Two months to go

Alice Funke has a comprehensive take on where the NDP leadership race stands, where it should be headed and what New Democrats should be thinking about.

 Does the candidate have the necessary experience to lead the party, command respect in all quarters, and run a national government with all its complexities in the modern world? What are the different candidates’ campaigns for the leadership showing the members about how they would try to unseat the Conservatives and install the first ever federal social democratic government in Canada? Does the candidate’s style favour decisiveness or consultation; and to the extent those are opposites, which is preferable? How well will the candidate understand, communicate with and advocate for various parts of the country (Quebec, rural areas and the hinterland, major urban centres, etc.), or the electorate (women, younger voters, the poor, the suburbs, aboriginal citizens, and the increasingly diverse ethnic make-up of the population, the house of labour, the various wings of the environmental movement, professionals, academics, etc.)?

If the leader is the party’s chief strategist, how canny are the strategic options they’re proposing in their leadership campaign platforms? How well does the candidate get along with his or her colleagues? Do the candidates take risks? And if so, are they well-calculated, well-executed ones? Who is thinking about the overall interests of the party and country, rather than just their own campaign? How well do they parry attacks from their colleagues, and/or the other parties? And, can their campaigns land an effective attack against an opponent? Who is the “helluva guy/gal” that can connect with people both in person and across the media, in both official languages?

In this week’s print edition, I take a look at Brian Topp’s candidacy. As I write in that piece—spoiler alert—the consensus wisdom has the race narrowing to a lead pack of four that includes Mr. Topp, Thomas Mulcair, Peggy Nash and Paul Dewar.

That story will be on newsstands Thursday, but I’ll be emptying my notebook over the next few days.




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Two months to go

  1. Wherry  Do you have any thoughts on when your Liberal msm colleagues are going to start doing less navel gazing and realize an election occurred months ago. I am sure any year now msm will register that Libs are third party and electorate doesn’t care about has been political parties. 

    Why is race to become President of Liberal Party getting significantly more coverage than race to become leader of opposition? Which is more important position when it comes to governance and politics for average Canadian? Why do I have to read blogs, or call my two NDP friends, to get coverage about election to quite significant political job?

    “ I’m sorry you have two decades’ worth of Liberal sources you’ve cultivated over the years, but they can’t help you cover this either (not that they wouldn’t be willing to give it the old college try). But you’re not going to develop any new NDP sources if you don’t go to the places where you can meet actual New Democrats. Outside Ottawa. Only Scott Stinson from the Post and Aaron Wherry from Macleans bothered to attend the Toronto debate in person from the print side …. ”

    “In addition to our rented Liberal friends, the whole Maclean’s team will be on the convention floor this weekend: myself, John Geddes, Paul Wells and Peter C. Newman (who offers this assessment of Mr. Rae’s situation)”

    • “Why is race to become President of Liberal Party getting significantly more coverage than race to become leader of opposition? Which is more important position when it comes to governance and politics for average Canadian?”

      Maybe it’s because the ndp leadership race has been so strung out, so diffuse and so goddamn Borrrrrrrrrrrinng…so far!

      Like it or not the story of the great big party that once did but no longer seems to be able to can has become compelling…it has been up to now the more compelling story…compelling stories sell…end of story.
      C’mon Tony you’re a bright guy. Drop this liberal media bias crap…it aint compelling anymore either…it’s gotten to be borrrrrrrrrring a long time ago.

      •  I’m not sure the race to be liberal president DID get more coverage, although there were a flurry of blog posts around the date of the convention itself.

        • That’s a really good point. Perception is imortant and so often just dead wrong.

  2. Sounds like Bonhomme Carnival may be available. They fit many attributes (and not at all corrupt – *ahem*)

    Check out his G&M interview http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/bonhomme-carnaval-on-retirement/article2307092/

  3. I question your top four.  From what I have seen, it looks like Topp and Dewar are decreasing in popularity, while more attention is being paid to Nikki Ashton and Nathan Cullen.  

    • From what I’ve seen I would concur with that assessment.  Topp is probably too entreched with the party’s power brokers to drop out of the top four but he doesn’t seem dynamic enough to take the big prize.

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