Who are u supporting for NDP Leader, how will u mark your ballot, and why? #9

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Sean in Ottawa
Who are u supporting for NDP Leader, how will u mark your ballot, and why? #9

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Sean in Ottawa

 

I have not posted here in 4 months and before then hardly at all in the previous 2 but I have dropped by from time to time to read what has been said. I know this will be a long post and perhaps a catch-up since I have been silent here through the entire campaign. So please bear with me, or skip over if this is too long etc.

 

I saw a post asking someone who has decided to support a candidate to say why they were doing so rather than either attack the others or attack the attacks coming from the others. While I suppose I am no longer really a part of the Babble community I have been thinking of posting something on the leadership for a while and so this may be the time.

 

As people who know me already know I had Saganash as my first choice for many reasons. When Saganash dropped out of the race I knew I had a problem. I could not support any other candidate without reservations and fears.

 

First of all I thought I would answer for myself what it is I thought the job was. I don't think the leader molds the party ideology- not in the NDP anyway. I don't think a leader of the NDP takes the party on a policy journey at least not where the party does not want to go. Topp, for example, almost claims to be one of Layton's muses implying a "we" in the leadership. I am inclined to think not all of that is puffery. But if that is a fair, then the leader is only part of what makes the party. The leader is the face of the party and will mold the communications of the party, how it presents things. The leader may change the tone but not the channel. For this reason I neither include or exclude anyone based on policy alone. All would support NDP policies in my view even if they present them differently.

 

There are certain things I am looking for in a candidate:

I want someone who is bilingual. Indeed, I would not consider anyone else at this point. Perhaps the NDP might in the future be able to take a chance on someone who cannot speak French fluently but not now. That cut the field in half knocking out the person I have had the most contact, someone I like, Paul Dewar. Unfortunately, I believe Dewar would be a disaster in Québec.

 

I do consider the holding of Québec for the NDP to be essential as a practical point not only in order to be in a position to remove Stephen Harper but also because I do not consider the implementation of NDP policies and programs to be possible without government and I don't think government is possible for the NDP, without Québec. I never have. I have always agreed with Layton's math in that the NDP needs Québec to govern and very rarely can the NDP make policy when it is the third party or weaker. Someone who could hold a conversation with Québec had to be high on my list.

 

I was annoyed by Broadbent's statement in backing Topp, the first candidate, saying that only Topp could be the one. I feel that nobody in the NDP is irreplaceable and the party is stronger than that. Still, some of his statements neutralized the idea that only Mulcair had to learn restraint. I have felt that all of the ones I considered needed to learn better judgement- when to go hard, when to conciliate, when to find a boundary. I have learned to hope that the candidate who wins will get this right. Indeed it took Layton some time to find this balance. Nash usually does in tone but I'd like to see her more open and welcoming of different ideas.

 

I consider the idea of a female candidate to be positive and cannot help but want to take an extra look at any female candidate. I had hoped Boivin would run at one point.

 

I admit that winning is huge for me. I don't consider winning to be a sell-out (I doubt anyone here does). I do consider winning essential to implementing policy. I can say I am old enough to have heard policies long enough that I am not looking for the purest snow in a snow-globe. I want someone who can bring to life some of the policies I believe in. I accept that I may be disappointed and might not get everything. That's ok I live in Ontario in the early 1990s and still voted NDP in 1995 based on available choices not purity. But I know that I won't be disappointed by either the red or the blue team because I expect nothing of them. I want a candidate ready to go now- and this narrowed the field as well.

 

I want someone who is articulate and can change minds, someone who can take on Harper in a debate and convince people Harper is wrong and another option is worth supporting. Or any replacement for Harper that comes along after. I also don't want someone to cede the field back to the Liberal party. The Liberals are adept at telling people what they want to hear and then merely sugar-coating what the Conservatives would have delivered anyway.

 

I want someone who can get along with others in the party. I was disturbed by what I had heard about Mulcair- that he was mean and people hated him and could not work with him. I became afraid of Mulcair and still am. But I learned that Mulcair had the same staff he had when he started and had to agree a huge jerk would have trouble doing that. While some questioned his ability to play nice with friends and with women in particular, I could not help but notice he has more women endorsements than all the others put together and more of his caucus colleagues as well. If he were such a jerk how could he pull that off? I also watched him through the campaign and saw him keep his cool (his famous temper is another thing that worries me)- even though passion is something I respect and do not mind seeing a bit from time to time.

 

I want new cooperation with other opposition parties but I do not support any electoral scheme that does so through the limitation of options for voter. I have called for opposition parties to run joint advertising campaigns on certain aspects of the Harper regime. But I recognize that there are many Liberals for whom the NDP is not an option and who might vote Conservative before voting NDP and some the reverse. I feel a reduction of electoral options could backfire and I am also against it on principle as something not respectful of democracy. I think the NDP and Liberals could take joint positions on things like PR for example and still compete with each other. I find Cullen interesting but the notion of a potential pre-election arrangement with the Liberals leaves me more than cold.

 

Still, I respect Cullen for standing up for an opinion. I challenged him on it in person and was impressed by the fact that he did not run from my question or dismiss it. I still don't agree with him but I came to like him. I could imagine fighting him hard on his cooperation idea while still liking him as leader. But I don't think he would be able to win and his French is not there- and that is a deal breaker for me. Without the cooperation-with-Liberals idea guiding his whole campaign it is possible that he could have come to the top.

 

I had, without Saganash, a choice of Mulcair, Topp, Ashton, and Nash who have the minimum fluency in French to be a consideration for me. I have found all of them impressive. I also have to say, I am ideologically strongly NDP but do believe we need to change approaches, language and ways of doing things. I do believe we have to be less secure in believing we already have all the answers and more open to hearing what people have to say. I am not convinced that the last uptick in support will carry the NDP to victory without the party listening, adapting and changing. I don't see such a change as a move to the centre and the idea that nothing must change in order to preserve the past is absurd to me.

 

Nash I think is wonderful. But I wanted to hear her talking about reaching out rather than waiting for others to come to her and I have not heard that.

 

I think Ashton, while a masterpiece, remains a work in progress. She may well be the leader after the one we will pick this month. Topp, I find I can imagine him writing and delivering a great concession speech after the next election but I can't see him delivering an NDP government.

 

I concluded all the candidates are risky for different reasons- I have not included all my thoughts on this becuase it is not my interest to tear up the front bench of the NDP.

 

Mulcair is the most likely to retain Layton's legacy in Québec; he is the most likely to win against Harper (although the possibility of a flame-out also exists), I think he will respect NDP convention policy on policies and programs. I think he is a solid committed New Democrat-- not some Liberal plant as some seem to want others to believe. I think he can explain NDP policies to a wide variety of people in new ways that will interest them, engage them and move their opinions. I don't think any of the other candidates would even be able to hold the attention of the public long enough. Mulcair also comes across to me as real as believing and fully understanding what he says.

 

I know Mulcair has a temper and I hope he moderates it. It seems through this campaign he has- after all we would see new clips over and over if he did not. In fact I have felt it is others particularly Martin Singh who have been more aggressive. I want to hope that those saying Mulcair does not get along with others are overstating based on their preferences. But I hope that to whatever degree that is a factor, he knows this is what he needs to guard against.

 

I also find it a bit of a problem when people accuse Mulcair of not being a team player and then go right on to criticize his involvement within the Charest government. As I understand it Mulcair was in a position to do something for the environment which was his portfolio. He knew the condition of making progress in that capacity was to work with the team he was on and not oppose them publicly until it came time that he could no longer and then he left. I suspect that Mulcair will be able to work with the NDP team quite well. The fact that people have to reach back to what others did and said in the Charest government when Mulcair has been a leading NDP spokesperson for more than a couple years indicates a current compatibility with current NDP policy. Guilt by association does not work for me especially considering that Mulcair was actually in a position of power in the environment and did in fact have a good, progressive record on that. The fact he was silent on other things he was not leading is recognition that he was on a team.

 

As well a leader knows that you do need to speak generally at this stage and speak about yourself and your tone. This is not a complete clearing of all ideas. The one question I have not heard any answer very well is this: What will you do if the party does not want to go along with what you want? Or related: How can you assure us that you will listen and craft policy collectively with your caucus, membership and advisers? A sad truthful answer is that to do that the candidate must not over-commit now to details and instead show a willingness to work with others and listen to voters, the regions and a wide variety of people and bring what they say back to the party, membership, caucus and the rest of leadership and then express the collective NDP response to that conversation.

 

Since I conclude that the NDP leader is a communications position more than anything else then I have ranked the candidates as follows:

1) Mulcair

2) Topp

3) Nash

4) Ashton

I did not go further because the others did not meet the minimum qualifications in my view.

I have heard -- "Mulcair and a prayer" and that is where I am at. I still have reservations but some have been answered. I think whatever Mulcair might lack today will come and have given him my vote. I have reservations about everyone but I made a difficult decision that I hope turns out to be the right one. I also hope that regardless of who wins the others and all their supporters will stay in the NDP to keep it balanced and to advocate for what they believe in. If people were to leave a party fearing exclusion of their beliefs they will create exactly that result. This goes for all people including those who support Mulcair if he does not succeed.

 

I have also come to see the circumstance of today to be different than in previous years. The government is largely unaffected by the suggestions from opponents and I do believe if you want ANY NDP policies to come in to being- you will need an NDP government. In that sense winning has become, for better or worse, more important than it was a generation ago. The House no longer has a "conscience" there is only alternatives for power and the people will pick one. If it is not the NDP, ALL the policies we hold dear will be shut out. I thik this is a new reality we have to bear in mind when voting.

(I started a new thread in part because I knew this post was long and felt it would be too much given the almost hundred posts that were already there)

CanadaApple

Thanks for sharing your views Sean, I found them really interesting to read.

Unionist

Welcome back, Sean! You've been missed. 

DSloth

I only included votes for Saganash where the babbler had not changed their list since he dropped off (without him on it).  

JeffWells

Glad to see you post again, Sean. Your informed opinion has been missed.

Caissa

I'm starting to lose any enthusiasm I had for this race. The inability of the Party to get ballots out in a timely matter is exacerbating the issue.

Rabble_Incognito

Good reasons, coherent, merci! I can see Mulcair being easy to work with, actually. Being angry about things is what brings some people to politics - they get pissed at the ways Tory or Republican laws have twisted a once promising place - making it easy to inadvertently 'stay hot' on an issue, and appear angry. Mulcair's ability to listen to people's grievances is, I think, what makes him and other NDPers, carte blanche, responsive to public need - these are people in position to hear real workers.  Topp could do a way better job than Flaherty has ever done, and Topp is a solid communicator. Peggy Nash too, and she's a solid listener. Singh too. It is totally an open race until the convention.

This is what Obama preyed on and won, communication, despite the fact that he sold out the USA on health care to insurance companies and lost working people's respect...the bipartisanism promises lost him any opportunity for change. Then, like the comedian said, Hope? Nope.

Hoodeet

Sean:  Your analysis was really good, I thought, probably because it reinforced my own views--  (;-) --. while clarifying quite a few points that tend to get lost in the partisan sniping and hairsplitting.   Thank you for taking the time to write this.

 

Skinny Dipper

If I don't get my ballot package today, I will be contacting the party tomorrow.  If the party cannot send me a physical ballot package through the regular mail, then it should be able to send me an email with the same information.

Aristotleded24

Hey Sean, good to see you back! I have to quibble with something:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
First of all I thought I would answer for myself what it is I thought the job was. I don't think the leader molds the party ideology- not in the NDP anyway. I don't think a leader of the NDP takes the party on a policy journey at least not where the party does not want to go. Topp, for example, almost claims to be one of Layton's muses implying a "we" in the leadership. I am inclined to think not all of that is puffery. But if that is a fair, then the leader is only part of what makes the party. The leader is the face of the party and will mold the communications of the party, how it presents things. The leader may change the tone but not the channel. For this reason I neither include or exclude anyone based on policy alone. All would support NDP policies in my view even if they present them differently.

Actually, the leader basically sets party policy. In Manitoba, Gary Doer has not implemented anti-scab legislation, and he enthusiastically embraced the same kinds of corporate tax cuts for which Topp is criticizing Harper, despite both being against policy of the Manitoba NDP. A right-of-centre leader will move the party rightward, a left-of-centre leader will move the party to the left. While I agree about Mulcair's communication, as I've said in the previous thread, he does not grasp issues facing lower-income Canadians, and at a Winnipeg town hall handled a question on an issue of importance to me quite poorly. I'm not convinced that a Mulcair-led government would be that substantially different policywise than what I would expect from the Liberals, and for that reason I am convinced that he is not the candidate to lead the NDP.

NorthReport

Seeing as the Saganesh votes will not even be tallied and announced, this should now be it for me.

1 - Singh

2 - Ashton

3 - Mulcair

4 - Cullen

5 - Nash

6 - Topp

7 - Dewar

 

Singh - small business person, visible minorities, we need to grow in both areas, strong supporter of needed pharmacare program and with his pharmacy background will have the smarts to put the brakes on the out-of-control drug companies who are sucking health care dry with some good products but also a lot of totally useless junk drugs

 

Ashton - female, youthful energy, and rural of which are strongly required in our quest for government

 

Mulcair - amazingly contructive, positive campaign, managed to stay above the fray and look prime ministerial, solid track record, and key architect for our recent stunning election results in Quebec, the best leadership potential to take down Harper.

 

Cullen - Western, rural, personable, future leadership possibility, and has the wisdom to know we must continue to reach out to others to grow our support, and may actually be the first NDP Prime Minister down the road.

 

Nash - female, solid workers advocate, reliable

 

Topp - a lot of wisdom here, and whose advice will be essential for any future leader

 

Dewar - a loyal trooper

 

DSloth

[url=http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?o280joo95ajjavo]Babble Declared Preferences 12.3.12[/url]

Final Ballot: Mulcair 40, Nash 19, Cullen 16

1st Ballot: Mulcair 32, Saganash 13, Cullen 11, Ashton 10, Nash 9, Topp 8, Dewar 2, Singh 1.
2nd Ballot: Mulcair 32, Saganash 13, Cullen 11, Ashton 10, Nash 9, Topp 8, Dewar 2.
3rd Ballot: Mulcair 33, Saganash 13, Cullen 12, Ashton 10, Nash 9, Topp 8.
4th Ballot: Mulcair 34, Saganash 13, Cullen 14, Nash 12, Ashton 11.
5th Ballot: Mulcair 34, Saganash 13, Cullen 16, Nash 17.

Trends: Masked behind the inclusion of Saganash the only candidate who showed any growth in the last few days was Mulcair.

 

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

I will be voting on a ballot by ballot basis with my first ballot probably going to Brian Topp. I had a lot of negatives about Brian as this race began- back room guy, staffer, backed by the establishment- but he has almost won me over with a few key pitches.   I liked his emphasis on equality and the idea of seeking a mandate for progressive change, and then, assuming we got the mandate and were able to form a  government, actually following through on our mandate and  bringing about progressive change.  There was a line he used in one debate that just about sealed the deal, something about how when the day comes we elect an NDP government we can believe it was worth it. I practically jumped out of my chair and yelled: "YES, YES after all these years of sacrifice and struggle, fightintg to keep the cause alive, there is some  reason to hope it may not be a total waste, we may actually not get sold out and betrayed and stabbed in the back. At least not for a year or two, maybe even not for a term or two". Call me pessimistic rather than optomistic, giving way to fear rather than hope.

What I do on the second ballot depends on a lot on what happens on the first ballot. My gut sense is that I will soon be casting my vote for Thomas Mulclair, who was my first choice when this race began. I like just about everything about Tom, from his beard to his taste in Guinness to his passion and his principles. My main hesitation in supporting him would be that that he was not on the left of the party, and  that he would sell us out, betray us.  Call it surrendering to the pessimistic fear. On the other hand, time brings changes and with the changes, new opportunities and new challenges.  After the May 2nd breakthough I did a post on  babble about how the election of the 59 NDP MPs from Quebec would transform our party and transform our country. I think we are starting to see that transformation take place  during this leadership race and I thought at one time Romeo Saganash might be the one person best suited  to ride the wave of change. Now that Saganash has stepped down fromt he race, I can see only Topp or Mulcair being able to ride that wave.so I will wait until the convention to cast my first ballot, proably for Brain bcause he has done enough to earn that.  Then  I will see how the tens of thoudands of New Democrats cast their first ballot. I will see where the wave is going and if it is going in the direction I think it is in the driection of Mulcair, I will take that as a reason to be optomstic and hopeful and will ride that wave with Mulcair.

 

socialdemocrati...

Well... I still don't really know how this works, but I got my voting package, read it, and decided I'm going to vote in real time. Hopefully I don't have to do anything but wait, because it's not clear to me how to indicate that I want to do that.

Lord Palmerston

I cast my ballot: 1) Niki Ashton, 2) Peggy Nash.  Left the rest blank.  

Hoodeet

Lord Palmerston wrote:

I cast my ballot: 1) Niki Ashton, 2) Peggy Nash.  Left the rest blank.  

Hoodeet (JW)

 

Lucky guys, you got your kit. 

Nothing here, yet.  I guess I'll be forced to vote online against my will.

I wonder how many other people out there are in the same position, especially the numbers who don't frequent rabble.

Lord Palmerston

Mine arrived today!

nicky

Two friends received theirs today. But not yet for four others.

Sean in Ottawa

I am curious about what others think about the leader making the policy.

Since I have never been at the top of the party I cannot say that I know better than Aristotleded24. However, my impression is that policy is a combined weight of the poeple behind the leader and the membership with the leader having some influence but not overwhelming. I speak only for the NDP on this -- New Democrats are famous for being passionate about policies. I can't see an NDP leader as able to take the party where it does not want to go.

Also I accept the idea that there is a political migration of influence as over time the more someone stays in a party the more they will be influenced by it. I suspect Mulcair has moved considerably since he went from the Québec Liberals to the NDP. I would have to give him credit for listening.

Does anyone else see the contradiction between being able to credit Topp with policy and saying mulcair would make it on his own? If Topp influenced policy under Layton then others will under Mulcair.

But I have to admit that it is a calculation and I cannot say I am not concerned. I can only say the party out of power has almost no influence so an opportunity to bring the party to power is one I do not want to give up. If the party needs a tug leftwards then I think we have the people to do it.

I am concerned to hear someone say Mulcair does not get the income equality issue. Perhaps he does not reflect it the best on every single day but this is too fundamental for someone who self identifies to go to the NDP not to get at all. If he becomes leader then he will have to learn ... It is one of my most important issues and I won't stop pushing it and am sure others won't either.

TheArchitect

At this point, I think my rankings are:

1) Topp.  At the beginning of this race, I was quite negative toward him because I thought that he lacked the presentation skills needed to lead the party.  However, at this point, I think he's the strongest public performer in the race.  He was the clear winner of the last two leadership debates; in his final debate performance, he actually managed to get me quite emotional with his closing statement.  And if his presentation skills have improved this much in a few months, just imagine how much they'll improve in the next couple of years.  Topp speaks excellent French, has been very substantive on policy, has received a lot of endorsements from people I respect, and has put forth a message that resonates for me.  He had a tough hill to climb to win my vote.  But he's climbed it.  And frankly, it's been impressive.

2) Nash.  I spent most of this campaign leaning toward Nash, but Topp surpassed her.  I still like Nash a lot, but I don't find her the most exciting candidate, and she wasn't able to speak to me the way Topp has in these past weeks.

3) Ashton.  Perhaps the candidate who's closest to me on policy.  She has a big future ahead of her.  I'm not sure she's ready yet, though.

4) Dewar.  I have serious reservations about Dewar's French; I just don't think it's good enough.  I will say, though, that Paul Dewar has come up significantly in my world through the course of this campaign.  I used to rather dislike him; while I still don't think he'd be a good leader, I've gained respect for him as the campaign has progressed.

5) Cullen.  While my opinion of Dewar has risen, my opinion of Nathan Cullen has plummeted.  If I'd been given a list of these seven candidates last August and forced to pick one, I might have chosen Cullen.  However, I think his cooperation plan is complete madness, and would end up electing a lot more Conservatives.  Also, while some have praised his debate performances, I actually think he's among the worst of them debate-wise.

6) Mulcair.  My opinion of Tom Mulcair has also gone down dramatically.  I liked him as Deputy Leader, and I've always thought that he's a skilled media performer.  However, I just don't trust him.  Frankly, somebody who is a self-described "ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances" is unfit to lead the NDP.  Somebody who praises "lower taxes" and "smaller government" as a "winning solution" for voters is unfit to lead the NDP.  Somebody who admits to being a "supporter" of NAFTA is unfit to lead the NDP.  And each of those things means that Tom Mulcair is unfit to lead the NDP.

7) Singh.  I don't know why anybody would support this guy.

janfromthebruce

wow are we ever on the same page. That said, I was with Topp from day one. He needed to get that media/debate skill up to speed and he did. Like you, when I watched yesterday's debate, he did the same thing to me - I was watching on CPAC and started clapping.

 

TheArchitect wrote:

At this point, I think my rankings are:

1) Topp.  At the beginning of this race, I was quite negative toward him because I thought that he lacked the presentation skills needed to lead the party.  However, at this point, I think he's the strongest public performer in the race.  He was the clear winner of the last two leadership debates; in his final debate performance, he actually managed to get me quite emotional with his closing statement.  And if his presentation skills have improved this much in a few months, just imagine how much they'll improve in the next couple of years.  Topp speaks excellent French, has been very substantive on policy, has received a lot of endorsements from people I respect, and has put forth a message that resonates for me.  He had a tough hill to climb to win my vote.  But he's climbed it.  And frankly, it's been impressive.

2) Nash.  I spent most of this campaign leaning toward Nash, but Topp surpassed her.  I still like Nash a lot, but I don't find her the most exciting candidate, and she wasn't able to speak to me the way Topp has in these past weeks.

3) Ashton.  Perhaps the candidate who's closest to me on policy.  She has a big future ahead of her.  I'm not sure she's ready yet, though.

4) Dewar.  I have serious reservations about Dewar's French; I just don't think it's good enough.  I will say, though, that Paul Dewar has come up significantly in my world through the course of this campaign.  I used to rather dislike him; while I still don't think he'd be a good leader, I've gained respect for him as the campaign has progressed.

5) Cullen.  While my opinion of Dewar has risen, my opinion of Nathan Cullen has plummeted.  If I'd been given a list of these seven candidates last August and forced to pick one, I might have chosen Cullen.  However, I think his cooperation plan is complete madness, and would end up electing a lot more Conservatives.  Also, while some have praised his debate performances, I actually think he's among the worst of them debate-wise.

6) Mulcair.  My opinion of Tom Mulcair has also gone down dramatically.  I liked him as Deputy Leader, and I've always thought that he's a skilled media performer.  However, I just don't trust him.  Frankly, somebody who is a self-described "ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances" is unfit to lead the NDP.  Somebody who praises "lower taxes" and "smaller government" as a "winning solution" for voters is unfit to lead the NDP.  Somebody who admits to being a "supporter" of NAFTA is unfit to lead the NDP.  And each of those things means that Tom Mulcair is unfit to lead the NDP.

7) Singh.  I don't know why anybody would support this guy.

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

nicky

The Architect makes four blatant misstatements about Mulcair in 6 1/2 lines. He says  he is flattered to be compared to Brad Lavigne but one wonders if Brad Lavigne would publicly associate himself with such misrepresentations.

algomafalcon

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I am curious about what others think about the leader making the policy.

Since I have never been at the top of the party I cannot say that I know better than Aristotleded24. However, my impression is that policy is a combined weight of the poeple behind the leader and the membership with the leader having some influence but not overwhelming. I speak only for the NDP on this -- New Democrats are famous for being passionate about policies. I can't see an NDP leader as able to take the party where it does not want to go.

Also I accept the idea that there is a political migration of influence as over time the more someone stays in a party the more they will be influenced by it. I suspect Mulcair has moved considerably since he went from the Québec Liberals to the NDP. I would have to give him credit for listening.

Does anyone else see the contradiction between being able to credit Topp with policy and saying mulcair would make it on his own? If Topp influenced policy under Layton then others will under Mulcair.

But I have to admit that it is a calculation and I cannot say I am not concerned. I can only say the party out of power has almost no influence so an opportunity to bring the party to power is one I do not want to give up. If the party needs a tug leftwards then I think we have the people to do it.

I am concerned to hear someone say Mulcair does not get the income equality issue. Perhaps he does not reflect it the best on every single day but this is too fundamental for someone who self identifies to go to the NDP not to get at all. If he becomes leader then he will have to learn ... It is one of my most important issues and I won't stop pushing it and am sure others won't either.

I think the leader, the leader's staff and caucus all have a role in "making policy", but within limits. I don't think they are supposed to make policy which contradicts specific policies set by the party convention. My understanding is if there is a need to reverse decisions made by convention, that this is supposed to go through federal council.

Of course, I think that is the way it is "supposed to work". What happens in reality might sometimes be different.

algomafalcon

nicky wrote:

Two friends received theirs today. But not yet for four others.

 

Thanks for that update. I feel less anxious knowing that some others have not received the voting package yet and others have received it today.

Its like waiting for Christmas ;-)

R.E.Wood

My voting package arrived today - yay! And I have already voted online. I already explained my voting in a previous post, but this is the basic ranking:

1. Cullen

2. Nash

3. Mulcair

4. Topp

5. Ashton

6. Dewar

7. Singh

Now I'm looking forward to watching the convention results unfolding on television on the 24th!

Sean in Ottawa

I do agree that the party leader cannot toss out what is said at convention.

In the interest of honesty- while I don't want to minimize the sway of delegates at convention I admit that the leader also has a strong sway over where they will go. I think it can be a healthy tension and in the NDP I believe it is more balanced than other parties which makes me less concerned about the leader's policies than I would feel with other parties.

I did not bring up the Israel policy question because I don't know the full answer on this. I suspect Mulcair is likely very much surrounded in his riding by strong feelings on this. I have not sorted in my mind how much I think this is required politics in his riding and how much is influence of context. I suspect a little of the first and a lot of the second. I also beleive as leader Mulcair would be influenced more broadly by others in the party and I am sure this is not an issue that he could take the party away from the membership. I won't reject him on this issue even though in fact I do not support his position. I will take him as the best leader among the chocies I have (in my view) and be prepared to argue on this point to bring the NDP where I hope it will go. I cannot say that Layton was where I wanted him to be on this either. We have still a lot of work to do on this but I won't pick the next NDP leader on this issue alone.

wage zombie

Sean wrote:

I also find it a bit of a problem when people accuse Mulcair of not being a team player and then go right on to criticize his involvement within the Charest government. As I understand it Mulcair was in a position to do something for the environment which was his portfolio. He knew the condition of making progress in that capacity was to work with the team he was on and not oppose them publicly until it came time that he could no longer and then he left. I suspect that Mulcair will be able to work with the NDP team quite well. The fact that people have to reach back to what others did and said in the Charest government when Mulcair has been a leading NDP spokesperson for more than a couple years indicates a current compatibility with current NDP policy. Guilt by association does not work for me especially considering that Mulcair was actually in a position of power in the environment and did in fact have a good, progressive record on that. The fact he was silent on other things he was not leading is recognition that he was on a team.

This is an excellent point (the bolded part).  Anyone who wants to hype up being a team player shouldn't really fault Mulcair for going along with the Charest government as long as he did.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I would be really surprised if any leader of the NDP makes policy that contradicts that set by the party. Question: did Layton contradict any NDP policy by apologising to the Israeli Ambassador for Libby's comments?  (I could probably improve the wording of this question, but you get my drift)

vaudree

I think that any leader would take any opportunity to have a meeting with any leader - it is the best way to get the measure of the man and not the filtered version of the media and the PMO.

Note that Jack's basic criticism of the flotillas was that they were too dangerous for the people aboard.

NorthReport

I'm getting the impression that some people think if they wait until E-Day to vote it is advantageous in the sense that they can change who they support at random for each ballot. I believe that is incorrect, and that once you put someone down as your number one choice, that candidate will remain your number one choice, until either they win, or are dropped off the ballot. 

CanadaApple

NorthReport wrote:

I'm getting the impression that some people think if they wait until E-Day to vote it is advantageous in the sense that they can change who they support at random for each ballot. I believe that is incorrect, and that once you put someone down as your number one choice, that candidate will remain your number one choice, until either they win, or are dropped off the ballot. 

No, the difference (at least as far as I know), is that if you vote during the convention, you don't rank your ballot as you would beforehand. You pick only one person to vote for. If that candidate has to drop off in the next round, you get to pick a new candidate to vote for. Or, if you change your mind between rounds, and the person you voted for is still in, you can switch your vote and vote for someone else.

r

Policywonk

NorthReport wrote:

 

I'm getting the impression that some people think if they wait until E-Day to vote it is advantageous in the sense that they can change who they support at random for each ballot. I believe that is incorrect, and that once you put someone down as your number one choice, that candidate will remain your number one choice, until either they win, or are dropped off the ballot. 

You are wrong. People can vote ballot by ballot on-line remotely and in person at the Convention.

http://leadership2012.ndp.ca/convention/how-vote

Policywonk

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I do agree that the party leader cannot toss out what is said at convention.

Depends. Sometimes a position taken at Convention will be overtaken by events. In this case though it wouldn't just be the party leader who would make this determination. Also I would hope some of the statements in the policy booklet would not necessarily be thrown out, but built upon, in the platform. The party leader can also be reined in at Convention, as Alexa was on the Third Way.

Hunky_Monkey

TheArchitect wrote:

6) Mulcair.  My opinion of Tom Mulcair has also gone down dramatically.  I liked him as Deputy Leader, and I've always thought that he's a skilled media performer.  However, I just don't trust him.  Frankly, somebody who is a self-described "ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances" is unfit to lead the NDP.  Somebody who praises "lower taxes" and "smaller government" as a "winning solution" for voters is unfit to lead the NDP.  Somebody who admits to being a "supporter" of NAFTA is unfit to lead the NDP.  And each of those things means that Tom Mulcair is unfit to lead the NDP.

I love how you just twisted so much in that one paragraph to attack Mulcair.

TheArchitect

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
TheArchitect wrote:

6) Mulcair.  My opinion of Tom Mulcair has also gone down dramatically.  I liked him as Deputy Leader, and I've always thought that he's a skilled media performer.  However, I just don't trust him.  Frankly, somebody who is a self-described "ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances" is unfit to lead the NDP.  Somebody who praises "lower taxes" and "smaller government" as a "winning solution" for voters is unfit to lead the NDP.  Somebody who admits to being a "supporter" of NAFTA is unfit to lead the NDP.  And each of those things means that Tom Mulcair is unfit to lead the NDP.

I love how you just twisted so much in that one paragraph to attack Mulcair.

I don't know what you think is twisted.  Mulcair himself has never denied saying any of those things.

You may think that he somehow is okay in spite of those issues.  I happen to disagree.  Mulcair's past statements on NAFTA, on Israel, and on "lower taxes" and "smaller government" rule him out for me.

Hunky_Monkey

Let's take "smaller government" and "lower taxes". He has said, quite clearly and you know this, that he supports a fairer, more progressive income tax system as well as rolling back corporate income taxes. He supports pharmacare and national childcare for example. Not sure how that means he wants "smaller government".

He has said in Quebec, they pay higher taxes than the rest of the country but don't mind for the society they have.

This all in debate in front of a national audience.

As part of a federalist party in Quebec, he had to swallow some things as part of a team. Sure Brian Topp knows that too when the Saskatchewan NDP under Roy Romanow slashed services and closed 52 hospitals when Topp worked for him.

TheArchitect

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Let's take "smaller government" and "lower taxes". He has said, quite clearly and you know this, that he supports a fairer, more progressive income tax system as well as rolling back corporate income taxes. He supports pharmacare and national childcare for example. Not sure how that means he wants "smaller government". He has said in Quebec, they pay higher taxes than the rest of the country but don't mind for the society they have. This all in debate in front of a national audience. As part of a federalist party in Quebec, he had to swallow some things as part of a team. Sure Brian Topp knows that too when the Saskatchewan NDP under Roy Romanow slashed services and closed 52 hospitals when Topp worked for him.

Let's be clear: Mulcair's talk of "smaller government" and "lower taxes" was not a matter of swallowing anything or being a team player.  If the only issue was that Mulcair had voted for some tax cuts in the Quebec National Assembly, I wouldn't care about it.

It's one thing to vote in a particular way; it's another thing entirely to go back to your riding and do an interview with a local newspaper in which you speak not in specific but in general philosophical terms about the virtue of "lower taxes" and "smaller government"—the very phrases make him sound like Mitt Romney—and even go so far as to say that this issue of "lower taxes" and "smaller government" will be a defining difference between your party and the other party in an upcoming election.  (I haven't even discussed the part where he aggressively attacks unions for opposing this "lower taxes" and "smaller government" agenda.)  Nobody forced Mulcair to do that; he did it of his own volition.

Frankly, I can't really imagine any possible mitigating circumstances that would ever make me think a politician who had called for "lower taxes" and "smaller government" was fit to lead the NDP.  Such a candidate certainly would have to very directly repudiate the comments.

Hunky_Monkey

TheArchitect wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Let's take "smaller government" and "lower taxes". He has said, quite clearly and you know this, that he supports a fairer, more progressive income tax system as well as rolling back corporate income taxes. He supports pharmacare and national childcare for example. Not sure how that means he wants "smaller government". He has said in Quebec, they pay higher taxes than the rest of the country but don't mind for the society they have. This all in debate in front of a national audience. As part of a federalist party in Quebec, he had to swallow some things as part of a team. Sure Brian Topp knows that too when the Saskatchewan NDP under Roy Romanow slashed services and closed 52 hospitals when Topp worked for him.

Let's be clear: Mulcair's talk of "smaller government" and "lower taxes" was not a matter of swallowing anything or being a team player.  If the only issue was that Mulcair had voted for some tax cuts in the Quebec National Assembly, I wouldn't care about it.

It's one thing to vote in a particular way; it's another thing entirely to go back to your riding and do an interview with a local newspaper in which you speak not in specific but in general philosophical terms about the virtue of "lower taxes" and "smaller government"—the very phrases make him sound like Mitt Romney—and even go so far as to say that this issue of "lower taxes" and "smaller government" will be a defining difference between your party and the other party in an upcoming election.  (I haven't even discussed the part where he aggressively attacks unions for opposing this "lower taxes" and "smaller government" agenda.)  Nobody forced Mulcair to do that; he did it of his own volition.

Frankly, I can't really imagine any possible mitigating circumstances that would ever make me think a politician who had called for "lower taxes" and "smaller government" was fit to lead the NDP.  Such a candidate certainly would have to very directly repudiate the comments.

He was a Quebec Liberal MNA and cabinet minister that had toe the party line. I don't have a problem with that. He made his case behind closed door in caucus and supported the party in public. Isn't that what a team player does?

BTW... slashing services including closing 52 hospitals a good fit for the NDP? Did Topp say Romanow was wrong? I guess it's ok when the name of the government is NDP?

More double standards.

TheArchitect

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
TheArchitect wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Let's take "smaller government" and "lower taxes". He has said, quite clearly and you know this, that he supports a fairer, more progressive income tax system as well as rolling back corporate income taxes. He supports pharmacare and national childcare for example. Not sure how that means he wants "smaller government". He has said in Quebec, they pay higher taxes than the rest of the country but don't mind for the society they have. This all in debate in front of a national audience. As part of a federalist party in Quebec, he had to swallow some things as part of a team. Sure Brian Topp knows that too when the Saskatchewan NDP under Roy Romanow slashed services and closed 52 hospitals when Topp worked for him.

Let's be clear: Mulcair's talk of "smaller government" and "lower taxes" was not a matter of swallowing anything or being a team player.  If the only issue was that Mulcair had voted for some tax cuts in the Quebec National Assembly, I wouldn't care about it.

It's one thing to vote in a particular way; it's another thing entirely to go back to your riding and do an interview with a local newspaper in which you speak not in specific but in general philosophical terms about the virtue of "lower taxes" and "smaller government"—the very phrases make him sound like Mitt Romney—and even go so far as to say that this issue of "lower taxes" and "smaller government" will be a defining difference between your party and the other party in an upcoming election.  (I haven't even discussed the part where he aggressively attacks unions for opposing this "lower taxes" and "smaller government" agenda.)  Nobody forced Mulcair to do that; he did it of his own volition.

Frankly, I can't really imagine any possible mitigating circumstances that would ever make me think a politician who had called for "lower taxes" and "smaller government" was fit to lead the NDP.  Such a candidate certainly would have to very directly repudiate the comments.

He was a Quebec Liberal MNA and cabinet minister that had toe the party line. I don't have a problem with that. He made his case behind closed door in caucus and supported the party in public. Isn't that what a team player does? BTW... slashing services including closing 52 hospitals a good fit for the NDP? Did Topp say Romanow was wrong? I guess it's ok when the name of the government is NDP? More double standards.

The only way Topp's role under Romanow would be equivalent to what Mulcair said would be if Topp had given a speech or an interview in which he said he was, as a matter of course, an advocate of having "fewer hospitals" and "less public health services"—and announced that the distinction between his "fewer hospitals" and "less public health services" agenda and the opposing party's irresponsible pro-Medicare agenda would be a defining issue in a subsequent election.  (And blamed unions for supporting health care.)

DSloth

We're also talking about one line or two of boiler plate (7 years ago) that followed a page or two of Mulcair going on about his sustainible development policy.  It's pretty clear which policy he was actually enthused about. 

janfromthebruce

it will be interesting during an election when Mulcair's words get thrown at him - when the NDP with Mulcair as our leader runs on a progressive platform (hopefully not small govt and taxcuts)

 

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
TheArchitect wrote:

Hunky_Monkey wrote:
Let's take "smaller government" and "lower taxes". He has said, quite clearly and you know this, that he supports a fairer, more progressive income tax system as well as rolling back corporate income taxes. He supports pharmacare and national childcare for example. Not sure how that means he wants "smaller government". He has said in Quebec, they pay higher taxes than the rest of the country but don't mind for the society they have. This all in debate in front of a national audience. As part of a federalist party in Quebec, he had to swallow some things as part of a team. Sure Brian Topp knows that too when the Saskatchewan NDP under Roy Romanow slashed services and closed 52 hospitals when Topp worked for him.

Let's be clear: Mulcair's talk of "smaller government" and "lower taxes" was not a matter of swallowing anything or being a team player.  If the only issue was that Mulcair had voted for some tax cuts in the Quebec National Assembly, I wouldn't care about it.

It's one thing to vote in a particular way; it's another thing entirely to go back to your riding and do an interview with a local newspaper in which you speak not in specific but in general philosophical terms about the virtue of "lower taxes" and "smaller government"—the very phrases make him sound like Mitt Romney—and even go so far as to say that this issue of "lower taxes" and "smaller government" will be a defining difference between your party and the other party in an upcoming election.  (I haven't even discussed the part where he aggressively attacks unions for opposing this "lower taxes" and "smaller government" agenda.)  Nobody forced Mulcair to do that; he did it of his own volition.

Frankly, I can't really imagine any possible mitigating circumstances that would ever make me think a politician who had called for "lower taxes" and "smaller government" was fit to lead the NDP.  Such a candidate certainly would have to very directly repudiate the comments.

He was a Quebec Liberal MNA and cabinet minister that had toe the party line. I don't have a problem with that. He made his case behind closed door in caucus and supported the party in public. Isn't that what a team player does? BTW... slashing services including closing 52 hospitals a good fit for the NDP? Did Topp say Romanow was wrong? I guess it's ok when the name of the government is NDP? More double standards.
______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

KenS

For the record, I think Mulcair's history in Quebec and Topp's in SK are equally irrelevant.

Go on what they say now, and what you read out of that.... since no candidate for anything is to be taken literally on expressing their policy preferences.

timothy

I voted for Thomas Mulcair nine days ago.

Caissa

If I don't get my fucking ballot I won't be supporting anyone.Yell

NorthReport

What is the 1-800 number to call bout your ballot?

BTW the deadline to cast your vote by mail was yesterday, so I believe it is too late to vote by mail now.

Skinny Dipper

NorthReport wrote:

What is the 1-800 number to call bout your ballot?

BTW the deadline to cast your vote by mail was yesterday, so I believe it is too late to vote by mail now.

This is an email reply that I received:

 

Hi XXXXXXX,

Thanks for inquiring about your voting kit. If you do not receive your kit by Wednesday, March 14th, please call us at 1-8665252555 x8001 and we will see what is going on.

Best,

EXXX

 

Hunky_Monkey

janfromthebruce wrote:

it will be interesting during an election when Mulcair's words get thrown at him - when the NDP with Mulcair as our leader runs on a progressive platform (hopefully not small govt and taxcuts)

Yes... the Tories will run ads against Mulcair talking about supporting tax cuts... or maybe Topp for supporting cuts and hosptial closures... ?

asterix

My package arrived yesterday. FWIW, anyway.

Mucker

I got my package in the mail today.  Voted online as follows:

 

1) Mulcair

2) Cullen

3) Ashton

4) Nash

Hunky_Monkey

My partner's arrived today but other family members... nope. Thankfully they'll vote online anyways.

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