Category Archives: NDP

Fixing Canada’s Democracy, Part 74 of 877

I spent 3 hours in the House of Commons from midnight to 3am this morning watching the contemptuous debauchery of the Conservative government squash democracy in ramming through Bill C-38. Several weeks ago I also spent some time in the BC legislature watching that version of embarrassing contempt.

Beyond a proportional representation system that would head of the Conservative Party’s contempt for democracy, I have noticed a few improvements that can immediately improve how our democracy functions. Some minor changes can greatly improve democratic efficacy in Canada, but the governments in power have every motivation to avoid making them. The Bill C-38 debacle that will play out for the next few hours should motivate us to hold our elected leaders to a higher standard.

Here are 3 ways to improve democracy immediately:

Continue reading Fixing Canada’s Democracy, Part 74 of 877

Springtime for Hitler in Ottawa


Last week, our favourite sweater vest hoarding Prime Minister made the world’s laziest Nazi/Hitler invocation during Question Period. This is the latest in a string of Hitler references made by sundry politicos in Ottawa during 2012, and we’re not even half way through the year. His gaffe brought jeers and tears of laughter to denizens of the House and online. For your viewing pleasure, witness the exchange between Mulcair the Bearded Sandwich Explainer and Stevie Soulless Eyes HERE.

After I was done laughing and wiping tears of hilarity from my eyes, I went back to the Politics Respun crew, and asked them for their input. Stephen Elliot-Buckley, Kevin Harding, Jasmin Mujanovic and I weighed in:

Is there ever an appropriate time in debate for comparing our politicians, parties and policies to those of Adolf Hitler?
Short of starting some ethnic cleansing campaign or annexing a neighbouring state, no. The bar is set quite high. That said, I think there’s too much careless thoughtlessness when people are rejecting criticisms of fascism and totalitarianism and corporatism. Tossing those words around seems to fit some of the positions we’ve seen in Canada in recent decades that are contemptuous of democracy. As a society we need to be better educated about the meaning and historical context of those words so we can use them more intelligently. And we don’t need Hitler for all that. – Stephen

I’m not one to really ascribe limits to speech, save for the kind that involves things like yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theatre. That being said, I also think that there’s problems with making comparisons between exceedingly horrific historical events and the leader of the NDP asking Harper when he was going to bring Canadian soldiers home from our neo-colonialist romp in Afghanistan. There’s a balance; if you honestly, seriously, fully think that comparing the actions of your debate opponent to those of Hitler are necessary, then, by all means, do so – but don’t be surprised if you’re made out to look like an idiot after doing so. It’s a comparison that should be made exceedingly rarely, and only in circumstances that actually warrant it. – Kevin

Sure but only once they begin engaging in or advocating for the systemic genocide of a segment of our population. Until then, it’s juvenile idiocy. – Jasmin

If the politician/party/policies are truly akin to those of Adolph Hitler and not simply something that opponents of the politician/party/policies merely dislikes or takes offense to, yes. Using it as a tool to insult or derive a reaction (Godwin’s Law) does make it a de facto debating tactic. – Tia

Was Harper out of line on Thursday when he erroneously stated that the NDP did not support the fight against Hitler in 1939? Was Mulcair, when he shot back about Reform Party?

I think it would be wonderful to get into the debate about where Canada has stood on events like the Boer War, WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq x2, and Afghanistan. And the centuries of various forms of war against the first peoples. There is precious little serious, non-zinger based rhetoric floating around when, as a nation, we ought to be getting into the soul of the issue of the role of our military. – Stephen

No, and no. In the most literal sense. Take a look deeper at the statements – Harper said that the “leader of the NDP in 1939” didn’t even support war against Hitler. This – and only this – is specifically true. J.S. Woodworth, an ardent pacifist, opposed war in Germany. And he – alone in the House of Commons – voted against the declaration of war. And he was soundly castigated for his actions, and made fun of quite rightly, for his vote. Extending this smear to insinuating that the NDP itself loved Hitler is just fucking stupid, plain and simple. Mulcair, on the other hand, shot back about the Reform Party’s policies – here, he took the policies of the party as it then was and compared it to the actions of the party as it is now. No spurious smearing; if the party changed names, it’s still the party’s policies as they were, not the actions of an individual who was then castigated by the party. – Kevin

Harper’s statement was the depths of gutter politics–pathetic more than anything else. I thought Mulcair’s retort was rather funny, though, and I don’t even really like the guy. Not much else to do in a situation like that than mock the Prime Minister. – Jasmin

If the HOC was a UFC octagon (which would actually make a lot of politics in Canada much more entertaining and culturally relevant for the masses) this tactic by Harper would have been a move akin to kneeing your opponent in the balls. It was cheap, lazy and a last ditch effort to keep away from having to tap out. Mulcair’s retort was priceless, and he chalked up laugh points from me with his verbal ground n’ pound. – Tia

In the media (both traditional and social) there are perpetual invocations of Hitler/Nazis by Left of centre thinkers/commentators directed towards Harper, his government, and Conservative Party policy. Is there legitimacy in this comparison?

Like I said above, I think we need to be more precise. When we say totalitarian, we need to talk about an issue like “free speech zones” in Vancouver during our Olympics corporate orgy, with respect to the Charter and how such acts are an egregious violation of reasonable limits from Section 1 []. When we talk about corporatism and the corporate-political junta that is the neo-liberalism of the Liberal Party, Reform Party and Conservative Party, we should be clear on how we talk about governing for corporate interests. When we bring up soft fascism or hard fascism, we should connect that discussion with these handy 14 elements of fascism: – Stephen

There’s legitimacy in comparing a lot of the actions of governments to fascism. To Hitler? Nope. And don’t get me started in the stupidity that one can find in certain right-wing fora who insist that Hitler was a commie socialist, not a right-wing fascist. – Kevin

No, absolutely not. I have very, very strong objections to Harper’s policy in particular as it relates to our treatment of First Nations peoples and overseas(mis)adventures–situations where people are actually dying)but he’s not Hitler, nor are the Tories Nazis, either. We have plenty of fascist movements around the world (including Canada) who make very few bones about their politics; we’d be better off actually engaging those people than wasting time on these partisan theatrics. – Jasmin

Comparing what is actually going on in Ottawa with the current Conservative government and WWII Nazis is laughable and makes your argument look small minded and uninformed. Like Harper or not, he’s not actively gassing his enemies in death camps and annexing small nations. Find a better comparison in history or grab some originality and create a term. I’m fond of Sweatervestism, myself. – Tia

Is Nazism a useful symbol for what makes us angry, from opinions on extended breastfeeding to criticism about opposing politicians?

I believe in Godwin’s law. Short of contemporary Nazis and similar groups, I think we need to educate people with more precise terms. – Stephen

If you legitimately think that the comparison is necessary, sure. Just don’t be surprised if you’re made to look like a complete idiot on your comparison if it’s out of line. There are way more useful comparisons or symbols to use. Boots stomping on faces, sweater vests, et cetera. – Kevin
Only a Nazi could ask such a question! Which is to say: sure…but only if you’re kind of slow and un-creative. First of all, very rarely are our opponents actually Nazi-like in nature. And on the odd occasion where I have engaged with actual fascists, the comparison to the Nazis was hardly insulting to them. So, with very few exceptions, the comparison is unjustified–and none of those exceptions are part of the mainstream Canadian political scene. – Jasmin

What is the term I’m looking for? Ah, yes. Reductio ad Hitlerum: claiming that a policy/group leads to/is the same as one advocated or implemented by Hitler/the Third Reich, and so “proves” that the original policy/group is undesirable. Guilt by association. Having been called a “Boob Nazi” (somewhat erroneously) often and FemNazi a few times, I am always perplexed as to how the person making the comparison arrives at the choice of words. I presume that the person throwing the terms around lacks a functional vocabulary/creativity. – Tia

Does invoking Hitler/Nazi in Canadian politics trivialize and desacralize memories of holocaust and the horrors of WW2?

Yes. And while trying to elicit empathy for violated peoples is a valid motive, we should do it in a more realistic context. We don’t have to go to gas chambers to talk about the abject poverty that millions of Canadians are one paycheque away from because of neoliberal, totalitarian, corporatist soft fascism. – Stephen

No. It trivializes the person making the comparison, if the comparison is not justifiable. Cf “Godwin’s Law” and etc. – Kevin

Yes, full stop. – Jasmin

Hell, yes. It’s disrespectful of people who have been affected by Hitler, who dealt a lasting blow generationally to so many families and individuals around the world. My grandparents were children/teenagers during WWII in Germany/Eastern Europe and our family is still impacted, several generations later. – Tia

Other thoughts/comments on this topic?

Harper is clearly desperate. He’s seen his polling numbers drop stunningly since the NDP leadership race, which is the kind of event to give the NDP a bump, not usually a corresponding plummet in the governing party’s stature. And now that I enjoyed the Twitterverse Monday morning kicking the tires of the NDP talking about expecting a coalition government with the Liberals and not a merger, the Harper Junta will be further trimmed in the polls. And now that the Liberals are going to let non-members vote in their leadership race, Cullenistas in the NDP can vote for a leader who is interested in a distinct, yet cooperative posture with the NDP. And yesterday NDP House Leader Cullen called for the speaker to enforce more decorum in the house. Cooperation and dignity, two of Cullen’s core leadership messages, seem to be defining this era of the NDP even if Cullen didn’t “win” the leadership. Harper’s a politician full of hate and vitriol. He is so angry, eager to demolish the Liberals, eager to cram his self-assured ideology wherever he can for the sake of some monarchist imperial brand of corporatism. He knows that suppressing voter turnout illegally or through negative politics keeps voters who embrace hope from turning up and mobilizes his base that hates their enemies. We need to reject gutter politics. As simply as last spring when Layton unilaterally stopped his party from heckling in the House, there is room for building something positive. Harper is incapable of doing that. So he invokes monsters, and in doing so, Godwin. – Stephen

The meta-narrative on Harper’s stupidity in jumping into Godwin’s law so quickly ignores the fact that Harper didn’t have an answer as to when the troops engaged in neo-colonialism in Afghanistan will be coming home – so instead he pulled out Hitler. Idiot. – Kevin

I’ve been left with a Broadway show tune from The Producers in my head, ear-worming me endlessly. Springtime! For Hitler! In Germany! Thanks for that, Harper. – Tia

Weekend With the NDP


Mornings are sub-optimal for me. Mornings that begin at 5:30 are even less functional. Nevertheless, I found myself waking up at a time I think is more sensibly reserved for going to bed. After dressing, re-packing (after developing a sudden mania to fit everything I would need into only my purse and camera bag) and having a brief (extended) cry about not wanting to leave the baby for two days, I was out the door. I was resolute. There was journalism to be had.

My trip from home to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was a caffeinated one. Many of the notes I took during the journey comment on both the quantity and quality of the coffee I was drinking, including an especially poignant and profane comment about the lack of cup holders on the GO bus.

Registration was a smooth affair, complicated only by me not seeing the media registration desk (twice) and trying to register at the wrong place (twice). I cannot fault the NDP for this, as the media registration desk was far from hidden. I did mention I don’t function well in the mornings.

One of the NDP staff was kind enough to show me to what the convention organizers called “the blogosphere”. In reality, this consisted of a round riser with some tables and power bars, and a crescent of monitors hanging above it to display tweets about the convention. Despite my frequent references to it as “the bloggers’ ghetto”, it really was a nice enough setup. The power bars were ample, the tables were sturdy and it was probably a wise idea to segregate the bloggers from the Monied Media, as we were by far more garrulous with our colleagues.

The NDP took us all seriously, even if some of us were writing for blogs and sites they had never heard of. We had full access to everything happening at the convention, including access to the leadership hopefuls. Where the CBC could go, so could Politics Re-Spun. Of course, I didn’t have quite the pull as Evan Solomon did, nor did I have sufficient height to attract attention in a scrum. Still, it was a heady experience to be taken seriously as a member of the media.

Friday’s atmosphere was noisy, enthusiastic and at times, borderline desperate. Everywhere you turned, there were clumps of supporters exhorting you to pay attention to their candidate. Campaign rooms ringed the upper level of the convention, booths occupying the middle. Sadly (for me, at least) none of the booths offered concessions of any sort. Cotton candy would have been an excellent complement to the carnival atmosphere.

Campaign rooms were very obvious reflections of the campaigns themselves. Singh’s and Ashton’s rooms were quite bare-bones, although Ashton’s room had pastries and dishes of candies. She also had a media rep available to talk to me, while Singh did not. I cannot fault him for that, though, as he had very few people on the ground at all. Cullen’s campaign room was informal and energetic, and his media rep was by far the most accessible, going so far as to give me her cell phone number so I could call or text with any spur of the moment questions. I never actually saw the inside of Dewar’s campaign room, having been intercepted at the door and passed off to his media rep, who was in the hallway outside the room. I thought the campaign was striking a weird note when Dewar’s rep promised me there would be a hip-hop tribute to Jack Layton in Dewar’s showcase. Nash’s room was high-energy (I must say, also, that she had the nicest-looking swag – those t-shirts were fantastic), but focused. Topp’s campaign manager, Raymond Guardia, took the time to speak to me, which seemed to be a reflection of how earnest Topp’s campaign really was. Guardia was also the most reflective, offering the greatest amount of insight into how the entire leadership race was proceeding. And, perhaps most tellingly of all, Mulcair’s campaign room was slightly inhospitable, and contained no one that could speak to me.

The energy on the floor was huge, and delegates supporting their candidate stood in clumps at every turn. Nash’s supporters, in particular, were out in force. I could tell whenever I was within 2 floors of them, simply from the sheer volume of their chanting and cheering. They were also the best mobilized, right down to the flash mob Nash’s campaign organized.

The energy during the opening ceremonies was huge. It was like everyone in the crowd was giddy. In all honesty, they probably were. Up until the opening ceremonies only staff and media had been allowed into the hall, with delegates contained in the frenetic upper levels. Nycole Turmel received a fantastic response to her speech. Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario NDP, also received a lot of love from the crowd. The feeling on the floor was one of excitement, anticipating and joy.

The showcases were fairly well received on a universal level, although specific response was hit or miss.

Cullen’s decision to walk onstage and start talking, free of gimmickry, probably had the most polarized response among delegates. Some loved it, some thought his speech was awful. There seemed to be no middle ground.

Dewar’s foray into urban music was an awkward flop. Another flop was the moment he announced he had “shooken” hands with thousands.

Topp’s showcase featured a lot of messaging about him being “ready” to take on party leadership, emphasis on ascendancy. His supporters were the first to crowd the stage. Topp wasn’t begging for votes. He knew he was a strong candidate, and delivered his message efficiently and confidently.

I wish I could report more on how Ashton’s showcase was received, but I spent most of it conducting an interview with Andrea Horwath. The parts of Ashton’s speech that I did hear were catchy, well-written and masterfully delivered.

Mulcair’s showcase was… special. From the drummers that preceded him every time he entered or left the hall (and the source of many amusing “war drums” jokes on Twitter), to his rushed speech, the impression he gave was less “future national leader” than it was “arrogant” or possibly “baffling”.

Nash’s showcase was easily the shrewdest. The 18 million introductions (or possibly it was seven) were a bit much, but anything featuring Alexa McDonough is tolerable. Nash entered to Florence + the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over, which was a sly nod to the University of Guelph’s vote mob campaign. Her speech also ran past her allotted 20 minutes, which found her standing her ground and shouting her closing remarks over her outro music as they tried to play her off the stage. If that wasn’t a deliberate move to reinforce her “tenacious fighter” brand, I will eat any hat of your choosing.

Singh really surprised everyone at the convention by starting his showcase with an animated video explaining his family’s history in Canada, as well as his own personal history. It was a very likeable move. It touched briefly on his key policy platforms, explained why he was different from other candidates and generally made for a refreshing change of pace. He also had his son play the fiddle onstage, which was endearing. I wish I had more to say about Singh’s showcase, but it was utterly forgettable once he started speaking. It was a weak ending to the candidate showcase portion of the convention.

Voting happened, people ate dinner, and it became time for the tribute to Jack Layton. T-shirts were handed out by volunteers to those entering the convention hall, and by the time the delegates were seated it was a sea of white and orange. “I am the Layton legacy” on the front, “Je suis la releve de Jack” on the back. Shawn Atleo gave a typically terrific speech, in which he reminisced about Layton’s ability to simply listen. Humorous clips of Layton on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Rick Mercer Report and Infoman were shown. Mike and Sarah Layton remembered their father with poignancy. Clips of Layton discussing his beloved granddaughter, Beatrice, and the sort of world he wanted her to grow up in, were played. Turmel spoke lovingly of Layton. An announcement was made that the NDP headquarters were being renamed the “Jack Layton Building”. Olivia Chow came onstage and energized the crowd, promising us all that we were indeed the Layton legacy.


First ballot: Ashton was the first to drop off the ballot, with only 3737 votes. Singh and Dewar voluntarily withdrew from the race after the first ballot results. Supporters were released with out direction from all camps.

Second ballot: Nash was next off the ballot, after voting hours were extended twice to accommodate people having technical trouble voting. She released her supporters without direction, but the fact that she was backing Topp was the most poorly-kept secret of the weekend.

Third ballot: Plenty of technical trouble, and the voting times were extended again and again. DDoS attacks were made on the NDP servers, slowing the entire process down. Cullen came in last on the third ballot, leaving the fourth ballot a dogfight between Topp and Mulcair. Sometime between the closing of the second and third ballots I became violently sick of hearing the word “kingmaker”.

Fourth ballot: Audible groans from the convention floor as voting was pushed back for what seemed like the millionth time. I ultimately left before the fourth ballot results were announced, as 1) it was late and 2) Mulcair’s victory was a foregone conclusion by that point.

And that, mes amis, was my weekend with the NDP.

NDP Leadership Convention Liveblog

Welcome to the Politics, Re-Spun NDP Leadership Convention Liveblog.

Two of our embedded Politics, Re-Spun crew in the convention, Anna and Laura are in Twitter as well as on the liveblog. They’ll be uploading content from the convention as well, so watch for that.

So join us here to share your predictions, analysis, shock and awe, thrills and reactions, happy or sad.

Supplementary content [to be updated all weekend]:

  1. Stephen is voting live online all weekend for Nathan Cullen. Here’s why.
  2. And here is one media piece this week where Stephen was talking about supporting Nathan, and here is another.

NDP Leadership Discussion, March 19, 2012

Politics, Re-Spun is on The Rational on Coop Radio on Monday, March 19, 2012 from 6pm to 7pm with an intriguing lineup! Listen live online or at 102.7fm in the Vancouver area.

With the NDP Leadership convention concluding the months of campaigning next weekend, with a new occupant of Stornaway charged with forging an alternative to the increasingly draconian Conservative Party, we though it would be a good idea to profile the candidates

But instead of having people speak for the candidates, we thought we’d invite 8 people to spend some time on the show explaining why they are supporting their candidate. No talking points, just people talking about what matters to them: 7 people for the candidates, and one representing the still undecideds.

We’ll also host a liveblog here – you can interact with the candidate’s representatives and our contributor, Kevin Harding, as they discuss who would be the best next leader of the NDP. Throw in your own questions, comments, or more.

NDP Leaders, By the Numbers and the Intangibles

There are some interesting dynamics going on with the NDP leadership race that we can track with numbers, see way below.

And while numbers tell some stories, they don’t necessarily track intangible criteria of leadership qualities like these, which I would perhaps suggest in this order:

  1. intelligence
  2. progressive vision: social, political, economic, ecological justice
  3. policy breadth
  4. bilingual
  5. integrity
  6. inspiring, engaging
  7. inclusive of all of our cultures
  8. self-confidence
  9. ability to grow the party
  10. speaking ability/clarity
  11. ability to debate
  12. charm, charisma, ability to lead so people want to follow
  13. ability to credibly counter Stephen Harper
  14. ability to deliver one-liners and media sound bites.

But some numbers do say some things. Here are a few observations from the chart below about funds raised in the 4th quarter of 2011 [which excludes $11,000 Topp raised in the 3rd quarter]:

  1. These donation numbers do not indicate which month, which province, or which age group these donations come from. Each campaign has that data for their own use and the party would have it all since they process the donations, but I wouldn’t expect they’d be sharing that donor breakdown with all the campaigns.
  2. Mulcair, Dewar, Cullen, Nash and Topp have the most number of donors, in that order. This may indicate the breadth of support within party members/donors.
  3. Topp, Mulcair, Nash, Dewar and Cullen have raised the most funds, in that order. This certainly indicates support, but does not capture growing support after January 1, 2012, which will be critical.
  4. Average donations that are high may show a concentration of support among fewer supporters. Topp has the highest average donation, but is 5th in terms of numbers of donors. Mulcair has the most donors, but he is in the middle of the pack when it comes to average donation, possibly indicating his support is more widespread. Oddly, average donation increases alphabetically with the exception of Romeo Saganash.
  5. You can read about how the endorsement points are calculated here, but you’ll notice I don’t include endorsements in the leadership criteria listed above because I prefer members to elect leaders based on who they are, not who famous people say they are. I recognize, though, that this is not the way it works for many.
  6. When looking at the endorsement points we see two tiers emerging: Topp, Nash, Mulcair and Dewar at the top. I think tiers are dangerous, horse-race, over-simplifications that do not effectively encompass the breadth of criteria that people use to elect a leader. And despite the wisdom of the endorsement point calculation, NDP members relying on merely that is not so wise, partly because one member, one vote means individual members elect a leader, not blocks of delegates at a convention who are more or less tied to candidates and those they end up supporting.
  7. But when examining those four with the highest endorsement points, they also increase alphabetically, but show that Nash has “paid/earned” the least for each point if we view donations raised as money spent on endorsements, which is itself, of course, an over-simplification. Topp and Dewar follow Nash and Mulcair has “paid/earned” almost twice as much per endorsement point than Nash.
  8. Jack Layton ran away with more than half of all the donations when he became leader. This is not going to happen in this leadership race. Money will buy lots in this race, but it won’t necessarily buy exposure across the whole country, which is necessary before members can learn enough about each candidate to consider them.
Candidate 2011
Q4 $ Raised
2011 Q4 Donors 2011 Q4 $/Donor Endorsement
Funds Raised/ Endorsement Point
Ashton $10,215 58 $176.12 23.5 $434.68
Cullen $86,109 442 $194.82 26.5 $3,249.40
Dewar $93,931 456 $205.99 88.8 $1,057.78
Mulcair $145,863 621 $234.88 128.8 $1,132.48
Nash $108,223 347 $311.88 158.1 $684.52
Saganash $17,552 87 $201.75 7.5 $2,340.27
Singh $49,077 110 $446.15 0 Div/0
Topp $156,597 278 $563.3 202.5 $773.32


Qualities of the Next NDP Leader

Here is the benchmark I’ll be using to evaluate who ought to be the next leader of the federal NDP:


Wanted, #NDP leader: integrity, inspiring, engaging personality, intelligent, ability to include French & First Nations, bilingual. #cdnpoli

via Twitter / @PoliticsReSpun: Wanted, #NDP leader

And let’s add environment and climate change leader, optimistic, and including new Canadians to that list, at the risk of making it close to too long.

So we have Topp, Saganash, Cullen. Dewar probably tomorrow. Mulcair is waiting for…not sure. Libby Davies and Megan Leslie are not in. Waiting on Robert Chisholm and Peggy Nash.

What do you think?

Am I missing some qualitites?

What do you think of the current and likely candidates?

Politics, Re-Spun on Coop Radio, September 5, 2011

Spending Labour Day with Imtiaz Popat on “The Rational” on Vancouver’s COOP Radio, talking about Christy Clark’s revocation of a pre-2013 election date [coup, not really a premier, perhaps a “notional premier”], the end of the HST, the BCTF negotiations and how the courts noted how the government yanked almost $3 billion from BC’s K-12 system over the last 10 years, the federal NDP leadership race and the Canucks riot report as it relates to Vancouver’s municipal political scene.

Apologies for the abrupt ending: technical difficulties.

And a note on the BCTF strike action in Kelowna: it sounded ambiguous that the teachers were the ones who canceled recess. The teachers are going to start the school year not supervising at recess. The school board decided to cancel recess. This way, administrators don’t have to supervise that 15 minute chunk of time each year. See here.

17 Federal NDP Leadership Possibilities

Jack Layton spent much time in his last days crafting his messages of hope, justice, optimism, equality and integrity: encouraging us to move on and build on the Orange Crush that he was such a key part of.

So far I’ve heard of 17 who people are talking about considering as leadership contenders; few are clear with confirmations so far until the leadership rules come out next week.

Here are the names I’ve heard, alphabetically. If I’ve missed some, toss them into the comments below, please.

  • Angus
  • Belanger
  • Boivin
  • Chisholm
  • Chow
  • Cullen
  • Davies
  • Davies
  • Dewar
  • Julian
  • Leslie
  • Martin
  • Mulcair
  • Nash
  • Saganash
  • Savoie
  • Topp

Doer sounds like a solid no.

The first litmus test is bilingualism.

Another is someone who can define their own style of leadership that is as engaging as Jack Layton’s was, particularly in the last 6 months, but that is also a natural fit as their own.

Another will be their vision of involving the Quebec caucus in a meaningful way, respecting their majority of numbers, combined with their inexperience as MPs [as opposed to other significant areas of life].

Another will be in working the membership demographics. The west has a majority of members. BC has the most of all provinces. There will be huge membership sign-ups, particularly in Ontario and Quebec.

Another will be in ensuring an open, constructive relationship with organized labour.

Liveblog of Jack Layton’s Funeral

It’s been an astonishing week since Jack Layton’s death and not-so-surprising outpouring of public grief and recognition of what he brought to Canadian politics and public service: optimism and integrity, as I see it.

What about you?

His funeral is set for today at 2pm, Toronto time. Please feel free to participate in our liveblog conversation about the funeral, the NDP, the progressive movement in Canada, and of course, optimism and integrity in politics and public service.