Some NDPers Claim Tom Mulcair Was Illegitimately Ousted As Party Leader

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R.E.Wood

DaleJack wrote:

Regardless of what you think, roughly 75-80% of the NDP membership, past and present, want Tom Mulcair back. 

I think you'd be very suprised by the truth. But thanks for the laugh!

Sean in Ottawa

Those looking back on Mulcair's ouster and claiming special knowledge about desires for him to come back or the idea that he was conservative seem to have some amnesia over what happened post election and why Mulcair failed.

Most of this is not worth a review but some of it is:

After the election, NDP supporters widely considered that the party moved to the right in rhetoric, if not in the program. The party angered members by being out of touch, continually asking for money rather than offering real participation. The anger of the loss of seats was natural. Putting these three together, there was a way out for Mulcair. He did not take it.

After the election Mulcair refused to entertain the possibility that he was at all responsible. He said the party made mistkaes but could have said that his rhetoric was out of step and that his attemtps to calm people to vote NDP was an over moderation rather than a sign of conservatism on his part. He could have taken responsibility, especially since the NDP program was sufficiently progressive and he did not sell it as strongly as his anti-deficit message.

Since he gambled that he could refuse personal responsibility and this failed, he lost the vote.

The NDP is programmed to be patient with its leaders, who generally show more humility. Mulcair's gamble resulted in him being considered unqualified and incompatible with leadership of this party. As well, his refusal to take personal responsibility publicly led many outside the inner sanctum to believe reports of tensions inside. Further, Mulcair gave no indication that the party, under hime, would work particularly hard to engage with members and give them a greater say.

I think I may be representative in a number of respects of the response:

I supported another person before Mulcair (Saganash in my case) but later moved to support him and be hopeful that he could do well.

I supported "angry Tom" largely. Did not like arrogant or petty Tom and I did not like unambitious Tom. However, humilty after the election could have won me over at least to the point of wanting to give him another chance at redemption.

It was precisely his failure to recognize the disconnect in relations between the party and members (rather than general mistakes in the campaign that he admitted) AND his outright refusal to QUICKLY accept some personal responsibility for the tone of the campaign and the emphasis on the more deficit fighting rather than progressive elements of the platform. There was also the words I wanted to hear which was the party take responsibility for not fighting the Liberal "middle class" campaign directly and pretending that they only had to beat the Conservatives.

I was left concluding that Mulcair was arrogant and lacked good judgment.

The party itself, under Mulcair, led a sham consultation that seemed designed to avoid what Members really wanted to say after the election. It made things worse rather than better.

This ALL related to his post election performance which I found infuriating.

I cannot say what percent felt as I do. I have no access to polling and do not know if anyone actually asked these questions. However, I know I was not alone. Some disagreed with me here but a good many agreed.

It seems many want to not remember this period and suggest either that Mulcair was screwed -- which he wasn't or that he somehow could not help himself becuase he was too right wing. Neither of these are true. Mulcair lost the leadership because of his post election behaviour and has shown no sign that he understands this.

As I said upthread, Mulcair is not a conservative in my view but a man lacking in the confidence of the party positions that he wanted to sound conservative in order to have a hope at being elected. This is important becuase admitting this could have allowed him to stay on.

***

Fast forward to today. Ask me how I feel about a Mulcair comeback: pretty much the same way as then. Mulcair would need to prior to asking the question show a great deal of humility and willingness to admit not just that he made mistakes but identify which ones they were. By not doing so he left the party both without what he could have contributed but also without the ability to resolve what went wrong. Instead, the party went into another leadership race without looking at what the party itself did wrong and what was wrong about the outgoing leader. It failed to bring to the leadership race the most important lessons of the last election.

Since then many people lost hope in the party and support has collapsed into pessimism that the party could amount to much of anything in the short term.

Sure we have to move on. Only through recognition of some of this will we be able to.

The fantasy of Mulcair coming back when he is not interested and not willing to address these is a distraction that the party does not need. It is too late now for the next eleciton I think. Post election the party will propbably screw up and put the review down to leadership alone then and select another leader to make the same mistakes. Ideally you would get a leader and leadership willing to really engage in an examination of the lessons both with respect to the behaviour of the leader, the campaign, the platform etc. Then it would matter less if that leader stayed on or left. Mulcair could have had that review and could have remained leader or another leader could have implemented the learning. By refusing to do this we have kicked the solution down the road and the party will struggle to mean anything much.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Those looking back on Mulcair's ouster and claiming special knowledge about desires for him to come back or the idea that he was conservative seem to have some amnesia over what happened post election and why Mulcair failed.

Most of this is not worth a review but some of it is:

After the election, NDP supporters widely considered that the party moved to the right in rhetoric, if not in the program. The party angered members by being out of touch, continually asking for money rather than offering real participation. The anger of the loss of seats was natural. Putting these three together, there was a way out for Mulcair. He did not take it.

After the election Mulcair refused to entertain the possibility that he was at all responsible. He said the party made mistkaes but could have said that his rhetoric was out of step and that his attemtps to calm people to vote NDP was an over moderation rather than a sign of conservatism on his part. He could have taken responsibility, especially since the NDP program was sufficiently progressive and he did not sell it as strongly as his anti-deficit message.

Since he gambled that he could refuse personal responsibility and this failed, he lost the vote.

The NDP is programmed to be patient with its leaders, who generally show more humility. Mulcair's gamble resulted in him being considered unqualified and incompatible with leadership of this party. As well, his refusal to take personal responsibility publicly led many outside the inner sanctum to believe reports of tensions inside. Further, Mulcair gave no indication that the party, under hime, would work particularly hard to engage with members and give them a greater say.

I think I may be representative in a number of respects of the response:

I supported another person before Mulcair (Saganash in my case) but later moved to support him and be hopeful that he could do well.

I supported "angry Tom" largely. Did not like arrogant or petty Tom and I did not like unambitious Tom. However, humilty after the election could have won me over at least to the point of wanting to give him another chance at redemption.

It was precisely his failure to recognize the disconnect in relations between the party and members (rather than general mistakes in the campaign that he admitted) AND his outright refusal to QUICKLY accept some personal responsibility for the tone of the campaign and the emphasis on the more deficit fighting rather than progressive elements of the platform. There was also the words I wanted to hear which was the party take responsibility for not fighting the Liberal "middle class" campaign directly and pretending that they only had to beat the Conservatives.

I was left concluding that Mulcair was arrogant and lacked good judgment.

The party itself, under Mulcair, led a sham consultation that seemed designed to avoid what Members really wanted to say after the election. It made things worse rather than better.

This ALL related to his post election performance which I found infuriating.

I cannot say what percent felt as I do. I have no access to polling and do not know if anyone actually asked these questions. However, I know I was not alone. Some disagreed with me here but a good many agreed.

It seems many want to not remember this period and suggest either that Mulcair was screwed -- which he wasn't or that he somehow could not help himself becuase he was too right wing. Neither of these are true. Mulcair lost the leadership because of his post election behaviour and has shown no sign that he understands this.

As I said upthread, Mulcair is not a conservative in my view but a man lacking in the confidence of the party positions that he wanted to sound conservative in order to have a hope at being elected. This is important becuase admitting this could have allowed him to stay on.

***

Fast forward to today. Ask me how I feel about a Mulcair comeback: pretty much the same way as then. Mulcair would need to prior to asking the question show a great deal of humility and willingness to admit not just that he made mistakes but identify which ones they were. By not doing so he left the party both without what he could have contributed but also without the ability to resolve what went wrong. Instead, the party went into another leadership race without looking at what the party itself did wrong and what was wrong about the outgoing leader. It failed to bring to the leadership race the most important lessons of the last election.

Since then many people lost hope in the party and support has collapsed into pessimism that the party could amount to much of anything in the short term.

Sure we have to move on. Only through recognition of some of this will we be able to.

The fantasy of Mulcair coming back when he is not interested and not willing to address these is a distraction that the party does not need. It is too late now for the next eleciton I think. Post election the party will propbably screw up and put the review down to leadership alone then and select another leader to make the same mistakes. Ideally you would get a leader and leadership willing to really engage in an examination of the lessons both with respect to the behaviour of the leader, the campaign, the platform etc. Then it would matter less if that leader stayed on or left. Mulcair could have had that review and could have remained leader or another leader could have implemented the learning. By refusing to do this we have kicked the solution down the road and the party will struggle to mean anything much.

For whatever it's worth to you, I'd originally thought Saganash would be the dream NDP leader-from Quebec, FN, connected to the social movements and a believer that they should be made welcome in and should be accepted as valid forms of political expression by the party.  The personal issues Saganash has had to battle are what knocked him out.  I still hope someone like him could be chosen as leader in the future.

Sean in Ottawa

Ken Burch wrote:

For whatever it's worth to you, I'd originally thought Saganash would be the dream NDP leader-from Quebec, FN, connected to the social movements and a believer that they should be made welcome in and should be accepted as valid forms of political expression by the party.  The personal issues Saganash has had to battle are what knocked him out.  I still hope someone like him could be chosen as leader in the future.

I agree completely.

Another person who I like is Dr. Pam Palmeter. Not sure if she is interested.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I supported another person before Mulcair (Saganash in my case) but later moved to support him and be hopeful that he could do well.

So did Saganash.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

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Mighty Middle

Dale Jackaman is back in the news at the tail end of this Jagmeet Singh feature

Dale Jackaman, an NDP member who ran for the party three times during the late Jack Layton's time as leader, has been leading a campaign called "Bring Back Tom Mulcair" since 2017. He said the group is comprised of former and current NDP members, as well as candidates.

The campaign, which is mostly active on Facebook, maintains that the Edmonton convention in 2016 that saw Mulcair turfed from the leadership was a "sham," Jackaman told HuffPost in an email. The group aims to get an apology from the party for Mulcair and eventually convince him to return to politics.

"To date, we've focused as much as possible ... [on] NDP membership with targeted Facebook ads from the Bring Back Tom Mulcair Campaign's Facebook page," Jackaman said, "and we will geo-target specific regional areas such as the Ottawa convention (centre) where the last federal NDP convention was held."

Jackaman said in a report submitted to the party that the system used to determine how many delegates are sent to the convention was "not adhered to," leading some areas like Alberta to be "overrepresented" at the meeting.

Jackaman said the group will cease campaigning during the byelection period out of courtesy to Singh, but will fire up the operation after the contest is over.

Jackaman, who now works as a private investigator, said he believes Singh won the NDP leadership race in 2017 fair and square, but that doesn't mean he'll support him. He also believes there is "no question" that his campaign has hurt Singh's chances.

"This campaign has split the party into two disparate camps and has significantly impacted both membership and fundraising numbers,"he said.

"Mr. Singh, to be blunt, is just not in (Mulcair's) class. We have no doubt that Mr. Singh will make a fine MP, but it will be some years before he will be able to run a federal political party, or the country."

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/01/14/jagmeet-singh-mulcair-byelectio...

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