Monday, September 12, 2016

NDP troubles continue 1 year after being government-in-waiting

The NDP's caucus retreat in Montreal this week comes at a time when the party is at its lowest level of public support in over a decade.

One year ago today, in the throes of the federal election campaign, the New Democrats were on pace to win. They were leading in the polls with about 32 per cent.

But since last year's vote, in which the NDP captured 19.7 per cent of ballots cast and was reduced to third-party status, the party has averaged just 13.7 per cent in the polls.

You can read the rest of this article here.


  1. After reading Eric's piece-it becomes clear Mulcair lost the last election as much as Trudeau won it. For once the NDP had a good hand: Official Oppositiom, a bilingual leader from Quebec, significant national support across all regions and the power of incumbency, a slight lead in the polls and the title if not the substance of the Government-in-Waiting.

    We all know what happened of course; the Liberals won on an election promise of substance-deficits! The NDP weren't outmaneuvered so much as out to lunch.

    The NDP's problem is Ontario between now and the 2015 election they have lost 43% of their support and trail Layton's worst popular vote performance by 7%.

    Of course their problems are far more deeply rooted than poll numbers-where are all the NMDP or social democratic activists marching for a living minimum wage, or to unionise service industry workers or for that matter doing anything of any consequence or value to average Canadians?

    I know unionising service industry workers is a tough sell-But when has the NDP cared about being popular? Until the NDP finds its backbone I don't see much hope with or without Mulcair.

    With only an "unofficial" Cheri di Novo campaiging for leader and with most of the past and present caucus grandees having declined the opportunity, I wonder if Mulcair may decide to re-offer. Unlike some politicians I am told he does need the money and frankly, if it is Mulcair or di Novo Mulcair is the best pick and should easily win.

  2. There won't be any change until Mulcair is gone. Thus the sooner the better !!

    1. The NDP are scheduled to pick a new leader in October 2017. This is why in B.C. the old mantra is the BC NDP couldn't run a peanut stand never mind government. Two years to pick a new leader is far too long. Yes I know the leadership review was only last Spring but, as the old adage states "a fortnight is a long time in politics".

      I stick by my admittedly far out assertion, that Mulcair may succeed himself if nobody other than di Novo jumps in the ring. The NDP may have really shot themselves in the foot!

      The Conservative race also appears to be turning into a compost of shenanigans with MacKay declining to enter the race. At least the Tories have a plethora of candidates-although no "big names" as of yet.

      At this point Kellie Leitch's "anti-Canadian values" idea may help her advance her standing. It certainly is bringing her attention and that is more than the other candidates are generating. She is using the Liberal campaign strategy in reverse; campaign from the left and govern from the right.

      Anybody who lives in Vancouver or Toronto knows we have an immigration problem in Canada. We are told we must import temporary foreign workers, we are told that the plethora of foreigners buying real estate in Canada only do so for altruistic purposes and their influence has little impact on real estate markets when the anecdotal and other evidence suggest their actions are causing a real estate bubble and preventing young Canadians from purchasing real estate in the city where they were born and raised. Even David Suzuki says: "Canada is full" and if we are to have any hope of meeting climate change targets restricting population growth is essential.

      Being open and compassionate to refugees who are escaping famine, war and natural disaster is one thing but, allowing others fleeing foreign lands because they have siphoned, embezzled or out right stolen money from their former government quite another. At the moment Canada is allowing far too many white collar criminals into the country. Yes, they make us rich temporarily with high real estate values but, if they were crooks in their former home-what is the chance they hit the straight and narrow in Canada? Very small I would opine. This is why the poorest postcode in Canada by income is no longer Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside but a leafy waterfront neighbourhood in Richmond, B.C. (a Vancouver suburb) where homes routinely sell for almost $2 million. Almost noone in that neighbourhood declares their true worldwide income.

      We should always remember to hate the sin not the sinner. However, entering into a discussion about immigration is important. Far from being racist it is the sign of a mature community willing and able to organise resources and plan ahead. Will it win the Conservatives a general election campaign? Probably not. Will it win Leitch the leadership? It may do that.

  3. Éric,

    I would argue you could have put Saint Mother Theresa in as NDP leader in the last campaign and the result would have been the same. Once voters decided to take a leap of faith and throw in their lot with Justin (not the Liberals), the die was firmly cast.

    I'm among those strange birds that actually likes Tom. He strikes me as another Dalton McGuinty -- took quite a while for Ontarians to take to him, but it did eventually happen. In my book, Mulcair isn't dead yet especially if no one in caucus has the guts to actually go for the job.

  4. It seems there are still rumblings of a dump Mulcair movement afloat within the NDP. Too little too late, isn't it? The fact the NDP are still having this conversation some five months after they voted to remove Mulcair goes some distance to exposing the internal divisions and chaos within the NDP. The division on the leap manifestio, division on Mulcair's leadership, division on electoral reform, division on deficits and only an outside chance the BC NDP will win the 2017 election. This is a party faced with an existential crisis.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures with no one offering to be the next leader and certainly no one of the calibre of M. Mulcair in the wings-it is probably time to ask Mulcair to stay on permanently. Subject it to a vote in October 2017 even allow candidates to run against him but, at this point better the devil you know.

    The NDP should be preparing and campaigning, yes campaigning, the BC Liberals are already running ads! For the May 2017 BC General Election instead they are locked in a pitched battle about whether their outgoing leader should go sooner rather than later-talk about pointless. Blame lies squarely with the NDP High Command, they are completely disorganised and based on their judgement of scheduling a leadership convention eighteen months after a vote to remove the leader out of touch with Canadians and untrained in the art of politics. The NDP speak a lot about working class Canadians, working families, feminism, multiculturalism, socialism and the like but, is run by a bunch of lawyers from Bay St., Shaughnessy, and Westmount. Layton turned the NDP into the Liberal party with a little more spice. It worked well, nearly made them Government but, now that dream is gone-they need to find their personality and raison d'etre. Wallowing around for another thirteen months before choosing a new leader will not fix the NDP's problems. The NDP should make decisive decisions quickly.

    The NDP has shot themselves in the foot. They should realise their mistakes, apologise and move on. It means viewing their situation rationally and fairly. It means eating crow and asking Mulcair to stand for the leadership. It means acknowledging that without Mulcair or a suitable replacment (Alexandre Boulerice perhaps) the NDP Quebec beachhead will completely disappear at the next election and with it any hope of maintaining major party status. It means caucus leadership (time to stand up Kennedy Stewart) to ask Mulcair to stand for leadership or it means decisive caucus action to deny Mulcair that leadership (if you are unhappy Ms. Ashton you need to stand up and run for the leadership or convince others in caucus to do so) in the very near future. It means leading and proposing new ideas not sitting around in the hope Trudeau becomes tiresome. The declining NDP poll numbers speak as much to the lack of leadership within caucus as it does to the black of leadership at the national and party level.

    The Ball is in the NDP caucus' court. Let's hope they realise it before Christmas.


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