NDP Leadership $116

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NorthReport
NDP Leadership $116

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NorthReport

Would the mods please change the thread title "$" sign to the "#" sign and thanks.

NorthReport

Mulcair is NDP's best hope to do battle with Harper

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Tandt+Mulcair+best+hope+battle+with+...

Presumably New Democrats are expected to recoil in dismay as they read that Mulcair was part of a government that froze the wages of Quebec public servants, or reduced student aid. And the ideologically correct will be aghast, surely, when they discover that Mulcair has long supported Israel’s right to exist in peace and security. What further horrors await, should this usurper seize control of the party of Tommy Douglas and wrench it, kicking and screaming, to within reach of forming government?

The most thorough profile of Mulcair yet written was done last spring by Alex Castonguay in L’Actualite, Macleans’ sister publication in Quebec. It reveals Mulcair to be, like Brian Topp, one of a rarefied sub-group in Quebec and Canadian politics: The perfectly bilingual child of an anglophone-francophone union. Mulcair’s pre-political background is intriguing, in that he worked both for the Conseil de la langue francaise, which polices the use of French in Quebec, and for Alliance Quebec, an anglophone-rights lobby group.

More interesting still, Castonguay’s profile of Mulcair reveals a politician, nicknamed “the grizzly,” who by virtue of intellect, force of personality and simple bloody-mindedness, came to be feared by his political opponents. “From the very beginning he was a pitiless warrior,” veteran Quebec Liberal politician Pierre Paradis told Castonguay.

That just wouldn’t do, in opposition to Stephen Harper, now would it? Better to put someone more timorous up against the most effective and ruthless Conservative leader Canadians have seen, possibly, since Sir John A. Macdonald. Perhaps NDP supporters can then watch, in horrified fascination, as Harper feeds their morally unblemished new leader through the wood-chipper. Brian Topp, Peggy Nash and Paul Dewar can be described as many things. Pitiless warrior is not among them.

There are two larger factors, both incontrovertible, that make Mulcair the NDP’s best and perhaps only hope of consolidating and furthering Jack Layton’s gains.

First, Mulcair is the only candidate whom both francophone and anglophone Quebecers will embrace as one of their own. Topp can argue he fits that bill too. With respect, no. His lack of elected experience, working in the cauldron and under a spotlight, is too large an obstacle, and that has become obvious in his debate performances, including Sunday’s in Montreal.

Second, Mulcair is positioning himself plainly as an economic centrist, for example by defending “sustainable” oilsands development (that should be obvious, but never mind). His reasons for doing this aren’t mysterious. Canadians have three times in six years elected Conservative governments, because we are mainly economic conservatives. Unless the NDP adapts at least somewhat to that reality, it won’t contend for government in 2015.

It boils down to this: In spiking Mulcair’s momentum, his e-foes have handicapped the one aspiring NDP leader who clearly has a vision that extends beyond the narrow purview of socialist politics, who can hold Quebec, and who’s tough enough to go toe-to-toe with Harper. Odd.

socialdemocrati...

Wow, sustainable development is now a "centrist" economic position? Glad to hear it!

Social democratic middle FTW.

Bärlüer

From the previous thread...

Lord Palmerston wrote:

With all these union endorsements, I'm assuming Mulcair's views have evolved since 2005:

Thomas Mulcair wrote:
So it's a simple question of management. We have a business-like approach; we're managing the government. The PQ doesn't know how to manage. So what people will have at the time of the next election is a smaller government, lower taxes, better services. A winning solution.

Who's against this? Who's out there fighting? The unions. To give you an example: in some hospitals we had as many as 50 unions or accreditation units. You were paying with your tax dollars union representatives to be off all the time because when they work at the hospital then they go off for a day of reunion, they get paid for it. So we're going to be saving $50 million dollars. But the unions aren't happy because the $50 million doesn't transit through them anymore.

So they're giving us a tough fight but unions don't rule the province, our government does. And in another three years, you'll see the public will be on our side because they'll have realized that we delivered on all our key promises.

Unionist wrote:

The above quote was made when Mulcair was a minister in the cabinet of the reactionary Charest government (or has anyone out there forgotten that Mulcair was a Liberal lol). Furthermore, what he is obviously talking about is the multiplicity of bargaining units, and the fact that collective agreements allow for paid union leave (a very rare privilege, speaking from personal experience in the private sector!), leading to what he whines about being a huge expense when part-time union reps take off work, on salary, to attend union meetings. He then brags about how they have saved money - I don't know whether they did it by hard bargaining on paid union leave, or on getting the labour board to consolidate bargaining units.

Here's some context for the Mulcair quote and attendant discussion:

Mulcair was most probably referring to Bill 30, which completely reorganized bargaining units in the social affairs sector. This was a legislated, unilateral (that is, non-negotiated), far-reaching reorganization of bargaining units that had as collateral effects the dismantlement of existing unions and the pitting against each other of members of units that had diverging interests as far as negotiation of work conditions goes. The bill had such far-reaching effects that it was declared unconstitutional by the Superior Court in 2007. This judgment was however overturned on appeal following the Fraser decision by the Supreme Court.

Unionist

Bärlüer wrote:

Mulcair was most probably referring to Bill 30, which completely reorganized bargaining units in the social affairs sector. This was a legislated, unilateral (that is, non-negotiated), far-reaching reorganization of bargaining units that had as collateral effects the dismantlement of existing unions and the pitting against each other of members of units that had diverging interests as far as negotiation of work conditions goes. The bill had such far-reaching effects that it was declared unconstitutional by the Superior Court in 2007. This judgment was however overturned on appeal following the Fraser decision by the Supreme Court.

That was my second guess - my memory failed. Thanks for that, B.

In fact, that's exactly what has happened (with or without attendant challenges re freedom of association) at the CBC, all three national railways, and many other multi-union environments, including consolidation of municipal bargaining agents, hospital and health care units, etc. - except that it usually happens by decisions of labour boards rather than legislation. While they save money by having to deal with only a single union instead of many smaller units, it often has the perverse effect of providing workers with a much more powerful voice.

For example, in the mid-1990s, as a result of efforts initiated by the Mulroney government, and strongly backed by CN, about 6 or 7 U.S.-based craft unions (machinists, electricians, etc.) on CN, CP and VIA were ordered to consolidate into one. After a secret ballot on each railway, workers chose the CAW. Not exactly the desired conclusion. Naturally, the 6 unions wept and blasted the government for stomping on the unions. But IMHO this falls far short of what the same governments - and virtually every NDP provincial government - did when crushing strikes and tearing up negotiated collective agreements to reduce benefits.

Having said that, the Charest government has been as bad or worse than the others. But all this trawling for quotes amounts to is saying that Mulcair was a Liberal, and we will never trust him. Why this logic isn't applied to Brian Topp escapes me - oh, I guess because when he was associated with union-bashing, it was the NDP. I have no time for such "logic".

 

 

Policywonk

NorthReport wrote:

(From Montreal Gazette)

Second, Mulcair is positioning himself plainly as an economic centrist, for example by defending “sustainable” oilsands development (that should be obvious, but never mind). His reasons for doing this aren’t mysterious. Canadians have three times in six years elected Conservative governments, because we are mainly economic conservatives. Unless the NDP adapts at least somewhat to that reality, it won’t contend for government in 2015.

If Mulcair is an economic centrist for defending "sustainable" tar or oil or bitumen sands development, then virtually all of the candidates are centrist by this standard. It is not so much that Canadians are economic conservatives, but that the prevailing economic paradigm and its media lackeys favour the Conservatives in a FPTP system, until it is pointed out and becomes obvious how bad they actually are at "managing" the "economy", even within the current (failing) economic paradigm.

Rakhmetov

Oh, and here's Mulcair pictured at the table with Charest as they explicity announce how they're capitalizing on Chaoulli vs. Quebec to usher in privatization: http://www.the-news.ca/tln/papers/Ch14-04.pdf

Rakhmetov

Just to back up what I was talking about in the previous thread about Mulcair's major efforts to dismantle unionized public health care in Quebec and how the Romanow report specifically addressed how dangerous Charest and Mulcair's proposals were:

Quote:
Mulcair: Our fundamental believe and willingness is to defend the public health care system. All were saying is that if you need to have cataracts surgery, why wouldn't it be possible to set up a system where you could go to a clinic, that happens to belongs to the doctor and have your surgery there. The government would still pay for the surgery. So why wouldn't the government be able to contract, for a thousand cataract surgeries, with some doctor that has their own clinic. Why should
[procedures] always have to go through something that belongs to the government? If somebody
owns an MRI machine that could produce MRIs at 300$ a copy as opposed to a hospital that does it
for $400, why can't the government buy 10 thousand MRIs from this clinic over the next five years
and contract that out. What were saying is that you could always get efficiencies from the private
sector because it is always more efficient than the public sector. So you could make partnerships
between the public sector and the private sector for provision of services.

From the Romanow report:

Quote:

Private For-Profit Service Delivery: The Debate
One of the most contentious issues facing Canadians is the extent to which the private sector
should be involved in delivering health care services...Some suggest that private for-profit delivery is more efficient than not-for-profit delivery
(Gratzer 1999 and 2002). Given that most of the private facilities currently operating and being
planned focus only on providing a limited range of services, there are some important concerns
that must be addressed in terms of how these facilities interact with the more comprehensive
public system. In effect, these facilities "cream-off" those services that can be easily and more
inexpensively provided on a volume basis, such as cataract surgery or hernia repair. This leaves
the public system to provide the more complicated and expensive services from which it is more
difficult to control cost per case. But if something goes wrong with a patient after discharge from
a private facility - as a result, for example, of a post-operative infection or medical error - then
the patient will likely have to be returned to a public hospital for treatment insofar as private
facilities generally do not have the capacity to treat individuals on an intensive care basis. Thus,
the public system becomes liable for the care triggered by a poor quality outcome within a
private facility, yet under current arrangements there is no way for the public system to recover
those costs from the private facility. In other words, the public system is required to provide a
"back-up" to the private facilities to ensure quality care... There are, however, several grey areas around the issue of private for-profit delivery. First,
diagnostic services have expanded considerably in the past few years and, in many cases, these
services are provided in private facilities under contracts with regional health authorities or
provincial governments. Much of this involves relatively routine procedures such as laboratory
tests and x-rays that can be done with little delay or wait on the part of the patient. But there
appears to be a growing reliance on the private provision of more advanced and expensive
diagnostics such as MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), for which the waiting times in the
public system can be frustratingly long because of what appears to be an under-investment in
such technology within the public system. The growth of private advanced diagnostic facilities
has permitted individuals to purchase faster service by paying for these services out of their own
pocket and using the test results to "jump the queue" back into the public system for treatment.
While this is not currently a common occurrence, Canadians made it clear to the Commission
that they are deeply concerned about the prospect of this becoming routine (Commission 2002a).
Medicare rests on the principle that an individual's financial resources should not determine
access to services. In the Commission's view, governments have a responsibility to guarantee that
the public system has sufficient resources to ensure appropriate access to advanced technology.
Increased investment within the public system for new diagnostic technology can remove the
temptation to "game" the system by individuals and health care providers through the private
purchase of diagnostic tests that could allow them to jump the queue.
The second grey area is services provided to workers' compensation clients with job-related
injuries and illnesses. Because of the belief that it is important to get these people back to work
quickly, these clients get preferential treatment in accessing diagnostic and other health care
services over those whose illness or injury is not work related or who may not be formally
employed. As suggested in Chapter 2, this current exception under the Canada Health Act
should be reconsidered.
The third grey area is contracting out of surgical services. In some cases, regional health
authorities have contracted with private for-profit facilities that provide specific surgeries such as
cataract and some day surgeries. Again, there is no clear evidence that this practice is more efficient
or less costly than providing the services in an adequately resourced not-for-profit facility.

 

Unionist

Was this the part you meant, Rakhmetov (and where did people dig up the Chomedey Laval News for cripes sake??):

Thomas Mulcair in 2003 wrote:
We find it pathetic to hear the ADQ saying that people should cash in their RRSP pension money to pay for healthcare. The people who are coming to retirement now, the people in their 50and 60s, are the ones who have paid all there lives so that the system will exist for them the day that they actually need it. Now you've got the ADQ saying that we don't care if you've paid for this your whole lives, we're going to make it a private system where you'll have to pay to get health in Quebec - even though it's illegal to do that.

Just to show that selective quoting can get you into trouble.

You know, Rakhmetov, I'd like to see all physicians, nurses, lab staffs, pharmaceutical producers, dentists, child care providers, and physiotherapists on government salary. One day.

But the most important part of our limited public health care service right now is single payer. If Mulcair was attacking that principle (you know, the way the coward Obama didn't even suggest it when the time came), show me. If he was debating what the most efficient way to deliver services is, that's very different.

 

Rakhmetov

Unionist: I quoted Mulcair's specific proposals I was referring to and the Romanow report's critique above.

It was pretty ridiculous for Mulcair to attack the ADQ for privatizing health care when his government was also implementing similar and eventually even more far-reaching measures.

I agree with you about completing Medicare.  That's the unfinished business of Medicare and the NDP should call to realize Tommy Douglas' original dream for public health care in 2015.  They could win the election with that issue in contrast to how weak Harper is on this file given his announced cuts.  To quote Douglas himself from Road To Jerusalem after the Medical Care Act was passed in Saskatchewan: "I believe Mr. Speaker, that if this medical care program is successful, and I think it will be, it will become the nucleus around which Canada will ultimately build a comprehensive health insurance program which will cover all health services--not just hospitalization and medical care--but eventually dental care, optometric care, drugs, and all other services which people receive. I believe that such a plan operated by the federal and provincial government jointly will ultimately come to Canada. But I don't think it will come unless we lead the way." 

Rakhmetov

I haven't seen Mulcair ever attack the principle of public financing of health care, but the frontlines in the fight to privatize health care in Canada right now is in the delivery of services.

Unionist

Rakhmetov wrote:

I haven't seen Mulcair ever attack the principle of public financing of health care, but the frontlines in the fight to privatize health care in Canada right now is in the delivery of services.

Maybe - but I thought I and about 12,000 others were [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/activism/demos-montr%C3%A9al-and-qu%C3%A9bec-no-... the front lines[/url] when Charest announced his intent to introduce both user fees and a flat tax for health care. Did we meet each other in that demo without knowing it? Laughing

Well, the fightback was enough to kill the user fees for now, but he still went ahead with the tax or whatever it's called (similar to Ontario, and BC I think).

What do you think an NDP government would do in the short term in response to the Chaoulli decision, and more importantly, in response to the dire localized and generalized shortages of public (or quasi-public, as in hospital) facilities for certain procedures? And are any of the other candidates saying or proposing anything different from what Mulcair did as a Liberal minister? That's my bigger concern than finding "gotcha" quotes from Mulcair's past.

ETA: Love your moniker, Rakhmetov!

 

socialdemocrati...

We already have private delivery of services. They're called "doctors".

Canadian health care is about government funding for services, not necessarily government delivery of said services.

And everyone in the NDP, including all of the candidates, want to expand that funding to cover other medically necessary services, including home care for the elderly. To the best of my memory, all of the candidates want to expand the kinds of drugs covered under public insurance. (Does anyone know where Martin Singh stands on this important issue? I can't seem to find it.)

Unionist

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

(Does anyone know where Martin Singh stands on this important issue? I can't seem to find it.)

Rakhmetov

Unionist wrote:

Maybe - but I thought I and about 12,000 others were [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/activism/demos-montr%C3%A9al-and-qu%C3%A9bec-no-... the front lines[/url] when Charest announced his intent to introduce both user fees and a flat tax for health care. Did we meet each other in that demo without knowing it? Laughing

Well, the fightback was enough to kill the user fees for now, but he still went ahead with the tax or whatever it's called (similar to Ontario, and BC I think).

What do you think an NDP government would do in the short term in response to the Chaoulli decision, and more importantly, in response to the dire localized and generalized shortages of public (or quasi-public, as in hospital) facilities for certain procedures? And are any of the other candidates saying or proposing anything different from what Mulcair did as a Liberal minister? That's my bigger concern than finding "gotcha" quotes from Mulcair's past.

ETA: Love your moniker, Rakhmetov!

No, you have a good point there, the user fee issue is pretty salient as well.  And to be more precise, I supose Douglas was talking about the public financing of all medical services, not necessarily having everyone directly working for the government like you may have been suggesting.

The Romanow report said the savings are illusory in for-profit contracting out, it's more efficient to just put more money into the public system.  And reactionary governments can exploit this and continue to shortchange health care funding, creating more of a pretext for further contracting out. 

 

Unionist

Rakhmetov wrote:

The Romanow report said the savings are illusory in for-profit contracting out, it's more efficient to just put more money into the public system.  And reactionary governments can exploit this and continue to shortchange health care funding, creating more of a pretext for further contracting out. 

Agreed - which is one solid reason for opposing Harper's caps on health care funding transfers to the provinces. But I'm with SDM on the overall issue. I want to see single-payer public financing broadened to cover lots of things - drugs, dental, senior care, home care, rehab of all kinds - as a priority ahead of "nationalizing" health care delivery. So if that's the main fear you have about Mulcair, I think it's misplaced - especially since if you press all the other candidates, I don't think any of them will seriously present a different priority, though I could be wrong.

 

mtm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MARCH 5th, 2012

 

PROMINENT BC MLAS ENDORSE MULCAIR FOR LEADER

Farnworth, Fleming and Kwan throw their support behind Thomas Mulcair

 

VANCOUVER – Three high profile British Columbia NDP MLAs have decided that NDP Deputy Leader Thomas Mulcair is the best candidate to lead the New Democrat Party of Canada.

 

Mike Farnworth, who represents the suburban riding of Port Coquitlam, said Mulcair represents the best chance New Democrats have to hold on to the historic gains the party made in Quebec last year.

 

“Through Tom’s positive campaign, he has shown us that he has the vision and charisma to unite progressives across the country around the NDP banner, the same way he helped rally hundreds of thousands of people to vote for us for the first time in Quebec,” says Farnworth, a former Minister of Health. “It’s clear to me that he will be ready, from day one, to take on Stephen Harper, and give us our best chance to become government in 2015.”

 

Jenny Kwan, MLA for Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant, pointed to Mulcair’s experience, superb parliamentary skills and progressive vision for the future as key reasons why she is throwing her support behind Tom.

 

A former Minister of Community Development, Kwan says Tom is the best alternative to build on the momentum that Jack has left us.  “Tom recognizes that universal child care and housing are the foundational building blocks for the economic and social well being of the country,” she says.  “His concrete proposals to redress historical injustices with First Nations, his policies on retirement security and commitment to invest in public transit reflect the kind of progressive, thoughtful leadership we can expect from a Mulcair government.”

 

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming, the BC NDP’s environment critic, was won over by Mulcair’s clear ability to win, and his focus on bringing progressives together on issues being ignored in Ottawa.

 

“Tom’s long-held passion and in-depth knowledge of issues around sustainability makes him the best choice to unite progressives around a green agenda for Canada,” says Fleming. “Given what the Harper government is doing, it’s a critical time for the NDP to make the environment, energy policy and climate change solutions our focus, and I know Tom can do that in a way that will connect with concerns shared by Canadians across the country.”

 

Farnworth, Fleming and Kwan are the latest of several prominent endorsers to announce their support for Mulcair's campaign in the last two weeks including former British Columbia Premier Mike Harcourt, former Nova Scotia NDP Leader and fellow leadership candidate Robert Chisholm and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) led by President Sharleen Stewart.

 

Others supporting Mulcair include notable figures such as Manitoba's first NDP Premier and former Governor General Ed Schreyer, former Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton and former MPP Shelley Martel, Noble Prize-winning climate scientist Professor Andrew Weaver, renowned philosopher Charles Taylor and the United Food and Commercial Workers led by President Wayne Hanley.

1springgarden

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

We already have private delivery of services. They're called "doctors".

Canadian health care is about government funding for services, not necessarily government delivery of said services.

And everyone in the NDP, including all of the candidates, want to expand that funding to cover other medically necessary services, including home care for the elderly. To the best of my memory, all of the candidates want to expand the kinds of drugs covered under public insurance. (Does anyone know where Martin Singh stands on this important issue? I can't seem to find it.)

I think you and Unionist are on a slippery slope opening the door for private sector delivery of public services.  Most hospitals are already run as provincial crown corporations and should be able to manage service delivery professionally.  You're looking to introduce market competion to the delivery of services through either P3 competitive bidding or competing service providers?  Is that this New Labour, Third Way thinking I hear so much about?

Unionist

1springgarden wrote:

I think you and Unionist are on a slippery slope opening the door for private sector delivery of public services.  Most hospitals are already run as provincial crown corporations and should be able to manage service delivery professionally.  You're looking to introduce market competion to the delivery of services through either P3 competitive bidding or competing service providers?  Is this that New Labour, Third Way thinking I hear so much about?

Yup, that's it. Privatize everything! That's me!

 

Rakhmetov

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

We already have private delivery of services. They're called "doctors".

Canadian health care is about government funding for services, not necessarily government delivery of said services.

And everyone in the NDP, including all of the candidates, want to expand that funding to cover other medically necessary services, including home care for the elderly. To the best of my memory, all of the candidates want to expand the kinds of drugs covered under public insurance. (Does anyone know where Martin Singh stands on this important issue? I can't seem to find it.)

And have you heard he's a businessman?

The majority of health care in Canada is privately delivered, but not all, and we shouldn't be doing anything to increase that.  The percentage of public health care costs in Canada versus private health care is declining, and that is driving the overall curve of health care costs up.

I think you're underestimating the significance of these issues.  For example, nearly all hospitals are run by non-profit organizations and to contract out their services to for-profit corporations and turn it all into a big business and such will erode the public system and is extremely expensive and inefficient.

 

Rakhmetov

Unionist wrote:

Rakhmetov wrote:

The Romanow report said the savings are illusory in for-profit contracting out, it's more efficient to just put more money into the public system.  And reactionary governments can exploit this and continue to shortchange health care funding, creating more of a pretext for further contracting out. 

Agreed - which is one solid reason for opposing Harper's caps on health care funding transfers to the provinces. But I'm with SDM on the overall issue. I want to see single-payer public financing broadened to cover lots of things - drugs, dental, senior care, home care, rehab of all kinds - as a priority ahead of "nationalizing" health care delivery. So if that's the main fear you have about Mulcair, I think it's misplaced - especially since if you press all the other candidates, I don't think any of them will seriously present a different priority, though I could be wrong.

Looks like 1stspringgarden beat me to the point about the significance of these issues.  

I didn't call for nationalizing the delivery of health care, but we surely shouldn't radically privatize delivery.  I don't think Mulcair is going to propose this if he becomes leader, I'm just underlining how reactionary his record was in the past on the most important issues.

Stockholm

Good for Mulcair to pick up the endorsements by Farnworth, Fleming and Kwan...though i hear that Jenny Kwan has such a dreadful reputation in the BC NDP - getting backed by her may lose him more votes than it gains!

mtm

DSloth, didn't you know, Jean Charest was running for NDP leader.

Bärlüer

Just a quick parenthetical regarding the health care discussion: there was an interesting letter in Le Devoir recently [in French, obvs] on this topic penned by health care systems specialists.

Bärlüer

[double post]

Hunky_Monkey

I've asked Mulcair personally about some items from his Quebec government days. Best way to get an answer to where he stands. And as I've said before, if you want to go to a townhall and ask him, he'll answer any question. I know that's not possible for everyone but I'm sure some are able to but prefer to be comfortable in thinking where he stands.

First, examples such as private delivery in a public system... he doesn't support that. He was a member of a government that did. Ask any member of any caucus and they'll tell you that debate is held behind closed doors and then you come out as a team.

Taxes... he'll be releasing a tax plan shortly. And yes, KenS... it's coming *wink* He has said clearly he supports a fairer, more progressive income tax code. He has also said he opposes corporate income tax cuts and wants them rolledbacked. He has also said that in Quebec, they pay higher taxes than the rest of the country but don't seem to mind for the services they receive such as $7/day childcare. He supports introducing national childcare and national pharmacare for example.

Not sure how that makes him a "lower taxes, less government" New Democrat.

I think it also highly insensitive and ignorant to paint Quebec politics with such a simplistic brush.

DSloth

I'm confused was Thomas Mulcair the Health or Labour minister in the Charest government at some point? All this nonsense from 7 years ago was back when Tom was the PLQ Environment minister trying to make the only Federalist Party in Quebec function, when it was clear he could no longer exert enough influence to prevent the PLQ from selling out to corporate interests in his portfolio he resigned from cabinet, a rare act of progressive defiance in Candidan governmence. 

Jack Layton then trusted Thomas Mulcair enough to step into the roles of Finance critic, Quebec Lieutenant and Deputy Leader almost immediatly upon arrival in Ottawa. The idea that he's a crypto conservative is utter nonsense and if the Quebec candidate is the victim of a whisper campaign misconstruing Quebec politics it could permanently harm the Party's prospects in that province. 

Hunky_Monkey

And I agree with Unionist on a double standard here. Brian Topp was a member of a government that was pretty centrist according to those on the left. Romanow likes to say he was Third Way before Tony Blair. Topp touts it as his government experience and in the same breath, blasts Mulcair for, in Topp's mind, wanting to be another Tony Blair.

Ian Capstick said, before this campaign, he'd say he wasn't left or right in the NDP, but from the "winning" wing of the NDP. Fine. I don't have an issue with any of that. But than to wrap yourself in the flag of socialism is a bit disingenuous.

And Jack didn't move the party to the left. What BS.

A double standard also exists with Peggy and her supporters. Peggy on taxes was essentially the same as Tom on taxes. But for some odd reason, it's glossed over by those supporting her... same ones who attacked Tom on taxes. Priceless.

Unionist

Hey c'mon folks, take a break and head over to listen to Niki:

http://rabble.ca/babble/rabble-news-features/today-niki-ashton-answers-y...

 

socialdemocrati...

I'm just saying, the status quo for health care for a long time has been a mix of public and private actors managing the delivery of health care. I don't think that status quo is any more at risk of changing now than it was 30 years ago. I recognize the risk, it's a small one compared to the real frontlines of the battle.

What HAS been changing is the funding. The supreme court opened the door to private insurance, so the milk is irreversibly out of the carton. The frontline battles are to whittle away public *funding* for health care. User fees. Fewer services. Shittier service if you rely on public insurance.

The NDP are on the frontlines of the real battle. That includes every single leadership candidate. Even in that Mulcair quote showing him apparently at his worst -- as a provincial Liberal -- he doesn't give in on the real battle, because he is opposed to cutting public funding, and opposed to cutting services.

I'm not inclined to disagree. I don't see anything inherently better public delivery versus private delivery. The argument in favor of public *anything* would only hold up if the for-profit business model introduced additional costs in the form of executive bonuses, advertising, marketing, or price gouging. But if a doctor at a private clinic (which operates as a matter of constitutional right) can deliver the same service at a lower cost, and we can thus deliver the same service to more Canadians, then I'm not going to oppose it as a matter of orthodoxy.

Again, the real battle is over funding, not delivery.

Rakhmetov

Hunky Monkey I don't see the necessity of asking Mulcair in person to repeat the same talking points.  When Derrick O'Keefe tried to talk to him in person about Israel-Palestine he refused to say anything at all and just repeated how he supports party policy (BTW I didn't know that the NDP's policy was that critics of Israel are anti-Semites!).

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
And I agree with Unionist on a double standard here. Brian Topp was a member of a government that was pretty centrist according to those on the left. Romanow likes to say he was Third Way before Tony Blair. Topp touts it as his government experience and in the same breath, blasts Mulcair for, in Topp's mind, wanting to be another Tony Blair. Ian Capstick said, before this campaign, he'd say he wasn't left or right in the NDP, but from the "winning" wing of the NDP. Fine. I don't have an issue with any of that. But than to wrap yourself in the flag of socialism is a bit disingenuous. And Jack didn't move the party to the left. What BS. A double standard also exists with Peggy and her supporters. Peggy on taxes was essentially the same as Tom on taxes. But for some odd reason, it's glossed over by those supporting her... same ones who attacked Tom on taxes. Priceless.

There's no double standard at all as I've attacked Romanow too.  And I criticize Topp for admiring Papandreau because he's likely reminded of how both Romanow and Papandreau ushered in brutal austerity budgets on the backs of the poor.  Topp's hypocrisy doesn't make what I'm saying not true.

Of course Jack moved the party to the Left relative to his predecessor, the NPI even disbanded because they trusted Layton and his new direction enough.  McDonough was a third-way Social Democrat courting business, Layton wasn't like that and was more of an unapologetic Left-winger, even despite some of his later triangulations.  And you're misrepresenting Nash's position on corporate taxes.  I'm not a fan of her position which is a little too clever by half, but she's calling to raise corporate taxes but doesn't want to reveal the rate yet.  I'm not sure if Mulcair has explicitly called for raising CIT rates, he may have.

Stockholm

I don't think its true at all that Jack Layton moved the NDP to the left compared to Alexa MacDonough. I think that the reason the NPI more or less folded when he became leader is that it quickly became apparently that while some people in the NPI had a real ideological agenda - many more simply wanted more charismatic leadership and they associated being on the left with charisma. Layton satisfied the yearning for more charismatic leadership and that was enough for most of the old NPI crowd.

Unionist

Rakhmetov wrote:

Maybe some Mulcair supporters don't want to hear these things, but most NDP members would be very interested to know about the record of any candidate who participated in major attacks on public health care.

I think you've now ventured slightly into the realm of exaggeration. If your thesis of "major attacks on public health care" were true (and it's not very well supported IMO by what you've posted here), Mulcair would already have suffered the death of a thousand cuts at the hands of his rivals. There's no such thing as secret major attacks on public health care. Anyway, the "but he was a Liberal minister!" theme is wearing a bit thin, though I'm not accusing you of putting it quite so bluntly.

And I do not support Mulcair. I do not believe he will correct the right-ward drift (plunge) of the party over recent decades. But I just don't believe in the all-powerful-and-defining role of "the leader" the way many here do (judging from their enthusiasm about the horse race). I do, however, believe that we should judge from facts, and by paying attention to our common aims and struggle, not from sectarian considerations.

 

Rakhmetov

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

I'm just saying, the status quo for health care for a long time has been a mix of public and private actors managing the delivery of health care. I don't think that status quo is any more at risk of changing now than it was 30 years ago. I recognize the risk, it's a small one compared to the real frontlines of the battle.

What HAS been changing is the funding. The supreme court opened the door to private insurance, so the milk is irreversibly out of the carton. The frontline battles are to whittle away public *funding* for health care. User fees. Fewer services. Shittier service if you rely on public insurance.

The NDP are on the frontlines of the real battle. That includes every single leadership candidate. Even in that Mulcair quote showing him apparently at his worst -- as a provincial Liberal -- he doesn't give in on the real battle, because he is opposed to cutting public funding, and opposed to cutting services.

I'm not inclined to disagree. I don't see anything inherently better public delivery versus private delivery. The argument in favor of public *anything* would only hold up if the for-profit business model introduced additional costs in the form of executive bonuses, advertising, marketing, or price gouging. But if a doctor at a private clinic (which operates as a matter of constitutional right) can deliver the same service at a lower cost, and we can thus deliver the same service to more Canadians, then I'm not going to oppose it as a matter of orthodoxy.

Again, the real battle is over funding, not delivery.

Well ultimately it's sort of moot whether funding or delivery is more of the frontline in the battle to protect public health care, I have my opinion on this, but they're obviously both very important and often overlap.  Stuff like the radical privatization scheme that Kevin Falcon as Health Minister imposed in BC is exactly the kind of issue that I think is at the forefront, i.e. frequently related to how the delivery of services is structured in overall system. 

Again, I never said that Mulcair is advocating this today.  Never even implied that.  I'm just discussing his record in the past on an incontrovertibly important issue that should be discussed if any candidate had previously held these positions.

Unionist

Rakhmetov wrote:

Of course Jack moved the party to the Left relative to his predecessor,

Really?

Quote:
... the NPI even disbanded because they trusted Layton and his new direction enough.

Is Judy reading this? Jim Stanford? Maybe this is true, but it's news to me.

Quote:
McDonough was a third-way Social Democrat courting business, Layton wasn't like that and was more of an unapologetic Left-winger, even despite some of his later triangulations.

He wasn't unapologetic. Ask the Israeli ambassador!

I honestly don't follow what you're talking about. The single best thing Jack Layton did was to entertain the notion of a coalition to defeat the worst aspects of neoconservative politics destroying this country. Not only in 2008, but in the lead-up to the May 2 election - a spirit of openness and unity and opposition to Harperism that won over millions of Québec voters - in my opinion. That's his legacy in my book.

Left-winger?? That's one of the last modifiers that would spring to mind. But it's no reflection on his legacy.

 

 

Hunky_Monkey

Stockholm wrote:

I don't think its true at all that Jack Layton moved the NDP to the left compared to Alexa MacDonough. I think that the reason the NPI more or less folded when he became leader is that it quickly became apparently that while some people in the NPI had a real ideological agenda - many more simply wanted more charismatic leadership and they associated being on the left with charisma. Layton satisfied the yearning for more charismatic leadership and that was enough for most of the old NPI crowd.

I think you're right, Stock. If another NDP leader had dropped "tax the rich", supported mandatory sentences, etc., all hell would have broken loose.

Rakhmetov

Whoops, double post.

Hunky_Monkey

Rakhmetov wrote:

Maybe some Mulcair supporters don't want to hear these things, but most NDP members would be very interested to know about the record of any candidate who participated in major attacks on public health care.

Must have been you behind knowmulcair?

Anyways, this is getting a little ridiculous. How about you talk up the candidate you're supporting instead of attempting to tear others down.

Rakhmetov

Double post.

socialdemocrati...

Yeah, I'm with Unionist on this one. I'm not a Mulcair supporter. But if you're going to support another candidate, it should be for real reasons, not imagined ones. There's no evidence that Mulcair supports privatizing health care, and I'll go a step further and say that there's no chance he supports privatizing health care. If he did, the other NDP candidates would have taken him through the ringer, to say nothing of the opportunistic folks in the LPC.

As an undecided, I really do want to know where the candidates stand. But the Mulcair critics are often so baseless and hyperbolic, they tend to only make me read what his actual positions are, and like him more. Funny that the Mulcair supporters only make me like him less. Maybe I'm just a contrarian.

Reading the Ashton Q&A, I'm more and more likely to support her on my first ballot and take it from there.

NorthReport

We hold Jenny is quite high esteem in the circles I move in. Because of her foresight, and Adrian's leadership, we are doing great in the polls in BC.

Stockholm wrote:

Good for Mulcair to pick up the endorsements by Farnworth, Fleming and Kwan...though i hear that Jenny Kwan has such a dreadful reputation in the BC NDP - getting backed by her may lose him more votes than it gains!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hunky_Munkey wrote:
Must have been you behind knowmulcair?

Anyways, this is getting a little ridiculous. How about you talk up the candidate you're supporting instead of attempting to tear others down.

I don't know if this is supposed to be a joke, but at any rate it's an attack on a new babbler and it's not allowed. You've been warned repeatedly, H_M. The next attack like this will earn you another vacation.

Unionist

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Stockholm wrote:

I don't think its true at all that Jack Layton moved the NDP to the left compared to Alexa MacDonough. I think that the reason the NPI more or less folded when he became leader is that it quickly became apparently that while some people in the NPI had a real ideological agenda - many more simply wanted more charismatic leadership and they associated being on the left with charisma. Layton satisfied the yearning for more charismatic leadership and that was enough for most of the old NPI crowd.

I think you're right, Stock. If another NDP leader had dropped "tax the rich", supported mandatory sentences, etc., all hell would have broken loose.

He actually campaigned in 2005-6 on the Clarity Act (having unilaterally reversed the party's position on that point), "tough on crime", calling for a "debate in the House" on Afghanistan (never once calling for troop withdrawal - not once - whereas his "right-wing" predecessor Alexa McDonough had opposed the initial troop commitment right in October 2001) - and we can talk about his handling (aka abandoning) of Kyoto, EI reform, child care, and numerous other topics when time permits. Jack was a saint, but he was no left-winger.

 

Hunky_Monkey

Catchfire wrote:

Hunky_Munkey wrote:
Must have been you behind knowmulcair?

Anyways, this is getting a little ridiculous. How about you talk up the candidate you're supporting instead of attempting to tear others down.

I don't know if this is supposed to be a joke, but at any rate it's an attack on a new babbler and it's not allowed. You've been warned repeatedly, H_M. The next attack like this will earn you another vacation.

It was a joke, Catchfire.

And that was an attack? Priceless. Absolutely priceless.

flight from kamakura

weird, christine moore just endorsed dewar!  i hope to god that saganash doesn't do the same, but it would definitely take some of the steam out of the steady campaign i think we've seen here.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hunky_Munkey wrote:
And that was an attack? Priceless. Absolutely priceless.

Yes. It's an attack to accuse someone of signing up just to "tear down" a candidate they don't like. Some people are actually invested in this race because they care about politics, not partisanship. And your "ridiculous" comment alludes (as you always do, without accusations, only innuendo) to the anti-Mulcair conspiracy on babble--which somehow incompetently lets 50% of the leadership threads get taken up with endless Mulcair propaganda.

Hunky_Monkey

Rakhmetov wrote:

I don't know what you mean "comparing him to a report he didn't write."  I didn't compare him, I simply mentioned how in the Romanow report it outlines the problems of creeping privatized health care, and specifically talks about exactly what Mulcair was advocating for in the Charest gov't and how dangerous it is.

And again, I'm talking about things he's said in this race too, not just 15 years ago.

He didn't advocate that in the Charest gov't. He campaigned on the Quebec Liberal platform. Quite different picture than you're painting.

DSloth

flight from kamakura wrote:

weird, christine moore just endorsed dewar!  i hope to god that saganash doesn't do the same, 

Seems likely, given the timing. 

socialdemocrati...

Yeah, I'm getting tired of Mulcair supporters posting virtually any opinion piece that says "Mulcair seems more X than the other candidates" -- no matter how tainted the source. They really aren't doing their candidate any service.

Rakhmetov

Unionist wrote:

I think you've now ventured slightly into the realm of exaggeration. If your thesis of "major attacks on public health care" were true (and it's not very well supported IMO by what you've posted here), Mulcair would already have suffered the death of a thousand cuts at the hands of his rivals. There's no such thing as secret major attacks on public health care. Anyway, the "but he was a Liberal minister!" theme is wearing a bit thin, though I'm not accusing you of putting it quite so bluntly.

And I do not support Mulcair. I do not believe he will correct the right-ward drift (plunge) of the party over recent decades. But I just don't believe in the all-powerful-and-defining role of "the leader" the way many here do (judging from their enthusiasm about the horse race). I do, however, believe that we should judge from facts, and by paying attention to our common aims and struggle, not from sectarian considerations.

I'm surprised you say that as I have thoroughly quoted and explained his attacks on public health care, i.e. contracting out, etc..  These are major issues and it's undeniable that his previous stands were very reactionary and dangerous, the question is now whether he still holds these views.  Not clear, but I highly doubt he'll be proposing it.  The "but he was a Liberal!" line would wear thin if that's all there was against him, but it's not.

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

Anyways, this is getting a little ridiculous. How about you talk up the candidate you're supporting instead of attempting to tear others down.

I keep talking about this because I keep being attacked for raising it and am defending the point. 

As for Layton moving the party to the Left, he abandoned this sort of garbage, so relative to his predecessor he moved the party to the Left.

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