With two political leadership races underway, both of which at this point in time have put everyone to sleep, one can only hope that something happens to inject some life into them. We have had the first NDP leadership bid if you can call it that with the declared entry of Cheri DiNovo.
I'll remember the absolute grace and humility with which Tom Mulcair addressed the crowd following the vote, calling on us to leave the convention strong and united, and to focus on continuing to be the party that dreams no small dreams.
If Tom gets dumped on Sunday, I'll join that chorus because I can't think of anything more Liberal than filling our leader's back with knives, then throwing him under the bus. We will still be left with all the structural problems Tom inherited along with a host of new ones. I believe we need to be focused on fixing our party, on democratizing the crafting of our platform, on reconnecting our movement to our party, on weaning the central campaign off our riding rebates so we can effectively build riding associations and campaigns that can compete locally with the other parties.
This weekend, the NDP is meeting in Edmonton to decide their direction moving forward. Eugene Levy once complained about filming a season of SCTV in Edmonton because "It's Edmonton." While I'm sure it's a great city, this is a party who is dreading at the Big E. The election of the past year saw an early lead blown, notable key members of the party lose their seats in the House of Commons, and a third place finish for Tom Mulcair's rookie federal election run. As the NDP head to the Gateway to the North, it's time to begin paving the highway towards the future.
The most important thing is for the NDP to not limp along and slip into irrelevance, but to boldly rebuild. Canada needs the NDP. But it needs an NDP that is both inspiring and competent, visionary and responsible, principled and practical. The many dedicated NDP activists need to know what happens now. Where is the NDP headed and how do they fit in to the big picture? What are the concrete plans to rebuild? Which brings me to the leadership question. The Leader too has to share the blame and Tom Mulcair has acknowledged this.
What was supposed to be an exercise in showing how good the NDP could be at managing the public purse and proposing sensible, balanced policies turned into the usual radical, job-killing, tax-raising, disorganized chaos for which the left wing has always been known.
Whomever is in charge of event scheduling for the federal New Democrats ought to be fired today -- how in heavens did the NDP wind up holding its all-important policy convention on the same weekend the Liberals were to crown their new leader? Were Christmas eve and day already booked at the convention centre?
Democratic House leader, Nancy Pelosi, recently tried to meet with Canadian New Democrat Party ("NDP") Leader Thomas Mulcair, in Washington, under th...
The first impediment to ascension the Ol' Boys' Club -- or the Liberal Party -- has imposed is a hefty $75,000 entry fee to run for Party Leader. That's 65 per cent more than the national income average or what most of us call "a small fortune." Is this a way for a third place party to renew interest with the Canadian people? A party that's lost its compass is doomed to lose the legions voters who have strayed outside the once broad LPC umbrella.
The media seem obsessed with the difficulty of creating party unity and "healing the wounds" of the campaign. I really don't get a sense there will be a lot of wounds. The opportunity for growth will surely make the party put aside their differences and work together under Thomas Mulcair's leadership.
Mulcair, throughout his career, has displayed the Harper-esque confidence, stubbornness, and vitriol that can allow a supposed underdog to keep fighting until he wins -- as Harper did. Thomas Mulcair is not Stephen Harper, but, he may just be the closest thing the NDP has ever had to him.
The real campaign being waged in a leadership race happens a long way away from the television debates and the convention floor. It's waged in community centres in Surrey B.C. and Longeuil, bars in Halifax and Biggar, and on the phone every day. The ground game is political trench warfare.
Should Thomas Mulcair lose the big race on Saturday, Monday's editorial pages will doubtlessly be filled with all manner of convoluted post-mortems as the punditocracy struggles to find the reason their golden boy's party turned against him.
If Mulcair doesn't win, the pundit class tells us that Quebec will go back to the Bloc and we'll be worse off than we were before. Is that even true? And how do all these calculations change if Bob Rae doesn't step down as planned? All I know is, I'm kind of glad I'm not voting in this one.
Over the weekend I attended an official NDP leadership debate in Montreal and two candidates took time to reaffirm their support for Quebec sovereignty. Either these New Democrats really mean what they say -- in which case they are dangerous -- or they don't, and hence don't deserve the support of Canadians for lying about their beliefs on the quintessential issue of national unity. Take your pick.
NDP leader hopefuls have made changes to our democratic system part of their platforms, and it's become an electoral issue. In a national election where three parties with a reasonable chance of power compete, and a range of other issues balance out in close ridings, electoral reform could play a decisive role.