NDP Leadership 16

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theleftyinvestor

I just want to get past all the grandstanding about who will, should or needs to run, and skip to the part where all the cards are on the table.

At that stage I will look forward to watching the candidates debate the issues. Remember folks, we get a preferential ballot. So we have no need to even think of these candidates as "nth-tier". If you see Saganash, Ashton, Julian, Dewar or any other candidate who is not being pushed as a "front-runner", and you think that candidate is the one who speaks to you and to the future of the NDP... then you vote for that person!

The only "tiers" of candidates that actually exist will be the ones defined by the ballots. If your candidate of choice gets eliminated, then you make a new decision based on the remaining options. Yay democracy!

I also look forard to seeing the strength and character of the candidates come out over the course of the debates, and I trust that the qualities they display will be put to use in their subsequent critic/cabinet roles.

Policywonk

Malcolm wrote:
Personally, I think Barrett would have been better positioned to face the populism of Reform, but there is no way to test that theory either way. I agree with Stock that the rush to choose a woman didn't necessarily choose the best suited women. All that said, parsing the past is not particularly helpful.

No other women ran, and I can't remember if others were considering it. I think it can be said that Barret understood western alienation better, and thus might have retained more seats in western Canada. As you say though, speculating on what might have happened is not particularly helpful.

Policywonk

Ken Burch wrote:

Are you not at all worried about what message it would send to FN Canadians or other Canadians of color to say that, when it really comes down to it, the NDP has to have a leader that looks like MOST of the leaders of the past?

Putting Topp and Mulcair first says you don't think that Canada is ready for the idea of a modern choice as party leader.  I mean, sure, Mulcair and Topps are mundanely qualified, but will they focus on anything at all but looking "safe"?  Will either of them even try to work for an alternative vision of what life could be like in Canada and the world?  It's gonna be kind of pointless to vote NDP if the party reduces itself to just "we're for the healthcare system, but other than that we won't do anything you'll notice".

I'm skeptical about both of them for different reasons, but I'm waiting to see what they and other candidates actually have to say before making any decisions about who to support. If the Party reduces itself to safe positions (if indeed there are any left by 2015), then we will totally cease to be relevant.

Policywonk

Ken Burch wrote:

Audrey had flaws as a leader, but nobody the party could ever have chosen in 1988 could ever have overcome the problems caused by the collapse of popular support for TWO NDP provincial governments(B.C. and Ontario)at the same time.  There's nothing Barrett could have done that would have been any more effective than what Audrey did.  And Buzz Hargrove would still have stabbed the federal NDP in the back even with Barrett as leader.

December 1989 actually.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I stand corrected.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Policywonk wrote:

Malcolm wrote:
Personally, I think Barrett would have been better positioned to face the populism of Reform, but there is no way to test that theory either way. I agree with Stock that the rush to choose a woman didn't necessarily choose the best suited women. All that said, parsing the past is not particularly helpful.

No other women ran, and I can't remember if others were considering it. I think it can be said that Barret understood western alienation better, and thus might have retained more seats in western Canada. As you say though, speculating on what might have happened is not particularly helpful.

Was there ever really a way to make "Western alienation" into anything progressive?  The roots of "Western alienation", as I understood them, were in resentment about official bilingualism(driven almost entirely by prejudice against francophones) opposition to acceptance of the multicultural fact(the kind of opposition that is STILL a big part of Harper's program)and in the backlash about Trudeau's National Energy Policy(opposition that was heavily financed by the Alberta oil barons).  How can anything that starts out with that kind of ideological/cultural/economic basis ever be repurposed as a program of egalitarian social change?

"Western alienation" was and is driven, more than anything else, by a refusal on the part of some people to accept that the 1950's were over, coupled with a fixation with going back to that era(reimagined as a mythical white Protestant golden age)-how do you make THAT sensibility into a fight for the greater good, for a society in which all are included and none are excluded, or for a country based on secular rather than exclusively "Judeo-Christian" values?

Policywonk

Ken Burch wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

Malcolm wrote:
Personally, I think Barrett would have been better positioned to face the populism of Reform, but there is no way to test that theory either way. I agree with Stock that the rush to choose a woman didn't necessarily choose the best suited women. All that said, parsing the past is not particularly helpful.

No other women ran, and I can't remember if others were considering it. I think it can be said that Barret understood western alienation better, and thus might have retained more seats in western Canada. As you say though, speculating on what might have happened is not particularly helpful.

Was there ever really a way to make "Western alienation" into anything progressive?  The roots of "Western alienation", as I understood them, were in resentment about official bilingualism(driven almost entirely by prejudice against francophones) opposition to acceptance of the multicultural fact(the kind of opposition that is STILL a big part of Harper's program)and in the backlash about Trudeau's National Energy Policy(opposition that was heavily financed by the Alberta oil barons).  How can anything that starts out with that kind of ideological/cultural/economic basis ever be repurposed as a program of egalitarian social change?

"Western alienation" was and is driven, more than anything else, by a refusal on the part of some people to accept that the 1950's were over, coupled with a fixation with going back to that era(reimagined as a mythical white Protestant golden age)-how do you make THAT sensibility into a fight for the greater good, for a society in which all are included and none are excluded, or for a country based on secular rather than exclusively "Judeo-Christian" values?

Understanding it does not equal agreeing with it or accepting it. I'm not convinced that Barret could have done much better than McLaughlin, although obviously he couldn't have done any worse.

dacckon dacckon's picture

"western alienation" was more about federal politicians seeking to win in Quebec and Ontario, and making policies based on those two provinces over the other, smaller populated provinces.

 

The race has nothing to do about being a person of a certain colour or a certain gender. Its more about leadership abilities like charisma, etc  I also don't consider there to be any "tiers", its too early for that. I probably won't make my decision until they announce their policies and see their true abilities at the debates.

 

Anyways, Some crap from the edmonton journal, Peter Julian supporters, and Dewar 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

dacckon wrote:

"western alienation" was more about federal politicians seeking to win in Quebec and Ontario, and making policies based on those two provinces over the other, smaller populated provinces.

 

Well, if the vast majority of the voters live in Quebec and Ontario, isn't it only logical to try to appeal to those voters?  That makes "Western alienation" look like plain old fashioned opposition to democracy..."it's just not FAIR that they got elected by saying things that would get most people to vote for them".   What did the West expect...were the parties supposed to promise to IGNORE what Quebecers and Ontarians wanted?  Was Alberta to be promised a veto over reality?

And there is a clear element of bigotry in that form of "Western alienation", since it pretty much comes right out and says "how dare people who don't speak the language I speak better have any real say in this country?  And why shouldn't those[insert anti-francophone slur of your own distaste]have to just sit there and take it when I treat them as inferior life forms"?

Again, hard to see how you could put together any sort of campaign that tried to engage "Western alienation" but wasn't just a rehashing of Preston Manning applause lines.  If the NDP was to take the kind of voters that swung to Reform in the Nineties, it was only going to get them by promising to do some fairly ugly things...things like abolishing official bilingualism...or perhaps even worse things-like taking the side of white racists in the B.C. fishery disputes-or, God help us, defend the Mohammed cartoons or some irredeemable shit like that.

AnonymousMouse

theleftyinvestor wrote:

Remember folks, we get a preferential ballot. So we have no need to even think of these candidates as "nth-tier". If you see Saganash, Ashton, Julian, Dewar or any other candidate who is not being pushed as a "front-runner", and you think that candidate is the one who speaks to you and to the future of the NDP... then you vote for that person!

Very important point. If you're planning to volunteer for a candidate it can still make sense to consider whether or not that candidate can win--some people may not want to devote hours of their time to a candidate who can't win if they only prefer that candidate ever so slightly--but when it comes to voting, just rank according to preference.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

"Western alienation" was and is driven, more than anything else, by a refusal on the part of some people to accept that the 1950's were over, coupled with a fixation with going back to that era(reimagined as a mythical white Protestant golden age)-how do you make THAT sensibility into a fight for the greater good, for a society in which all are included and none are excluded, or for a country based on secular rather than exclusively "Judeo-Christian" values?

What a load of horse shit. ALBERTA is not the west it is only in the west.  Western alienation is not a Xian circle jerk.  Crow rate, eastern bankers and other moneyed interests, always having to take a back seat to the aspirations of central Canada those are some of the things you dismiss in terms that if used similar language when I spoke about Qebec I would be banned from this board for being anti-French.  Apparently its ok to bash anyone in Canada that does not accept the two state solution and prefers a Confederation of equals. 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

AnonymousMouse wrote:

but when it comes to voting, just rank according to preference.

I am too much of a political junkie to just rank a preference.  I will be voting ballot by ballot in real time after I see who is left and how the various candidates are positioned.  For instance my third place choice could leapfrog my second place choice if my preferred candidate drops off and someone I like least might win.

dacckon dacckon's picture
theleftyinvestor

The consequences of a Dave Barrett NDP are indeed fun to speculate about but not something we can say for sure. If he had succeeded in tapping into western discontent in place of the Reform party, we don't necessarily know it would have done, but it might have cut into the Reform winnings in 1993. Had the voice of the west been weighted towards the NDP rather than Reform, it could have changed the course of ReformaTory history. Maybe the merger would not have happened the same way it did in real history.

I remember reading something about how protest parties are all about defending people from "the interests". And the NDP had that place in Western Canada until the Reform party came along and redefined "the interests" as Quebec, elitist Eastern lefties and Liberals. If the NDP had been paying attention at the right time in history to fight the drastic reframing of that narrative, perhaps the Prairies would have retained some winnable NDP seats.

Anyway... back to reality :)

bekayne

Policywonk wrote:

No other women ran, and I can't remember if others were considering it. I think it can be said that Barret understood western alienation better, and thus might have retained more seats in western Canada. As you say though, speculating on what might have happened is not particularly helpful.

Other than Alexa McDonough, all the other potential women candidates were defeated in the 1988 election

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

"Western alienation" was and is driven, more than anything else, by a refusal on the part of some people to accept that the 1950's were over, coupled with a fixation with going back to that era(reimagined as a mythical white Protestant golden age)-how do you make THAT sensibility into a fight for the greater good, for a society in which all are included and none are excluded, or for a country based on secular rather than exclusively "Judeo-Christian" values?

What a load of horse shit. ALBERTA is not the west it is only in the west.  Western alienation is not a Xian circle jerk.  Crow rate, eastern bankers and other moneyed interests, always having to take a back seat to the aspirations of central Canada those are some of the things you dismiss in terms that if used similar language when I spoke about Qebec I would be banned from this board for being anti-French.  Apparently its ok to bash anyone in Canada that does not accept the two state solution and prefers a Confederation of equals. 

Yeah, I don't buy this, either. I'm not a Christian and I'm not living in the past, but I can totally wrap my mind around why a lot of westerners feel alienated from their central Canadian cousins (and with that their federal government).

It's important to remember, too, that this is not even about policy a lot of the time. It's about things like this: say it's mid-January, and B.C. and the Prairies have had dozens of days of frigid temperatures and blizzard conditions, but it's been surprisingly balmy in Ontario. Then the supposedly pan-Canadian Weather Network goes on and on about how "winter has finally come to Canada" once Ontario gets its first snowfall. It's about thinking: "what am I, chopped liver?" It's not cool, and it's not--dare I say--perpetuated by western Canadians.

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

double post

JeffWells

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1061925]Nathan Cullen expected to enter the race on Friday.[/url]

 

wage zombie

Ken Burch wrote:

Was there ever really a way to make "Western alienation" into anything progressive?  The roots of "Western alienation", as I understood them, were in resentment about official bilingualism(driven almost entirely by prejudice against francophones) opposition to acceptance of the multicultural fact(the kind of opposition that is STILL a big part of Harper's program)and in the backlash about Trudeau's National Energy Policy(opposition that was heavily financed by the Alberta oil barons).  How can anything that starts out with that kind of ideological/cultural/economic basis ever be repurposed as a program of egalitarian social change?

"Western alienation" was and is driven, more than anything else, by a refusal on the part of some people to accept that the 1950's were over, coupled with a fixation with going back to that era(reimagined as a mythical white Protestant golden age)-how do you make THAT sensibility into a fight for the greater good, for a society in which all are included and none are excluded, or for a country based on secular rather than exclusively "Judeo-Christian" values?

Like others I disagree.  Ken Burch, you do not understand western alienation very well at all.

dacckon dacckon's picture

The New NDP?

 

wrote:
From that, 27 per cent were NDP voters. Of the 27 per cent, 14 per cent were "stable" NDPers, who identified as New Democrats the first time they were interviewed and said they voted for Jack Layton's team in the election. Thirteen per cent were "new" - respondents who did not identify themselves as New Democrats in the first interviews but nonetheless voted NDP on May 2.

Asked about the economy and the environment, 68 per cent of stable New Democrats said that when it comes to trade-offs between the two issues, the environment is the most important compared to 27 per cent who said the economy trumped all. Of the so-called "new" NDP, Mr. Lyle found that 60 per cent of them supported the environment over the economy.

Asked if people who don't get ahead in life should blame themselves or the system, 34 per cent of "stable" NDP said themselves compared to 31 per cent who said the system should be blamed. The new contingent, however, looked at this differently - 52 per cent said they blame themselves compared to 13 per cent who blame the system.

And then asked about the role of government, 55 per cent of stable NDPers said that the main role of government was to redistribute wealth "so that the poor and the disadvantaged have more than they would if left on their own." Meanwhile, 58 per cent of the new contingent said government's role is to "create opportunity so that everyone can compete on their own to be the best they can be."

It also goes on to state that Brian Topp may represent(although his policies havn't even been released yet) the "stable" section, while Paul Dewar(somehow ranked as a moderate when he also hasn't released any info on his personal views) as the "moderate" which appeals to the "new". Also the study has 27%(ratio) who voted ndp, when the ndp got around 31%.

bekayne
dacckon dacckon's picture

Welcome to the race Martin Singh! But I have to ask, what is his French like? Nevertheless, an interesting and unexpected addition to the race.

dacckon dacckon's picture
Aristotleded24

JeffWells wrote:
[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1061925]Nathan Cullen expected to enter the race on Friday.[/url]

Yay! Go Western Canada Go!Smile

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

"Western alienation" was and is driven, more than anything else, by a refusal on the part of some people to accept that the 1950's were over, coupled with a fixation with going back to that era(reimagined as a mythical white Protestant golden age)-how do you make THAT sensibility into a fight for the greater good, for a society in which all are included and none are excluded, or for a country based on secular rather than exclusively "Judeo-Christian" values?

What a load of horse shit. ALBERTA is not the west it is only in the west.  Western alienation is not a Xian circle jerk.  Crow rate, eastern bankers and other moneyed interests, always having to take a back seat to the aspirations of central Canada those are some of the things you dismiss in terms that if used similar language when I spoke about Qebec I would be banned from this board for being anti-French.  Apparently its ok to bash anyone in Canada that does not accept the two state solution and prefers a Confederation of equals. 

At this point, I think we can probably assume that voters in Ontario and Quebec hate the bankers and the monied interests as much as voters from anywhere else do.  As to those issues and the rest of the ones you listed, the key is to find a way to run a campaign that recognizes that voters, wherever they live in Canada, share common ground on those points. \

Voters in central Canada could be won over to the Western position on the Crow without phrasing the issue in terms of one region winning and another losing.

One other thing...an insistence on a rigid notion of Canada as "a Confederation of equals" is basically a guarantee that Confederation won't survive.  Insisting on that, whatever else you support, is basically telling Quebec to "know its place"-it's an anglo-centric position that denies the equality of francophones in Canadian history.  If you're going to take that stance, you might just as well endorse everything else Preston Manning stands for and be done with it-because you'll kill the NDP in Quebec and the party could never gain enough seats in the West to make up for the mass losses that position would inflict on it there.  Why reduce the party to perennial third-place status again over something so petty?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I agree with you that most of the issues you listed need to be addressed, Northern...but speaking of them in the language of regional resentment can never lead to radical results. 

Not everyone in Quebec and Ontario is privileged over people in the West(in fact, most aren't).  What's needed is a campaign that speaks to everyone who's not a "winner" in the status quo...not a regression to the idea that some people are living high on the hog just because they live in Montreal or Toronto rather than Vancouver or Regina.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

 

I've never heard of him before, but this sounds good (excerpt):

"According to the sketch, he plans to base his leadership bid on four policy areas: entrepreneurship and engaging the business community, health care and the promotion of a national pharmacare plan, the environment and the issue of leadership, itself."

NorthReport

Tks BB.

The leadership race is providing a golden opportunity for the NDP to showcase a fabulous' array of progressive policies which will help to excite many Canadians and which will win them over to supporting the NDP.

And in the forseeable future we can also expect to hear about many amazin' multicultural policies as well.  

Boom Boom wrote:

 

I've never heard of him before, but this sounds good (excerpt):

"According to the sketch, he plans to base his leadership bid on four policy areas: entrepreneurship and engaging the business community, health care and the promotion of a national pharmacare plan, the environment and the issue of leadership, itself."

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

"Western alienation" was and is driven, more than anything else, by a refusal on the part of some people to accept that the 1950's were over, coupled with a fixation with going back to that era(reimagined as a mythical white Protestant golden age)-how do you make THAT sensibility into a fight for the greater good, for a society in which all are included and none are excluded, or for a country based on secular rather than exclusively "Judeo-Christian" values?

What a load of horse shit. ALBERTA is not the west it is only in the west.  Western alienation is not a Xian circle jerk.  Crow rate, eastern bankers and other moneyed interests, always having to take a back seat to the aspirations of central Canada those are some of the things you dismiss in terms that if used similar language when I spoke about Qebec I would be banned from this board for being anti-French.  Apparently its ok to bash anyone in Canada that does not accept the two state solution and prefers a Confederation of equals. 

At this point, I think we can probably assume that voters in Ontario and Quebec hate the bankers and the monied interests as much as voters from anywhere else do.  As to those issues and the rest of the ones you listed, the key is to find a way to run a campaign that recognizes that voters, wherever they live in Canada, share common ground on those points.

Voters in central Canada could be won over to the Western position on the Crow without phrasing the issue in terms of one region winning and another losing.

One other thing...an insistence on a rigid notion of Canada as "a Confederation of equals" is basically a guarantee that Confederation won't survive.  Insisting on that, whatever else you support, is basically telling Quebec to "know its place"-it's an anglo-centric position that denies the equality of francophones in Canadian history.  If you're going to take that stance, you might just as well endorse everything else Preston Manning stands for and be done with it-because you'll kill the NDP in Quebec and the party could never gain enough seats in the West to make up for the mass losses that position would inflict on it there.  Why reduce the party to perennial third-place status again over something so petty?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm thinking the NDP have a very good opportunity in the next federal election due to generational shifts - I very much doubt that people coming up to voting age are going to be tied down to antique, conservative values. Time will tell, I guess. I'm still quite pissed off that the Cons got their majority last May.

TheArchitect

I've seen a number of headlines claiming Cullen will enter the race, but the articles under them seem to have no evidence for this other than the fact that Cullen will be "making an important announcement on Friday."  While of course this might be an announcement that he will be a candidate, it seems equally possible that it will be announcement that he won't be (and possibly even that he won't be and is supporting somebody else).

Personally, I like Cullen a lot and I think he should be playing a major role in the party going forward, but I wouldn't be inclined to support a Cullen leadership bid; I think Julian would be a stronger leader.  I don't see any advantages to choosing Cullen over Julian; all the positives I see for Cullen I think Julian also has, but I see a lot of positives for Julian (such as his excellent French and his ability to unite voters in all parts of Canada) that I don't see in Cullen.

Lara34

De-lurking to finally join in on this dicussion! I am very excited, personally, about the possibility of Nathan Cullen running! As for TheArchitect's question on why people think he is going to announce he is running tomorrow - it is because his press release also reiterated his bio (elected 4 times, etc). What kind of statement is he making that he feels the need to assert his credentials?  

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Ken I was giving you a different view of the term western alienation. IMO Its really a historic term now and not something that people talk about much.  The Crow rate is especially a historic debate and not relevant to any current discussion.  

Having a candidate who wants to promote entrepreneurship should liven up the policy debates.  I wonder if he is bilingual and whether he wears a kirpan to public events.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I appreciate your analysis of what Western Alienation has been.  Thanks for that.

 

Why, might I ask, were you bringing up the kirpan?  The function of the kirpan is strictly ceremonial, so what difference does it make if Mr. Singh wears it or not?

David Young

I've met Martin a few times at NDP events here in Nova Scotia, and was very impressed by his intelligent opinions on various topics.

An excellent addition to the leadership contest.

 

NorthReport

Good to hear David.

Your thoughtful comments are always appreciated.

 

David Young wrote:

I've met Martin a few times at NDP events here in Nova Scotia, and was very impressed by his intelligent opinions on various topics.

An excellent addition to the leadership contest.

 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
As for Topp, have you heard any New Democrats supporting his candidacy? On here or in your personal contacts? I'm curious. I have yet to speak with someone who is supporting him besides the big name endorsements.

As far as I know, Ed Broadbent is still a member of the NDP - as is Roy Romanow, as is Pat Atkinson. In fact, I had a overly call from Pat just the other day.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

And your "first tier" just happens to be the two white dudes.  And only one woman even in the second tier?

Are you not at all worried about what message it would send to FN Canadians or other Canadians of color to say that, when it really comes down to it, the NDP has to have a leader that looks like MOST of the leaders of the past?

Putting Topp and Mulcair first says you don't think that Canada is ready for the idea of a modern choice as party leader.  . . . . .

When you have a second, you might want to consider growing up.

My post was not an analysis of policy options or demographic desirablility. It wasn't even an indication of my leanings.

It was a simple assessment of where the candidates stand in the horse race at this moment. The first tier is white guys because the two white guys are the best known today.

Now, if you're done throwing about unfounded accusations of racism, perhaps we could move on.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Was there ever really a way to make "Western alienation" into anything progressive?  The roots of "Western alienation", as I understood them, were in resentment about official bilingualism(driven almost entirely by prejudice against francophones) opposition to acceptance of the multicultural fact(the kind of opposition that is STILL a big part of Harper's program)and in the backlash about Trudeau's National Energy Policy(opposition that was heavily financed by the Alberta oil barons).  How can anything that starts out with that kind of ideological/cultural/economic basis ever be repurposed as a program of egalitarian social change?

"Western alienation" was and is driven, more than anything else, by a refusal on the part of some people to accept that the 1950's were over, coupled with a fixation with going back to that era(reimagined as a mythical white Protestant golden age)-how do you make THAT sensibility into a fight for the greater good, for a society in which all are included and none are excluded, or for a country based on secular rather than exclusively "Judeo-Christian" values?

I don't know where you live, Ken, but your knowledge of western Canada and western alienation is ust so much bigoted bullshit. Federal politics in western Canada is frequently about regional grieveance - just as it is in other regions. Because we ceded the populist field to the right, the wedge issues that played were the issues of the right.

But then, you'd rather post your made up crap instead of reality based analysis, so what's the point, really.

Bird on a Wire
Malcolm Malcolm's picture

theleftyinvestor wrote:

The consequences of a Dave Barrett NDP are indeed fun to speculate about but not something we can say for sure. If he had succeeded in tapping into western discontent in place of the Reform party, we don't necessarily know it would have done, but it might have cut into the Reform winnings in 1993. Had the voice of the west been weighted towards the NDP rather than Reform, it could have changed the course of ReformaTory history. Maybe the merger would not have happened the same way it did in real history.

I remember reading something about how protest parties are all about defending people from "the interests". And the NDP had that place in Western Canada until the Reform party came along and redefined "the interests" as Quebec, elitist Eastern lefties and Liberals. If the NDP had been paying attention at the right time in history to fight the drastic reframing of that narrative, perhaps the Prairies would have retained some winnable NDP seats.

Anyway... back to reality :)

I recently read a piece (written before the last election and the Orange Crush) speculating that a Barrett led NDP would have essentially blocked the rise of Reform outside of Alberta and that by now (ie, late 2010) the NDP would be the official opposition to a Liberal government. Who knows, but the scenario he drew was credible.

You've got the rights of how populism always works, even (especially?) on the Prairies. But Ken would rather indulge in offensive stereotypes he's puled out of his arse.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

bekayne wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

No other women ran, and I can't remember if others were considering it. I think it can be said that Barret understood western alienation better, and thus might have retained more seats in western Canada. As you say though, speculating on what might have happened is not particularly helpful.

Other than Alexa McDonough, all the other potential women candidates were defeated in the 1988 election

I think you're confused. 1988 was when the NDP won a record number of seats (including IIRC, a record number of women). Alexa, however, was not elected in 1988. However, as NSNDP leader, Alexa would have been (to my mind) a stronger candidate than Audrey, as were some of the other women in caucus. I've never entirely established why the establishment settled on Audrey.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

bekayne wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

No other women ran, and I can't remember if others were considering it. I think it can be said that Barret understood western alienation better, and thus might have retained more seats in western Canada. As you say though, speculating on what might have happened is not particularly helpful.

Other than Alexa McDonough, all the other potential women candidates were defeated in the 1988 election

I think you're confused. 1988 was when the NDP won a record number of seats (including IIRC, a record number of women). Alexa, however, was not elected in 1988. However, as NSNDP leader, Alexa would have been (to my mind) a stronger candidate than Audrey, as were some of the other women in caucus. I've never entirely established why the establishment settled on Audrey.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

bekayne wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

No other women ran, and I can't remember if others were considering it. I think it can be said that Barret understood western alienation better, and thus might have retained more seats in western Canada. As you say though, speculating on what might have happened is not particularly helpful.

Other than Alexa McDonough, all the other potential women candidates were defeated in the 1988 election

I think you're confused. 1988 was when the NDP won a record number of seats (including IIRC, a record number of women). Alexa, however, was not elected in 1988. However, as NSNDP leader, Alexa would have been (to my mind) a stronger candidate than Audrey, as were some of the other women in caucus. I've never entirely established why the establishment settled on Audrey.

bekayne

Malcolm wrote:
bekayne wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

No other women ran, and I can't remember if others were considering it. I think it can be said that Barret understood western alienation better, and thus might have retained more seats in western Canada. As you say though, speculating on what might have happened is not particularly helpful.

Other than Alexa McDonough, all the other potential women candidates were defeated in the 1988 election

I think you're confused. 1988 was when the NDP won a record number of seats (including IIRC, a record number of women). Alexa, however, was not elected in 1988. However, as NSNDP leader, Alexa would have been (to my mind) a stronger candidate than Audrey, as were some of the other women in caucus. I've never entirely established why the establishment settled on Audrey.

I believe there were 4 women in caucus running for re-election; Marion Dewar & Lynn McDonald were defeated, Dewar being touted by the media as a potential future leader. After the election only Audrey & Margaret Mitchell had any Parliamentary experience (am I forgetting someone?). Also remember the media was touting Vancouver Centre as a battle between 2 potential party leaders. Had Den Hertog beaten Kim Campbell, there probably would have been a push for her to run for leader.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Malcolm wrote:
theleftyinvestor wrote:

The consequences of a Dave Barrett NDP are indeed fun to speculate about but not something we can say for sure. If he had succeeded in tapping into western discontent in place of the Reform party, we don't necessarily know it would have done, but it might have cut into the Reform winnings in 1993. Had the voice of the west been weighted towards the NDP rather than Reform, it could have changed the course of ReformaTory history. Maybe the merger would not have happened the same way it did in real history.

I remember reading something about how protest parties are all about defending people from "the interests". And the NDP had that place in Western Canada until the Reform party came along and redefined "the interests" as Quebec, elitist Eastern lefties and Liberals. If the NDP had been paying attention at the right time in history to fight the drastic reframing of that narrative, perhaps the Prairies would have retained some winnable NDP seats.

Anyway... back to reality :)

I recently read a piece (written before the last election and the Orange Crush) speculating that a Barrett led NDP would have essentially blocked the rise of Reform outside of Alberta and that by now (ie, late 2010) the NDP would be the official opposition to a Liberal government. Who knows, but the scenario he drew was credible. You've got the rights of how populism always works, even (especially?) on the Prairies. But Ken would rather indulge in offensive stereotypes he's puled out of his arse.

Nice.  I didn't personally attack you in the way you did me, you know...

 

1) I was talking about how that perception of the "top tier" might be seen. I wasn't saying you were intentionally being bigoted.

2) probably I could have phrased what I said about Western Alienation differently(I didn't ever claim to know everything about it, and was reacting to the way it seemed to play out in most media accounts of it) but you could have chosen to make an educational post about it, rather than just lashing out at me on a personal level. 

Populism is all good and well, but tell me, how do you make Western populism(especially the strands of it that are based on attacking Central Canadians just for living in Central Canada) take a left-of-center direction?  Is it really valid to act as if everyone in Ontario and Quebec is conspiring against everyone in the West(even working-class people in Quebec and Ontario, few of whom have anything remotely like any sort of regional special privileges)?  Is there any way to play to Western grievance without losing voters in the two largest provinces(places the NDP will have to carry if it ever hopes to win government)?

Wouldn't a far more effective populism be a populism that unites the have-nots against the haves, from coast to coast?  Including francophone have-nots and have-nots who(God forgive them)happen to live in Toronto? Populism can be progressive and inclusive...regionalism, not so much.  Mostly, regionalism, in most of the world, causes civil wars.  It doesn't build movements for social change or successful left parties. 

Tell me how a Western grievance campaign could be waged so as to further a genuinely left or center-left agenda, and without playing to ugly feelings just below the surface.  I"m willing to listen.   You seem to think the answer to this is pretty straightforward,Malcolm, but it's not-and it's especially hard to envision such a campaign WITHOUT some forms of "dog-whistling" or some sorts of particularly ugly appeals to cowboy macho.

dacckon dacckon's picture
nicky

In 1989 there was a thirst for a woman leader which took on a formidiable momentum. In many ways it blinded the party to the shortcomings of Audrey McLaughlin.

Broadbent announced his resignation on election night. Much like Topp, McLaughlin was annointed front runner by the media in the early stages, largely because she was the last woman standing and because she seemed to have a compelling narrative - tough woman from the frontier etc.

Many of the stronger perceived candidates took a pass -Barrett, Bob White among them. It began to look like a coronation. Then about four months before the convention people began to take a closer look at McLaughlin. There was a convention of the OFL at Port Elgin where she was on full display and found wanting. Many sensible people in the party began to realize that she just didn't measure up.

Feelers were put out to Bob Rae, then Ontario opposition leader. He was quite interested . Some MPs approached Barrett who had earlier declined to run and told him they feared electoral devastation with her as leader. He said I will reconsider if you line up 10 caucus members to support me. Almost immediately they signed up 14. Some western labour leaders joined the draft.

Rae called Barrett to solicit his suppport and Barrett told him he had already decided to run. He soon found out that many party members who were appalled at the prospect of McLaughlin as leader were already in the Barrett camp. As Barrett told me , "Rae put the ladder up to the window but when when he got to the top he found out I was already in the bedroom."

McLaughlin went into the convention with a wide lead that she almost blew when delegates were able to size her up at close range. Unfortunately for the party she was able to stagger accross the finish line despite a steady bleeding of support. She was assisted by two factors. First the desire by many to elect the first woman leader made many delegates hope against hope that she would grow into the job. Second, the party establishment largely backed her because Barret was seen as a threat to their control over the party. (perhaps reminiscent of Topp vs Mulcair)

Bob Rae and the "Lewis faction" (though perhaps not Stephen who was said on TV that McLaughlin's convention performance was "vacuous") backed McLaughlin for this reason. Rae also resented Barrett for elbowing him out of the race. Bob Rae should be rememberd for dealing two immense body blows to the NDP - the government he ran in Ontario and saddling the party with Audrey McLaughlin.

After the final ballot the luminaries gathered on the stage in a show of unity. Rae uttered insincere congratulations to Barrett on a race well run etc, and Barrett, bless him, leaned into Rae's ear and said"Fuck you, Bob."

Anyone who says the party would have done as badly with Barrett as leader is just mouthing idiocy. Barret was just about the best campaigner ever and McLaughlin just about the worse. Barrett would have protected the populist flank and prevented the steady erosion of support throughout the campaign. Under McLaughlin the party dropped like  a stone during the campaign. The provincial governments' unpopularity had their efffect by the point the campaign began but scarely account for the party loosing half its support during the campaign itself. For that McLaughlin shoulders the blame.

If only we could have seen Dave Barrett in the leaders debate. That would have been a thing of beauty....

Gaian

Thanks for the Byers piece, dacckon. One needs to be brought to Earth from time to time.

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

2) probably I could have phrased what I said about Western Alienation differently(I didn't ever claim to know everything about it, and was reacting to the way it seemed to play out in most media accounts of it) but you could have chosen to make an educational post about it, rather than just lashing out at me on a personal level.

I'm not excusing the personal attacks, and I agree with you that education is the way to go. But maybe you could think about why people might react that way to someone who's obviously not from western Canada who starts telling all of us (including many who actually live there) what western alienation is "about", and getting a lot of it wrong in the process? It's not exactly fun to read, you know?

I mean, when I only know what's been said about a subject in "most media accounts" (and god knows there are enough subjects I don't know crap-all about), I don't make posts that try to sum those subjects up. Instead, I try to listen to what people who know more about those subjects have to say about them. Just saying.

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