11.06.2014 09:41 PM

Can someone explain to me why the NDP has decided to keep embarrassing itself?

The reality:


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78 Comments

  1. doconnor says:

    There is a good chance they will be revieled as the result of all of this. The Huffintion Post said they already know, but have choosen not to say.

  2. Attack! says:

    Yes, the NDP shouldn’t complain so bitterly about being blind-sided by the LPC on this considering that:

    1) they knew about the complaints;
    2) they knew the LPC knew about & were actively investigating the complaints over the past week; &
    3) that it had a caucus meeting that day, when such an announcement might be made in the traditional scrum after it (as when he ejected the Liberals from the Senate); &
    4) John Ivison tweeted the night before that “News expected from Liberal caucus Wednesday – possible suspensions over sexual harassment allegations.”
    https://twitter.com/IvisonJ/status/529854574522564609

    • Kev says:

      The NDP are complaining because they didn’t get to deploy the stink-bomb. And, if Ottawa scuttlebutt is to be believed, their own shrieking about the sanctity of victim’s privacy is sheer hypocrisy, because their own planned press conference got run over by Trudeau’s!!!!!

      That is the only thing they are pissed off about.

  3. stan says:

    Maybe people who have been sexually abused would be better off if we all tried focusing on helping the victims as opposed to trying to score cheap political points.

    • Greg from Calgary says:

      Exactly. People on the outside don’t know what happened but now they want to score political points. The women themselves are upset JT went public. Well it’s too late for that but how about everyone else calm down and stop throwing comments around. Remember how people rushed to Ghomenshis defence only to have to back peddle later. It’s happening again. Ready, fire, aim.

  4. J. Maxwell says:

    Because you asked:

    * “Ghomeshi’s public persona as an enlightened, sensitive progressive who called Jack Layton his “mentor” – MacLean’s

    * “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff. – Frank Zappa

    *No one wants to admit NPD/Labour is blighted with vicious Bolshis; as such, don’t be surprised at totally insane tactics and forays from time to time e.g. Andrew Murray, Chief of Staff of Britain’s largest trade union Unite, launched a group supporting pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine: Solidarity With The Antifascist Resistance In Ukraine (SARU). Introduced as representing the Communist Party of Britain, it branded the Kiev government “fascist.” Unite has given £28.9 million to Labour. Analysts observe that in return for its funding, Unite exerts an increasingly tight hold over Labour; some describe Murray as the single most powerful man in British unions. The reports of Leninist thugs stripping the dead passengers of MH17 of jewelry and cash and leaving them to bloat in the hot sun apparently did not register with Murray. Murray owns a luxury £900,000 townhouse in a gated community in Islington – evidently, all animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others. He ranted before a Communist Party of Britain meeting: ‘If the Government continues to govern in this way, it’s up to us to make the country ungovernable’ – surely a thinly veiled invitation to treason and insurrection.

    *The embrace of “Quebec nationalism” has led to other nationalisms, factionalisms, out to uncontained balkanization – it’s the old question: where does it end – ironically, the increased likelihood “progressives” losing – e.g.” …Edmonston, a Quebec nationalist, frequently clashed with his own party over this position on Canadian federalism.”

    *In conclusion: much of the NDP simply can’t abide compromise – must maintain ideological purity as a Leninist/vanguardist party – therefore, nor can they understand the idea of a broad, united front. The NDP are Harper’s favorite friend. They hinder the Liberal Party growing larger and force the Liberal Party into odd contortions explaining how they can reconcile dekulakization and free enterprise.

    *Maybe the silver lining in this whole nasty incident is now maybe team JT will understand suppressing the NDP is about as important and suppressing Harper. Harper is merely defensive, trying to maintain and play to base. The NDP is aggressive, believing their majority lies in plundering the Liberal base. As you point out, Mulcair sat on this thing, let it ripen in the blackmail vault, and then pushed it out there at just right time. He didn’t care about the victims – see Bolshi tactics above. Crank up the Ted Nugent and get loaded for NDP boar. No, it doesn’t always make sense.

  5. debs says:

    its baffling!

  6. !o! says:

    Yeah, pretty obvious ploy on the NDPs part:

    1) come forward with allegations of harassment, request something be done. . .
    2a) If nothing is done, later accuse Liberals of covering up harassment.
    2b) If MPs are suspended without official reason, accuse Liberals of corruption and demand that the truth be released!
    2c) If MPs are suspended because of harassment, accuse Liberals of profiting from the private lives of victims of harassment, and re-victimizing them through publicizing their suffering.

    I think the fact that the ploy is so obvious makes the NDP look pretty bad, even to Ma and Pa frontporch. The response most people get from hearing the accusations of ‘re-victimizing’ fly is “well what was JT supposed to do here? cover it up?”.

    • Just Askin' says:

      Imagine if a corporate executive or a human resources manager made a public announcement about a workplace harassment investigation before it had been completed, and before a complainant had made any public comment. Would that be acceptable? If so, why? If not, what makes this situation different?

      Ghomeshi showed his employers evidence of his depravity, thus basically firing himself. If Trudeau does not have a smoking gun (of which we are all currently unaware), maybe you’re right, and he assumed that the NDP were trying to set him up…but wouldn’t that mean he thinks the complainants lack credibility, and that he’s trying to “get in front” of the situation for political purposes?

      Time will tell, I think.

  7. Wes says:

    The point is that Trudeau did not need to hold a press conference to suspend the two MPs – all that’s needed is the letter from Judy Foote to the Speaker informing the latter of the suspensions. No need and no reason to discuss the issue publicly at all. The reason for Trudeau’s public comments was to publicize his actions (in a similar vein to his Senate expulsions), which is about politics. The suspensions were the right move, but by making it a public issue (which they shouldn’t be) he politicized them. It was inappropriate and disrespectful to make public the allegations without the prior consent of the victims. We wouldn’t accept such behaviour in private sector workplaces, & the same should go for Parliament Hill.

    • G. Babbitt says:

      I called my local NDP candidate and the staffer gave me a similar answer. This is the best you can do. The Liberals did not identify the MPs and in fact didn’t say they were MPs before the NDP put it in a backgrounder. The CBC went “public” when they suspended Ghomeshi. When Torys law firm had to back off a merger with a US firm because of harassment issues, they went “public.” You can’t suspend two MPs without it creating questions from the media, so instead of it leaking out, Trudeau deals with it quickly, publicly. IF the NDP didn’t harp on it, the issue would probably be gone.

      • Wes says:

        Just because the media asks questions doesn’t mean you have to answer them. A simple press release stating they have been suspended for ‘conduct unbecoming a MP’ would be more than enough, & if the media ask questions refer them back to the press release. No one *made* Trudeau have a press conference to discuss them. As for leaks, I really wonder who Ivison’s source was for the tweet about sexual harassment allegations the night before they were made public – if it was a Liberal source, as is likely, then the Liberals were already playing politics before Trudeau’s speech (i.e. moving the issue from ‘Lib MPs harass’ to ‘Trudeau’s decisive condemnation of sexual harassment’).

        Also, all this public debate about who said what, and who had the right to say what, will likely only make women *less* likely to come forward if they have been harassed. Having gone through such a traumatic event, why on earth would they want to take action if it’s going to result in such a media circus?

        To be clear, I think Trudeau’s decision to suspend the two MPs was the right one, and reflects very well on him not only as a political leader but as a person. However, there should never have been any press conference.

        • G. Babbitt says:

          Bottom line is that Mulcair did nothing about sexual harassment. He used the excuse that the victims don’t want to file charges as a reason to do nothing. Why didn’t he approach Trudeau and the Liberals and say “we have to do something about some of your caucus members, we don’t think this is a political issue so we can figure out a way to this quietly.” Instead his inaction precipitated one of the victims to approach the leader of a rival party with her concerns. And at this point it was Trudeau’s problem, he can’t unhear the accusation. Then when he acts decisively all Mulcair can do his chide him for holding a press conference because the media in Ottawa would accept the suspension of two MPs without digging into the issue and probably invading the privacy of the victims. Yeah you’re right Trudeau didn’t want the story to be “Libs harrass,” but that is the story and he also added the story that when faced with accusations of harassment you must remove the threat (at least temporarily). Now Mr. Mulcair can’t stand that Trudeau did the right thing so he spews reckless accusations of revictimization.

        • David M says:

          A low key sale of the suspensions would likely raise the scrutiny level just as quickly or maybe faster.

          • jeff316 says:

            No, a low-key suspension during the investigation period would have worked given that both parties, the victims and the alleged perpetrators, would have wanted to keep this under wraps.

            I don’t think Justin went public for political reasons – I think he thought he was doing the right thing – but it was a terrible move for the people involved in this.

      • Just Askin' says:

        Ghomeshi “went public” when he posted that diatribe on Facebook. The CBC reacted to his actions.

    • smelter rat says:

      FFS, how can he suspend 2 MP’s and not make it public?

      • davie says:

        He could have let the two whips handle it with the Speaker’s office help, done it in a closed session (as the two accusers asked).
        Your whip was handling it, she was doing her job in cooperation with the other whip. Whatever was happening could have been sorted, and the misconduct stopped.
        But your guy cut your whip and her work at the knees because he had to get a spotlight on himself.

        If anyone is interested in the (supposed) victims hare, then pay attention to Turmel, saying that the two accusers are furious at Trudeau’s betrayal.

  8. Curtis in Calgary says:

    It’s almost as though they had hoped to politically embarrass Trudeau and the Liberals but never factored in that he might act so swiftly and decisively. The NDP backpeddling on this could power a small town.

    What I don’t understand is why two MPs elected to defend the rights of others and stand up and be counted on matters of principle would choose silence now? Silence perpetuated Mount Cachel and only when some victims bravely decided to come forward did the wheels of justice begin to move. Graham James would surely have been happier if Theo Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy had remained silent. Child abuse was consistently deemed a private matter just a couple of generations ago. Silence never helped them. Jian Ghomeshi would surely have preferred his ‘dates’ to have remained silent.

    Only by bringing such matters in to the public sphere can attitudes and positive change really begin.

    The NDP behaviour doesn’t pass the smell test.

    • Wes says:

      It’s their choice – they’re the victims here, so if they want to remain silent that their prerogative. No one has the right to make that decision for them.

      Moreover, they *did* report the events, and they would have been dealt with regardless of whether Trudeau decided to go public with the allegations.

    • jeff316 says:

      Think of this as a workplace.

      You go to your manager about the behaviour of a colleague and ask for it to be dealt with in confidence and privately.

      Instead of dealing with it through the proper channels, without warning or asking the manager makes a public announcement to the workplace that the person you complained about was fired because of allegations from a staffer.

      Well that’s going to be a chill on further reporting, isn’t it! Do you think, after this, that MPs or staffers that are subject to harassment are more or less likely to report it? Now it is the latter

      Trudeau was in a tough spot but honestly, I’m surprised that someone like Warren doesn’t get this.

  9. Left Flank says:

    You mean like you embarrassed yourself by rushing to defend Jian Ghomesi on this website? Yes, we all saw that before you deleted it.

  10. G. Babbitt says:

    I am a toggle voter between the NDP and Liberal Party and I am so disgusted with the NDP behavior on this issue. I don’t want to, but I think I have to agree with Curtis in Calgary, this doesn’t pass the smell test. What is worse is that it erases the amazing paradigm shift that the Ghomeshi case caused. The focus was on sexual harassment and abuse not on the behavior of the women in question. It doesn’t matter if the women didn’t press charges or even if they went out with him again. It is assault and it is society’s job to stop these predators and to make workplaces free of harassment. Trudeau hears a complaint and at that point it is HIS problem — He has someone who is possibly a sexual harasser in his caucus. He acts not as a proxy for the women but as the leader of a party who needs his party to be free of those who would sexual harass. Now Mulcair calls this revictimization. Great! Now what does this say to managers who get a complaint about sexual harassment from someone who doesn’t want to go on record. Nothing I guess.

    • Pat says:

      A very bizarre way to deal with a problem like this is expulsion without even hearing their side of the story. Call it impulsive, naked pandering or whatever. The only logical reason for acting without consulting the accused would be because these two alleged perpetrators have a record or a history of the sort of behaviour they’re been accused of. but if that’s the case, then why wasn’t it dealt with sooner?

      I said earlier that Trudeau did what any leader would do in this environment. But I was assuming he at least employed a modicum of judicial procedure. Goodness, all he did was say, “Hey, how do I score from this?”

      There’s no “win” here except for the Conservatives who, for the time being can skate by this sordid mess.

      I can’t imagine WK the solicitor would condone Trudeau’s course of action had he known Trudeau’s due diligence was so superficial.

      • doconnor says:

        According to the letter to the speaker the Liberal Whip met with the accused and they denied the allegations. So they where consulted.

      • Scotian says:

        *SIGH*

        I just finished refuting this nonsense in the last thread, the Lib MPs were NOT expelled, they were SUSPENDED, and suspended while an investigation is conducted. This is actually a fairly normal practice in the real world to see happen when someone has had a serious complaint filed against them, and a preliminary investigation decides there is merit in a full on investigation/process. Trudeau did do a preliminary investigation via the Whips, and on that basis decided there was enough to go forward with an outside the party process, which in turn was also enough to require action like suspension being taken. This is beginning to look like the birth of a “zombie lie” (love that descriptor from Bill Maher) from Trudeau foes/critics, damn the facts just smear smear smear. These MPs have not been convicted and punished, they have been forced to go through the same sort of suspension that other professions require in similar circumstances once a formal investigation is deemed necessary. Why this is so hard for some to grasp is difficult to understand except for two reasons, unwillingness to acknowledge reality or profound ignorance of reality. Take your pick on this one.

      • Terry Quinn says:

        Pat….an illogical answer and very pointed in the wrong direction. Mulcair is the one playing politics here, not Trudeau. He was told direct;y of the problem and as the previous poster stated it was then his responsibility to act and he did. You can quibble about the way he did it but you don’t, and nor do I, know the reason he went public the way he did. It was his call and he took action.

    • Terry Quinn says:

      G. Babbit…brilliant response and well thought out.

  11. Robin says:

    Given the allegations, Mr. Mulcair, Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, could have approached the Internal Economy Board and the Speaker to inform them that two of his female Caucus colleagues had approached him with allegations of misconduct by two MPs from another party (without revealing which party, this would ensure the attention of Conservatives and Liberals ) and that a third party independent process for receiving and resolving workplace complaints needs to be established in order for the allegations to be dealt with prudently and discreetly, otherwise, the matter would have to be handled publicly.

    Unfortunately, despite the alleged victims’ desire for anonymity, one of the alleged victims decided to speak to Mr. Trudeau directly either because they were unhappy with Mr. Mulcair’s handling of their allegations or simply to put Mr. Trudeau in a difficult position.

    Either way, Mr. Mulcair failed to handle the allegations effectively or it wouldn’t have been made public, something the alleged victims apparently didn’t want.

  12. Joe says:

    When all the dust has settled on this mess I think Trudeau is going to come out the worse for wear. I think he acted prematurely and holding a say nothing press conference was politics at its worst. Had the entire case been handled with discretion by both the accusers and the accused a much better outcome would be possible. Sexual harassment is, unfortunately, an ill defined concept and as such is open to an extremely wide interpretation based on personalities, circumstances and interpretations. I remember one young woman at the beach telling me to stop staring at her. I asked her to move because I was watching my two young sons playing at waters edge and she was in between us. She had moved into my field of view after my sons started playing in the water.

    In the Ottawa instance I don’t know what transpired between the accused and the accusers iand being the person I am I don’t leap to conclusions based on one side of the story. I read Jian’s facebook account of his sexual preferences and realized the account was plausible but I needed to hear the other side before forming an opinion. The same in this case. In truth I haven’t heard either side’s account of what happened and can only surmise that one leader thought he could prove his sensitivity to feminist causes and make political hay from it.

  13. Reality.Bites says:

    Normally when there is any kind of impropriety on the part of an MP, it tarnishes the party as a whole. Sometimes a small amount, sometimes a large amount.

    The NDP has managed to have two of their own MPs claim to be the VICTIMS of Liberal MPs and somehow managed to tarnish their own party instead of the Liberals.

    According to Chantal Hebert “In interviews this week NDP whip Nycole Turmel stated the MPs chose not to file formal complaints for fear of destroying the careers of their Liberal colleagues.”

    If they didn’t want to file formal complaints then their only option was to shut up. Otherwise they were destroying the MPs’ careers and relationships with Trudeau anyway, without giving them any way to defend themselves.

    • Terry Quinn says:

      +! for reality bites

    • davie says:

      I suggest there was a possibility the two accusers were being harassed.
      The main thing the accusers wanted was for the harassment to stop. I suggest this because of my own (limited, perhaps) experience with this stuff.
      The accusers also wanted it dealt with out of the public eye, no need to wreck anyone. Just let the accused know that someone else knew what was happening, and get them to stop.
      The situation could have been dealt with between the accusers, the accused with a 3rd party, the Speaker’s office, or someone suggested by the Speaker’s office.
      The two whips were working on this. The Lib whip sent a note to the Speaker looking for help because it was a situation between the two parties.
      Mulcair was okay with this, and let his whip handle it.
      Trudeau and his handlers decided that here was a photo op chance.
      He played the toughie leader, kicking out of his caucus two guys, solid MP’s, likely decent if given a chance, teasing with the announcement, pretending decency by with holding the specific names.
      Your guy shafted his whip and her work, shafted two guys who could have been smartened up, and shafted the two accusers who did not wish to go full throttle with publicity and formal ‘process.’ All to make himself look like the defender and righteous noble.

      I do not know the nature of the allegations, but, right now, I am thinking that what I have said here is close to what has unfolded.

      • jeff316 says:

        As someone who has been subject to workplace harassment and has reported it, I can say that Davie’s following comment was bang-on in my case:

        “The accusers also wanted it dealt with out of the public eye, no need to wreck anyone. Just let the accused know that someone else knew what was happening, and get them to stop.”

        I think that’s a reasonable expectation.

  14. socks clinton says:

    NDP MPs have been known to inflate their allegations. In the early days when Harper was in power a Conservative MP was reading his email in the House of Commons and opened up an attachment of his girlfriend wearing a bikini. A female NDP MP looked over his shoulder and reported that he was viewing “pornography”.

    • Terry Quinn says:

      Hey big Al, did you look at the responses to the Coyne article. A right wing religious nut bar going whacko as a Conservative God Fearing person. Might have been you using an alias

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        I go out of my way to ignore comments following online articles, even at the National Post.

        And not that it matters, but I don’t do religion.

  15. CecilR says:

    Does this mess delay merger talks between the Libs and Dips, I wonder?! Oh, Warren, when will the divided and dispossessed centre-left of the Canadian political realm ever come together to be able to challenge the Con hordes from AB?!

    • Terry Quinn says:

      I think JT will take care of the NDP on an election battlefield.

      • davie says:

        You may be right…but if there is anything to what I suspect here, a Lib leader opting for a photo op by sacrificing the work his whip was doing with the whip of another party to solve a problem, then this side of him will quickly show up, especially if people give him more power than he has now. This guy could make a whole lot of people a whole bunch sorry for supporting his ‘gosh darn I’m great’ charisma.

      • jeff316 says:

        I agree Terry but this has been terribly managed by Trudeau (and Mulcair), even if Canadian’s perception of Trudeau’s action is net positive. It’s a terrible mishap.

        • Terry Quinn says:

          I totally disagree. The fact he was told directly by one of the “victims” left him no choice but to act. The fact is he also wrote to parliament but if his members were suspended w/o any comment from him that would have looked really bad. He took action required at the time. Mulcair, on the other hand knew about it months before and never spoke to JT about it. He too, once told, had an obligation NOT to keep it quiet even if requested by the victim.

          Trudeau comes off as decisive here and can take his MP’s back if they are exonerated.

          • jeff316 says:

            No. Absolutely not. You are completely in the wrong no ifs ands or buts.

            This is not how harassment in the workplace is dealt with. Harassment in the workplace is about the victim.

            There is never an obligation on the part of an employer to go public about an allegation against the wishes of the victim. Never.

            Trudeau definitely comes out looking good politically. The average Canadian, neither being an employer or being harassed in the workplace, will understandably not understand. But this was disastrous for future reporting of harassment in the house and in the workplace. A complete disaster.

          • davie says:

            To use a quote a well known to Libs, “You had an option, sir, …”

  16. G. McRae says:

    I wonder how deep the sexist behavior runs in the LPC? Maybe the Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti were just following their leader… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9qgi6yD1LM and http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/11/11/justin_trudeaus_tonedeaf_ladies_night_sign_of_larger_problem.html this in the past?

    • Terry Quinn says:

      Wow, into the depths of despair the opponents of JT need to go to. One should realize the tories refused to pass a bill on harassment in the government apparatus, IE the HOC. If one wants to exemplify the past we should go and loo at Vic Toews and his record with women. of course that didn’t stop harper from giving him a judgeship.

      In other words grow up. The Dippers are all abuzz over this because their leader tried to be cute and has been outed. He also has hiss won problems with a lawsuit against the party for a former staffer who was wrongly dismissed and harassed in her workplace.

      • G. McRae says:

        Slippery slope. If it is acceptable for a leader to behave in such an unbecoming way, underlings can take that as implicit acceptance of how women are to be treated and take it a step further.

        • Terry Quinn says:

          Except its only you who perceives that apparently.

          • Just Askin' says:

            Trudeau’s striptease was douche central. The Cons should buy airtime to run the full, unedited video, rather than continue with their “In Over His Head” hot mess of an ad campaign.

    • davie says:

      I have heard and read only that there is some kind of harassment, that two women in one party wanted two men to stop some kind of harassment. I have not see that it is sexist or sexual harassment.

  17. Terry Quinn says:

    here is a good summary of what really happens in parliament and why JT probably went public:
    http://www.hilltimes.com/copps-corner/2014/11/10/i-was-sexually-assaulted-when-i-was-an-mpp-and-ive-been-raped-copps/40214

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