NDP leadership Q&A - questions for Niki Ashton here on babble!

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NDP leadership Q&A - questions for Niki Ashton here on babble!

Some of you will remember that back in 2012 we hosted NDP leadership candidates for a series of Q&As. Based on the success of that we've decided to do it again. I'm just in the process of confirming details for each candidate. We'll have Niki Ashton here tentatively on September 13th, 8pm. If that changes for any reason I'll let you know.

Please post your questions for Niki in this thread. I'll choose about six or so questions and send them along to Niki's team for her to answer. On the day of the Q&A I'll create a thread where the event will occur. If time allows, she'll answer any additional questions from those of you who participate. So excited!

Issues Pages: 



Do you feel that the NDP and the left in general have been trapped by the "jobs" discourse in campaigning? No politician wants to campaign against jobs, but many of these jobs (like coal and asbestos mining) are awful, dangerous to the people who work at them, and dangerous to the environment as a whole -- or, in the case of the Ontario workers who make arms for sale to Saudi Arabia, dangerous to human rights overseas. Furthermore, "it'll kill jobs" is a right-wing cudgel that has been used against essentially every progressive platform plank in history. By talking about jobs instead of more generally about prosperity, aren't we fighting on the right's terrain?


Got it. Thanks cco!


Please reflect upon Canada's participation in the destruction of Libya and the still continuing catastrophic consequences. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..why did you not outrightly reject NATO in your canadian dimension questionnaire? 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

What do you say to those who argue that your aren't doing enough to address the practical "bread and butter" concerns of the electorate, that you are a candidate who appeals to left activists but has no rapport with "ordinary" voters?  An example these people raise is the amount time you talk about things like "intersectionality".

Obviously, you've been repeatedly re-elected from a constituency in northern Manitoba where voters always put practical matters, such as getting through the winter alive, ahead of theoretical and ideological discourse, so what have you found most effective in connecting with the people who keep voting for you?


How do you plan to push for improving universal health coverage by closing the gaping holes: dental care, pharmacare (not covered in all provinces) and mental health care, covered in theory but woefully inadequate?

As well as some other areas such as availability and affordability of nutritious food, and one that must be on your mind these days, ensuring all new babies, their parents and families have an equal start to life...


Thanks so much NDPP, epaulo13, Ken Burch and lagatta4!

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Are you in favour of a national affordable/social housing act?


Hillary Clinton ignored the plight of rust belt workers who had been thrown on the scrap heap of capitalism. Now the world has Trump to contend with.

What is your plan to be inclusive of the victims of the changing economy. Further, what will you do to ensure that , as we transition to a renewable energy-based economy from a fossil fuel economy, displaced energy workers will not lose their homes and the means to support their families.

The NDP must not repeat the errors of the Dems in the U.S. who pretty much handed Trump the keys to the White House.


I agree with alan and Geoff.  Make the rich pay, as the Maoists used to say.

In terms of green jobs and physical and social accessibility, what steps can the federal government take alongside provinces, cities and towns, to enhance public transport (even in smaller cities and towns) and active transport (facilitating safe walking, cycling and use of mobility devices)? I live in a district where my Federal MP is NDP, my Québec MNA is Solidaire and my mayor and council are Projet Montréal. All of these are committed to enhancing public and active transport, and making pedestrians (including mobility device and vehicle users) and cyclists safer.

The other aspect of this issue is social mobility: many poor people have to severely ration bus, tram and metro tickets even in cities where public transport exists. The ideal solution is free-upon-use public transport, but a transitional measure could be free or greatly reduced fares for people under a certain income level, whether or not they are working.


What is your position regarding the importance of balancing budgets and how that policy consideration relates to and is prioritized with other policy objectives?


What are the lessons to be learned from the 2015 election and other previous elections?


Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Niki. Many Albertans (particularly in southern Alberta) continue to suffer serious economic hardship due to the collapse of the oil industry. Much more needs to be done on a federal level in order to stimulate the growth of other industries - green energy, technology, arts & entertainment industries, etc... The Notley NDP government has done some work in this area, but is hampered by huge budgetary problems, and has not received much help from the federal Liberal government. Do you consider Alberta's needs to be of significant concern for your vision of the NDP? Would you target investment to help grow and diversify the Alberta economy in new directions?


Thanks Alan, Geoff, JKR and R.E. Wood.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

In his book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" the economist Thomas Piketty concludes that economic inequality cannot be reversed without a progressive wealth tax. Would you consider creating a federal wealth tax?


Thank you Michael.

Todrick of Chat...

My question relates to foreign policy and defence. If you are elected would you conduct an official criminal investigation into the Afghan Detainee scandal against all politicians, government and military personnel involved? Would you then prosecute all those that have committed war crimes or broke the Geneva Conventions?


Thanks T of C!

Mighty Middle

Opps sorry wrong  thread


In your campaign launch speech you stated “You privatize it? We nationalize it". Which specific industries or infrastructure do you plan to nationalize if elected prime minister (apart from the port of Churchill Manitoba which you've advocated for)?

Would the establishment of a publicly owned telecommunications provider for phone and internet service be under consideration?

Sean in Ottawa

Thanks for answering questions.

How would you avoid the kind of disconnect we have seen between the leadership and membership of the party? What specific things would you consider to protect the grass-roots influence on policy both between and during elections?


Michael Moriarity wrote:

In his book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" the economist Thomas Piketty concludes that economic inequality cannot be reversed without a progressive wealth tax. Would you consider creating a federal wealth tax?


From her site: 

Niki Ashton wrote:
Introduce a progressive wealth tax on millionaires and billionaires. This measure would put a tax of 1% on assets of those with a net worth of $1 million, progressively rising to 1.5% for those with a net worth of $10 million or more. The value of principal residences will be exempt to protect the working and middle class. This kind of tax has proven successful in France, Spain and Norway. Revenue generated: $3 billion.


Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Thanks for pointing that out, mark. I guess my question has been answered.


Margaret Wente wouldn't like that; see her latest sloppy column, if you can stomach it. She is complaining on behalf of her dentist (whose expensive studies were mostly paid by the public...). Puir dear.


Has the date changed, or am I just in the wrong time zone?


cco wrote:

Has the date changed, or am I just in the wrong time zone?

Leaders. Gotta love 'em. Gotta follow 'em. Plus ça change.

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