate as an opportunity to announce his support for a guaranteed annual income (thanks to wage zombie for the heads up). babbler dacckon cites a Sudbury Star article which says the debate put pressure on Brian Topp (would Topp supporters agree, we wonder?).

babblers are also getting the voting started early, announcing their candidate rankings as the race progresses (see also previously). A non-scientific sweep sees Romeo Saganash polling on babble well above his mainstream numbers, with the usual suspects Brian Topp, Thomas Mulcair and Peggy Nash getting good feedback. Nathan Cullen appears to be growing on babblers as well.

If any readers find all the politicking a bit onerous, they should head immediately to Comedy and the NDP leadership race  for treatment. Some good links to Rick Mercer and This Hour has 22 Minutes could liven things up a bit. And babbler Stockholm offers this analysis as to why some critics have called the race "too polite":

"I think one of the reasons why the race is so polite and uncontroversial are the circumstances under which it is happening. Usually parties pick leaders after they have suffered a major defeat and the leader has stepped down or after an incumbent was forced out as a result of being unpopular, etc. So inevitably the leadership contest that follows is all about "what do we do differently?" In this case, the vacancy was created by a tragic death and when everyone felt good about what the party was doing."

Bringing up the rear of this roundup is NDP leadership news you might have missed: the upcoming French-language debate in Quebec City will take place a week from today; Romeo Saganash released an essay criticizing John Baird's trip to the Middle East (thanks to JeffWells for the link); rabble.ca columnist Duncan Cameron weighs in on the need for party leaders in progressive electoral politics; and an analysis by longtime babbler Wilf Day on what we might expect as a result in a race with so many candidates (hint: think Audrey MacLaughlin, Bob Skelly or -- gasp! -- Dalton McGuinty!).

Plenty to think about until next week. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the march to Stornoway!

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