04.07.2016 10:00 AM

Dear Dipper mutineers

As you wing your way to Edmonton, have a safe trip.

And if you are looking for something to read, here is a snippet from next week’s Hill Times column.

“…Tom Mulcair made some mistakes, sure. He embraced the losing electoral strategy of Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow: he moved to the ideological Right. On deficits, on defence, on virtually any issue, the New Democrat leader didn’t sound like a traditional New Democrat. In his mad dash to get to the centre, he left behind his bewildered NDP voters, who accordingly wandered over to the more-progressive Trudeau Liberals.

But, guess what, NDP caucus, and NDP candidates and NDP core? You enthusiastically applauded all that, every step of the way. You didn’t say a word – not a single word – objecting to any of it when you could have. You, like Mulcair, had witnessed Rachel Notley’s rush to the centre, and her resulting historic victory. And you figured you could do the same thing federally. You figured wrong.

So, did Tom Mulcair snatch defeat from the proverbial jaws of victory? For sure. But so did you, Team Orange. So did you. Your fingerprints are all over the crime scene, too.”

Yours,

Warren

16 Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Question for the Dippers:

    You vote out Mulcair as leader, who the hell replaces him??

    Are you going to try getting one of the recently defeated NDP vets like Paul Dewar or Peter Stoffer to lead? They have no seat and it isn’t like there are many, if any NDP safe ridings for them to run in.

  2. MgS says:

    I started to question Mulcair based on his performance in the HoC after the 2011 election. He was acting like the dog who didn’t know what to bark louder at – the Cons in government or the Liberals behind him. When he focused on one target, he was very good, very incisive, but about half the time he would dilute his attacks on the government by saying “and the Liberals are bad too”. I found that infuriating. As a voter and citizen, I was much more concerned about what the Conservatives were doing in power than I was about the third party. All Mulcair did with that dual messaging was play into Harper’s game. It was foolish.

    During the last election, he lost my support entirely through a series of moves. He tried to drag the party to the center right, and in doing so lost track of what the NDP has always stood for. The end result? I perceived that Mulcair had become a politician whose sole goal was power. He would say whatever he thought he had to to get that power. Sorry, but I don’t vote for people who demonstrate that they have no principles beyond the attainment of power – that is exactly the wrong thing for this country. The pursuit of power brings with it certain compromises – I recognize that, but the minute I sense a politician is pursuing power for its own sake, they’ve lost my support.

    The NDP has a tough decision this weekend. They can either choose to continue with Mulcair’s “I’ll say whatever it takes to get elected”, or they can choose to reformulate themselves as a party with principles and goals that it stands for. I know what I’d like to see … now it’s up to the party membership to make a decision.

  3. doris says:

    NDP As a member I was appalled but only by the design and execution of a campaign strategy that had failed twice before – BC and Ontario. All of these “playsafe” campaigns were the brainchilds of the brains trust Topp, Lavigne and McGrath. Why the hell they thought it would work a third time is beyond me. Sadly these people have now become aparatchiks for Notley I hope she doesn’t let any of them near the reelection campaign.

    Mulcair obviously was the point person but even if he was outvoted in the strategy being Leader he had to execute it.

    As to the charge that NDP core and the rest of them didn’t say a word the campaign unfolded before our eyes and we gazed on in frustration and anger, there was plenty of time during the campaign to make adjustments but the war room failed to acknowledge the screams from the ground.

  4. doconnor says:

    NDP candidates where compelled by party solidarity to keep silent, but there where many in the NDP core who questioned his policies during the election, some on this very website.

    There was a vigorous debate on the Progressive Economist website about his deficit promise during the election here

    http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2015/08/29/mulcair-is-wrong-on-the-deficit-cozying-up-to-the-neocons/

    and

    http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2015/09/19/election-2015-the-political-economy-of-balanced-budgets/

  5. BlueGritr says:

    Warren, recently on the Charles Adler Show, you alluded to a Quebec NDP MP who you thought would be strong candidate to replace Mulcair should there be a NDP Leadership Convention. Who did you have in mind?

  6. Mark says:

    A lot of good points in that snippet.

    I think those Dippers who are disgruntled by Mulcair are being so through hindsight. If there’s one thing they should come to realize over this week its that they made this deal with the devil in 2012 when they chose Mulcair to lead them into the promised land. They were fully aware of the kind of person Mulcair was and were even warned by party stalwarts, like Broadbent and Brian Topp, of the inevitable shift to the right if Mulcair became leader.

    Nonetheless, the NDP membership elected to go with Mulcair because they thought they had no where to go but up by building on Layton’s 2011 success. Unfortunately for New Democrats this strategy failed miserably. So by being overly preoccupied with a sense of entitlement and expecting electoral success with the “death” of the Liberals, the NDP completely abandoned their ideological compass.

    If I was a Dipper, I’d give Mulcair the boot and start thinking long term. Forget 2019; nothing is going to happen for the NDP in the next election; especially with Mulcair as leader. Dump Tom and go with an interim leader for as long as you can. Wait until the Conservatives have chosen their leader then launch a leadership convention of your own. There are plenty of talented individuals that could come forward but the longer you hold onto Mulcair, the longer your burdened by a reminder of your mistakes. Don’t let him salvage his own ego at the expense of your party’s health.

    But hey, I’m a Liberal. So I’d be just fine with the NDP keeping Mulcair on as leader into 2019. I’d love to watch Trudeau wipe the floor with Muclair’s smug attitude again.

  7. Craig says:

    I’m not surprised that Andrea Horwath announced today that she is supporting Tom Mulcair.

    Two peas in a pod.

  8. gyor says:

    Some good points, Mulcair’s choices are a symptom of greater issues effecting the NDP, issues the NDP are unwilling to address across a variety of issues.

  9. Michael Bluth says:

    Notley’s victory was due to a rush to the centre? News to us here on the ground in AB.

    The NDP were the only viable option. She won the election the night of the debate.

    It was a change election and there were no other candidates worthy of being PM.

    Prentice was a capable federal minister who couldn’t handle the top job.

    Jean did pretty well for someone who became leader five weeks before election day. Came off as robotic and stiff during the debate.

    Swann was turfed because his caucus despised him. Replaced Raj Sherman when no one else wanted the leaders job.

    Notley’s win had nothing to do with an imagined swing to the centre. Simply the least worst of all available options.

  10. Ridiculosity says:

    There is hope for the NDP. Megan Leslie. IF she was willing to give up her new job at the WWF (and no – that’s not the World Wrestling Foundation).

  11. Ron Waller says:

    This is all establishment henpecking. Lies and manipulation. I’m not a Dipper. I don’t like Mulcair because he’s a Mulroney Liberal like Chretien, Martin and Trudeau Jr. Not a real centrist Liberal you need a time machine to find these days: like Pearson and Trudeau proper.

    But it would appear all NDP voters backed the Mulcair NDP in the last election. He did garner 19.7% of the vote, which is a top-notch showing historically for the NDP. He ran on daycare, federal carbon pricing, reversing corporate tax cuts, reversing Harper’s $36-billion healthcare cuts, etc. I don’t think establishment media lies fooled any social democrats into believing Prince Charming represented them.

    The establishment is hoping the NDP will go radical and become marginalized to pay the way for Liberal majorities. Like back in the glory days when Chretien won half the NDP vote and moved the Liberal party to the Friedmanian right. (Liberals feel entitled to the center-left vote without having to represent it.) Brought in spending cuts, transfer cuts, UI cuts and corporate tax cuts Mulroney could only dream of.

    I’m hoping the NDP chooses a new leader. But to cash in on the Bernie Sanders movement (built on top of the Occupy movement.) Mulcair is an establishment politician who could only fake Sanders. We need a real Sanders to start tearing up the place. Help usher in a New Deal before establishment looters destroy civilization.

  12. Vancouverois says:

    As I think I’ve said before, it seems to me that many in the NDP are foolishly obsessed with re-fighting the most recent election than in planning for the next one. And that’s a good way to ensure their own defeat in 2019.

    • Mark says:

      That is very true, Vancouverois.

      Just listening to the language of New Democrats (particularly Mulcair), it sounds as if they’re still campaigning in 2015. They talk about “their plan” as if they’re not done trying to sell it to Canadians.

      The inability to acknowledge not just a communications-strategy failure but a platform construction catastrophe is why the NDP is likely to be sitting in the corner of House for another generation to come. They clearly haven’t learned that success doesn’t just simply come at the demise of another party, but has to be earned through solid campaigning. Entitlement is what brought the NDP to is current situation.

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