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Alberta Politics: Fortune favours the brave? Trudeau risks advocating sane gun laws and ripping PM’s dog-whistle bigotry

PHOTOS: Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau during a visit to Edmonton last year. Below: NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It should have been natural for the leader of the NDP to finally be the one who clearly called out Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his unprincipled and unpatriotic campaign of dog-whistle […]

The post Fortune favours the brave? Trudeau risks advocating sane gun laws and ripping PM’s dog-whistle bigotry appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Lessons learned

As I noted here, it’s well worth comparing what’s happening in any given election to any recent precedents. While past performance never guarantees future results, we can tell both what lessons a party has drawn from experience, as well as how strategies change when they don’t work out as planned. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the choices which have shaped recent elections where provincial NDP parties were competitive – and how they’ve been applied at the federal level.

Staying Above The Fray

Let’s start with two examples from the leading example (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Tory-linked lobbying firm hires former Canadian Labour Congress president and former B.C. NDP minister

PHOTOS: Lobbyists head out to provide “strategic counsel” to Alberta’s new NDP government. Can you spot the recently hired New Democrats among them? No? Well, neither can I. Actual Alberta lobbyists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Former CLC president Ken Georgetti, former B.C. NDP party president and cabinet minister Moe Sihota, and former […]

The post Tory-linked lobbying firm hires former Canadian Labour Congress president and former B.C. NDP minister appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty

PHOTOS: Ed Stelmach in the premier’s office at the Alberta Legislature. Below: Preston Manning, the Godfather of the Canadian right; Stelmach’s finance minister, Ted Morton; New Democrat political strategist Brian Topp. Ed Stelmach, the last good premier the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party managed to elect, spoke up yesterday about the tactics used by his party […]

The post By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Cowichan Conversations: Head of review panel repeats call for delay to BC Hydro’s Site C Dam

Richard Hughes- Political Blogger

One of the biggest illusions in BC politics is that the BC Liberals are down to earth business disciplined stewards managing the most prudent course on behalf of the citizens of BC.

Admittedly led by Premier Christy Clark they are better fabricators, spinners and show an uncommon economy with accuracy.

Adrian Dix backs call for delay on Site C Dam

Everything that they have touched relating to BC Hydro has been a cock-up unless you calculate wealth transfer as a benefit.

The Globe’s Justine Hunter flushes out an opposing assessment in this Site C Dam story calling for (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Bill C-51–Trudeau Liberals and Mulcair New Democrats Put Party First-Canada Second

Richard Hub Hughes-Political Blogger

I am a life long New Democrat and I am appalled at the ‘weak as water’ positioning that the Thomas Mulcair led NDP have offered in regard to the Harper anti terror Bill C 51, a bill that will, if passed, turn Canada into a CSIS Police State.

Mulcair has said he opposes Bill C 51, but so far lacks the passion and commitment necessary to have his concerns registered as significant.

Justin Trudeau just choked and offered his support right from the beginning.

PM Steve Harper salutes Canada

If Mulcair and Trudeau not going to go to (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Super Industrial BC

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes-Positively Political

Rafe Mair is back in the saddle and zoning in on issues of significance to all British Columbians.

Mair is calling out to BC NDP Leader John Horgan to stand up to the powerful oil and gas corporations, in part because if he won’t, who will?

Horgan is our best option to bring some sanity and balance back into the dance between the needs of the environment and employment in BC.

In his first few days as leader Horgan distanced himself from the Site C Dam proposal promoted by the BC Liberal Clark forces.

He has (Read more…)

Left Over: Mikey Doesn’t Like It…


Former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt quits NDP Harcourt let membership lapse over many issues including the party’s opposition to carbon tax

CBC News Posted: Apr 01, 2014 8:10 AM PT Last Updated: Apr 01, 2014 8:10 AM PT


Have to agree with Mike, in principle, although my membership lapsed years ago, and though I vote for the NDP in spite of the things they do that I don’t like (the alternatives are unthinkable) I am, like so many BCers, leaning towards the Greens..I can’t speak for other Provinces , but here on the West Coast, (Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: If Chong’s Reform Act were in place in BC, would Adrian Dix be Premier today?

Lots of the debate around Michael Chong’s proposed Reform Act to, among other things, allow a federal parliamentary caucus to fire the party leader, has taken place in the abstract. We need to do something, it’s better than nothing, you’re with reform or you’re with the terrorists, and so forth. Let’s take it into the real world though. If Chong’s legislation was in place in British Columbia, who would be Premier today: Christy Clark, the NDP’s Adrian Dix, or some other BC Liberal? That’s the question I found myself mulling in a Courtenay, BC Dairy Queen over Christmas, as I (Read more…)

Canadian Political Viewpoints: Accentuate the Positive

I’ve been giving a lot of thought on what to talk next about on the blog, and with news of the Saskatchewan Party’s newest round of attack ads, I thought that would be a good place to start. But first, we need to have a small detour before we discuss attack ads themselves.

Recently, Brian Topp had a memo come out about what he felt went wrong with the British Columbia provincial election. As many of you are likely aware, the BC NDP led the polls for months, and then stumbled at the finish line as the BC Liberals were (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: BCNDP Should Keep Adrian Dix

The whole one-election-and-out-party-leader phenomenon has gotten entirely out of hand.  But if your in opposition it means that your guy, when it comes to an election campaign, is always going to be a rookie.  It’s hard to win that way. Not impossible.  But its tying one hand behind your back.

PS. .@adriandix stepping down pending #bcndp leadership vote he hopes will be held in mid-2014. #bcpoli— Ian Bailey (@ianabailey) September 18, 2013

Nobody listens to me.

Cowichan Conversations: BC NDP – A New Leader is only one step in a long and winding road ahead.

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

The BC NDP has lost its’ edge. The feisty Glen Clark victory in 1996 was the last. That was four elections ago.

NDP victories and effectiveness depend on winning on the ground, but the inner controlling circle has gone the so-called respectable corporate style route tilting the table and our money to the control freaks at the power centre.

We have once again seen the sorry results.

The NDP lost because ‘Liberal Lite’ is a position of dull irrelevance.

Former BC NDP Premier Glen Clark

Yes, a new leader is necessary, but that is only one component (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Longtime NDP MLA Corky Evans On Todays BC NDP

Richard Hub Hughes-Political Blogger

The BC Liberals scored a surprise upset and were re-elected as the government of BC on May 14th, 2013

Since that time members, supporters and pundits along with some current and former MLA’s have been speaking up questioning the so called middle of the road positioning, sarcastically termed ‘Liberal Lite’ that has been embraced by the inner circle.

There has been a growing chorus challenging the current entrenched leader Adrian Dix, who has so far refused to resign for the good of the party.

Members and supporters from across the NDP universe are calling for a (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: It is Time for the BC NDP to Clean House. No More Reviews are Needed.

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

I have been a member of the BC NDP since the early 70′s. Like so many others I have been on a full tour of duty including a ‘Mission Impossible’ run to be the Malahat Juan de Fuca MLA back in 2001.

Today we face yet another leadership crisis following the mind numbing loss on May 14th. Truly, Adrian Dix rescued defeat from the jaws of victory.

Few NDP leaders seem to know when it is time to leave.

The BC NDP, if it is to survive to become a meaningful political force again must shake the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Fixing the BC NDP, 2013 Version

Can the BC NDP actually Think Forward?

About 4 years ago, there was a movement within the BC NDP to make it more relevant. It was called Think Forward BC NDP. The party had just lost the election and there was some soul-searching about what went wrong and what was systemically broken in the party.

Well, it’s four years later. Deja vu. And almost four years ago I wrote a post with the same name. Sigh.

So here are some solutions this time around [strangely similar to last time]:

First, read Matt Toner’s insightful piece in the today: (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Sean Leslie Looks Big Problems at BC Hydro-This week in BC

This Week in BC -Sean Leslie Looks at BC HYDRO

CuriosityCat: Brilliant Analysis of the BC Election by Gary Mason

Christy Clark  outworking and outframing Dix

If you relish the nitty-gritty of political campaigns, like reading a well-written journalist post, and want to learn why framing cost the BC NFP a surefire win in the recent provincial election, then study the article headed Anatomy of a Comeback by Gary Mason in today’s Globe & Mail.

The disemboweling of Adrian Dix and his NDP: Mason lays out how the Christy Clark team of professionals went about disemboweling the inept NDP leader, Adrian Dix, starting with an analysis of  how to frame three things: the ballot box question, the Dipper leader (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Cowichan Conversations Readers Want Change With NDP Leadership

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Adrian Dix suffered the worst upset ever for the NDP. Yes, in 2001 we were almost wiped out but then the expectations were low, very low.

Heading into a Provincial Council meeting this weekend it will be interesting to see if the Dix loyalists can stave off the ever increasing call for change at the top.

His announcement that he was staying for awhile seemed to me to be code for Adrian trying to remain at the head of the party, but that will be fraught with turmoil and hard feelings.

Best possible outcome would be for (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair Rakes BC NDP Energy Critic John Horgan Over The Coals

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Rafe Mair, never one to bring flowers to a knife fight has targeted BC NDP MLA John Horgan, for his part in losing the provincial election and leaving us open to the savages of the BC Liberals which lie ahead.

In his latest post he leaves no doubt as to his displeasure with John Horgan BC NDP’s Energy Critic and the lack lustre BC NDP campaign.

Rafe correctly pointed out that the failure of the BC NDP was that they too often offered little or no opposition on matters that mattered to a great many voters and these (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe Mair Does Not Bring Flowers To Knife Fights!

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger

Rafe’s latest post on the Common Sense Canadian is a tough swallow for many NDP loyalists and not all that comforting to MLA John Horgan.

It is however spot on in its criticism which is needed right now if we are to get past the dysfunctional political reality that is BC today.

I will follow with a post of my own regarding some of the matters raised here in Rafe’s latest offering which originally appeared in the Common Sense Canadian

Cowichan Conversations: Canada’s Political Party Leader’s Have To Much Power!

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger

The politics of the day are ringing in some major truths. One of the most serious is the centralised top down control grasped so firmly by the party leaders of each and every stripe.

In Canada and the provinces our political party leaders wield a life or death control over the very people who we elect to represent us, the candidates and later the MLA’s or MP’s.

The party leaders are elected as either MP’s or MLA’s and were not given that power by the voters. It has been seized and the party system (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: BC New Democrats Have Lost Their Swagger and Don’t Know Where to Find It.

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger

OK so the BC Election is over and we can get back to normal, sort of, but let’s face it folks we are in for a rough ride.

What a mess we are facing politically. The BC NDP has lost its way. They have distanced themselves from left leaning policies and essentially are far too concerned about criticism from the established power culture.

Seeking validation from their opponents and living in fear of the MSM calling them radical has left them both debilitated and ineffective.

The posture for far too long now has been a tepid, muted, don’t (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: The BCNDP Have Been Struggling Since The RCMP Raid On Premier Glen Clark’s Home

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger

Rod Smelser and Kevin Logan both politically savvy types offered some interesting comments on the spectacular BC NDP Election defeat. (See Comments-following the post about the Kool Topp Guys.)

I think that what is needed is a thorough house cleaning, possibly a name change, an injection of some swagger, energy and purpose none of which have been present for a long, long time.

Sadly, the NDP continues seeking validation and acceptance from our opponents. Screw that!

It is not a question of moving left or even moving to the middle, as much as it is (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: NDP Campaign-The Topp Guy Was Not All That Kool!

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

One of the burning questions begging for answers as to WTF happened that saw the BCNDP lose the election is how is that Brian Topp ran the campaign after it was know that he was in business with the political enemies of the campaign.

Topp was an actual leadership candidate for the Federal NDP, former Layton organizer and now partner with ex Harper aide and ex Christy Clark Chief of Staff Ken Boosenkool and Ontario Liberal operative Don Guy end up running the NDP Campaign?

These three set up a Consultancy Firm a few months back, Kool-Topp-Guy (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: History Tells Us That Defeated BC NDP Leaders Never Make A Comeback

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger

New Democrat Leaders who lose in a Provincial Election have never been able to rebound as party leader in a further election attempt, ever.

Those who huddle in the backrooms following election defeats always seem to want to stay the course with the leader who has failed to win and yet all evidence points to that course will ensure another loss.

That is not change, that is not renewal. It is a combination between an attachment to the status quo and in many cases the trappings, real or imagined that go with hanging out with the (Read more…)