Who should replace Jack Layton?

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Policywonk

madmax wrote:

I actually felt that the NDP September Election Campaign was the best of all 3 major parties.

It didn't take much. It was a good campaign, not a great one.

madmax wrote:

I don't think the NDP should consider replacing Layton until after the next election. He has lead the NDP from Oblivion, and with success comes criticism.

It was Alexa who lead the Party back from near-oblivion to Party status, but Jack has increased our seat total in every election to what is now the second largest caucus in history.

Aristotleded24

robbie_dee wrote:
Finally I might also mention Toronto mayor David Miller, who isn't currently a New Democrat but hasn't gone all the way over to the dark side the way Bob Rae has, either. Miller might be the most credible candidate who "could actually achieve government" given that he has actually achieved government, quite successfully by most accounts, running Canada's largest city (with a population larger than Manitoba and Saskatchewan combined) for the past six years. Given that he seems to enjoy being mayor of Toronto, though, its a big question whether he would want to give that up just to be leader of the fourth party in Ottawa.

I don't think Miller is helping much. Every time he is on national TV about how the federal government fails cities, it gives ammo to the right-wingers who claim that the NDP is led by a bunch of downtown Toronto urban elites. Additionally, he has been mayor for a long time and at both levels, Toronto still remains a Liberal stronghold, so he has not been able to shift voting patterns in Toronto that much.

Fidel

And remember, Canadians vote for political parties and their platforms not individual personalities for cosmetic leadership as is the case in America. At least not yet anyway. They may own Canada and dictate our national energy policy from corporate board rooms south of the border since FTA and NAFTA , but we're not exactly like the imperial master nation just yet. We still say "eh" and have one other official language besides American.

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

melovesproles wrote:
I was kind of surprised after all the fawning press Ignatieff has received that without any prompting on my part she thinks he is just another war mongerer like Stephen Harper and wouldn't consider voting for him.  I'm not exactly sure where she gets her biases, I don't think Martin was significantly better than Ignatieff

 

Neither do I, but Iggy's carrying alot of baggage that many voters just can't tolerate.  The Liberal party is asking alot of these people to get them to vote in a former neocon American columnist to run the country. They go too far. I don't know where the pollsters and media get their numbers but my anecdotal observation is that most people don't see the strategic advantage this time in voting Liberal. It really has become "same old story" without any prompting, in many eyes.

West Coast Lefty

I agree that Jack will lead the NDP into the next election, but I do think it is likely to be his last campaign unless the party makes a a major breakthrough in terms of seat count (i.e. 45 seats +), wins 2-3 seats in Quebec,  over 20% of popular vote, etc.  With a few exceptions, Jack has done a great job as leader but it has been over 6 years now and after 4 campaigns, I think Jack himself will likely think about stepping down, again unless there is a signifcant improvement in our results.

I still think the most compelling next federal NDP leader is Peggy Nash, but her losing her seat is problematic for a leadership bid, as Kennedy unfortunately will hang on to Parkdale H-P for a long time. If Jack resigns as MP, would Nash be credible as the NDP candidate in Toronto-Danforth? That's the only scenario that I see as viable for a Nash leadership campaign.  Peggy is dynamic and telegenic, bilingual and connected to social movements as well as organized labour.  She has cred on environmental issues and economics.  I was devastated when she lost to Kennedy but I am hearing she may run for party president at the Halifax Convention this summer (Anne McGrath is stepping down to be Jack's chief of staff), which would give Peggy more visibility and profile leading up to the next election.

In the current caucus, I think Julian, Dewar, Mulcair, Angus, Judy W-L, Libby and even Jean Crowder would be strong leadership candidates.  Unfortunately, Judy, Libby and Jean are not bilingual to my knowledge.  Cullen is good in some aspects but I don't see him as leadership material.  Linda Duncan and Megan Leslie are both really great but they are both quite new and I don't know if either of them speak French - if either of them can communicate in French, they would be great leaders for our party.  Cromartin is a very solid MP but I don't think he'll run for leader again, his ambition now is to be Speaker of the House.

Assuming Nash, Duncan and Leslie are not running in the next leadership campaign, I'd lean towards Julian or Dewar.  Mulcair has a good media presence but I question whether he is a "rassembleur" (i.e. team builder) - his reputation in Quebec is as a "lone wolf/loose cannon" but maybe Unionist or others from QC could correct that impression.

The other scenario is an "outside" candidate (David Miller, Gregor Robertson, Gary Doer) who would come in and shake up the party the way Jack did in 2003.  I don't see any such candidate on the horizon at this time.

Aristotleded24

West Coast Lefty wrote:
Linda Duncan and Megan Leslie are both really great but they are both quite new and I don't know if either of them speak French - if either of them can communicate in French

I'm pretty sure Duncan can. She did have a French website while running.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Rob Russo on CBC this morning said that while the Liberals are moving up in the polls, they still are very short on money, candidates, and policy, and they have a lot to do before they afford to bring down the Conservatives. And, last night, also on CBC, I think the 'Politics' broadcast, one pundit said that the BQ might not go along with bringing down the Conservatives, because they're not exactly at their highest in Quebec polls right now, and also may not be ready for an election (rumour has it the Liberals want to pull the plug this fall). All three federal Opposition parties have to vote 'no confidence' for the Conservative minority govt to fall, and the rumour (as heard on CBC) is that the BQ will not cooperate.

It would appear that the NDP has plenty of time to prepare for the next election - probably not until some time in 2010 now.

Unionist

West Coast Lefty wrote:
  Mulcair has a good media presence but I question whether he is a "rassembleur" (i.e. team builder) - his reputation in Quebec is as a "lone wolf/loose cannon" but maybe Unionist or others from QC could correct that impression.

That's certainly the reputation that Jean Charest and some pro-Liberal media tried to pin on him when he left the cabinet after being shuffled out of his portfolio of Sustainable Development and Environment. [url=Example:[/url]">http://www.canoe.com/archives/lcn/infos/national/2006/02/20060227-175902...

Quote:
Bien perçu par les écologistes, qui ont bien apprécié sa politique ambitieuse de développement durable, M. Mulcair a la réputation, sur la colline parlementaire, de mener sa barque à sa manière et de ne pas avoir un caractère facile. Surtout, en haut lieu, il n'avait pas celle d'être un joueur d'équipe, handicap politique majeur.

«Un gouvernement, c'est d'abord une équipe, et c'est agir de façon collégiale», a dit clairement le premier ministre Charest, lors d'un point de presse, pour expliquer le départ de son ministre du Développement durable.

But it's precisely that act of breaking with the "team" (along with the prior perception that he was motivated by principle as much as politics in environmental matters) that won Mulcair so much respect, and ultimately helped him win two elections. I honestly don't think the impression of not being a "team builder" will hurt him. Anyway, until someone is a team leader, it's hard to tell what stuff they're made of.

My problems with Mulcair are with some of his stands (on Israel, for example - and he is an ex-Liberal after all...). But as a political figure and personality, he is head and shoulders above many of the others mentioned here.

josh

If the NDP doesn't break the 20% barrier, or unless it is part of a coalition government with the Liberals, Layton should step down.  He would have what, four cracks at it?  While he certainly has improved the party's representation, the party seems to have plataeued.  And his policy ideas, never particularly bold for a social democrat, have basically failed to strike a chord.  The NDP should look west with a focus on econmics.  Peter Julian would seem to fit the bill.

Benjamin

I don't know if the party needs to look west necessarily, but the party brass do need to have a much broader conception of their potential base, which spans the country.  There appears to be very little strategic thought on what segments of society the NDP could capture.  In contrast, the CPC has been undertaking a detailed analysis of different voter make-up, and targetting their policies to these people, which has proved quite beneficial politically.

Personally, Libby Davies is my favourite NDP MP, but I doubt that the party would elect her as leader, and I'm not sure she would necessarily want the job.  But if I could clone one politician, and fill the house with him/her, it would be Davies.  I think politics, and governance, would be remarkably different with more people like her, and it would certainly galvanize me to support the NDP.

Stockholm

Since Benjamin obviously hates the NDP - anyone he wants to be the next NDP leader is clearly the person he thinks would the the worst possible person for the job, Buyer beware.

Fidel

The NDP has a leader. And he's not playing second fiddle to the Harper regime like a certain phony opposition leader in Ottawa.

Benjamin

 

Stockholm wrote:

Since Benjamin obviously hates the NDP - anyone he wants to be the next NDP leader is clearly the person he thinks would the the worst possible person for the job, Buyer beware.

I am not particularly fond of any of the federal parties, but hatred is a bit much.  I do think Davies is an amazing MP, who supports her constituents and advocates for policies that are relevant to their concerns.  I was happy to vote for her when I lived in her riding.  Most importantly, Davies brings an approach to parliament that is lacking in many of its members (and I am not singling out a particular party here).  She brings decorum to the house, and impecable integrity. 

Since, many (but not all) of my political interests fall in the spectrum advocated by the NDP, I would like to see the party succeed.  But, I don't think it is on track to do so.

[eta] and your proof of my hatred of the NDP is what?  Does criticism = hatred?  Or is it that I set the bar highest for the issues I most care about, since my interest is in seeing those policies succeed?

genstrike

robbie_dee wrote:

Does Niki Ashton (MP for Churchill, MB) speak french? I was impressed that she organized and knocked off anti-SSM MP Bev Desjarlais for the riding nomination in 2006. And at 27 years old she would certainly represent a generational shift.

I think she speaks like 8 or 9 languages.  And she is very competent, hard-working, and not from the right wing of the NDP.

 

But believe it or not, I would support Gary Doer for federal NDP leader.  Anything to get rid of him as premier.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

genstrike wrote:
  ....and not from the right wing of the NDP.

Holy crap. I think this is the first time I've ever seen anyone refer to "the right wing of the NDP". Frown

Bubbles

Obviously the federal New Democratic Party has had very little success. Why keep sticking to this format that does not seem to work. In the next decade or so the environment will blow up in our face, why not reposition the New democrates for that eventuality? Draft someone like Maude Barlow to speak to the problems we are facing. Rename the party to ' New Deal Party' or 'No Dead Peoples Party', to make it contrast with the Old Dead Beads Parties.

At least we have then something to fight and vote for.

Wilf Day

genstrike wrote:
I think she (Niki Ashton) speaks like 8 or 9 languages.  And she is very competent, hard-working . . .

She speaks Greek (her mother being Greek), French, English and Spanish. She has studied Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish, and is learning Cree.

The thread title should say "succeed" not "replace."
I have not yet heard Niki Ashton speak, but I'm looking forward to it.
Whether she could be leader someday -- why not?

melovesproles

Quote:
Siskay does not appeal to the centre-left, on any issue.

I think that is harsh.  What position of his on foreign policy would turn off the centre-left?

The fact is with a Harper/Ignatieff coalition, there is a huge opening for the NDP if they can become competent at foreign policy.  If they replace Black with another mealy mouthed, equivocator then that will be one more lost opportunity, they need someone who can shift the debate.  Siskay has showed a lot of class as a parliamentarian and I know people well to the right of the centre-left who were impressed with how he handled Lukiwski.

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

genstrike wrote:
  ....and not from the right wing of the NDP.

Holy crap. I think this is the first time I've ever seen anyone refer to "the right wing of the NDP". Frown

 

I've heard it before ... when Bob Rae was busting unions, gutting community colleges, and erecting casinos.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Daedalus wrote:
I've heard it before ... when Bob Rae was busting unions, gutting community colleges, and erecting casinos.

At least he had the sense to join a party more in line with his views. Kiss  Seriously, having a 'right wing' in the federal NDP strikes me as odd.

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Hah, I've always thought of Rae as the true spirit of the Liberal party made manifest in the flesh, the chameleon-man himself. I never thought he'd actually join though. I guess he got bored of cutting ribbons with wealthy pedophiles and hobnobbing with caviar-swilling mobsters.

Seriously though, I agree. No neoliberal in his right mind would have any reason to don sheep's clothing and enter the federal NDP. That's the sort of thing the Liberal party is there for.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Daedalus wrote:
Seriously though, I agree. No neoliberal in his right mind would have any reason to don sheep's clothing and enter the federal NDP. That's the sort of thing the Liberal party is there for.

Yes, but as someone pointed out a few posts back, there's a right wing in the federal NDP, and none of those have left for the Liberals (or Conservatives) so one must assume they're just as comfortable in the NDP as they would be with the Liberals.

Stockholm

"The fact is with a Harper/Ignatieff coalition, there is a huge opening for the NDP if they can become competent at foreign policy."

Now that Obama is president, I think that beating up on US foreign policy has completely gone out of style.

genstrike

Stockholm wrote:

Now that Obama is president, I think that beating up on US foreign policy has completely gone out of style.

I'm pretty sure the election of Obama hasn't significantly changed the level of support for an immediate withdrawal of Afghanistan (A position which is much more popular than the NDP as a whole)

Stockholm

...and the NDP supports immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan so what's the problem?

melovesproles

Quote:
Now that Obama is president, I think that beating up on US foreign policy has completely gone out of style.

I dunno, I think Obama's Afghanistan policy looks LBJish.  Anyways, I was talking about OUR foreign policy.  A lot of Canadians don't trust Harper and Ignatieff, if the NDP continues the Dawn Black approach of quibbling and equivocating then no one is going to pay attention to the fact that the NDP is more in line with their thinking.  If the NDP can't grab the ball on foreign policy while facing Ignatieff as Liberal leader then the party's irrelevance is inevitable.

mybabble

We will have an election when the people are ready to have an election.  When will that be oh not to far off I believe and I'm not going by the polls I'm going with my intuition and the up and coming economic climate and the hard ships many Canadians will be facing.  What happens in this type of environment?  If history repeats itself it will not be good for the Conservatives but the Liberals will be a happy bunch.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

mybabble wrote:
We will have an election when the people are ready to have an election. 

Except we have a minority government (and we've had minority government for quite a while now) and according to theory, an election could happen at any time. However, the Libs, for reasons of their own, decided to keep the Cons in power, giving the Cons a de facto majority. The Libs have been sending signals that they finally will pull the trigger this fall (November seems to be their preference according to the pundits on CBC's 'Politics' broadcast) but last week on that same 'Politics' broadcast one of the pundits suggested that the BQ will not play along, and deny the Liberals a chance to bring the government down, so it appears now that the next election will not take place until the spring of 2010 at the earliest. The reasons for the BQ possibly not playing along with the Libs wasn't given.

ETA: The Liberal's abdication of their responsibilities as the Official Opposition amounts to criminal negligence in my opinion - they have consistently allowed terrible legislation to pass. Only the NDP and the BQ have acted responsibly over the past four years or so by opposing really odious legislation put forward by the Cons.

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

Welcome to Babble, Debater.  You'll learn that people here take polling trends discussed by analysts with the grain of salt they deserved. 

Yes of course we can't make firm conclusions based on polls.  The point here though is that we can see developing trends and patterns, and you'll learn that you can make educated predictions based upon them. Smile

One seat's future that can be predicted is the Outremont seat.  It is likely (although not certain) that it will revert to the Liberals in the next election.  Chantal Hebert has even written a couple columns lately about it.

Stockholm

I don't know what makes anyone so sure about what will happen in Outremont in an election that could be a year away. All that Chantal Hebert wrote was that a number of Liberal wanted to run there. So what? She has been dead wrong in her prognostications before. She was positively bullish about Tory prospects in Quebec right to the bitter end.

The thing about Outremont is that Mulcair's support there is largely based on the 17% NDP vote that was there to begin with, plus about 3/4 of the sizeable BQ vote that used to be there (ie: in the 2006 election the BQ took 30% of the vote in Outremont, since Mulcair came into the picture that has dropped to about 9% - and i see no sign of a BQ revival in that riding). Then on top of that there is a certain personal vote for him from a number of people who might otherwise vote Liberal. As each year goes by, his incumbency becomes more and more of a factor. The biggest threat to him would be if the BQ ran a star candidate and poured all available resources into Outremont trying to be spoilers. But the odds of that are just about nil.

Debater

I actually find Chantal Hebert  to be one of the most insightful political analysts in Canada.  She is right the majority of the time.  And she did not continue to predict that the Conservatives would do well in Quebec - the moment Harper made the comments about culture she predicted he would be in trouble.

What she wrote is that the Liberals have much improved numbers in Quebec under Ignatieff and that the NDP is on the decline and therefore many Liberals are wanting to run in Outremont because they know the seat is winnable.

Mulcair is not a long-term incumbent and incumbency will not be much of a factor.  The other point to remember is that the Liberals almost won the riding back in October despite having a bad campaign, a weak candidate and very little money.  It is not hard to predict that they are likely to win the riding back when they have a leader who is doing almost as well in Quebec as Duceppe.

Anyway, I believe in being honest and stating it like it is.  We can pretend that Mulcair will easily win the riding in the next election, but that's not being logical.

Stockholm

I never said he would "easily" win the next election. He will have to fight hard like any NDP MP has to fight hard to win. I think its also ridiculous to say (as you did) that there is no chance whatsoever of him being re-elected. A lot is going to happen between now and the next election and so far from what i have seen of polls in Quebec, the NDP is almost exactly where it was in the last election - the Liberals gains have all been from the Tory collapse - but the Tory vote in Outremont was negligible to begin with. Its also worth noting that Quebec is one place in Canada where the coalition was very, very popular and where Layton is personally as popular there as ever.

Chantal Hebert is a good columnist - but she is not infallible by any means. Contrary to what you write, she was actually very late in saying that the Tories would flop in Quebec in the last election. She only started to predict that would do badly AFTER every other columnist had already said the same thing and the polls showed incontrovertible evidence that they would do badly. She was hardly what I would call the "oracle at Delphi". In any case, all she said in her column was that a lot of Liberals want to run in Outremont. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to be able to say that. Whether Hebert personally knocked on a few hundred doors in Outremont and asked all the locals about how they would vote in a hypothetical election a year from now with hypothetical candidates - is another question. I doubt it.

Debater

I didn't say there was "no chance whatsoever" of the NDP winning Outremont.  I don't use unequivocal language like that because it doesn't allow any room for error, and of course these predictions are not exact.  I said it was "likely" the NDP would lose it.

Btw, I'm not sure if you know this, but Chantal Hebert lives in Outremont.  She therefore knows the riding on a personal level and is not just talking about it in the abstract.

Stockholm

She may live in Outremont, but she also kept describing it as a supersafe Liberal seat that culd not be lost until just days before the byelection in 2007. In any case, all she said in her column was that lots of Liberals wanted to run in Outremont. I don't recall her making an ex cathedra pronouncement of who would win the riding a year from now. One thing for sure is that Martin cauchon is unlikely to try to run there again with the revelations about his involvement in bribery and kickbacks.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Just wondering, what would anybody think of Denise Savoie as leader?  It would mean the party having a leader who was both from B.C. and a francophone?

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________ Our Demands Most Moderate are/ We Only Want The World! -James Connolly

Debater

Stockholm wrote:

She may live in Outremont, but she also kept describing it as a supersafe Liberal seat that culd not be lost until just days before the byelection in 2007. In any case, all she said in her column was that lots of Liberals wanted to run in Outremont. I don't recall her making an ex cathedra pronouncement of who would win the riding a year from now. One thing for sure is that Martin cauchon is unlikely to try to run there again with the revelations about his involvement in bribery and kickbacks.

alleged involvement - let's not judge someone until he is found guilty.

However, yes, Cauchon probably won't be allowed to run there if he's involved in a scandal.

Stockholm

"ust wondering, what would anybody think of Denise Savoie as leader? "

I think she's over 60 and i don't mean to be "ageist" but I don't see the point of having a leader retire and then be replaced by someone even older. In any case, while she may be a good local MP, she doesn't seem to have much profile outside her riding.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Caissa wrote:

Brad Lavigne.

Are you serious?

V. Jara

The next leader needs to be able to grow the party beyond Layton's base. Period. As such it might be useful to pick someone unconventional.

Best person for the job right now would seem to be Thomas Mulcair, but I don't see him so much as a leader as an attack dog a.k.a. someone best suited for opposition. I like Judy W-L a lot, Israel policies notwithstanding. Carole Hughes has little profile and is untested, but has solid potential. I don't think any of the BC MPs has the moxie right now. Yvon Godin would be good from a charisma and demographics point of view, but is he a leader? Charlie Angus is hip and likeable, but so is Jack- could he carry us a lot further? Olivia Chow is appealing, but she seems to be a politician cut from the same cloth as Layton- maybe because she's his top advisor ;)

Gary Doer, don't know a lot about him, he brings credibility but would he bring votes? would he be left enough to please people like me?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The other issue with Doer is that it's hard to see him increasing NDP support in Manitoba beyond where it is now, and not clear at all that he could take the party out of the federal wilderness in Saskatchewan.

genstrike

V. Jara wrote:
would he be left enough to please people like me?

I don't think the words "Doer" and "left enough" should ever be in the same sentence.  Unless you like corporate tax cuts, war in Afghanistan, a lack of anti-scab legislation*, violating campaign promises on tuition fees, and a welfare policy so bad that the Chamber of Commerce teams up with the Social Planning Council to demand an increase in welfare rates, then he's probably not left enough for you.  I would support him, but only because I can't stand him and can't wait for him to be gone as premier (although odds are he would be replaced by a Doer-clone anyways).

Needless to say, I am not a member of the Gary Doer fan club.

Realistically, I don't see Doer walking away from his gig as premier to lead a fourth party in parliament.  Barring the unlikely scenarios of the Manitoba PCs being competent at something or a revolt from the youth and the left of the party, he's not in any danger of losing his job anytime soon.

*Actual Doer quote:  "Before the election I was asked by the business community 'are you going to bring in anti-scab' and I said no."

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Gary Doer replacing Jack Layton? That idea is hilarious. Laughing

Caissa

Yeah, LTJ. Brad Lavigne id the type of pitbull the party needs as a leader. Wink

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Brad Lavigne is one of the three party strategists every Monday night on Newman's Politics broadcast, he does okay, all three of these guys show extreme partianship, and it's a huge turnoff for me, and probably for others as well. But that's likely why they were chosen for their roles. I don't see any of these three strategists (one each from the Cons, Libs, and NDP) as serious leadership potential. However, they are each excellent in their current roles - as extreme party hacks.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Brad Lavigne is one of the three party strategists every Monday night on Newman's Politics broadcast, he does okay, all three of these guys show extreme partianship, and it's a huge turnoff for me, and probably for others as well. But that's likely why they were chosen for their roles. I don't see any of these three strategists (one each from the Cons, Libs, and NDP) as serious leadership potential. However, they are each excellent in their current roles - as extreme party hacks.

Caissa

Brad and I go back to our student politics days when he was Chair of CFS-BC and I was Chair of CFS-O. He's young and could be leader in 10 to 15 years.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Caissa wrote:

Yeah, LTJ. Brad Lavigne id the type of pitbull the party needs as a leader. Wink

Got it. We're running with the Peter Principle.

Caissa

The Peter Principle has worked for the last three Federal Leaders. Wink

ocsi

V. Jara wrote:

 

Best person for the job right now would seem to be Thomas Mulcair, but I don't see him so much as a leader as an attack dog a.k.a. someone best suited for opposition.

 

An attack dog?  That's exactly what the NDP needs right now.  If and when the time comes to find a succesor to Layton, Mulcair would be my first choice.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

ocsi wrote:
An attack dog?  That's exactly what the NDP needs right now.  If and when the time comes to find a succesor to Layton, Mulcair would be my first choice.

I'm gradually coming around to the idea myself, as I already know Mulclair can make mincemeat out of both Harper and Iggy in a debate. Layton can, too, but this thread is about who eventually replaces Layton. Smile

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