The byelection is make or break for SIngh

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
The byelection is make or break for SIngh

If he loses in Burnaby, he HAS to stand down. immediately.  Losing in Burnaby would guarantee that there was no possibility of the NDP avoiding catastrophic losses with Singh as leader, possibly 1993-style catastrophic losses-and it took decades to recover from that.

The man has made no impression.  It looks as though he doesn't WANT to make an impression.  Yes, he won the leadership, but he's done nothing with it.  And the NDP, the only progressive major party in Canadian politics now, is now in a fight for survival.  

It Singh loses in the byelection, there is no case for him staying on as leader.  There is no HOPE for the party if he stays on after losing Burnaby.

It really is that simple.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I'll wait until the byelection result is known before I spend any energy thinking about what must happen immediately if Singh loses. In that event, people in positions of influence within the party will decide whether Singh must go before the general election. They probably won't pay much attention to those of us in the peanut gallery, and I can't be bothered haranguing them about it until it is actual, rather than hypothetical.

JeffWells

I'm beginning to wonder whether Singh would be relieved to lose the byelection, so he'd have an excuse to resign. At any rate, yes, he needs to resign if he loses, and if he hesitates then I hope he faces a substantial caucus revolt.

FWIW, today I received a constituency Christmas card from Niki Ashton, which struck me as unusual, since I'm thousands of miles from her constituency. I did, however, support her leadership bid, so it seems she's tending to that list in anticipation of a third run.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If there was a need to change leaders, Niki would be the only logical choice.  The need is to connect with the passionate, with the powerless, with the young.  The comfortable, complacent, cynical and dismissive are all going to vote Liberal or Conservative no matter what.

quizzical

there's no hope ken. he will not win. thankfully.

he should a switched back to his home town if he was serious about staying as leader or getting a seat. again thankfully his poor choices will move him along. 

 the NDP MPs lost are on him and i dislike him very much.

 

Mighty Middle

quizzical wrote:

he should a switched back to his home town if he was serious about staying as leader or getting a seat. again thankfully his poor choices will move him along.

That option is no longer available because the current MP (Raj Grewal) has changed his mind about resigning, and won't make a final decision until January. If he doesn't resign by January 20th, then by law the riding of Brampton East will remain vacant until the 2019 federal election.

Mighty Middle

From Chantal Hebert's column today "Singh, Scheer and Trudeau are facing tough times heading into an election year"

Only reposting the section on Jagmeet Singh

Unless Jagmeet Singh decides to take a proverbial walk in the snow over the holiday break, the New Democrats will use the first few months of the New Year focusing on getting their leader elected to the House of Commons.

More than a few NDP members — including too many for comfort in the federal caucus — would be just as happy to spend the time selecting someone else to lead them in next fall’s campaign. If Singh fails to hold the B.C. riding of Burnaby South in a byelection expected to be called for February they may still get their wish.

Win or lose though, the outcome of that vote will not necessarily provide the NDP with a magic bullet.

There is more wishful thinking than factual foundation for the notion that Singh’s absence from the House is mostly what is preventing the rookie NDP leader from dazzling so many of the party’s past supporters.

In similar circumstances, former prime minister Joe Clark — in his last political incarnation as the leader of a much weakened Progressive Conservative party — went the same route, belatedly entering the Commons shortly before the 2000 election.

In contrast with Singh, Clark was familiar with the ways of the House. He knew the complexities of national politics inside out. Still his commanding presence on the floor of the Commons before or for that matter after the 2000 election did not reverse his party’s flagging fortunes.

But those who see a silver lining in the scenario of a Singh byelection defeat are misguided if they believe it would not come at some collateral cost to the party.

The riding he is vying for is a hotbed of opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Losing to the pipeline-buying Liberals would deal a serious blow to NDP morale.

That the New Democrats are unable to speak with one voice on one of the defining federal-provincial issues of the current times, i.e. the reconciliation between Canada’s reliance on the fossil fuels industry for its prosperity and the fight against climate change makes for a malaise that a leadership change alone would not fix.

https://www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/2018/12/12/singh-sche...

UPDATE: Jagmeet Sighn was just on CTV and asked point blank about the by-election and he said he is feeling "confident" about winning in Burnaby.

lagatta4

Niki Ashton played a prominent role in the Progressive International gathering in Burlington Vermont, sitting beside Varoufakis. I'm still very sorry she didn't win.

R.E.Wood

More from Chantal Hebert - this "Anybody But Singh" movement is apparently gathering momentum. Here's quote and link:

Canada’s political upheaval is not done yet

No one, for instance, is taking for granted that Jagmeet Singh will still be leading the NDP by the time the general election comes around next fall. 

Even as Singh prepares to campaign for a B.C. seat in a byelection early next year, more and more New Democrats are musing about his abdication, followed by the quick coronation of someone who can save the party’s furniture next fall. 

The anybody-but-Singh movement has gathered much steam within NDP ranks this fall.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/12/14/canadas-polit...

 

Pondering

So it seems Singh was smart not to take the bait and switch seats, not that he will get credit for it.

Such confidence in the mainstream media. The NDP started splintering under Layton. It became worse under Mulcair but still under control. Now under Singh it seems worse than ever if the mainstream media is to be trusted and no signs of improvement for the future. Nikki Ashton doesn't have the support of the party. If she did she would have done better in the leadership race. Her popularity could grow but there are no signs of it happening to the extent that she could win the leadership nevermind the country.

I think "be careful what you wish for" may apply in this case. Constant criticism of Singh ensures his numbers will stay down. It appears NDP members/supporters want him to lose so not surprising if he loses. He can't win without the support of the party and it appears it is being withheld. Ditching Singh could drive NDP numbers down not up.

https://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/jagmeet-singh-got-lost-in-the-no...

Consider the day in late October when NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh stepped up to the microphone in the House of Commons foyer to urge the governing Liberals to sue drug companies for “meaningful restitution for the public costs” of the opioid epidemic. MP Don Davies, who was at Singh’s side as the NDP health critic, says he counted 28 questions from reporters at that media event—on issues ranging from caucus discipline to relations with Saudi Arabia—but not a single query on the actual idea Singh was pitching.

Some key elements of the platform Singh will run on are already falling into place. He emphasizes, for example, the party’s clear position that public insurance covering prescription drug costs should be built into universal health coverage. The Liberals will vie with him on this policy turf. Trudeau has assigned a former Ontario health minister, Eric Hoskins, to study pharmacare options. Singh is betting the Liberals will opt for, in his words, “a sort of patchwork plan,” allowing the NDP to pitch its version as more comprehensive.

His challenge on affordable housing—another core policy theme for Singh—is also to differentiate himself from a competing Liberal offer. Late last year, the Trudeau government announced a 10-year housing strategy, largely aimed at building and repairing affordable housing. But much of the money won’t flow immediately, including $4 billion to help lower-income families pay rent, which is slated to begin in 2020 and run until 2028. “The government hasn’t responded in a way that is proportional to how serious this is,” Singh says of the housing crunch. “They say it is a national crisis, but they make a plan to release funding after the election.”...

Yet Kurl is intrigued by signs that Singh is starting to stitch together a set of policies into a plausible NDP strategy for “seizing the urban narrative.” He’s stressing not only high housing costs, but also a broader sense of economic insecurity among younger Canadians. As well, Trudeau’s decision in early 2017 to break his 2015 campaign promise to usher in electoral reform might resonate among urban, left-leaning voters. “Where did Jagmeet Singh do well in terms of the leadership race? In the cities,” Kurl says. “So there is a play where the NDP goes hard in urban areas—Vancouver, Toronto—on housing issues, on democracy issues.”...

While he supports Trudeau’s carbon tax, he opposes the government’s policy of subsidizing big industrial greenhouse-gas emitters who would otherwise pay heavily. “On carbon pricing, we’ve talked about the importance of making sure the biggest polluters pay, not putting all the burden on everyday families,” he says.

I keep forgetting what's so bad about him.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

So, the NDP sent me its latest fundraising pitch a few minutes ago, with a link to this new, inspirational video by Jagmeet Singh. It is 100% feel-good bullshit, and 0% bold, left policy proposals. Prepare for annihilation.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

So, the NDP sent me its latest fundraising pitch a few minutes ago, with a link to this new, inspirational video by Jagmeet Singh. It is 100% feel-good bullshit, and 0% bold, left policy proposals. Prepare for annihilation.

Did they outsouce it to Hallmark Cards? That is some of the sappiest pap I have ever seen. I guess the braintrust in Ottawa thinks that if it worked for Trudeau it should work for Singh.

WWWTT

Thanks for sharing that Michael Moriarity.  This person has zero fire and zero inspiration. Also his voice doesn’t sound right. Like he is ill or recently had a cold? No excitement. 

Pondering

This is not the time for specific policy. He is introducing himself and in my opinion it was pretty good. Better than what Trudeau has done. Policy comes out closer to the election. This is the run up and he will be preoccupied with winning the seat in Burnaby. He named his priorities which seem to be in line with the NDP.

I understand that some supporters want to see policy now and wants the grassroots to be consulted more. I don't agree but I can certainly see the arguments for a different approach. Even so the approach Singh is taking is the norm including for the NDP. It seems to me he is being criticized for not changing the NDP into what some supporters want which is a more loudly leftest NDP. That isn't the platform he was elected on. He is more progressive than Mulcair was and he is more progressive than Trudeau.

At about this time before the 2015 election the Liberal party was grumbling about Trudeau.

Maybe my memory is faulty but I remember Mulcair getting more support.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I just knew that Pondering would defend this insipid piece of trash from Singh and his gang at the top of the NDP, because she just started paying attention to politics a few years ago, and thinks that every election is Trudeau in 2015. Plus, her attitude to policy is so cynical she thinks you have to hide your detailed plans until the campaign starts. What nonsense.

Mighty Middle

Michael Moriarity wrote:

So, the NDP sent me its latest fundraising pitch a few minutes ago, with a link to this new, inspirational video by Jagmeet Singh. It is 100% feel-good bullshit, and 0% bold, left policy proposals. Prepare for annihilation.

The video is marked "unlisted" - meaning that the general public cannot access the video through a YouTube search. The only way to access it is for people to be given the YouTube link directly. You would think they would want as many people as possible to see this, rather than restricting it to NDP supporters eyes only.

Pondering wrote:

This is not the time for specific policy. He is introducing himself and in my opinion it was pretty good. Better than what Trudeau has done. Policy comes out closer to the election. This is the run up and he will be preoccupied with winning the seat in Burnaby. He named his priorities which seem to be in line with the NDP.

The NDP criticized Justin Trudeau exactly four years ago for not having any policy and only speaking in platitudes. Now you are defending Jagmeet Singh for doing the exact same thing? You can't have it both ways.

robbie_dee

Pondering wrote:

I keep forgetting what's so bad about him.

His ham-handed expulsion of Erin Weir and general alienation of party supporters in Alberta and the prairies.

As Lorne Nystrom recently wrote:

Quote:

Singh avoided convention

D.C. Fraser’s Under the Dome column, Weird not seeing Weir at convention (Oct. 22) misses the more significant point that federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh did not attend the recent Saskatchewan NDP convention at all.

Traditionally, the federal leader addresses the provincial convention. In particular, one would expect the federal leader to be there in the year proceeding a federal election.

The vast majority of Saskatchewan New Democrats — including 68 former Saskatchewan MPs, MLAs and cabinet ministers — support Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir despite Singh’s attempt to banish him on a thin pretext.

Therefore, Jagmeet Singh would not have received a warm welcome at the Saskatchewan NDP convention, and stayed away.

Lorne Nystrom, Regina

Nystrom served as a New Democrat MP from Saskatchewan for more than 32 years. He is a member of Canada’s Privy Council.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The NDP under Layton and Mulcair spent all its political capital trying to attract voters like Pondering. Her and this incarnation of the party are a match made in Ottawa.  Those of us who voted for a party of conscience embodied by people like Bill Siksay have never expected that we would win a majority government. In 2015 the new voters were ready for real change and the NDP gave them platitudes and promises to study every problem they could imagine.

Pondering I wish you well in your endeavors. When I supported the NDP I volunteered prior to elections to make sure we could hit the ground running when the writ was dropped. I guess in January you will be starting to get your local NDP candidate elected.

bekayne

Pondering wrote:

 

At about this time before the 2015 election the Liberal party was grumbling about Trudeau.

They were also leading in the polls:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2015_Canadian_fede...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

This is not the time for specific policy. He is introducing himself and in my opinion it was pretty good. Better than what Trudeau has done. Policy comes out closer to the election. This is the run up and he will be preoccupied with winning the seat in Burnaby. He named his priorities which seem to be in line with the NDP.

I understand that some supporters want to see policy now and wants the grassroots to be consulted more. I don't agree but I can certainly see the arguments for a different approach. Even so the approach Singh is taking is the norm including for the NDP. It seems to me he is being criticized for not changing the NDP into what some supporters want which is a more loudly leftest NDP. That isn't the platform he was elected on. He is more progressive than Mulcair was and he is more progressive than Trudeau.

At about this time before the 2015 election the Liberal party was grumbling about Trudeau.

Maybe my memory is faulty but I remember Mulcair getting more support.

Singh has been leader for over a year now.  Why should he STILL be just introducing himself?  And if specific policies can't be introduced(btw, you do realize the man won't be able to win a by-election without making SOME sort of specific commitments, right?) than at LEAST Singh could be making it clear who's side he is on and who will be welcome and listened to within the party.

As to what the NDP is labeled, it's not so much about the party being "Left" as it is about the party having passionately expressed core values, fighting for the people the Liberals and the Conservatives ignore-let's face it, the NDP can never win the votes of large numbers of the economically comfortable or large numbers of those who place limiting change over all other values-those voters are always basically going to stay with the parties they now support, because well, why wouldn't they?

What is it that seems to so frighten you about the NDP being clearly different than the old parties?  About, for example, being a peace party when the Liberals and Conservatives are imperialist war parties?  About standing with those who are struggling rather than obsessing with reassuring those who are secure that nothing will ever really change?

And, with the party now around 11% in the polls, what is there to gain from staying the course?  Can you seriously argue that anything is going well when that's what the numerical evidence shows?

As to Mulcair, huge numbers of people turned on him when he made the stupid decision to center the balanced budget in his campaign message.  Many people on this site were begging him to reverse that and to put the proposals he had that actually were progressive in the forefront.  And many were demanding that the guy stand down as soon as the results were in, instead of trying to hang on when he knew that that showing meant he could never lead the party to a recovery in any future election and instead of hanging on an additional year as lame duck after the party convention voted that he go.  Mulcair was not given any special breaks.

I hope Singh does win the by-election.  He has to if he's to have any chance of leading the NDP to even a slightly respectable showing in the general election.  At this stage, it's looking like it will be a bloody miracle if the party saves even 20 seats(we can assume it can't gain any seats from any other party if it loses more than half of the seats it currently holds) and even one in Quebec.

I'd like to see the guy do better.  He needs to start trying and NOW.  

WWWTT

@ Ken Burch 

You’re being too critical of Singh at this point. You may have some points, but it’s just way too soon to attack him like the way you are now.  

There’s many things out of Singh’s control such as the corporate media. And the fact that he’s not of white European lineage etc etc. 

During the NDP leadership race I said it here on babble that Singh was too risky to be leading the party. And I’m sure if Singh does have to resign soon or after the election, the NDP will be adopting a similar method for voting for leaders from the conservatives based on ridings. 

Cut the guy some slack for now please, and you never know, if Singh does end up doing well, I’ll be here to remind you. 

wage zombie

Ken Burch wrote:

If he loses in Burnaby, he HAS to stand down. immediately.  Losing in Burnaby would guarantee that there was no possibility of the NDP avoiding catastrophic losses with Singh as leader, possibly 1993-style catastrophic losses-and it took decades to recover from that.

The man has made no impression.  It looks as though he doesn't WANT to make an impression.  Yes, he won the leadership, but he's done nothing with it.  And the NDP, the only progressive major party in Canadian politics now, is now in a fight for survival.  

It Singh loses in the byelection, there is no case for him staying on as leader.  There is no HOPE for the party if he stays on after losing Burnaby.

It really is that simple.

Ken, do you think there's essentially any difference between what you're saying about Singh and what nicky was saying about Corbyn?

Pondering

Mighty Middle wrote:

The NDP criticized Justin Trudeau exactly four years ago for not having any policy and only speaking in platitudes. Now you are defending Jagmeet Singh for doing the exact same thing? You can't have it both ways.

The NDP criticized him for having no policy. I am not the NDP. I said the same thing then as I am saying now. Even when he dropped into third place during the year before the election. Everyone was saying Trudeau was in a free fall and Mulcair was the rising star. Remember Mulcair's 5 policy planks: daycare, pharmacare, 15$ minimum wage and I can't remember the other two. He announced a year in advance saying people needed time to discuss policy. With the exception of people thinking the 15$ thing was bait and switch no big debate was started.

I said the "no policy" criticism would be pointless because he would obviously have a platform before the election. He had a huge team of economic types working on it for a year which included Freeland and Morneau. I said he was spending the two years polishing up, and that is exactly what he did. He gave the media virtually nothing to attack him on so the only criticisms could be "no policy" and "not ready". Both worked really well against Trudeau, until the starting gate was opened and he shot through. He even warned people before and after becoming Liberal leader that he liked being under-estimated, being the underdog. His poor speech habits lulled people into complacency.

I'm no fortune teller but I am pretty sure when the election rolls around the NDP will also have a platform and the platform will contain policy and Singh will be prepared to defend it.

Singh will not duplicate Trudeau's success because he is not running against Harper and Mulcair. He is running against Trudeau who is again strongly positioned going into his second term. Canadians usually give PMs a second term and get an itch for change between 8 and 10 years. At 12+ years that itch turns into the measles.

I get that many posters, many members of the NDP, want the NDP to move decisively farther left, embrace the Leap Manifesto or close to it. But that is way bigger than Singh. He was not elected leader to do that. The more progressive members of the party did not coalesce behind one candidate. Then there is the criticism that he signed up people in his geographic area and community unfairly swaying the results. Again, he played by NDP rules.

Cynical: believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.

I'm realistic not cynical. I believe that Trudeau is acting with sincerity and integrity. He is a man of his class with noblesse oblige. He wants history to give him good marks. He wants to behave morally and believes that he is. I think very few here would agree with me.

Everyone has a different "me first" or "me and mine first" line but we all have one and not just as individuals. As communities and provinces and countries we have them.

To get elected you first have to assure people you will provide whatever is in their "me first" section. Then you can say, "and oh, we also have to increase funding for FN education because they are being short-changed" or whatever else you are promoting.

Housing first programs are supported when people believe that it is cheaper than the cost of dealing with homelessness through shelters, police and hospital services. Bonus that it is also the right thing to do. Even if it cost a few % more people would likely support it because we like to think of ourselves as kind and moral people. So, to argue in support of housing first programs I would not focus on poor homeless people and their sob stories. I would focus on the costs associated with providing services to the homeless. I would emphasis that they aren't going to vanish into thin air so they have to be somewhere. The alternative is that they will be sleeping in the metro and huddled in doorways. What would be the per capita cost to people making 100K+ be to end homelessness in Canada? 50$ 500$ per year? More? People aren't given the information they need to make an informed value judgement. Is that cynical?

Putting immediate self-interest first doesn't have to mean not caring about others. Me first + feel good = votes. I don't think that is cynical. It's just realistic. As long as it isn't illegal or lying I don't see anything wrong with pointing out the collective benefits to people. Medicare was not sold as being good for poor people. People recognize it as a common good. We are very proud that in Canada poor people are equally covered but that isn't what sold the system and it isn't why it is so popular.

To state the obvious elections are about being elected. You get elected primarily on one or two key points. The rest is just background noise that has to be there. Once someone is elected most people stop paying attention. Look at all the outrageous crap Harper got away with from closing the Ontario experimental lakes program to buying off Duffy.

So yeah, do what you need to do to get elected then do what's right.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

I'm realistic not cynical. I believe that Trudeau is acting with sincerity and integrity. He is a man of his class with noblesse oblige. He wants history to give him good marks. He wants to behave morally and believes that he is. I think very few here would agree with me.

I think that this is a common opinion of Trudeau: that he cannot help being the way he is, that he is rather clueless in how he is out of touch, that he means well but really does not understand people who do not come from his level of privelege.

I agree with your assessment, although I might tend to put it more harshly. I am also very cynical about the Liberal party which is a marketing organization. I think they often are very good at their marketing but also believe their own propaganda which makes them unspeakably arrogant. This is very different from the nastiness of people like Harper but the result of arrogance, ignorance can be as bad for the people as nastiness at times.

All that said, I think the political class, generally, is very out of touch. They mostly believe their propaganda and sincerely believe that they are making the country better. Most do not have a clue but some have skills to make people think so.

Rarely does a person come along who is completely authentic and in touch. It may be hard to know even if we are right in this judgment. I cannot say that I truly felt this way about Layton. Some of these people I thought were authentic and aware were lousy politicians -- I met Audrey McLaughlin and felt that way about her but she did poorly in politics. I felt that way about Romeo Saganash. I felt that way about René Lévesque, Steven Langdon, Howard McCurdy....

 

 

JKR

I think there will be a very significant difference between Singh circa February 2019 and Trudeau circa all of 2015 if Singh loses the upcoming Burnaby by-election. Does anyone think Singh should hold on to his leadership if he loses his by-election bid even if that option is open to him?

cco

I do, and I ranked him last on my leadership ballot. It's a horrible precedent (as wage zombie so accurately pointed out) to set up that kind of condition for a leader staying on. If the NDP ever gets an actual left-wing leader, the party's right wing, in conjunction with the press, will set up the same kind of tests.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

cco wrote:
I do, and I ranked him last on my leadership ballot. It's a horrible precedent (as wage zombie so accurately pointed out) to set up that kind of condition for a leader staying on. If the NDP ever gets an actual left-wing leader, the party's right wing, in conjunction with the press, will set up the same kind of tests.

Ok.  Here is the question though:  If a leader is beaten when he is simply trying to win a seat in a byelection, how can it still be possible for that leader to be in any way effective in fighting a general election?  Has any leader lost a byelection and then ever managed not to lead his party to a totally humiliating defeat in a subsuquent general election?  

As to a future left-wing leader for the NDP, ok, the right could set that kind of a test, but-depending on why that person lost the byelection-what case would you make for that leader staying on and fighting the general election anyway?  There actually weren't any significant electoral setbacks for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015-2017 period, when he was at greatest risk for being forced out of the leadership.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

That said, I'm going to cease posting in this thread, so it's up to you folks to decide if it continues.

 

JKR

cco wrote:
I do, and I ranked him last on my leadership ballot. It's a horrible precedent (as wage zombie so accurately pointed out) to set up that kind of condition for a leader staying on. If the NDP ever gets an actual left-wing leader, the party's right wing, in conjunction with the press, will set up the same kind of tests.

What should Singh say to the public in the event that he loses the by-election and still wants to lead the NDP in the 2019 general election?

wage zombie

The criticisms against Singh are remarkably similar to those made by the Blairites against Corbyn.

  • Landslide leadership wins minimized by calling supporters entryists who don't share the values of the party
  • Little criticism on policy, much criticism on how they dress
  • Negative spin about how little support they have within the membership with no real evidence (Singh got more than 90% support at the convention in Feb)
  • Lot of talk about how many seats they're going to lose even though most seats were already lost before they stepped up
  • Of the other potential leaders that could be chosen, none have demonstrated much ability to catch fire with the general population
  • Lots of general innendo about how stupid, bumbling, and incompetent they are, mostly baseless invective, while they are clearly accomplished in their careers to any neutral observer

Imagine what Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn could have been doing the last few years if he hadn't spent years before the election fending off attacks and takedowns from his own party and just lost the election?

I don't imagine what kind of scenario people see happening where Singh's not the leader going into the next election, and we're in better shape for it.  You think Charlie Angus is going to keep the Quebec seats without speaking French?  You think Niki Ashton is going to keep the Weir bros happy?  You think there's dissent in the membership now?

And you don't think there are lots and lots of people who would see this as totally anti-democratic and be done with the party?

wage zombie

JKR wrote:

What should Singh say to the public in the event that he loses the by-election and still wants to lead the NDP in the 2019 general election?

What should JKR say to his neighbours in the event that he gets too drunk and pukes in their mailbox?

JKR

wage zombie wrote:

JKR wrote:

What should Singh say to the public in the event that he loses the by-election and still wants to lead the NDP in the 2019 general election?

What should JKR say to his neighbours in the event that he gets too drunk and pukes in their mailbox?

I'm sorry for what I did and I'll pay for any damage I caused?

brookmere

wage zombie wrote:
Negative spin about how little support they have within the membership with no real evidence (Singh got more than 90% support at the convention in Feb)

This one has been put to bed already, but it's time to put it to bed again. The vote at the convention was whether to have a new leadership contest. It was only a few months after Singh became leader in the first place, and before the litany of troubles in 2018.

As to support from the membership, one thing we do know is that fundraising has been dreadful. And this with a leader who was bragging about his fundraising abilities during the leadership campaign.

wage zombie

I'm curious whether anyone here pitching the idea that Singh doesn't have the support of the membership is themselves a member of the party?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I'm a member of the party. Not a very active one, but I donate a modest amount each year, and occasionally attend an AGM. I was very disappointed that Singh was chosen, but I wanted to give him a chance, and be as upbeat about the party's prospects as I could. I still think he deserves the chance to run a general election campaign, and I'm wishing him the best, both in the by-election and the general.

However, I am pretty pessimistic at this point, given the terrible polling results and the lack of any specific policy proposals to rally around. The video I linked to shows Singh trying to be Obama, but instead of "hope and change" it's "love and courage". I don't want another Obama, I want an Ocasio-Cortez.

WWWTT

I met Jag, Sid Ryan and Jack Layton all at same rally Jag had with a couple other local NDP candidates at an Indian banquet hall on Steeles/Melanie rd in the east end of Brampton. The most politically inspirational night in my whole fuckin life!

And no, I’m not an NDP member any more. 

Ive seen Jagmeet do well in his community. Is he out of his league leading the federal NDP? Maybe so, but he needs to see this through 

jerrym

If the Liberals run Adam Pankratz as a candidate, as they did in 2015 when he lost by 547 votes, his December 17th comments on the fossil fuel industry's threat to pull a conference out of Whistler in response to the mayor of Whistler sending a letter to these corporations seeking costs for climate change damange will provide a strong contrast with Singh's comments on climate change.

Adam Pankratz, an adjunct professor at Sauder school of business, said he would be surprised if petroleum producers did not feel as though their industry is under attack and that it is not being recognized for its importance in the Canadian economy.

“All of them recognize that a climate tax and carbon pricing is coming. … But in that environment that doesn’t mean that they then need to be also told that they’re responsible for all of Whistler’s woes,” Pankratz said.

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-municipalities-take-cover-a...

On December 11th, Singh tweeted:

Climate change is the single greatest threat we face – Canada is failing to do its part & Cdns are feeling the effects. Instead of contributing to catastrophic climate change, we must invest in clean energy & end fossil fuel subsidies to reduce our emissions. 

pietro_bcc

wage zombie wrote:

The criticisms against Singh are remarkably similar to those made by the Blairites against Corbyn.

  • Landslide leadership wins minimized by calling supporters entryists who don't share the values of the party
  • Little criticism on policy, much criticism on how they dress
  • Negative spin about how little support they have within the membership with no real evidence (Singh got more than 90% support at the convention in Feb)
  • Lot of talk about how many seats they're going to lose even though most seats were already lost before they stepped up
  • Of the other potential leaders that could be chosen, none have demonstrated much ability to catch fire with the general population
  • Lots of general innendo about how stupid, bumbling, and incompetent they are, mostly baseless invective, while they are clearly accomplished in their careers to any neutral observer

Imagine what Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn could have been doing the last few years if he hadn't spent years before the election fending off attacks and takedowns from his own party and just lost the election?

I don't imagine what kind of scenario people see happening where Singh's not the leader going into the next election, and we're in better shape for it.  You think Charlie Angus is going to keep the Quebec seats without speaking French?  You think Niki Ashton is going to keep the Weir bros happy?  You think there's dissent in the membership now?

And you don't think there are lots and lots of people who would see this as totally anti-democratic and be done with the party?

One big difference between Corbyn and Singh.

Corbyn was attacked at every turn by the media and political establishment, while Singh was forced on us by both. Corbyn was grass roots while Singh was astroturf.

Before Singh even announced his candidacy, he was declared the winner by the media and the other candidates were essentially shut out of most media coverage.

Sean in Ottawa

I have little reason to be optimistic about the NDP. However, if Singh loses, and the party were to show really good judgement , they could go with Guy Caron. Caron an economist becoming leader as Canada is going to face economic headwinds, and the next election will be most likely about the economy. It could be in part made to be about economic justice and economic sustainability with someone like him.

The last election was about dumping Harper and hope and change and all that. This next one is not about those things. The debates will be mainly about the economy. There will also be a reactionary immigration debate that the NDP has little to gain from.

Part of the problem with Singh's leadership is that he was largely picked for who he is rather than what he stood for. Those who objected were called racist. The tragedy is that in politics people who are not white men are almost never selected for what they propose or believe but who they are. Wouldn't it be wonderful if women and non-white poeple could be selected for what they say? We are not there yet and that is why it is understandable, and defensible that leaders are sometimes picked for who theya re rather than what they stand for. Still, this comes at a cost. Not doing it also comes at great cost as much of the population is excluded from the conversation and the country and decision-making is diminished by this.

Still if Singh does nto end up winning -- Guy Caron is probably the best choice again.... As I thought he was last year.

cco

I don't have a fantastic track record with predictions, but I think the party establishment is going to push Boulerice after Singh.

Mighty Middle

Can I ask why everyone is so lukewarm to Nathan Cullen? After all he came third in the leadership that elected Mulcair

Sean in Ottawa

Mighty Middle wrote:

Can I ask why everyone is so lukewarm to Nathan Cullen? After all he came third in the leadership that elected Mulcair

He gambled on backing a merger and lost. I like him on a number of things but this warmth to the idea of working with the people the NDP has to ifght against makes his candidacy a non-starter.

Some may now argue that he was right. A merger could have advanced much of the NDP's program more than an independent NDP back in third place. At the time, the merger might have effectively ended the Liberal party replacing it with a more NDP like party -- due to the NDP's then stronger position. A merger discussion now, with the NDP as weak as it is would be a takeover and elimination of the NDP. At that time -- it may have been effectively the reverse.

It is not clear if Liberals would have accepted it but it seems that without Trudeau they may have.

It is a discussion point but his gamble failed, this much we can see. I don't see Caron washing this off.

robbie_dee

I am (at least through the end of 2018) an NDP member. In the last Leadership race my ballot was 1. Caron, 2. Jagmeet, 3. Ashton, 4. Angus. While my first choice did not win, I was quite pleased to see Jagmeet elected and was feeling quite optimistic about the Party's prospects under his leadership. I have been sorely disappointed. While I have disagreed with his actions as leader in several respects, for me by far and away the most disappointing thing has been his gross mishandling of Erin Weir's position in caucus. I will not be renewing my membership in 2019 and I remain undecided as to who I will vote for in the federal election (I am leaning Liberal, despite the fact that I have never in my life cast a ballot for them at any level before).

I am not so myopic as to think that the Erin Weir situation will have any real impact on the Burnaby South byelection. Frankly I still think Jagmeet is the favorite and that he is also almost certain to still be Party leader by the time of the next federal election. But if for some reason there is another leadership race before then, the one and only reason I would rejoin would be in the event there is a candidate to support who promises to bring a more common sense and conciliatory approach to Weir's situation. I won't be holding my breath waiting, though.

Mighty Middle

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

He gambled on backing a merger and lost. I like him on a number of things but this warmth to the idea of working with the people the NDP has to ifght against makes his candidacy a non-starter.

Some may now argue that he was right. A merger could have advanced much of the NDP's program more than an independent NDP back in third place. At the time, the merger might have effectively ended the Liberal party replacing it with a more NDP like party -- due to the NDP's then stronger position. A merger discussion now, with the NDP as weak as it is would be a takeover and elimination of the NDP. At that time -- it may have been effectively the reverse.

It is not clear if Liberals would have accepted it but it seems that without Trudeau they may have.

It is a discussion point but his gamble failed, this much we can see. I don't see Caron washing this off.

But now that Electoral Reform has been a broken promise, if he disavows this "merger" idea (after being betrayed by the Liberals) would that make him a more attractive candidate?

cco

I think having campaigned on abolishing the NDP isn't something he'll be able to walk back.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..wage zombie or cco i have much respect for you and the work you do within the party. can you speak to what is going on with the membership..please. is the ndp left just mostly unorganized individuals?  do they have a voice? i'm not talking about the left caucus here. 

pietro_bcc

Nathan Cullen never backed a merger, he backed having joint nomination meetings between the NDP, Greens and Liberals in ridings where the Conservatives won with less than 50% to avoid vote splitting. Simply nonsense that certain people perpetuate because for some reason they don't like the man.

Mighty Middle

I'm watching CTV Power Play and they did a segment on the most mentioned politicians on Twitter. The top three are

1 - Justin Trudeau

2 - Doug Ford

3 - Andrew Scheer

When asked about Jagmeet Singh, it was said that he is not in the top ten of most mentions of a politician on twitter.

Sean in Ottawa

pietro_bcc wrote:

Nathan Cullen never backed a merger, he backed having joint nomination meetings between the NDP, Greens and Liberals in ridings where the Conservatives won with less than 50% to avoid vote splitting. Simply nonsense that certain people perpetuate because for some reason they don't like the man.

Okay - that's not true either.

It was widely reported as a merger proposal. See:

https://www.pressreader.com/canada/regina-leader-post/20111228/281887295...

Also many who have followed the story and saw it as that actually like Cullen.

It is also was debated whether the kind of electoral coalition he meant could have been undone after anyway. also debatable as to whether the result was a temproary merger or coalition or what.

It is not reasonable to say all those who refer to it dislike Cullen. Most dislike any rapprochement with the Liberals and feared that.

I met Cullen during the leadership campaign a couple times in Ottawa. I certainly did like him.

cco

epaulo13 wrote:

..wage zombie or cco i have much respect for you and the work you do within the party. can you speak to what is going on with the membership..please. is the ndp left just mostly unorganized individuals?  do they have a voice? i'm not talking about the left caucus here. 

Depends on what you mean by "the membership". A lot of people have left the party since 2015, and a lot more since 2017, but whether those are leftists disillusioned by the rightward turn, centrists disillusioned by Tom losing, people who joined up to vote in nomination races back when we had a chance at forming government, or people who joined for the leadership race and quit when it was over is anyone's guess. The active membership (that is, people who go to conventions and nomination contests, participate in days of action, volunteer for events, and so forth) in Quebec seems to be smaller, dug in, and preparing for massive losses next year.

As far as who's on the left, it always seems like everyone I know is to the left of the party leadership, but when an actual leadership race comes around, the votes for a real turn to the left aren't there. Unionist has written better than I could about the problems of leader-centric party culture and the base not getting enough of a say, but it's not like this is a new problem. A friend of mine dug up this quote from The Anatomy of a Party, the National CCF 1932-61, by Walter D. Young:

Quote:
After 1944 all resolutions were processed by a resolutions committee appointed by the national executive prior to the convention. The committee combined redundant resolutions, redrafted and rejected resolutions, and submitted its decisions to the convention for ratification. The services of the committee were essential, but resented by the rank and file who recognized it as a further limit on their policy making and as evidence of the growing domination of the party "brass" in CCF affairs.

Plus ça change.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs cco. maybe qs success can pull the "brass" leftward a bit more. maybe force it to acknowledge it needs the rank and file participation if it's going to survive. 

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