Sunday, March 18, 2012

Leadership 2012 Questionnaire Response - Peggy Nash

Last week, I crowdsourced some questions to the NDP's leadership candidates about their plans for party organization. (Unfortunately the comments have disappeared, and I'm still working on getting them to reappear - but as you'll see I incorporated changes into my draft version.)

Obviously it's been a busy time for the campaigns, and so I greatly appreciate that four have been able to provide at least some response so far. And I'll give them each a post to highlight the response and my own quick analysis - starting in reverse alphabetical order with Peggy Nash.
1. As leader, what changes (if any) would you seek to make to the NDP's:
(a) caucus management and discipline?
(b) membership engagement and organizational structure?
(c) policy development process?
(d) candidate recruitment and nomination process?
(e) relationship to other political parties?
(f) relationship to traditional allies in the labour, environmental and social justice movements?
(g) relationship to interests not traditionally allied with the NDP?

The answers to these questions can be found in Peggy's detailed organizational blueprint for forming government in 2015. You can read the plan in full here:

2. As leader of the NDP, what roles would you anticipate within the party
(a) each of your fellow leadership candidates?
(b) any noteworthy organizers, volunteers or other participants in the leadership campaign on behalf of the other leadership candidates?
(c) the NDP's campaign team members from recent federal elections?

I will examine the make-up of the caucus and staff team because they are all worthy of the positions they currently hold, and decide what changes can be made to include the 3 categories of people you have listed above so that the caucus is as united as possible and that each person is ideally suited for their role.

3. If another candidate is elected leader, what other role do you believe would suit you best within the NDP?

I would ideally be suited to take back my previous role as Finance Critic.
So what do I take from Nash's response? It's true that her party-building platform largely deals with the contents of question 1, subject to a couple of points such as policy development and caucus discipline. And that certainly speaks well to her awareness and interest in party-building as a fundamental role of a leader.

But with the answer to #1 not adding to what's already on the public record, the most interesting part of Nash's questionnaire response may be her take on question #3. While I wonder whether the praise Nash has received on the policy front might position her well, she's expressed a clear interest in focusing on finance and the economy in her previous role as finance critic - and I'd imagine the other leadership candidates will take note.

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