Monday, August 29, 2011

And They're Off!!

If anyone thought it would take a few days to build up a NDP leadership lather, you would be mistaken, because the race has begun in earnest today. The apparently well sourced Hill Times article lays out some potential fault lines, evidence of acrimony and divisions that would even make a long in the tooth Liberal take notice.

Perhaps a bit premature to say a "stop Muclair" sentiment exists, but clearly he is a controversial figure within the NDP ranks. I'm not sure I buy the angle that Mr. Layton purposely opted for a quick vote to undercut Muclair, but I don't doubt a rapid timetable was preferred because leadership contests are divisive, that's just the nature of the beast. What is clear, the NDP have to be very careful how they deal with Muclair, given the geographic nature of their caucus and support, any overt evidence of "stop" could have negative ramifications. Of course, it is all very premature, but the the tone of the Hills article suggests a real undercurrent exists, which makes for some fascinating machinations moving forward.

I'm not sure what to make of the Brian Topp musings, frankly his name seems to have come out of nowhere. I suspect we will learn more in the coming days about how his potential candidacy came to consideration, because at first blush it seems a very awkward direction. I've seen a fair bit of Brian Topp and I've seen absolutely nothing optically that suggests he has the tools to be a successful politician. Time will tell I suppose.

Lots of names being floated, one that I'm keeping a very close eye on from afar, Paul Dewar. I've mentioned Dewar before as a possible successor, from this vantage point he appears to have all the tools, so I'm curious to see if his name emerges over the coming days. From a partisan perspective, Dewar is the one name that should scare the shit out of Liberals IMHO. Why? A compelling authenticity that has the capacity to really resonate.

The NDP leadership race has started. If today's coverage is any indication, we political junkies are in for a battle that would make anonymous senior Liberal insider proud ;)


Steve V said...

journo_dale Dale Smith-Journo
@ @FarAndWide He was runner-up for the worst french award at last years Press Gallery Dinner. #justsaying

Dewar's French.

ij said...

Dewar's French: Hard to understand, considering he is the son of a Mayor of Ottawa, a city with excellent bilingual programs in many schools (even if nothing else to commend it as a place where to live). I like him because he seemed to be the only one not to obey the obviously existing edict from above to start every sentence, no matter on what subject, with an attack on the Liberals. He also seems to get on well with Bob Rae.

The Mound of Sound said...

I knew his mother, Marion. If Paul is as formidable as she was, he could just be the Liberals worst nightmare.

CK said...

I don't get why they're throwing names out like Paul Dewar, Libby Davies and Olivia Chow. None of whom speaks French. French is essential to a party leader, especially one with such a large Quebec caucus and one that hopes to run for PM.

Tof KW said...

Shame about Dewar's french. IMHO he does represent the best of the NDP.

That said, the Liberals should be just as fearful of Mulcair. He may not be the statesman that Dewar is, but he's a politician's politician and is loud when need be either official language. He would make a formidable leader.

And in case anyone forgot, Mulcair was a former Quebec Liberal, and his leadership may precipitate that slight rightward push the NDP requires to graduate from opposition to government.

But there may some good news for the Liberals there, in this may cause that anti-Mulcair backlash among the party's traditionalists that you were writing about.

Don't know enough about Brian Topp to comment.

I'm hearing Olivia Chow's name, which serves to remind me of the nepotistic nature of politics as witnessed in the Indian subcontinent. I doubt I'd be the only one to make that connection, that and I consider her a political lightweight.

However, worse yet is Libby Davies' name is being kicked around too, and her as leader would just be the gift that keeps on giving for both the Grits and Stephen Harper. I really doubt the Dippers would shoot themselves in the foot by picking her.

DL said...

Libby Davies speaks no French and would never run for the leadership in the first place. I think the rumours about Olivia Chow are also absurd. She speaks no French and is busy grieving over the death of her husband. Its very wrong to call her a "lightweight" - though I realize some people assume that anyone who is both a woman and a visible minority is ipso-facto not that smart. But Olivia Chow was very much Layton's equal and probably ghost wrote a lot more of his ideas and policies than most people would ever imagine.

Tof KW said...

Wow DL, I was posting nice comments on your party, and yet you still stumble in here and claim I'm a racist and sexist.

Chow is a political lightweight, seen it since her TO counsel days, proven by her many past attempts to win in federal elections, and that has nothing to do with her being a woman or of Chinese decent. It means lack of a kill instinct, for lack of a better description.

That doesn't mean she isn't a nice person, or isn't in politics for the right reasons. Believe it or not, but one of the requirements of being the leader of a major political party is to be an arrogant SOB when need be. We have another name for arrogant SOB in Canada, we call them prime minister ...and that isn't Olivia Chow.

Besides the point is moot, as you said yourself she knows little french.

Tof KW said...

By the way DL, I look for an apology for claiming I'm a racist and sexist.

Jerry Prager said...

not going to getting any more authentic than Rae's great speech to the Liberal caucus, Bob's the lightning rod in the opposition, the most towering thing on the landscape.
Otherwise Stephen Lewis for the NDP.

DL said...

TofKW, I'm sorry if you thought I was singling you out in my comment about Olivia Chow. I wasn't directed my commented to you as much as to some of the vicious comments I've seen on the Globe or Star comments sections about her that have been very racist (i.e. making fun of her accent etc...) and implying that she had nothing to offer of her own apart from being Layton's wife. Anyone who observed municipal politics in Toronto would tell you that she was very much a force in her own right and that she was elected long before being "Jack Layton's wife" meant anything to anyone or was even all that well know (ie: in the mid 90s). She's also very tough and quite a task master. She has her liabilities as a potential leader - but I would not say that being a "lightweight" is one of them.

jad said...

Those in the NDP who seem to be mounting an "anyone but Mulcair" campaign might do well to consider what he would do if he lost. It's hard to see him politley knuckling under to any of the so-called contenders, and with the large Quebec caucus, he could make major problems for the party.

Tof KW said...

Accepted DL. Didn't realize you were visiting the comments sections of the lamestream media. I've learned to avoid and ignore those cesspools of ignorance and folksy fascism long ago.

I know we've locked horns before DL, but I'm glad you realize my criticisms are substantiated on more than the ravings of a misogynistic and xenophobic rightwingnut troll.