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Accidental Deliberations: Movements and moments

Let’s continue this line of thought about the federal NDP’s most recent election campaign with my slight twist on one of the more familiar questions which has faced the party (in various forms) over a period of decades.I’ll start by drawing a distincti… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Movements and moments

Accidental Deliberations: On balancing acts

For those wondering, I’m indeed following up on these posts and working my way through some of the factors in the NDP’s federal election result. (For more on the subject, see the latest from Lawrence Martin, and Desmond Cole talking to Cheri DiNovo.)I’… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On balancing acts

Accidental Deliberations: On open questions

I’ve previously criticized the attempts of outside commentators to push Thomas Mulcair out the door as NDP leader. By the same token, though, I’ll note that it’s equally inappropriate to try to immediately declare that there won’t be any review of Mulcair’s leadership before the next federal election – which seems to be the spin some people are putting on the aftermath of this fall’s election (if not exactly the party’s own message).

To be clear, it’s fine for Mulcair to make a personal commitment to run given the opportunity to do so. But it’s ultimately up to NDP members (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On definitions

The post-mortems on the NDP’s federal election campaign continue to roll in. And it’s particularly a plus to see that there will be a systematic effort within the party itself to review the choices which led to the election results – both for better and for worse.

In the meantime, I’ll continue pointing out my own view of the campaign with another of the crucial pieces of the puzzle – that being the NDP’s handling of Justin Trudeau.

At the beginning, the process of jockeying for position between the opposition options dating back to Trudeau’s election as the Libs’ leader (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: NDP Lost The Election When They Stopped Being The Social Conscience Of Canada

Don Maroc

Coming out of the starting gate with what they thought was a good lead Jeremy Corbyn. They were bounced from a strong position as the Queen’s Loyal Opposition, with 103 seats, to

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Accidental Deliberations: On missed opportunities

As mentioned here, I’ll be adding over the next little while to an already-substantial set of views on the NDP’s choices which led to last week’s federal election results. But I’ll start by expanding on a point which I made briefly earlier in the campaign (at a time when it was far from clear how the choice would play out).

I noted then the dangers of playing it “safe” by limiting the number and type of debates early in the campaign – particularly for a party with a well-liked leader, but relatively few mouthpieces in the media to carry (Read more…)

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Thomas Mulcair is Only a Symptom of a Much Bigger Problem for the NDP

“The party got off to a bad start with its election promise to balance the budget without raising taxes. That promise, difficult to honour during a period of general economic turmoil, would seriously limit its policy options.”

That quote, though fitting, was not about the last federal election, but was written about the Nova Scotia NDP,  that got trounced after just one mandate.  The author, Howard Epstein,  was a long serving NDP MLA who wrote the book:  Hope betrayed? The Nova Scotia NDP’s rocky fall from power.

Epstein asks:  ”If the NDP can’t differentiate itself from other (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- I’ll start in on my own review of the NDP’s election campaign over the next few days, focusing on what I see as being the crucial decisions as the campaign played out. But for those looking for some of what’s been written already, I’ll point out recaps and analysis from Charlie Demers, Tim Ellis, Hassan Arif, Evan Dyer, Jenn Jefferys, Christopher Majka, Gerald Caplan, Jim Quail, Elizabeth McSheffrey and Paul Dechene – while noting that I’ll be challenging and/or expanding on some of their analysis (Read more…)

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 […]

The post Guest Post by Mimi Williams: When the NDP abandoned its socialist principles, it abandoned its chance of winning appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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 under a new leader in 1993, the NDP lost official party status – while watching the Liberals form a majority government and Reform take control of Canada’s policy agenda.

After the 2008 election, Jack Layton stayed on as leader. And the result was the 2011 (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On clean slates

Needless to say, last night’s election results represented something close to the NDP’s worst-case scenario on a lot of fronts: both in terms of seat counts, and losing the seats held by some of the most impressive MPs and candidates in Canadian politics. And I’ll comment in future posts on the areas where the NDP will want to take lessons away for future campaigns.

But there’s still some opportunity to be found in the identity (or lack thereof) of the new majority government – and it’s for the best that Tom Mulcair is planning to make the most of (Read more…)

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 The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 Campaign Closer: NDP

I’ve previously pointed out that others were far too quick to write off the NDP in Canada’s federal election. But it’s safe to say by now that it will be a surprise for the NDP to reach the heights it achieved earlier – even if that leaves plenty of room for both upside and downside when the results come in tomorrow.   The missing piece for an NDP majority or strong minority was always to be found in Ontario, where the polls have taken a distinct turn for the worse. And the path to get there looked to involve assembling (Read more…)

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, […]

The post Whatever happens next, Justin Trudeau has brought the Liberals back from the brink appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Eleven grinding weeks and this federal election comes down to a science question: momentum, or inertia?

PHOTOS: Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair on stage in Edmonton Friday night (photo by Olav Rokne). The red signs say “Stop Harper.” Perhaps at this hour they should say “Stop Trudeau!” Below: Well-known Alberta pollster Janet Brown, Calgary Centre Liberal candidate Kent Hehr, former Mississauga, Ont., mayor Hazel McCallion, and Australian campaign dirty-tricks mogul Lynton […]

The post Eleven grinding weeks and this federal election comes down to a science question: momentum, or inertia? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, making the case that Canadians should vote less based on perceptions of momentum (in terms of both policy and political positioning), and more based on where our parties and leaders actually stand.

For further reading…- The platform comparisons referenced in the column include Keith Stewart’s on climate change, the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s on health care, David Macdonald’s on budgeting, and OpenMedia’s on digital policy.- Meanwhile, David Macdonald also takes a look at the key messages being presented by each party.  – Finally, those looking to delve further into the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: 8 Ridings Where Voters Can Defeat Harper by Strategically Voting NDP

A Vancouver-based data scientist recently identified 8 riding where voters can move a step closer to defeating Stephen Harper – and installing Thomas Mulcair as Canada’s next prime minister – by strategically voting NDP on Oct. 19.

The post 8 Ridings Where Voters Can Defeat Harper by Strategically Voting NDP appeared first on The Canadian Progressive. Munk Debate glosses over Israel – is that a good thing?

Is that all there was? Given how much praise – and criticism – the Harper government’s strong support for Israel has attracted, it’s somewhat surprising that so little was said about the Jewish state in the Sept. 28 Munk Debate on foreign policy in Toronto. The night’s only exchange on Israel, between Prime Minister Stephen […]

Alberta Politics: Welcome to the Orwellian world of Wildrose, where keeping your promises makes you a liar

PHOTOS: Possibly the Globe and Mail’s best headline of the decade. Below: NDP Premier Rachel Notley, Wildrose Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt, the sailboat known as French Kiss, shown just to prove I didn’t make that part up, the full Globe headline, shown for the same reason. Is Alberta ready for democracy? Notwithstanding the unexpected election […]

The post Welcome to the Orwellian world of Wildrose, where keeping your promises makes you a liar appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: #elxn42 Platform Review – NDP

I’ve pointed out before that Tom Mulcair’s practice – both in pursuing the NDP’s leadership and in leading the party – has been to continue largely with the party’s existing policy base.

In keeping with that principle, the NDP’s platform doesn’t contain many surprises for anybody who’s kept a reasonably close eye on the party’s activity over the past few years. But there are certainly a few points worth highlighting – particularly to the extent they contrast against the plans of the Cons and Libs.

Some of the more noteworthy promises which haven’t received much notice so far include the (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: If Not Harper, Then Who?

“I’ve seen issues come up before that get a lot of press attention, and sometimes a photograph or sometimes a side issue can move votes, but I always believe that the big votes are moved on the big issues. I don’t believe that most people are attracted by the rabbit tracks of day-to-day media coverage.”—Stephen Harper

Hell will freeze over before anyone in the Soapbox family votes for Stephen Harper’s Conservative party; our big question is how do we decide between the Liberal candidate, Kent Hehr and the NDP candidate, Jillian Ratti?

Here’s a thought.

Let’s compare their party’s (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On continuing leadership

Others have responded to Chantal Hebert’s latest by pointing out her past track record of telling the NDP when to change leaders. But even leaving that history aside, it’s worth seriously questioning her assumptions.

To start with, I’m rather less certain than Hebert that even Stephen Harper will be out of the picture altogether by the next federal election, if only due to his suppression of any viable successors within his own party.

Given enough time (a majority or stable minority arrangement), a resignation and leadership race would be a logical course of action for the Cons. But if another (Read more…)

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.

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau’s Endorsement of Harper’s Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Insulting

Justin Trudeau blindly endorses the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, and then attacks Stephen Harper for failing to be transparent “especially in regards to what Canada is conceding”.

The post Trudeau’s Endorsement of Harper’s Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Insulting appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: On campaign reflections

There’s been a flurry of discussion elsewhere about the NDP’s campaign over the past couple of weeks, and I’ll chime in quickly with my own take on how the campaign has developed so far – and what we should hope for as it reaches its conclusion.

To start with, I see two points where there’s some basis for fourth-quarter-commercial-break quarterbacking as to the NDP’s campaign strategy.  First, I’ve previously pointed out the inherent flaw in the Cons’ plan to brand Justin Trudeau as “not ready”: while it might have been a valuable message as long as it stuck, it (Read more…)