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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- David Miller makes the case to take aim at inequality in Canada: With globalization being the holy grail of efficiency, it became a race to the bottom as international capital sought the lowest cost and the lowest wages. The result in Canada and many other countries was the closing of industries, the gutting of union organizing through new laws that attack unions and limit their ability to operate, and the gradual rise in income inequality since 1990. Canada now ranks 12th out of 17 first-world economies for income inequality, and were given a (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis: Elizabeth May: Harper making Canada the North Korea of environmental law

By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: Green Party leader Elizabeth May says Prime Minister Stephen Harper is turning Canada into a “rogue nation” and the “North Korea of environmental law”. The Saanich-Gulf Islands MP was reacting to Thursday’s shocking revelation that the Conservative government last week quietly withdrew from yet another important international body, the United Nations [...]

The post Elizabeth May: Harper making Canada the North Korea of environmental law appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.

Progressive Proselytizing: NDP leadership election campaign debt

The NDP leadership campaign sparked considerable interest among Canadians and saw NDP membership soar, rising over 50% in six months to 128,351 on election day. Many of these first time members, such as myself, may well be interested in the NDP but may not be long term loyalists. After the campaign, the key is to convert as many of these members as possible into loyal NDP followers who can advocate for the party long into the future.  A perfect way to entrench interest in the NDP is to use the massive emailing list of new members to send out positive, . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: NDP leadership election campaign debt

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 – Candidate What-Ifs

Following up on this post, let’s look at a few what-ifs from the NDP’s leadership campaign in retrospect – this time wondering how the outcome might have changed from the perspective of the candidates based on choices made during the course of the race. And it’s fairly easy to narrow down the list based on those whose campaigns ran about as smoothly as could be expected (Niki Ashton, plus Peggy Nash minus her convention presentation), those who figure to have achieved all they could realistically have hoped for (Martin Singh) and the actual winner (Thomas Mulcair).

Having pared down

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 – Candidate What-Ifs

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Lessons Learned – Pundit Edition

With a week’s perspective on the NDP’s leadership campaign, I’ll take a quick look back to see – particularly in comparing my own impressions as to how the vote might play out to what actually happened.

To start off with, let’s note that of all the publicly-available metrics available to evaluate the race, none served as a particularly useful means of evaluating first-ballot support. The only ones which correctly pegged the two top of Thomas Mulcair and Brian Topp were fund-raising and endorsements. But the former suggested a much tighter five-way race than proved to be the case, while the

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Lessons Learned – Pundit Edition

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

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 – First Ballot Endorsement

The NDP’s leadership campaign has presented such a wide variety of opportunities and questions for party members that it’s been difficult to decide who to endorse – and I’ve reached my own first-ballot decision only after taking time to see how those have been balanced out in this afternoon’s leadership showcase. But for what it’s worth, here’s my endorsement for the many members who have chosen to wait to decide for themselves.

To start with, I’ll be shifting my first choice from my preliminary endorsement – not because Brian Topp’s positive message is any less important than it’s always been,

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 – First Ballot Endorsement

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Paul Dewar Is Apparently Going To Rap His Convention Speech

And he is not even slightly funky.

Cullen was quite eloquent re Northern Gateway.  Horwath got in a good line about Bob Rae knowing how to do what’s right by Bob Rae.  That got a roar out of some of the Libloggers present.  Dewar’s skillz, however, are truely inadequate.

Update:  Dewar actually spoke in the end.  His speech didn’t impress me much but it made me notice how little french Cullen’s presentation contained.  Hmm.  Wonder what this signifies.

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 – Policy Highlights

With the NDP’s leadership convention set to start tomorrow (and assorted hospitality suites already starting up tonight), I won’t be able to finish off my initial plan to put together full policy reviews for each of the candidates. But instead, I’ll take some time to highlight a few innovative ideas which haven’t received a lot of media attention, but stand out as deserving more discussion within the NDP regardless of who wins the leadership.

Judicare, proposed by Niki Ashton: Ensuring that all Canadians are genuinely equal before the law starting by creating a dedicated federal transfer for “judicare”, modelled

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 – Policy Highlights

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

I didn’t think much could come along at this point in the NDP’s leadership campaign to significantly change my voting considerations [edit: other than the type of organizational problem discussed here]. But the CROP poll published in Le Soleil may well do just that.

No, it isn’t a surprise to see Thomas Mulcair well ahead of the field in Quebec. But for all the best efforts of the rest of the campaigns as well as two debates centred on the province, not a single other candidate ranks ahead of “none of the above”. And while I’ve emphasized the importance

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Another day, another set of NDP leadership campaign stories.

- Niki Ashton won the support of the NDP’s Socialist Caucus.

- Nathan Cullen expanded on his joint nomination proposal with a far more appealing discussion of co-operation in general: Cullen isn’t shy about what he has in mind.

“If the explicit question is put to me: Am I willing to work with the Liberal party in a coalition government, then yes. I was last time.”

Moreover, he said the parties should make it clear while they are seeking votes from Canadians that a coalition is a “possible scenario.”

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

A quick look at the latest news as the NDP’s leadership convention approaches.

- Alice’s latest Power Play appearance saw her discuss Nathan Cullen’s campaign:

Meanwhile, Cullen received an endorsement from Murray Dobbin – which is particularly noteworthy since Dobbin had previously lined up behind Peggy Nash.

- Paul Dewar’s interview with Jessica Bruno included this on his top three priorities: What are the top three policy issues you think the NDP should focus on? Why?

“Retooling our economy and fixing up the mess being brought in by the Conservatives. Over the past six years, the Harper government has been

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Progressive Proselytizing: My NDP leadership ballot rankings

Let’s just get it over with:

 Nathan Cullen  Brian Topp  Peggy Nash  Paul Dewar  Niki Ashton  Thomas Mulcair  Martin Singh

These rankings are not necessarily who I think is best as the leader, but are for a variety of strategic reasons as written below. The major choices involved where I am showing a distinct preference for leadership are “not Mulcair” and “Nash over Dewar of the various not Mulcairs”.  These are the decisions that I think will be relevant in down ballot considerations which will most likely result in a race between Mulcair and one of the other contenders,

. . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: My NDP leadership ballot rankings

Accidental Deliberations: The decisive question

Following up on my candidate questionnaire and previous posts about party organization, I’ll offer my own observations on the final two questions I posed to the leadership candidates.

I start from the premise that the primary goals of a leader are to serve as the party’s public face and chief strategist. And while all of the candidates have shown at least some obvious ability in either or both of those areas, the biggest issue facing members this week will be to sort through the fact that there’s such a wide range of strengths which may not all be applied under

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: The decisive question

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Candidate Rankings – March 18, 2012

Since last week, we’ve seen the NDP’s leadership campaign win plenty more attention in the media. But has any of the news managed to change the positioning of the candidates?

1. Thomas Mulcair (1)

Well, we’ve certainly seen Thomas Mulcair under the microscope more than he’s ever been. But while the week gave rise to a couple of points which may not help his cause (with controversy over his positions on marijuana decriminalization and Syria among the points which may lose him later-ballot support), he still looks likely to hold a significant first-ballot lead over the next tier of

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Candidate Rankings – March 18, 2012

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Questionnaire Response – Paul Dewar

While noting the resources involved in responding to a request for information delivered late in the NDP’s leadership campaign, I have to be impressed when a candidate who could easily enough have pointed to a well-publicized platform plank instead deal directly with the specific issues raised in a questionnaire. And the final two responses get extra points on that front – starting with Paul Dewar. 1. As leader, what changes (if any) would you seek to make to the NDP’s:(a) caucus management and discipline?

I know that as a big tent, our party includes a diversity of opinion. As

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Questionnaire Response – Paul Dewar

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

The latest couple of days worth of news as the NDP’s leadership campaign enters its final week – aside from multiple candidates including Niki Ashton, Paul Dewar and Peggy Nash all taking the opportunity to call for unity in the wake of the continued overreaction to Ed Broadbent’s latest comments.

- Ashton made the case for the NDP to hold a prairie breakthrough conference.

- Cullen was profiled by Allan Woods, while earning endorsements from Stephen Elliott-Buckley and a noteworthy set of Saskatchewan stalwarts including Peter Prebble and Nettie Wiebe.

- Thomas Mulcair won a number of endorsements for

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

A couple more days’ worth of developments in the NDP’s leadership campaign…

- Niki Ashton argued that Canada’s grain supply should be considered a strategic resource in evaluating takeover bids for Viterra, and earned a glowing profile from Carol Goar.

- Nathan Cullen unveiled another caucus endorsement from Bruce Hyer (who also listed Thomas Mulcair and Paul Dewar as his ballot choices), while earning some fund-raising support from former B.C. Premier Glen Clark. And as pointed out by Dan, he also clarified that joint nominations aren’t the only possibility on the table to beat the Cons: Yahoo!: Are

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Followup commentary from the final NDP leadership on Sunday, as well as a couple more days worth of developments in the campaign.

- Most of the post-debate coverage focused on a Thomas Mulcair-vs-the field contrast, while Quinn and Adventures in Socialism offered a few more interesting observations.

- Niki Ashton released her arts and culture policy, including a couple of proposals which could offer far better rights for art consumers and producers alike: •Promoting ideas like the “creative commons” which provide a means for artists to protect the use and integrity of their work while allowing others to

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Progressive Proselytizing: Vancouver NDP leadership debate candidate rankings

The NDP’s final leadership debate wrapped up today in Vancouver in advance of the March 24th leadership convention. It has been a long road since the first debate back in Ottawa, and every candidate has managed to both improve their debating skills as well as set out key policy and stylistic differences between themselves and their competitors. Between watching a couple debates and reading platforms online, I believe that everyone can make an informed choice on March 24th. The following is my rankings and commentary for the Vancouver debate.

1) Tom Mulcair: It is always difficult to win a debate . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Vancouver NDP leadership debate candidate rankings

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Candidate Rankings – March 11, 2012

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen what look to be a couple of noteworthy efforts among the NDP’s leadership candidates to reach out to other campaigns’ supporters in order to win over the down-ballot support that will likely decide the outcome of the campaign. So how have those efforts changed my rankings as to who’s most likely to emerge as the winner?

1. Thomas Mulcair (1)

Not much at the top, as Mulcair still looks like at least an even-odds candidate to win. He didn’t offer a great deal in response to a series of direct questions as

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Candidate Rankings – March 11, 2012

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

A few days worth of news from the NDP’s leadership campaign…

- Niki Ashton appealed to NDP members to consider the need to build among younger voters.

- Co-campaign manager Jamey Heath took to the opinion pages in defence of Nathan Cullen’s joint nomination proposal. But I seem to recall much of the same argument being applied to a rather different conclusion (emphasis added): The NDP needs to grow and add a part, in small-l liberals who have concluded the big-L Liberal charade is too hollow to support. It is like Lego, and if we want a bigger progressive party

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

Song of the Watermelon: Reading the NDP Tea Leaves

Any good pundit (for is that not what I aspire to become?) must dispense with caution and modesty from time to time and, in godlike fashion, attempt to predict the future. It is a virtually risk-free enterprise. If my prediction turns out wrong, no one will notice or care, because the political commentariat never gets these things right anyway. If, however, my prediction is borne out, I will be showered with fame and fortune as a prophet and soothsayer, notwithstanding the laws of statistics which dictate that even the unlikeliest of occurrences is bound to be correctly guessed by

. . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Reading the NDP Tea Leaves

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

As we enter the last few weeks of the NDP’s leadership race, we’re of course seeing loads of attention. But what from the flurry of activity might actually affect the results of the leadership race as well as the party’s future development?

- Niki Ashton took questions at Rabble, including this on how to fight back against the Cons: I have dealt with the Conservative attack machine directly. In 2006 I was targeted because i was nominated and campaigned in support of same-sex marriage. In the 2011 election I was targeted by Conservative robocalls because I support trans-gendered rights. I

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2012 Roundup

CalgaryGrit: The Dippers Vote

Ballots have arrived to thousands of NDP members, who now have until March 24th to vote for a leader.

Originally, the field reminded me a lot of the 2006 Liberal leadership race, with the role of the establishment front runner lacking elected experience played by Brian Topp, the polished veteran who wore different colours provincially played by Thomas Mulcair, the bushy haired do-gooder with weak French played by Paul Dewar, and the party stalwart and unelectable consensus candidate played by Peggy Nash.

Since then, the race has morphed into something completely different, with most indicators suggesting a pack of four

. . . → Read More: CalgaryGrit: The Dippers Vote