NDP Leadership #115

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NorthReport
NDP Leadership #115

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NorthReport

Mulcair pulls ahead of Topp in NDP race fundraising

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120303/ndp-leadership-r...

NorthReport

Peggy Nash nets endorsement from rising NDP star

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120227/nash-schein-endo...

Unionist

Hey NR - could you or someone explain to me what the significance is of a story like that and why post it here?

(I mean about who's doing better in fundraising.)

NorthReport

Unionist,

 

Don't you think fund-raising is a big part of politics?

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:

Peggy Nash nets endorsement from rising NDP star

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120227/nash-schein-endo...

LOL! "Rising NDP star" - Jonah Schein! "Schein" of course is what stars do in German (or Yiddish), but I never heard of him. I guess he hasn't risen yet.

And listen to how much dirt he can pack into one short blurb:

Jonah Schein wrote:
"From the beginning, I've said that my choice was going to be based on finding a candidate who has the language skills to hold onto our success in Quebec [not Dewar], who has a solid foundation [not Ashton - too young] in progressive and movement politics [not the backroom guy Topp], and who is a real social democrat [not Mulcair]," he said in a release. "Our leader has got to be Peggy [process of elimination!]."

This dude is goooood!! Whoever he is, I see him as a future Communications Director at least!

What a farce.

 

DSloth

Unionist wrote:

Hey NR - could you or someone explain to me what the significance is of a story like that and why post it here?

(I mean about who's doing better in fundraising.)

Fundraising figures, particularly the overall number of donors, is a good indicator of the state of the horserace if nothing else. 

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:

Unionist,

 

Don't you think fund-raising is a big part of politics?

Yes. So is having a good solid team of volunteers, making sure all the administration and paperwork is done properly, making sure you get enough food to stay healthy on the campaign trail, making sure you've got good writers for the media releases - etc. - but you don't see any news stories about that.

So, what's the political significance of how much someone raised and how many people they raised it from? What does it mean? What does it prove?

 

Unionist

DSloth wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Hey NR - could you or someone explain to me what the significance is of a story like that and why post it here?

(I mean about who's doing better in fundraising.)

Fundraising figures, particularly the overall number of donors, is a good indicator of the state of the horserace if nothing else. 

Seriously?

I have a grrrreat idea.

Why not just award the leadership to whoever raises the most money? Or, if you prefer, do a runoff between most money and most donors?

Surely members who are serious should put their money where their mouths are.

I find this extremely offensive, but I guess different people find different things offensive, and it takes all types to make a world.

 

DSloth

Unionist wrote:

Yes. So is having a good solid team of volunteers, making sure all the administration and paperwork is done properly, making sure you get enough food to stay healthy on the campaign trail, making sure you've got good writers for the media releases - etc. - but you don't see any news stories about that.

Very, very true but there's no legal requirement that campaigns honestly disclose the nature of their organizational and administrative strengths.

This is a political race with very few reliable metrics for who is winning and who has momentum, so as a news junkie I'll take my fixes where I can get them. 

Chajusong

Michelle wrote:
Must be that open welcoming spirit you hear so much about the NDP - a bunch of young people who want to get involved get labeled "instamembers" when they come to a meeting and don't vote the right way.  Were they members or not?  How many Quebec members are new members signed up during this campaign?  All those new members that Mulcair signed up to vote for him - are they also "instamembers"?

Hilarious.  Welcome to the NDP!  Now sit down and shut the fuck up, instamember.  We haven't seen you around these parts enough for you to have an opinion.

Just in passing, does anyone here know what happens when you join the Liberal Party?  Probably not, but I can tell you, because I joined the OLP about 13 years ago.  I was only a member for a year, kind of got sucked in because I was volunteering during an election campaign where the only way to get rid of the incumbent Tory was to vote Liberal since the NDP had no chance whatsoever in the riding.  I realized after a while that they weren't left enough for me, so I let my membership lapse after that year and started voting NDP exclusively after that. 

Anyhow, the moment you join the Liberal Party, the riding association tries to get you involved immediately.  They call and tell you when the next meeting is, and when you show up, they see a new face and welcome you with open arms and try to get you involved.  They want to hear your opinion, and they don't look at you suspiciously, wonder if you're some kind of plant, label you an "instamember" or consider you an outsider until three generations of your family has been a member.

So, back to the meeting.  Just so I have it straight - the Mulcair campaigners here on babble who are gleefully feasting on this latest kerfuffle would have been just fine with it had the original motion of the Mulcair supporters in the Quebec youth wing passed and they voted to support Mulcair.  But they are crying foul because Topp's campaign apparently out-organized them and signed up enough young Quebec members of the NDP to attend the meeting and put forward and potentially pass a motion to support Topp.

Do I have that just about right?

Yes, the Mulcair camp were out-organised, and yes, what the Topp camp did was perfectly procedurally legitimate. I guess I just tend to think that we, as a party, are better than just seizing 50%+1 of the floor and trampling over the opposition. There had been an open and public discussion on the JNDQ's facebook page on the propriety of the JNDQ endorsing a candidate in the race, and the consensus takeaway from that, from all sides, including Mulcair's, was that as an affirmative action commission, the JNDQ's endorsement of a candidate would be unnecessarily divisive and would stray too far from its mission of enabling youth to take part in the party's democratic institutions.

There was nobody from the Mulcair camp attempting to get the JNDQ to endorse Mulcair. They weren't crying foul because they were out-organised. People from the Mulcair and Nash and Cullen camp are crying foul because the Topp camp came in trampled over the opposition, and struck a completely discordant note from what the rest of the youth there felt was our reason for being there - to come out of the congress with a united youth wing that respected the right of its members to vote for the leadership candidate of their choice. What the Topp camp did was procedurally legitimate - the rest of us just thought it was real shitty.

DSloth

Unionist wrote:

Seriously?

I have a grrrreat idea.

Why not just award the leadership to whoever raises the most money? Or, if you prefer, do a runoff between most money and most donors?

Surely members who are serious should put their money where their mouths are.

I find this extremely offensive, but I guess different people find different things offensive, and it takes all types to make a world.

You seem to be ascribing my statement a normative value it in no way was intended to convey. That campaigns with momentum attract more donors is just an observation on the nature of the campaign finance system we have in place.  There are, of course, much better campaign finance systems possible but that doesn't seem relevent to this thread.

Unionist

DSloth wrote:

You seem to be ascribing my statement a normative value it in no way was intended to convey. That campaigns with momentum attract more donors is just an observation on the nature of the campaign finance system we have in place.  There are, of course, much better campaign finance systems possible but that doesn't seem relevent to this thread.

Can you imagine a situation where one candidate appeals much more to people that don't have extra money to throw around and wouldn't benefit much from a tax credit? Or who are more able to contribute time and effort to a campaign than money? If you can, how would fundraising numbers be any kind of barometer?

That's why I call it offensive.

ETA: I'm not blaming you for your view. Maybe I should clarify. I find this whole dirt-slinging, muckraking, back-biting, careerist, winner-takes-all, multi-month horse race to be extremely offensive, the very opposite of how a progressive movement should function. I guess the concept of "I got more people to give me money than you did" fits in perfectly with this horror show.

 

Michelle

Chajusong, I must have misunderstood what people were posting earlier, then.  My understanding is that there was originally a motion to support Mulcair, and then when supporters of two or three other candidates got together to defeat this motion, the Mulcair supporters withdrew it.  Then the Topp supporters signed up enough people to put forward another motion to support Topp and possibly pass it.  Which the supporters of other candidates resented, and labelled a number of the Topp supporters as "instamembers".

And then what I saw in the previous thread were a bunch of babble Mulcair supporters (I don't think you were one of them, right?) feasting on this and crowing about how it proves the Topp campaign is so terrible and divisive.

I'm assuming that those same babble Mulcair campaigners didn't think it was so "divisive" for the original motion supporting Mulcair to be put forward, though, right?  It's only unethical when a rival candidate does a better job of it.

Anyhow, a potential solution to this sort of thing, if there is consensus among the youth members that they don't want people to organize supporters to go to a meeting to support a surprise motion, is to make a rule that you can't do motions from the floor (or at least, for certain types of issues) - you have to give notice of the motion a certain number of days before a meeting, so that if people feel strongly enough about it, they can try to convince people to come out to support their position on it.

I don't know if this sort of rule is feasible or even procedurally possible, but if so, maybe it would be a way of curbing this sort of thing from happening.

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

Chajusong, I must have misunderstood what people were posting earlier, then.  My understanding is that there was originally a motion to support Mulcair, and then when supporters of two or three other candidates got together to defeat this motion, the Mulcair supporters withdrew it. 

Michelle, not that I care about these horrendous games that were played, but just to be clear: The Mulcair supporter who proposed the endorsement motion withdrew it on Tuesday - 4 days before the meeting - that's my understanding from the comments. But I could be wrong. It's just that you were mentioning "motions from the floor".

 

NorthReport

Putting aside the amounts raised by each candidate, what is indeed significant is that Mulcair leads Topp by almost 50% in terms of number of actual donours.

Michelle

Unionist, when I mentioned a motion from the floor, I was referring to the one that the Topp supporters made.  I realize that the original support Mulcair motion was withdrawn before the meeting, once they realized the other camps were preparing a neutrality motion.  What I'm saying is that I'm sure that the babble Mulcair camp would have been just fine with it had the original support Mulcair motion gone forward and passed.  That wouldn't have been "divisive" at all.

NorthReport

Enjoyable trip down memory lane.

Parole de Mulcair!

http://blogues.cyberpresse.ca/marissal/2011/03/31/parole-de-mulcair/

Michelle

I do think that certain fundraising stats are relevant and interesting.  For instance, during the last US election campaign, it was quite relevant that Obama had millions of individual donations of $5 or $10 and that these made up the bulk of their donations, whereas McCain had many fewer donations of much more money.  It showed that Obama had a lot more grassroots financial support than McCain did.

In this case, it looks like the average donation from Mulcair supporters is $152.  The average donation from Topp supporters is $185.  Not really that big a difference at this point.  But I think I remember near the beginning of the race that Mulcair seemed to have a much larger number of donors giving much less per donation than Topp's few donors giving a lot more per donation, which would show that Mulcair was focusing at that point on getting a lot of grassroots donations while Topp was focusing on getting the big donors out first.  Now it looks like it's evening out.

janfromthebruce

And Michelle, they could change their bylaws and saying only notice of motions are allowed for certain kinds, although one wants to be careful of creating a "rule" to fix a problem and in turn creating a "bigger problem".

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

Unionist, when I mentioned a motion from the floor, I was referring to the one that the Topp supporters made.  I realize that the original support Mulcair motion was withdrawn before the meeting, once they realized the other camps were preparing a neutrality motion.  What I'm saying is that I'm sure that the babble Mulcair camp would have been just fine with it had the original support Mulcair motion gone forward and passed.  That wouldn't have been "divisive" at all.

Ok, I wasn't sure if you had worked out that part.

And as for "divisive", I agree with you, but on a much bigger scale. I was disgusted to hear about USW endorsing Topp, CAW endorsing Nash, SEIU endorsing Mulcair... who the fuck do they think they are? By "they" I mean the leadership cliques of these unions, plus those candidates who bask in the glow of snagging an endorsement? How dare some small groups in charge of organizations of hundreds of thousands of workers express an official preference, on behalf of the entire union, for a candidate?

Why does no one question such things, which I find borderline obscene?

I said at the start of this race that a "leader" (if indeed a party needs a tinpot dictator position at all - QS has shown that it doesn't) should be picked by a collaborative, not a competitive process. I think there's now lots of evidence to show that the competitive process sucks.

 

DSloth

Unionist wrote:

DSloth wrote:

You seem to be ascribing my statement a normative value it in no way was intended to convey. That campaigns with momentum attract more donors is just an observation on the nature of the campaign finance system we have in place.  There are, of course, much better campaign finance systems possible but that doesn't seem relevent to this thread.

Can you imagine a situation where one candidate appeals much more to people that don't have extra money to throw around and wouldn't benefit much from a tax credit? Or who are more able to contribute time and effort to a campaign than money? If you can, how would fundraising numbers be any kind of barometer?

That's why I call it offensive.

ETA: I'm not blaming you for your view. Maybe I should clarify. I find this whole dirt-slinging, muckraking, back-biting, careerist, winner-takes-all, multi-month horse race to be extremely offensive, the very opposite of how a progressive movement should function. I guess the concept of "I got more people to give me money than you did" fits in perfectly with this horror show.

There are two very different questions here: Is fundraising ability a reliable metric of electoral success? And is that a good thing? 

On the first I would say yes, Every U.S. Presidential election in the last few decades for instance has been won by the candidate who raises more money.   It's be no means a perfect metric and there is also a question of cause and effect involved but there aren't a lot of alternative objective indicators to point to in this race.

As to the second question, no of course the current campaign finance system is broken and inequitable. It was put into place by the Liberals, what else would you expect?  There is little the Party could do to change the legal framework to run the contest on, they could lower the maximum donation certainly but they'd have no way of enforcing such a rule. The candidates themselves have even less options once the Party has signed off on the contests rules, all they can do is compete as best they can or take some kind of principled stance by refusing certain donations.  As far as I know no one has refused any donations and they are all competing on the same playing field. It is an interesting topic and I would not mind if there was more discussion of possible reforms in the race (although I don't imagine we'd find it a hugely contentious issue).

NorthReport

Are u attending Unionist as would enjoy yours, or anyone else's feedback for that matter?

Penultimate NDP leadership debate set for Montreal

 

http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120304/federal-ndp-mon...

Michelle

Yeah Unionist, for the record, I would have supported the neutrality motion, had I been one of the Quebec youth.

And I'm not a Topp supporter. In fact, I have no idea who I would vote for if I were a member and I'm glad I don't have to make that choice, so I'm not an anyone supporter.  I just know who I wouldn't vote for and who I don't want to see win, so maybe that makes me an anyone BUT supporter.  I could live with most of them winning, and I've got maybe three that I like more than the others, but no one person stands out way above the others for me.  And those three occasionally change depending on what I hear them saying from one day to the next.

And I see your point about union leaders supporting one candidate or another on behalf of their unions - unless, of course, there was a motion passed by the membership endorsing that candidate.  I have no idea what the internal processes are in those unions, so I have no idea whether that happened or not.  But that is a circumstance where I could see a union legitimately speaking for its members in supporting one leadership candidate over another.

NorthReport

Woohoo!

NDP leader hopefuls to square off in Montreal

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/leader+hopefuls+square+Montreal/624882...

 

The debate, the second-to-last before the party’s leadership convention, will be moderated by former Action democratique du Quebec leader Mario Dumont.

The vote for NDP leader will take place March 24 in Toronto.

The number of NDP members has increased by more than 50 per cent in the past few months, a sign that interest is rising as the party approaches its leadership vote next month.

As of late February, there are 128,351 members, up from 83,824 back in October.

The climbing numbers are staggering in Quebec, which went from a little more than 1,600 members in October to more than 12,000 by February, surpassing all but Ontario and British Columbia in total membership numbers.

The four-month increase in Quebec represents a whopping growth of 750 per cent.

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

And I see your point about union leaders supporting one candidate or another on behalf of their unions - unless, of course, there was a motion passed by the membership endorsing that candidate. 

Inconceivable to hold a vote like that. Could never happen. And even if it did, and 60% voted for Singh and 40% for others, how does the union endorse Singh? If the other 40% are NDP members, are they then being disloyal to the union if they vote as they please in a leadership race? I return to my use of the word "obscenity".

 

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:

Are u attending Unionist as would enjoy yours, or anyone else's feedback for that matter?

No - not in Montreal that day - but isn't it being televised?? When I go to these things, they keep asking me to join the NDP, and I have to repeat my whole story about being a member in my early days and why I quit... it gets repetitious. On TV or the internet, I can just tell the story to myself (or my significant other, though she stopped listening to that one long ago...).

 

Michelle

I'm not sure whether it's being televised, but I'm kind of excited because I'm going to watch it on TV if they're streaming it online on CPAC or somewhere else.  (Okay, I just checked the CPAC website and they say they're airing it on TV and by livestreaming it online.)

radiorahim, loveable geek that he is, set up an old desktop computer he had lying around yesterday, and connected it to our TV (which is an older one).  Instead of getting a new TV that easily hooks up to a computer, he got some kind of converter box for $35, attached some old computer speakers he had lying around, and he linked it to all our computer networked storage drive.  So now, our TV not only plays streaming video from online, but also any video file he has stored away in any of his storage hard drives.

I'm pretty impressed, I've got to say. :)  We're watching streaming CPAC right now, and it looks pretty much as good as TV.  And I'm also looking forward to being able to watch episodes of shows from all of the networks this way since they put a lot of them online.

Paying for internet AND cable/satellite TV in the city is for chumps.  Well, and for people who aren't loveable geeks, or married to one.

nicky

Big crowd at Bonsecours, two thirds of seats filled with half an hout to go.

Michelle

Unionist, that is hilarious and reminds me of the conversation rr had with someone at the nomination meeting to elect the Toronto Danforth NDP candidate. rr is a member of the NDP so he went to vote.  I'm not a member, so I stayed home and followed it on Twitter, not wanting to take up a seat when I knew there wouldn't be enough for members. (And there wasn't - it was standing room only!)

He met up with a couple he knew there, and they asked where I was.  rr told him that I wasn't a member of the NDP, so I didn't come, but that I vote NDP and help out on campaigns if I'm not too annoyed with them for some reason or other at the time.  The guy, also a bit of a rebel, nodded knowingly and said, "I understand completely.  But I've found over the years that it's much easier to just be a member, than have to explain to everyone why I'm not."  For him, it was the path of least resistance - takes less energy to be a member than not to be.  I laughed because it's so true!

Send my solidarity to your longsuffering significant other, Unionist.  For me, it's free software; for her it's the NDP.  :D

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Quote:
Send my solidarity to your longsuffering significant other, Unionist.  For me, it's free software; for her it's the NDP.  :D

Hey it couldn't be THAT bad.   Today I was watching a speech by Free Software Foundation prez Richard Stallman with the headphones on and Michelle asked me to take the headphones off so that she could hear it :D

Anywho...free software is allowing us to watch the debate on TV.    And if anyone wants to learn the tech details, just open up a new thread on "babblers helping babblers".

socialdemocrati...

I hate the horserace coverage. Endorsements, fundraising, and photo ops don't do anything for Canadians. I find it stupid that this is what we focus on in our democracy. And frankly I find it a huge turnoff that a lot of people think that's what babble is here for (mainly Mulcair supporters, unfortunately). If we wanted to watch the horserace coverage, we'd just check out CTV. Right after I smoke a pound of crack and give myself a lobotomy.

Howard

The debate is off to a slow start (opening question). Cullen and Dewar are struggling in their French; Cullen more than usual.

Howard

Few of the candidates have been answering the questions directly.

ETA: Lots of platitudes.

Termagant

Unionist wrote:

DSloth wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Hey NR - could you or someone explain to me what the significance is of a story like that and why post it here?

(I mean about who's doing better in fundraising.)

Fundraising figures, particularly the overall number of donors, is a good indicator of the state of the horserace if nothing else. 

Seriously?

I have a grrrreat idea.

Why not just award the leadership to whoever raises the most money? Or, if you prefer, do a runoff between most money and most donors?

Surely members who are serious should put their money where their mouths are.

I find this extremely offensive, but I guess different people find different things offensive, and it takes all types to make a world.

 

Why DO you find it offensive? Raising money is an important indicator of support and organizing ability. I would be just as interested if someone posted info about how many volunteers each candidate had on their team. 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

wrong thread oops!

DSloth

Moving to the correct thread.

Brachina

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I hate the horserace coverage. Endorsements, fundraising, and photo ops don't do anything for Canadians. I find it stupid that this is what we focus on in our democracy. And frankly I find it a huge turnoff that a lot of people think that's what babble is here for (mainly Mulcair supporters, unfortunately). If we wanted to watch the horserace coverage, we'd just check out CTV. Right after I smoke a pound of crack and give myself a lobotomy.

I like to think I've brought a few other issues up for discussion. Such as Mulcair's housing policy, his policy on Fair Trade, fighting international War Rape ect... It just doesn't seem to catch on.

DSloth

I unapologetically enjoy talk about the horse race. I even love watching what passes for a Leadership election south of the border where I find each and every one of the candidates morally repugnant and abominable human beings, it's still fun watching them duke it out though, at least if you find politics more entertaing than football. My purpose in discussing it isn't to harp on Mulcair's frontrunner status. Frankly I'm not sure being the frontrunner is any advantage to Tom's campaign and it comes with obvious glaring downsides.

For a long time rabble was the only source for decent horse race coverage, CTV reporters might as well be covering an election in Finland for all their understanding of the NDP.

In that spirit, some interesting horse race news: According to a Huffpost reporter Romeo Saganash will be endorsing later this week. I for one have absolutely no idea who he'll pick.

 

Hoodeet

Is there a betting pool on whom Saganash will endorse?  (I'm not being entirely facetious.)

Hoodeet

Better still, when will some fly on the wall let wikileaks know who Il Duce favours as his rival?

Brachina

I'm betting on Mulcair or Ashton.

MegB

Unionist wrote:

Michelle wrote:

Unionist, when I mentioned a motion from the floor, I was referring to the one that the Topp supporters made.  I realize that the original support Mulcair motion was withdrawn before the meeting, once they realized the other camps were preparing a neutrality motion.  What I'm saying is that I'm sure that the babble Mulcair camp would have been just fine with it had the original support Mulcair motion gone forward and passed.  That wouldn't have been "divisive" at all.

Ok, I wasn't sure if you had worked out that part.

Why would that be?  Michelle has been on this board since its inception, and has been a moderator and contributer for many of those years, and is demonstrably politically savvy.  You guys ... sometimes ... you forget that there are smart and informed women on babble.

Anyway, my apologies for the diversion from the topic.

nicky

I don't know whether it means much but Saganash was at Cullen's party at the Gaspar bar.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Unionist wrote:

DSloth wrote:

You seem to be ascribing my statement a normative value it in no way was intended to convey. That campaigns with momentum attract more donors is just an observation on the nature of the campaign finance system we have in place.  There are, of course, much better campaign finance systems possible but that doesn't seem relevent to this thread.

Can you imagine a situation where one candidate appeals much more to people that don't have extra money to throw around and wouldn't benefit much from a tax credit? Or who are more able to contribute time and effort to a campaign than money? If you can, how would fundraising numbers be any kind of barometer?

That's why I call it offensive.

It happened in this very campaign.

Quote:

ETA: I'm not blaming you for your view. Maybe I should clarify. I find this whole dirt-slinging, muckraking, back-biting, careerist, winner-takes-all, multi-month horse race to be extremely offensive, the very opposite of how a progressive movement should function. I guess the concept of "I got more people to give me money than you did" fits in perfectly with this horror show.

 

*slow clap*

vaudree

Saganash strikes me as the sort that would tell the other Leadership hopefuls before he makes his announcement so that none are thrown for a loop.  I doubt that it would be Cullen.

It will be the person who most meets the qualities in his last post before he dropped out.

Mulcair made a point on saying that they have to be nice to each other both during the Leadership race and afterwards in today's debate.  Sounds like something that Jack would have said.

Mulcair had a reputation of not working well with others - wonder if Jack changed him a bit. 

Saganash stressed negotiation skills and respect and the interconnection of all things - it will be the person who most embodies those qualities.  A certain amount of today's debate was to show that some did not embody these qualities as much as they purported.

PS.  Simonvaudree sounds like a nice person ;)

vaudree

Figure that Saganash will probably go Nash or Mulcair.

Howard

Lol. An outsider's perspective on the NDP leadership race. We are looking almost as stupid as the Liberals these days. Egos will be the end of us. I miss Jack Layton. Somehow he managed to get people to behave.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Nathan Cullen on FB:  Honoured to have the support of strong Saskatchewanian New Democrat Nettie Wiebe!

1springgarden

vaudree wrote:
Mulcair made a point on saying that they have to be nice to each other both during the Leadership race and afterwards in today's debate.  Sounds like something that Jack would have said.

I thought Mulcair came across as a lot less combative than he sometimes has, that he was concerned that the NDP team comes out of this intact.  I don't know if he wasn't feeling well as Nicky mentioned or what, but laid back and team oriented is a good look for Mulcair.

I also thought Peggy did well today and I'm very much liking her prioritizing of proportional representation and motivating non-voters as a Plan A or dual track strategy to simply chasing Liberal and Conservative voters.

In the end no matter who wins the leadership, it is appropriate there has been a full airing of concerns from the various quarters of the party.  Onward to the next debate a week away.

Lord Palmerston

My assessment of the debate today: Niki Ashton impressed me the most.  The best part of the debate for me was when she took on Dewar's "no negative campaigning" which she rightly pointed out is really a means of stifling any discussion of his poor French. She pointed out that her mother tongue is Greek and her constituency is 96% anglophone, yet she learned French and that Dewar despite representing bilingual Ottawa and thus had far greater opportunities never bothered to take advantage of ample opportunities to do so. And Martin Singh's performance was disgraceful, his closing remarks were mainly attacks on 2 candidates and he kept repeating the right-wing line that business people are more qualified to govern than anyone else. Hopefully he'll jump to the Liberals.

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