Anne McGrath wants to know my priorities, and she's given me a list to choose from

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Cody87

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I get that you only consider your views and priorities as not boring but give it a rest.

I don't need your trust. [...]

You do not need to agree but please stop telling people their opinions have no place here.

You seem filled with resentment against me. I don't understand, given my efforts to keep you on this board. I was going to make this a private message, but it's getting more and more difficult to ignore your bizarre attacks on me.

And yeah, Sean, nothing whatsoever has changed about Mulcair since the election, during the campaign, before the campaign. I have no problem debating your sudden "hell hath no fury" disengagement with him - but you've started that self-same conversation in many threads. Try to discuss in a more orderly fashion. I don't want to ban your opinions. I just don't particularly feel like drowning in them.

The same discussion is occuring in a number of threads.

It is a priority as I have explained.

I find you really do go after not just the opinions you don;t like but the legitimacy of them as well. That is the reason I have responded more harshly to them. Have a look at the high handed way you write some of these. I write my opinions with passion and go after other people as well but I don't ask people to shut up which is really what you are doing. You have been doing this a lot. I don't think it serves your arguments well.

My "attacks" on you are not bizarre if you kindly refer to your previous post to see why. Imagine how your post would be taken. You seek all-to-often not just to disagree with opinions you do not like -- which I am all for -- but to delegitimize them. When you do this to me, I am liable to attack you.

Hope that helps.

He created a thread that has nothing to do with Mulcair. Mulcair's leadership was brought into the thread. He pointed out that Mulcair's leadership is already being discussed in a number of other threads, some created for that purpose and others where it hasn't belonged. All he's asking in this case is that we stay on topic and keep questions of Mulcair's leadership to other threads. Why do we need to debate it in every thread?

Recall your reaction to Pondering when I asked about what happened between Layton and Martin in late 2005 and that derailed 3 or 4 threads. The same thing is happening now with the question of Mulcair's continued leadership.

Sean in Ottawa

Cody87 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I get that you only consider your views and priorities as not boring but give it a rest.

I don't need your trust. [...]

You do not need to agree but please stop telling people their opinions have no place here.

You seem filled with resentment against me. I don't understand, given my efforts to keep you on this board. I was going to make this a private message, but it's getting more and more difficult to ignore your bizarre attacks on me.

And yeah, Sean, nothing whatsoever has changed about Mulcair since the election, during the campaign, before the campaign. I have no problem debating your sudden "hell hath no fury" disengagement with him - but you've started that self-same conversation in many threads. Try to discuss in a more orderly fashion. I don't want to ban your opinions. I just don't particularly feel like drowning in them.

The same discussion is occuring in a number of threads.

It is a priority as I have explained.

I find you really do go after not just the opinions you don;t like but the legitimacy of them as well. That is the reason I have responded more harshly to them. Have a look at the high handed way you write some of these. I write my opinions with passion and go after other people as well but I don't ask people to shut up which is really what you are doing. You have been doing this a lot. I don't think it serves your arguments well.

My "attacks" on you are not bizarre if you kindly refer to your previous post to see why. Imagine how your post would be taken. You seek all-to-often not just to disagree with opinions you do not like -- which I am all for -- but to delegitimize them. When you do this to me, I am liable to attack you.

Hope that helps.

He created a thread that has nothing to do with Mulcair. Mulcair's leadership was brought into the thread. He pointed out that Mulcair's leadership is already being discussed in a number of other threads, some created for that purpose and others where it hasn't belonged. All he's asking in this case is that we stay on topic and keep questions of Mulcair's leadership to other threads. Why do we need to debate it in every thread?

Recall your reaction to Pondering when I asked about what happened between Layton and Martin in late 2005 and that derailed 3 or 4 threads. The same thing is happening now with the question of Mulcair's continued leadership.

How do you say this thread has nothing to do with Mulcair's leadership.

It is a question to members of their priorities.

1) I am a member

2) My priority is to see Mulcair either declare he will not try to remain as leader for 2019 or to go

3) I have no confidence that any other priority I have related to what happened can be examined while he is leader.

So explain to me how this is not relevant.

swallow

Relevant or not, do we all need to say the same thing and post the same links in multiple threads? Is it that important to do so? Is it an outrage to be asked to refrain in one thread? 

A party led by Ruth Ellen Brosseau, or Nathan Cullen, or Wonder Woman, would be no different from a Mulcair-led party if it remains a cult on the scale of the "Tom's Plan" party. Which, as I understand it and as the survey seems to show, is Anne and Brad's plan, rather than a plan generated by the memebrship of the party. 

Is it possible to have a small space that is not about ditching the current leader, and in fact not about the party leader at all? That's all that's being asked. 

Sean in Ottawa

swallow wrote:

Relevant or not, do we all need to say the same thing and post the same links in multiple threads? Is it that important to do so? Is it an outrage to be asked to refrain in one thread? 

A party led by Ruth Ellen Brosseau, or Nathan Cullen, or Wonder Woman, would be no different from a Mulcair-led party if it remains a cult on the scale of the "Tom's Plan" party. Which, as I understand it and as the survey seems to show, is Anne and Brad's plan, rather than a plan generated by the memebrship of the party. 

Is it possible to have a small space that is not about ditching the current leader, and in fact not about the party leader at all? That's all that's being asked. 

It is possible other leaders would recreate the same thing sure. But the current leader will not do something different.

Sorry but there is no point in me participating then. I am not incredibly interested in a fantasy about what kind of renewal democracy and grassroots vision a Mulcair NDP will bring. I heard enough from him after the election. So count me out. Not becuase I would not like to see good things but I don't have the time to shoot the shit speculating on the idea that the present leadership will make any difference at all. The members have to take the party back and changing the leadership is central to that. There is no limited discussion that offers me any hope at all.

I think there are others who might not be incredibly interested in a Mulcair-led review of the party handled by the usual suspects based in the context of Mulcair saying he will run again. But even if everyone is happy to indulge this new fund-raising campaign, what is the point of any effort. They want the donation and the opinion can be detached and filed efficiently.

Anyway -- this is what I might say to anyone asking my opinion. On the other hand with the leadership off the table and the prospect of Mulcair staying perhaps it is best to wait and see if there is anything to vote for in the next election.

I have done my share of reaching out to the party with opinions and suggestions and support. I don't think they care. the process of writing something that will be likely filtered and thrown out does not appeal and depending on where the convention is it is not as if I would likely afford to go. A message asking me to mail in my opinion with a donation is not really appealing since it would go to the same old crew.

And what kind of thing could I say about democracy and respect for members and listening to members and respecting the platform rather than a focus on negative attacks (many of which were petty) that I have not said before?

What really can I add to what I have already said in detail when I have no faith in the current leadership to care. So, if I can't raise the leadership as the central problem here there is little left other than a vote of no confidence in the process and a lack of trust that anything I (or anyone else) might say would be listened to.

My opinion is that this is the next fund-rasing campaign designed to make us feel like we matter so we donate. By placing the same people who drove the bus off the cliff in charge of the question, the result is mostly predetermined. Many who might have something to say won't participate and those who do likely won't be paid any attention to.

 

Debater

swallow wrote:

A party led by Ruth Ellen Brosseau, or Nathan Cullen, or Wonder Woman, would be no different from a Mulcair-led party if it remains a cult on the scale of the "Tom's Plan" party. Which, as I understand it and as the survey seems to show, is Anne and Brad's plan, rather than a plan generated by the memebrship of the party. 

Anne & Brad were a big part of developing the plan for the Layton NDP.  (Along with Brian Topp.)

If you have a chance to read "Power Trap" by Paul Adams, it includes a section which explains that McGrath, Lavigne, Topp, etc. decided that they wanted to put pragmatism ahead of ideology.

They wanted to move away from the left-wing NDP base and more towards the center in an effort to win over centrist voters.  Layton was on board with this too, so it didn't just start with Mulcair.

Anyway, it is an interesting book because Adams wrote it for both NDPers & Liberals after the 2011 Harper Majority as a warning to both parties to get their acts together and stop fighting each other and focus on the Conservatives.

It includes a lot of tough criticism for Liberals & NDPers.  It documents the challenges of both parties and the reason why the Liberals collapsed over the past decade (eg. civil war between Chretien & Martin, declining Liberal base, scandals, outdated fundraising structure, etc.)

Of course since that time, Trudeau & his team were able to reverse many of those problems and go on to win a Majority this year, but it still is a valuable read for Liberals & NDPers of the type of problems both parties have gotten themselves into over the years.

newvoice.ca newvoice.ca's picture

I have found this to be a fascinating thread.

Geoff wrote:

I would be thrilled to be proven wrong. However, we face a huge challenge, which is re-think the party from the ground up. I don't know if the party's vested interests have the stomach for such a re-think. 

Yes, we need to re-think the party from the ground up, and I agree that the leadership is not interested in doing so.

Unionist wrote:

I agree with everything you said. But I would add: I don't know if the party's members have the stomach for such a re-think. They have shown precious few signs of independent life or thought for many years now.

So, your statement is very insightful, I think. Even a re-think "from the ground up" would require a green light from the heavens down.

I think there are a lot of party members that do have the stomach for such a re-think. And more people who might come back if they see such a re-think occurring.

I think for many members it is not a lack of stomach but of infrastructure to communicate among ourselves. Maybe that won’t be much of an obstacle very longer.

Why do you say that a re-think “from the ground up” would require a green light from the leadership? Is it a capacity issue?  Or do you mean that the re-thinking initiatives will hit the wall of the conformist party culture?

JKR wrote:

With very convenient modern day Internet communication capabilities it would probably be easy to open up many of the NDP's proceedings to the entire membership. This would include the vote on whether to have a leadership convention. Maybe entire NDP policy conventions could be put on the internet where all members could participate? This would allow many people to participate who cannot currently afford to or just don't have the available time.

It would be very easy to do all of that. And not that expensive either.

But this is likely a non-starter with the leadership. I think it is a bit too scary for them to think about opening things up that much. And there are also some arguably valid reasons not to—namely that it might disenfranchise non-technological members.

But, the technology is not going anyway, and for the near future at least, it’s probably getting better and cheaper. If 15 years from now the NDP is still not voting on policy resolutions online then we will be obsolete. For now, there’s enough fear of technology to mask the fact that fear of openness is the real issue.

But, there’s no reason why the exact system you describe couldn’t be accomplished by an enthusiastic membership.

I think there is an issue with the focus as well. The campaign consultants come in a year before the election, and they’re focussed on the campaign. The campaign focuses on identifying supporters and voters, pushing messages out to them, and requesting donations. It’s a top down, one-to-many process, and these top-down people are doing the top-down jobs they were hired to do. Sure, any campaign can be criticized on its own merit, but I don’t see any scenario where the campaign staff are the same people managing the online policy resolution process.

Maybe campaign culture itself is the problem, but I don’t see any scenario where campaigns aren’t important. Appraise the consultants for how well they are doing their top-down jobs, but responsibility for making sure that the grassroots is in control of the party should lie with the membership.

jjuares wrote:

I want a change in leadership but I worry if we focus on that too much other needed changes will be missed. I believe we need to introduce democracy into the NDP. 

Me too, introducing more democracy is necessary.

Caissa wrote:

I don't think another NPI is in the works.

Why not?

Unionist wrote:

But "introduce democracy into the NDP"? Let me know when that's done. I'll be back in full dress colours. This business of changing leaders, or picking different platform promises... that's blowin' in the wind. Give control to the members, and I'll show you a hurricane.

The members need to take control.  I don’t think they will be given it.  I can see a hurricane too.

Democracy is hard work though and can take a whole lot of time. And requires a lot of people engaged. Hopefully you would not wait until it is 100% complete to take part.

DaveW wrote:

in Saturday 14th Star and Globe both Chantal Hebert and Adam Radwanski point out that the NDP has no plans for a thorough election review or leadership assesment

If they’re not going to do it, at least they’re not stopping others.

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Imagine a party with the word democratic in its name actually being a grass roots democratic organization. The NDP has never been a grass roots party. I have seen the party up close and personal in three provinces and the insiders control everywhere.

Sadly, this is also what I have seen, although I have much less experience than you.

jjuares wrote:

For me replacing Mulcair is axiomatic and not really worth discussing. My focus is on the internal democracy or the lack of it in this party. This election I canvassed for two candidates, both of them were good individuals who worked hard and deserved better. From what I see the grassroots is shell shocked and not ready to consider much. The one good thing about this loss is that it might make the membership ready to start questioning some of the decisions made this campaign.

Hopefully.

Unionist wrote:

By the way, I'm going to write to Anne McGrath again and ask whether the party will agree to make the survey results public - and I mean totally public (minus people's names of course) - it's easy to create a quick database linked from the party website where you can browse comments, or search for particular terms, etc.

Don't you think the NDP should do this exercise in public? Would be a good step in the direction of democracy and transparency.

I think that if it doesn't, the public will be doing its own assessment, and it won't be favourable.

Yes, it’s easy to do that.  I do think that this exercise ought to be done openly.

But I think you have set up a false dichotomy. Either the party leadership conducts an open public review or the public will tune out for good. There is middle ground. The review can be done openly and in public without having to be conducted by the leadership. If the members and the supporters are waiting for the party leadership to handle the open review then we may as well roll over.

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I agree about the second comment. I disagree with the first becuase I have no faith that the current leadership will do this properly. I now see a change in leadership as a prerequisite to a real examination of what has happened and where we need to go.

A change in leadership may be a necessary condition for a real examination but it is not a sufficient condition. An NDP grassroots powerful enough to oust Mulcair should have the capacity to conduct a real examination. What has happened and where do we need to go?

newvoice.ca newvoice.ca's picture

NDP members and supporters who are interested in participating in an open and public election review are welcome to do so at New Voice.

Here, I've gotten things started off - Which factors were most significant to the NDP coming in third in the election?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
My idea was rather to look at the comments people make in the feedback box(es), rather than the stupid multiple-choice questions based on NDP election promises.

That they used M/C questions may have just been some survey methodology or design.

The M/C questions can be mechanically tablulated.  Open-ended questions, if they're actually going to be analyzed (rather than, for example, simply "read" or even "skimmed") have to be laboriously "coded" using a rubric of keywords and such.

So it still could be an unwillingness to listen, but it could also be an attempt to save some time and money.

Unionist

Yeah, Magoo, saving time and money. That's what I love about the NDP.

No, actually, all their multiple choice questions were based on their pre-determined platform issues. You know, the platform issues which were contrary to their deleted censored policy book as decided by convention. Their platform issues which won them their rich defeat in the election.

We are dealing here with people who need to have their asses hurled out of the party in order for any progress to be made.

Unfortunately, to date, the "members" have no taste to do anything but tinker around the edges.

Sadly, it seems this party is finished.

 

scott16

Unionist wrote:

Yeah, Magoo, saving time and money. That's what I love about the NDP.

No, actually, all their multiple choice questions were based on their pre-determined platform issues. You know, the platform issues which were contrary to their deleted censored policy book as decided by convention. Their platform issues which won them their rich defeat in the election.

We are dealing here with people who need to have their asses hurled out of the party in order for any progress to be made.

Unfortunately, to date, the "members" have no taste to do anything but tinker around the edges.

Sadly, it seems this party is finished.

 

So you know every single party member of the NDP?

Unionist

scott16 wrote:

So you know every single party member of the NDP?

No, Scott, I don't. But during the election campaign, and before, horrible things happened. Candidates were banned for telling the truth. The party adopted shameful right-wing positions. And I saw zero, no, nada, pushback from the membership. Some member was upset? Glad to hear it. But until it goes big, and viral, I will continue to be convinced that the membership is as abused and bullied and silenced as they have been for the 40 or so years since I let my membership lapse. You know - like Libby Davies. Shut up and fuck off. It's very sad, my friend. Principle requires courage. I don't see it. Show me. I'll be overjoyed to be proven wrong.

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I have had to study hurricanes for work. Their severity is dependent on a few factors. It is a very efficient system for transferring energy from a wide field to a narrow one, however the main concern is maintaining stability in the system. The 'cloud top' (distance to the ground) variable is very important. 

Unionist

So Rebecca Blaikie (not Anne McGrath) replied to my survey submission. Did anyone get an English version?

Anyway, it's polite and provides some information about what respondents considered to be priority issues going forward. She says that a majority of respondents agreed on certain priorities, and that we respect the opinions of those who don't agree with the majority. I haven't taken the time to check yet, but I do believe all the "priorities" were among those presented as mulitple choice questions in the survey. Not sure about the one of working together with the Liberal government on issues of common interest etc., while still holding it to account - 78% said yes - but I think the party had already said (prior to asking the people) that it would do so.

Apparently, though, there were no critical comments about the party or its campaign that were deemed worthy of reporting. I guess doing that would be a sign of weakness?

Quote:

Les plus récents chiffres nous indiquent que plus de 24 000 Canadiens ont répondu à notre sondage sur l’élection. Merci pour votre honnêteté et vos idées.

Nous avons lu vos commentaires au cours de la fin de semaine et avons compilé les résultats pour les partager avec vous.

La santé est l’enjeu qui vous tient le plus à cœur. 97 % des répondants ont indiqué qu’il est important d’avoir plus de médecins pour améliorer les soins de santé, des médicaments d’ordonnance abordables et un meilleur accès aux soins à domicile. Nous sommes d’accord.

Vous avez aussi mentionné que les garderies, la réforme électorale, la création d'emplois, l’environnement et établir une relation de nation à nation avec les Premières Nations, les Inuits et les Métis sont des enjeux importants pour vous. Soyez assuré qu’ils le sont aussi pour nous et qu’ils vont continuer d’être une priorité pour le NPD.

En ce qui a trait à la question fondamentale portant sur la façon dont vous souhaitez que Tom Mulcair et le NPD travaillent avec le nouveau gouvernement, 78 % des répondants nous ont demandé de travailler avec le gouvernement sur des enjeux sur lesquels nous sommes d’accord, mais en lui demandant des comptes en tant qu’opposition progressiste.

Dans le cadre de cette élection, les libéraux ont fait un grand nombre de promesses ambitieuses, mais ils n’ont toujours pas de plan pour annuler les compressions que Stephen Harper a imposées à notre système de santé, pour donner une augmentation de salaire à 100 000 Canadiens qui travaillent fort pour joindre les deux bouts ou pour mettre en place un plus grand nombre de places en garderie de qualité et abordables. Ils ne demanderont pas non plus aux grandes sociétés les plus rentables de payer leur juste part.

Nous allons continuer de mettre ces enjeux à l’avant-plan.

Alors que la majorité s’entend sur ces priorités, nous respectons l’opinion de ceux et celles qui ne sont pas d’accord.

Une importante conférence internationale sur les changements climatiques aura lieu ce mois-ci et le gouvernement doit établir des objectifs de réduction des émissions de carbone. Le Parlement rependra ses travaux sous peu et le NPD doit s’assurer qu’un plan concret pour les atteindre sera adopté.

Merci!

Solidairement,

Rebecca

ETA: Oh hey, just found the English version... thanks Dr. Dawg! I'm including his introductory comment.

Quote:

I publish this, in its entirety, without comment, other than to report that tears are running down my cheeks—but from grief or helpless near-hysterical laughter, I cannot tell. Sometimes, I am reliably informed, the two spring from the same source.

**

Friend,

At last count, more than 24,000 Canadians participated in our election survey. Thank you for your honesty and insight.

Our team spent some time this weekend reading through the comments, and putting together these results to share.

Health care topped the list of issues you care most about. 97% said improving health care with more doctors, affordable prescription drugs, and better access to home care is important. We agree.

You also shared that jobs, childcare, electoral reform, the environment, and building a Nation-to-Nation relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples are important to you, and they will continue to be top priorities for the NDP moving forward.

On the key question of how you’d like to see Tom Mulcair and the NDP work with this new government, 78% asked us to work with the government on issues we agree on, but hold them to account as the progressive opposition.

In this election, the Liberals made ambitious promises, but they still don’t have a plan to reverse Stephen Harper’s cuts to health care, give 100,000 hard-working Canadians a raise, or bring in affordable childcare and more quality spaces. And they won’t ask the largest, most profitable corporations to pay their fair share.

We will continue putting those issues front and center.

While the majority agreed on these priorities, we respect the opinions of those who disagreed. We’ll look for ways to incorporate your feedback to shape the plan going forward.

A critical, international climate change conference is set for later this month, and the government must establish firm targets to reduce carbon pollution. Parliament will resume shortly after that and our NDP team has a key role to play.

Thanks and solidarity,

Rebecca

Rebecca Blaikie
President
Canada’s New Democrats

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Yes, here it is (I received it even though I did not reply to the survey):

Rebecca Blaikie wrote:

Michael,

At last count, more than 24,000 Canadians participated in our election survey. Thank you for your honesty and insight.

Our team spent some time this weekend reading through the comments, and putting together these results to share.

Health care topped the list of issues you care most about. 97% said improving health care with more doctors, affordable prescription drugs, and better access to home care is important. We agree.

You also shared that jobs, childcare, electoral reform, the environment, and building a Nation-to-Nation relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples are important to you, and they will continue to be top priorities for the NDP moving forward.

On the key question of how you'd like to see Tom Mulcair and the NDP work with this new government, 78% asked us to work with the government on issues we agree on, but hold them to account as the progressive opposition.

In this election, the Liberals made ambitious promises, but they still don't have a plan to reverse Stephen Harper's cuts to health care, give 100,000 hard-working Canadians a raise, or bring in affordable childcare and more quality spaces. And they won't ask the largest, most profitable corporations to pay their fair share.

We will continue putting those issues front and center.

While the majority agreed on these priorities, we respect the opinions of those who disagreed. We'll look for ways to incorporate your feedback to shape the plan going forward.

A critical, international climate change conference is set for later this month, and the government must establish firm targets to reduce carbon pollution. Parliament will resume shortly after that and our NDP team has a key role to play.

Thanks and solidarity,

Rebecca

Aristotleded24

Sounds very much like an e-mail that was sent out.

Why did the NDP not opt for policy consultations as is currently being done by its provincial counterparts in Manitoba? It takes time to assess how things are going to play out.

Geoff

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Yes, here it is (I received it even though I did not reply to the survey):

Rebecca Blaikie wrote:

Michael,

At last count, more than 24,000 Canadians participated in our election survey. Thank you for your honesty and insight.

Our team spent some time this weekend reading through the comments, and putting together these results to share.

Health care topped the list of issues you care most about. 97% said improving health care with more doctors, affordable prescription drugs, and better access to home care is important. We agree.

You also shared that jobs, childcare, electoral reform, the environment, and building a Nation-to-Nation relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples are important to you, and they will continue to be top priorities for the NDP moving forward.

On the key question of how you'd like to see Tom Mulcair and the NDP work with this new government, 78% asked us to work with the government on issues we agree on, but hold them to account as the progressive opposition.

In this election, the Liberals made ambitious promises, but they still don't have a plan to reverse Stephen Harper's cuts to health care, give 100,000 hard-working Canadians a raise, or bring in affordable childcare and more quality spaces. And they won't ask the largest, most profitable corporations to pay their fair share.

We will continue putting those issues front and center.

While the majority agreed on these priorities, we respect the opinions of those who disagreed. We'll look for ways to incorporate your feedback to shape the plan going forward.

A critical, international climate change conference is set for later this month, and the government must establish firm targets to reduce carbon pollution. Parliament will resume shortly after that and our NDP team has a key role to play.

Thanks and solidarity,

Rebecca

"We will continue putting those issues front and center." I agree with putting the issues up front; it's the 'centre' part I have trouble with.

J. Baglow J. Baglow's picture

My apologies--I put up my own topic concerning the response to the survey. Didn't see that this one had continued. My bad. Perhaps the mod will take mine down ("That NDP survey").

J. Baglow J. Baglow's picture

*

Unionist

Don't apologize! And thanks for this blog post last week:

[url=http://drdawgsblawg.ca/2015/11/google-2.shtml]NDP keeps digging[/url]

Quote:

The survey will sustain the High Command’s illusions until the report of the inquiry comes out in January. And the latter will find, I can guarantee, that no serious errors were made, and that, as a commenter here put it, the NDP, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, did really well in the second period.

Reflection? Self-criticism? Hey, that’s for losers.

Good prediction!

Geoff

I found the form letter I received from the party insulting. It shows that the party poobahs have absolutely no respect for the membership. 

Rather than wring our hands about whether or not the leader should step down, I'd rather use the opportunity in Edmonton to clean house at the party executive level. We need new leadership within the party.

If the same people are running the show in 2019, I think we might as well sit out the next election. The current party elite is incapable of learning from its mistakes, because the mucky-mucks at the top don't seem to think they've made any.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
At last count, more than 24,000 Canadians participated in our election survey. Thank you for your honesty and insight.

The "multiple choice" answers from 24,000 respondents can be compiled by even an old desktop computer in under 30 seconds.

The "open ended" answers, not so much.  Sure, those staff or volunteers who are tasked with coding them up and inputting them could say now and again "Hey, here's a really interesting one!" or whatever, but of course there's no methodological validity to that.

Again, if you wish to believe that the party is corrupt, or uninterested in real criticism, or determined to keep Mulcair as leader or whatever, please feel free.  But if you're going to administer a survey to 24,000 respondents and then release results in just over a week, "keeping the real truth from coming out" isn't the ONLY reason you might go with multiple choice questions.

 

Unionist

So Magoo - if they made the actual survey responses totally public, searchable, viewable... you know, like, the, uhhh, MSM does with their comments sections... that would be technologically unfeasible, right? Beyond the capability of the inner-circle desktop computer operators, right?

I sent a message asking them to make all the survey responses publicly available. I suggested that here on [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/anne-mcgrath-wants-to-know-my-... 15[/url], as an upward scroll will confirm.

What would be your objection to a relatively simple (5 minutes?) gesture like that?

I know what the NDP's objection would be. People would find shit out.

But how about yours?

 

wage zombie

They could easily make a tag cloud of the open responses.  Show which words appear in the most responses.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
What would be your objection to a relatively simple (5 minutes?) gesture like that?

It wouldn't be a 5 minute gesture, but once the responses were in a database it would defintely be feasible.  No objections from me -- I'm not out to suppress the truth or whatever.

Quote:
They could easily make a tag cloud of the open responses.  Show which words appear in the most responses.

I'm sure the words "the" and "election" and "NDP" would be writ large.  But more to the point, what does it mean if the word "bad" appears in large font in this tag cloud?  Or the word "mistake"?

wage zombie

Quote:
They could easily make a tag cloud of the open responses.  Show which words appear in the most responses.

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I'm sure the words "the" and "election" and "NDP" would be writ large.  But more to the point, what does it mean if the word "bad" appears in large font in this tag cloud?  Or the word "mistake"?

That probably doesn't mean much, but comparing the relative sizes of "balanced budgets", "niqab", "change", "senate", "marijuana" likely would mean a lot.  The advantages of tag clouds is that they can be compiled very easily.

Of course what would mean the most is releasing the text of all the responses.  Anyone could then make tag clouds or any other type of demonstrative charts.  If the NDP staff do not have the capacity to process and interpret tens of thousands of responses then just release them and the crowd will take care of it.

Cody87

wage zombie wrote:

Of course what would mean the most is releasing the text of all the responses.  Anyone could then make tag clouds or any other type of demonstrative charts.  If the NDP staff do not have the capacity to process and interpret tens of thousands of responses then just release them and the crowd will take care of it.

But then they can't control the narrative.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That probably doesn't mean much, but comparing the relative sizes of "balanced budgets", "niqab", "change", "senate", "marijuana" likely would mean a lot.  The advantages of tag clouds is that they can be compiled very easily.

The problem with tag clouds such as this is that one respondent saying "I think Mulcair should have opposed the niqab" and another saying "I'm glad the NDP supported my right to wear a niqab" = two tag cloud "votes" for the word "niqab".

Cody87

It is interesting that the impression I'm getting from most posters in this thread is that the NDP will not release the free comments because the free comments are likely critical.

I find this interesting because I imagine that the most critical responders, like myself, self-selected out of the survey rather than complete it. I'd like to know how many unique visitors opened the survey but never completed it.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
What would be your objection to a relatively simple (5 minutes?) gesture like that?

It wouldn't be a 5 minute gesture, but once the responses were in a database it would defintely be feasible.  No objections from me -- I'm not out to suppress the truth or whatever.

Quote:
They could easily make a tag cloud of the open responses.  Show which words appear in the most responses.

I'm sure the words "the" and "election" and "NDP" would be writ large.  But more to the point, what does it mean if the word "bad" appears in large font in this tag cloud?  Or the word "mistake"?

or "right" and "balanced budgets?"

I think if the party took it there are opportunities for a reael investigation into innovative policies. I would prefer a series of townhalls (can be virtual) where input from members can come to a series of policy themes. I don't see a survey as enough to get real sustained engagement or accountability.

Unionist

Cody87 wrote:

It is interesting that the impression I'm getting from most posters in this thread is that the NDP will not release the free comments because the free comments are likely critical.

At least, in the NDP, there are enough members and supporters of principle that there is a chance of inspiring them to demand transparency and democracy. This could never happen in the Liberal party, because members have no say in it - or let me say, even less of a say than in the NDP.

But I don't know how you conclude that "the free comments are likely critical". Guesswork is poor work. Transparency, openness to change, openness to real democracy, is vital. It eliminates the need for guesswork.

There is hope (however small) for the NDP. But it requires members to take control. And to send the despotic little dictators packing. I'm sure the Liberal or Conservative party will gobble them up.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
or "right" and "balanced budgets?"

Yes.  That these terms might appear in someone's comments doesn't differentiate between the respondents being for them or against them.

Quote:
I think if the party took it there are opportunities for a reael investigation into innovative policies.

Maybe they will and maybe they won't.  But it'll take more than a week for 24,000 open-ended responses to be properly coded and analysed.

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

Cody87 wrote:

It is interesting that the impression I'm getting from most posters in this thread is that the NDP will not release the free comments because the free comments are likely critical.

At least, in the NDP, there are enough members and supporters of principle that there is a chance of inspiring them to demand transparency and democracy. This could never happen in the Liberal party, because members have no say in it - or let me say, even less of a say than in the NDP.

But I don't know how you conclude that "the free comments are likely critical". Guesswork is poor work. Transparency, openness to change, openness to real democracy, is vital. It eliminates the need for guesswork.

There is hope (however small) for the NDP. But it requires members to take control. And to send the despotic little dictators packing. I'm sure the Liberal or Conservative party will gobble them up.

 

In a practical sense how do you gather this strength? I think this is true of all parties but members can feel isolated. They easily become observers with little choice beyond the party they get to choose. How do you build a bigger role?

In a utopian vision of a party you can imagine grass roots meetings-- people having their specialty areas of interest and expertise and working in that to propose ideas from the bottom up.

Aristotleded24

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I would prefer a series of townhalls (can be virtual) where input from members can come to a series of policy themes. I don't see a survey as enough to get real sustained engagement or accountability.

Especially with the results to be released in January, which means people will be distracted yet again by Christmas.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

In a practical sense how do you gather this strength? I think this is true of all parties but members can feel isolated. They easily become observers with little choice beyond the party they get to choose. How do you build a bigger role?

By defining party activity as more than fundraising and infrequent elections. Party members/supporters exist in real life - workplaces, schools, communities, movements of all kinds (peace, indigenous, women's, charitable, etc.). That's where social, political, human links can be formed in the course of actual real daily life. And that activity should be recognized and promoted as part of the party's activity. Not creating "cells" or sects, but members asking the party's help and support to put themselves and itself at the service of uniting people engaged in those day-to-day struggles.

Quote:
In a utopian vision of a party you can imagine grass roots meetings-- people having their specialty areas of interest and expertise and working in that to propose ideas from the bottom up.

Yes - see my first reply - and building from those grass roots contexts to wider meetings and conversations, including ultimately the electoral ones.

In the absence of that, election campaigns inevitably are run by some controlling elite - because members aren't engaged between elections, not in the real sense of working to change society and the world. And likewise with the statements, decisions, positions taken by the party - they drop from the heavens in the form of news releases from elected members or from the Leader. The rank and file has their say only during conventions, and convention policy (notwithstanding the unambiguous requirements of the constitution) are ignored, amended, or violated with impunity.

That's how I see a living party, one based on members who are engaged in life and struggle for change - and where their lives and daily involvement are recognized as an integral part of the party's life, not as something walled off and separate.

I understand that this means a very different kind of party - not necessarily in terms of its "policy" and philosophy and raison d'être, but in terms of who runs it and how it is relevant to people's lives.

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

In a practical sense how do you gather this strength? I think this is true of all parties but members can feel isolated. They easily become observers with little choice beyond the party they get to choose. How do you build a bigger role?

By defining party activity as more than fundraising and infrequent elections. Party members/supporters exist in real life - workplaces, schools, communities, movements of all kinds (peace, indigenous, women's, charitable, etc.). That's where social, political, human links can be formed in the course of actual real daily life. And that activity should be recognized and promoted as part of the party's activity. Not creating "cells" or sects, but members asking the party's help and support to put themselves and itself at the service of uniting people engaged in those day-to-day struggles.

Quote:
In a utopian vision of a party you can imagine grass roots meetings-- people having their specialty areas of interest and expertise and working in that to propose ideas from the bottom up.

Yes - see my first reply - and building from those grass roots contexts to wider meetings and conversations, including ultimately the electoral ones.

In the absence of that, election campaigns inevitably are run by some controlling elite - because members aren't engaged between elections, not in the real sense of working to change society and the world. And likewise with the statements, decisions, positions taken by the party - they drop from the heavens in the form of news releases from elected members or from the Leader. The rank and file has their say only during conventions, and convention policy (notwithstanding the unambiguous requirements of the constitution) are ignored, amended, or violated with impunity.

That's how I see a living party, one based on members who are engaged in life and struggle for change - and where their lives and daily involvement are recognized as an integral part of the party's life, not as something walled off and separate.

I understand that this means a very different kind of party - not necessarily in terms of its "policy" and philosophy and raison d'être, but in terms of who runs it and how it is relevant to people's lives.

Thank you for coming right back to who runs it.

Of course I agree with you and I think that a prerequisite to change starts with who runs it.

I also think that if we had a who runs it question this close to a campaign where the party was horribly out of touch, we might be more likely to have people raise these questions and make committments to runnign the party differently.

I do have some trouble with the idea that there can be ground up discussion in workplaces etc. I do think that this to some degree has to be encouraged. Just as you probabaly do not speak much when you are alone, people speak about political process more when they think someone who can make a difference -- their parties -- are listening.

I agree these processes are valuable but I think the way to kick start them is to have a leadership that engages with Members. I believe this is possible. A party that shares what people tell it and answers them is more democratic. The NDP, for example could create semi-moderated notice-boards to engage with members. This could be hosted right of the NDP.ca website. the leadership of the NDP can spend a certain amount of time talking to people. A party that does htis would be firmly in touch with the membership. You could limit the access to members or make access public and limit posting to members. You can moderate out the trolls quickly since they would have to pay membership to even get a shot.

But you need a leader wanting this kind of engagement and able to recognize the value and possibility.

So we come back to the leadership question which is where you came to-- reluctantly it seems.

swallow

A "living party" would have to be a mass-based scoial movement, which just happens to have a parliamentary wing. That's the vision of Quebec Solidaire. It was the vision of the New Politics Initiative. It informed the early CCF (farmer-labour-socialist), though the CCF moved away from it over time. It does not inform the NDP (or the micro-parties of the further left, either, of course). 

KenS

newvoice.ca wrote:

NDP members and supporters who are interested in participating in an open and public election review are welcome to do so at New Voice.

Here, I've gotten things started off - Which factors were most significant to the NDP coming in third in the election?

 

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Thank you for coming right back to who runs it.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. I meant: "Who runs it - some princeling, or the membership as a whole?" Replacing Mulcair with Riaclum won't change that. Members need to make the change. Not some new "leader".

KenS wrote:
newvoice.ca wrote:

Why do you say that a re-think “from the ground up” would require a green light from the leadership?

U. didnt reply to that.

Because I wasn't being clear. I never said or meant that I believed that a re-think should require a green light from the Dear Leader. I was bemoaning the status quo, where nothing whatsoever can ever happen without such a green light. What I advocate is that the only possible way this moribund dictatorial institution can change is if members take matters into their own hands - in some of the ways I've described above. I don't have all the answers. I do, however, know what the answer is NOT. It is NOT having another fashion show horse race leadership contest.

swallow wrote:
A "living party" would have to be a mass-based scoial movement, which just happens to have a parliamentary wing. That's the vision of Quebec Solidaire. It was the vision of the New Politics Initiative. It informed the early CCF (farmer-labour-socialist), though the CCF moved away from it over time. It does not inform the NDP (or the micro-parties of the further left, either, of course).

Exactly. Precisely. And more succinct than I was able to say it.

KenS

newvoice.ca wrote:

I have found this to be a fascinating thread.

 

Unionist wrote:

I agree with everything you said. But I would add: I don't know if the party's members have the stomach for such a re-think. They have shown precious few signs of independent life or thought for many years now.

So, your statement is very insightful, I think. Even a re-think "from the ground up" would require a green light from the heavens down.

I think there are a lot of party members that do have the stomach for such a re-think. And more people who might come back if they see such a re-think occurring.

Why do you say that a re-think “from the ground up” would require a green light from the leadership? Is it a capacity issue?  Or do you mean that the re-thinking initiatives will hit the wall of the conformist party culture?

U. didnt reply to that. But I think the simple answer is that under normal condidtions- business as usual- in practice nothing happens without a green light from the leadership. The many member and ex-member long time activists wanting a serious re-think are dispersed. People talk among thie friends and allies, but beyond that....

That said, I dont think it is at all doomed to stay that way. A great deal of it is inertia and lack of alternatives. To get started, we need a more dedicated forum than babble offers.

JKR

swallow wrote:

A "living party" would have to be a mass-based scoial movement, which just happens to have a parliamentary wing. That's the vision of Quebec Solidaire. It was the vision of the New Politics Initiative. It informed the early CCF (farmer-labour-socialist), though the CCF moved away from it over time. It does not inform the NDP (or the micro-parties of the further left, either, of course). 

Establishing a "living party" is difficult in Canada because our FPTP plurality system supports the success of "big tent" parties.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Unionist's idea to open a read-only version of such a survey to the population (in .xls format) is very good.

The problem is there is an internal hierarchy which is more concerned with its own survival than the well-being of the NDP. In Facebook terms, the NDP is being run as a page rather than a group. 

swallow

JKR wrote:
swallow wrote:

A "living party" would have to be a mass-based scoial movement, which just happens to have a parliamentary wing. That's the vision of Quebec Solidaire. It was the vision of the New Politics Initiative. It informed the early CCF (farmer-labour-socialist), though the CCF moved away from it over time. It does not inform the NDP (or the micro-parties of the further left, either, of course). 

Establishing a "living party" is difficult in Canada because our FPTP plurality system supports the success of "big tent" parties.

It sure doesn't help, does it? 

Geoff

montrealer58 wrote:

Unionist's idea to open a read-only version of such a survey to the population (in .xls format) is very good.

The problem is there is an internal hierarchy which is more concerned with its own survival than the well-being of the NDP. In Facebook terms, the NDP is being run as a page rather than a group. 

New Democrats should contact the party, en masse, and ask that the party publish the comments members made in the last section of the survey.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

From the look of it, the survey is open to anyone who has a web browser and an internet connection.

How would they (or we) differentiate between responses from members and responses from anyone else?

Geoff

Mr. Magoo wrote:

From the look of it, the survey is open to anyone who has a web browser and an internet connection.

How would they (or we) differentiate between responses from members and responses from anyone else?

Good point, but if non-members want to respond, that's fine by me. Who says we can't learn something from other folks?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Fair enough.  I also see no harm in it.

But if the results were published, and one of the comments was "I believe that Thomas Mulcair is completely unfit to lead Canada" then wouldn't it be helpful to know whether that was said by an NDP member, or by a stalwart Harper supporter?

Geoff

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Fair enough.  I also see no harm in it.

But if the results were published, and one of the comments was "I believe that Thomas Mulcair is completely unfit to lead Canada" then wouldn't it be helpful to know whether that was said by an NDP member, or by a stalwart Harper supporter?

I suspect there are probably members and non-members who hold that view, so I don't think it wouldn't really matter. Also, I'm sure Tom's defenders have a thick enough skin that such comments wouldn't bother them. That's politics.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Then what would be the point of publishing the results?  So we can see how much some die-hard Conservatives don't like Mulcair?  Or maybe it's NDP members who don't like him.  You really think the difference doesn't matter?

Unionist

The survey was sent to NDP donors/members - that's my assumption. The results of that survey should be published.

If random individuals can fill out the survey - publish that too. Keep it separate.

If they can't separate the two - then they're brain-dead. Cut off life support.

Next step - the party controllers (don't know exactly who elected/crowned them) should be available on a reasonable frequency on social media - like twitter - to answer questions from the public. Likewise with all MPs. Once a week, for an hour or two, isn't much to ask, is it? Considering that most of their time is spent sitting and voting as they're told in Ottawa, or else pretending to help constituents with problems.

 

 

mark_alfred

Mr. Magoo wrote:

From the look of it, the survey is open to anyone who has a web browser and an internet connection.

How would they (or we) differentiate between responses from members and responses from anyone else?

I don't think the surveys are anonymous.  So, correlating names of those doing the survey with the list of membership names wouldn't be too difficult.  Also, many members were emailed the link to the survey, and there could be tracking as to how the survey was accessed -- IE, if it was accessed via a specific email or not, or if instead the source was the internet (maybe google or twitter.)  I think tracking of sources is pretty common.

I think those who are not members, and specifically those who are members of another party, may be interested in seeing a weaker less effective leader.  It would be useful to be able to know whether it was a member of the NDP or not.  I imagine there would be a lot of spurious results from non-members.

ETA:  I think too that members who access the survey via an email link are provided with a more detailed thorough survey to any survey that is sourced via a general url on the internet.

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