Mulcair: stay or go?

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off-the-radar
Mulcair: stay or go?

Interesting Dec 23 Tyee article on whether Tom Mulcair should stay or go.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/12/23/Should-Mulcair-Stay-or-Go/

I think Muclair must go. He does not share NDP values. He supported bulk water exports, admired Thatcher, unilaterally declared balanced budget every year, forced NDP candidates out of the party for supporting Palestine etc, etc.

And he does not have good political instincts e.g. he took three weeks to oppose Bill C-51, he did not answer press questions on the first day of the campaign (just like Harper), shunned debates and did not come across well in debates as the rather unnerving "Grandpa" Tom with the bulging eyes.  The campaign was a disaster, relentlessly hounding supporters for money with 4 o 5 emails a day! and featherweight campaign promises.

The NDP needs to rebuild as a social democratic party.

 

terrytowel

Jennifer Ditchburn of the Canadian Press was on At Issue last night and said if the NDP wants to move more left, they need a new leader. As Mulcair is too identifed as being a centrist.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/issue-ndp-should-give-their-qu...

Sean in Ottawa

terrytowel wrote:

Jennifer Ditchburn of the Canadian Press was on At Issue last night and said if the NDP wants to move more left, they need a new leader. As Mulcair is too identifed as being a centrist.

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/issue-ndp-should-give-their-qu...

I do not dislike her but I think this is a simplistic argument.

I agree he must go and he does not fit the NDP but he was to the right of the NDP in a few respects -- the party does not really need to veer sharply to the left. They had some good policies and they need a leader willing to articulate those and create some more practical policies to reflect its principles. The party could move slightly left on some issues but I do not call for a jump to the left -- just a respect by the leader for where the party already is and a proper reflection of that in his comments as well as a desire to promote the platform rather than his personal opinions which in many cases are at odds with the membership and supporters.

The problem is not where the party is, it is where the leader is.

Some want the NDP to go sharply left and I do not want that. But Mulcair is not a credible leader for where the party is now. The reality is the party is already to the left of him and this caused a credibility gap that hurt us in the last election. A leader in touch with where the party is now would be fine and a credible choice for government. This is better than going to either extreme -- so far right like Mulcair where there is no point or so far left that there is not a strong enough consensus.

Certainly many Liberal Zealots would like the NDP to move far enough to the left that they are not a credible threat and the party occupies the conscience role. I don't accept that either. The party has to win to make the changes we need.

In that context there are plenty of left ideas where the party is now that can be brought out that could make people's lives better and respect our principles.

As well a respect for human rights by the NDP including better response to what is happening to the Palestinian people and a return to being a party of Peace is essential but that is not a shift to the left -- that is a respect for the principles of the party.

off-the-radar

I would like to see the NDP be more progressive, with strong support for LEAP and strong opposition to global corporate capitalism.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

off-the-radar wrote:

I would like to see the NDP be more progressive, with strong support for LEAP and strong opposition to global corporate capitalism.

I would too, but unfortunately I strongly doubt it will ever happen. The only chance I see for a party that far left would be a new one, formed after PR was implemented. Such a truly left party could very likely get 10% of the votes in a federal election, so would be well represented in Parliament. But in FPTP, I just can't see it happening.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

One thing is for sure; Mulacir was a bad voting choice. I didn't know anything about his far right proclivities. I should have researched him more. I thought we needed Quebec and he was our only choice. I underestimated most Quebec voters (LPC sycophants living in Quebec, who voted LPC and trumpet Trudeau, excluded - you KNOW I'm talking about you). Certainly we'd have done better in PQ with a more progressively minded leader. But we also have to be careful too. It is clear, as this fourm shows, the LPC truly hope the NDP would either dissapear or marginilize itself so they can govern unchallenged. Trudeau is going to start tripping all over himself nce the honeymoon is over and the NDP has to be ready. We need to talk about Trudeau promised, what he's doing, and link it back to the previous LPC admins. And in order to do thins, we need a leader whose voice will resonate with more Canadains. Mulcair is not the man; he showed that himself by the choice he made. Lets have a leadership Convention, pick a new leader and get moving. Boy, I wish Meghan Leslie hadn't lost. Good damn Atlantic Canada! Screwed us again. Fine, hope all you working people in Nova Scotia and pro-choice woman who voted Liberal in PEI are enjoying your Liberal governments. You deserve it. Keep voitng to spite your faces. Morons!

ETA: The ONLY way PEI women will truly have a right to control their bodies is when they elect the NDP. My Grand Father, who was a supporter of Old Labour epalined this behaviour by telling me that people will most naturally vote against their own interests again and again. CLEARLY, PEI is the best representation of this truth. That women vote Liberal in PEI is beyond me. Its G-d damn sad; they have a right to control their own bodies but they won't stand up for their right to do so.

Debater

TheTyee wrote:

University of Manitoba political science professor Radhika Desai said the New Democrats made a move to the right over the last few years, much like former United Kingdom Labour Party leader and prime minister Tony Blair with his party in the 1990s.

Desai said it didn't work. "The chief reason for Mulcair to go is that this is not his game," she said. "His game was the Blairite, right wing, game. He played it in the election and it failed dismally."

As this passage documents, the NDP moved to the right and adopted the New Labour strategies of Tony Blair.

That's why I felt it was contradictory for the NDP to claim it was so much more progressive than the Liberal Party.

Sean in Ottawa

Debater wrote:

TheTyee wrote:

University of Manitoba political science professor Radhika Desai said the New Democrats made a move to the right over the last few years, much like former United Kingdom Labour Party leader and prime minister Tony Blair with his party in the 1990s.

Desai said it didn't work. "The chief reason for Mulcair to go is that this is not his game," she said. "His game was the Blairite, right wing, game. He played it in the election and it failed dismally."

As this passage documents, the NDP moved to the right and adopted the New Labour strategies of Tony Blair.

That's why I felt it was contradictory for the NDP to claim it was so much more progressive than the Liberal Party.

One person's opinion.

Arguably the party did not move (see the platform which wsa not any less left than in a long time) -- but the leader did move the right creating a disconnect with the party, candidates and supporters -- the result was a disaster as you would expect. A leader that was firmly located with the party would be quite left of Mulcair.

Debater

I agree that there wasn't a huge shift in this election for the NDP -- it was merely one part of a gradual process that has been happening in the NDP over a decade or more.

It's not fair to blame it all on Mulcair.  It started under Layton. (and maybe even under McDonough as some NDPers here have said).

But the point is that it was harder for Mulcair to pull off the progressive charm as well as Layton did and Mulcair's own centrist instincts from his days as a Quebec Liberal came into play as well.

quizzical

oh so now the Liberals are centrist not left? lol damn it switches every 2 mins with you Liberals.

off-the-radar

 

Sean in Ottawa

"A leader that was firmly located with the party would be quite left of Mulcair."

That's a very good point and a good reminder for me that Mulcair is NOT the NDP party. The NDP is much more than Tom Mulcair.

Debater

quizzical wrote:

oh so now the Liberals are centrist not left? lol damn it switches every 2 mins with you Liberals.

What are you referring to?

I was talking about the *NDP*.  I was saying that the NDP is now a centrist party rather than a far-left party.  I was agreeing with someone above that the drift to the center by the NDP started under Layton, and isn't just the fault of Mulcair.

Stockholm

I thought the "drift to the centre" by the NDP started when the party was foujnded in 1961 with the idea of being a more mainstream party that the CCF had been, or was in when Broadbent ditched all the old policies about withdrawing from NATO and nationalizing banks, or was it under MacDonough when she travelled to london in 1997 to learn about how she could apply Tony Blair's 3rd way strategy to the NDP...

mark_alfred

In the election prior to the last, in 2011, the Liberals campaigned on raising the corporate tax rate.  Not this time.  In the election prior to 2011, in 2008 the Liberals campaigned on a national greenhouse gas emission reduction plan (The Green Shift).  Not this time.  This time they campaigned on dialogue with provinces and specified nothing about a national plan or target (which may or may not occur -- very similar to the Harper Conservatives).  So, certainly, the Liberals moved to the right of where they were. 

By contrast, the NDP in 2008 and 2011 and 2015 campaigned both on raising corporate taxes and on having a national greenhouse gas emission target with a national GHG pricing strategy via cap and trade.  AND in 2015 they campaigned on establishing a no scab law to empower unions, on national universal child care based on Quebec's fabulous model, on establishing proportional representation, on increasing the federal health accord transfers by a minimum of 6% (and maybe more), on beginning to establish pharmacare, on bringing the troops home and stopping boming in the war mission in Syria and Iraq.  These were things far and beyond what was promised in 2008 or 2011.

So, in 2015 the Liberals moved to the right, whereas the NDP moved to the left. 

scott16

The main reason I want him to go is because of all the better choices for leader that there are.

Niki Ashton, Nathan Cullen, Ruth Ellen brosseau, etc.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If he stays on a year or two, fine.  But it's obvious that Mulcair has no learning curve and no capacity to change.  If he leads the party into the next campaign, he will insist that it be run exactly as this one was...again with the balanced budget fetish, again with purging candidates for committing truth about Palestine(or just for being young and charismatic, like Kearey-Moreland) again with denying the NDP rank-and-file any real say in the party's governance or program.

What possible reason is there to preserve the status quo when the status quo produced a completely avoidable electoral disaster?

The NDP's only hope is a complete rethink, a renewal on the grassroots level, the establishment of internal party democracy, and a whole new program that encompasses the values of the social movements, the spirit of Occupy, and the growing global rejection of austerity, greed, and war represented by parties like Podemos in Spain-And a commitment to trying to win elections by actually trying to WIN THE ARGUMENT, rather than just persuade the electorate that the party is "safe", "respectable" and nonthreatening.  Being safe and respectable, in this political age, just means agreeing to do nothing imporant in power and to fail as a force for change and progress. 

If blandness, safety and respectability worked, the NDP would have just taken power in Ottawa, would still be in power in Nova Scotia and Ontario, and wouldn't have been in opposition in B.C. for the last fourteen years and in Saskatchewan for the last twenty.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Self-delete.  Dupe post.

nicky

I don't understand why a goal of a balanced budget is a right-wing policy. Many reponsible left wing governments have had such a policy, largely, as Tommy Douglas said, to free them from the constraints of the banks.

In the last election party #1 campaigned on:

Infrastructure spending, no corporate tax rate increase, no tax on stock options = 10 billion $ deficit

Party #2 campaigned on :

Infrastrucure spending, copporate tax increases, tax on stock options = balanced budget.

Can someone explain how this makes party #1 more "progressive" than party #2?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

In and of itself, it's not bad.  It was Mulcair's decision to make it the main thing he wanted the NDP to be known for, the policy he chose to lead with, that did the damage.

He could have kept it in the mix as an ultimate goal and lead with the social change and economic justice policies that did the damage.  Without that decision, the Liberals could NEVER have gotten away with running ads claiming that an NDP government would impose even MORE austerity.

It is clear, based on his post-election actions, in which Mulcair has CONTINUED to lead with the balanced budget thing, that Mulcair has learned nothing and is incapable of changing and growing.

He will just run the next campaign exactly like this one....or maybe a few increments FURTHER to the right. 

There is just no hope that Mulcair can ever be better as a leader.

Debater

Does Mulcair's own arrogance come into play as a factor?

Is it possible that his ego gives him an exaggerated sense of his own abilities?

During the election, he underestimated both Trudeau & Harper because he thought he could easily beat both of them.

This could also explain why several NDP MP's (eg. Bruce Hyer & Glenn Thibeault) walked out of the NDP caucus under Mulcair's leadership.

Is there a leadership style issue that he needs to address?

mark_alfred

Re: post #18

I think that's the NDP's best hope, Ken.  In Ontario, Wynne's refusal to raise corporate taxes and instead looking to raise money through divesting assets like Hydro One, along with putting pressure on the public service for cuts, despite their policy of increased spending in infrastructure, is not leading to high popularity for her.  It'll be the same with Trudeau. 

Trudeau's condemnation of the NDP's long term careful planning for increased social spending and economic renewal backed by increased government revenues, will look silly next time around if things sink.  And consider that the $10B deficits are potentially larger, the rewrite on C-51 seemingly on the backburner (not mentioned in the throne speech), the investment in childcare also not even mentioned in the throne speech, the health accord transfer numbers not yet declared, the GHG targets not yet set.  They were elected to take action on these issues.  People have high expectations of Trudeau's government.

Trudeau declared he could do all this and more via giving the the economy a "kickstart" from debt financing.  Trudeau also declared that the NDP's plans were too slow (goodness, eight years for a million child spaces!)  But, if four years from now things are just grinding along much the same as now with increased layoff pressures on the public servants as the Libs try to reign in a ballooned deficit toward the end, then an experienced progressive leader like Mulcair who showed proper foresight will be an appealing option. 

Of course, on the other hand, if everything works out well and society prospers under the Liberal plan, well, then fine.  No leader will beat Trudeau then. 

I feel the Liberals have set up a structural deficit and will not be able to balance everything.  Remember, the premise that separates the Liberals from the NDP is that the Libs feel increasing corporate taxes and taxing stock options hurts the trickle down economics they believe in.  The NDP, and I myself, believe actual increased revenue from large corporations is necessary for establishing important social programs that themselves will help the economy.  Financing "social infrastructure" through debt is not enough to sustain and grow the economy (and may possibly damage it, I feel). 

These positions were staked out clearly by both the Libs and the NDP.  The public bought into and decided to try the trickle down economics of the Libs this time.  If it fails, then they may be ready for the actual revenue increases and program spending that Mulcair advocated.  Now is not the time to move away from this position. 

off-the-radar

Debater wrote:

Does Mulcair's own arrogance come into play as a factor?

Is it possible that his ego gives him an exaggerated sense of his own abilities?

During the election, he underestimated both Trudeau & Harper because he thought he could easily beat both of them.

This could also explain why several NDP MP's (eg. Bruce Hyer & Glenn Thibeault) walked out of the NDP caucus under Mulcair's leadership.

Is there a leadership style issue that he needs to address?

Muclair really seemed arrogant to me too and dislikable.  When I was canvassing, voters liked the local NDP candidate (who won) but they had real reservations about Mulcair and which increased over the course of the campaign.  I stopped talking about Mulcair because it wasn't helpful.  And yet the federal campaign was obsessively focussed on Mulcair, hounding supporters for more money, and "only 35 more seats".  Out to lunch.

lagatta

Off the radar, that was most certainly the case in Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, where Alexandre Boulerice is far more popular than Mulcair. I also had friends in Outremont who didn't want to vote for Mulcair (as MP) and would have much preferred to live in my riding, where they liked the candidate! I do think most of them did eventually vote NDP though. None were fond of Trudeau.

I'm sure i know people in Papineau who did vote Trudeau though...

And yes, it is really unfortunate about Megan Leslie.

Unionist

How did Megan Leslie make her way into this thread??

josh

nicky wrote:

I don't understand why a goal of a balanced budget is a right-wing policy. Many reponsible left wing governments have had such a policy, largely, as Tommy Douglas said, to free them from the constraints of the banks.

Because hewing to a balanced budget in the face of a sluggish economy is classical economics and a rejection of Keynesiasm.

mark_alfred

josh wrote:
nicky wrote:

I don't understand why a goal of a balanced budget is a right-wing policy. Many reponsible left wing governments have had such a policy, largely, as Tommy Douglas said, to free them from the constraints of the banks.

Because hewing to a balanced budget in the face of a sluggish economy is classical economics and a rejection of Keynesiasm.

But is refusing to tax areas that are clearly undertaxed a part of that?  From the second part of nicky's post:

nicky wrote:

In the last election party #1 [Liberals] campaigned on:

Infrastructure spending, no corporate tax rate increase, no tax on stock options = 10 billion $ deficit

Party #2 [NDP] campaigned on :

Infrastrucure spending, copporate tax increases, tax on stock options = balanced budget.

Can someone explain how this makes party #1 more "progressive" than party #2?

Debater

lagatta wrote:

Off the radar, that was most certainly the case in Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, where Alexandre Boulerice is far more popular than Mulcair. I also had friends in Outremont who didn't want to vote for Mulcair (as MP) and would have much preferred to live in my riding, where they liked the candidate! I do think most of them did eventually vote NDP though. None were fond of Trudeau.

I'm sure i know people in Papineau who did vote Trudeau though...

And yes, it is really unfortunate about Megan Leslie.

Boulerice is popular, although the Liberal vote share more than doubled in Rosemont-La Petite Patrie this year.

Mulcair's winning margin in Outremont was also narrowed.

Centrist

off-the-radar wrote:
Muclair really seemed arrogant to me too and dislikable.

Agreed. That is what I heard as well. Basically Iggy in 2011. That said, I believe that Tom will achieve his 75% support at the delegated convention next year in Edmonton. I understand that even Audrey McLaughlin won a subsequent leadership review after the devastating 1993 loss.

However, I also believe that Tom will step down in 2017, at the earliest, due to mounting pressure - ie. opinion polls, etc.

BTW, the title of this thread reminds me of that old tune by the Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go. :D

 

 

Debater

It's difficult to remove a Canadian party leader if they don't want to go.

Leaders almost always win their leadership reviews, particularly if no one from the party is willing to organize a leadership challenge against them.

So it's not really a question of whether Mulcair will win his review, but what happens afterwards.

If he feels he can genuinely be successful in the next election, he will stay on.  If he thinks it's in the best interests of the party to let someone take over, then presumably he will let that happen.

nicky

Centrist, Audrey McLaughlin quit the leadership on election night. She did not go through a leadership review.
The essential difference between her and Tom is that there huge doubts about her leadership abilities right from the start and she did very little to allay them. The election results only confirmed what most people in the party felt. In Tom's case most people were impressed with his leadership abilities (Even in defeat he maintains a 60% approval rating.) it is the election result itself that has created doubts that were not prevalent before.

off-the-radar

Centrist wrote:

BTW, the title of this thread reminds me of that old tune by the Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go. :D

Oh that is the perfect song!

off-the-radar

nicky wrote:
. . . In Tom's case most people were impressed with his leadership abilities (Even in defeat he maintains a 60% approval rating.) it is the election result itself that has created doubts that were not prevalent before.

A 60% approval rating? Maybe from the inner circle but not from progressive NDP supporters and voters. In the final weeks of the campaign, Muclair felt like a millstone hung on the local campaign.

And the long election campaign highlighted the many flaws in Muclair's character and allowed voters to get a better understanding of where he stood, which was somewhere in the mushy middle, not on firm NDP values.

And the NDP is polling federally at 12 or 13%. This is the same internal fight that the UK Labour party is having. The party elite want to stay with Blair's failed model and the party members want to back Corbyn and be much more progressive, returning to traditional Labour values.

There is a very good chance that Mulcair will hang on and drag the NDP party into oblivion. Maybe if we get proportional representation, a LEAP party will emerge.

lagatta

Yes, I kept thinking of the song since this thread started. But I'd have a hard time imagining Mulcair singing it.

As for Leslie, I was just responding to someone upthread who regretted the fact that she wasn't re-elected, and who thought she might be a good potential NDP leader.

It would have been very strange indeed if the wave of support to Trudeau had no effect on voters in Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, just south of Papineau.

mark_alfred

The situation isn't too bad.  In the Nanos party power index, the NDP are doing better than the Cons, though both trail the Libs.  link

nicky

20151211_slide10

nicky

Mulcair's detractors have not squarely faced the reality that he is still held in high regard by the electorate in general, nor that the party standing as an accetable alternative is still fairly robust.

The election was not so much a repudiation of Mulcair and the NDP as it was a stampede behind the party best placed to beat the hated Harper.

The EKOS and Nanos numbers posted above speak to the continued viability both of Mulcair and the NDP. And at a time when the Trudeau honeymoon is at its zenith.

The developing narrative that the public hates Mulcair is a myth. There may be other reasons to criticize his leadership but his supposed unpopularity is not one of them.

brookmere

Mulcair has the lowest approval rating of the party leaders (excepting Ambrose who is just interim leader). The figure in the previous graph means 60% of those who gave an opinion, ie. 46/77 is 60%.

aproval

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/grenier-approval-ratings-polls-1.3363911

Quote:
Tom Mulcair's approval rating has slid since the end of the election campaign. At the time, Forum estimated his approval rating to be about 50 per cent. The latest poll puts it now at 41 per cent, with 31 per cent disapproving. EKOS, which had Mulcair's approval rating standing at 53 per cent at the mid-point of the campaign, now puts it at 46 per cent, with 31 per cent disapproving.

Only in Quebec did both polls show a significantly higher level of support for the NDP leader.

Problematic for the New Democrats, however, is how Mulcair stacks up against Trudeau among NDP voters. Forum and EKOS put Trudeau's approval rating among New Democrats at between 67 and 72 per cent, with just 15 per cent standing in disapproval. By comparison, Mulcair scored a 71 to 77 per cent approval rating among New Democrats, with his disapproval rating sitting at 14 to 18 per cent.

Like all things in politics this can change but Mulcair is not faring well presently.

adma

Debater wrote:

Boulerice is popular, although the Liberal vote share more than doubled in Rosemont-La Petite Patrie this year.

Mulcair's winning margin in Outremont was also narrowed.

Though technically, where, across Canada, did the NDP advantage over the Liberals *not* narrow over 2011?  (Maybe Victoria, by default?)  Seems kind of "duh" to raise the fact...

Sean in Ottawa

The uise of these leadership approval stats are problematic after an election during which half the support of the party walked away. Losing half the vote is not a ringing endorsement.

No doubt some people who saw Mulcair blow the campaign are happy with the way he has perfomred as leader. My guess is the people who actually voted NDP are less likely to think he did a great job blowing the election as others might.

Debater

nicky wrote:

Mulcair's detractors have not squarely faced the reality that he is still held in high regard by the electorate in general, nor that the party standing as an accetable alternative is still fairly robust.

The election was not so much a repudiation of Mulcair and the NDP as it was a stampede behind the party best placed to beat the hated Harper.

The EKOS and Nanos numbers posted above speak to the continued viability both of Mulcair and the NDP. And at a time when the Trudeau honeymoon is at its zenith.

The developing narrative that the public hates Mulcair is a myth. There may be other reasons to criticize his leadership but his supposed unpopularity is not one of them.

Nicky, you are picking & choosing numbers in a selective fashion in order to create your own narrative that Mulcair is popular.

It is true that the election was not a repudiation of Mulcair per se, but it was a rejection of the type of leadership and platform that he offered, or at the very least.

And the numbers of Mulcair & the NDP have fallen further since the election according to most of the numbers that have been posted on the recent polling thread.

As Eric Grénier said in his analysis, Mulcair doesn't even have much of and advantage over Trudeau among voters in his own party.

That is one of the reasons why Chantal Hébert said on At Issue last week that the Trudeau Liberals have now supplanted Mulcair's place on the spectrum.

So while I agree that Mulcair is not hated, the problem is that the public considers him competent, but is otherwise indifferent about him.

mark_alfred

Debater wrote:

So while I agree that Mulcair is not hated, the problem is that the public considers him competent, but is otherwise indifferent about him.

I agree.  This is why I feel it's a good idea for the NDP to keep Mulcair on as leader.  He is seen as competent.  If things go well over the next four years, then it doesn't matter who leads the NDP (or the Conservatives, or any other party), the Liberals will win.  But if things don't go well -- if the economy has stagnated and unemployment is high, and things just seem poorly run, then competence will be a winning attribute.

Sean in Ottawa

mark_alfred wrote:

Debater wrote:

So while I agree that Mulcair is not hated, the problem is that the public considers him competent, but is otherwise indifferent about him.

I agree.  This is why I feel it's a good idea for the NDP to keep Mulcair on as leader.  He is seen as competent.  If things go well over the next four years, then it doesn't matter who leads the NDP (or the Conservatives, or any other party), the Liberals will win.  But if things don't go well -- if the economy has stagnated and unemployment is high, and things just seem poorly run, then competence will be a winning attribute.

What a strategy to keep an incompetent leader becuase for now the public -- who did not vote for him -- thinks he is competent.

No thanks.

And people thought Harper was competent as well -- the public also wants to vote for someone going in the right direction.

Betting on a Liberal screw-up with the support going to the third party. Wow. I would rather bet on a leader who can advocate for the party better than Mulcair who already was unable to take an opposition position to government when the government failed -- thereby allowing the third party to win.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Stockholm wrote:

I thought the "drift to the centre" by the NDP started when the party was foujnded in 1961 with the idea of being a more mainstream party that the CCF had been, or was in when Broadbent ditched all the old policies about withdrawing from NATO and nationalizing banks, or was it under MacDonough when she travelled to london in 1997 to learn about how she could apply Tony Blair's 3rd way strategy to the NDP...

Spoken like a true NDP partisan who thinks that if only we could convince the electorate that the NDP is a centrist middle class party they will vote us. All the party ends up doing is sounding insincere and power hungry. Mulcair tried to out-liberal the Liberals and the electorate said sorry we have a Liberal party already and their leader is way cuter and not such an old fuddy duddy.

Since you put the drift start at 1961, how many more decades to you think the NDP should spend drifting to the centre right while losing? Or are you one of those types who would rather try for power and lose than try to educate the electorate and lose.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Stockholm wrote:

I thought the "drift to the centre" by the NDP started when the party was foujnded in 1961 with the idea of being a more mainstream party that the CCF had been, or was in when Broadbent ditched all the old policies about withdrawing from NATO and nationalizing banks, or was it under MacDonough when she travelled to london in 1997 to learn about how she could apply Tony Blair's 3rd way strategy to the NDP...

It would be quite popular now for the NDP to come out for nationalizing banks(or at least placing them under the democratic control of the people0, actually.  The last third of a century has proven that all privately owned financial systems(other than credit unions) will always be implacably hostile to any and all socialist, social democratic, or even humane values.

Why do you still hang on to the delusion that market capitalism can ever be made compassionate, solidaristic, or respectful of human dignity in any form whatsoever?

And why do you define your own sense of social democracy in such smug and dismissively anti-left terms?

This election shows that the NDP has reached the limits of how much it can prosper by moving further and further and further right. 

Any further move toward "the centre" on the part of the NDP or any other "social democratic" party anywhere can only be a move towards total irrelevance.

We now know that capitalism can never have a human face, and will never stop trying to make life into luxury for the tiny few and endless soul-destroying misery for the many.  Please accept that reality.

BTW, what's so freaking great about NATO?  The Cold War is over and NATO fights for nothing but imperialism now.  It does nothing to defend the powerless and the oppressed anywhere, and it doesn't matter to anyone but the rich who wins in Ukraine...both sides there stand for nothing but antidemocratic right-wing Slavic nationalism.

mark_alfred

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

mark_alfred wrote:

Debater wrote:

So while I agree that Mulcair is not hated, the problem is that the public considers him competent, but is otherwise indifferent about him.

I agree.  This is why I feel it's a good idea for the NDP to keep Mulcair on as leader.  He is seen as competent.  If things go well over the next four years, then it doesn't matter who leads the NDP (or the Conservatives, or any other party), the Liberals will win.  But if things don't go well -- if the economy has stagnated and unemployment is high, and things just seem poorly run, then competence will be a winning attribute.

What a strategy to keep an incompetent leader becuase for now the public -- who did not vote for him -- thinks he is competent.

No thanks.

And people thought Harper was competent as well -- the public also wants to vote for someone going in the right direction.

Betting on a Liberal screw-up with the support going to the third party. Wow. I would rather bet on a leader who can advocate for the party better than Mulcair who already was unable to take an opposition position to government when the government failed -- thereby allowing the third party to win.

But Mulcair has been very competent.  The NDP were one of the most effective official opposition parties ever, and continue to be effective in their role as progressive opposition today.  Consider how papers portrayed the NDP shortly after the 2011 result (see attached photo below).  In spite of this, the NDP did a stellar job under Mulcair's leadership.  They proved themselves to be very competent.

 

The election campaign didn't go well.  But, due to some good decisions by Mulcair, particularly with Bill C-51, the NDP did rise to a level of prominence that most didn't imagine would be possible.  Recall that for the longest time the NDP were way back in third, but shortly after the decision on Bill C-51, they rose. 

It's unfortunate it didn't last, but the NDP clearly staked out a different path for the country to that which the Libs and Cons staked out.  Basically, they proposed to increase government revenue via both increasing corporate taxes and taxing stock options, whereas the Libs and Cons preached their belief in low corporate taxes.  The NDP preached investment in health care, child care (a whole national program, implemented over time), beginning pharmacare, etc., whereas the Libs preached deficit spending for greater more immediate infrastructure spending, with balances to come later.  In essence, the NDP preached tax and spend, whereas the Libs preached spend then cut. 

Mulcair was the salesman for the NDP's tax and spend on programs (like child care) policy to the public.  Trudeau was the Lib's salesman on their spend then cut program.  I don't feel the Lib program will be good for the country.  I do feel it would be a mistake for the NDP to turn its back on the program they put forward.  Next time around, people will better appreciate that the NDP's program, as put forward by Mulcair, was the most sensible.  Competence, rather than dramatic theatrics, will be desired.

 

Sean in Ottawa

I disagree that Mulcair has been competent. He was unable to see how his campaign was being recieved and this in the longest campaign ever with over a month to go to retool.

Secondly he showed poor judgment over what to talk about.

Third he was unable to place the platform promotion above petty sniping even though it was clear this was hurting the campaign.

He kept going after the budget being balanced mantra even though ti was badly recieved.

On top of that he claimed to be there for the middle class as his prime purpose. This alone was devisive and should make him not eligble to be leader. It is not much different than a leader sayign I am here just for Ontarion-- Ontario is what make me get up in the morning.

Nope - not competent. Leaders of the NDP have been able to speak to Canadians in many ways other than the classist route he took.

He squandered a lead  -- all the way down to third place -- by not listening to Canadians.

He managed to alternate between a creepy smile and a hostile glare without ever finding an approach that made people comfortable.

No way would I call that competent.

mark_alfred

I don't disagree that the campaign was poor.  But some of your criticisms are unfair.  The balanced budget mantra was important in that it was fighting the image of the NDP as reckless spenders.  I feel this is still important to say -- Canada has enough resources to be able to spend on social programs and stay within balance (IE, corporations should pay their fair share -- 1).  Spending on social programs will not break the bank.  It will help the economy.  This is an important message that should continue to be delivered from the NDP.  Mulcair was right to say this.  And your criticism that he "showed poor judgment over what to talk about" is both unfair and wrong.  He spent an entire week talking exclusively about health care, announcing initiatives like mental health care for young Canadians (2), funding for women's shelters, a commitment to increase the health care accord transfers by a minimum of 6% -- no other party talked about these things.  If you feel his decision to talk about these things was wrong, well, I respectfully disagree. 

People got caught up in the flash of "money now" for infrastructure rather than wait for longer term change from the NDP.  But the long term change proposed by Mulcair, rather than Trudeau's flash-in-the-pan money-now-cuts-later bullshit, is something I support.  The NDP should not turn its back on that.  The flash in the pan will look less impressive four years from now, I predict.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Great keep Mulcair because he is competent at Question Period. If that is the bar then it obviously means he is the only competent NDP MP or potential leader. All other NDP potential candidates are incompetent and therefore they can't be trusted with an election campaign.

As well we know the Canadian voter wanted a competent Quebec Liberal as a PM, they just got confused about which party Mulcair was the leader of and so they mistakenly voted for the real Liberals when they meant all along to vote for COMPETENT Tom's NDP liberal party.

R.E.Wood

I'm just catching up after the holidays and needed to correct Nicky's factual error here:

nicky wrote:
Centrist, Audrey McLaughlin quit the leadership on election night. She did not go through a leadership review.

Audrey McLaughlin did NOT resign on election night. She announced six months after the election that she intended to resign at the time of the next NDP national convention, which was scheduled for October 1995. (These facts courtesy of "Do Conventions Matter? Choosing National Party Leaders in Canada" by John C. Courtney. But a simple Google search finds multiple sources that agree.)

There's still time for Mulcair to resign.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Great keep Mulcair because he is competent at Question Period. If that is the bar then it obviously means he is the only competent NDP MP or potential leader. All other NDP potential candidates are incompetent and therefore they can't be trusted with an election campaign.

As well we know the Canadian voter wanted a competent Quebec Liberal as a PM, they just got confused about which party Mulcair was the leader of and so they mistakenly voted for the real Liberals when they meant all along to vote for COMPETENT Tom's NDP liberal party.

OUCH!!!!!!

mark_alfred

Sarcasm makes baby Jebus cry.

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