NDP Leadership #122

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duncan cameron

Jacob Two-Two we agree about the importance of taking the long view. We disagree about how well Mulcair has bullet-proofed himself. 

Too examples. in the Quebec city debate he "came to Quebec City to work for René Lévesque" that is a good clip for a Con attack ad. In Montréal he said he favoured cap and trade or "a carbon tax." Good stuff for Con PR firms to work with, "vote NDP the carbon tax party."

I want to see the Cons attack a mother of three. That should help the party mobilize the women voters the NDP needs to defeat Cons in Ont. and BC. 

 

NorthReport

Before people jump to the incorrect conclusions, read the fine print.

Yes it is a bit unusual, but there is nothing untoward going on here, out of sight. It is obviously all above board 

 

 

B.C. NDP organizer shifts support to Thomas Mulcair

 

 

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/12/thomas-mulcair-british-columbia/

 

Mr. Johal said he always admired Mr. Mulcair and decided after NDP leader Jack Layton’s death that he was the best candidate, but signed a contract to help Mr. Singh sign up members in B.C.

“I think Tom’s the only candidate who has the experience, charisma and the presence to actually defeat” Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he said.

Mr. Johal said Mr. Singh was aware he supported Mr. Mulcair when he was hired.

But Mr. Johal said he has no evidence the two candidates are co-operating.

Mr. Johal and the Singh camp had an acrimonious split in mid-February, according to Mr. Johal and Singh campaign manager Wally Stephen.

Both Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Singh have vehemently rejected speculation that they have struck an alliance heading into the final balloting on March 24.

Speculation about an alliance was fuelled by Mr. Singh’s attacks during debates levelled against Brian Topp, the former party president who is backed by most of the B.C. MPs and members of legislature in ridings with heavy Indo-Canadian populations.

Mr. Singh, during the debate in Vancouver, rejected candidate Nathan Cullen’s demand for an apology in relation to Mr. Singh’s bitter attack against Mr. Topp in the Montreal debate a week earlier.

“I will not be bullied into backing down from the truth because of false accusations about me co-ordinating debates with our candidates,” Mr. Singh said.

“Make no mistake, I’m in this campaign to win and my campaign strategies are my own.”

Mr. Mulcair was asked during a CTV interview broadcast Sunday if he had struck a deal with Mr. Singh to help the Quebecer in exchange for future assistance. Mr. Singh has made clear he wants to run in 2015.

“None whatsoever. No discussions whatsoever,” Mr. Mulcair responded.

He said talk of a deal is a fabrication and “pretty demeaning for Martin Singh, who’s been running an outstanding campaign.”

Mr. Johal said he’s been a friend of Mr. Singh’s for about a year, and said he introduced him to many members of B.C.’s Indo-Canadian community, many of whom are charmed by the story of Mr. Singh’s conversion to the Sikh faith.

 

NorthReport

Oh for goodness sakes.

Rene Levesque was not the monster some people in Canada have tried to make him out to be.

duncan cameron

Stock, in 2011, Harper had a field day talking about the secret deal, never presented to the public, to form a coalition.

Now we have three years plus Lead Now and other organizations helping people understand that Canadians elect a parliament and parliament chooses the PM. Harper has to pretend that the 24 percent of eligible Canadian voters elected him PM, as if Canada was the U.S.

Tom has this propensity to announce things. That is not how it works. The party decides on issues in the NDP. The caucus needs to be heard from. i do not like pronouncements from oh high by leaders.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

duncan cameron wrote:

Nafta just got live again. The only way to stop the rape of Alberta through bitumen exports, short of nationalizing the resource which is under provincial jurisdiction is to impose an export tax. That contravenes Nafta. Let's do it and let the Americans protest, and then we can agree to trade under WTO rules. Canadians will support us.

If you want to trade under WTO rules and not NAFTA rules, then simply invoke the six-month termination clause in NAFTA. 

Why any progressive person would be content with the WTO trade rules is beyond my understanding. It has been exposed as an integral part of the dystopian world neoliberal agenda by every left analyst of international trade regimes. Canadians would be wrong to support an NDP endorsement of the WTO.

TheArchitect

Stockholm wrote:

Perhaps I missed something, but i can't remember Jack saying a word about NAFTA in any of the four election campaign he led the NDP through. there are plenty of things to take issue with with Mulcair but in the case of NAFTA it seems to me that the NDP quietly dropped it as an issue about 10 years ago.

Lest we forget what Jack Layton's position on NAFTA was:

Jack Layton wrote:

I desperately worry that at the national level the Canadian government is losing, or giving away, its ability to act on behalf of its citizens.
...
The federal government signed away significant democratic and sovereign powers in international trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and through the World Trade Organization.  Why would our government do this?  The goal was to create a legal environment globally that would make it easier for governments to reduce services while opening the door for their corporate replacements: to shrink the public provision for the people's needs while enshrining a legal latticework that would facilitate multinational corporate expansion.  Just look at how services like care for seniors, drinking water supply, and even our energy utilities have come under the growing influence of multinational corporations instead of public institutions or community organizations.  This transition from a mixed economy to one where privatizations are increasing and public services are sent into tailspins was mandated by trade agreements that were never approved by democratic processes.  A better set of ideas for trade in the context of well-functioning and just democracies needs to be constructed.
...
Not to put too fine a point on it, my fellow Canadians, but global corporate powers are taking over the country and threatening our independence, and using their friends in federal and and provincial governments as their "business partners."
...
All this has to change if Canadians are to be able to create solutions in our own interests.  In the end, this is why Canadian independence is important.  Politics is about people, not just corporations.  Sovereignty lets people decide.  And we are losing our sovereignty.  I know this sounds dramatic.  But the fact that we are losing our independence ought to concern every Canadian.
...
International trade agreements are jeopardizing our ability to make these decisions and are increasingly turning over the direction of our society to huge corporate entities that do not necessarily share our values.
...
Our recent governments, which have pushed international trade deals that sacrifice democratic rights and accountability and give even more rights to already powerful and profitable national corporations, have been out of touch with the Canadian bedrock.  We need to confront this challenge directly.
...
Though we have already signed over far too much of our sovereignty, it is not too late to get it back.  But the clock is ticking.

Jacob Two-Two

No, I don't like that either. Can you give us a few examples?

duncan cameron

M. Spector. you know that under the WTO Canada can gather allies to make changes. Agreed, we start from a bad place. But, every change obtained by any partner accrues to all partners. Every country that negotiates a concession with the US creates a concession for Canada. That includes the EU, Russia, Brazil, China, India, etc.

Under Nafta Canada trades one good change for another bad change. I prefer to get 120 concessions neogtiated by WTO members for every one we make.

The WTO went off the rails you are absolutely right. You will remember that under the original FTA revealed in 1988, Canada pledged to negotiate alongside the US in international trade bodies. How to god we could have signed that ... words are not enough to explain my frustration.

I support bad multilateral over bad bad bilateral (or trilateral) because we can overcome the power disparity with the US in multilateral, and they exercise every inch of power in bilateral. 

NorthReport

What a distortion of reality.

Obviously if you are going to be going into negotiations with the Liberals in the future you would destroy your chances of any meaningful negotiations if you tell the Liberals what your positions are ahead of time. A good analogy would be showing the dealer your hand before you bet against him. 

 

CanadaApple wrote:

duncan cameron wrote:

Sorry Canada Apple, try google. I have trouble sharing links with an iPad, and not my computer.

 

Is this what you meant?

One thing Mulcair is clear on is that he'll go after Liberal supporters, but won't work with the rival party.

"N.O.," he told HuffPost. The NDP tried to form a coalition with the Liberals in 2008 and then the Grits "lifted their noses up on it,"Mulcair said.

The coalition experience taught Mulcair everything he needs to know about the Liberals. They're untrustworthy and he said he'll never work with them again, whether in a formal or informal coalition.

"The no is categorical, absolute, irrefutable and non-negotiable. It's no. End of story. Full stop," he said.

CanadaApple

Earlier, I got to listen in on Nathan Cullen's Tele-Town Hall, and came away being pretty impressed with him, even though I didn't get to ask him a question. I think that of all the candidates, his vision and mine for the future might be the one's that line up the best. I am somewhat sceptical that his co-operation plan would work, but he himself has said he's not "wedded to the details", and also that "he wants to be a leader, not a dictator", which I take to mean that even if he were to be elected leader, the plan itself might not even happen, or could at least be changed. I think he even mentioned putting the idea to a party referendum, or something like that. At any rate, I respect him for sticking by it, and think he's done a good job of defending it, while remaining cool and collected. If I'm honest, I find him the most inspirational of all the candidates.

Still though, I haven't made any choices yet on who to vote for.

Winston

NorthReport wrote:

The establishment within the party, apart from perhaps Brad Lavigne who boldly and accurately predicted the results of the last election, were shocked out of their trees that the NDP could do as well as it did. This leadership race is boiling down to who wants to win the next election vs who wants to control the party. I'm not interested in any kind of loyalty tests. My priority is to win, and have the NDP form the government in Ottawa, while having the most democracy possible both wihin and outside the NDP, with some fabulous and inspiring new energy, and that is essentially why I am backing Tom.

Of course Tom's own personal track record, to say nothing of the 59 seats he, and yes he, engineered for the NDP in Quebec, might have a wee bit to do with it too. Laughing 

+100

Winston

NorthReport wrote:

And as BB says why can't the NDP just do the opposite of following the Liberals past very successful strategy of campaigning on the left and governing on the right, by having a Mulcair-led NDP campaign on the right, and govern on the left.  And I challenge anyone to say it can't be done as the Liberals exploiited that tactic in the past very successfully for years just in reverse.  

+1000

Jacob Two-Two

I also would love to see Canada out of NAFTA, but that doesn't make it politically feasible. A first-term NDP government will be under constant attack, struggling to enact the smallest measures of its platform. They would be mad to breach this subject. It is not just unpopular, but risky and unpredictable, and will be loathed in the media and fodder for endless criticism. And take forever. And possibly bear no fruit. It is not a good plan to attempt this without a large amount of popular will behind it.

duncan cameron

TheArchitect, great post. Very eloquent, intelligent, forthright, and what candour in that statement. Jack had the heart and soul of an activist. Nobody but an activist can lead the party to think through the important issues; without those acitivist instincts the party can tie itself up in disputes. That is how I see it anyway.

I especially appreciate that Jack was not talking in code. He was laying it on the line.

 

NorthReport

 

Win or lose, Cullen's NDP leadership bid has raised the MP's political profile

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Yaffe+lose+Cullen+leadership+raised+po...

Winston

So Duncan and Peggy want to re-fight the 1988 campaign.  Brilliant, just f*cking brilliant!

How about we recognize the fact that trying to turn back the clocks 30 years is a losing proposition what with our economies more entwined thatn ever, and work to improve the NAFTA, to start including better labour and environmental standards.  Now is the time - we will still have a quasi-sympathetic force in the White House.

Nah...let's lose the next election and remain pure in our virtues!

duncan cameron wrote:

Boom Boom Tom is a great MP, a wonderful parliamentary performer. Jack did us all a great favour by recriuiting him. Is he the leader we need now?

I think not. He supports Nafta, and derides opponents of that view. That would be me.

duncan cameron

Jacob Two-Two a first term coalition government would have some cover on issues. Also the idea is to mobilize Canadians for key policies. Most of what the NDP wants to do is very popular. Only the MSM, their owners and advertisers argue against EI, OAS, health care, child care, cutting back on military spending, and ending prison building. Who does not want more recreation, amateur sport, and cultural activities being supported?

Granted the foreign policy stuff is hard. But Canadians do not qpprove of continental integration. And the Cons have totaled lost int. credibility on foreign policy issues, witness the security council seat farce. 

Winston

duncan cameron wrote:

Tom has the Quebec position, re-negotiate Nafta. Sorry, that it windoow dressing, posturing. Every concession you gain in a re-negotiation, you pay for with a fresh concesssion. 

Oh, so the "Québec position" is invalid - I'm sure all the people who elected our 59 seats there will be thrilled to hear us say that.

As for applying an excise tax on our own petroleum, let's do it - BUT let's do it strategically.  SInce such a measure clearly contravenes the NAFTA, this kind of proposal should only be made in response to a U.S. violation of the agreement, as when Jack suggested doing it in response to the softwood lumber dispute.

To propose it off the hop without any precipitating reasons risks starting a trade war that WE WILL LOSE, and exposes the complete and utter economic naiveté of the 1990s NDP.

Winston

duncan cameron wrote:

I hate to think of Mulcair re-running the old debates. I want to change the channel, move to support from the Federal goverment for the French language. I want Quebec to discover Francophiles outside Quebec, there are 300,000 of us in BC, speaking French as a second language.

It doesn't sound like you're trying to "change the channel"; it sounds like you're trying to take us back to the days before television!

TheArchitect

Winston wrote:

How about we recognize the fact that trying to turn back the clocks 30 years is a losing proposition what with our economies more entwined thatn ever, and work to improve the NAFTA, to start including better labour and environmental standards.  Now is the time - we will still have a quasi-sympathetic force in the White House.

Conservative governments are scary enough for me as it is.  But I can't imagine how scary they must be for you, Winston, if you don't think we're allowed to reverse their decisions when we form government.

The Canadian Wheat Board's been around for more than seventy-five years, but the Conservatives don't think that prevents them from destroying it.  Am I really supposed to believe that NAFTA, which we've had for less than twenty years, is somehow a sacrosanct institution?

If New Democrats can't implement their policies in government, there's no point in forming government.  The reason we need to form government is so we can accomplish things for Canada.  And that means ending NAFTA.

Jacob Two-Two

duncan cameron wrote:

Jacob Two-Two a first term coalition government would have some cover on issues. Also the idea is to mobilize Canadians for key policies. Most of what the NDP wants to do is very popular. Only the MSM, their owners and advertisers argue against EI, OAS, health care, child care, cutting back on military spending, and ending prison building. Who does not want more recreation, amateur sport, and cultural activities being supported?

Granted the foreign policy stuff is hard. But Canadians do not qpprove of continental integration. And the Cons have totaled lost int. credibility on foreign policy issues, witness the security council seat farce. 

Well yes, this is my point. All the things you mention have broad appeal, yet will still require a lot of fighting and political capital to enact. Will the party, absorbed in trying to make headway on all these fronts, skating uphill against the opposition, the media, and the business community, still take the trouble to pull out of NAFTA, opening a whole new line of attack for their opponents? Prompting the US to make a lot of veiled threats and spook tons of voters? There's no way. Even if the new leader swore up and and down that they'd go to the wall on this, I wouldn't believe them. When the chips are down there's no way in hell they'll take this on.

Winston

TheArchitect:

We can certainly move over time back to a position of managed trade with the U.S.  That is not in question, but such a move will take a generation to complete, as, over the last 25 years, the Canadian economy has adapted to NAFTA.

But if you are proposing to just unilaterally abrogate NAFTA over the course of one term of government, you are either a) incredibly naive or b) a frightening ideologue.

We do >90% of our trade with the U.S.  They do ~30% of theirs with us.  Who do you think is going to win the trade war that is inevitably going to result?  If you want to go and explain to millions of additional unemployed Canadians why your ideology is more important than their livelihoods or the right to feed their families, fill your boots.  But count me out.

I am 110% in favour of reopening and improving the NAFTA, but I absolutely refuse to re-fight 1988's election campaign yet again.

duncan cameron

Winston I do not want to re-fight any past battles. I have issues at hand that concern me. I certainly do not speak for Peggy Nash, here, or anywhere else. I write my own ideas. As you may know, i have done a weekly column here for seven years.

At the time of the FTA in 1988, Alberta premier Lougheed was lobbying for the deal because he wanted to see tariffs come off petro-chemical exports to the U.S. While the average duty on all Canadian exports to the the US was about one percent (repeat one percent), it was over 12 percent for petro-chemicals.

Fast forward to 2012. Lougheed has called for a "moratorium" on bitumen sands development. The latest project supported by Ottawa is nothing but exports of raw bitumen in three directions, across the Great Bear Rainforest, through Burnaby and past Stanley Park, and then the Keystone extension to Lousiana.

Much of this is driven by underutilised heavy oil updrading capacity in the U.S., the rest is run by Chinese investments of some $19 billion. None of these projects make sense for Canadians. Chances are good they will go through unless the NDP or NDP/ Liberal scenario happens federally. I expect to see civil disobediance in the event the Cons win in 2015.

Raw bitumen. Not upgraded in Alberta to even petroleum, let alone petro-chemicals. Not upgraded and shipped to Eastern Cananda as part of a nationel energy security plan, but exported by foreign owned companies home to be refined and then sold back to Albertans as gasoline.

Winston, you like this piciture? Well you are entitled to your opinion. I would prefer an export tax to put a stop to the lunacy. Lougheed might even agree with me. I am pretty sure most Canadians if they knew the score would be wiildly unhappy about the rape of Alberta. You can be a climate change denier (I am sure you are not), and hate bitumen exports. If you hate green house gas emission increases you will suppot an export tax on bitumen. Carbon taxes are remitted to the exporters at the border by the way. Domestic consumption is not nearly a problem on the same scale as these massive, senseless exports.

 

Jacob Two-Two

I'm not sure there would be any trade war. 30% is still a huge number and it's not like the US has a lot of wiggle room in its finances these days. Rather, it's constantly skirting the edge of collapse. They'd bluster a lot but I don't think they could afford to take even the most perfunctory actions. I'm more worried that the NDP wouldn't survive it politically and Canadians would run back to the Liberals for fear of some ill-defined economic punishment.

Fidel

I don't like that picture, either, Duncan. No thank you, Mr Harper. 

Winston

Duncan:

Where exactly did I argue that we should not be upgrading bitumen?  Are you trying to put words in my mouth?

I already mentioned that I am in favour of an excise tax on raw bitumen (I'd even support a smaller one on refined petroleum), but I think it is beyond stupid to fight an election campaign on abrogating NAFTA for the sole purpose of imposing one.

As for a moratorium on tar sands development, there is absolutely nothing in the NAFTA that precludes this (as long as we ensure that the ratio of our exports to domestic consumption remains constant).  Moreover, there is nothing saying that by renegotiating NAFTA with a somewhat sympathetic U.S. President that we could not manage to re-gain more sovereignty over our energy policy.  Indeed, within the NAFTA, Mexico has an energy exclusion somewhat akin to Canada's cultural exclusions. 

Being successful on the Left means not proposing measures when they are losing propositions and which would result in utter catastrophe if implemented at the wrong time, but rather siezing the opportunities as they present themselves.  I already brought up that the time to implement an excise tax on raw bitumen may have been during the softwood lumber dispute.  Another example might have been during the Auto bail-outs.  We should have insisted on voting shares for the government, the right to appoint members to the board to help determine policy (i.e. green vehicles), and the implementation of a plan to initiate partial worker ownership of the enterprise in exchange for wage concessions.  Instead we handed out the money with no strings attached. Opportunity squandered. 

 

duncan cameron

Dear Friends who fear for our country if we stand on our own two feet.

Canada brings in a bitumen tax on exports, the rest is up to the US. Let them abrogate Nafta if they want to give up Chapter 11, the public monopolies clause, intellectual property rights that cost Canadians billions for drugs, etc. No one in Canada would miss it except for the American owned companies who like not bieng subject to Canadian law.

Trade war? The only people who want a trade war are the ones arguing to improve Nafta by attacking the US who routinely ignores the deal.

Were passports for US citizens returning from Canada part of free trade?

Canada and the US trade under two agreements, the WTO and Nafta. We only need one, and the WTO works for all countries who are signatories. Canada U.S. trade, all of it, is covered under the WTO. Nafta is excess baggage.

Under WTO rules we can take in, say, $30 billion in export tax receipts. Are Canadians going to oppose that? Will they prefer to know that American set Canadian taxes, not the Canadian parliament, and that they don't have to pay export taxes because of Nafta, despite what is being left behind as environmental destruction?

How dumb is this:Albertans get to have an updgrading industry, and petro-chemical production, real high-paying jobs; Eastern Canada gets energy security. 

Granted the multinationals will be unhappy. Would they prefer nationalization as has occured all over the world? I doubt it.

Winston

Thank god you are not in charge of the Party, Duncan!

Policywonk

Winston wrote:

TheArchitect:

We can certainly move over time back to a position of managed trade with the U.S.  That is not in question, but such a move will take a generation to complete, as, over the last 25 years, the Canadian economy has adapted to NAFTA.

But if you are proposing to just unilaterally abrogate NAFTA over the course of one term of government, you are either a) incredibly naive or b) a frightening ideologue.

We do >90% of our trade with the U.S.  They do ~30% of theirs with us.  Who do you think is going to win the trade war that is inevitably going to result?  If you want to go and explain to millions of additional unemployed Canadians why your ideology is more important than their livelihoods or the right to feed their families, fill your boots.  But count me out.

I am 110% in favour of reopening and improving the NAFTA, but I absolutely refuse to re-fight 1988's election campaign yet again.

Which doesn't mean we have to accept CETA, or ignore the need to build local economies to be able to adapt to the inevitable decline of globalization as it is usually defined.

duncan cameron

Winston read the deals signed with the Chinese. They decide on upgrading. The federal government has one power over the rate of natural resource exploitation, an export tax, and it was signed away.

If you want to influence Alberta, the power to tax must be used, otherwise nothing happens, because the Alberta govenment runs the show.

You tell me you support upgrading, sorry to have misunderstood. I am talking about what the NDP leadership race is about, not what Alberta might do on its own, or not.

Re-Negotiation. Read again what I wrote about this. 

Abrogation. That is for the Americans to decide. I say do what Canada needs to do, and be sure Canadians support you. if it contravenes Nafta, so what? Nothing to fear, we have dispute resolution and means to talk, talk, talk. 

Stake out a postion, but not within Nafta where you have no leverage, and must make further concessions for every advantage you seek.

The WTO offers 100 per cent security for a fall-back position.

Never forget we do no one a favour by trading with them, it is to the American advantage to trade with Canada, or they would be gone.

 

 

 

 

Wilf Day

CanadaApple wrote:
One thing Mulcair is clear on is that he'll go after Liberal supporters, but won't work with the rival party.

"N.O.," he told HuffPost. The NDP tried to form a coalition with the Liberals in 2008 and then the Grits "lifted their noses up on it,"Mulcair said.

The coalition experience taught Mulcair everything he needs to know about the Liberals. They're untrustworthy and he said he'll never work with them again, whether in a formal or informal coalition.

"The no is categorical, absolute, irrefutable and non-negotiable. It's no. End of story. Full stop," he said.

That puzzled the hell out of me. He has never said that before. What brought that on?

Jack always -- he could say it in his sleep -- said he was ready to work with any party to get results for people.

Mulcair made a point of saying how the party's Quebec slogan "Working together" was what the whole party should have used, and did copy right at the end.

That's totally inconsistent. What's going on?

Stockholm wrote:

I am a bit more bothered by Tom saying he would never work with the Librrals in any way shape or form. What's the point of that? This is like what Ignatieff said to the NDP last election that caused Liberal support to collapse. I agree that we should reject any pre- election deals like what Cullen proposes. But ruling out any deal post election seems a bit crazy.

Indeed.

Stockholm wrote:
I can see Mulcair and Topp having great potential in Quebec. Dewar would ofcourse be a total disaster there. i have my doubts about Peggy Nash. she seems to speak French well enough, but i don't get the impression that she had any political instincts for Quebec. its not just about speaking the language. Ignatieff was very fluent in French but he just never "clicked" with Quebecers. i'm afraid Peggy would always seem like a tourist how happens to have excelled in a few Berlitz courses. i can't see her being able to defend the NDP on issues around the Sherbrooke Declaration and the constitution etc...

I have this impression too. But I'd like someone from Quebec who is not a partisan of a contender to comment.

Rakhmetov

Well well, very interesting piece about Mr. Sukh Johal.  Looks like I was right.  But don't worry, I'm going to be magnanimous in vindication and not point out how intellectually dishonest and hypocritical some of the Babblers here are, risibly frothing at the mouth about legitimate speculation in the horserace when they clearly have no idea what they're talking about.  And for some strange reason, when it's a wild conspiracy theory about Harper ducked down in the grassy knoll on his laptop picking out the colour scheme and layout for KnowMulcair.ca there's not a murmur of question or skepticism.  Who knows, maybe it's true, but there is nothing except the most tenuous evidence for it, way less than these questions about Mulcair and Singh.  Yet, oddly no hysterical denunciations from the usual suspects.  Typical really.  Mulcair comes out saying he won't be happy until the last union boss is strangled with the entrails of the last pro-Palestinian activist, and of course the parxoysms are directed not at Mulcair, but anyone whom even raises an eyebrow over it.

I think Duncan is right to make a distinction between Mulcair and some of the other candidates on NAFTA.  No other candidate but Mulcair I believe supported it at the time it was imposed (I think Nash may have led the CAW's campaign against FTA), helped write it, or explicitly praises it for its attacks on the environment.  One of the worst things about NAFTA is it's an extremely odious attack on the environment and Mulcair outrageously claimed the environmental language was precisely why we should keep it.  When Dewar confronted Mulcair on his previous support for bulk water exports he outright lied about it (and I don't say that lightly).  Mulcair did explicitly support it despite his denials, he's on the record, and if he hadn't backed down after pressure from environmental groups he might have set a precedent across Canada under NAFTA.

But all this ideological purity stuff is beside the point.  I would prefer a candidate who could win over one who was just ideologically pure.  But the problem with Mulcair is that he's the least pure and likely the weakest of the front-tier candidates for 2015.  I don't care if this post is flagged as offensive by Mulcair supporters, but let's face reality, Dewar could very well turn out to be stronger than Mulcair in Quebec.  Mulcair will alienate the base and divide the party with his "renewal" scheme, not connect well enough with the West and be too Quebec-centric, leading to a collapse in the ROC.  And once Quebecers see the NDP collapsing and are no longer a credible alternative to Harper, and that the Mulcair NDP is moving away from the social democratic values they previously shared, they will abandon their tentative support for the NDP.  Dewar, with all his major flaws, will hold the NDP and the base together way better, and keep the same social democratic principles that won over Quebec.  The Orange Surge did not happen because Layton spoke the best French (in fact this whole line that speaking French the best is the most important issue to Quebecers is pretty ridiculous and patronizing).  Topp's analysis, and the Socialist Caucus' too, is probably right about how Mulcair would be a disaster in 2015 in Quebec.  And the Tories' negative attack campaign against him will stick in the ROC.  Even though Mulcair is one of the greatest federalist figures in modern Canadian history he will be successfully labeled a crypto-separatist and beholden to Quebec above the rest of Canada, with Harper revving up Western Alienation with talk of the cap-and-trade scheme being a new National Energy Program.  The Tories will fire up their base in the West while ours cools.  Mulcair could be the Audrey McLaughlin in this race: the moderate and safe choice who takes over at the party's peak, overhyped in Quebec, neglecting the West, and alienating the base.

duncan cameron

I have no problems with NDP policy on trade Winston and no desire to change it Under Jack Layton, Peter Julian did a terrific job, and the party was very well served. No one has done a better job than Peter, and the party has had great trade critics in the past, including Bill Blaikie whose recent book I recommend to all of you.

The views from Jack posted by TheArchitect above mirror my own views. Nothing to scare anybody so far as I can see. 

My problem is with the notion advanced by Tom Mulcair that we need Nafta to protect the environment. As I see it, without an export tax on raw materai exports, Canadians have no control over the rate of exploitation of natural resources, therfore limited control over the enviroment, and Nafta takes the export tax option away.

I know of no environmental authority who takes Nafta seriously as an environmental measure. Tom wants to internalize costs that are not now captured by market pricing, but that does not include making foreigners pay. So Canadians get to pay all the environmental costs of resource exploitiation, as any domestic taxes are remitted to exporters at the border.

Msat NDP members would see how wrong-headed the Mulcair approach would be if they were able to take the time to understand it. He says in his iPolitics interview he drafted some of the Nafta language so that may explain his attachment to the deal no green activist takes seriously as environmental policy.

I have written about this at greater length here:

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2011/10/tom-mulcair-plays-terrible-hand-trade

duncan cameron

Wilf my problem is that coalition or no coalition is not the leaders decision to make at this stage. He can state a preference but he ruled it out:not now, not ever. This top down style is poorly suited to leading the NDP. He has exhibited this tendency to cut off further debate on issues that should be open to further discussion, and it is worrisome to me to think he would lead the party by making decisions of this style.

 

 

Winston

Wilf Day wrote:

Stockholm wrote:
I can see Mulcair and Topp having great potential in Quebec. Dewar would ofcourse be a total disaster there. i have my doubts about Peggy Nash. she seems to speak French well enough, but i don't get the impression that she had any political instincts for Quebec. its not just about speaking the language. Ignatieff was very fluent in French but he just never "clicked" with Quebecers. i'm afraid Peggy would always seem like a tourist how happens to have excelled in a few Berlitz courses. i can't see her being able to defend the NDP on issues around the Sherbrooke Declaration and the constitution etc...

 

I have this impression too. But I'd like someone from Quebec who is not a partisan of a contender to comment.

Given that 3/4+ of the members in Québec will be casting a ballot for Tom, and the bulk of the remainder are behind Brian, you might be waiting a while for that comment.

Winston

double post

Hunky_Monkey

I have an issue with a candidate saying we'll pool our resources with the Liberals. Was that approved by the party?

nicky

Duncan, you seem unwilling to concede that Tom Mulcair played any significant role in the Quebec breakthrough. If Jack Layton were still with us he would disagree with you:

"His self-effacing charm was cited in an anecdote shared Monday by Tory Minister of State Diane Ablonczy, who recalled walking over to Layton in the House of Commons after the election to congratulate Layton for his stunning campaign performance.

 

"When I congratulated him on his tremendous achievement in the election his response was typical Jack Layton. Gesturing toward Mr. Mulcair sitting close by, Jack said, 'It's all because we had such a great Quebec lieutenant,' " Ablonczy (Calgary-Nose Hill) recalled in an email."

http://www.canada.com/technology/clear+replacement+Jack+Layton+observers/5296495/story.html

Your assertion that Peggy Nash would be our best hop ein Quebec is similarly in error and almost as bizarre as Rakhmetov's that Paul Dewar would do better than Mulcair in Quebec. 

Let me gently remind you of the recent Forum poll that showed that 58% of Quebecers want us to pick Tom, 2 % Nash and 1% Dewar. Under Tom the NDP would get 40% of the vote in Quebec, under Nash 16%, and under Dewar... well they never even bothered to poll for that eventuality.

nicky

The Mulcair campaign has released a list of dozens of new endorsements by prominent Onario New Democrats; They include several former MPs and MPPs;

 

One of the new endorsers, former Toronto MP Neil Young, explained his decision saying, “Thomas Mulcair stands out when it comes to parliamentary experience and the ability to successfully take on Stephen Harper both in the House of Commons and during the next election. With his proven leadership skills I am confident he will lead our party to victory in the next election.” The list of former Ontario MPs endorsing Mulcair also includes Iain Angus (Thunder Bay-Atikokan) and Ian Deans (Hamilton Mountain).

Also joining Mulcair’s team are several former MPPs. Floyd Laughren, the long-serving Nickel Belt MPP and former Deputy Premier, said: “Our party is on the cusp of achieving what we’ve been working towards for decades. Now is not the time to slide backwards. It’s time to take the next step and form government.” The other former MPPs on the list are: Richard Allan (Hamilton West), Noel Duignan (Halton), Richard Johnston (Scarborough West), Mac Makarchuk (Brant) and Paul Wessenger (Barrie).

For a full ist see:

http://www.thomasmulcair.ca/site/2012/03/12/deputy-leader-thomas-mulcair-gains-additional-momentum-in-ontario/?lang=en

 

DSloth

Rakhmetov wrote:

Well well, very interesting piece about Mr. Sukh Johal.  Looks like I was right.  But don't worry, I'm going to be magnanimous in vindication and not point out how intellectually dishonest and hypocritical some of the Babblers here are, risibly frothing at the mouth about legitimate speculation in the horserace when they clearly have no idea what they're talking about.  And for some strange reason, when it's a wild conspiracy theory about Harper ducked down in the grassy knoll on his laptop picking out the colour scheme and layout for KnowMulcair.ca there's not a murmur of question or skepticism.  Who knows, maybe it's true, but there is nothing except the most tenuous evidence for it, way less than these questions about Mulcair and Singh.  Yet, oddly no hysterical denunciations from the usual suspects.  Typical really.  Mulcair comes out saying he won't be happy until the last union boss is strangled with the entrails of the last pro-Palestinian activist, and of course the parxoysms are directed not at Mulcair, but anyone whom even raises an eyebrow over it.

Careful you're drifitng into self-parody at this point,

I don't know what you think it proves that lots of people within the party support Thomas Mulcair, *gasp* some of them are even Sikh.  

Michelle

TheArchitect wrote:

Conservative governments are scary enough for me as it is.  But I can't imagine how scary they must be for you, Winston, if you don't think we're allowed to reverse their decisions when we form government.

The Canadian Wheat Board's been around for more than seventy-five years, but the Conservatives don't think that prevents them from destroying it.  Am I really supposed to believe that NAFTA, which we've had for less than twenty years, is somehow a sacrosanct institution?

If New Democrats can't implement their policies in government, there's no point in forming government.  The reason we need to form government is so we can accomplish things for Canada.  And that means ending NAFTA.

Excellent post!  No kidding.

The more I read Mulcair supporters cheering this sort of thing on, the more despondent I get about the future.  If I wanted to vote Liberal, there's a perfectly good Liberal Party to vote for already.

BTW, this:

Quote:

Mulcair comes out saying he won't be happy until the last union boss is strangled with the entrails of the last pro-Palestinian activist, and of course the parxoysms are directed not at Mulcair, but anyone whom even raises an eyebrow over it.

made me burst out laughing!  We're all on vacation at my place, but I'm the early riser, and I'm sure I must have woken up everyone in the house. :D :D  And yes, before anyone freaks out, I know he didn't actually say that.  But it's still really funny. :D

KenS

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

Seriously, do you find Mulcair held to a higher/different standard than the other candidates? And a double standard... Peggy & Romeo say the same thing as Tom regarding personal income taxes but it's "ok" for them... but with Tom, he isn't a real New Democrat.

Peggy does say pretty much the same thing. Romeo did not.

And I said that my biggest beef was that Mulcair makes it up as he goes, leaving behind nuggets for the Cons.

KenS

By the way, a while back, under 2 weeks ago I would say, you said that oft referred to tax policy that is coming, Tom or the campaign siad it was still coming.

josh

NorthReport wrote:

Or wouldn't we rather continue our losing streak in Saskatchewan, and perhaps get shutout for the 5th federal election in a row there

Yes, Mulcair with his French citizenship and non-populist economic policy will be a big hit there. Fortunately for him, you can't get less than zero.

KenS

I see Mulcair's statement of no coaltion ever as pure inside the leadership race stuff. He's trying to put distance between himself and "really a Liberal you know." I wouldnt take it too literally.

I'm digesting what you are saying Duncan about NAFTA and the prospects for 'economic nationalism'. Your arguements are clear enough, what it has to do with the leadership race, I'm still looking for that.

What you say is much much further out than what Peggy has proposed or talked about. You need to draw the dotted line for us.

And I'm inclined to agree that while there may be some substantive difference with Peggy's position, I dont see any other substantive distinctions that warrant singling Mulcair out.

KenS

Rakhmetov wrote:

Well well, very interesting piece about Mr. Sukh Johal.  Looks like I was right.  But don't worry, I'm going to be magnanimous in vindication and not point out how intellectually dishonest and hypocritical some of the Babblers here are....

We did need some comic relief around here.

Thanks for that.

janfromthebruce

Thanks Duncan for posting this comment. I just about spurted coffee all over my keyboard when I read the fictionalizing of what happen in Quebec, with Jack wiped out. How dare any leadership camp even suggest that - it's a new low in NDP spin and I found it so disrespectful and disgusting.

 

duncan cameron wrote:

North Report credits Tom for the win? Jack was featured in every ad that played in 

Quebec. Pierre Ducasse did the spade work building the party. Bloc voters moved to the NDP. Was it to vote for a former Liberal cabinet minister?

 

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Gaian

duncan cameron wrote:

Jacob Two-Two we agree about the importance of taking the long view. We disagree about how well Mulcair has bullet-proofed himself. 

Too examples. in the Quebec city debate he "came to Quebec City to work for René Lévesque" that is a good clip for a Con attack ad. In Montréal he said he favoured cap and trade or "a carbon tax." Good stuff for Con PR firms to work with, "vote NDP the carbon tax party."

I want to see the Cons attack a mother of three. That should help the party mobilize the women voters the NDP needs to defeat Cons in Ont. and BC. 

 

You do not appreciate what Quebec looked like before the Quiet Revolution, Duncan. The treatment accorded the late Madeleine Parent by Maurice Duplessis is only a reminder.And that has to be understood, first.

I was able to tell Tom Mulcair the other day how uplifting it was for a young CCFer to be in Sept-Iles when Duplessis died and a whole phalanx of young social democrats began talking about the changes they would bring about for their children. It would be mathematics, not the catechism, for them. He was delighted that someone from west of the Ottawa had experienced that first hand.

Tom Mulcair has found a lot of understanding among social democrats who envy the progress that Quebec has made, based on the initiatives of those youngsters. Only an ideological rump with its stories of fear stand in the way of a federal breakthrough.

Gaian

KenS wrote:

Rakhmetov wrote:

Well well, very interesting piece about Mr. Sukh Johal.  Looks like I was right.  But don't worry, I'm going to be magnanimous in vindication and not point out how intellectually dishonest and hypocritical some of the Babblers here are....

We did need some comic relief around here.

Thanks for that.

And someday M.Rakhmetov will get honest and tell us who he supports, and why.

In the meantime, his following provides all the comic relief needed.

Hoodeet

Policywonk wrote:

Winston wrote:

 

Which doesn't mean we have to accept CETA, or ignore the need to build local economies to be able to adapt to the inevitable decline of globalization as it is usually defined.

Hoodeet (JW)

Unfortunately, CETA is going to be a done deal by the time of the next election.  Even if every opposition MP were to stir up a storm in parliamentary debate, the Cons have it sewn up -- and we can assume that many in the LPC are salivating for CETA. 

This means that if the NDP should form the next gov't, it will have two elephants to deal with (actually one rampaging elephant and one big fat whale --CETA in Latin and Greek--)-  Should the NDP come to power, it would be in Captain Ahab's position, chasing after CETA to harpoon it  AFTER it had bitten off a chunk of Canada's  economy, leaving it lame.. and we know how he met his end...

Sorry. I can't see a happy ending for us in trade wars.  Perhaps the WTO can help, but it has its own traps.

 

 

 

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