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Mulcair v. Topp v. Layton


 

To this and this and this and Joan Bryden’s report that perhaps there isn’t that much that separates Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Topp, you can add something Chris Selley wrote this weekend.

Both Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Topp, who says he intends to win elections within a “framework of progressive policies,” claim to be perpetuating Jack Layton’s legacy. And both exhibit the strange New Democratic conceit that Mr. Layton did not, in fact, already move the party toward the centre.

He did, as University of Saskatchewan political scientist David McGrane observes in a recent study of the NDP’s marketing strategy during the 2011 campaign. “The party tried to establish its Third Way credentials early in the campaign by focusing on issues not usually associated with the NDP: helping veterans, increasing military spending on building naval ships … hiring more police officers, preventing gang recruitment and issuing tougher sentences on home invasions and carjacking,” he writes. Canadians, strategists accurately concluded, “expected a potential governing party to have a well-rounded set of policies” — they want, dare we say it, something approximating centrism.


 

Mulcair v. Topp v. Layton

  1. Listening to Broadbent, you would think Mulcair has dropped from sky and hijacked party members. NDP base are buying whatever Mulcair is peddling and that’s what is important – dippers want to move towards centre so they can compete in elections and form Government occasionally.  

  2. It’s head-scratching to consider how many non-NDPers seem to think that
    NDP supporters have been waiting for years to become pseudo Liberals.
    Cuz lordy knows they’ve never had that opportunity.

    • Might there be a difference of opinion or in appliication of strategy between the party pooh bahs and the core supporters? It looks like they have been quietly edging the party toward centrism without upsetting or alerting the party faithful for some time now. It’s what all good politicians do…sell you out…er, try to make you see the world as it is. as they need you to see it – in order for them to get some actual power and real influence.

      The irony being, as Tommy D showed throughout his life, you can influence things from the periphery in small but important ways without caving on principle. 

      • It’s just a jump to the left/ And then a step to the right/ With your hands on your hips /You bring your knees in tight/ But it’s the pelvic thrust/ That really drives you insane/Let’s do the Time Warp again.

        Sorry, discussing the entire process of moving a party to the centre reminded me of that song.

  3. One of the things that I liked about Layton was his connection with the municipal level. You could tell there was substance not just speaking notes and that’s often been missing at the leadership level in all parties.

    There are a lot of practical things that can be done at the municipal level to conserve energy and emissions but never happen on the scale they should or could because federal and provincial governments treat the municipal level as if it shouldn’t be at the adult table and then have low expectations for the results of the funding they provide. The recent orgy of infrastructure projects was the least strategic ever (in a long line of poor spending decisions over the decades) because the overriding priority was making announcments and taking credit politically.

    I’m not saying give cities more money, by the way, I’m saying expect some standards and results in terms of efficiency (economic and environmental) when they are funded by the senior governments. 

  4. Ah! Smart chap Selly. So the liberal consensus continues to hold in this country then. Even if we have to start calling it Social Democracy one of these fine days, rather than Progressive Conservatism or a Just Society. Only the label ever really  changes – thank goodness.

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