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A BCer in Toronto: Lessons for the Liberals from the NDP leadership and showcase weekend

With the NDP leadership race and showcase weekend in the books, there are some lessons the Liberal Party should draw from the experience as we prepare for our own leadership vote, scheduled for some time next spring. I think the first lesson is that you need a strong field of candidates to generate any kind of public and media interest and being new life into the party; coronations aren’t exciting at all. But that’s an obvious one. I think lessons can be drawn in two main areas: the system of voting, and the leadership weekend. The Leadership Weekend Love them . . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: Lessons for the Liberals from the NDP leadership and showcase weekend

A BCer in Toronto: Post-#ndpldr, with Mulcair change will be more personality than politics

Leadership contests tend to create the appearance of stark differences where none really exist – it’s in the interests of both candidates looking to differentiate themselves and media looking for a meaningful race to cover. In reality, these differences are usually exaggerated, and governing tends to be a moderating influence anyways.

That’s certainly the case with the recently completed NDP race which crowned Thomas Mulcair the successor to Jack Layton. If there was one real contrast in the field, it was over Nathan Cullen’s proposal for joint nominations in select ridings with the Liberals. More broadly though, Mulcair, Paul Dewar . . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: Post-#ndpldr, with Mulcair change will be more personality than politics

A BCer in Toronto: #ndpldr pics, video and a few thoughts

It was a very long Saturday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre — about 12 hours for me, longer for others — for the NDP to arrive at what, for many, was an inevitable result: the election of Thomas Mulcair as their new leader. With Mulcair set to take his seat as leader of the official opposition Monday, only one party in the House of Commons still lacks a permanent leader.

The weekend itself was an odd one, featuring some of the elements of a traditional delegated leadership convention: the candidate showcases, the war rooms, the swag, the flash

. . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: #ndpldr pics, video and a few thoughts

The Progressive Right: Caption Contest (#ndpldr)

Ready – go.

A BCer in Toronto: Cullen won #ndpldr showcase showdown, but it’s likely meaningless

With the candidate showcase showdown in the books and just over an hour until the Jack Layton tribute, I have time to switch from tweeting quick sarcastic comments to blog with a bit more deliberative thought. Like the Senate, but even more sober (there’s an open bar in the media room, but I’m behaving).

I’ve already declared my soft spot for Nathan Cullen, but I think I’m not alone in thinking he had the best speech of the afternoon. Unlike most of the others, he eschewed the elaborate floor demonstration. No grand walk-in, no video testimonials, no three rounds of

. . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: Cullen won #ndpldr showcase showdown, but it’s likely meaningless

The Progressive Right: NDP Convention Photos Streaming at (#ndpldr)

Photos I’ve taken are now streaming at and here on this site.

Go check them out!

The Progressive Right: Uniting Progressives? (#ndpldr)

I caught this sign being used by Thomas Mulcair supporters. It’s an interesting one because it fits with the narrative that Mulcair is attempting to broaden the NDP “big tent”.

A BCer in Toronto: A Liberal perspective on #ndpldr in Toronto

I hear a wildcat strike by unionized Air Canada workers at Pearson Airport has been delaying some NDP delegates from making it to the leadership convention, but luckily the TTC is still running and I’ve arrived at the Metro Toronto Convention  Centre, gotten my media/blogger badge, and settled into the blogger command centre on the convention floor to begin my Liberally-tainted coverage of the battle to succeed Jack Layton.

While walking through the Skywalk on my way to the MTCC, an older gentleman came up to me and told me I had a walk like some guy who used to

. . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: A Liberal perspective on #ndpldr in Toronto

The Progressive Right: Live from Toronto, it’s the NDP Convention! (#ndpldr)

I’m hunkered down at the blog command centre on the main convention floor. I’m sitting next to Jeff Jedras ( and we’re watching as the convention delegates pour in.

NDP Leadership supporters welcome delegates 

Look for pictures from the convention on the Progressive Bloggers main site ( as I upload them.

Live blogging / tweeting to commence when the convention officially opens in about an hour or so.

Convention Predictions

I’ll do a more detailed post about who my actual pics for leader are, but right now I’m going to share my predictions. 1. Thomas Mulcair will win on the 5th ballot. 2. Nathan Cullen (who was my first choice) will place a strong second. 3. Brian Topp really won’t be a factor.

The Progressive Right: Initial Thoughts on NDP Leadership Convention (#ndpldr)

So, what do I think is going to happen at this weekend’s NDP leadership convention?

I’ve been paying attention to the media articles, the debates, and the Twitter feed. It’s clear by all the folks talking about it – it’s Thomas Mulcair vs the other candidates. The underlying belief is that Mulcair is not a true NDPer and his desire to make the NDP a “big tent” party is dangerous.

(I should mention that Nathan Cullen is talking “cooperation” with other parties to defeat the Conservatives … but that’s not really the same as expanding the tent.)

First off, the

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Right: Initial Thoughts on NDP Leadership Convention (#ndpldr)

The Progressive Right: NDP Leadership Convention 2012 (#ndpldr)

I will be attending the NDP leadership convention as an accredited blogger in my capacity as a moderator for Progressive Bloggers. You can follow my coverage here, on Twitter (@progright), and on Google+.

I’d like to thank the NDP for accrediting bloggers to their convention. It’s a sign that they recognize and understand the importance of personal social media in this century. I hope the Liberal Party reviews it’s prohibitive stance with the next convention. That said, this will be my first NDP convention. I’ve been to Liberal and Conservative conventions as a delegate, but never an NDP . . . → Read More: The Progressive Right: NDP Leadership Convention 2012 (#ndpldr)

Thus Prate the Pundit » Social Critique: Should the NDP Renew Itself with a Shoot of Green?

Before our last federal election in 2010, I’d proposed a rationale for the NDP and Green Party to merge (from an NDP perspective). With the NDP leadership convention operating at full speed, now is a great time to reconsider this idea. In fact, one of the NDP’s recurring debate themes involves whether or not the party should undertake some challenges that cut to the heart of its identity. It might seem strange that the NDP consider this now, when it elected more MPs than it ever has in the last election. In the follow … Continue Reading →

A BCer in Toronto: “Dion syndrome” is revisionist history masking self-interest

Leadership races are always places for amusing and nonsensical spin, and the current NDP race is no exception with some participants warning against a supposedly deadly, but entirely fictional, new malady: Dion syndrome.

Named for former Liberal leader Stephane Dion, it’s meant to describe the horror of a candidate that finished third on the first ballot going on to win because of their strong second-choice support. Or in other words, winning because more members like them than like the other choices.

Here it is in common ussage:

* An NDP MP is warning party members to be wary of the

. . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: “Dion syndrome” is revisionist history masking self-interest

I want to make Cullen my first choice but…

Lately I’ve been mulling over making Nathan Cullen the first choice on my ballot after previously completely discounting him as a potential recipient of my vote. Cullen was originally someone I was excited about supporting in the leadership race. I’ve had the opportunity to meet him on several occasions and he’s always come across as both charismatic and genuine. I’ve expected him to run for leader for a while, and years ago I remember discussions with a friend of mine about who would at least run for the leadership after Layton left would usually settle on Cullen as both a . . . → Read More: I want to make Cullen my first choice but…

My, Ahem, OFFICIAL Official Endorsement for #NDPLDR

Well, that time has come. After watching the debates in Halifax tonight, going over the platforms and consulting various tweeps and others within the NDP I made my decision. For the 2012 Leadership Convention of the NDP, to be held March 24th, I will be voting for Member of Parliament from Ottawa-Center Paul Dewar. I [...]

Canadian Progressive World: VIDEO: Kerry-Ann Taylor makes a compelling case for Peggy Nash

Today, the NDP federal leadership hopefuls battle each other again during the party’s second official all candidates debate in Halifax. In this 30-sec YouTube video pitch, Kerry-Ann Taylor endorses Peggy Nash because “she’s a fighter …Read More

The Progressive Right: NDP to Accredit Bloggers at Convention?

It could be me, but I could find no information on whether bloggers (or the media for the matter) will be accredited at the NDP leadership convention in March.

Since the convention is being held in Toronto, I could partake in the event with little cost to me. However, I cannot fork over the $1,000 observer fee.

I’ve tweeted about it and I’ve sent an email to the NDP to find out.

Will keep you posted.

NDP Restores Online Convention Registration for Youth and the Unwaged

And the NDP has come to their senses and restored the ability for youth and unwaged delegates to register for convention online. It’s good to see that all members are being treated equitably.

Petition to End Discriminatory Convention Registration Process

As many of you are now aware the party has banned youth and unwaged delegates from registering for convention online. If you weren’t already aware check out my previous post on the issue here. There is now a petition available which will be sent to party headquarters demanding that all members be able to register for convention online and that this age and income based discrimination stop. Please sign the petition here.

NDP Adopts Discriminatory Convention Registration Process

Over the Christmas break I noticed something quite odd on the registration page for the upcoming NDP leadership convention, the option for youth and unwaged delegates to register online was removed. Now a notice has been posted at the bottom of the page saying that unwaged and youth delegates must phone in to register, the problem being that the number provided only seems to work during Ontario office hours – which means that many youth, and unwaged people are being totally shut out of being able to register for convention. You can see the registration page here: . . . → Read More: NDP Adopts Discriminatory Convention Registration Process

Current NDP Leadership Rankings

This is currently how I think I’ll vote. I’ll provide more detailed explanations later: 1. Mulcair 2. Dewar 3/4 Saganash 3/4 Ashton 5. Topp 6. Cullen 7. Nash 8. Singh

Robert Chisholm Withdraws

I believe Robert Chrisholm made the right decision in withdrawing from the leadership race. While Chrisholm has experience leading the Nova Scotia NDP that would definitely be beneficial when it comes to leading the party his lack of French was a major handicap that he admits he would not overcome by March 24th. Being fluent in French is an essential qualification for the leader of the official opposition. While it may have been acceptable for the NDP to pick someone who was not completely fluent as the leader in the past when it was the third party this is not . . . → Read More: Robert Chisholm Withdraws

Thomas Mulcair

I’ll admit it – Thomas Mulcair was likely near the bottom of my list when the leadership race started. However since that time I’ve been impressed by his campaign and his ability to connect with voters. He’s now moved up to be jockeying with Paul Dewar for #1 on my ballot. I’m particularly impressed with the stance Mulcair took near the beginning of the race advocating that all members of the party should have an equal vote in the selection of the leadership. In my view the one member one EQUAL vote method of selecting a leader is something every . . . → Read More: Thomas Mulcair

Cullen’s Plans for Joint Nominations

I was disappointed when Nathan Cullen announced that he wanted to make joint nominations between Liberals, NDP and Greens an option in future elections if he became leader. Prior to this point Cullen was my first choice for leader. Cullen’s plan makes the mistaken vote that a Liberal would vote NDP before they vote Conservative, and that a New Democrat would vote Liberal before voting Conservative. I personally think neither of these are true. I also believe that not running a candidate in every constituency limits voters choices and is something that a serious party running for government cannot afford . . . → Read More: Cullen’s Plans for Joint Nominations