NDP Leadership # 113

103 posts / 0 new
Last post
Howard
Brachina

doofy wrote:

Well the Conservatives must be scared of Mulcair...

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1139549--tim-harper-...

It begs the question: how stupid to they think we are?

Seems like Mulcair refused to commute to Ottawa and make less than $150000. Yet, he agreed to work as NDP QC lieutenant (did the NDP pay him more than $150 000 from party coffers?!), travel the province, commute to Ottawa, e.t.c... All the while, he had no guarantee of being elected. Only Conservatives could make this up.

The accusations make no sense, compare the commute to Ottawa, with commuting across the country to become Prime Minister. Yeah the knives are really are coming out, our foes are getting scared Mulcair is going to win.

KenS

I cant get any youtube clips. What is a rough description of that ad about Mulcair?

And does it actually run as an "ad", or just circulate?

KenS

They aren't afraid of Mulcair. They arent afraid of any of us or our party. They'll attack with whatever they can- and all the better if its the front runner.

Unless they were sure we were headed for a choice that is great for them- which is just a hypothetical possibility- they will attack most whoever is out front.... not the one they least want to see win.... if they even invest a lot of energy in sussing that out in the first place.

Brachina

Stockholm wrote:

doofy wrote:

Well the Conservatives must be scared of Mulcair...

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1139549--tim-harper-...

It begs the question: how stupid to they think we are?

Seems like Mulcair refused to commute to Ottawa and make less than $150000. Yet, he agreed to work as NDP QC lieutenant (did the NDP pay him more than $150 000 from party coffers?!), travel the province, commute to Ottawa, e.t.c... All the while, he had no guarantee of being elected. Only Conservatives could make this up.

That is a good retort...I agree that it seems curious that the Tories would be trying to undermine Mulcair now, rather than waiting until after he wins the leadership.

This is Mulcair at his most vulnerable, take out now and they have someone lesx threatening to deal with later. Wait till after he wins when he has the full resources of the NDP at his disposal and he doesn't have to hold back anymore more and no amount of advertizing maybe able to save the cons.

Lord Palmerston

Hunky Monkey wrote:
Interesting that whole threads were started on Mulcair donations... but not a single one started on Brian Topp's connections to a Rob Ford money man. Funny, that. I'd start one if I thought anything of it with regard to Topp but I don't.

Yes more evidence that babble is biased against Mulcair supporters.

I've said many times I find Topp's "left turn" to be insincere.  

KenS

Well, the Conservatives at least wont entertain any delusions they could 'take out Mulcair', or even contribute materialy to that.

But it certianly puffs up his supporters.

socialdemocrati...

Yeah, I wouldn't read too much into "who" the Conservatives are attacking, or say they think we should pick, or we shouldn't pick. No matter what they do -- praising a candidate, criticizing a candidate, linking them to their base, linking them to the center -- it's always to plant seeds of chaos and infighting.

The smartest thing we can do is not take the bait.

Ignore what Conservatives say about the race, and use your own common sense.

KenS

Its an interesting thought project- could a candidate be "taken out" with a sufficiently big scandal

But for me, even hypothetical thought projects require some basis in reality. And it would take something so dirty to take out a candidate that its compelling nature would mean no one would really need to promote it.

All that the stuff of Tim Harper's article amounts to is nuisance chatter. Worth the Conservatives tossing out there because its so effortless- but of marginal tactical value in itself.

DSloth

It's actually a very serious accusation, they're explicitly accusing Mulcair of extortion.  Of course the "they" in question are anoymous Conservative muckety mucks so their safe from a libel suit. 

DSloth

~Carry on~

KenS

They cetainly arent explicitly accusing him of 'extortion'. They'd have people laughing their heads off at them if they did.

I think I'm getting more puzzled why this stuff gets hyped into so much more than it is.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Howard wrote:

A new ad on Mulcair

Ummm, what's the punchline?

KenS

When your opponents throw muck at you it doesnt mean either that you must be doing something right, or that they are afraid of you.

It means you are their opponent and here is an opportunity to throw something. It will happen even over very, very modest opportunities, such as this one is.

Howard

KenS wrote:

They cetainly arent explicitly accusing him of 'extortion'. They'd have people laughing their heads off at them if they did.

I think I'm getting more puzzled why this stuff gets hyped into so much more than it is.

No one explicitly accused Layton of paying cash for sex. They just noted that he had been caught naked with an Asian masseuse next to a trash can with wadded up tissues in a police sting at a suspected bawdy house called the Velvet Touch. Nothing criminal there. Just some "interesting" details.

A smear is a smear.

Howard

RevolutionPlease wrote:
Howard wrote:

A new ad on Mulcair

Ummm, what's the punchline?

That's the best part. Everything ends in ambiguity and innuendo.

1springgarden

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Hunky Monkey wrote:
Interesting that whole threads were started on Mulcair donations... but not a single one started on Brian Topp's connections to a Rob Ford money man. Funny, that. I'd start one if I thought anything of it with regard to Topp but I don't.

Yes more evidence that babble is biased against Mulcair supporters.

I've said many times I find Topp's "left turn" to be insincere.  

Topp's "left turn" may well be insincere, but it's an important part of winning over the NDP base.  Any aspiring leader of the NDP needs to speak to the hopes and dreams of the base, to assure us that we are understood, that we hold the same values.  We're sophisticated enough to know that in a general election campaign the party must chase Liberal, Green and soft-Tory voters and that many of our aspirations will inevitably be put on hold.  By running a left wing campaign Topp is working to assure the NDP base that he understands what motivates us. 

Mulcair on the otherhand has offended much of the NDP base by repudiating some core NDP values ("I will not be beholden to labour"), saying we must change the party's language that has carried us this far and taking positions on taxes (income inequality)to the right of the field of candidates.  We know what needs to be done to win in a general election, but for now many of us feel dis-respected and not understood by the Mulcair campaign.  Good luck with that.

KenS

This latest thing on Mulcair is a a LOT less serious as an attempt than the one about Jack.

Sure a smear is a smear. But whats the point of sexing it up to be bigger than it is?

This is nuisance stuff.

Hunky_Monkey

1springgarden wrote:

Topp's "left turn" may well be insincere, but it's an important part of winning over the NDP base.  Any aspiring leader of the NDP needs to speak to the hopes and dreams of the base, to assure us that we are understood, that we hold the same values.  We're sophisticated enough to know that in a general election campaign the party must chase Liberal, Green and soft-Tory voters and that many of our aspirations will inevitably be put on hold.  By running a left wing campaign Topp is working to assure the NDP base that he understands what motivates us. 

Mulcair on the otherhand has offended much of the NDP base by repudiating some core NDP values ("I will not be beholden to labour"), saying we must change the party's language that has carried us this far and taking positions on taxes (income inequality)to the right of the field of candidates.  We know what needs to be done to win in a general election, but for now many of us feel dis-respected and not understood by the Mulcair campaign.  Good luck with that.

So, you're ok with being fooled by a candidate but not with one upfront with you? Great!

BTW, why did the UFCW endorse Mulcair? Or a long list of labour leaders?

And that change in language and approach was one reason why we finally connected in Quebec. The old style NDP got us in the 40 seat range if we were lucky.

As for taxes, we've been over this before but you just wish to ignore facts and reality.

Hunky_Monkey

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Hunky Monkey wrote:
Interesting that whole threads were started on Mulcair donations... but not a single one started on Brian Topp's connections to a Rob Ford money man. Funny, that. I'd start one if I thought anything of it with regard to Topp but I don't.

Yes more evidence that babble is biased against Mulcair supporters.

I've said many times I find Topp's "left turn" to be insincere.  

Good. At least your consistant unlike some, my Lord :)

I just find it funny that two long threads, one started by a moderator, about Mulcair donations occured on this forum. But when Topp is buddies with a Rob Ford Bay Street fundraiser... almost silence :)

Howard

-

MegB

I don't support Mulcair, and I don't agree with his politics, but this article sounds more like gossip than fact.  Note how no one is willing to go on record as saying anything. If I want this kind of stuff from the MSM, I'll read People, or US magazine.

The article doesn't do Mulcair any good, but he's too strong a contender for it to do any harm.

nicky

1. A talk Mulcair gave in Chatham, Ontario a day or two ago.

 

http://danage.com/2012/03/01/ndp-leadership-candidate-thomas-mulcair-coffee-culture-in-chatham/

 

2. The most eloquent endorsement of Mulcair I hve yet read:

http://www.marcellamunro.com/2012/03/my-choice-for-ndp-leader-tom-mulcair.html

 

It took me a long time to decide who to support for our next NDP leader, but I’ve finally decided that Tom Mulcair is the best choice to help us move forward. And here’s why I’ve decided to back him.

I know all the candidates are working hard. I like them all as people, and I thank them for their dedication in putting their names forward. The NDP and the people of Canada will be well served by a front bench full of the intelligence, commitment, and passion they have shown through a long campaign.

But through the campaign I felt like there was elephant in the room, and really wanted to someone who was willing to take that on that challenge in a positive way. And that particular pachyderm was what to make of our new found position of strength – how do we turn our historic opposition status into being a serious run for 24 Sussex in 2015?

Only Tom Mulcair really had has the guts to come out and say (and I’m paraphrasing) what I’ve been thinking: The breakthrough in Quebec changes things. The results of the last election have changed the political landscape, and, if we are serious about winning, it should change our party too.

The breakthrough, and this leadership race, could and should be a real opportunity to seriously consider what these new seats and the possibility of growing roots in non-traditional territories means. And for me, I can’t believe it just means “business as usual” for our party.

As I listen to the debates, I worry about an attitude that suggests the Liberals are finished as a political force. It isn’t true of course. Only Mulcair gets that if we are going to continue to reach into the Liberal voting base, and get them thinking about the NDP as a real government in waiting, we need to continue the work started by Jack Layton in winning over new voters to the NDP.

In many ways, the NDP leadership race has felt insular, framed within a familiar NDP comfort zone. Suddenly we are back to talking about “movement politics”, with most of the candidates trying to position as the “most pure” New Democrat.

Many believe, myself included, that Jack Layton himself generated the Orange Wave’s momentum in large part. I’m not looking for a copycat of Layton -- there isn't one and that wouldn't work.

But the fact is that Layton connected. And he did it by talking to people where they were at, not where he wanted them to be. By his last campaign, Layton didn’t talk in terms of the NDP being a “national movement for” one good cause or another; he talked about about getting things done for Canadians.

In these last few weeks, starting with this interview with the Toronto Star editorial board, Tom Mulcair has been the only one to take this challenge on.

Federally, the NDP is in a completely different moment than we’ve been in our long and honourable history. Yes, we have much to be proud of. We did make the Liberals, in different decades, enact some of the social democratic principals we’ve always fought for.

Now, we have a real opportunity to actually govern, and to get things done properly. And that’s largely because we had people vote for us last May who have never voted for us before.

But chances are, they don’t “speak” New Democrat. And I know, with his experience, his passion, and his charisma, Tom can speak to them.

For the new voters who were inspired to give us their vote for the first time, this leadership contest isn’t about our “roots,” it’s about our promise to be a different kind of party, and to listen to them. It’s not our traditions, but how we plan to grow with the new mandate we’ve been given, that will keep them engaged.

Mulcair is the only one who has clearly said (again, in my words): this win has not only changed the country, but if we really want to form a government, it should and must also, to a certain extent, change the NDP. I agree, and I believe if we are really serious about taking the Liberals out of the equation, and moving towards a different political reality, we should listen to him.

To have a chance to hold onto the seats in Quebec, we need a leader who is comfortably, not just functionally, bilingual. It also means we need someone who is comfortably, not just functionally, able to speak to a much broader segment of the voting population than the federal NDP has traditionally spoken to, or tried to speak for.

Tom Mulcair has shown, through the debates and his continued positive campaign, that he is the one best able to attract previously reliable Liberal voters that identify themselves in the centre or a shade left of centre. He is also committed to making sure we continue Layton’s quest to speak to millions of 'independent' Canadians with no particular political brand loyalty (many of whom are 35 or younger). 

The next leader of the NDP should be the one that most persuasively articulates a credible path to victory over the Tories. Full stop. Everything else is secondary. Taking that path means we will need to talk to millions more people who aren’t finding this leadership race accessible, and are still waiting for someone to talk to them the way that Layton did.

I believe Tom Mulcair is the man who can take us there. And I’m happy to endorse him to be our next federal leader.

Hunky_Monkey

Worth repeating... great note on facebook by Sara Adi Kreindler...

Quote:
"What's a good Leftie like you doing in a place like this?" It's a question I've asked myself during the NDP leadership campaign as, becoming increasingly impressed with Thomas Mulcair, I find myself in accord with some high-profile New Democrats whose views on intra-party politics I don't usually share. Does Mulcair represent the right wing of the party? The media certainly says so, although my efforts to track down the basis of such claims have often involved an Alice-in-Wonderland journey through more spin and supposition than fact. His opponents say so, although it's hard to pin down policy differences among the contenders – everyone would roll back Harper's obscenely generous tax cuts to the wealthy, and no one is talking about nationalizing the banks. So what's the story?

Mulcair is clearly the most charismatic speaker and the most experienced opposition politician, two characteristics that would make him the most formidable opponent to Stephen Harper and Bob Rae. But I don't want this decision to be only about personal capabilities, I want it to be about policy and principles. So I took a hard look at some of the key reasons why the "right-wing" epithet has been flung in his direction.

Mulcair's opponents never tire of reminding us that, in between first joining the NDP and becoming our first Québec MP, he served in the Québec Liberal Party. He has been equally tireless in explaining that this was the only option for a federalist in a province where parties split along constitutional instead of left-right lines. There really wasn't a provincial NDP in Québec. (There wasn't really a federal NDP there either, until Mulcair got elected.) It doesn't seem fair that Mulcair, who resigned from the Liberals on a matter of principle, keeps getting painted Liberal red, while Brian Topp can assert his own impeccable credentials by highlighting his involvement in the Romanow administration – surely one of the most centrist NDP governments of all time. It's all very well to wrap yourself in the flag, but not when there's nothing underneath.

Mulcair's assertion that the party needs renewal has raised alarms that "renewal" might imply a New-Labour-esque abandonment of left-wing principles. However, he has emphatically denied that he favours New Labour policies, and I haven't found any evidence of them in his platform. Listening carefully to his speeches and responses, I haven't heard any of the coded language that signals a turn to the right – no advocacy of pragmatism over principles (à la Gary Doer's last convention speech), no sycophancy towards the business community, no stifling appeals to unity. What I've heard is a commitment to address the increasing centralization and professionalization of control, the withering of our grassroots, and the complacency that prevents us from doing things differently. It's what those of us on the left of the party have been saying for years. Who hasn't bemoaned the hollowing-out of our activist base, the tendency to treat riding associations as fundraising machines instead of venues for political engagement? Who hasn't rolled their eyes at the "ordinary working families" mantra (what's the opposite of working families anyway – dysfunctional families?) and wished that the party would move from pat slogans to language that really connects with Canadians? Who hasn't felt concern about the patchiness of our efforts to connect with First Nations and ethnic communities, or the practice of exporting organizers from Ottawa instead of recruiting people who actually live in the communities they're supposed to mobilize? These are the things Mulcair is talking about when he talks about renewal. The alternative – to insist that renewal is unnecessary or has already occurred – strikes me as wishful thinking. (I have great respect for our Manitoba government, but revival of the party qua membership organization would probably require a defibrillator.)

The more I reflect on it, the more I realize that what causes the NDP to slide to the right isn't about the type of policy quibbles that have surfaced during this leadership campaign. It isn't about recognizing that governance means setting priorities and making tough decisions. Nor is it about accepting candidates from outside the party's traditional support base, or updating our traditional language. What causes the NDP to slide to the right is a lack of courage. It's the fear of taking a strong, principled stand that might be unpopular with Tory swing voters, combined with the fear of engaging and empowering our members. Neither of these things is likely to be a problem in an NDP led by Mulcair.

As I've had time to consider the issues carefully, I've become more sanguine about being in the room with some unlikely political allies. They are there because they believe that Mulcair can take on the Tories and Liberals and lead us into an NDP government. And so do I. I'm also convinced that he stands for the kind of party I believe in. And I'm not going to let rumours, assumptions, and insinuations stand in the way of making the best choice.

I love the last line :)

socialdemocrati...

KenS wrote:
Sure a smear is a smear. But whats the point of sexing it up to be bigger than it is?

This is nuisance stuff.

Moving on...

Most New Democrats I talk to have been pleased with the party under Jack Layton. They never complained about feeling squeezed or pushed to the right. And yet we moderated our stance on Israel Palestine, removed the quota for affiliated members, and abandoned all plans for nationalizing industry. The enthusiasm didn't drop off. We promised to cut taxes for some (small) corporations, dropped plans to withdraw from NATO, and are now only promising to tweak trade instead of pulling out of NAFTA. Still, New Democrats were ecstatic to win big this recent election, aside from a little concern about Harper. (Understatement.)

I know that doesn't describe *all* New Democrats. I'm sure some people stopped voting NDP along the way, and I'm sure there is a faction who believes that Jack Layton was some kind of Judas. But when Brian "Romanow" Topp and Tom "Bring the Center to Us" Mulcair are the frontrunners, it might indicate that most NDP members are comfortable with the direction we've been going.

MegB

Well, the NDP is never as left or progressive as I want it to be, and definitely during some elections I hold my nose and vote NDP, but I am very curious about what kind of federal gov't they would form, if they could gain on the support from the last election (which I'm not sure they will). 

Todrick of Chat...

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

[Most New Democrats I talk to have been pleased with the party under Jack Layton. They never complained about feeling squeezed or pushed to the right. And yet we moderated our stance on Israel Palestine, removed the quota for affiliated members, and abandoned all plans for nationalizing industry. The enthusiasm didn't drop off. We promised to cut taxes for some (small) corporations, dropped plans to withdraw from NATO, and are now only promising to tweak trade instead of pulling out of NAFTA. Still, New Democrats were ecstatic to win big this recent election, aside from a little concern about Harper. (Understatement.)

Under Jack Layton the NDP became a pro-military/war party.

Lord Palmerston

They also supported the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999...to say the NDP didn't support imperialist military adventures prior to Layton is ridiculous.  

Wilf Day

TheArchitect wrote:

Raymond Côte, MP for Beauport—Limoilou, is endorsing Peggy Nash.

Côte has stated: "Peggy is the best choice for Quebec. The remarkable team she has attracted here is a testament to the hope she inspires, the energy she ignites, and the sincere reverence she has for our unique perspective and experience."

http://peggynash.ca/2012/nash-adds-another-quebec-mp-to-list-of-endorsers/

Now that is fascinating. Côte ran in 2006 (pre-Mulcair) in the semi-rural Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, where he got 6.8% of the vote in the Quebec City Conservative sweep, when a hay farmer named Jacques Gourde got double the vote of the incumbent Bloc MP. Now, 6.8% may not sound like much, but in the other Quebec City ridings we got 6.2%, 5.7%, 4.6%, and 3.9%, although Denis Blanchette (now an MP) did get 9.1% in Louis-Hébert against another "accidental Tory" and we did get 9.2% in Québec and 8.0% in Beauport—Limoilou. Then in 2008 in the same semi-rural riding Côte (President of the Parents Committee of the Capital School Board from 2005 to 2007) got 13.2%, the best in the region, compared with 13.1% for Anne-Marie Day (now an MP) in urban Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, 12.2% in Beauport—Limoilou, 10.5% for Alexandrine Latendresse (now an MP), 9.3% for Denis Blanchette, 7.7% for Jonathan Tremblay (now an MP) and 12.7%, 11.8%, and 10.8% in the others. Côte's run was impressive enough that, in 2011, he got the nomination in Beauport—Limoilou where he was considered the leading NDP candidate in the region and got a seat in the shadow cabinet as Quebec City's representative.

A catch.

Idealistic Pragmatist wrote:

nicky wrote:

Topp's tribal battle cry that "Tom Mulcair needs to be in our party a little longer before he seeks to lead it" is just plain ugly and, unfortunately, typical.

"Ugly"? I respectfully suggest that you might want to get out a bit more (might I suggest venturing south?). I don't agree with Topp on this point at all, but if that's his opinion, there's nothing wrong with him stating it, nor is there anything "ugly" about it. It's probably strategically smart for him.

In Peterborough Wednesday night I was chatting with Brian at one point, and the fact that I had been a delegate at the founding convention in 1961 (at age 18) came up. I innocently asked him if he had been at the founding convention. He replied that, having been one year old at the time, that would have been difficult. I said "not at all; when one woman pinned her delegate's badge on her infant in his babyseat we got a front page photo in the Toronto Star under the heading "Dozing Delegate." Are you sure you've been in the party long enough to seek to lead it?" He laughed. But I doubt he'll stop using the line.

Rebecca West wrote:

nicky wrote:
Maybe the site was established by our moderators.

Lookit, I don't come into your workplace and insult you. Stop doing it in ours, or you'll be taking another holiday from babble.

Umm, I took that as a joke.

KenS

I've been in the States a couple weeks. I'm certainly aware of the robocalls scandal burgeoning, but this sick computer and connection dies in the effort to get most newspaper articles, so I've read only disjointed details.

So I called home, and got more of an idea of the scope and how much it plays.

I guess I'll read up on some of the threads to get a better idea. There is no reason this should directly play into the leadership race, and there are the other places to discuss it, but its still an interesting thought about why it doesnt pop in anyway.

socialdemocrati...

Lord Palmerston wrote:
They also supported the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999...to say the NDP didn't support imperialist military adventures prior to Layton is ridiculous.

And this is sort of my point. It's the NDP. It's not the vanguard of the proletariat. It might suck the NDP took a position on an airstrike 13 years ago. But that's the party we have. And in the grand scheme of things, that airstrike means nothing to me as a Canadian compared to childcare, or a federal minimum wage, or climate change. Even just on foreign policy, it means nothing to me compared to the 10+ year quagmire in Afghanistan, or the 8+ year quagmire in Iraq.

I still support the NDP. Enthusiastically. And for the people who are worried we're about to become a "pro war pro imperialist" party, I'm afraid you'll never be satisfied, because we're already there.

nicky

Yes it was a joke Wilf.

Now Iveson is airing the Conservative claim that Mulcair wanted to join them.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/01/john-ivison-mulcair-asked...

There must be a reason why the Cons are putting this out again now. They tried it a few months back without much effect.

socialdemocrati...

"There must be a reason": because it gets us infighting and arguing about whether Conservatives want Mulcair to lose, or if they want us to think they want Mulcair to lose so that we pick Mulcair, or that we're too smart to fall for that because they only want us to think that they want us to think that they want Mulcair to lose so that we don't pick Mulcair...

I'm more interested in the reason that people keep airing Conservative attacks on Babble, with anything more than a head-shake.

KenS

Thats the reason: maybe it will have some effect this time. Pretty simple. And comparatively trivial.

In itself, it isnt going to go anywhere. Not even close. But they are not going to pass up a chance to add another stone to the pile.

Todrick of Chat...

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

And this is sort of my point. It's the NDP. It's not the vanguard of the proletariat. It might suck the NDP took a position on an airstrike 13 years ago. But that's the party we have. And in the grand scheme of things, that airstrike means nothing to me as a Canadian compared to childcare, or a federal minimum wage, or climate change. Even just on foreign policy, it means nothing to me compared to the 10+ year quagmire in Afghanistan, or the 8+ year quagmire in Iraq.

I still support the NDP. Enthusiastically. And for the people who are worried we're about to become a "pro war pro imperialist" party, I'm afraid you'll never be satisfied, because we're already there.

 

I guess you missed the NDP support of an illegal bombing campaign against Libya this spring.

Or the NDP supporting the Canadian troops (look for their press release for each dead Canadian soldier) in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last decade.

KenS

Or do not think it is a deal breaker.

But you'd like to think that it is because we 'missed it' or 'don't understand' or whatever.

Hunky_Monkey

Todrick of Chatsworth wrote:

Or the NDP supporting the Canadian troops (look for their press release for each dead Canadian soldier) in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last decade.

We had troops in Iraq?

Brachina

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Worth repeating... great note on facebook by Sara Adi Kreindler...

Quote:
"What's a good Leftie like you doing in a place like this?" It's a question I've asked myself during the NDP leadership campaign as, becoming increasingly impressed with Thomas Mulcair, I find myself in accord with some high-profile New Democrats whose views on intra-party politics I don't usually share. Does Mulcair represent the right wing of the party? The media certainly says so, although my efforts to track down the basis of such claims have often involved an Alice-in-Wonderland journey through more spin and supposition than fact. His opponents say so, although it's hard to pin down policy differences among the contenders – everyone would roll back Harper's obscenely generous tax cuts to the wealthy, and no one is talking about nationalizing the banks. So what's the story?

Mulcair is clearly the most charismatic speaker and the most experienced opposition politician, two characteristics that would make him the most formidable opponent to Stephen Harper and Bob Rae. But I don't want this decision to be only about personal capabilities, I want it to be about policy and principles. So I took a hard look at some of the key reasons why the "right-wing" epithet has been flung in his direction.

Mulcair's opponents never tire of reminding us that, in between first joining the NDP and becoming our first Québec MP, he served in the Québec Liberal Party. He has been equally tireless in explaining that this was the only option for a federalist in a province where parties split along constitutional instead of left-right lines. There really wasn't a provincial NDP in Québec. (There wasn't really a federal NDP there either, until Mulcair got elected.) It doesn't seem fair that Mulcair, who resigned from the Liberals on a matter of principle, keeps getting painted Liberal red, while Brian Topp can assert his own impeccable credentials ft highlighting his involvement in the Romanow administration – surely one of the most centrist NDP governments of all time. It's all very well to wrap yourself in the flag, but not when there's nothing underneath.

Mulcair's assertion that the party needs renewal has raised alarms that "renewal" might imply a New-Labour-esque abandonment of left-wing principles. However, he has emphatically denied that he favours New Labour policies, and I haven't found any evidence of them in his platform. Listening carefully to his speeches and responses, I haven't heard any of the coded language that signals a turn to the right – no advocacy of pragmatism over principles (à la Gary Doer's last convention speech), no sycophancy towards the business community, no stifling appeals to unity. What I've heard is a commitment to address the increasing centralization and professionalization of control, the withering of our grassroots, and the complacency that prevents us from doing things differently. It's what those of us on the left of the party have been saying for years. Who hasn't bemoaned the hollowing-out of our activist base, the tendency to treat riding associations as fundraising machines instead of venues for political engagement? Who hasn't rolled their eyes at the "ordinary working families" mantra (what's the opposite of working families anyway – dysfunctional families?) and wished that the party would move from pat slogans to language that really connects with Canadians? Who hasn't felt concern about the patchiness of our efforts to connect with First Nations and ethnic communities, or the practice of exporting organizers from Ottawa instead of recruiting people who actually live in the communities they're supposed to mobilize? These are the things Mulcair is talking about when he talks about renewal. The alternative – to insist that renewal is unnecessary or has already occurred – strikes me as wishful thinking. (I have great respect for our Manitoba government, but revival of the party qua membership organization would probably require a defibrillator.)

The more I reflect on it, the more I realize that what causes the NDP to slide to the right isn't about the type of policy quibbles that have surfaced during this leadership campaign. It isn't about recognizing that governance means setting priorities and making tough decisions. Nor is it about accepting candidates from outside the party's traditional support base, or updating our traditional language. What causes the NDP to slide to the right is a lack of courage. It's the fear of taking a strong, principled stand that might be unpopular with Tory swing voters, combined with the fear of engaging and empowering our members. Neither of these things is likely to be a problem in an NDP led by Mulcair.

As I've had time to consider the issues carefully, I've become more sanguine about being in the room with some unlikely political allies. They are there because they believe that Mulcair can take on the Tories and Liberals and lead us into an NDP government. And so do I. I'm also convinced that he stands for the kind of party I believe in. And I'm not going to let rumours, assumptions, and insinuations stand in the way of making the best choice.

I love the last line :)

+100000000000

This was a brillant statement and the most sensable thing I've heard in ages.

Winston

Brachina wrote:
Sara Adi Kreindler wrote:
As I've had time to consider the issues carefully, I've become more sanguine about being in the room with some unlikely political allies. They are there because they believe that Mulcair can take on the Tories and Liberals and lead us into an NDP government. And so do I. I'm also convinced that he stands for the kind of party I believe in. And I'm not going to let rumours, assumptions, and insinuations stand in the way of making the best choice.

+100000000000 This was a brillant statement and the most sensable thing I've heard in ages.

I agree; I think Sara has said more clearly and succinctly what many of us have been wanting to say.  If you like it, then "share" it on facebook:

Sara Adi Kreindler: Why I support Thomas Mulcair

Todrick of Chat...

KenS wrote:

Or do not think it is a deal breaker.

But you'd like to think that it is because we 'missed it' or 'don't understand' or whatever.

 

Ahhh Ken, you are just like Fidel. A loyal foot soldier to the party, always obedient and following directions of the party headquarters.

I salute you on your efforts to discredit, and to misdirect any messaging or reporting that makes the NDP look bad.

Todrick of Chat...

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Todrick of Chatsworth wrote:

Or the NDP supporting the Canadian troops (look for their press release for each dead Canadian soldier) in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last decade.

We had troops in Iraq?

Yes, Canada had troops in Iraq. Quiet a few Generals commanding American and British troops.

They were under officer exchange programs.

There were some old threads on this issue years ago.

Here is an old news article from 2008.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=40894

Stockholm

doofy wrote:

Well the Conservatives must be scared of Mulcair...

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1139549--tim-harper-...

It begs the question: how stupid to they think we are?

Seems like Mulcair refused to commute to Ottawa and make less than $150000. Yet, he agreed to work as NDP QC lieutenant (did the NDP pay him more than $150 000 from party coffers?!), travel the province, commute to Ottawa, e.t.c... All the while, he had no guarantee of being elected. Only Conservatives could make this up.

Another thing to point out...I think some people can legitimately question Mulcair's beliefs on the basis that a "true" New Democrat would never even consider accepting an appointment from a Conservative government (where does that leave Stephen Lewis and Ed Broadbent who both accepted highly paid sinecures from Mulroney?), but the idea that Mulcair was only after money si a bit ridiculous...He is a lawyer with a very long impressive resume. If his main motive was money, he wouldn't bother with being a politician of getting a government appointment at all - he would just go back to practicing law and easily command a salary of well over $200k/year.

socialdemocrati...

Bad, good, it's in the eye of the beholder on this one. As a matter of fact, they supported some wars, and were against some others. At least they got the most important ones of the past decade right. That's all I expect.

Transitioning from American Empire to something else, there isn't a political party in the world that can do that. Not even in America, let alone here. I try not to waste time or energy on things that are impossible to change, and I don't put that moral burden on anyone else.

If you've found an effective way to achieve that, good for you, and I wish you well. It probably doesn't involve the NDP.

nicky

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/03/02/lawrence-martin-the-smart-money-is-on-mulcair/

 

The smart money is on Mulcair iPolitics Insight

Posted on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, 5:04 am by 

Lawrence Martin is the author of 10 books, including six national bestsellers. His most recent, Harperland, was nominated for the Shaughnessy Cohen award. His other works include two volumes on Jean Chrétien, two on Canada-U.S. relations and three books on hockey.

Can anyone stop Tom Mulcair?

In the NDP leadership race it’s been another good week for the party’s Quebec lieutenant. He had a strong debate performance in Manitoba and he picked up a big endorsement from Robert Chisholm, the Nova Scotia candidate who departed the race.

As the campaign progresses, there appear to be fewer and fewer doubting Thomases. The consensus is not only that he is leading the race but that the lead is widening

Kinetix

I realize that this is negative and superficial but I just don't like Thomas Mulcair.  I didn't when I lived in Montreal and I don't now.  I don't like the way he carries himself.  I don't like the way he presents on camera.  He appears stuffy, standoffish and unfriendly to me.  I worry that if I can't identify with him as a New Democrat that others are going to have a hard time too, and that doesn't bode well for the future.

nicky

Well I like him and so does my dog Angus who is the best judge of character I know. So there.

On a more substantial note, is Alice suggesting a rival candidate is behndthe Know Mulcair smear site?

 

RT : Makers of KnowMulcair.ca have 24 hrs to pull site down, come clean. IPs traced. Don't make your cand pay for this! 

 

 

 

nicky

Actually, she is re-tweeting now that i look at it closely.

janfromthebruce

and spinnertruth follows nobody and has 3 followers - an autonomous tweet setup - oh robotweeter!

KenS

Not following.

Rakhmetov

Concerning predictions for the race, I'm becoming more and more convinced that Mulcair is just not going to win.  The amount of members who don't want Mulcair to be the new leader is likely larger than his small plurality and they will coalesce around an anti-Mulcair and defeat him around the 4th ballot.  At first I was thinking it might be Topp, but now it looks like it will be Nash.

I think the Mulcair team should be wary of declaring "Mission Accomplished!" a little too early here.  Marcella Munro and Mike Harcourt both backed Farnworth too, and he had most of the endorsements in that race.  There was not a single poll in the five-month BCNDP leadership race that didn't show Farnworth as the clear frontrunner, sometimes by double-digits.  Mulcair supporters should be worried about the following: how their membership drive in Quebec was a failure based on their own original metrics (Quebec is only like a tenth of the overall membership now, and not all for Mulcair either), about how it doesn't appear that Mulcair is first, or even second, in Ontario and BC where a majority of the members are, that his negatives are being driven up and the base is becoming increasingly skeptical of him and the direction he wants to take the party, and I think overall he's just run a pretty disingenuous and bizarre campaign.  If he wins he'll be breaking a lot of rules, as normally you're supposed to try to play to your base in a leadership race and then shift a little to the center in the general election.  You're not supposed to spend the leadership race berating your own rank-and-file members and activists, and some of his incontrovertible attacks on unions (i.e. implying they are special interests and that the NDP can't win while we have a close relationship with them) are disgusting, and on the record.  Incidentally, that Star article must be where the Topp campaign is claiming that Mulcair explicitly conceded he's moving the party to the centre.  Mulcair says: "A woman was giving me a hard time about moving us to the centre...".  Although I thought it was a very candid moment, as he explained how he is moving the party to centre and that "moving the centre to us" line is merely the "stock" euphemism he's been using to frame it.  For the most part though he's been more disciplined and is trying to have it both ways.  They've run a largely vacuous campaign (although not just Mulcair's campaign is guilty of this) where they just hide behind existing party policy, sometimes barely tweaked, and so they can downplay and deny the rightward drift, but then at the same time embrace all the mainstream and right-wing praise for moving the party to the right when they drop little hints of it and code to the press, for instance talk like "modernizing" and "renewing" the party, or say by having an annoymous "source from the Mulcair campaign" get quoted in some news article admitting that, yes, of course they're moving the right.  Take this article on his website, why on earth would they put this up if it didn't feel it accurately reflected his campaign?

Pages

Topic locked