Sunday, February 19, 2012

Leadership 2012 Roundup

A quick look back at the last few days in the NDP's leadership race...

- In addition to his support from Leadnow and Avaaz, Nathan Cullen won cross-partisan support from the B.C. Green Liberal Caucus. But it's an open question whether the result will be a net plus for Cullen, as a positive response from a group which apparently fits comfortably within the Conservative-friendly B.C. Liberals may not send quite the message he's hoping for in trying to unite anti-Con forces. Meanwhile, Cullen also took questions on Rabble, featuring this noteworthy response on the relative role of government and business:
Traditionally private industry has existed under the power of the state and that it was a privilege (not a right) to operate a business. Now it seems that the tail wags the dog and that Canada now has a lobbyist for the oil sector in the prime minister and his cabinet. I'm not aware of any legislative barriers that prevent our governments from re-establishing the role and responsibility of the state.
- Paul Dewar filled in the last major gap in his base of endorsers, picking up the nod of two highly-respected Quebec MPs in Helene Laverdiere and Hoang Mai. Dewar also took questions and criticism about his French - but that makes his ability to convince at least a couple of the NDP's new wave of Quebec MPs of his merit all the more important.

- Thomas Mulcair earned a public endorsement from Charles Taylor - leaving roughly zero room for anybody to counter with a more distinguished party figure in Quebec.

- Brian Topp confirmed that if elected leader, he'd ask a Quebec MP to step aside to allow him to run in a by-election - which as Aaron Wherry notes makes for a well-worn path to Stornoway. But I wonder whether it would be worth making the case that Topp might be able to do more good outside the House in any event: after all, it's not as if asking daily questions to a perpetually-unresponsive Stephen Harper did wonders for the public's impression of the last two Lib leaders. Topp then made an appearance on the House with Evan Solomon, responding with his answer to each of the other candidates' cases for the leadership.

- And on the media and commentary side, Lawrence Martin updated the number of NDP members and voters anticipated in advance of yesterday's deadline. And it's worth keeping in mind the difference between the two: if turnout is in the two-thirds-of-members range normally seen in leadership votes, then a total membership of 115,000 would likely set the number of votes required to win in the range of 40,000. PSAC-Quebec released a report card on candidate responses to a survey on values about the public service - but perhaps more striking than the union's own evaluation is the fact that only three candidates responded in the first place. And Trefor analyzed the candidates' positions on Israel/Palestine policy, while DL classified the candidates into two tiers.

1 comment:

  1. Darwin O'Connor11:56 AM

    It should not be hard to find an Quebec seat to run in. You would think a few of the unexpected MPs would have found the rigors their new jobs not to their liking. Maybe they are holding back until the leadership race is over before resigning.

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