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The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The political dynamics of Muskrat Falls #nlpoli #dip-o-crites #cdnpoli

The people of Labrador who have now occupied the work camp at the construction site are exercising the only political influence they have in the only way they have been able to influence events thus far on this project.

There’ll be a post later in the week to run through how we got to this . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The political dynamics of Muskrat Falls #nlpoli #dip-o-crites #cdnpoli

Babel-on-the-Bay: The NDP Gunfight at the Edmonton Corral.

Who knew? Premier Rachel Notley in her Annie Oakley role had no choice but play to the home town crowd. Now former New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair probably wished he was anywhere else. But the gunfight at the Edmonton Corral was a three-way fight and you had to be careful not to turn your back […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The NDP Gunfight at the Edmonton Corral.

Alberta Politics: Pipeline perceptions, percentages and past Parliamentary performance dog NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair in Alberta’s capital

PHOTOS: Thomas Mulcair in Edmonton … shortly before the disappointing federal election on Oct. 19, 2015. Below: Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff, former NDP MP and leadership candidate Peggy Nash, and influential Alberta union leader… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Pipeline perceptions, percentages and past Parliamentary performance dog NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair in Alberta’s capital

Babel-on-the-Bay: Wandering in the wilderness with the NDP.

Leader Thomas Mulcair is hardly the only New Democrat with something to prove at the party’s Edmonton Convention April 9 to 10. Sure, he needs to justify his leadership but the real question is where Canada’s New Democratic Party is headed? It is obviously not the direction that Mulcair chose for the last federal election. […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Wandering in the wilderness with the NDP.

Alberta Politics: New board in; CEO Vickie Kaminski out … just another day at Alberta Health Services!

PHOTOS: Outgoing AHS CEO Vickie Kaminski at an Edmonton news conference last year. Below: Redford-era health minister Fred Horne, PC premier pro tem Dave Hancock, NDP Health Minister Sarah Hoffman and Premier Rachel Notley’s just-appointed deputy chi… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: New board in; CEO Vickie Kaminski out … just another day at Alberta Health Services!

Alberta Politics: Guest Post by Mimi Williams: When the NDP abandoned its socialist principles, it abandoned its chance of winning

PHOTOS: Federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair – whatever was he thinking? Below: Guest Post author Mimi Williams; Jeremy Corbyn, new leader of Britain’s Labour Party. Many New Democrats were shocked and dismayed at the outcome of Monday’s federal election, despite their relief that Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party government were gone at last. Long-time . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Guest Post by Mimi Williams: When the NDP abandoned its socialist principles, it abandoned its chance of winning

Accidental Deliberations: On historical context

Twice before, the federal NDP has been in roughly the same position it holds now, emerging from an election with a relatively high historical seat count that was nonetheless disappointing due to the expectation that a seasoned and respected leader could have done better.

After the 1988 election, Ed Broadbent stepped aside as leader. And . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On historical context

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Trudeau Liberals crack Conservative “Fortress Alberta” in nationwide sweep

The dust has yet to finally settle on tonight’s election night results but we know that the Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau will form a majority government with more than 180 seats in the next parliament. Conservative Party leader Stephen… Continue Reading →

The Canadian Progressive: Jack Layton: “Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done”

With opinion polls and the corporate media already declaring Justin Trudeau the winner of the 2015 federal election, the late Jack Layton would tell Thomas Mulcair and the New Democrats: “Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.”

The post Jack Layton: “Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done” appeared first on . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Jack Layton: “Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done”

Alberta Politics: Whatever happens next, Justin Trudeau has brought the Liberals back from the brink

PHOTOS: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau addresses his supporters in Edmonton this morning. Below: Mr. Trudeau’s supporters line up in the pale morning light to get into his rally; Mr. Trudeau greets supporters as he bounded to the stage. Charisma matters. I don’t know if Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will win the federal election tomorrow or not, . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Whatever happens next, Justin Trudeau has brought the Liberals back from the brink

Babel-on-the-Bay: The blatant bigotry of the Hair.

The Hair had the support of the Bloc’s Gilles Duceppe in promoting bigotry the other evening. In the last of the badly arranged debate sessions of the 2015 election, Canadians saw their prime minister backed by a separatist asking for votes from bigots. It was probably the most tragic display of the election and nothing . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The blatant bigotry of the Hair.

Alberta Politics: Thomas Mulcair comes to Edmonton bringing the promise of flinty eyed fixes to our national malaise

PHOTOS: NDP supporters lined up to take selfies with the man they hope will be the next prime minister of Canada. And if Thomas Mulcair wasn’t available, as below, there was always his bearded visage on the side of a bus for a selfie. Bottom: Mr. Mulcair, still smiling, as he leaves the Shaw Conference . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Thomas Mulcair comes to Edmonton bringing the promise of flinty eyed fixes to our national malaise

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Bandwagons and the NDP. Could They Lose Quebec?

According to Wikipedia, the “bandwagon effect is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others. In other words, the bandwagon effect is characterized by the probability of individual adoption increasing with respect to the proportion who have already . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Bandwagons and the NDP. Could They Lose Quebec?

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Bandwagons and the NDP. Could They Lose Quebec?

According to Wikipedia, the “bandwagon effect is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others. In other words, the bandwagon effect is characterized by the probability of individual adoption increasing with respect to the proportion who have already done so.  As more people come to believe in something, others also “hop on the bandwagon” regardless of the underlying evidence.”

The term originated with a circus clown, Dan Rice, who was a household name in the mid nineteenth century. He is credited with creating the modern day circus, though is now considered to be “the most famous man you’ve never heard of”.

The notion of hopping on the bandwagon has become commonplace in politics and political polling; though not always as an affect, but often, a root cause.

While pollsters reveal the results of their polling, the media gets to interpret those results, to create attention grabbing headlines.  “Surges” and “horse races”, sell papers or on-line memberships, but they can also have an affect on voting intentions,

In 1994 Claude Emery, prepared a report for the Political and Social Affairs Division on Public Opinion Polling in Canada.

Because polls are generally perceived to be accurate and scientific, the debate on polling centres largely on whether it undermines the democratic process by influencing electoral behaviour and election results. Some political strategists and observers argue that the publication of polls gives an unfair advantage to parties or candidates whose fortunes are seen to be improving. The so-called “bandwagon” effect assumes that knowledge of a popular “tide” will likely change voting intentions in favour of the frontrunner, that many electors feel more comfortable supporting a popular choice.

This is especially true when headlines of “surges” are published near the end of a campaign, before people have had a chance to analyse what has caused the “surge”, or if it is even valid.


All summer we have heard of an NDP surge in Canada, especially in Quebec.  But what they don’t tell you is that at the beginning of the campaign, 70% of those called were undecided.  Even now it is about 50%.  So how accurate are those polls?  Not very.  And yet the headlines suggest otherwise.
Our local TV station reported last night, that the Conservatives had dropped to third place and the NDP had taken the lead.  But even that is misleading.  The NDP is polling higher in Quebec, skewing national results.  However, in Ontario, they are a distant third.  
Can They Hold Quebec?
There was a discussion on Twitter between the head of Leger Marketing, which has always come out strong for the NDP, and several Bloc supporters.  

Jean-Marc Leger was being criticized for what was deemed to be invalid results, and accused of thwarting democracy.  Leger accused his critics of not liking the results because their guy was not in the lead, but finally contended that the support for the NDP was based on emotion, and that anything could happen come October 19.
The feeling of those debating Leger, was that there was a stronger vibe in Quebec for the Bloc.  I have actually seen similar remarks on social media with many questioning what was creating the headlines.
If it is true that the corporate media is funding Thomas Mulcair, as a push back by the 1%, than the headlines makes sense.  But if not, what is the intent and either way, how fragile is the support?

In January of this year Chantel Hebert stated in a piece Mulcair needs Layton-style miracle to win election, she reminds us that while “no one is completely dismissing the party’s chances to stage a second consecutive spectacular surge in as many elections” that “lightning — even of the political kind — rarely strikes twice.” and “Nowhere are NDP roots more shallow than in Mulcair’s home province.”

I’m currently reading Social Democracy after the Cold War, Edited by Bryan Evans and Ingo Schmidt (2012 ISBN – 978-1-926836-88-1)  The authors also discuss the fragility of the NDP support in Quebec.

The massive success of the ndp in the 2011 federal election should not obscure the fact that it rests on an extremely weak organizational basis in Québec. While the fifty-nine federal seats gathered in the province represent close to 60 percent of the ndp caucus in Ottawa, its membership in the province was still a mere 2 percent of the total party membership four months after the election . Furthermore, prior to the May 2011 election, only a handful of ridings had local party chapters.  In many areas of the province, the ndp was simply absent or, at best, operated through regional committees. In contrast to other areas in Canada, the ndp had no support from organized labour, and none of Québec’s influential social movements endorsed the party. Most of the victorious candidates, with the notable exception of Mulcair and four or five others, were stand-ins, who had little if any roots in the community. In many cases, they did not even campaign locally. In short, in Québec the ndp is a topheavy party with no solid organizational roots.

Admittedly, things have changed somewhat since 2011, and several unions are now backing Mulcair, but only because they want Harper gone.  However, if the Quebec support wanes, or the NDP no longer look like the winning party, that will change.  No doubt, that is why the media moguls who funded Mulcair’s leadership bid, need to keep the headlines going,   Mulcair is not necessarily Quebec’s favourite son, but he is theirs.

They need to feed the emotions, so that the heads ignore the facts.

I believe that the Bloc will do much better this time, than in 2011, and that the Liberals will have a better showing.  We just need to find a way to take the wheels off the bandwagon, although the NDP might topple it beforehand.

The statements by a member of their communication team, against the Pope and RC priests, will not sit well in a province that is almost 85% Catholic.  The party is also experiencing conflicts from within.

And as Evans and Schmidt point out:

Not surprisingly, consolidating its breakthrough is presently the ndp’s main objective in Québec. Two strategies are possible.  The one championed by Mulcair and supported by a number of Québec caucus members is to keep to the political mainstream and avoid too close a relationship with organized labour or the social movements… The other possible strategy — put forward by trade unionist Alexandre Boulerice, a cupe staff rep newly elected in the Montreal riding of Rosemont — is to build the party from below by strengthening the party’s links with labour and the social movements while keeping a strong focus on defending Québec’s national rights, including the right to self-determination.

Mulcair is trying to do both, but is not doing either very well.  Saying one thing in French and the opposite in English; or one thing in Quebec and the opposite in the rest of Canada; while classic Mulcair; is being caught by social media, and even some members of the MSM.

As for Boulerice, an increasingly influential voice in the caucus, his identification with labour and militant resistance to the Harper Conservatives is definitely an asset. His refusal to cave in to public pressure from English-Canadian media and renounce his membership in Québec Solidaire (as interim ndp caucus leader Nycole Turmel was forced to do in August 2011) has won him considerable respect among activists. However, he was forced by the party leadership to backtrack on the Palestinian issue and withdraw his very public support for the “Canadian boat to Gaza” initiative. He has also remained silent on some errors committed by party leaders with regard to matters sensitive to Québecers, one example being the unexplained acceptance of a unilingual Supreme Court judge named to the bench by the Tory government. 

At this stage, the balance of forces within the party is far from favourable to a “grassroots left” strategy. At best, this strategy might coexist with a more dominant “social democracy from above” approach. … The late Jack Layton was very adept at navigating the treacherous waters of Québec. His background as a social activist and his public support for the right to self-determination gave him considerable leeway in the province. But that might not be the case with his successor Mulcair. (Evans/Schmidt 2012)

Anything top heavy, risks a collapse.  I think there is a very strong possibility that the NDP will lose Quebec. Pollsters can only hold them up for so long before the public cries foul.  They are already doing that.  Just ask Jean-Marc Leger.

. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Bandwagons and the NDP. Could They Lose Quebec?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Mulcair: Canada’s pseudo Johnny Appleseed.

Tom Mulcair’s role for Canada’s New Democrats seems to include wearing a forced smile and offering band-aid solutions to problems. Other than his strange arithmetic about day care, he is spreading seeds of programs rather than anything that might bear fruit in the foreseeable future. To most voters he remains an unknown, an enigma.

In . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Mulcair: Canada’s pseudo Johnny Appleseed.

The Canadian Progressive: Jack Layton would be proud of Canadians’ growing hunger for change

Canadians’ ever-increasing hunger for changer from the dictatorial Stephen Harper regime would make the late NDP leader Jack Layton proud.

The post Jack Layton would be proud of Canadians’ growing hunger for change appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Montreal Simon: Remembering Jack Layton and the New Orange Tsunami

It's hard to believe that it's now been four years since Jack Layton died, and the hopes of so many turned to sadness.And yesterday evening, when I returned from the island to the ferry dock named after him, I paused for a moment before this statue in my neighbourhood.

I didn't stay long . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Remembering Jack Layton and the New Orange Tsunami

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tommy trudges to the wrong tune.

It is very funny reading the apologists for New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair. They claim he has Quebec in hand and now needs to win the rest of the country. That could be helpful if he could really rely on holding on to the Quebec seats won in Jack Layton’s Orange Wave. Tommy Mulcair is . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Tommy trudges to the wrong tune.

Accidental Deliberations: Unblocked

In response to the apparent return of Gilles Duceppe to federal politics, I’ll offer a quick rerun on the state of the Bloc Quebecois: Once the 1995 referendum was in the rear-view mirror, however, the Bloc recognized that it would need to stand for more than sovereignty alone. And so it developed a strategy of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Unblocked

Babel-on-the-Bay: Why is the Hair laughing at the TV Networks?

Do you really think the Hair is going to debate any of his opponents in this fall’s election? Not if he can help it! It just is not in the Hair’s DNA. After three national elections with debates staged on the major television networks, you have got to understand how the Hair feels. He now . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Why is the Hair laughing at the TV Networks?

Accidental Deliberations: On complexities

Bruce Anderson writes that as some of us have long suspected, a true three-party federal race is developing which will create some new complications for the Cons and Libs alike. But it’s worth pointing out one area where the Cons are in much worse shape than they’ve ever been.

Before the 2008 and 2011 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On complexities

Alberta Politics: Lobbyists, agencies, government-funded ideological front groups face setbacks in wake of Alberta’s Orange Wave

PHOTOS: The Alberta Legislature Building as it transitions to Orange from Blue. Whatever will the lobbyists do? Below: NDP-connected federal lobbyist Robin Sears and Conservative-associated Alberta lobbyist Hal Danchilla. WANTED: Someone – anyone! – willing to work for major national lobbying firm in Alberta. New Democratic Party connections essential! Orange party card as asset. Back . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Lobbyists, agencies, government-funded ideological front groups face setbacks in wake of Alberta’s Orange Wave

Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: Notley should change electoral system following Alberta NDP win…no, seriously

This post by Rafe Mair was originally published in the Common Sense Canadian

 

Rafe Mair

Somehow, the day after it happened, the election of the NDP in Alberta doesn’t seem quite as

Read more…

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who leads Canada’s progressives?

Canadian media are a lazy bunch. They follow the paths of least resistance and false assumptions. Take this past week when some supposed progressives were gathered at the Broadbent Institute in Ottawa for its Progress Summit. The one question that was never answered was ‘Who were the Liberal Progressives at the gathering?’

Ed Broadbent never . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Who leads Canada’s progressives?

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Rob Anders still lurking around the Wildrose Party

Twice denied an opportunity to run for the leadership of the Wildrose Party, controversial Conservative Party Member of Parliament Rob Anders is still lurking in the shadows of the deflated Alberta conservative opposition party. As reported by the Medicine Hat News,… Continue Reading →