Wednesday, February 17, 2016

They're Not Happy


Tom Mulcair will soon face a leadership review. If those who attend the convention are anything like Gerry Caplan, Mulcair won't have an easy time of it. Caplan writes:

As someone who loudly endorsed Mr. Mulcair for leader, what bothered me so much about the campaign was how many bad judgments he and his advisers made, judgments that were quite clearly off-base at the time.

In a nutshell, Mulcair wasn't Jack Layton:

They ignored Jack Layton’s final gift to his party: the theme for the 2015 campaign. Literally on his deathbed, Jack memorably offered the party his last, best advice:

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

But Caplan  is not just upset about the tone his party adopted. His anger has been stoked by policy decisions:

Instead of a campaign that mobilized NDP activists by making them proud of their party, Mr. Mulcair and his team instead presented a set of ideological conservative propositions that demoralized party members from the get-go. New Democrats were both perplexed and deeply disappointed to find balanced budgets and no deficits to be the major economic policies their leader offered the nation. While activists were passionate about reducing the curse of inequality, the NDP campaign served up knee-jerk neoliberal economics that even mainstream economists had repudiated.

And, then, there were the debates:

Was it really possible that Mr. Mulcair’s team refused to participate in a debate on women’s issues unless the Prime Minister did? What could the campaign have been thinking? The only acceptable NDP answer had been: Yes, we’ll be there. Full stop. But no “there” ever happened. There was only one culprit to blame, and many did.

Caplan was equally displeased with Ontario's Andrea Horwath. He gives credit to Mulcair for standing up the Harperites attack on the niqab. Nonetheless, if Caplan's  views are mainstream, the Dippers aren't happy these days. 


Anonymous said...

I voted NDP ever since I moved back to Canada but it really took me by surprise when horwath took the idiotic hard right turn in her speechifying here in Ontario. I knew right then and there that Ontario was a lost cause for the NDP with that kind of witless leadership trying to appeal the heil harper rightwing crowd for extra votes. Then when I watched helplessly as mulcair snatched a huge defeat from the jaws of victory I knew that there was no such thing as an NDP party here in Canada anymore.
If the NDP wants to ever again be in any position of importance in this country, they need to get rid of the center-right bullshit artists they have positioned as their leaders. If we wanted more of heil harper, we would have let him steal another election. We didnt need his b.s. disguised as NDP platform to further boggle the minds of the undecided voters. mulcair and horwath HAVE to go in order for this party to ever gain any semblance of credibility in Canada again, especially after mulcair said he will not leave his position of power willingly. Tin pot dictator, despot and sociopath are words that come to mind when I hear statements like that. I aint saying......I am just saying....

Owen Gray said...

My hunch is that a lot of Dippers feels as you do, Anon.

lungta said...

me voting ndp with visions of Tommy Douglas
is about as deluded as
conservatives voting conservative with visions of peter lougheed
which leaves the liberals
who may turn out to be
hunchbacked harper
with dipper slippers on
i can hardly wait for the honeymoon to end
to see if the rubber hits the road

Owen Gray said...

It won't be long, lungta, before the rubber does hit the road.

The Mound of Sound said...

I am grateful that Mulcair ran such a disastrous election. If we had been saddled with a minority Liberal or minority New Democrat government, Parliament could have dissolved into endless partisan infighting that would have served the Conservatives' purposes very nicely.

Let's be fair to Tommy Angry Beard. All he really did was show voters, especially those inclined to support the NDP, the culmination of Layton and Mulcair's efforts to Blairify the party. They had already abandoned the Left years earlier but few New Dems were willing to admit it.

And let's be honest about Justin while we're on this topic. He was supposed to scrape the Tory off our boots. So far he's been putting an extra load of black polish on the uppers but most of the dung remains intact. He hasn't sacked the NEB shills. We still have the war wagon deal with the Saudis. He's doing bugger all about Israel. Climate change? Has he shown any inclination to get the country out of the bitumen trafficking business? Not that I've seen and yet it's been scientifically established that, if our grandkids are to have a chance, 80% of proven fossil fuel reserves - starting with the high-cost/high-carbon fuels - have to be left in the ground.

Still it's good to have a majority government that's not Conservative and, for that, we must thank Tom Mulcair. He made it possible.

Lorne said...

Caplan has clearly given voice to what many of us have been feeling, Owen, both provincially and nationally. When leaders betray party principles in pursuit of power, they have rendered themselves both unelectable and undesirable. In the last provincial election, I would have dearly loved to have voted NDP, but Horwath's tack to the right and her needless forcing of an election revealed her lack of character and fitness, and now we are reaping the results of her flaws: a re-elected Liberal Party selling off the majority of Hydro One, continuing its neoliberal practices, and despite its efforts to appease and woo the corporate sector, continuing to oversee an anemic economy. Federally, despite his formidable intellect, Mulcair now has to bear the consequences of his own stupid choices.

Owen Gray said...

True, Mound. Because of Mulcair, Harper is gone. We'll see if the folks who replaced his folks are any better.

Owen Gray said...

And, as Mound points out, abandoning party principles began with Layton, Lorne. Mulcair doesn't bear all the blame.

ron wilton said...

Sorry guys, but the rubber has already hit the road and that road was a tarmac.

The plane has landed and will not be disembarking anytime soon.

With harper we knew we weren't getting what they pretended to offer and we never would.

With Tom we had our lingering doubts about the man but the backroom boys made us really nervous.

With Pierre's first son we got what we saw and heard and nothing has given most of us pause for doubt.

I fully expect JT and company to deliver fully on the best of the choices we were realistically offered.

Sorry Elizabeth, but if history is any consolation, you will be proven right.

Owen Gray said...

So far, ron, Justin has been more about process and access than product. His consultation and availability are refreshing changes. We'll really know what he's made of after his first budget.

Hugh said...

I don't see what's so bad about a balanced budget. Rather than plunging the country into infinite un-payable debt, which is where we're going.

Mulcair also seems more opposed to garbage like TPP and Bill C-51.

Owen Gray said...

His style seemed to resemble Harper's, Hugh. At his first press conference after the election call, he refused -- like Harper -- to take questions.

Hugh said...

We need infinite debt-funded stimulus to grow the GDP, in order to sustain the growing debt. Somehow I don't think this will work.

Owen Gray said...

Stimulus doesn't have to be forever, Hugh. Like a pump that's been primed, the economy can begin running on a virtuous cycle -- if the priming is done well.

Steve said...

Tom was a Harper, case closed

Owen Gray said...

I'm not sure he was a Harper, Steve. But he looked a lot like one.