NDP #16

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Brachina

Tom Mulcair is not Darrel Dexter or Gary Doer. And the fact is that the federal ndp has been to the left of many, but not all, provincial sections for years now.

NorthReport

All those who want to win the next federal election and defeat the Cons welcome to the NDP. 

NorthReport

Harper definitely has the winning formula on how to win elections.

So what is the NDP going to do to wrestle control of the government from him in 2015?

Ahead of throne speech, Harper says gov't will focus on economy, jobs
http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/ahead-of-throne-speech-harper-says-gov-t-...

 

NorthReport

Beer is such a priority for our society eh Prime Minister.Instead how bout a law allowing provincial cross-border workers!

 

Throne speech promises law forcing balanced budgets Also includes $70 billion infrastructure promise, provincial cross-border beer and spirit trade

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/throne-speech-promises-law-forcing-balan...

janfromthebruce

NR, forgot to add in "normal times" - define normal?

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Balanced budget laws eh? My MP, Kevin Lamoureux distributed a mailer saying that he supported a balanced budget law. The Libs are not the only ones who would promise this. Its undemocratic, ties the hands of future generations, and at the same time gives governments excuses for not providng services to people as is their job. Someone should ask Le Dauphin for his stance on this; he'll probably start mumbling about the "Middle Class", in reply. And given the fact that the Libs hacked and slashed in the name of balancing the budget, this could be big trouble for them as well. This leaves the NDP very well placed if they handle it right.

Brachina

 Agreed AC.

socialdemocrati...

In principle, I'm not opposed to balanced budget. In practice, Conservatives create debt with huge tax giveaways, and when they finally get kicked out for mismanagement, they leave it to someone else to clean it up. In which case, we're just about ready to try a Conservative government again...

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I'm not against balanced budgets as long as oridnary and powerless people not get it stuck to them.

NorthReport

Harper is one smark cookie getting out of town and away from all the possible negative publicity surrounding the PMO-Wright-Duffy scandal

Opposition aims to revive Senate scandal as Commons reopens

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/opposition-aims-to-revive-senate-scandal-...

NorthReport

Ok Bill C-377, where are you?

Speaker grants NDP request for separate votes on Tory omnibus motion

http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/politics/inside-politics-blog/2013/10/speake...

socialdemocrati...

Getting mad at the Conservatives over the size of the omnibus bill is really boring compared to what's actually IN the omnibus bill. But I think this boring victory might be pretty huge. It might allow the opposition to finally shine a light on what the Conservatives are doing one piece at a time, and the Conservatives won't be able to hide behind corny political spin. ("You're voting against the omnibus? Why do you hate aboriginal women?")

Here's hoping.

janfromthebruce

even Jason Kenny a Con disputed what Simpson said about the position of the NDP here.

 

Jason Kenney ‏@kenneyjason 18 Oct

Good on @DonDavies for his relatively balanced statement on Canada-EU Trade Agreement. #NDP should listen to Euro Social Democrats on trade.

felixr

With NDP support falling in certain provinces, it could be a risk for NDP MPs to jump to the provincial scene. I am reminded of Judy WL's ill-fated jump to the Winnipeg mayoral race.

NorthReport

I'm surprised this windbag of a turd is still employed. Is this the best this right-winger publication can muster?  Oh, my!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/the-ndp-fails-its-free-trade-l...

NorthReport

Great work NDPers.

Hang this sucker out to dry!

What did PM know, and when did he know it?

Quote:

Did Prime Minister Stephen Harper lie to the House of Commons about the backroom dealings between his chief of staff and Sen. Mike Duffy? It’s not a trivial question, no matter your opinion on the relationship between politicians and the truth.

Last spring, Harper said he didn’t know about the deal between Nigel Wright and Duffy to repay more than $90,000 in inappropriate expense claims. He also said that no one in his office knew about Wright’s decision to write the mysterious cheque.

The PM didn’t say it once or twice, he said it over and over as opposition MPs hammered away at the deal, which is currently under investigation by the RCMP. “It was Mr. Wright who made the decision to take his personal funds and give those to Mr. Duffy so that Mr. Duffy could reimburse the taxpayers,” Harper told the Commons on June 5. “Those were his decisions. They were not communicated to me or to members of my office.”

But there is a problem with that statement, one that led the NDP last Thursday to propose a motion that could lead to the prime minister being found in contempt of Parliament. The problem is that Wright’s lawyers told the RCMP that he did tell other members of the PMO staff: his assistant David van Hemming, Chris Woodcock, the PMO issues manager and Benjamin Perrin, Harper’s legal counsel. Sen. Irving Gerstein, chair of the Conservative Fund Canada, was in the loop.

Wright says he didn’t tell the prime minister, which is significant. But it doesn’t mean the PM didn’t know or was never told.

In the Commons, New Democrat MP Charlie Angus cited the variance between Harper’s statements to the House and the information supplied to the RCMP by Wright: Harper says no one in his office knew about “Mr. Wright’s decision.” Wright says at least three people did.

We still don’t know how much Gerstein and the PMO staffers knew, although Wright suggests they were fully informed.

Harper’s statements relate to “the decision by Mr. Wright,” which he said was Wright’s alone and which he would not have allowed, had he known about it.

To believe that, we must also believe that Wright made the deal with Duffy sometime in February or early March and told no one, including the prime minister. And that he kept mum until Robert Fife at CTV blew the deal wide open with his story on May 15 linking Duffy to Wright.

We must also believe that the chief of staff didn’t tell the prime minister’s lawyer, Perrin. Now teaching law in B.C., Perrin denies he was involved in the decision. But no one said he was involved, just that he was told about it.

We must believe Woodcock didn’t know, even though he was the quick-response political officer in the prime ministerial apparatus during a brewing scandal. He left the PMO to work for another minister and hasn’t spoken about it. Nor has Van Hemming, who is still working in the PMO.

 

The careful and repetitive wording of the prime minister’s statements leaves open the possibility that the information might still have come to him, just not through his office. Gerstein is one of the highest-ranking figures in the Conservative party, but he is not a PMO official.

It might be a fine distinction. But still, Harper could say that no one in his office told him and still be telling more or less the truth. Wright told the RCMP that Gerstein was deeply involved in the effort to sort out Duffy’s wrongly-claimed expenses and at one point, considered paying the bill with Conservative party funds.

The NDP motion might not succeed in bringing Harper to account, but the larger point is being made. Hard questions are now being asked about what the prime minister knew about the Duffy matter, when he knew it and what he told Canadians.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1161408-leger-what-did-pm-know-and-...

felixr

Ottawa Citizen wrote:
Candidates who sought the NDP leadership last year had until Thursday to pay off their loan, or apply for an extension from Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand.

MP Niki Ashton and former Jack Layton aide Brian Topp both reported unpaid campaign debts or loans from their losing bids. They have vowed to pay off the amounts in full.

Elections Canada would not say whether either Ashton or Topp had applied for extensions.

Embarassing. I wonder how much is owed. Frown

NorthReport

Who gives a tinker's damn about that stuff above.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Why Mulcair Should Toast Provincial NDP Flops

The 'paradox of provincial power' means his MPs' 2015 seats just got a lot safer.

While New Democrats cry in their beer in Nova Scotia after last week's stunningly disastrous election fall from power to third place, and in British Columbia after blowing a "sure thing" election, federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair might want to drink champagne.

That's because despite the loss of party allies, the NDP nationally almost always suffers in provinces run by NDP governments.

Indeed, the paradox of provincial power means Mulcair's NDP Members of Parliament in B.C. and Nova Scotia just saw their seats get a lot safer in the 2015 federal election.

The evidence? Look back to the watershed 1988 federal election in B.C., fought over the Free Trade Agreement with the United States brought in by Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

The NDP in B.C. took 19 of the province's then 32 seats, leaving the Conservatives with 12 and the Liberals just one.

But in 1991, the BC NDP took power provincially under Mike Harcourt and the federal NDP went into a steep decline. 

 

http://www.thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/10/15/Mulcair-NDP-Failure/

socialdemocrati...

Yeah, in the end you have to roll with it. Elections have consequences. Especially in BC, where this will probably open the potential to more oil developments, and eventually, giving our wealth away to foreign investors.

NorthReport

If this is true, and besides Harper, who says it isn't, it looks like the Mulcair-led NDP may finally have Harper by his short and curlies.

Mike Duffy claims Harper told him to repay expense money

Quote:
Senator Mike Duffy finally had his say Tuesday, dropping a political bombshell before the entire Senate, by saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper told him to repay his inappropriately claimed expense money.

Before a stunned audience of senators and reporters in the Senate gallery, Duffy said Harper told him, in the presence of his then chief of staff Nigel Wright, it was the perception of the "base" that was important, not what Duffy said about his own innocence. After Duffy said he didn't have the money, he related, "Nigel Wright said, 'Don't worry, I'll write the cheque.'"

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mike-duffy-claims-harper-told-him-to-rep...

janfromthebruce

NorthReport wrote:

If this is true, and besides Harper, who says it isn't, it looks like the Mulcair-led NDP may finally have Harper by his short and curlies.

Mike Duffy claims Harper told him to repay expense money Several Liberals, 1 Conservative think motion to cut pay of 3 senators is unfair

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mike-duffy-claims-harper-told-him-to-rep...

tune the trombones

NorthReport

Mr Prime Minister - your PMO Stinks!!!

Here's more:

Quote:
Duffy also implicated the prime minister's current chief of staff, Ray Novak, in his explosive speech. He said Novak phoned him and told him if he did not resign from the Conservative caucus, he would be thrown out.

Novak, Duffy said, further told him he would then have to appear before the Senate ethics committee and would likely be expelled from the Senate.

Duffy said his wife and his sister were on the line listening to Novak's call.

 

NorthReport

The Mulcair-led NDP's chances of winning the next federal election are looking better and better every waking day.

The sketch: Stephen Harper sits down and Mike Duffy stands up

Senators arriving to work on Tuesday afternoon had first to get past a small band of photographers huddled outside in the cold October air around the brass doors that serve as the official front door to Parliament’s Centre Block for members of the red chamber. Inside, and up the 26 steps that senators must climb to get to the Senate foyer, the press gallery had set up a second line, some nine television cameras and more than a dozen reporters, standing in wait on the marble floor, flanked by sandstone pillars and surrounded by the grand portraits of kings and queens. One by one, senators would proceed through the doors, up the steps and, escorted by Senate security, into the mob, which would encircle and pester them with questions. Only once they set feet on the red carpet that marks the exclusive domain of the Senate, were senators safe from their press gallery tormentors.

“Brazeau!” a reporter called when Patrick Brazeau arrived and the mob closed in and attempted, without success, to coax a comment from him. The officially independent and variously beleaguered senator was preceded by Pamela Wallin and followed by Mike Duffy, each appearing on Parliament Hill to stand trial, accused of “gross negligence” in the management of their parliamentary resources and facing the possibility of suspension from the upper chamber of Parliament. The government that appointed them to the Senate was moving now to have them banned from this place.

***

Down the hall, the members of the House of Commons were convening for Question Period. And while the Senate prepared to puts three of its members on trial, the opposition in the House would now cross-examine the Prime Minister as a hostile (and ultimately uncooperative) witness.

Thomas Mulcair stood tall and stared directly at Stephen Harper, the NDP leader revisiting the prosecutorial air that he adopted in questioning the Prime Minister this spring. “Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister regret any of his actions?” Mr. Mulcair wondered. “Not Nigel Wright’s actions, not Mike Duffy’s actions, but does the Prime Minister regret any of his own actions in the Senate scandal?”

Mr. Harper stood and said only that his government expected the rules to be followed and that those who failed to follow the rules should be held accountable. He then assured the House that the government would focus on “the real priorities of Canadians, and that is jobs, growth and making sure we have opportunity for future generations.”

All the same perhaps Mr. Harper might regret telling the House last June that Mr. Wright’s decision to cover Mr. Duffy’s bill had not been communicated to any other member of the Prime Minister’s Office. “Mr. Speaker, on June 5, the Prime Minister said that no one else in his office knew about Nigel Wright’s $90,000 payment to Mike Duffy. Was that true?” Mr. Mulcair asked with his second question.

Mr. Harper pleaded that he had already answered this question and indeed he has, claiming that what he said in June was based on the information he had at the time, a response that, unfortunately, only begs more questions about the basis on which Mr. Harper spoke. “Mr. Speaker,” Mr. Mulcair asked with his fifth opportunity, “how are Canadians supposed to know if the Prime Minister is telling the truth if he does not know himself?”

Mr. Harper hesitated and then responded by suggesting the NDP had offered contradictory accounts of its position on the free trade deal with Europe. “So what are Canadians to believe?” Mr. Harper asked himself. “They are to believe that the only party that is focused on the real needs, focused on the economy and doing things for Canada is this government.”

The Conservatives stood and applauded, the official policy now seeming to be that this matter of Mr. Duffy and Mr. Wright and perhaps the government’s general ability to explain itself does not (or perhaps should not) amount to a real concern.

Mr. Harper took three questions from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau—”We do not assure Canadians that everything will be perfect, but we do assure Canadians that when anything goes wrong, people will be held accountable,” Mr. Harper told the House—and then Mr. Mulcair returned to his feet and Mr. Harper decided he was mostly done with standing.

The NDP leader asked the Prime Minister to explain the allegation, conveyed by Mr. Duffy’s lawyers, that someone—”we”—was developing “lines” for Mr. Duffy as part of a “scenario” to repay the questionable expenses. Government House leader Peter Van Loan motioned for the Prime Minister’s parliamentary secretary, Paul Calandra, to stand and take this. The New Democrats were unimpressed. “You want to be the big leader, answer the questions,” David Christopherson shouted across the aisle at the Prime Minister.

Mr. Mulcair, reminding the House that only the Prime Minister could answer these questions and venturing that the public would “severely judge the Prime Minister’s silence,” kept on. Had Nigel Wright been present when the Prime Minister spoke to Mike Duffy on February 13? What was in the binder that Mr. Wright provided to the RCMP? Did the Prime Minister or anyone else in his office threaten Mike Duffy with expulsion from the Senate? Had other senators received similar deals? And what about the audit of Ms. Wallin’s expenses?


 

 

 

 

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/10/22/the-sketch-the-prime-minister-sits-do...

Centrist

NDP MP Alex Atamenko, MP for BC Southern Interior, has announced that he will be retiring and not be running in the next election. Best wishes to him! I dunno if the 2015 riding distribution has anything to do with same, as BC Southern Interior will essentially become South Okanagan-West Kootenay in the 2015 election, which the Cons would have won by close to a 6% margin in 2011.

http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/229763391.html

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Given that he turns 70 in 2015 and that he already retired from being a teacher before going into politics I think it is age related.

felixr

He did a good job as MP. He may also have had the name recognition to carry the new riding. Beyond figuring out who will replace him, I wonder if Harry Lali (recently defeated NDP MLA) might run federally in the neighbouring riding.

mark_alfred

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/10/28/suresh-sriskandarajah-who-pleade...

Interesting story.  I learned of this from watching QP today -- the Cons brought up the fact that Craig Scott wrote a letter of support for Suresh Sriskandarajah as a criticism of the NDP.

janfromthebruce

Often times babblers discuss the economic positions of the NDP and the direction NDP should take around taxation, and particularly the 1 percenters.

Here's an article and some food for thought. Pimco’s Bill Gross urges ‘privileged 1%’ to pay more taxes

As suggested, and I agree "the “privileged 1 percent,” earning the highest incomes, to support higher U.S. taxes on carried interest and capital gains to help the economy."

And that "the super wealthy “should be paddling right alongside and willing to support higher taxes on carried interest, and certainly capital gains readjusted to existing marginal income tax rates.”

socialdemocrati...

More and more, I keep hearing a lot of "good government conservatives" support a small raise in taxes. As much as conservatives support low taxes in general, some of them are not so damn ideological about it. At a certain point, if you truly believe in balancing the budget in a fair way, you have to support an increase of even a few points. And I think almost ALL progressives agree with that, except that half of them are still too scared of their own shadow to say so.

NorthReport

Do a little research into Harry Lali and please let's not go there.

felixr wrote:

He did a good job as MP. He may also have had the name recognition to carry the new riding. Beyond figuring out who will replace him, I wonder if Harry Lali (recently defeated NDP MLA) might run federally in the neighbouring riding.

North Star

NorthReport wrote:

Do a little research into Harry Lali and please let's not go there.

felixr wrote:

He did a good job as MP. He may also have had the name recognition to carry the new riding. Beyond figuring out who will replace him, I wonder if Harry Lali (recently defeated NDP MLA) might run federally in the neighbouring riding.

Upon a quick glance into Lali's history I see nothing too bad. He was certainly right to launch salvos at the BC Libs despite the NDP not wanting to do so.

DLivings

NorthReport wrote:

Ok Bill C-377, where are you?

Speaker grants NDP request for separate votes on Tory omnibus motion

http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/politics/inside-politics-blog/2013/10/speake...

WOW...  I missed this.   Too much day-job I guess.

Once the senate scandal wanes, this has the potential to significantly deepen discussion about important stuff!

clambake

New Democrats complain about the media’s Liberal obsession

Good piece by David Akin, including a video with Brad Lavgine : http://blogs.canoe.ca/davidakin/politicsndp/new-democrats-complain-about-the-medias-liberal-obsession/#more-98551

Quote:
Now though, the NDP is the Official Opposition and they can’t understand why the Parliamentary Press Gallery still treats the Liberals like they’re a big deal. How come the Official Opposition in the 41st Parliament doesn’t get the same kind of respect that the Official Opposition got in the 40th Parliament or the 39th Parliament?

socialdemocrati...

The BC NDP Election Review Panel released some recommendations to the party. Although that's provincial, I think there are some interesting topics that are relevant for the federal party as well. Things that are relevant to the 2011 Orange Wave, and maintaining it in 2015.

There were 47 recommendations. A few of them:

  • The 2017 campaign must start with a strong, clear message about why the BC Liberals don’t deserve another term as government. Not answering that basic question will leave voters wondering why a change in the status quo is needed.
  • The 2017 campaign needs to include a capacity for local campaigns to highlight either the failures of incumbent government candidates to address important local issues or specific platform commitments designed to build voter support in key ridings
  • Campaigns should be inspiring and provide a positive vision for voters to grasp, but they should also draw appropriate contrasts based on differences in policy, record and character
  • The 2017 platform must inspire both the Party’s traditional base and potential swing voters. The input from all levels of the Party needs to reflect those priorities and provide clear evidence that the BC NDP has earned the support of voters
  • When there are major policy shifts during the course of the campaign, the rationale for those changes must be clearly understood and communicated to all levels of the Party prior to the announced policy change

Lots of other stuff about fundraising and organizing and working with different constituencies, including various language/ethnic groups, aboriginals, and labor. There might be TOO much. You only hope they can act on all of it, and that someone at the federal level can replicate those learnings.

Brachina

There are those that volunteer both federally and provincially.

theleftyinvestor

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

  • The 2017 campaign needs to include a capacity for local campaigns to highlight either the failures of incumbent government candidates to address important local issues or specific platform commitments designed to build voter support in key ridings

What about a capacity for local campaigns to communicate to HQ about the failures of the NDP to address certain issues competently?

socialdemocrati...

There were a TON of recommendations about local campaigns and coordinating and organizing. Too many to name.

Skinny Dipper

One thing I like about Tom Mulcair is that he is focused on the priorities he brings to parliament.  When the Conservatives want to change the channel, Tom Mulcair does not take the bait.  For example, the Conservatives will hold some budget update speech in Calgary this or next week.  Mr. Mulcair will like keep the pressure on the Conservatives about the Senate scandal.

brian1966
NorthReport

NDP supporters need to stop whining about the labels, as the objective is to win first before anything else, otherwise no matter how important your particular pet issue is, it's not going anywhere unless you first win, and the labels are just a tool used to win.

Middle-class votes sought for 1 big reason

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/middle-class-votes-sought-for-1-big-reas...

----------------------------

2838

socialdemocrati...

Who's whining about labels?

NorthReport

No NDP wins, but Mulcair happy with party’s showing in byelections

The NDP — the only major federal party that failed to pick up seats in Monday’s four byelections — is still riding the wave of the orange crush, party Leader Thomas Mulcair told reporters outside the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Mulcair stressed that the NDP saw its “best result ever” in the traditional Liberal riding of Toronto Centre, where his “star” candidate Linda McQuaig took 36 per cent of the vote — up from 30 per cent in 2011. Mulcair also highlighted that NDP support held steady in the Montreal riding of Bourassa, which also went to the Liberals.

“The only result that would have been better would have been to steal one of those safe Liberal seats,” Mulcair said.

--------

At a victory party in Bourassa, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau crowed about his success and took a jab at the NDP.

“Make no mistake, the NDP is no longer the hopeful, optimistic party of Jack Layton. It is the negative, divisive party of Thomas Mulcair,” Trudeau said. “It is the Liberal Party tonight that proved hope is stronger than fear.”

The line — which played on the famous death-bed letter that late NDP leader Jack Layton penned to Canadians — did not sit well with the NDP.

“That Justin Trudeau would use Jack Layton’s dying words as a political tool says everything that needs to be said about Justin Trudeau’s judgment and character,” Mulcair told reporters.

Layton’s widow, Toronto-area MP Olivia Chow, also addressed the remarks after question period Tuesday.

“I’m surprised and disappointed that the leader of the Liberal Party chose to use those words,” she told reporters.

 


http://o.canada.com/news/no-ndp-wins-but-mulcair-happy-with-partys-showi...

NorthReport

Let's drown this sorry institution the quicker the better and here's how: Quebec sait faire!

How Quebec abolished its 'Senate' in one simple stepHow Quebec abolished it's Senate

Quebec Justice Minister Bertrand St-Arnaud reacts to a Quebec Court of Appeal's decision to call a future senate reform unconstitutional, Thursday, October 24, 2013 at the legislature in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/how-quebec-abolished-its-senate-in-one-simple-step-1.1536047#ixzz2lognxNg5

 

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/how-quebec-abolished-its-senate-in-one-si...

NorthReport

Liberal "sleaze" is what comes to mind when I see Trudeau's comments  trying to equate himself with Jack Layton.

Best not dwell on the absurdness of his remarks and focus on the big picture. Liberals, in spite of all the polling hype, but I'm still scratching my head how the Liberals could go from a 29% lead, to blowing the election are,the last time I looked, still sitting in a distant third place role in the House of Commons, the Liberals are not even the Official Oppositon, let alone the government, and LIberals will be fighting it out with the Cons to stay of of third place in the upcoming federal election whenever that occurs. Just keep our eye on the ball and watch and follow our top-notch, bar none, excellent Leader Tom Mulcair.

 

Policywonk

NorthReport wrote:

Let's drown this sorry institution the quicker the better and here's how: Quebec sait faire!

How Quebec abolished its 'Senate' in one simple stepHow Quebec abolished it's Senate

Quebec Justice Minister Bertrand St-Arnaud reacts to a Quebec Court of Appeal's decision to call a future senate reform unconstitutional, Thursday, October 24, 2013 at the legislature in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/how-quebec-abolished-its-senate-in-one-simple-step-1.1536047#ixzz2lognxNg5

 

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/how-quebec-abolished-its-senate-in-one-si...

They didn't have to get anyone else to agree (besides their senate, which was bought off). We're still waiting to see what will be required constitutionally to abolish or even reform the Senate.

NorthReport

A good discussion.

Justin Trudeau, Jack Layton and the Future of Cooperation

More recently, it has become clear to some observers (not only me) that the Liberals are orienting themselves economically more towards the right. This is a wise decision on their part, given the current weakness of the Conservative government, and also the availability of seats that should be low-hanging fruit for them that the NDP is unlikely to contest on a priority basis. Think Willowdale, but also Eglinton-Lawrence, York Centre, Thornhill, Newmarket, Vaughan, Oak Ridges, Halton, Oakville, Burlington, Wellington-Halton Hills … pretty much any seat with high average incomes and educational attainments, and no historic working class or social democratic voting traditions.

Even in Toronto Centre on Monday, the Liberal margin was bolstered generously from the Liberal-Conservative swing polls in Rosedale, while the NDP added to its strength south of Bloor and otherwise defended its base vote which should be sufficient to win the seat on its new boundaries in 2015.

To the extent that Justin Trudeau's election night remarks about Jack Layton were premeditated rather than ad-libbed, I'm guessing that this clear on-going effort to usurp the upbeat positioning of Barack Obama, personified by Jack Layton in Canada until his recent death, is a key part of the Liberals' play towards their left flank (along with the legalization of marijuana). Again, it's their best play, particularly given the sunny magnetism and youthful demeanour of their new leader, who is strong on the hustings if not in the House. But it did not prove sufficient to collapse the NDP vote in either of the central Canadian by-election seats.

Where Trudeau went too far on Monday night, was in explicitly trying to claim Jack Layton's mantle so soon after his death (and if you doubt the continued depth of feeling about this on the orange team, you haven't watched how your orange friends' Facebook feeds change every year on May 2, August 22 or any of the other meaningful anniversaries). First of all, it was an over-reach of Quayle-an proportions in the sense that if you have to say you're the next Layton instead of simply showing it, the proposition suddenly becomes ridiculous. Secondly, it showed Trudeau not to be a gracious winner (the way Layton had always been) and incapable of observing the gentleman's convention that election nights are for marking the temporary end of hostilities, to allow the parliamentary process to proceed.

But with more far-reaching consequences, Trudeau's comments touched a nerve within a party that has to this point maintained a disciplined public face of solidarity even as it grappled with its own changing of the guard. He at once thoroughly galvanized his competitors for the centre-left behind leader Tom Mulcair, and caused real damage to any future working relationship between the two opposition parties. These are mistakes the far more strategically adroit Layton would never have made, as he prized above-all his ability to work across party lines.

Looking ahead, there are seats the Liberals' growth at the expense of the Conservatives makes easier for them to win (such as the two-way races listed above), and others where it puts the NDP in a better position to win (Saskatchewan, southwest Ontario, and the interior of BC for example). The shadow cast by unpopular provincial governments mid-term will be felt more by the Liberals in 2015 (think Nova Scotia and BC) than by the NDP (as this past month in Manitoba). If the Liberals pursue their current path, and the government continues to suffer under the weight of its own scandals, they could see the Canadian political spectrum reshaped into a Liberal-vs-NDP contest with the Conservatives holding up the rear as a third party: arguably a better reflection of the range of Canadian political views that we have at present.

On the other hand, if they try to fight on two fronts simultaneously, any mistake could see them squeezed from both sides.


http://www.punditsguide.ca/2013/11/justin-trudeau-jack-layton-and-the-fu...

NorthReport

These comments by Trudeau that he's the new Jack Layton was no slip of the tongue. This is an organized and orchestrated campaign by the Liberals.

It's obvious the biggest stumbling block to power for the Libs, in their clash with the Cons, is the NDP.

If there was any doubt before, let's face the fact it is going to be all out political war between the Liberals and the NDP.

From Jack Layton to Justin Trudeau: there’s no monopoly on ‘hope’

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/from-jack-layton-to-justin-...

Determinant

Was there ever any doubt? 

The Liberals have run for decades on being the "Party of Power"; that's why they attracted the John Manleys of this world to their brand.  But the Liberal Party of Canada hasn't delivered power since 2004.  Their supporters are getting desperate.  But I would prefer to eat the Liberals for lunch in an election.  Strategic Voting != Voting Liberal.

NorthReport

D,

Without a shadow of a doubt I agree with the accuracy of your last line/sentence.

DLivings

Determinant wrote:

But I would prefer to eat the Liberals for lunch in an election.  Strategic Voting != Voting Liberal.

I agree with your first sentence and assume the second is just a misprint.   The Conservatives offer a much clearer opponent to offer an alternative to.  The Liberals are slippery... tell us what they think we want to hear and then follow the policies of the rich.  They are the more dangerous opponent.  So three square meals a day of Liberals would pretty much make me sick...  I'd never know what my next meal would bring.

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