Where does Bloc Quebecois support go if the party eventually dies?

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Unionist

Recalls how Tommy Douglas was only leader to stand up against War Measures Act.

No one complained of 9,000 (?) Sikhs who lost their lives in war, wearing their turbans. And RCMP.

Our caucus is all of one mind on this. Not a single dissonant voice. They get a little bit of pushback from constituents - so do I. People say, "you don't understand, this is about separation of church and state". I say come on, look at U.S., this doesn't wash.

"If only Pauline Marois understood for a nanosecond how much this hurts QC's image, not just in rest of Canada where prejudices already exist, but rest of world... investment... etc."

Unionist

I imagine it'll be posted here eventually:

http://www.cbc.ca/radionoonmontreal/

 

6079_Smith_W

Hmm. Is there a reason why he feels he needs to lard it on so much?

Honest question. I mean, perhaps there is, but as was mentioned above, it could also be seen as exploiting others' misfortune. 

There is something to be said, after all, for using understatement and letting people reach their own conclusions.

 

DaveW

I agree : provincial issue.

Please let the discerning QC electorate deal with this, just as they did with Bill 14, RIP, for those whose memories cast back to March 2013.

Mulcair's positions are worth noting, but he has no vote as a member of the National Assembly any more.

Unionist

DaveW wrote:

NDP can stick with 50+1, fine, my argument is no one will really notice or comment, and even Lucien Himself could not get a rise out of the issue and slammed the door as a result

I understand - but my point is a little different. Imagine if Lucien had said: "Yeah, that Clarity Act, that's a good idea." Just imagine.

50+1 is nothing for the NDP to shout about. But if they abandon it... they will be finished here. That's my only point. And I don't wish for the opportunity to test my hypothesis lol!

Stockholm

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Hmm. Is there a reason why he feels he needs to lard it on so much?

Honest question. I mean, perhaps there is, but as was mentioned above, it could also be seen as exploiting others' misfortune. 

You mean you think he's laying it on thick in attacking the BQ and Marois? let me remind you that this is an interview Mulcair is giving to an ENGLISH CBC station in Montreal. The vast majority of people who listen to English radio in Montreal hate the BQ, the PQ and anything to do with the so-called charter of Quebec values - so Mulcair is saying exactly what NDP potential voters in anglo- and allophone Quebec want to hear.

6079_Smith_W

You don't need to remind me. I still think bringing up inflamatory stuff like Herouxville (and death) isn't exactly prime ministerial under the circumstances.

And when anyone feels the need to claim that their group is unanimous it immediately makes me wonder why, and question how much it reflects the actual truth.

I underatand as well as anyone here why some crass politician would play "to the lowest values". I'm asking if that is the best course for the leader of the opposition.

DaveW

sorry, Stockholm, keep the word hate out of this ; there is a vigorous debate here, as there was over the now defunct Bill 14

no paternalism, please, the locals are quite capable of handling their political/social issues

but from the Globe and Mail editorial page down to NDP HQ there, everyone in ON feels their insights are crucial to Quebec's internal debate; not sure of that, not at all

Stockholm

DaveW wrote:

sorry, Stockholm, keep the word hate out of this ; there is a vigorous debate here, as there was over the now defunct Bill 14

no paternalism, please, the locals are quite capable of handling their political/social issues

I'm an anglo-Quebecer so I have as much right to express an opinion as anyone. Perhaps the word "hate" is harsh but I'm trying to think of a more appropriate word to describe the extreme dislike that the vast majority of non-francophones have for the PQ/BQ - especailly in its new xenophobic Front Nationale-style incarnation under Pauline Marois.

DaveW

as for Herouxville, that is the cliché yokel town but the Globe shrewdly sent its reporter there and found the locals were disengaged, not a big issue there;

in truth, the key demographic for Marois' pitch is the Montreal periphery regions and 50-plus francophone women who feel religion has to be kept from dominating their social lives

DaveW

again, poor political terminology; so you drop the word hate, but you miscast Marois, too

extremists like the FN not alone in the francophone world in having positions on national and ethnic issues; ignoring these more centrist views is counterproductive;

 an example from France, the truculent Alain Finkielkraut, a centre-right intellectual, who is frequently cited in the Journal de Montreal these days esp. by its most outspoken columnist Richard Martineau:

http://www.lepoint.fr/politique/alain-finkielkraut-etre-francais-ce-n-est-pas-etre-une-composante-de-la-diversite-10-10-2013-1744071_20.php

 

 

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

I'm an anglo-Quebecer so I have as much right to express an opinion as anyone.

Indeed. It's rather the quality of the opinion which is being questioned here. Why not try to be among the more enlightened Anglo-Quebecers? And perhaps, don't attribute your own "hatred" to everyone else who actually makes their homes here. We're not like that.

Quote:
Perhaps the word "hate" is harsh but I'm trying to think of a more appropriate word to describe the extreme dislike that the vast majority of non-francophones have for the PQ/BQ - especailly in its new xenophobic Front Nationale-style incarnation under Pauline Marois.

You know, before sending an invading liberation force to Normandy Notre-Dame-de-Grâce to free us from Vichy and the Nazis the "Front National" [er, no "e" at the end of National, please], maybe divert a few battalions to the state-sanctioned "public" schools in your homeland, you know, the ones run by child-molesting women-hating gay-bashing science-shunning fascist collaborators - er, the Catholic Church of Jesus Christ and God Almighty. When you've captured those ramparts, you can head here, reclaim your Québec resident status, and do a little listening.

 

ygtbk

Stockholm wrote:

DaveW wrote:

sorry, Stockholm, keep the word hate out of this ; there is a vigorous debate here, as there was over the now defunct Bill 14

no paternalism, please, the locals are quite capable of handling their political/social issues

I'm an anglo-Quebecer so I have as much right to express an opinion as anyone. Perhaps the word "hate" is harsh but I'm trying to think of a more appropriate word to describe the extreme dislike that the vast majority of non-francophones have for the PQ/BQ - especailly in its new xenophobic Front Nationale-style incarnation under Pauline Marois.

Despite your getting raked over the coals by a babbler for expressing your opinion, you have every right to it. I once expressed the opinion that Pauline was odious (IMO, clearly a true statement) and got pretty severely criticized for it. But babble is becoming a place in which it is unwise to express a candid opinion...

DaveW

Nonsense.

Stockholm is quite welcome to express his opinions here; I like and endorse the strongly reasoned ones, but criticize the weakly supported ones.

Period.

(PS I too disdain Mme Marois, but her project has to be seen in context.)

CanadaOrangeCat

There are nationalists who have a conservative social and economic outlook, but will not vote for Harper. They are not going to be inclined to go with social-democratic elements. Traditionally the Liberals got them.

One cannot forget the Bloc was originally formed with Tory defectors (and others, granted, but Bouchard himself was a Tory cabinet minister). I think you have to look at this 'Bleu' constituency in Quebec to see which way things will shift w.r.t. the Bloc.

If a Bleu leader comes up and storms the Tory Party post-Harper as Mulroney did, the Tories might get another kick at the can. 

DaveW

that is a key insight: the Bloc was essentially Bleu, which is a historic adversary of the Rouges/Liberals in Quebec

Stockholm

DaveW wrote:

(PS I too disdain Mme Marois, but her project has to be seen in context.)

What "context" are you referring to - apart from her opportunistically needing to stir the pot of fear of "the other" in order to get more votes?

DaveW

well, read Finkielkraut (and his six or so author cohort currently dominating French public discourse);

 they are talking about a widespread uneasiness among largely working class voters about immigration and integration: so either address those anxieties rationally and persuasively, taking the issue out the hands of demagogues, or do what you seem to be recommending and  pretend that sentiment does not exist;

 that leads to Marois addressing integration issues in her own wrongheaded fashion

 

Stockholm

DaveW wrote:

 they are talking about a widespread uneasiness among largely working class voters about immigration and integration: so either address those anxieties rationally and persuasively, taking the issue out the hands of demagogues, or do what you seem to be recommending and  pretend that sentiment does not exist;

 that leads to Marois addressing integration issues in her own wrongheaded fashion

People have been trying to do that through things like the Bouchard-Taylor commission which made some reasonable recommendations on "reasonable accommodation" - but what do you do when you are up against a cynical demagogue like Marois who is willing to say ANYTHING to get votes - no matter how harmful and divisive it is to the social fabric.

socialdemocrati...

The "context" is that the "national question" used to be a higher priority for Quebec, in the 90s. The two main provincial parties weren't organized from "left" vs "right". They were organized along the question of Federalist/Sovereigntist, with "left" and "right" politicians in both the Parti Quebecois and the Liberal Party. Now the national question is a lower priority, and polls show support for sovereignty is dropping, especially among young people. And that explains the rise of the ADQ/CAQ and QS. The question is shifting from "should the federal government have jurisdiction" to "what kind of government do we want, provincially and federally?" The shifting party lines reflect that underlying change in desire.

And Mourani's statement re-evaluating sovereignty is also a reflection of that change. The sovereigntist cause really was a solution in search of a problem. Sovereignty doesn't solve the question of "what kind of government do we want". And, if anything, focusing on sovereignty (or not-sovereignty) postpones the important work of deciding how Quebeckers should live. At the provincial level, it means going back and forth between two mushy parties that are focused on the wrong things. And at a federal level, it's often meant that Quebec is inherently excluded from governing. When Mourani asks "Why isn’t the party leadership trying to identify which changes would satisfy both Canadians and Quebecers?", she recognizes the need for a change in dialog. The dialog has already changed.

 

Stockholm

This interview on CJAD with Mulcair where he discusses his views on the so-called charter of Quebec values and on Maria Mourani is well worth listening to in its entirety.

 

http://www.cjad.com/cjad-news/2013/12/19/listen-mouranis-welcome-to-join...

socialdemocrati...

I admire the NDP's principle on this. It's so tempting to be expedient and just take whoever will join the party. But when people were voting for Mourani, they were voting for a Bloc Quebecois platform, including a goal of sovereignty. The idea that she would take the votes of her constituents and then work towards NDP policies, including federalism, would be a slap in the face of the people who elected her.

The riding was hotly contested, and decided within a few percentage points. Whichever party she joins, she will probably be re-elected under their banner. But the principle that she should run again is important. The voters have to decide, not the individual MP.

WyldRage

The riding has changed: in the 2015 election it will be impossible for the BQ to win it, even with pre-2011 numbers. 

I heard a debate on RDI yesterday on Mourani, between Louis Plamondon of the BQ, Liza Frulla of the Liberals and Michel David of Le Devoir and they practically all agreed: she was looking for a way to keep her seat. Look forward to her joining the Liberals if the polls keep the ssame. 

Unionist

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

The idea that she would take the votes of her constituents and then work towards NDP policies, including federalism, would be a slap in the face of the people who elected her.

So - sorry to be such a pest - but explain to me why (under the NDP's policy, which you appear to support) she gets to declare publicly "I'm now a federalist", quit the party which endorsed her candidacy, and she can continue to sit in the House, having been elected on a clearly independentist platform? You think her voters are ok with that, as long as she doesn't actually join a federalist party?

What if she had done this deed in June 2011? Another 4 years as an MP?

The NDP needs to rethink its policy.

 

 

Stockholm

WyldRage wrote:

I heard a debate on RDI yesterday on Mourani, between Louis Plamondon of the BQ, Liza Frulla of the Liberals and Michel David of Le Devoir and they practically all agreed: she was looking for a way to keep her seat. Look forward to her joining the Liberals if the polls keep the ssame. 

Is it the norm on RDI that when they have a "debate" they just have a BQ MP, a retired Liberal hack and no one from the party that holds 75% of the federal seats in Quebec?

Stockholm

The NDP can only control who is does or does not allow to sit in the NDP caucus. The NDP has no control over what happens when someone goes from BQ to Independent. It has said that if she wants to join the NDP she will have to seek a nomination in 2015 and get elected as a NDP candidate first.

 

Unionist wrote:

So - sorry to be such a pest - but explain to me why (under the NDP's policy, which you appear to support) she gets to declare publicly "I'm now a federalist", quit the party which endorsed her candidacy, and she can continue to sit in the House, having been elected on a clearly independentist platform? You think her voters are ok with that, as long as she doesn't actually join a federalist party?

What if she had done this deed in June 2011? Another 4 years as an MP?

The NDP needs to rethink its policy.

socialdemocrati...

Unionist wrote:
So - sorry to be such a pest - but explain to me why (under the NDP's policy, which you appear to support) she gets to declare publicly "I'm now a federalist", quit the party which endorsed her candidacy, and she can continue to sit in the House, having been elected on a clearly independentist platform? You think her voters are ok with that, as long as she doesn't actually join a federalist party?

No, I don't. The idea that MPs can just make a huge policy change in the middle of their job without any consultation is undemocratic. Frankly, I think voters should be allowed to recall an MP if they pull a move like that. I'm for some kind of recall trigger process.

But you mean to tell me that because the system gives MPs the power to ignore the people who voted them there, we should allow parties benefit from it until we fix it?

Stockholm

I can assure you NO ONE in the NDP takes its support in Quebec for granted. Its a reality though that about 90% of political news coverage in Quebec focuses on provincial politics and less than 10% of it deals with federal politics - so parties that only exist at the federal level such as the NDP and the Conservatives get eclipsed for that reason. I watch RDI occasionally and i have seen Mulcair being interviewed several times....of course the ratings for all news networks like RDI and CBC Newsworld are so ridiculously low and that you would have to go on a scavenger hunt to find anyone who was not a political staffer or junkie who ever watches that stuff.

Matthieu

Stockholm wrote:

WyldRage wrote:

I heard a debate on RDI yesterday on Mourani, between Louis Plamondon of the BQ, Liza Frulla of the Liberals and Michel David of Le Devoir and they practically all agreed: she was looking for a way to keep her seat. Look forward to her joining the Liberals if the polls keep the ssame. 

Is it the norm on RDI that when they have a "debate" they just have a BQ MP, a retired Liberal hack and no one from the party that holds 75% of the federal seats in Quebec?

 

The guy they usually get to talk for the NDP is Yvon Godin. It would seem strange to get someone out of province for this discussion.

And this is also why the Liberals will defeat the NDP in Québec in 2015: the NDP position is invisible in the news. I can't remember the last time I saw Mulcair or any other NDP member on RDI. On any subject, if they want reactions from the PQ, the liberals, the CAQ, they have a whole list of talking heads to go through, both present and past members. For the conservatives or the NDP, practically no one. 

Your party should really work on its communication and stop taking Québec for granted. 

*I should note I changed username, the old one is a remnant from my teens.

socialdemocrati...

Matthieu wrote:
Your party should really work on its communication and stop taking Québec for granted. 

I agree that the NDP needs to work on its communication strategy. Fact is, the NDP has weak ties to Quebec media, due to their lack of presence in provincial politics. (Which is to say nothing of the NDP's challenges with media in the rest of the country.) 

But challenges to communication strategy are VERY different from taking voters for granted. In fact, Quebec issues come up almost every time the NDP appears in the media, and I've never heard a Federal MP more well-versed and considerate to Quebec interests than Thomas Mulcar.

Sean in Ottawa

I am not warm to the idea of the NDP accepting her into their ranks as a candidate. If she worked for the party while technically staying out of it until the next election it would be floor crossing in everything but name.

As for a candidate in the next election someone who represented another party in the previous parliament is not an ideal choice. We can do better.

Politically taking a person straight off from another political party is a bad idea even with an election in between. To do that with a person who effectively campaigned for the independence for Quebec as a part of the BQ in the very last election is bad politics. Let her sit out the next parliament as a private citizen before she ask to suit up in Orange.

Let the NDP engage her as an advisor on reaching out to more people. Let us not have a former BQ MP from the last election represent the party or a riding in the next. Reach out to her by all means but not as MP.

I'll say something close if you want to discuss a Liberal or a Conservative.

wage zombie

Unionist wrote:

So - sorry to be such a pest - but explain to me why (under the NDP's policy, which you appear to support) she gets to declare publicly "I'm now a federalist", quit the party which endorsed her candidacy, and she can continue to sit in the House, having been elected on a clearly independentist platform? You think her voters are ok with that, as long as she doesn't actually join a federalist party?

What was written on the ballot that voters received?

Unionist

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

But you mean to tell me that because the system gives MPs the power to ignore the people who voted them there, we should allow parties benefit from it until we fix it?

No. I'm saying the NDP should amend their policy to provide that when you quit the party that endorsed you at election time, you should be treated the same whether you join another party or not. And the Mourani case is a perfect example. The NDP policy states that she can keep her seat until the next election - unless she joins the NDP (or Greens or Libs or Cons)!! It's bizarre, it's a hiccup, it should just be corrected.

 

Unionist

wage zombie wrote:

Unionist wrote:

So - sorry to be such a pest - but explain to me why (under the NDP's policy, which you appear to support) she gets to declare publicly "I'm now a federalist", quit the party which endorsed her candidacy, and she can continue to sit in the House, having been elected on a clearly independentist platform? You think her voters are ok with that, as long as she doesn't actually join a federalist party?

What was written on the ballot that voters received?

What do you think? Maria Mourani, Bloc Québécois. Was that a serious question?

socialdemocrati...

Unionist wrote:

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

But you mean to tell me that because the system gives MPs the power to ignore the people who voted them there, we should allow parties benefit from it until we fix it?

No. I'm saying the NDP should amend their policy to provide that when you quit the party that endorsed you at election time, you should be treated the same whether you join another party or not. And the Mourani case is a perfect example. The NDP policy states that she can keep her seat until the next election

I don't disagree. But too many MPs would be unwilling to surrender that power. They'd scare off a lot of candidates.

I also think this is a matter of degree. When you "go independent", it's usually over one major policy disagreement. But when you join another party, you're replacing your entire platform. The latter is FAR more offensive to the people who voted them there.

6079_Smith_W

I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me this is odd grounds for invalidating an election. Again, I know from a party's territorial perspective it might seem equivalent to fraud or theft.

Though it is worth pointing out the recent case in which actual fraud wasn't enough to do it.

But people cast their votes for all sorts of reasons.To say that the party can claim that vote, and that there is any misrepresentation at all is speculation.

Might there be some grounds for challenging an automatic process like this? Especially when (and I agree with Unionist here) being turfed from the party amounts to the same thing. Seems to me there is a lot of potential for a vindictive party to use a law like this as a weapon.

socialdemocrati...

That's a good point too, 6079_Smith_W. It's one thing for an MP to go independent. It's another thing for a party to force an MP out. If they could then say "hey, now you have to resign your seat and force a new election", that would give a LOT of power to the party.

If the goal is to give constituents maximum power over the political process, that would be a step too far / in the wrong direction.

Unionist

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

That's a good point too, 6079_Smith_W. It's one thing for an MP to go independent. It's another thing for a party to force an MP out. If they could then say "hey, now you have to resign your seat and force a new election", that would give a LOT of power to the party.

So, under the NDP's policy, they can kick you out - and you can sit there, as long as you don't join another party, in which case you're out.

The whole policy, of automatically vacating your seat, is stupid.

Right of recall - you said it - that's the proper democratic remedy. Because under some circumstances, when a party betrays its supporters in a flagrant way, elected MPs will want to leave - with the full support of their constituents. Why should there be a byelection? A right to recall is sufficient to protect against abuse.

Interesting, though, isn't it... the NDP policy punishes floor-crossing by individuals. It has nothing to say about parties which "cross the floor" - unannounced accords, coalitions, or just plain betrayal.

 

Stockholm

I have to disagree totally. If there are issues with Mourani's personal qualities that might make people think hs e would be a negative force in the NDP caucus - that is a whole other story, but the fact is that if she renounces her support for sovereignty (as she has done) and buys an NDP membership like any other person can and decides to seek an NDP nomination in 2015 - she is welcome to do so. I for one REJOICE that someone who spent so many years supporting sovreignty has now seen the light  and seen the folly of Quebec independence and is now willing to say "I Love Canada". Just think if every single sovereignist in Quebec used Maria Mourani as a role model and also saw the light - the sovereignist movement would die once and for all and we would all be one big happy family and live ahppily ever after. I hope that Mourani is just the first of a parade of ex-BQ and ex-PQ and ex-QS progressive people who decide that Quebec's future is within Canada and who hopefully see the NDP as the party that can be the bridge between Quebec and the rest of Canada.

The NDP already has lots of one-time sovreignists in its ranks - including some top performers like Alexandre Boulerice and Nycole Turmel...are you seriously suggesting that thise people should all have been told they were "persona non grata"?

 

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am not warm to the idea of the NDP accepting her into their ranks as a candidate. If she worked for the party while technically staying out of it until the next election it would be floor crossing in everything but name.

As for a candidate in the next election someone who represented another party in the previous parliament is not an ideal choice. We can do better.

Politically taking a person straight off from another political party is a bad idea even with an election in between. To do that with a person who effectively campaigned for the independence for Quebec as a part of the BQ in the very last election is bad politics. Let her sit out the next parliament as a private citizen before she ask to suit up in Orange.

Let the NDP engage her as an advisor on reaching out to more people. Let us not have a former BQ MP from the last election represent the party or a riding in the next. Reach out to her by all means but not as MP.

I'll say something close if you want to discuss a Liberal or a Conservative.

6079_Smith_W

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

That's a good point too, 6079_Smith_W. It's one thing for an MP to go independent. It's another thing for a party to force an MP out.

But it's not.... at least if we want to keep emotions and territorialism out of this. Technically it amounts to the same thing, whether a person jumps or is pushed.

That's why I question the party's motive here. Why focus on one kind of change? And why make it an automatic process when it really should be in the hands of the constituents to call for a re-election if they want to? After all, this whole principled stand is presumably for our benefit.

 

 

 

 

socialdemocrati...

A right of recall is ideal. Voters should be able to recall MPs *and* entire governments.

Short of the ideal, an MP who goes independent should have to sit independent until another election.

And a government that betrays a promise in the middle of term? Short of a recall, we already have the best remedy. The government has to own that betrayal, and voters will remember that around re-election time.

Giving parties the ability to "fire" an independent MP from Parliament is a step too far. It's a cure that's worse than the disease.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

But again, it begs the question of what the problem is. And if that problem that the MP no longer represents the party the people presumably voted for, then it is the same if s/he is kicked out.

Personally, I think if a party and a candidate and a constituency are divided on issues that should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, wiht mechanisms in place to deal with it if it is justified.

That the main issue is betrayal seems a pretty small motive for overturning an election and making a whole bunch of people go to a lot of time and expense to fight it all over again. It's a waste, really.

socialdemocrati...

Like I said, it's the same category, but not the same thing, because it's a VERY different order of magnitude. If an MP goes and sits as an independent, in all likelihood they had one key policy disagreement with the platform they ran on, but support nearly everything else. But if an MP crosses the aisle to another party, it's a much more drastic change, to an entire platform that voters rejected.

Mourani still has a responsibility to represent the platform that she ran on, as much as possible. If she changed her mind on one issue (and we can argue about its significance), it doesn't minimize what happens if she changes her mind on dozens of other things.

Stockholm

Great column by Chantal Hebert

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/12/20/pq_has_lost_the_high_groun...

For decades the PQ had succeeded in commanding what most francophone Quebecers construed as the political high ground in the province’s identity debate. But its secularism charter has opened a breach in its walls of moral superiority and so far it is not federalists who are rushing in but sovereigntists who are running out. And they are not all leaving in the dead of the night.

6079_Smith_W

It's not a question of magnitude. It's a simple question of whether a member represents the constituency or not.

In case it's not clear, my most recent argument was a devil's advocate one. The worst way to evaluate this is through emotion or territorialism. And despite the noble and principled talk, I think that is at the root of the NDP's position here.

 

Stockholm

Its not about emotionalism or territrorialism - its about respect for democracy and for the voters. When I voted in the 2011 federal election i put my "X" in front of "Olivia Chow - New Democratic Party of Canada". I did not put my "x" in front of "Olivia Chow - Independent: take your chances on how she decides to align herself". If she suddenly joined the Conservative Party after all the time and money people have volunteered to get her elected AS A NEW DEMOCRAT - i and many others would feel violated - and we would not want to have to wait years until the next election to render a verdict.

As long as the name of the party appears on the ballot - we are all voting for the party just as much as we are voting for the individual.

socialdemocrati...

It would be entirely beneficial to the NDP's "territory" to take defectors from other parties, including Mourani. But they're not doing it.

Many people have explained the principled democratic reason why they aren't, with the height of reason.

You've chosen to ignore that explanation. So there's not much else to say.

6079_Smith_W

socialdemocraticmiddle wrote:

It would be entirely beneficial to the NDP's "territory" to take defectors from other parties, including Mourani. But they're not doing it.

Many people have explained the principled democratic reason why they aren't, with the height of reason.

You've chosen to ignore that explanation. So there's not much else to say.

I assume this is a response to me.

Look.can we stow the assumption of absolute rightness?  People have explained their positions. I haven't ignored them; I disagree with them, and my position is based on a concern for respecting election results as well.

I agree there should be a mechanism like this; I simply think it should be in the hands of the people who actually elected the member, to use IF they wish. Turning leaving caucus into a poison pill is something else entirely, and serves the party far more than it does any voters.

Aside from the fact that elections aren't cheap or easy, and should not be entered into unnecessarily, I question whether a proposal like this is even legal.

It's also not as if any party is haemorrhaging from members who leave or are driven out. And while there have been some cases that seem opportunistic, I'd say most have actual reasons behind the departures. trying to legislate an end to that is rather ignoring the root problems, no?

 

 

 

socialdemocrati...

Thanks for being a little more fair. If you're more respectful to other peoples' positions you get respect back in kind. I think everyone agrees that triggering an election just upon leaving the caucus would squash legitimate reasons why an MP might leave the caucus. It WOULD serve the party and become open to abuse. It WOULD be wasteful. I haven't seen anyone in this thread suggest otherwise. Which is telling for the number of NDP members and supporters. If it were just mindless territorialism, giving more power to party insiders would sound really attractive.

I won't rehash why party crossing is different. You've already heard people give a non-partisan principled reason why that's not a legitimate reflection of election results.

The last thing I'll say is we're working with an imperfect system. So your "ignoring the root problem" is someone else's "fixing what's politically possible". For example, if I support the right of recall, how the heck does that work in a first-past-the-post system? In theory, every MP would be recallable since you'd be able to potentially find a majority of voters who didn't vote for them. Obviously, the solution is to fix the first-past-the-post system. But if we started arguing about a patchwork of other solutions, am I ignoring the root problem, or looking for some way forward?

6079_Smith_W

@ socialdemocraticmiddle

I haven't made one personal attack. I haven't ridiculed anyone's position, and contrary to your claim that I am ignoring what people are saying, I am reading quite clearly and challenging on points where I disagree.

So I'd appreciate it if you stop right now with the accusations and with the assumption that your position is the only valid one in the room.

We're really going around in circles here, but if I can repeat a point yet again, I have to question how you think floor crossing is any different. Again, I am no lawyer, but I don't think the law works that way. Malicious intent can be an aggravating factor, but it isn't in itself the breach of the law.

If I were to forget to pay my taxes or run through a red light the breach would be no different than if I had been deliberately fraudulent or intented to blow through the intersection. I'd still have to pay back the money, perhaps with a fine, and I'd still get that ticket.

Same thing here. If the concern is that a member no longer represents the party s/he was elected to represent (and I have some problems with that assumption, since parties are a largely informal part of our political process) then it IS no different if that person jumps, was pushed, or goes to another party. A voter who was principled enough could complain that the member no longer represents the party s/he voted for, and that voter would be absolutely right.

And I'd venture to say that in any given situation there could be a wide range of opinion among constituents. So again, I have serious questions and concerns about a mechanism that is automatic, narrowly focused, and seems to serve the party far more than the people who actually chose the person to represent them.

And I'll repeat again that even fraud isn't big enough to automatically overturn the decision of the electorate.

If they're serious and so principled, let them put that automatic trigger on their own campaign promises and put their government on the line first, then they can think about using it as a whip to keep their members in line.

 

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